Guest Post Here

Want to guest write for CXL? We accept guest articles from data-driven marketing experts and optimization people if they align with our standards.

Writing for CXL allows you to reach marketers, optimizers, entrepreneurs, and executives – generally about 250,000 a month (and growing).

You’ll get a backlink, exposure to a new audience + fame and glory.

The Editorial Process

First, the basics…

Step 1: Pitch Your Idea

Email alex@conversionxl.com with the subject line “CXL guest post,” and propose a topic or two you’d like to write about.

Full article is fine too…but I can’t guarantee I’ll publish it. Read the style guide below for what we’re looking for in CXL articles.

If you send in a full article, don’t forget your bio line (2-3 lines max, one link, and a photo).

If we can’t publish your post, feel free to use it anywhere else.

Topics we’re looking for:

CXL is about better business results. Anything that enables businesses to get more results is welcome – from conversion rate optimization to analytics to email marketing and more.

Step Two: Editing Your Post

To save us all time, we will cap your article at 3 drafts. That means your first draft should be well-researched, free from high-school level grammar errors, and in accordance with our style guide.

If there’s work to be done, we’ll send the article back with high level suggestions on where we’d like to see the article go. Listen to the suggestions, ask questions, and then send a second draft to us.

The second draft should incorporate all feedback from the first draft. Ideally, this will be ready to publish. If not, we’ll send some more specific feedback for you to finalize.

The third draft, we’ll either publish it or turn it down. Again, feel free to publish elsewhere if that’s the case.

Conditions for the guest posts:

Main criteria: it has to be very, very good! We don’t publish rubbish.

  • 100% original content only, never published anywhere.
  • Minimum 1850 words, extra kudos for 3000+ word articles.
  • Posts have to be well-researched and practical.
  • Every claim needs to be backed up with a link to a research or case study confirming it.
  • Break up your copy into readable/scannable chunks. Use subheadlines, bullet points, and numbers lists when possible, and break up paragraphs that are longer than 5-6 lines on a Google Doc.
  • Include at least one (legal) photo to be used with the post, preferably 2-3.
  • No pen names, 100% authentic stuff only.

The Editorial Style Guide

Follow the style guide below, and it will save all of us time and you’re almost sure to get published.

1. Stick to The Guide

We’ve got a system in place. It has worked for us well at CXL. We write long-form conversion optimization essays for smart people to help them boost revenue at their companies.

You’ve read the articles. They’re data-packed, entertaining (but not cutesy), and above all – epic. We aim for 10x content. If someone has written about the topic before and we can’t do it better, or at least from a different angle, we won’t write it. Simple.

Follow The Guide and your article will much more likely be published and shared/consumed for years after publication.

2. Opinions Are Bullshit. Do Research.

“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
George Orwell

The world is filled with misleading headlines, PR fluff, and opinionated garbage. Thing is, there are a lot of fantastic writers that advance misleading opinions due to lack of research. They write persuasively and don’t do the world a damn bit of good.

We do research here. We scour the data and make sure we’re telling the truth. Instead of saying something like, “larger images work better,” find a study (or 3) that support this. Also, find the why (why do images work better). More on Finding The Why below.

The rule of thumb: no opinions unchecked. Back up everything with data/research.

3. No Basic Bullshit.

If you’re thinking about writing an article like the following, think again:

  • How This One Hack Can Increase Your Conversion Rate 938%!
  • 6 Ways to Use Twitter to Make Millions
  • 20 CRO Experts Talk About Their Favorite Type of Pizza

Our audience is comprised of Fortune 500 marketing execs, agency heads, and CRO consultants. They’re not wantrepreneurs. They don’t need to hear about “The Number #1 CRO Mistake Most Businesses Are Making.” Hell, we don’t need to tell them how to set up their Optimizely account.

Dig deep and write for smart people….

4. Write for Smart People.

This is related to the previous principle, but has more to do with writing style.

We don’t write in a cheesy, campy tone like many other marketing blogs. Write in an authoritative, witty, and engaging tone. Think The New Yorker or The Atlantic (as opposed to Buzzfeed, Gawker, etc). Instead of trying to write something super witty and hyperbolic (“When I saw the page, I almost broke down crying and reconsidered my career”), and just use substance (“The page was poorly organized. Here’s why.”).

