Guest blogging: How to grow your affiliate marketing audience organically
Written by Samantha Sherer on
When it comes to marketing your affiliate business, attraction marketing (methods that involve your target audience discovering your website organically) is a consistent way of building your customer base. One avenue to achieve this is by guest blogging.
Guest blogging is the practice of writing content for a site that is not your own (for example, Awin recently partnered with GLOSSY to publish a whitepaper on influencer marketing.) In return, you receive a link back to your website. Additionally, any guest blog you write will be published on the chosen website and will be marketed to its readership.
The website gets relevant content for free that can be used to build and maintain relationships with existing readers, while the guest blogger is exposed to a new audience who may then check out their website directly.
In theory, it sounds simple. Approach a related website with 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 watch the leads to flood in.
Although that is the overall aim, in practice it is a much more detailed procedure. However, if you follow certain steps, successful guest blogging can easily be within your reach.
You need to be able to write well
If you are writing content for an established and authoritative source, the piece needs to be one of quality.
Your content should compare favorably 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 of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The content should also be substantiated and backed up with research, statistics and reliable sources.
Find related blogs in your industry accepting guest posts
If you are looking to guest blog regularly, start a spreadsheet listing the website names, contact details, and guidelines to everywhere you are targeting (eventually you can also add a column for which pieces have been submitted and whether they have been accepted.)
To find relevant websites that accept guest blogs, conduct a search using your niche and ‘guest blogging,’ ‘submit post,’ ‘accept blogs,’ etc. When you have listed these, try and ascertain how much traffic the website gets by using an online tool like Traffic Estimate. You can track the results you find on your spreadsheet.
If you have been in the industry awhile, you will probably already know of some websites where you would like to guest blog. Study these and see how often these types of content pieces appear.
Choose an authoritative blog or website
There are a lot of websites clamoring for fresh content, but if these places have no readership then it defeats the object of writing for them. Your aim is to get your website or landing page in front of as big an audience as possible to achieve a reasonable return for your efforts. Make sure the blog has a good reputation with a large audience.
Persuade the website to allow you to write for them
Websites 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 and have little online visibility, you will have to begin by writing for smaller websites. Over time, this will gain you a presence and provide an online portfolio when the time comes to approach the larger websites. With this in mind, it’s also important not to neglect your own blog or website. Add good quality posts on a regular basis and start building your reputation.
Pick the right topic
Another way to stand out from the crowd is to pick a topic right on trend but not yet oversaturating the market. Put your own spin on it. Offer websites something they have not seen before, and then pitch to them why you are the best person to write this post.
Be an expert
If you are focused on selling niche affiliate products or services within a particular industry, make it your business to become an expert in that niche. This will help when you pitch on why you are the right person for this guest blog.
Write a quality piece
A website 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 advice, follow it to the letter.
Include a link back to a page on your website
Whatever you link back to should be relevant to your guest post. Readers will be more likely to stay on site if it is targeted to their needs. Make sure your byline is interesting and attractive to the reader and offers them a reason to look at your own website. After all, this is your calling card.
Reply to comments on the guest blog
The website you are guest blogging on will expect you to interact with any readers and answer any questions that arise. This is a good way to build rapport with a 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 be in your toolbox of marketing.