Today, brands are taking the big leap towards digital marketing, replacing traditional television, print, and radio advertising. In this evolving digital marketing landscape, one trusted technique for marketers is guest blogging. Sure, you may have a team of creative writers, SEO experts, and advanced web designers, but the lack of collaboration with other business sites may slow down your online success.
Get to know what guest blogging is and how you could maximize it to improve your content marketing strategy and increase the overall success of your brand.
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging, a.k.a guest posting, is defined as an SEO and content marketing technique wherein somebody would write and publish a blog post on another (third-party) blog or website to promote a certain brand, product, or service.
A guest blogging site presents brands, products, or services to a target audience and boosts traffic to the brand’s main website. It’s also an effective way for brands to increase their credibility and awareness, and build more relationships with other businesses in the industry.
Why is Guest Blogging Important?
Aside from the fact that it’s trendy, guest blogging offers numerous benefits for businesses of any kind. By showcasing your expertise and services on another website or blog, you can expose your brand to a new and different audience, foster relationships with other businesses in the same field and venture, and ascertain yourself as a person of authority within your market.
Furthermore, featuring guest posts on your website or blog presents a varied perspective and fresh content to your followers. Your followers are always up and eager for new content, and guest blogging would keep them engaged.
Promotional boosts also transpire whenever your guest bloggers would share their blogs with their networks. Or if you would be the guest blogger, you could reach a much wider audience scope. Hence, guest blogging benefits the blog owner and the guest blogger.
How Do I Get Started?
To help you get the hang of the guest blogging marketing strategy, take note of these tips.
1. Know your goal.
Like every other marketing stint, you must first determine your goal. You should know where you’re headed if you’re expecting to get there. Your goals and objectives are the steering wheel of your task.
The typical goals of guest blogging include the following:
- Enhancing SEO through drawing inbound links
- Driving traffic to your website to increase leads and sales
- Building awareness of your brand, services, and products
2. Determine your target audience.
Guest blogging, or any other marketing strategy, won’t be of much help to you until you could determine your target audience. How are you supposed to hit bull’s-eye if you have no idea where to aim? Keep in mind that wanting to hit everyone would make you end up hitting no one.
So, whether your targets are students, working professionals, or business owners, you must take the time to discover who would value your content or products the most.
3. Determine where your target audience is.
Once you’ve determined your target audience, the next step is to know where they often are — focus on the online world. Find out which social media platforms are they mostly found hanging out on and what content they often read.
It would pay to know what websites your target audience often visits and what sites are relevant to the products or services you offer. How can you know what they read? Here are some helpful tools:
- Google Search – look for words that your audience is most likely to be searching for.
- Audience Intelligence Tools – you may use AI-powered tools, such as analytics.twitter.com, to help you know your audience’s interests.
- Customer Development Interviews – the simplest and most hassle-free method is to interview your audience!
4. Create the best content.
Creating “good” content is already good, but aiming for the best is the best way to go. Today, if you haven’t noticed yet, almost everybody on the internet is a blogger. Hence, you have to create content that would make you stand out and that your audience would find useful and significant. One way of standing out is creating a stellar headline.
Writing about the things that your target audience would want to keep reading is crucial, and it’s what keeps them engaged. One way to do it is by looking at the most common questions that they ask or by “scratching your own itch,” which means giving something that would be valuable to you or producing something that you wish you had.
5. Foster relationships and build networks.
Marketing is sometimes about who you know, and not just what you create. Being referred by somebody an editor or publisher trusts is a great push for you to be published.
Attending events, forums, or workshops is a great opportunity for you to meet people who could help you along the way. Initially, it would be nerve-wracking, but it would pay off.
6. Shape your pitch.
If you want your guest blogging to succeed, get rid of generic guest-posting pitches. Keep your pitch brief but precise. Avoid beating around the bush, and keep it straight to the point.
If you don’t have the network and connections, gather your guts and cold email editors. Here are some useful tips to help you ace that pitch:
- Introduce and sell yourself through your accomplishments.
- Research about your editors and use their names when cold emailing them.
- Include the title of the post. Mention what it’s about and why you find it valuable.
- Send a link to the complete post.
7. Craft your author bio seriously.
The bio is one of the contents of your cover page. Potential followers often see a glimpse of who you are based on what you choose to show on your bio. This area also serves as your payoff for heavily investing in guest blogging, since it’s where you get to put the link back to your website.
Some of the commonly offered options that you could place on your bio are the following:
- Some web and social media links
- Link to your website plus a social media link
- A single link to your home page
- Link to any page or resource on your website
8. Be engaging and responsive.
To keep your audience excited and engaged, be responsive. Respond to their queries and comments on your guest post. By doing so, you could build rapport with your audience and it would motivate them to advertise your brand to others; thus, generating unstoppable traffic.
If you don’t respond to your audience, you’re most likely to lose them. It would possibly make them feel like you’re only milking money out of their support.
