One of the most effective ways to promote yourself and your business is through guest blogging. It can increase your website traffic and therefore increase your return on investment.
There are a number of reasons why guest blogging should be part of your marketing plan:
- It’s a great way to build brand awareness, because new audiences will learn about your business via content you’ve posted on other sites.
- Those new audiences may visit your site, so you will be attracting new readers. Pair that with a subscription sign-up that feeds an email campaign, and you will have access to new subscribers.
- It can improve lead generation and “click-throughs” that lead to revenue. More readers and more subscriptions means more potential for purchases and revenue.
- It can build trust. If you post to a trusted site, you will be seen as trusted.
Regular guest blogging will make you and your business become the authoritative expert. But there’s one other big reason to make this a priority.
Search Engine Optimization
The brief list above includes great reasons to get into guest blogging and make it a focus. But the biggest benefit will likely come from the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) edge you will gain. With guest blogging, you will be building links from high quality sites, and those links are a major factor in SEO ranking. Your site will see improved results in search engine results if you have links to and from authoritative sites.
The site to which you’re posting also sees benefits. If you write guest blogs for a host site, they benefit by meeting their content needs. Every site owner faces a content creation challenge, so your quality content helps the host site and earns you a business ally.
How To Be A Guest Posting Ace
Now that we know it’s a good idea to write guest blogs, let’s look at how to get it done. Writing posts is one thing. There are six other steps that will help you be successful.
1. Establish Your Goals
While the reasons we’ve mentioned are benefits to guest blogging, figuring out a goal will help determine what blogs to look for in searching for guest blogging opportunities.
There are usually three main goals for a guest blogging strategy:
1. Getting exposure and traffic back to your website.
2. Building your brand and positioning yourself and your business as an authority in your industry.
3. Building backlinks to your website to improve SEO.
It’s true that you can accomplish all three with great content and finding the right blogs. If you want to focus on getting exposure and building your brand, you will want to search for blogs with large existing audiences. If you want to focus on building backlinks, you need blogs with a strong root domain authority, (those that already rank high on search engine result pages).
2. Find The Sites to Target
Once you have your goals in mind, you will have to search for sites in your industry that accept guest bloggers and are looking for content, as well as ones that will meet your goals.
One tactic to use is an online search using your topic keyword or phrase and inserting search words. Examples include:
Keyword + become a contributor
Keyword + guest article
Keyword + guest blogger
Keyword + write for us
Keyword + looking for guest posts
You can also look at where your competitors are posting to find ideas for sites in your industry.
Once you have a list of potential sites, visit them and their social media sites to see their number of email subscribers and social media followers. This will give you an idea of your potential audience and, if you have limited resources, you will want to target those with the greatest reach.
3. Choose Topics Geared to Your Target Sites
Spend some time understanding your target sites and the existing posts and topics that are prevalent on the site. Think about how you can add value to what already exists on the site. The best topic idea is to write something new that would be relevant to the audience of that site. Some other ideas to focus your topics include:
Take an existing article or list and make it longer or more thorough.
Find broken links on the site and write a guest article to fill the gap left by the broken link.
Update an existing topic with newer and more relevant material.
Provide additional and new information on a topic that’s popular on the site.
Add design elements like custom banners or infographics, as a better-designed post is perceived as more valuable.
Make sure you don’t write a post on a topic that already exists on the site. Nothing will turn off a site owner quicker. While you’re researching the sites, make note of the guidelines for pitching and writing. Ignoring those is another thing that can turn off a site owner.
You can also find potential topics by doing searches in your industry on sites like Twitter or Facebook, to find common themes about which you can write.
4. Create an Effective Pitch
The biggest thing to avoid here is generic, “spam-like” guest blogging pitches. Make your pitches specific to the site and use the owner(s)’ name if possible. Keep the pitch short and to the point, and include the post title.
You can also:
· Briefly describe the post.
· Describe how the content will help readers.
· Explain why you have the credentials to write the post. Include a link to your site if you think it will be valuable.
These are guidelines, and not necessarily a template to make every pitch the same. If you have targeted sites that will be valuable to your business, it’s worth the time to research them and be sure your pitch is relevant.
5. Write Excellent Content
This is probably the most difficult part. Every site owner is looking for great content, so spend time making sure this step is well done.
Some things to remember:
Write a great headline that draws readers into the copy.
Research keywords and be sure to use them.
Make your copy fresh, relevant and entertaining.
If links are allowed, consider using external links to relevant authorities but also internal links to other copy on the site.
Don’t forget the link to the appropriate page on your site – and make sure it’s where you want to drive potential customers.
Posts need to be informational and a benefit to readers, and not advertising for your business or product.
6. Spend An Equal Amount of Time on Your Bio
This is where you will introduce yourself and your business to new readers and potential customers, so it’s important. Following the guidelines of the site, include a link to the appropriate landing page on your site, and also consider social media links if allowed.
Once you’ve had success posting on sites as a guest blogger, be sure to track how the posts do in terms of engagement, new subscribers, and revenue, and be sure to respond to any comments on the post. Be open to feedback from the site owner, and be sure to follow up with additional posts if you’re asked, or if you found value in posting on the site.
Being an effective and successful guest blogger will help your marketing strategy and drive new readers and potential customers to your site, increase your subscription list, and support other efforts like an email marketing campaign.
Danielle Canstello is party of the content marketing team at Pyramid Analytics. They provide enterprise level analytics and business intelligence software. In her spare time, she writes around the web to spread her knowledge of the marketing, business intelligence and analytics industries.