Why in the hell is Nicki Minaj a hardcore hip hop rapper featured on Willow’s latest hit single – “Fireball”?
It’s confusing because Willow, Will Smith’s daughter, serves up purely cotton-candy, grade school, beats that 10-year olds play on their iPods during sleepovers.
But, if you listen to the song you’ll hear Nicki’s signature style without her signature “edge”.
What’s happening? Isn’t Nicki worried about her hip hop street cred? Won’t other artists criticize her as a crossover sellout?
In fact, hip hop artists wish they could have gotten to young Willow first. You see these hustlers know that a featured cameo (aka Guest Post) on another’s artist’s album is great but a featured appearance on an album that appeals to new audiences is worth a sellout concert at Madison Square Garden.
Believe me, I bet Nicki’s managers are pitching Taylor Swift right now.
What You Can Learn From Nicki Minaj
It’s time for you to broaden your audience base. Guest posting is a great way to do it but you should tweak the popular formula. Most experts suggest you find and pitch blogs similar to your own. This is a decent strategy but I want you to do this with a twist.
Go out and find blogs that complement your niche. So if you are a fitness trainer look for blogs on nutrition. If you sell woodworking plans look for interior design blogs. If you offer career coaching then seek out yoga instructors. Sounds weird but stick with me I promise I haven’t lost my mind.
This crossover guest blogging strategy has three benefits:
- Forces you to broaden the appeal of your expertise, product, or service. It’s easy to get caught in a rut writing about the same topics. The problem is that your competition is fighting in the same rut. Training yourself to be flexible and versatile will help you draw from a larger pool of potential readers
- Introduces your blog to a new but complementary audience. If you want to stand out you’ll need to find new eyeballs. Sidestepping to a niche that shares common interests is a great way to diversify your audience and set your blog up for long-term growth.
- Stokes Your Creative Energy. Challenging yourself to imagine new applications for your subject will give your imagination a work out.
How to Make Your Pitch to the Host Blog
This isn’t going to be your typical guest post pitch. Since you won’t be a card-carrying member of the host blog’s tribe, you’ll need to pitch “why” you would be a good guest poster.
Here’s what you should point out:
- Emphasize that you will write a post that complements the host blog’s current topics.
- Write three sample titles for the post that you intend to write. Your goal is to prove that your posts will fit in the blog’s current lineup
- Explain in detail the overlap in interests that will make your guest post appealing
- Write the entire post and send it along with your pitch. The host blog author may need to see what you have before they will believe your pitch.
Be persistent. This is a slightly tougher sale but worth the effort. Approach several different blogs, customize each pitch, and keep pounding away.
What If No One Accepts Your Pitch?
Publish the post on your blog. Promote the blog post to the audience you were targeting. Use relevant Twitter hashtags to alert interested audience members about your article. You may get a mention from one of your target blogs. Not as good as a guest post but better than nothing.
The key here is to force yourself out of your comfort zone and start thinking broadly about your topic and how it can be applied to other readers.
Like Nicki Minaj, you’ll impress your core readers with your versatility while picking up a new group of fans.
Talk to Me…
What complementary blog will you target? Let me know in the comments below.
By the way, I’m looking for guest writers for Pushing Social. Here’s what you need to know.