Guest blogging is an element of content marketing and, regardless of your industry, it can help you expand your audience whilst strengthening your authority in your sector.
Publishing content to your own blog is great, it tells Google you have new content and the more relevant it is to your user’s search query, the more chance your site has of gaining search result impressions and increasing your website visitors.
All good stuff. So why would you bother extending your content marketing strategy to include guest blogging or guest posting?
It’s not just the relevancy of your content that Google takes into account when deciding whether to show your site to its users. Links pointing to your site help Google understand that you are a trusted source of knowledge for your industry. The higher the quality the links pointing to your website are, the more Google will rate your business, so the more likely it is to recommend your website to its users.
What Google isn’t looking for is fifty links from poor quality and irrelevant websites.
This is why you have to effectively build a guest blogging strategy. A strategy that will maximise results and utilises your resources at their best.
Benefits of guest blogging
You tap into a wider audience
Guest blogging enables you to reach a wider audience. Writing a post and getting it published on a site you know your audience visits, is a great way to elevate your brand.
You build a strong backlink profile
As mentioned before, Google determines how strong your site is by measuring many elements, one of them is your backlink profile.
You forge relationships with other sites
Having relationships with other sites can help you gain exposure in future campaigns. If you’re offering a mutually beneficial relationship to the third-party website, you never know how handy this could be in the future. They might be willing to publish your next press release or retweet your content. It’s all about building relationships that are relevant and long-lasting.
The dos of guest blogging
Always research your sites thoroughly
If you’re going to pursue this strategy, you need to map out a strategy. Perhaps aiming for one guest post placement a month could be ambitious enough to start with. You need to make sure you’re using your resources in the best way possible. Build a list of all the sites you want to contact for the next few months. Once contacted make a note of the date and note the process from there. Keeping track of which sites say yes and no is crucial to determine your success rate with this strategy.
Don’t write the content before you reach out
OK, this rule only applies to some website. Some sites, particularly the bigger ones, will already have a set of contributor guidelines on their site. Some of these guidelines will ask you to simply submit your written content and they may or may not publish it. If they don’t have these guidelines in place, it’s important to reach out with some content ideas. If you always write the content before being accepted, you could waste a lot of time researching and writing a piece they are simply not interested in publishing.
Always write for their audience
Even though their audience could be very similar to your audience, this doesn’t mean they write in the same tone or style as you do. They might want your content to fit in seamlessly with their existing content. Make sure you clarify this with the site if you don’t your content could be rejected or require time-consuming amends.
Come up with original ideas
Coming up with content ideas can be tricky at the best of times, but it’s key to getting your content accepted by a third-party website. Just think, they probably get approached left, right and centre on a daily basis with content proposal after content proposal. You need to find a way to stand out.
The don’ts of guest blogging
Don’t place links to your website
Sometimes, the site you’re writing for allows you to link to your website in your author biography at the bottom of the post. Most will not allow you to link to your content throughout the blog post. The best way to approach the linking element is to not mention it. The main goal of your content is to educate your new audience, so that has to be your approach when you’re building your third-party relationship. If you get a link, then great, if not, you’re still sharing it over social media. It’s the long game with this strategy.
Don’t post the content on your site, too
Many websites only accept original content, content that hasn’t been posted elsewhere. This is a rule you should live by. By giving the website high-quality and original content, there is a higher chance you’ll be able to write for them again and you’ll increase the chance of the content being published.
Don’t panic if you can’t get content published
This is a strategy that generates results over time. If you haven’t yet got a guest post placement, just keep going with the strategy, perhaps look at the email you’re sending to these websites, amend and test your new email with a handful of other sites. The key to success with this strategy is to offer quality and relevant content for the site’s audience, and don’t give up after month one.
If you have written content and it hasn’t been accepted, why not amend it to fit your specific audience and post it to your blog? This way your content will never go to waste.