There was a time when guest blogging was a taboo phrase.
After a surge of short, spammy posts created purely for getting even spammy-er links in the mid-2000's, the practice picked up a bad name for itself.
But guest posting right can lead to some serious benefits. Take the social media tool Buffer, for example, who used guest blogging to attract 100,000 customers.
These days, guest blogging gets your brand in front of people who might otherwise have never found you, particularly for businesses just starting out that want to pack a punch.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) even goes so far as to say that guest blogging is an essential part of a marketing funnel.
In this post, we’re going to show you how to successfully guest post, as well as the biggest mistakes to avoid.
But first, let’s start with the good stuff.
When guest posting is done right, it can reap huge benefits that businesses can bask in the glow of for years after hitting the publish button.
So now you know why guest posting is important, let’s dig into how you can get started and do it right.
The first step is finding sites in your field that accept guest posts and, secondly, are worth the time and effort it takes to create an amazing blog post.
To begin with, try a simple Google search using the equation:
[your industry] + “write for us” (“guest posts”)
When you’ve got a list of results, it’s time to filter those into columns of definites, maybes, and no’s. Ideally, the sites you should be focusing on will have:
If you’re trying to target a big brand in your industry, the chances are they get a lot of guest post pitches every week. It can be difficult to stand out, so give yourself a fighting chance by making a connection with the site owner before you send your pitch.
You can do this by following them on Twitter and having a short conversation with them there, connecting on LinkedIn, or sharing some of their posts on social media.
Alternatively, you can send them a pre-pitch email where you introduce yourself and comment on something relevant about their site.
Now it’s time to decide what you’re going to write about.
Here, you want to consider three key things:
The first point here is incredibly important.
If you write a piece that misses the mark with the kind of people who will be reading it, you’ll turn off new potential customers and, in most cases, won’t get your post accepted by the site in the first place.
Remember: blogs are all about their audiences and serving them content they want, so as long as you tap into that you can’t go wrong.
The easiest way to do this is to browse past posts on the site and see which pieces have had the most shares, likes, and comments, and see if you can weave your own expertise into a similar piece.
Once you’ve done that, you can carry out keyword research to see what phrases are performing the best in that area. This will help boost your post’s SEO ranking (and, therefore, get more people back to your own site).
Now that you have your topic and have made a quick connection with the site owner, it’s time to send your pitch to them.
The key here is to keep things short and sweet. Site owners are busy and don’t have time to read paragraphs of text about why your post is the best thing since sliced bread.
If you want to have the most success, try the following formula:
If there are specific guest posting guidelines, make sure you follow them to a T so you don’t put yourself out of the running at the first hurdle.
This goes without saying, right?
You want your guest posts to be just as good - if not better - than the posts you publish on your own site. This is an opportunity for you to attract new readers and potential customers, so it’s vital that you put your best foot forward.
When the post has been published, make sure you respond to comments, share it with your network, and generally carry out good aftercare (basically, don’t publish it and then disappear).
Sounds simple, right?
Guest posting is pretty easy once you know what you’re doing, but there are still a few mistakes that guest posters keep making. Here’s what not to do:
We are inclined to agree with the CMI, in that guest posting should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Yes, it can seem like hard work, but landing a guest post on a top site in your industry can consistently get you new subscribers and customers for years afterwards.