- Internet & the Web
Do You Know How to Use Guest Blogging to Your Advantage?
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."
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do respond promptly to emails and reader comments.
- 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?
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?
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/