What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging is the practise of writing content for a site that is not your own. In return, you receive a link back to your website.
The guest blog you write will be published on the chosen blog and will be marketed to the readership of that blog.
The blog owner gets relevant content for free that they can use to build and maintain relationships with their existing readers, while the guest blogger is exposed to a new audience who may then check out their website directly.
Case studies have shown that guest blogging can bring in 20% more website traffic if applied consistently.
How to guest blog
In theory, it sounds fairly simple. Approach a related blogger with a big readership, offer to write some content in exchange for links to your website, write the content, wait for it to be published, sit back and wait for the leads to flood in.
Although that is the overall aim for your guest blogging endeavours, in practise it is a much more detailed procedure.
However, if you follow certain steps, successful guest blogging can easily be within your reach.
The steps to a successful guest blog:
- You need to be able to write well
If you are writing content for an established and authoritative blog, then this needs to be quality.
Your content needs to compare favourably to other posts published on the site, and not look out of place. As a guest blogger, it is totally acceptable to have your own voice and write in your own style, but it must fit in with the guidelines of the website.
The subject matter should be relevant to the website you are writing for and be free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The content should also be substantiated and backed up with research, statistics and reliable sources (unless the blog owner does not request this).
- Find related blogs in your industry accepting guest posts
If you are looking to guest blog regularly, start a spreadsheet where you can list the website names, the contact details, and links to their guidelines (eventually you can also add in what guest posts you have submitted and whether they have been accepted).
To find relevant blogs that accept guest blogs, do a search using your niche and ‘guest blogging’, ‘submit post’, ‘accept blogs’ or similar. When you have listed these, try and find out how much traffic the website gets by using an online tool such as Traffic Estimate or similar.
Track the results you find on your spreadsheet.
If you have been in the industry awhile, you will probably already know some of the bigger websites with good reputations already. Study these and see how often guest blogs appear.
- Choose an authoritative blog or website
There are a lot of websites that are clamouring for fresh content, but if these blogs have no readership then it defeats your object of writing for them. Your aim is to get your website or your landing page in front of as big an audience as possible in order to achieve a reasonable return for your efforts. Make sure the blog has a good reputation with a large audience.
- Persuade the blog owner to allow you to write for him
Blogs with a good reputation gets hundreds of requests from guest bloggers, so you need to stand out from the crowd. If you are just starting off, with no online visibility, then you will have to begin by writing for smaller websites. This will gain you a presence over time, providing an online portfolio when the time comes to approach the larger websites.
With this in mind, it’s important not to neglect your own blog or website. Add good quality posts on a regular basis to your own website and start building your reputation in your own right.
- Pick the right topic
Another way to stand out from the crowd is to pick a topic that is right on trend but has not been covered to death. Put your own slant on it and find a twist that has not been covered before. Offer your blog owner something they have not seen before, and then pitch them on why you are the best person to write this post.
- Be an expert
If you are focused on selling niche products or services as an affiliate within a particular industry, make it your business to become an expert within that niche. This will help when you pitch the blog owner on why you are the right person for this guest blog.
- Write a quality piece
The blog owner is under no obligation to publish your post if they do not like it, so make sure it is a really well researched and written article. Concentrate on giving their readers value and they are more likely to accept it. If they give you any guidance, feedback or advise, follow it to the letter.
- Include a link back to a page on your website
Wherever you link back to should be relevant to the readers of the blog. They will be more likely to stay on site, sign up for your offer or read your blogs if it is targeted to their needs. Make sure your byline is interesting and attractive to the reader, while offering them a reason to take a look at your own website. After all, this is your calling card.
- Reply to comments on the guest blog
The guest blogger will expect you to interact with any readers and answer any questions. This is also a good way to build rapport with this new audience so don’t neglect it. The blog owner will also be more inclined to accept guest posts from you in the future if you take the time to network with their readers.
Guest blogging is not a quick fix; don’t expect to get hundreds of leads immediately. However, it does have a snowball effect; the more you do, the better your return will eventually be.
Well-written guest blogs can still get leads many years after they have been published too. As Neil Patel says, it’s not a quick route, but it can generate thousands of email subscribers, who are all targeted towards your industry and your affiliate products.
If you know your market, you are passionate about your products and are happy to put the necessary effort in, then guest blogging should definitely be in your toolbox of marketing.