A Guest Blogging Strategy Is Essential For Growing Online
Content marketing has evolved throughout the years. Nowadays, content marketers have a tremendous amount of digital tools available to create fantastic content. There arises the need to construct a robust content marketing strategy that marketers use to hack for gaining growth online.
As social media grows, the growth of content creation and distribution is exponential as social media marketing, and influencer marketing becomes more widely available. With guest blogging, marketers can achieve more success in digital marketing.
Since many companies, both startups and corporations, have proved through their success that guest blogging is one of the best ways to promote one’s business online.
Guest blogging allows you to share experience, create a reputation around your industry, and improve your SERP rankings using backlinks to your website.
Guest blogging is such a vital tool for companies and individuals to establish themselves as a leader in the industry, build relationships with other influencers, and expose their brands to a more significant number of potential customers.
Nonetheless, if you’re going to use guest blogging as a tactic to succeed, you need to do it right. Our guideline of 9 key steps below will help you create a compelling guest blogging strategy for your site.
- Market Research
- Determine guest blogging goals
- Search for guest blogging opportunities
- Assess guest blogging sites and connect with site owners
- Choose and pitch a guest post topic
- Write and edit the guest post
- How to craft a guest bio
- Promote content
- Track results and get guest bloggers for your site
There are many types of blogs on the Internet. Standing in front of many options, you might find it a little confusing. Yet, there are many networks in which you may connect to bloggers and promote your own business. The larger your networking is, the more successful your guest posting and blogging career will be.
But first of all, you must identify exactly to whom you are writing. It should be a group of people who have a particular need, not everyone since readers will be at different purchasing cycle stages. You should research and get to know them well before starting your writing job.
Your market research must address the following questions:
- How do your current customers feel about your new products?
- Which functionality they think should be added?
- Who is your target audience in the future?
- What are they looking for?
- Where do they usually go?
- What problems are they looking to solve?
- What are they interested in?
- Which topics concern them the most?
- Which blogs do they read regularly?
Market research helps you understand what your position in the market is. Through following it, you can start your business with fewer risks, notice existing and potential challenges in the industry, and identify opportunities to increase your revenue.
The primary purpose of conducting market research beforehand is to know your target audience as much as possible, including their demographics. There is some essential demographic information that you need to collect and understand from your audience:
- Geographic location
- Community Size
- Marital status
- Household size
Determine Guest Blogging Goals
Next, as you now know whom to write for, here comes the time to determine what you want from your guest posts. As soon as you set goals for your guest blogging strategy, you can figure out which blogs you want to target for guest posts.
A guest blogging strategy’s goals are compatible with its benefits, including:
- Building quality backlinks to your websites
- Drive more traffic to a particular landing page to get more leads and sales.
- Raise brand awareness, products, and services recognition.
- Improve SEO through inbound connections.
- Position yourself as a professional, which means you can be mentioned more often and get more engagement.
- Increase the number of newsletter subscribers or social media followers.
Even though the high position in SERP rankings is a benefit, your guest posting strategy’s goals should focus on more specific targets. Sometimes, the ranking position is evaluated based on many other factors throughout the development of the site. Thus, it is a benefit but not a goal to aim.
You need to outline reliable and clear goals to craft an appropriate bio and deliver the right things to the right people when they come to your site.
Also, your goals must not violate Google’s or any other search engines’ policies.
You can also use the SMART tool to establish goals for your guest posting strategy, which should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, for example:
- Increase your followers on Facebook by 28%
- Generate 1000 visitors on your next posts
- Earn 400 new subscribers
- Any other relevant online goal to the business.
Search For Guest Blogging Opportunities
Market researched, goals set, and before starting to write, you must find a site that allows guest posts and hungrily seek fresh content.
You should have criteria when you’re choosing sites to guest post on, including:
- Relevance: The sites’ content must be relevant to or in your niche
- Potential audience: the sites’ attendance will be interested in your industry
- Good engagement rate
- Activeness: the site owner is active on social media
There are plenty of ways for you to find appropriate sites that accept your guest posts. Here we suggest some of the most popular methods.
Popular Guest Bloggers And Communities
Many well-known guest bloggers have been successful in their guest posting activities, such as Neil Patel, Marcus Sheridan, and Leo Widrich.
As they have posted their content on various sites, it is easy for you to search for them using Google search with search queries, including their names and the phrase “guest post by.”
Those sites should be the best places for you to start guest posting if it’s relevant to your niche.
You can also take suggestions from summary reports of some qualified bloggers such as Peter Sandeen, Brian Keith May, or big sites.
Besides, if you know any guest blogger in your industry, having them introduce you to site owners will be a great advantage for your start.
Next, as there are millions of bloggers who are actively writing every day, there are also many platforms to serve the need to communicate, share, and connect guest posters all over the world.
You can search for the most popular sites using Google or any other search engine search.
