Over the past several years, there has been lots of talk about content marketing, and for a good reason, because it is one of the most effective strategies through which marketers are promoting their businesses and growing their brands. It also helps drive traffic and build authority in a particular niche, and one of the favorite strategies of all professional marketers is guest blogging.
But if you thought they are in it just for the backlinks, you would be wrong. Sure, there is that, but nowadays, guest posting is more about developing relationships with the right people and presenting your content in front of the right kind of audience. We have prepared a detailed guide that will help you achieve that.
Why You Should Guest Blog
The first order of business would be to establish the benefits of guest blogging for your brand and website. While these may be very specific, there are several goals which apply to just about anyone
- Driving traffic to your own website/blog
- Targeting the right audience
- Gaining followers on social media
- Establishing yourself as an authority in your niche
- Building your brand
How to Guest Blog
In order to find the best places for your guest post, do the following:
1. Plan Your Guest Post
Figure Who Your Target Audience Is Going to Be
While it may seem like a good idea to cast a much wider net, you stand to benefit more from focusing your efforts and creating content for a particular audience which is already interested in the niche you are covering with your content. That way, you are saving a lot of time and money, because you will already by catering to the people who are hungry for that sort of content. Here is how you can find the right audience for your guest posts:
- Seek out websites which cater to the same kind of audience as your website does
- Focus on those places where the audience is active and which shares comments and links
- Find blogs/website in the same niche
- Focus on websites which can help you achieve your goals
Establish Your Goals
As we’ve pointed out in the introduction, you need to find one or several reasons why guest blogging might be good for your brand. Also, you need to set goals which you want to achieve within a given time period. Otherwise, it will just be a waste of your resources. Concentrate on your niche first, and then make use of the analytics tools to track how your post is doing. These days, it is all about quantifying your effort and results.
Find Blogs and Websites Which Are Already Well-Established
By this we mean sites which have already developed a strong following and good authority in that particular niche. That also means that they will pop up on the first few pages of Google Search, or any other search engine for that matter. It seems as if you’re trying to find a needle inside a haystack, but not if you decide to use tools such as Moz Toolbar, which can do that for you.
Keep an Eye Out For Blogging Opportunities
Although trying to find guest posting opportunities through Google Search will certainly yield some useful results, you shouldn’t simply focus on just that. You should also consider other parameters, such as social media popularity, the authority of the website you are looking for, and how their posts are doing at the moment.
Take a Look at What the Competition Is Doing
In the digital world, there is no shame in peeking inside your neighbor’s yard. One of the most effective ways through which you can find places where you would want to guest post is by checking out where your competitors are guest posting. Open Site Explorer comes in really handy on a job like this, because it is able to track all of the backlinks. Once you have a list of sites where your competition is posting, you can decide whether or not they are the right fit for your content.
Do Your Research before Pitching Your Guest Post
Assuming that you know all the ins and outs of guest blogging, it is time to prepare your guest blogging pitch. Needless to say, before doing that, you need to perform a thorough research of the place you will be pitching to. Once you have done that, come up with an outline for your pitch. Don’t just wing it, because chances are, you won’t be the only one trying to pitch a guest post. In fact, if you are trying to get in touch with an established blog, you will have to stand out from a crowd of thousand. And if you think that’s too much competition, just think of it this way: someone will stand out in the end, so it might as well be you.
How to Pitch
First of all, see what they’re all about, and that includes their guidelines on how to write guest posts for them. That way, you demonstrate that you have done your homework, and that you respect the way they are working. Also, it would be a good idea to get in touch with some of their writers and receive extra pointers on how write a killer guest post for them.
Apart from that, try and present yourself in the best way possible. For instance, you can contact them using a personalized email address. Also, provide a brief and effective description of who you are, and share what sort of success have you had so far as a blogger and content creator.
2. Write Your Guest Post
Create a Post
After you have done all this heavy lifting, it is time to start writing your guest post. Since there are so many other bloggers that will be trying to do exact same thing as you, you need to make sure that your posts stands out. Here are some tips you can follow if you want to succeed:
- Follow the site guidelines down to the very last detail
- Write using an approachable and interesting tone that will pull the readers in
- Try and provide an actual solution to a problem, instead of writing a sales pitch
- Make your post original and unique
- Feature a good mix of both internal and external links
- At the end of the post, include a call to action that will engage the audience
Create a Brilliant Bio
Although most bloggers don’t realize it, putting together a killer bio is just as important as writing a killer post. Your bio is there not only to show off who you are, but to direct traffic back to your website, grow your audience, and help you sell your product or service. The way to do this is to come up with one that is short, but concise, with a URL that leads back to your website, blog, or a landing page.
3. Keep at It
The fact of the matter is, you will probably fail after the first few attempts. But, you shouldn’t get discouraged. Accept rejection as an opportunity to further improve your content and pitching technique. Also, the Internet is a big place, which means your post will be accepted somewhere else. Just keep trying and you will see the results pretty soon.
4. Read and Respond to User Comments
In the end, both you and the blog where you are guest posting depend on the people which are reading the content. This means that, if you happen to write a post and there are a lot of comments, be sure to take part in the discussion. Not only will you demonstrate that you value your reader’s input, but they will also see that there is an actual person behind the post, not just some nameless ghostwriter.
5. Analyze Your Progress
Use Analytics Tools
Once your post has been published, make sure to track it with an analytics tool such as Google Analytics. You need to do this in order to gauge if your guest post has been worth the trouble. If not, you may need to tweak or completely change your strategy.
6. Create a Guest Blogging Opportunity for Others
One of the reasons why should do this is because it enables you to remain consistent at providing new and fresh content for your audience. If you are too busy writing a guest post for someone else, you need a blogger that will fill the gap on your own blog. Consistency is extremely important, and it will keep your readers coming back regularly.
As you can see, it takes quite a bit of time and effort to get your guest post published, but it is worth in the end. We invite you to share with us your most successful guest posting strategies. How do you go about approaching other bloggers? Why do you do it? What sort of tips and trick do you rely on when pitching? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
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