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guest blog article format

I got a message from my friend Toyin the other day asking about the best format for your guest blog article:

guest blog article format

The short answer–your guest blog article format should be similar to the host.

But not in the way you are probably thinking.

Before I explain what I mean, let’s talk about the different possible types of guest blog article formats.

What are the different types of guest blog article formats?

Most people would tell you that if the host writes how-to articles your guest blog article should be a how-to article. If they tend to write listicles, your guest blog article should be a listicle, etc etc.

But if you read my earlier post here you know those aren’t article formats–those are content types.

Other people will tell you your guest blog article should match the length of posts on your host blog.

But if you ask me I would say post length has diddly squat to do with guest blog article formats.

The best way to think about your guest blog article format how the host usually helps his/her readers. Through painkiller, vaccine, vitamin, or candy posts?

Let’s talk about each of these.

**Aside those of you from Silicon Valley might find this familiar as it is also how Venture Capitalists talk about startup types. I’ve just applied it to guest posting.

guest blog article formatGuest blog article format #1 painkiller

A painkiller gives the audience a solution to an immediate burning pain they want to get rid of right away.

Eg. this post on checking email more productively.

Notice how the post reminds the audience of the painful cost of email interruptions right away. And then gives you a solution to kill that pain?

guest blog article formatGuest blog article format #2 vaccine

A vaccine post gives the audience a way to prevent a problem they don’t want.

A good example is this post on strength training exercises for women over 50. Notice how the main benefit is to slow down aging–a someday problem most people want to avoid?


guest blog article formatGuest blog article format #3 vitamin

A vitamin post gives the audience a solution that will help them achieve an aspirational goal eventually.

A good example this post on information detox.

Notice how the benefit mentioned is an aspirational goal that is hard to quantify. Also, notice how it is not an immediate problem.

guest blog article formatGuest blog article format #4 candy

A candy post entertains the audience and doesn’t really provide any benefit other than entertainment or immediate gratification.

Eg. this post on uninspirational quotes BoredPanda. This is meant to be an entertaining post because no one actively looks for posts on how to be less inspired.

Now that you know the different types of guest blog formats, let’s talk about how you can quickly figure out the best format your guest blog should follow.

What guest blog article format should you pick for your guest post?

Why the type of article format that has already been successful on your host blog of course.

A super useful measure of success on blogs is total shares. And using blog research tool like Epicbeat looking these up is a breeze.

Here is how to do this.

#1 Type in the blog domain into Epicbeat

guest blog article format

#2 Sort by shares

guest blog article format

#3 Eyeball top 3-5 popular posts

guest blog article format

#4 Assess post format

Headlines are a great way to get a quick feel of this.

Let’s take a deeper look at our example above.

Post HeadlinePost FormatExplanation
The research is in: Caffeine boosts your mental and physical performance in pretty much every measurable way.VitaminIncreasing performance is an aspirational goal that the solution drinking caffeine would help you achieve.
Here’s how to check your email more productivelyPainkillerUnproductive email checking is a burning pain most people want to resolve right away.
Everything you need to know about how music affects your productivityVitaminHow music affects the aspirational goal of increasing productivity

Wrap up & next steps

Let’s summarize what you learned. You learned:

  • How not to think about formats for your guest post
  • The right way to think about formats for your guest post AND
  • How to find the popular post format on your host blog in 1 minute

Now it is your turn. Go ahead put this into action.

Want a bit more help with your guest posting journey? Then:

  • About the author
  • related Posts

Guest posting since 2009, Sana’s posts have been seen on places like Adweek, VentureBeat, and many others. She is on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you grow their brands, credibility, and email lists by getting their guest posts published.  When she isn't writing posts like this one you will find her meditating somewhere beautiful or pondering the meaning of life over a cup of tea.

P.S. Learn how to get 80% of your guest posts accepted with this free roadmap

guest blog article format

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