How to Guest Post on Firepole Marketing

Do you want to write a guest post for Firepole Marketing?

If you do, then you’ll be in good company – we’ve some super-successful posts from guest authors, and we’d be happy to consider publishing your post here as well!

We’re pretty flexible about what we publish here at Firepole Marketing, as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • It’s really good. Seriously, our standards here are high, and some guest posters go through 2-3 rounds of revisions. But if you’ve got a good idea, we’re happy to work with you until the post is ready.
  • It’s original. Duh – if it’s been published anywhere else, we don’t want it.
  • It’s relevant to our topic and audience. By which we mean “connecting, engaging and inspiring” for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the 0-10 employee range. Read Danny’s Timeless Marketing Wisdom from Shakespeare and Lao Tzu post for more insight into who this blog is for.
  • It’s “meaty” enough to be useful. We don’t have word limits or requirements – the post should be as long as it needs to be, and no longer. That being said, it’s rare to be able to squeeze much substance into less than 800-900 words, and most of our posts are in the range of 1,200-1,500 words. There are exceptions, though – focus on writing a good post, not on meeting word count requirements.
  • It’s from an actual blogger (and not an SEO company). We’ve been burned a few times by SEO companies offering; the guest posts usually end up being mediocre, and they rarely stand behind their posts, respond to commenters, etc. So if you’re working for an SEO company, we’re not interested. If you email us offering a “free original article about any subject you like”, and mention that you “only need 2 backlinks”, we won’t reply, and your message will be marked as spam.

If you have an idea for a post that you think would fit well, here’s what you should do:

  1. Make sure you’re okay with our timelines. We plan our editorial calendar several months in advance, and there are a lot of people who want to guest post with us. What this means is that while we’re happy to publish your post (if it’s good), it may take several months for it to be scheduled. Make sure you’re okay with that before proceeding.
  2. Read our most popular posts to see what our audience responds well to (if you’re new to Firepole Marketing, you’ll have to dig through the blog to find them – but you should get familiar with the blog before writing for us anyway).
  3. Make sure you’re ready to promote your post if it is accepted. This means doing at least some, if not all of the following: promote your post by email to any blogger you mention, or other interested bloggers, share your post on all of your social networks, add the link to your own site, and use social bookmarking to increase visibility.
  4. Send us an email about your idea. Just the idea – not the finished post. In your idea, include two or three possible headlines (these should be different possible headlines for one post idea) and an outline with subheads and brief descriptions of what each subsection will say. (If you’re not sure how to write great headlines, use Headline Hacks.) Also include links to two posts on Firepole Marketing that indicate to you that YOUR guest post will be a success based on the audience response.
  5. We will either approve the idea, or suggest changes – either way, we’ll get back to you within a couple of days at the absolute latest. If you’re ready to do that now, go ahead and send your pitch over to Felicity (at) firepolemarketing (dot) com (not a link – type it in yourself). If your pitch does not follow the guidelines, you will not receive a response. Please make the subject of your email: GUEST POST PITCH: [SUGGESTED TITLE] Note: this is not a blog about blogging, and we aren’t interested in posts that are just about blogging!
  6. If your pitch is accepted, you will be asked to submit either an outline, or a draft.
  7. Write the draft or the outline, and send it to us. In a Word document. After you’ve planned it out. And proofread it. For extra credit, read it out loud, make corrections, and add a comma wherever you take a breath. Feel free to include links in the post – to your stuff, to our stuff, to other stuff… we don’t have any problem with links, as long as they’re relevant and value-adding. Your draft should also include a bio with your Twitter URL and Google+ Page URL, if you have them.
  8. Be ready to make revisions. Once we’ve seen the post, we’ll either approve it for publication, or more likely, request revisions. If we request revisions, it isn’t a rejection – we want to work with you to make sure that your post is as good as it can be. You’ve got to work with us, though – if we ask for a revision, we don’t mean for you to just add a sentence or two (we could do that ourselves while editing). Take our advice to heart, and let us help  you make your post a home run. After we approve a final version, we will ask you to submit it in a particular format so that we can easily make our final pass and get it ready to go! This is a separate step from the editing process.
  9. Understand that we will edit your post, too. It doesn’t matter how good your post is – we will still give it an editorial pass before it goes live on our blog. It’s nothing personal, just standard procedure on almost every serious blog that runs guest posts.
  10. Plan to be around when the post goes live. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s been scheduled, and you’ll have plenty of notice to make sure that you’ll be available. We expect you to be around during the day, and the following day, to interact with readers in the comments.
  11. Do your part to spread the word. If you write a post here, you should be proud of it, and we expect you to tell your networks about it! :) You should also list your guest post’s URL in the “Past Contributor” section of your Google+ URL! The guest post promotion ideas above will help you get a LOT more mileage out of your post! We’ll be doing our bit to make sure your work gets in front of as many eyes as possible – together we’ll make it a massive success!

That’s all there is to it. If you have any questions, or you want to propose a post idea, go ahead and email Felicity at felicity (at) firepolemarketing (dot) com!