Many guest blogging communities are free for you to sign up. On guest blogging forums, you can be as someone searching for guest bloggers or guest posting on another blog.
People who want to get a social qualification to boost their posts might also find a separate forum for their own needs.
Google And Social Media Search Engines
You can search for guest blogging opportunities by entering search queries in Google search box, for example:
- [topic keyword] + “write for us”
- [topic keyword] + “guest article”
- topic keyword] + “become a writer”
- [topic keyword] + “guest blog”
[keyword] is any keywords from your industry.
There are more suggestions from Optimize Smart’s summary to check. You can also use similar queries on social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, as you can use them as an alternative search engine.
Following your competitors to know which sites they are writing for is also a good idea to find guest posting opportunities.
No matter by which tool you use to seek opportunities, remember to list out potential sites. When the right time comes or the correct type of post, there will be chances for you to work with them.
Assess The Guest Blogging Sites And Connect With The Site Owners
Once you have found the most potential sites, it’s time to learn about the site’s quality and community. You need to make sure if it’s worth your time and effort.
There are some key things you need to check from a site, including:
- How does the site look online?
- What are its resources? How valuable are they?
- Try using some online tool to help you assess better such as Moz’s Open Site Explorer
- Domain authority and page authority scores
- How many subscribers/followers does the site have on social media?
- From which platforms?
- In which social platforms are they the most active?
- How are interaction and engagement rates?
- Are those posts about the same topics that you have in mind?
- How many are posts/guest posts are on the site?
- How is the engagement rate?
- How is it written?
- Is it suitable for you to add the necessary information to direct readers to your site?
Forming The Connection
After answering all those questions, you might probably find a good site to start. But hang on, how can you just jump in and pitch whatever topic to the site owners while you know nothing about them, how they work, and what they expect from you as a partner?
So, what you need to do now is to form a connection with them. You can go through all the content the owners published on their website and social media profiles to get to know their style of work, what they and their audience are interested the most.
Following the site owners on social media so you can tag them whenever you share their site content is an excellent way to express your goodwill and earn recognition.
If the site owners contact you first or reply to your requests, remember to respond on time and sincerely. Good impressions are the first steps to build up a healthy relationship.
Pitch A Guest Post Topic
Choosing a winning topic and pitching it to the site owner is one of the most critical stages.
What is a winning topic? It shouldn’t be too broad. The topic would be perfect if it focused on a niche, and it must be relevant to the site as well as its audience.
You can also use online tools, such as Buzzsumo, to figure out what content the target site posted already and which type of content is likely to be popular.
Some websites have guidelines in detail for pitching and writing that you need to read carefully before sending a pitch. You do not want to give a bad impression from the get-go.
When you draft a request email to the blog owners, how you write and express your ideas matters. A personalized, concise, and straight-to-the-point email will appeal to site owners more than cumbersome, irrelevant, and poorly written ones.
Some crucial information that you need to include in the email:
- Name of the site owner (should be mentioned at the beginning of email)
- Your information
- What are your skills, especially blogging skills?
- Who are you?
- What is your site?
- Why are you the right person?
- The guest post information
- The post title
- What are you going to write about?
- Which areas will you cover in the article?
- What other formats will you include in the post?
- Which keywords and SEO value will you add in the post?
- What value will your article offer the audience?
- Any other ideas?
While you are waiting for them to reply, pitching to a few other bloggers will help you make the most of the time you have. Although, don’t copy and paste and spam your guest post request to several websites.
Write And Edit The Guest Post
Pitching is just the start. The site owners might be interested in your topic and outlines, but they must see if you can create a valuable post or an article.
A good article must have an outstanding headline. Even though the site owners loved the one you named in your email, some alternatives won’t hurt. To make your headline shine, you should include the benefit for the reader, call-to-actions, and emotion-grabbing elements.
No matter what topic you are writing about, the audience must be the center. Your guest blogs should not advertise your product or service but should educate followers.
Keywords are the secret sauce of the success of any blog, and blog owners love it. Conducting keyword research carefully and add them to leverage your guest post’s SEO potential will earn your positive recognition in site owners’ eyes. An optimal position in the search engine result page (SERP) will be beneficial for both your and their sites.
Display authority and credibility in blog posts. By linking sufficiently to relevant and authentic external sites, you are contributing to boost SEO for the guest posting site as well as your brand. Linking to other posts within the site may also help create internal coherence among them.
Linking to your website within the body of the article is also possible as long as it is relevant and valuable for the audience. However, if the topics you cover are similar to those written on the host website, you shouldn’t keep that link since it may cause some awkward situations between two sides.
Images, videos, infographics, or any other informative formats are powerful tools to highlight your content. According to Optinmonster’s statistics, articles with images get 94% more views than those with no visuals, and video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search traffic than plain text.
