Pro Blogger Kristi Hines
I had the opportunity to interview Kristi Hines, who really needs no introduction. In fact you’ve probably read one of her many articles posted on Search Engine Watch, Unbounce, or Kiss Metrics. When she isn’t blogging for these websites she is refining her craft by posting on her own blog Kikolani.com, which was chosen as one of Social Media Examiners Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2010.
As an aspiring guest blogger myself I was excited for the opportunity to ask Kristi what it takes to become an outstanding online blogger like herself. This is what she had to say.
When choosing a blog topic, how do you know what the reader will like?
When I’m looking to pitch a guest post to a blog, I subscribe to their site first to see the topics they typically write about. Then I check the blog out on PostRank to see what topics are the most popular based on social engagement.
Many say the title is the most important part of a post. How do you make your post titles stand out?
The title is definitely the most important. It’s usually the only thing you see in a tweet and the first thing you see in search results, shares on other social networks, in your RSS reader, and so on. I try to think about what will lead to the most clicks both on social networks and in search results.
In your opinion what does a “perfect post” look like?
The perfect post has a lot of valuable content broken up with great headers, a bulleted list or two, and some awesome images – either screenshots or just visually appealing images, depending on the content.
Can you tell us what is in your guest posting tool kit?
I’m not sure I have much of a toolkit outside of using a combination of Google Reader and PostRank to determine what topics to tackle on a particular site. Sometimes I will also check out the Google AdPlanner to see the traffic stats on a site I might want to post upon to see what kind of traffic they have. Granted, the stats aren’t right on, but it can give me a general idea if the site is bigger than mine or not.
How do you introduce yourself and maintain a strong relationship with big blog sites?
There are different ways to go about pitching a guest post. With Social Media Examiner, my blog was listed in their Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2010. I followed their Facebook and saw an update that they were looking for writers shortly after they listed me, so I contacted them. If the blog happens to mention you for any reason (listing, link to one of your posts, etc.), that is a great time to strike. If that isn’t an option, then I see if I know one of the other previous guest bloggers on the site to make an introduction to the blog owner / editor. If none of those work, then it never hurts to spend a little time commenting on a blog, tweeting some of the posts, then approaching the blog owner for a chance to post.
Whats the biggest mistake that you see guest bloggers make?
One of the biggest mistakes I see guest bloggers make on my site is not reading the guidelines. Some I don’t think even read my blog – I have received some strange article pitches that don’t even fit my niche. If a site offers guest post guidelines, make sure to follow them as closely as possible.
Personal Side Of Kristi Hines
Where does the name of your blog Kikolani.com come from? What does it mean?
The name Kikolani is a combination of my middle name and grandmother’s first name. I thought it was a pretty cool creation until I discovered it was a first name used in Hawaii.
Mac or PC?
PC, although I use a Mac keyboard with it.
Iphone or Droid?
Droid for my phone, iPad for my tablet.
Hootsuite or Tweetdeck?
HootSuite all the way!
Favorite YouTube Video?
This is one of my recent favorites. 🙂
Want More Guest Blogging Tips?
Kristi Hines is a phenomenal blogger and has even written a book to help wannabes like myself to become the caliber of blogger she is. If you are interested in becoming a better blogger I would definitely follow Kristi’s posts and if you really want to improve check out her book “The Ultimate Blog Post Promotion Guide Book”. If you must know, I am not affiliate and don’t get any money if you buy her book. I just think its great for those who want to get serious about blogging.