Today SEO is about quality. Long gone are the days when quantity (of links) was the only thing that mattered. Now, anything less than your best is not good enough. While at the quality, guest blogging is not only good for your SEO but it also helps you establish your blog as a relevant source of information in your niche, and increase your personal brand awareness.
Blogging is a community, and only those who actively participate in it are winning. You can truly increase your blog’s readership and influence by guest posting if you do it well. This way you introduce your blog to new communities allowing you to spread your ideas more freely to a wider audience.
Guest blogging is any blogger’s essential marketing strategy. But if you are new to this, it can be a bit difficult to start not knowing how to go about it and make it a successful part of your marketing efforts. No worries. Here are ten handy tips to write an awesome guest post:
#1 Carefully consider your target guest blogging partners
When selecting the blogs where you want your content published you should first think about your own blog and what it is about, what it stands for; then select a well-thought list of target bloggers to contact for guest posting. To choose the right partners keep this in mind:
- You both should target similar demographic;
- Consider the traffic or number of subscribers these blogs have;
- You need to have an author bio with a ‘do follow’ link that search engines would count on your post;
- The best-case scenario: these bloggers should help you promote your content once it is published.
#2 Read the blogger’s rules and guidelines
Almost every blogger has a list of guidelines you need to follow to write on their blog. Particularly the established ones that you want your blog to be linked to. Make sure to go through and follow each of these rules and content writing and editing instructions to be able to produce a quality piece that will speak great about your blog.
#3 Study the blog and content
Go through the blog, read the posts, check the blogger’s bio, and try as much as you can to understand the subject and voice of the blog. Check the topics that are included, and think of what you can add that isn’t covered yet. If you happen to know a blogger that has already written a guest post on the same blog, it’s best to call her and ask for tips.
#4 Email the blogger
As you already know yourself, bloggers are busy people. So when pitching your guest post try to be short and to the point. Don’t waste the blogger’s time with unnecessary flattery or words of self-deprecation. Send just your idea, an introduction, or the whole article; don’t say sorry but be nice and professional.
#5 Maintain your usual high standards and write the best post you can
Once you’ve contacted the blogger you can start writing your guest post. I know it’s hard to fight the temptation of keeping your “A” content for your own blog, but this is one of your best marketing tools available and you should never submit something that is less than your best.
Apply the same quality control that you usually do for your own content: do your homework, research your facts, and provide links and footnotes as evidence to back up your writing. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, and find someone to proofread the post additionally. When all’s done, send the blogger your ready-to-publish guest post together with your byline and link to your blog.
#6 Make your guest post interesting and informative
Same as when writing your own blog posts, here too you need to consider what the readers actually want – blog owner and regular visitors alike – and let it guide you from the title, till the end conclusion. If you feel your topic is a little bit dull and mundane, get creative and try to find an interesting new angle to fit it into a relevant, current subject. If you are writing about a dress, talk about an upcoming event or festival where girls can wear it; or share tips on saving money during holidays instead of going with an article that’s full of financial terms and interest rates.
Though they may feel generic, some of the most popular types of guest posts include the How To and Top Ten lists and guides (like the one I’m doing right now). They are relevant, provide useful information to the readers, and quite simple, they work. Still, you must keep your angle when covering the topic.
#7 Tell readers what they don’t already know
You can use background material and reference other people’s work if you want, but in your guest post you must have something genuinely new to add that hasn’t already been said about the topic. If you are an expert in your field use your expertise to share a different side of a story your readers may haven’t considered before. Or just share your opinion, – you’ll certainly create a buzz, as long as you aren’t insulting anyone.
#8 Follow up
After sending your pitch give the blogger some time to go through your email and contact you back. Check the guidelines for information on how long this time is. When following up keep your tone polite and positive. Do follow up again after a week, and if you get no answer in a month, email the blogger that you will be using the blog post elsewhere.
#9 Engage the audience and promote your guest post
If you get your guest post published, the first thing to do is thank the blogger, and then you can start treating the post as you would any of your own – tweet it, share it, email it, etc. Social is a must today. Publish part of it on your own blog and include a link to the whole guest post. Make sure to also engage with the readers who respond to your writing and interact with them in the comments below.
#10 Do it again, and again
It doesn’t matter if you succeeded or not; what’s important is to repeat it again and again. You must guest post more often for it to become an effective strategy for your blog’s promotion. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t give up. It isn’t necessarily your fault, – it may be a wrong topic, it may be the wrong audience. Don’t allow it to be your last try to guest post.
Guest posting is truly an effective strategy of growing your blog’s readership. If your blogger partner is a local girl, or someone who travels a lot, you can even arrange to meet her for a coffee. Real-life relationships can only make the bloggers link stronger.
How about you? Are you guest posting someplace? Tell us your experience and personal tips in the comments below.