Some owners prefer creating images by themselves; in case they don’t, you can help them by providing self-made photos or appropriate ones from external sources. You should also make sure if the photo’s quality met the standard of the site.
Last but not least, formatting the post before handing it to the site owners. The less work you leave for them, the better impression they will have on you. Some sites have a pretty basic and simple guideline for guest posters, and all you need to do is follow the guidelines step by step.
For example, in the image below, you can see how Type In Mind explains their guest post terms and conditions.
How To Craft A Guest Bio
Your guest blog bio is the guaranteed part where you can link to anything you want to enhance your site’s SEO strategies. You should include these four critical things:
- Your full name (or your blogging pseudonym)
- Be concise and in range of the word/character limits
- Be written in the third person
- Add at least one or two links back to your blog or website
You don’t need to add all the information about you. It’s is not a CV. Your bio is for the blog audience to read and be attracted, so you must write briefly and straight to the point, grab their attention at first glance and make them want to know more about you.
Backlinks are the key in a guest bio paragraph. Most agree that the most straightforward way is you link straight to your website or blog; however, if you want to customize your customer journey within your site, it is worthwhile to have a dedicated landing page.
Besides, if you aim to increase your social media followers, a call-to-action sentence such as “Follow me on + [your top social network + link]” will help you out.
Whereas some websites have specific criteria for bio links, you might not be allowed to link directly to your product page, for example. Thus, you must consider the sites’ terms carefully before delivering the most optimal guest bio for your post.
Here is an example of a well-known blogger – Neil Patel’s author bio in HubSpot.
Posting date will be informed in advance to you by most bloggers, so you will be able to make time for interacting with readers on that day. You can suggest another day if the selected date does not match your schedule.
As your guest post goes live, it’s the time for you to do promotion work to maximize engagement and conversion to your post as well as your site.
There will be many comments from readers coming and waiting for you to reply in the early days. Regardless of the host blogs’ expectations, you should respond to as many comments as you can to maximize the conversion and engagement rate of your post. Moreover, the more you communicate with your audiences, the better your writing improves.
A small note when replying to the readers’ comments, you should pay attention to the language used. Talking politely and objectively is a must since now you are speaking not only for your blog but also for the host website.
Furthermore, sharing with your social media followers or email newsletters might be a great idea to promote the guest post across other platforms. In any case, your guest blogging on a broader forum will impress your existing audience.
Tagging the host bloggers once you share your post is an excellent way to keep the interaction and maintain a secure connection with them. As they can see your efforts to push the article, they might probably appreciate it and consider you as a dedicated writer.
You should write a thanking email to the site owners a few days after your post is published to express your gratitude and discuss other guest blogging ideas.
Track Results And Get Guest Bloggers For Your Site
If you want to know if your guest blogging is successful, you will need to track and measure results.
In this case, some analysis tools such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Buzzsumo might help.
To ensure that your hard work pays off, you should focus on essential metrics by answering questions below:
- How much organic and social traffic your guest post is producing?
- How the host website’s ranking has changed after your guest post published
- How many backlinks do you have in your guest post? How many of them generate traffic and conversion to your main site?
- How does your guest content rank for target keywords?
- How does traffic behave on your website?
Listening to the audience’s review and feedback is also a great way to measure how successful your guest post is. The more positive comments you have below your articles, the more effective your research is.
After all, when you have done evaluating outcomes and learned a lesson from those experiences, you can continue to deploy other guest post ideas. Once the previous article is released, the blog owners might expect more from you.
Yet, guest blogging is a two-way connection, in which you can also ask for the site owners to guest post on your website. If you’re writing for a big platform where many other authors also participate in, you will even have more opportunities to approach the best and ask for a connection with them.
Likewise, having someone who is also an expert in the industry writing for your blog will not only help your company strengthen its authority and credibility, but also boost your SEO performances more than ever.
Various successful brands have proved that guest blogging is one of the most effective link-building tactics for SEO growth, said GoodFirm’s SEO trends and tactics research. Therefore, it is never too late to start exploring and applying it to your content marketing strategy.
As the content on the Internet grows, there are hundreds of blogs and content sites arising every day. As long as you have researched the blogging market thoroughly and set particular goals for your campaign, all you need to do first is to consider options and choose the right place to start.
Once you find your meant-to-be host website, establishing a relationship with the owner is ideal. A pitching opportunity may open for you, in which you must show them how your writing is relevant and beneficial to their site. Then, following the outstanding writing is a highly competent, straight-to-the-point, and concise guest bio where you can officially link to your site.
Spread your content via social media channels to ensure the exposure of the guest post to reach the largest audience possible. Always remember to measure results and seek for guest bloggers for your site.
As now you know what guest blogging is, what it might bring you and how to create a guest posting strategy for your site, you will be able to make it work for you and strengthen your brand as well as improving your lead generation campaigns.