Is guest blogging a part of your content marketing strategy?
If not, it’s high time you start considering making it a part of your strategy. There have been plenty of instances over the years where marketers and businesses have speculated about the death of guest blogging. But the truth is that this strategy is a great way of promoting your business along with yourself.
We get it, it is just difficult to trust someone’s words, and to be honest it is not even a smart thing to do. This is why we are going to present you with a couple of examples to prove our point. The first example is Buffer, which used this tactic to attract almost 1 lakh customers. Yet another example is Elna Cain, who used guest blogging and made full-time income working as a freelancing writer.
Through this post, we have tried to provide you with an easy step-by-step guide to guest blogging. We’ll also try to provide you with some samples. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will be able to use guest blogging effectively and will be able to gain more visibility for your business and generate more leads.
But before we start with the guide, let’s first have a look at some of the advantages of guest blogging.
What are the advantages of guest blogging?
If you want your content marketing strategy to be a success, you should include guest blogging in your strategy. This is a great tactic that can help you boost your traffic and ROI on content marketing.
According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), guest blogging is a crucial part of the marketing funnel providing expert content for offsite needs.
Another advantage of guest blogging is that it is a great way of spreading awareness about your brand. This happens as a result of the content you post on various websites that talk about your business to a new audience. Now, these new readers might visit your website or land on one of your pages via the link you mentioned in the content. This means that guest blogging in a way helps you get new subscribers and generate more leads.
Guest blogging is a great way of building trust. If a trustworthy and authoritative website publishes your content, you automatically come off as a trustworthy business. If you practice guest blogging regularly, you might even be considered an expert in the field which will be great for your business.
Now, when we are talking about the advantages of guest blogging, how do we forget about SEO. If you build links from some of the high-quality websites, it can do wonders for your SEO rankings. So, one can say that guest blogging helps in improving the position of your website on the SERPs.
Now, you must be thinking that the ones using guest blogging get all the benefits but that is not true. The blog that is hosting reaps the benefit too. Since creating quality content is a major challenge that arises when it comes to content marketing, this tactic helps the owners of the website to fulfill their need for content.
Step by Step Guide to Guest Blogging
If the benefits mentioned above make you want to try guest blogging, you need to know that for it to work well, you have to do it right.
- Set your goals
Similar to every other strategy in marketing, you need to set goals for guest blogging too. If you don’t know where to want to go, how can you start walking? There are some typical goals that people usually set for their guest blogging strategy which are related to the advantages mentioned earlier.
- Drive more traffic to your website or a particular landing page to generate more sales and leads.
- Build brand awareness
- Get better SEO results
- Establish yourself as an expert in the industry
- Increasing your email subscribers and audience on social media
It is important to set your goal so that you can build your bio accordingly. Setting up a goal also makes sure that you can deliver what you are promising. And once you deliver your audience with what you promise, it will build trust with your audience especially the new ones.
- Search for websites where you can contribute
Before you come up with a guest blog, you need to search for websites that are accepting guest blogs, But the first thing you need to consider is that posting on the website will help you in meeting your goals. Now, how do you search for a site looking for guest blogs? Here is how:
Finding sites that accept guest posts
There are several ways you can do this.
For one, you can use Google to search for sites that accept guest posts. You can use keywords related to the topic you wish to write about to find relevant sites. Some sample queries are:
- relevant keyword + “guest article”
- relevant keyword + “become a contributor”
- relevant keyword + “write for us”
You can even search Twitter using similar queries. All you have to do is just type “guest article” or “guest post”, and you will see several tweets with guest posts appear on your screen.
Whether you are searching for the sites on Google, Twitter, or any other source, make sure you create a list of the sites you are making a post on. You will need that list later.
- Try to build a connection with the owner of the site
Before you approach a site owner to suggest then about your guest post, you should build a connection with them.
Don’t be silly enough to use the templates that are pre-designed to make a pitch. Because for several site owners simply making a pitch is not going to be enough until your content is of top quality. Many owners become so tired and frustrated because of all the pitching that they only allow the people they like and know to make a guest post.
Now, how can you build a connection with the site owners?
The first thing you can do is to try to know their website. Try to know about the kind of content they post on their website. You can also follow them on Twitter. By reading the content available on their website you will get an idea about the type of content that matters to them.
