Danny Iny runs a marketing blog for small business owners, Firepole Marketing. His guest posts were published on some of the biggest websites in his niche, including ProBlogger and CopyBlogger. He also runs a course on guest posting, “Write Like Freddy”.
1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Danny Iny from Firepole Marketing, and I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. I’ve been working with some really big, recognizable companies, but my real passion is marketing and business education. I dropped out of school when I was 15 to start learning how real business and marketing was done, and I’m excited to be teaching what I’ve learned to thousands of people.
2. What is your experience with guest posting (read: Why on Earth people call you the Freddy Krueger of blogging???)?
I became the Freddy Krueger of Blogging sort of by accident. I knew that I wanted to get exposure on different blogs to meet and develop relationships with other bloggers and new audiences, so I sent proposals to about half a dozen different blogs. I thought maybe one or two would accept me, and I’d get my foot in the door. To my pleasant surprise, they all accepted. All at the same time. So I wrote as fast as I could and my posts started appearing. A blogger friend of mine said to me one day: “Danny, everywhere I look, there you are – you’re like the Freddy Krueger of Blogging!” . The name stuck, even though I’m a lot friendlier than the original Freddy.
3. How do you decide which blogs you should guest post on?
For me, it generally comes down to two things – either I want to build a relationship with a blogger or their audience, or I can really enhance my credibility by appearing on their blog. (Which, by the way, often means developing a great relationship with a new blogger and their audience!)
4. What kind of research do you do before you approach the editor/the owner of the blog?
I always make sure to become really familiar with their content; blog posts, videos or free reports. I also pay attention to what posts have been the most popular on their blog in the past – I want to make sure to provide them with something that their readers will really enjoy.
5. How do you go about pitching your guest post to the decision maker?
Quite simply really. After my research phase, I send them an email mentioning what I like about their work, and then the potential title I’m pitching. I find it important to make it a real pitch and to never send a full post. It’s also a good idea to make it clear that I’m flexible about things like the angle and the headline, but to still pitch a really good idea (that shows I’ve done my homework).
6. …by the way, do you write a guest post before pitching the idea, or do you pitch the idea and then write the post if it’s accepted?
My preference is to wait until I’ve been accepted. I don’t have the time to spend writing posts just in case somebody wants to use them, and it’s a lot easier to get the angle just
right based on feedback from the blogger if I send it to them before writing the post.
7. How do you know that an article you just wrote is good enough to be a guest post material?
Easy. It has to be good enough to publish on my own blog. And my standards are very high for Firepole Marketing!
8. How do you make sure that traffic you got from doing a guest post will convert well, meaning that those first time visitors will become loyal fans and subscribers?
I’m going to borrow from Corbett Barr on this one. I make sure that for everything on my blog, I’ve written absolutely epic shit. That way, when a new reader comes to my blog, I
can count on them liking it, and being interested in learning more about what I do. And if they don’t like it, well, if they don’t like my best work then there would never be a good fit
between us anyway, so it’s for the best.
9. You say that you’re a fan of the idea that different strategies are appropriate for different stages of growth. When it’s time to guest post like crazy and when it’s time to slow down?
In my opinion the best time to guest post is when your blog is new, and you’re trying to attract an audience. At this point in your business you should only be posting on your own blog a few times a month, and all the rest of your energies should be concentrated on getting new readers. Once you have that loyal following, then you can start focusing more on creating great content for your own blog, because you’ve got a readership that will do the work for you to promote it.
10. Last, but not the least, if you could only give a single piece of advice to someone who’s just starting out with guest posting, what would it be?
Be smart about what you’re doing. Figure out what you’re blogging about, and why. Make sure there’s real value being offered, and a good reason for people to be interested. The same goes for every post you write, especially guest posts. You’ve managed to convince another blogger to give you access to their most valuable, treasured resource: their audience. This is a HUGE responsibility, and you’d better make good.