Guest Blog Posts: What’s In It For Bloggers
Are you one of those bloggers who wonder why they should write guest posts for other blogs when their own needs care and nurturing?
The bottom line is guest blogging is a win-win for both the host blogger and the guest blogger when done right. The problem for both parties is that it’s often done poorly.
What’s in guest blogging for you as a blogger?
Here are five reasons why every blogger should include writing guest blog posts in their blog marketing strategy. These reasons also hold for expanding your content marketing reach.
- Guest blog posts support search optimization. They provide links to your website. [Here's what 15 experts recommend for blog SEO.]
- Guest blog posts expose different audiences to your writing. Seeing your article whets their appetite for more of your content.
- Guest blog posts enhance your brand. Having your content appear on other sites is a subtle endorsement that your information’s worth reading.
- Guest blog posts provide new engagement opportunities. While only a tiny percentage of readers comment on posts, guest columns attract engagement from a new audience.
- Guest blog posts increase your credibility. Having your writing appear on other blogs changes readers’ perception of you. It subtly says you provide value.
21 Steps to create winning guest blog posts
To ensure your guest posts succeed every time, follow these twenty-one tactics. [Here's an example of one of my guest blog posts.]
- Target optimal blogs to place your posts. To the extent possible, you want your posts published in high value blogs. Research guest blogging opportunities. Consider a variety of options in your category and related fields.
- Vary where you post. Write posts for different blogs in your area(s) of interest. [Check out Rand Fishkin's advice on getting your content accepted by popular blogs.]
- Read the guest blog post guidelines. This is a minimum! Don’t whip off email without checking the rules to know what’s acceptable.
- Do your homework. Look at the most popular posts as well as the social media shares and comments on recent posts to determine what resonates best with the audience. What topics are covered and how do they relate to your topic? Do you have a special angle to offer that hasn’t been covered on his blog? Think about post structure (thought pieces, how tos, lists or other)? Is the blog’s structure aligned with your writing style?
- Show your enthusiasm. Actively read the blog. Share the best columns with your social media following. Note: If you can’t find anything worth sharing, why are you seeking to write for this blog?
- Participate on the blog. Commenting makes you stand out. Most blogs get very few comments relative to their readership. (Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Social MediaExaminer.com’s Mike Stelzner says on the topic.)
- Link to the guest blog on your blog. This shows your respect for the blog where you want your content to appear and gets the attention of the blogger who will see the trackback.
- Reach out to the blogger. Build a relationship through another medium. #BlogChat on Sunday evenings is a good place to start. Also, consider real life events and conferences.
- Show your street cred. You have to show your blogging credentials to get your posts accepted. What’s your blog content like? Can you show samples of your guest blog posts?
- Have a thick skin. Reaching out to other blogs involves rejection. You can’t get upset about it. Instead send out more requests. Alternatively, try using other resources such as Ann Smarty’s My blog Guest.
- Know the audience. When you write the guest blog post, understand who the blog’s target market is. Ask if they have a marketing persona you can see.
- Avoid the me, me, me. A guest post isn’t a license to spout promotions.
- Craft a link with anchor text. Since you’ve got one or two links to use in a guest post, use them to support your branding and your social optimization.
- Use images to hook readers. While it’s bad form to include more than one link back to your blog in the body of the post, you can incorporate images, photographs and infographics you can link back to your blog.
- Give them your best. This sounds trite since everyone says it. You’re borrowing someone else’s audience. You have one shot to win them over. Give it your all especially if your blog is a smaller blog.
- Include your bio. Check how others on the site have crafted their bios. Also, make your bio relevant to the blog’s audience. Position yourself!
- Check your grammar and spelling. Nothing turns bloggers and readers off like a poorly spelled post. No matter how quickly you compose your content, take time to proofread it. Not doing so is unprofessional and sloppy.
- Keep the conversation going. Whether it’s in the guest blogging rules or not, respond to the comments your piece generates. Answer questions and provide insights for at least a couple of days. This adds to the value you bring to your posts. Further, it can also inspire new post ideas.
- Promote your guest posts. Socially share your content on other blogs
- Track your results. As with any other promotional opportunity, measure your results.
- Ask again. Don’t mistake a “no” for a “never.” Find out why a column was rejected and try to re-edit to improve it.
Guest blog posts require work. You need to seek out blogs with relevant audiences, understand what these audiences are interested in and write content that resonates. In return, you get additional support for your blog marketing.
Are there any other suggestions you’ve found helpful in terms of getting your guest blog posts accepted?
Here are some related articles you may find useful in drafting your guest blog posts.
- 3 Secrets to Being an A-List Blogger [Infographic included]
- 9 Actionable Blogging Tips to Grow Your Readership
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vblibrary/4522126718/