Guest Blogging: Don’t Forget What Mom Taught You

7 Guest Blogging Tips

Your mother taught you to be a good guest by minding your manners and being on your best behavior. The same wisdom applies to guest blogging where you write for another blog whose audience has similar demographics, interests and behavior to the one you’re seeking. As a special visitor, make a good impression so readers will want more of your content and the blogger will invite you back.

5 Guest blogging goals

If you’re wondering, “Why should I write for someone else?” here are five reasons to author guest post that are reader magnets for other blogs.

  1. Improve search optimization. Guest blogging gets links back to your site by having your by-line link to your blog. This is a critical component of search and a recommended way to accomplish it.
  2. Expand your blog audience. Think of guest blogging as advertising except that you pay for it by supplying original content. A guest blog post promotes your writing to a new, established audience who may not know who you are.
  3. Augment credibility. Guest blogging has an implicit endorsement of the blog. This is why many bloggers prefer to guest blog for blogs with higher standing, larger audiences or more influential bloggers.
  4. Support the blogger, cause, business or conference. You can help others by lending your name and content to another blog. This is useful for getting a new blog jump-started or expanding the reach for a cause-related blog.
  5. Promote new book or other product. Guest blogging can be a good way to get your name out to a broader audience quickly. This can be useful to support new book sales or other blog-related products. Understand that your guest post can’t be an outright marketing promotion where the bottom line is getting readers to buy. Rather, it should support the blog’s community.

7 Guest blogging tips

Regardless of your reason(s) for writing a guest blog post, one of your goals should be to write one of the best posts you can to impress this new audience and entice them to read more of your content.

  1. Do your homework. Your goal is to be able to write compelling content that meets the audience’s needs. Know the blog you’re considering writing for. What’s the blog’s point of view? Is the blog’s readership larger than yours? Is the blog in your general niche or do you have a topic of mutual interest? If so, will you be reaching new readers who aren’t familiar with you or your existing base? Is this post a one time shot or will it be part of a series?
  2. Give the gift of your best writing. Write your strongest material for guest posts. You only have the one post to make a positive impression. Give away your best material because if they like it, they’ll be enticed back to your site.  This means no leftover content!
  3. Cut out promotional mumbo-jumbo. Keep your goal in mind. You’re creating content, not an advertisement. Your blog post shouldn’t look, smell or seem like an advertisement for your products or services.
  4. Participate in the conversation around your guest post. Engage with the community to show you care. This means respond to comments in a timely manner.
  5. Play by the host’s rules. Understand that blog belongs to another blogger who has the right to set their own house rules for content that appears on their blog. This includes topic approval, length, format and editing. While guest bloggers should be allowed to give their perspective in their own voice, the blog owner has the right to edit your content in line with the blog’s writing conventions. If this bothers you, then don’t write guest posts.
  6. Promote post to your social graph. Help expand the post’s reach with a variety of social sharing tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Use Twitter hashtags where appropriate to extend the post’s reach.
  7. Write unique guest posts for a variety of different blogs. The objective is to broaden your reach and exposure. While some consistency is good, it’s important to test a variety of different audiences to see what markets are most receptive to your content. It doesn’t mean to send multiple blogs the same content.

When you’re guest blogging, follow your mother’s advice. As a guest blogger, share your best writing to contribute to the blog’s community and entice them to continue to seek out your content on your blog.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Big hat tip: To my dad in honor of Father’s Day who taught me how media worked. This has been invaluable for my blogging.

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photo credit: cmatsuoka via Flickr

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