The reader has some background knowledge (generally), so don’t condescend or write in a dense tone. Do a lot of research, tell a story, and respect the reader.

5. Find The Why

It’s easy to write a list of high-level tactics and call it a day – and ya know what, it would probably do really well and get shared a lot. That’s why tons of marketing blogs do it.

So much rarer and more valuable is digging in deep, and instead of writing about the “what,” try writing about the “why.”

For example, storytelling. It’s easy to say that it boosts conversions, it helps people remember messages, it creates fond connections between brands and consumers. It’s so much harder to tell you why. What does storytelling do to the brain? How can you craft an effective story that converts for specific messages? Why does this work?

When in doubt, act like an annoying child: keep asking why until you hit the bottom of the string (or until you’re so frustrated you can’t look at your laptop). Try the Five Whys technique.

6. What’s The Takeaway?

Now, you could do a ton of research and write a monster 5000 word article (even weaving a story into it). But if it’s just intellectual pondering, it’s not of much value to our readers.

Go to great lengths to make your article practical. What’s the takeaway? Is this actionable? Ask yourself, “what could the reader do with this information?”

If you’re having trouble with this step, the best advice I can give is to narrow your focus. We often get great, well-researched articles, but they’re far too broad to be of any worth. Always better to go narrow and deep than wide and shallow.

7. Carefully Craft Each Word

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
― Coco Chanel

Just because CXL publishes long-form 2000+ word articles doesn’t mean there should be unnecessary fluff. The goal is not word count; the goal is a comprehensive article. Read one of Peep’s articles (https://conversionxl.com/pricing-experiments-you-might-not-know-but-can-learn-from/). Long as hell, but every word is necessary.

Please don’t use word count as your only indicator of success when writing an article. I really don’t care if Neil Patel or whoever else says long articles get shared more; we’re writing long articles to be comprehensive, not to get more shares. Bottom line: no fluff. More rules around word choice:

Don’t use superlatives.

Things like “the best,” “the worst,” “the most ___.” First, these things aren’t objective. Second, it reflects lazy writing and research. Instead, use clear language.

  • “Fastest pizza delivery in town” vs “We deliver your pizza in 10 minutes“.
  • “We have the best Italian restaurant” vs “Our restaurant has won 6 Golden Spoon awards in the Italian Food category“

Specifics beat superlatives.

Don’t use hyperbole.

This is one of the most common mistakes I see when getting guest posts, and it’s one of the most annoying. The copy on a popup didn’t make you want to cry, using an auto-rotating slider isn’t like killing a unicorn, and your article isn’t going to be ‘chock-full of in yo’ face knowledge.’ Write like an adult – one that respects their audience.

Hyperbolic language works well on some blogs. Doesn’t work here.

Don’t write cutesy stuff. Just say what it is.

Don’t say things like, “this page is chock-full of in yo’ face copywriting madness,” or “every time you do ____, it’s like killing a unicorn!” Sure write with personality, but avoid the cutesy stuff. Remember, respect the reader.

Avoid exposition.

“What I’m about to tell you will change your life. Your boss will love you, your boss’s boss will love you – your co-workers might be envious. This trick will make you…..”

See that? Don’t use expository intros. My college professors used to tell me ‘show, don’t tell.’ You can catch the reader’s attention in different ways: anecdotes, metaphors, questions (well-done questions), and other creative ways. No need to tell them what you’re going to tell them.

Conclusion

(note: always write a conclusion to your post)

Main criteria: it has to be very, very good! We don’t publish rubbish.

  • 100% original content only, never published anywhere;
  • Minimum 1850 words, extra kudos for 3000+ word articles (word count isn’t the goal, it’s just a byproduct of seriously well-researched content)
  • Posts have to be well-researched and practical;
  • Every claim needs to be backed up with a link to a research or case study confirming it.
  • Respect the reader, don’t write cutesy/hyperbolic/fluff stuff.
  • No pen names, 100% authentic stuff only.

Be persistent. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it’s worthwhile. There’s a lot of crap out there. A lot of ephemeral marketers and writers that just want to make a quick buck. This is the shit that lasts. The stuff that people will find 2 years from now and will help them just as much. Everyone else skims the surface, but we’re providing true value by offering a deep understanding of our subject matter.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.