If you are a blogger or a marketer, I am sure that you have already tried the guest blogging strategy — or at least you have considered trying it. Guest posting is an efficient marketing strategy in which writers post their original articles on blogs that are not their own.
Why is this a good choice and how do you get started with such a strategy? Well, with this article (which is a guest post!), I will try to unveil the secrets of guest blogging and, at the same time, answer some of your questions regarding this marketing strategy.
Let’s start with the basics.
Define What You Want to Achieve
Before starting anything, you should define not only your strategy but also your expectations. The same thing is applicable to guest posting. Here are some possible goals of a guest blogging strategy:
- Getting backlinks from influencers
- Exposing your blog to a new audience and getting new readers
- Gaining influence
- Developing relationships with other bloggers from the same or a related/adjacent industry
- Building your personal brand or business brand from scratch
Maybe you will set all the aforementioned goals, or maybe just one or two. What matters is that you stick to these goals and develop your strategy accordingly.
For instance, you can grow awareness and build a brand by guest posting on general blogs that are read by your target audience, even though they are not blogs from the same industry. However, should you want relevant backlinks and SEO through this marketing strategy you will need to post on influencer blogs from the same industry or niche. The first goal is to get more readers, while the latter is to grow the reputation and rank of your website or blog. There is a big difference here that you should be aware of.
Learn More: Building Quality Links as a Guest Blogger
As you can see, the strategy and the goals are dependent on one another and it is important to define yours for a better ROI of your time and money.
TIP: Keep in mind that it is important to own a blog even if you run an e-commerce website and use your skills to guest post on other blogs relevant to your shop.
That’s a huge number considering that there are a lot of e-commerce websites out there that are ignoring the importance of blog posting. Don’t do it. Content is the most important thing you can deliver free of cost to your customers.
Why Is This Step Important?
The goals listed above are important because they will guide you in your search for suitable blogs on which to offer your services. At the same time, you can be looking for suitable bloggers to invite to guest post on your own blog.
Research is essential in this phase. You should focus on finding the right writers within your market and niche and contact them in order to offer your contribution. They will most likely have some guidelines and rules which you should absolutely respect. Based on their guidelines, you can create your own rules for guest posts on your blog.
Question you should answer at this point:
1. Do these specific blogs have the audience you need? Is the audience big enough for you to invest time in creating content for them?
2. Are these specific blogs compatible with your brand, content or niche? How can you successfully use them for marketing purposes?
3. Are these bloggers present on social media? Do they share their articles? How many followers do they have?
Commit to High-Quality Writing
The first thing you should consider when preparing to guest post is that everything you will be publishing will be a small part of your content marketing strategy. This means that you need to deliver quality content, articles that may be considered as valuable to your own readers and will convince them to become regular customers or readers.
Therefore, if you choose to publish on blogs that are not in your niche, make sure that you study their audience and create posts that will raise their interest.
Why high quality? First of all, there are thousands of bloggers on the Internet that are using content marketing strategies and guest posting strategies in order to raise more awareness and build their personal brands. This means that you need to stand out from the crowd by creating something really unique and extremely professional to ensure that you’re successful in this very competitive market.
Secondly, the Google Phantom update evaluates user experience in part by looking at who wrote the web content and assessing whether the the writer knows is an expert content creator. To ensure that your content is high quality, it must follow the E.A.T. principle: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
You will only achieve your goals if you are able to deliver high-quality content and valuable information.
Before creating the content, however, there are still a few things that you should do:
- Create a short author bio and a tagline that will attract readers and at the same time describe your most important skills.
- Be sincere. Don’t advertise skills or products you don’t have. You want to get more readers, followers or clients and this is a long-term strategy.
- Consider including relevant backlinks to your most valuable blog posts.
- Conclude each post with a call to action, which may be engagement in the way of comments, subscribing to your newsletter or further readings on your own blog.
- Promote your guest posts on all social media platforms that you are active on. The owner of the blog you are posting on will do the same, of course, but you will get more clicks if you are doing it as well.
- Create a Google Analytics account in order to track the traffic you receive from your guest posts. This is an important step because you will be able to determine which of your posts on which blogs deliver the most traffic to you and act accordingly. For instance, if you are posting just for SEO, this is not as important as when you guest post for traffic and awareness. The second instance’s success depends on how many visitors are coming to your blog from the blog on which you have guest posted.
Consider Posting SEO-Friendly Articles
This is another important aspect of the guest posting strategy. While the content is the most relevant part, being able to adapt it for SEO purposes will also matter. Sure, there are a lot of spammy bloggers out there who are publishing guest posts just for the sake of backlinks, keywords and page rank growth. The difference, however, is the way you are linking back and the value of your content.
Blogging as a guest is a powerful way to grow your page rank and attract more readers to your blog. At the same time, you should consider giving something back to your readers and to the owners of the blogs that accept your guest posts.
Therefore, while you are preparing SEO-friendly posts, also keep in mind that the value of your content is the most important thing. You need to keep your business and your blog credible. You want to be respected and valued in your niche. For that, you need to write about things that matter to your readers.
