When done right, guest blogging is an excellent tool for generating more traffic for your website, growing your brand, increasing your reach, and positioning yourself as an expert in your niche. Guest blogging isn’t just about submitting articles anywhere and everywhere, though. You want to make sure your message reaches the right audience — the one that will, hopefully, bring future customers to your website or blog. Finding a blog whose audience would enjoy your content is one important step in any successful guest blogging strategy. Below are a few more tips for crafting the perfect guest post.
Determine Your Goals
Decide whether your blogging goal is to increase exposure, to get more traffic to your website, or to position yourself as an expert in your niche. Knowing your goals ahead of time will help you find your target audience and create blog posts that resonate with your readers.
Find Guest Posting Opportunities
Once you’ve figured out the goal of your guest post, it’s time to find places to publish your post. An easy way to find guest blogging opportunities is to search Google for terms like “submit a guest post” or “guest post guidelines.” Another good way to find sites that accept guest posts is to analyze the back links of your competitors using a tool like Open Site Explorer. Social media is also an abundant source of guest blogging opportunities. Typing “guest post” into Twitter search will bring up the latest tweets about guest posts in your niche. Simply follow the links to find out which sites accept guest posts.
Get Content for Your Blog
Remember, guest blogging goes both ways. It can be hard to keep up with your own blog while you’re contributing to several other websites. Consider opening your blog up to guest authors. Not only will you get fresh content, but you might also attract readers from your guest blogger’s network. If you need content fast, another option is to use a guest posting service.
Guest blogging is a great way to connect with your target audience, bring more awareness to your brand, and grow your online influence. While it isn’t an overnight solution, guest blogging is one of the most effective ways of boosting your online reputation. As long as your guest posts provide value to your readers, you’ll be rewarded over time with more conversions, followers, and fans.
Craft a Great Pitch
Spend some time on your chosen websites to get an idea of what type of content they publish. Take note of the level and style of writing, the types of posts published (listicles, etc.), and the type of audience the content is written for. You’ll need this information to craft a great pitch letter to the blog owner.
Write Your Post
Now comes the real work: writing your blog post. Keep in mind that a guest post should be a useful source of information — not an advertisement for your service or product. The occasional anecdote to illustrate a point is okay, but try to avoid focusing on your business. Any information about your products and services should be placed in the author bio. Make sure the blog post is free of spelling and grammatical errors, and that it meets the blog’s editorial standards. Prepare any attached images according to the blog’s requirements.
Include a Bio
Your bio is the most important part of your guest post. This is where you’ll include information about yourself, your blog, your product, book, or service. You can also include a link to a custom landing page for a particular product or service. If you have social media pages associated with your service or product, link to them. What you write in your bio will depend on your goal, whether that goal is to boost sales, improve engagement, or gain more social media followers.
Track Your Results
If your goal is to increase traffic to your website, you’ll need to measure the performance of your guest posts. An easy way to do this is to set up an Advanced Segment in Google Analytics. Different segments can be created for different groups of referral traffic (guest posts, social media, coal search, directories, etc.), allowing you to see top posts, demographics, and conversions. This way, you can gauge the success of your guest post strategy in terms of conversions and traffic growth. Knowing which posts are most popular will help you determine which sites are worth writing for again.
Morgan Palmer owns a small business consulting firm. He loves to write about the latest startup tools and news to share with other entrepreneurs on business and marketing blogs.