You can also connect with them through social media. You can tag them or provide a link to one of their posts when you make a post on social media. Another way is by subscribing to their newsletter or commenting on their blogs.
Now you need to make sure that you try to form a genuine connection. If you fake it in any way, the site owners are going to know it and then you won’t be able to meet your goals.
- Choose an attractive topic
Once you have got to know about the website you wish to make a post on, it’s time to come up with an attractive topic for pitching. Once you have gone through the website, you know what is popular. Now, you have to think about how to add value by:
- Providing additional information about a topic that is already popular
- Being responsive to what is already on the website
- Writing something about a topic that will interest the audience
Next, you can use a tool like Buzzsumo to find out about the topics that are popular on the site. This will help you come up with a proper pitch. All you have to do is type the URL of the site and you will find the content
Now some websites have the terms and conditions they follow for guest blogging. Make sure you read them carefully before pitching. You don’t want your pitch getting rejected for something silly.
- It’s time to make a pitch!
When it comes to pitching for a guest post, the first and the best thing you can do is to avoid using a pitching template available online. Your pith has to be genuine. If you have followed the points mentioned earlier about pitching, this should be a lot easier by now.
There are certain points you need to keep in mind while creating a pitch:
- Make sure your pitch is short
- Use the name of the owner of the site
- Mention the title of your post
- Briefly describe your post
Here is an example of a guest blogging pitch that would make it easier for you to know what should it look like.
Remember, this is not what a guest post pitching template looks like. This example is provided to you so that you know about what are the things you should mention in your pitch.
- Create a killer content
If you are lucky and your pitch gets accepted, the next thing you have to do is to come up with killer content. And in case you are writing for a website for the very first time, you have to outsmart yourself and have come up with your best content.
Now, it is not that difficult to create quality content. All you have to do is to keep certain points in mind:
- Create an attractive headline
- Research and use relevant keywords
- Mention links in your content in an appropriate way
- Include images and infographics where possible
- Ensure your content is formatted properly
- It’s all about the bio
The bio is the return you get as a result of all the hard work that you did for your guest blogging. The main reason behind this is the fact that this is where you get to link back to one of your resources or your website. The options that you offered are as follows:
- One single link to your home page
- One link to your website along with a link to your social media
- One link to any page or resource on your website
- A couple of links to the website and social media
You might come across certain website owners that put no restrictions on links in your bio, but that is not very common. Usually, you will get to link to an URL of your choice and a social link.
- You have to be responsive
As a guest blogging, you have to be responsive. You should respond to the comments you get on your post or any mention of your post.
This is important because it is a great way you will get to connect with your new audience, which in turn can help you achieve some of your goals. Also, the blog owners will love you. This can work in your favor when you plan on making a pitch in the future. This will also take you a step forward in achieving your guest blogging strategy.
- Promotion is must
Promoting your content is a very important part of your guest blogging strategy. By promoting your content, you ensure that more and more people get to know about your content and that there will be a larger number of visitors visiting your website. The site owners will be happy about the incredible increase in their traffic too.
You can use the same channels to promote the guest blogs you do for your posts. For instance, you can let your subscribers know about it through the newsletter or can share it on your social media.
- Create more guest posts
Coming up with one good guest post can help you achieve your short-term goals but when it comes to becoming more successful, you will have to continue writing more and more guest posts.
The greater number of guest posts you create the stronger your online presence will be. And the stronger your online presence will be the more authoritative you will come off as. This will help you get more invitations to create content, you will get more traffic to your website, you will get to participate in events, you can generate more leads and get more sales.
- Track your performance
For every effort you make in your life you need to know if all the hard work and effort is working. The same rule applies to your guest blogging strategy too. Just coming up with a strategy and following the steps isn’t enough. You need to know if your strategy is working. To track your performance, you can use certain tools. For example, tools such as Buzzsumo, SEMrush, and others can prove to be quite useful.
And that’s it. These are the simple steps that you need to follow to come up with a kickass guest blogging strategy. Hopefully, this article from Nico Digital has proved to be useful. Do let us know your experience in the comment section below.
Aditya is the Founder and CEO of Nico Digital and Digital Polo. He has attained the pinnacle of brand design expertise by delivering true value to brands and marketers. After pursuing his higher education in Business Analysis from Manchester Business School, he has helped both Nico Digital and Digital Polo unlock its true branding potential globally. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn and Twitter.