Do You Know How to Use Guest Blogging to Your Advantage?

Quote from Neil Patel, marketing guru and co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics
Quote from Neil Patel, marketing guru and co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics | Source

In spite of its recent negative press, is there still any value to guest blogging? Neil Patel, whom The Wall Street Journal calls a top influencer on the web, feels it offers the following benefits. "Guest posting is a great way to drive traffic, increase sales, and grow your brand."

Would you work for free?
Would you work for free? | Source

Me, Write for Free?

Why would you write content for someone else - for free?

If advantages like branding, credibility, new markets, and higher traffic come to mind instantly, then you know part of the answer already. You know the benefits of guest blogging.

However, do you know how to leverage guest blogging to reap those benefits?

Let's talk about simple ways you can use your guest posts to get the results you want - every time.

Guest blogging helps you build relationships with the top influencers in your industry.
Guest blogging helps you build relationships with the top influencers in your industry. | Source

Create and Maintain Relationships

These tips help you build and leverage your guest blogging relationships:

Think Long Term

Look for ongoing guest posting opportunities rather than one off gigs. This gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with the blog owner and editorial staff and shows them you are interested in more than just a quick link for yourself.

Additionally, should the blog owner create new blogs or expand into new niches, you have an inside track for penetrating a new demographic with little effort. The same theory works in your favor as well because as you add new markets or products, you have an established publishing platform for showcasing them.

Target the Top Performers

To get the best results, limit your search to blogs in your niche or topic with a high domain authority (DA). If you have done your homework, you'll know the main influencers in your industry, and these are the people with whom you want to build relationships. If you are just starting your research, analyzing the posts on the top blogs in your industry helps you identify the movers and shakers.

Do Your Part

  • Volunteer to respond to reader comments
  • Promote your guest posts aggressively on your social networks
  • Keep open lines of communications with your blogging contacts

Be a Team Player

Finally, here's another way having a well-developed relationship can work in your favor. Let's say you identify a void in their content coverage, and you have an amazing idea for a companion article to fill the gap and enhance existing content.

Why not pitch a blog post to fill the gap? If you are regular contributor, and they know they can depend on you for clean, quality content, your pitches will be accepted most of the time.

Want to Know More About Guest Blogging?

Boost your web traffic and sales with carefully positioned guest posts.
Boost your web traffic and sales with carefully positioned guest posts. | Source

Drive Traffic and Conversions

Guest blogging is a simple way to increase your traffic without constantly writing new content, and you can use it to build your email list as well. It increases the profitability of your existing content so you make more money for work you have already done.

The easiest way to do this is to target your most popular articles and then match them to guest posting opportunities that allow you to create natural links back to those popular articles.

If your profit from those articles comes from advertising, increased traffic will generate increased click through revenue over time, while product promotional pieces should yield you an increase in sales conversions.

Writing authoritative guest posts in your niche brands you as an expert.
Writing authoritative guest posts in your niche brands you as an expert. | Source

Establish Your Expert Credentials

Publishing authoritative content in your area of expertise on other's websites helps build your expert credentials.

As you dominate a niche and become the go-to authority on a subject, you will see an exponential increase in your brand's exposure, higher traffic, new subscribers and better sales.

Your credibility and influence soars while you build an online portfolio that could lead to better posting opportunities or new markets for your product or services.

People are more willing to share your writing when it is recommended by a third party.
People are more willing to share your writing when it is recommended by a third party. | Source

Leverage Those Third Party Recommendations

The right networking and industry contacts are as important in online business as they are offline because those contacts can open doors for you.

Individuals in your network will share your content across their social and business contacts, thus enabling you to get your message in front of new prospects.

Many times someone is more willing to click on a link and read an article that comes to him or her via a friend or business contact than to randomly click on one. Your content has instant credibility because of the third party recommendation.

Responding to comments on your guest posts in a great way to start conversations and engage new contacts, and because you have a mutual connection, you have an unspoken invitation to continue to contact them. Additionally, because of the mutual connection, they may reach out to you in the future if they have a need for your product or services because of their familiarity with your brand.

Guest blogging is writing for others' blogs instead of your own.
Guest blogging is writing for others' blogs instead of your own. | Source

What Is Guest Blogging?

When you write a post or article for a blog other than your own, that's guest blogging.

While there is a huge controversy over the pros and cons of guest blogging, many well-known marketing gurus like Neil Patel believe it is one of the best ways to build quality inbound links, increase your brand exposure and sales, and build long-term profitability. Additionally, it connects you to the movers and shakers in your industry.


Follow these dos and don'ts for best results
Follow these dos and don'ts for best results | Source

What Not to Do

Most of the controversial buzz about guest blogging centers on using it as a link building strategy. The intent here was to to explain ways to use guest blogging to help your business that do not include using it as a link building strategy.

While building inbound links is good for your business short term, building long-term professional connections with others in your area of expertise can profit you for years to come.

Here are important dos and don'ts for successful guest blogging

  1. Don't plagiarize. If you quote someone, reference the quotation properly. Attribute images to the copyright owner and obtain permission before using them. When in doubt, use royalty free or public domain images. Make sure they can be used for commercial purposes. Whenever it comes to others' intellectual property, err on the side of caution and get permission to use it. After all, don't you hate it when somebody uses your copyrighted work without permission? Play fair.
  2. Don't forget to proofread: Blog owners are busy, just like you, and the last thing they want or need is to proofread your copy. Establish a reputation as a writer who turns in clean, ready to publish copy; you'll find yourself with all the guest post opportunities you can handle.
  3. Don't miss deadlines: Emergencies and natural disasters happen. While there may be a rare occasion when you must miss a deadline, try to meet or exceed your publishing deadlines. Being on time improves your relationships with blog owners and set you apart from others who do not always deliver on time.
  1. Do protect yourself. Run a Copyscape scan of your work before submitting it. While it's rare, if you are a prolific writer, you might find you have unknowingly plagiarized yourself. You get 10 free searches with a free Copyscape subscription. Premium searches costs $0.05 each.
  2. Do respond promptly to emails and reader comments.
  3. Do be entertaining: Readers want fresh, unique content that does not regurgitate the same five, ten or twenty trending facts of the day. They want problems solved, needs filled, and questions answered.

Tip: Writing Interesting Content

Here's a quick way to come up with a new take on an idea. Pick a popular topic or trending headline and write from the opposite point of view. Here's an example from Billboard: 10 Worse National Anthem Performances Ever.

You could turn this around to:

  • 10 Best National Anthem Performances Ever
  • 10 Most Boring National Anthem Performances Ever
  • 10 Under-rated National Anthem Performances


What's Your Opinion of Guest Blogging?

Is guest blogging a good or poor SEO tactic?

  • Done properly, it can be a good way to increase sales and build your brand.
  • Guest blogging is black hat SEO and should be avoided.
  • I'm not sure if it is a good or bad idea; I've never tried it.
See results without voting

Recap

Guest blogging has proven benefits such as raising awareness of your product or services, establishing you as an expert, and increasing your sales and site traffic.

Used properly, it can move your blogging to the next level quickly and put your career on the fast track to success.

Which one of these ways to leverage your guest blogging efforts will you put to work today?

Resources

Patel, Neil, "Guest Blogging and SEO: Still a Match Made in Heaven," Quicksprout, 1/2014, http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/01/22/guest-blogging-and-seo-still-a-match-made-in-heaven/

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