The Benefits of Guest Posting
What are the benefits of this type of marketing strategy? Why is this one of the most powerful methods of conducting content marketing? Here are three solid benefits:
- Guest posting will help you build relationships with other relevant bloggers from your niche. How? Well, you need to contact them in order to request contributing a post to their blogs. Some of them will refuse you, while others will accept only under specific conditions. At the same time, there will be bloggers that will accept your posts as they are, without any other requirements, happy that they have someone to deliver free content for their blogs.
- All these bloggers, however, will communicate with you at some level. Thus, you will have a unique opportunity to make new friends, contacts or colleagues, broaden your horizons and expand your online world. Of course, not all these contacts will prove to be positive, but as long as you are able to communicate with at least one in ten relevant bloggers you will grow your influence, which will consequently lead to more readers, fans, followers or subscribers.
- Guest posting will help your blog rank better in search engines. To this end, you need to find relevant bloggers from your niche and convince them to include links to your own blog within the articles you publish on their websites. The more relevant backlinks you have, the better your blog will rank on search engines.
- Guest posting will help you refine your writing skills. Maybe you think you are the best writer in your niche – you own a personal blog, you have a few followers and your faithful readers leave positive comments. But over time, you will get into a routine and possibly settle for less in terms of quality of writing and value of delivered information. It’s a natural process that occurs when you don’t have any real challenges.
- On the other hand, when you offer your services as a guest author, you need to deliver content that is both valuable and well written in order to get accepted. You will pay attention to every little detail and exercise your skills, even improve them. With repetition comes learning and improvement. The more you write, the better you will become at it. More and diverse blogs and requirements will challenge you to adapt and learn to write in different styles.
How to Find Sites that Accept Guest Posts
First, design a personal blog and make it look professional. There are several online website building tools to help you with this part, even if you are not a designer.
Start with a professional logo, the main header and move on to the body of the pages. Optimize the landing page to load fast, include all necessary information, and look great, so that your readers will come back to you on a regular basis.
Once your blog is launched and you have enough content available, you should consider the following:
- Have a niche blog. A general blog may still make you an influencer, but if you want to be really relevant, you need a niche. It will also be easier for you to find other bloggers who are relevant in your niche and contact them for guest posting.
- Create respected social profiles. Your personal brand is important should you want to be accepted as a guest author on the most important blogs from your niche. Choose your social media platforms according to your niche and create your profile, starting with the profile picture, your personal information, and links to your blog or website. Don’t worry if you have just a few followers at first. The quantity is less important than the quality. If you have solid and authentic social profiles, the number of your fans will eventually grow.
- Find relevant bloggers from your niche and contact them. Start by interacting on social media platforms. Share their posts, comment on their articles, ask them questions, etc. Before doing so, however, make a list of all the relevant blogs you can find. The easiest way to do this is by doing a Google search for relevant keywords related to your niche. Another simple but efficient method is to find one or two relevant bloggers and search for “guest post by [blogger’s name]” to find out where they are posting as guests.
Once you’ve determined which websites from your list accept guest posts and contact their owners, perform new Google searches such as the following:
site:domain_name.com “submit guest post”
site:domain_name.com “guest post by”
site:domain_name.com “submit your post”
site:domain_name.com “become a contributor”
site:domain_name.com “guest author”
If you are accepted to publish on one of these blogs as a guest author, find out whether the websites have writer’s guidelines or not and be sure to create your article according to the specified guidelines. Do not send the editor your first draft!
Read through it and revise it until you feel it is perfect (free of grammar and spelling mistakes as well as clear, concise writing), then send it to the editor or owner. You may still be asked for revisions or even get turned down, but this should be seen as an opportunity for you to continue to improve your writing.
Related Content: How Neil Patel Built and Grew His Personal Brand
Guest Posting Types
There are several types of guest posting available. You can choose one, two or more strategies, according to your needs and, of course, your available time to write your guest posts.
Here are three examples of the most common strategies you can use as a guest writer on other blogs:
- Personal and direct. Contact the owner of a related blog and ask for permission to become a guest writer. Create your posts and publish them as text articles with backlinks to your own blog. This is the most common type of guest posting and it has already proven to be effective by thousands of bloggers from around the world.
- Create video tutorials and reviews and upload them on YouTube or other video-streaming and -sharing websites. If your videos are really valuable and informative, there’s a good chance they will be embedded as references by other bloggers from your niche. Some of them will give you backlinks.
- Create downloadable content, such as guides or how-to’s, e-books and brochures, for other blogs. There will be bloggers from your niche who will gladly accept your content if it is valuable and informative for their readers. You can even make a brochure online and embed it in an article just like a video or audio file. You can use it inside an article or publish it individually on other blogs with backlinks to your own website.
Guest posting is a powerful tool when it comes to content marketing because you don’t need a budget, you need only time and, of course, the writing skills required for such an endeavor. On the long term, you will gain brand exposure, popularity among your peers and readers, and a more powerful blog which will rank higher in search engines.