I manage guest blogging opportunities for several clients, and it can be a challenge to keep up with which topic I’ve pitched for them, and where. Because most blog sites don’t respond right away — or even publish within weeks of my submitting an article — it can easily become a logistical nightmare keeping up with it.
Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Last year, I resolved to find software that would help me track which articles I’d submitted, which editors showed interest in, and when and where the articles were published. I started off trying editorial calendars like Kapost and CoSchedule, but what I needed was less of a calendar and more of a tracking system. Plus, some of the calendars I looked at were $20+ a month, and I can’t justify the cost if the software doesn’t do exactly what I need.
So, like Goldilocks working her way through the porridge, I continued on my search.
Not Quite There
Years ago, I used Basecamp to manage projects, but I’d gotten away from it. I came back during this process. While I liked having “buckets” for each client, I ended up with an endless document with the latest guest posts. It was hard to track which I needed to follow up on and which were published.
The good that came out of this is that I’ve continued to use Basecamp to manage my writers, set deadlines, andcreate content calendars for clients. But it wasn’t the guest blogging tracker I wanted.
Sometimes Low-Tech is Best
I laugh when I think about the solution I ended up with: a simple Google Spreadsheet. Turns out I’m not the only one using this tool for guest blogging. In the past, I’ve shied away from spreadsheets because they quickly become overgrown with data. Much like kudzu. But my system is better. I track what topics I’ve pitched for my clients, the date I pitched, and the response. If I get no response, they go in the Dead Pitches tab so I don’t try again.
I can also track ideas for future articles, house future sites to pitch, and the articles that have been published already (their URLS handily waiting for me).
As soon as I submit an idea or article, I put it on my Google Calendar to follow up in two weeks. That way, I don’t forget about it and wonder what happen to the pitch.
So yes, I wasted a lot of time trying to find a perfect solution (and if you know of one, let me know) only to come back around to the lowest tech (next to paper) I could choose. But now that I’m organized with my data, I’m pleased with the results.
How do you track guest blogging opportunities?