Guest blogging as a form of marketing is a simple concept, but the rewards you get from it can far exceed simple if you handle the work right. Basically, you write posts for another blog or website, and both you and the other party reap a lot of benefits. It’s an effective, proven form of marketing, and you maximize your chances of success if you are proactive and keep your work high quality.
Some days, you are juggling a lot and are probably less inclined to put top-notch effort into work. On these days, remembering why it’s vital to enact high standards for your guest blogging actually helps you achieve these standards.
All that results in more money and success for you. It’s worth the work and effort. There will certainly be days when you wonder why you even bother, especially if you’re new to guest blogging. High-quality guest blogging marketing requires ongoing commitment and a plan.
Before you begin guest blogging, figure out what you hope to accomplish. For example, a lot of guest blogging is about trying to sell something or someone (for example, a book, a company, a political stance). Identify your audience and demographic. List the attributes you want to get across about the entity you’re marketing. Find or take relevant photos (pictures certainly can liven up a blog post). List the various angles and approaches you can take in various posts. You don’t want to repeat the same old information in each of your guest blog posts.
You may already have a long list of blogs you want to guest write for. That’s great, but first ensure that these blogs fit your needs.
What if you don’t already have a long list of blogs? No problem. Google is your friend. Run searches with your industry keyword or keywords plus phrases such as “guest post” or “guest blogging.” For example, if you sell a certain car widget, you would type “certain car widget” + guest post.” Some variations on the phrase “guest post” are “guest blogging,” “guest posting,” “guest blog” and “guest blogger.” Broaden your search with more-inclusive keywords if need be.
Use a spreadsheet or document of some sort to track blogs you’re interested in guesting for. Include the URL and other information you deem important, such as number of blog subscribers and contact email of the person who handles guest bloggers. Once you start the actual guest posting, keep a second spreadsheet with the URLs of your posts and other relevant information. If you find particular success with a certain blog, don’t be shy about asking to guest post there again once a few months or a year have passed.
You increase your chances of posting at better-quality blogs if your requests are professional and considerate. Also, when you write your request to a blogger, include the benefits to him or her. What’s in it for the blogger? If you don’t yet have many credentials behind your name, it becomes even more important to suggest a guest post topic that complements the blog and possibly rounds out its coverage. Present your fresh angle to a certain topic, credentials and links to your blog, work products or projects you’ve done. If you’ve guest blogged elsewhere, provide links to these articles as well so potential hosts get an idea of what you’ve accomplished for other sites.
If you run your own blog, your guest posts need to be as thoroughly researched and as good, or better, than the posts on your blog. You should have a long list of fresh angles for your guest posts; add to that list as needed. Write in an engaging manner: use stories and humor if possible/appropriate, avoid passive voice and don’t use fancy words when simpler ones are available. Encourage comments and interaction on your post by concluding with a paragraph that goes something like: “Do you have other ideas for ways to use X product? Share your tips in the comments below.”
What if you don’t think you can write well, although you have the content knowledge for guest blogs? That’s okay. Use a ghostwriter or freelancer, but make sure you budget for one in your planning stage. You could even contact a nearby college or university and see about setting up an unpaid guest blogging internship for a journalism, communications or English major.
You should come across as authoritative in your posts. One way to do this is by referring to experts in your field. Link to them/relevant articles in your post. Avoid link overload, though. There’s no need to have a link highlighted in every sentence. If you cite research and statistics, always say where you got them. Avoid saying: “Fifty percent of this car widget’s users said they would also like another widget.” Instead, say: “According to a survey by XYZ firm last year, fifty percent of car widget users polled said they would like another widget.”
You will probably need to write a short author bio. In many cases, this is featured at the end of your guest blog posts. Identify keywords important for you to use and put them naturally and smoothly in your bio. Include your email address and other contact information. Link to your home page, blog or other relevant sites.
Do you have other ideas on how guest blogging is a successful marketing technique? Share them below in the comments!