9. Promote your content.
A fundamental part of guest blogging is content promotion because it attracts more people to read your content, then trace and follow it back to your website. The blog page owner would also be delighted to benefit from increased traffic.
There are plenty of ways to promote your content. For one, you could spread the word via your various social media accounts. Encourage your loyal followers to visit, comment, and share it on their profiles. Another way is to let it be known through your email marketing newsletter.
10. Compose more guest posts.
While one guest post will take you a step (okay, a few steps) further, writing a plethora of them would take you to greater heights as long as you maintain a good content quality.
The more guest posts you compose, the more increased your online presence would be. The more increased your online presence, the more established your authority would be. Your established authority would then result in more guest blogging and relevant event invitations, more traffic, leads, and sales.
11. Track your success.
To find out if your guest blogging strategy is effective, you must learn to track your success. To do so, you should use some tracking tools.
Say you want to check whether your content is generating more leads, you could track traffic to your landing page via Google Analytics. Then, utilize the conversion analytics of OptinMonster to assess if your marketing campaign is a success. You could also use Buzzsumo to check if your content is shared across different social media platforms.
12. Aim for high authority websites.
If you’d aim for something, might as well aim for the stars. Guest blogging demands effort and time. Hence, you must aim for the highest authority websites in your niche.
The three deciding factors for this are:
- Targeted blog must possess a high page rank and domain authority
- Targeted blog must be directly related to your niche
- Targeted blog must possess a good readership
13. Set up a great blog or site.
Last, but not least is to set up your blog or website. Guest blogging would be less effective if you were to be left without a personal site. Design a professional-looking blog. If you couldn’t design on your own, there are numerous website-building tools available online for your convenience.
Start with a professional-looking logo, then work on your main header and pages. Creating tons of pages isn’t required. You simply need a homepage, About page, Contact Us page, and a remarkable portfolio of your work. If you need extra help with all of these and you have the financial capacity, you may contact a professional web designer.
What are the components of a guest blog post?
Guest blogging is challenging at times, as you may find yourself composing blog posts for a different audience in a distinctive industry. Here’s a list of the 5 crucial components of a blog post that you might want to check out before sending your content to editors.
1. Quality Content with Actionable Takeaways
To make sure that your content is of high quality, follow the E.A.T. principle. If you don’t know it yet, E.A.T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. You should learn that Google evaluates content by looking at the credentials of the content creator and assessing whether the creator is an expert, has authority, and is trustworthy.
The course to obtain your goals is through producing quality and essential content that contains actionable takeaways. If you can do this, your followers would come back for more of your content. On most occasions, they would also share it with other users.
Including backlinks to a post is a vital SEO component of any guest post. The backlinks open the possibility of convincing your followers to purchase your products or become loyal readers of your blog.
Most blogs only allow up to two backlinks. With that in mind, make sure to backlink to a significant blog post that people would flock to read.
3. SEO-Friendly Content
If the site owner wouldn’t provide keywords, it’s your part to conduct keyword research. You’d have higher chances of leading numerous people with your guest post through targeting keywords.
Don’t tire of creating SEO-friendly content for authoritative websites as this would boost your traffic alongside the increase of your visibility in search results. True enough, writing for your followers and other people is important. However, when you create SEO-friendly blog posts, you and your readers would both be benefitted.
4. Strong Call-to-Action
Either in a speech or your blog posts, you should conclude with a clear and resounding call-to-action. It could be asking your followers to sign up on a weekly email newsletter, attend a webinar, or simply leave a comment.
People often need a nudge to get involved and act. If you can prompt meaningful conversations regarding your post, you could spur interest in your future posts.
5. Unique Insight
Your content’s quality boils down to the kind of insights that you deliver to your followers. As mentioned time after time, guest blogging entails competition because many people and businesses are into blogging already. To stand out, you have to be as creative as possible.
But how are you going to do it? Brian Dean of Backlinko coined the term “Skyscraper Technique.” This technique can easily be broken down into 3:
- Find link-worthy content.
- Create something better.
- Share what you’ve written to others.
What are the “not’s” of guest blogging?
Guest blogging is a strategy to succeed in your marketing efforts, but it’s not a shortcut to make your blog huge. Don’t go into guest blogging with the aim of making your site big and popular in a short period, because that’s not how it’s done.
Secondly, guest posting isn’t a quick and easy route to taking your search rankings on the first spot. We’re not saying it won’t elevate you to the top search rankings spot. Over time, it would, but not instantly.
Guest blogging entails guts. Being rejected by certain editors is normal, and it shouldn’t stop you from marketing your brand through guest blogging. Always remember your goals and objectives and work towards achieving those through effective and successful guest blogging. When done keenly and creatively, this marketing strategy will surely take you further in your business.
Zac Almeida, before joining the team at Ethical Digital, Izaias built a successful SEO agency in São Paolo, Brazil. With over twelve years of experience providing data-driven SEO, he has worked with businesses of all sizes – from SMBs to Fortune 500 companies. Ethical Digital, Twitter.