Let’s take a look at the basics of guest blogging, and consider some ways to get a mutually beneficial community started around what it is you already write.
Guest blogging is writing for other people – for free
Guest blogging is about taking what you already do well and spreading your knowledge into other areas of your target market to increase your reach and build a reputation for subject matter expertise.
For example, if you are a knowledgeable writer on the subject of clothing and you notice that QUICKSILVER maintains a blog, so you reach out to their people (I’ll talk about about how to reach out later on). You offer to supply QUICKSILVER with one blog post a month or every week for free. The only payment you request is a link back to your own blog.
Which is why you do this for free.
Guest blogging creates more links and new readers – fun!
When QUICKSILVER says “sure” (because your content really does rock), your guest post on their site increases the scope of your branding and provides link-backs that allow readers of the QUICKSILVER blog to become regular readers of your work, too. It’s free advertising.
Marketers love to tell folks that content is king when it comes to attracting Web traffic, but they’ve confused the hook and the bait. Content, in fact, keeps readers interested in your blog once they’ve found it. First they must find it and that requires a lure. The bait of the World Wide Web is not content; it’s links. Links send traffic back to your site and grow your search engine rank.
When you guest blog, you’re luring new readers. Sounds pretty good, but how do you get started? Guest blogging is about networking
Think of the Internet as a gigantic and noisy party. If you stick to a wall, half behind the potted ferns, you’ll never make that next important connection. Similarly, you must meet people to begin guest-blogging.
Here are some guidelines to help:
- Research: Find bloggers and blogs that tackle similar subjects to yours. Google Blog Search should get you started.
- Outreach: Now that you’ve read and assessed some of the other blogs in your playing field, connect with them on Twitter, retweeting some of their content with a compliment or highlighting a salient point from the post (to show that you read it). After a while they may start to reciprocate or they may thank you for sharing. Connection made. Now you can send a polite and to-the-point e-mail asking if you might write a guest post for their blog. If your work is great – people will usually be happy to receive free content.
- Write Well: Once you’ve made your new contacts and agreed to an exchange of content, make certain that the posts you send to your guest-blogging partners are your absolute best work. No drafts. Everything proofread. You’ve succeeded in getting off the bench; now don’t blow it at the ten-yard line.
- Follow-up: Your guest blog is up? Great. Make sure you share it all over your social networks, so the host sees some immediate extra benefit from your followers. Track the comments and reply to every reader who comments or asks for more information. Build your reputation as a communicator. And be sure to thank the site owner with a personal note.
- Reciprocation: Give as you receive. Bring guest bloggers to your own site; provide the assistance other bloggers have provided to you. Reciprocity builds something bigger than a network: it builds community, which can help extend your reach as they will start to share the content they have written for you on their social networks.
Great articles, as I’ve found out myself, are shared heavily. As a way of positioning yourself as a local expert in your industry guest blogging can be a great way to help build up your brand, earn recognition, and even get great links back to your website which helps you get higher search engine rankings. And the blog owner wins as well, they get great content for free which helps build their blog/website.
This infographic shows exactly why you should be guest blogging.
Getting the most from your Guest Blog Posts
If you are going to guest blog here are some tips to help you get the most from it:
- Research for websites and blogs you can to write for.
- Before you write a blog post submit a proposal for the post to the site owner.
- Make sure the content you write for the post is unique and isn’t published elsewhere on the web.
- Make sure the content is relevant to the to the website it is being published on
- Spend some time reading the website you’re going to be published on so you get to know the style and tone of voice it uses.
- Write the best blog posts/content you’re capable of writing, they type you would write for your own blog, rather than a sub-standard effort that no-one is going to read or share.
- Don’t forget to include links to your own websites and social media profiles in your byline.
Once the post has been published don’t forget the follow up:
- Promote the website it has been published on through your own social media channels.
- Thank the people who shared your article on social media channels.
- Engage in conversation and respond to comments.
Are you guest blogging? What success have you had? I’d love to hear your thoughts about blogging for your business in the comments section below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it, Tweet it and like it with your network.