Content marketing has been an established method of generating attention for your business for some time now. If your business is only focused on creating blogs for your own website, it may be time to look closer at the world of guest posting. Many companies both big and small have benefitted from this technique, helping them to raise awareness and drive more traffic to their sites. In this blog post, we are going to discuss guest posting in more detail – including setting goals, finding opportunities, pitching ideas, writing content and tracking the results of your efforts. So, without further ado, here is a comprehensive guide to guest posting for you to follow.
Step One: Work Out Your Goals
Just like you should do before you undertake any new marketing strategy, you should determine exactly what you are trying to achieve from it. Otherwise, you will not be heading in a clear direction and you will not get the most from your activities. There tend to be three main goals when it comes to guest blogging: establishing yourself as an authority in your field, getting traffic back to your website, and building up backlinks. Ideally, you should be aiming to achieve all three of these things at once, but if you mainly want to focus on one or two, you can do this by choosing blogs accordingly.
Step Two: Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Now you need to head out there and start finding some blogs that you can guest post on. You should start by looking for sites which are relevant to your particular industry – check out this article of 1479 Authority Guest Posting Sites Sorted By Category for a helping hand. The content should generally be focused on your niche and the audience needs to be relevant to your field. You are also looking for blogs in which the readers are actively engaged. You can tell if this is the case by how often the posts are shared and how many comments are regularly received. Also, check to see if the blogger is active on social media.
Perhaps you already know of some prolific guest bloggers in your industry who you can approach. Ideally, you could even try to get a personal introduction to them through a mutual contact or at an industry event. You can also uncover plenty of guest blogging opportunities by doing a simple Google search and checking out what ranks highly.
Step Three: Do Your Research
Rather than diving straight in and firing off an email that you put together in a couple of minutes, you should take a step back and prepare your pitch. First of all, take the time to browse through as many of the posts on the blog as you can to get a better feel for the content of the site. Find out what sort of audience they are writing for – whether they have a general interest in the field or a more in-depth understanding. Also, since you run a B2B business, it is no good guest posting on blogs which are written for general consumers. Now, go into more detail about the specific content. Are they mainly general how-to guides or do they delve into more detail about technical concepts?
Look closer at how the other guest posts on the blog do in comparison the regular content. Do they tend to receive as many contents and shares or are they generally left alone? If the audience is only receptive to the blog owner and no one else, you will struggle to build a sense of authority or lead traffic back to your website. Find out who the guest bloggers are. Are they other bloggers, freelancers or business owners?
To give your guest posts the best chance of being accepted, you should pitch topics which fit the blog best. Find out which posts have done the best in terms of likes, shares and comments on the blog to give you a reference point. Before you actually send off your pitch, you could start to comment on some of the owner’s posts so that you are not a complete stranger when you send them your pitch.
Step Four: Create Your Pitch
Next up, it is time to create your pitch. If you get some sort of recognition from the blogger such as a mention on one of their posts or social media accounts, this is the perfect time to get in contact with them. Otherwise, they may specifically advertise that they are looking for guest posts. If neither of these two things happens, don’t let this scare you off from getting in contact with them. As long as you get the pitch right, you still have a good chance of getting accepted.
If there are guest post guidelines already on the blog, you should start by reading these through in detail. Are they looking for ideas initially or do they want a whole piece submitted straight away? Try to personalise the email that you are sending to include the blogger’s name rather than a generic ‘Hi’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Outline a bit about who you are and what your business does. Include your thoughts about why you believe that you should be a guest blogger, and if you have links to existing posts, you can include these. If you are required to submit a topic area, you could go for one or two that you describe in detail and a few other alternatives to show that you have really thought it through.
Step Five: Submit a Great Guest Post
Once you have completed a successful pitch, the time has come to actually submit a great guest post. Use the existing style of the blog as your guideline with regards to the blog length, number of images etc. Remember, a successful guest post is not all about your business. You should be looking to provide valuable information and not simply promoting your products or services. Of course, you can use some examples to illustrate the points that you are making, but save the sales pitch for the author bio.
Format your post in the same style as what is already on the website e.g. subheadings, paragraph length, quotation style etc. Include some links in your posts to content already on the blog as well as some external sites where appropriate. At the end of the post, write short call to action which encourages comments. The more you get, the better!
Step Six: Write a Winning Guest Bio
Your guest post biography is one of the most important aspects of the post as this is the place where you include the self-promotion such as links back to your website, blog etc. The information that you include in this part really depends on what you are trying to achieve and what your main goals are. If you are aiming for backlinks, simply put the link to your site within the target anchor text. If you want to generate traffic, you might want to create a custom landing page depending on the content of the guest post. Lastly, if you are aiming to increase your number of social media followers, tell people where they can follow you and give them a link to click through.
Step Seven: Track Your Results
All this hard work will have been for nothing unless you closely track your results to see how many people have viewed your guest post. One of the best ways of doing this is by establishing an Advanced Segment in Google Analytics. This tool can play a big part in working out the success of your guest blogging strategy when it comes to generating traffic and making all-important conversions.
Step Eight: Search for Guest Bloggers for Your Own Site
The world of guest blogging is one that is closely centred on building relationships, and you could also find contributors to your own website. When you are guest posting on a lot of other websites, you may feel that you are neglecting your site, and finding other contributors can help to fill the void that you have left behind. As well as this, you are giving a new perspective for your audience and you may even get new readers from fans of the blogger or company.
Guest posting can be a very beneficial strategy for all types of company, but you need to make sure that you are approaching it in the right way. Start by establishing a clear set of goals that you want to hit before searching for the best sites to contribute to. Do your research on the blogs before creating your pitch. Once you have done this, the time has come to submit a fantastic guest post and biography. But you can only see if your strategy is working by tracking the results closely. Finally, try to establish some regular guest posters who can add to your own site as well.