Have you ever heard of guest posting? More importantly, do you want to start doing it but feel stuck on where and how to begin? You’re not alone. Guest posting is a controversial topic right now and a lot of marketers are trying to figure out how it can be beneficial. If you’ve been considering guest posting as a means of improving your content marketing, this article will assist you in understanding all the facts about guest posting, so that you can make an educated choice about whether or not it’s right for your own unique brand.
What Is Guest Posting?
Guest posting is the act of contributing content to another person or brand’s website or blog.
This tactic is also known as guest blogging.
In guest posting, a writer acts as a contributor or guest author and submits content to a publisher. The writer provides content to a site that doesn’t belong to them or any of their organizations in an attempt to support their marketing, PR, and SEO initiatives.
For example, if you’re a company that sells solar panels and wants your products to rank higher in search results, you could look for blogs that talk about renewable energy and pitch them with blog post ideas. You would then write an article on the subject and ask the publisher to link back to your site or product pages within the post. This can help boost your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords related to solar panels.
What Are the Benefits of Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging works well as a marketing tactic because it’s symbiotic. It benefits both publishers and writers.
For publishers, the practice helps attract new readers. For writers, it offers a chance to reach an entirely new audience that’s otherwise unreachable. But the benefits of guest blogging extend far beyond these two groups.
Below are a few of the many benefits you can expect when you post on other people’s blogs:
1. Build stronger relationships
2. Gain exposure for your brand
3. Get backlinks to your website
4. Position yourself as an authority
5. Boost social media engagement
6. Increase traffic
How to Execute a Guest Posting Strategy in Eight Steps
Guest posting is a powerful strategy for establishing yourself as an authority in your industry, driving targeted traffic to your site, and building links.
But it can feel overwhelming to get started. Finding guest posting opportunities, contacting the owners of those sites, writing content and getting it published can take a lot of time and effort. To make matters worse, not all guest posting opportunities are created equal, so you want to be sure that your efforts are going to yield results.
Building a successful guest posting strategy includes several important steps. These steps help you set a good foundation for your plan, setting clear goals, expectations, and standards for deciding which opportunities are best for you.
Step 1: Determine Your Guest Posting Goals
As with all good marketing strategies, a smart guest posting strategy starts with outlining your goals. Knowing what results you want to see from your work will help you create a clear road map for getting there.
Consider what can be accomplished through guest blogging and determine which two or three goals align best with your marketing objectives.
Do you need more leads? More traffic? More subscribers? Do you have a new product to promote, or do you just want to establish yourself as an authority in some particular niche?
Whatever your goals are, they should inform the rest of your approach, including what topics you’ll be writing about and where you’ll be publishing those posts. Make sure that the sites you’re targeting will help you meet your goals — if you’re trying to get more sales, for example, then it makes little sense to publish on sites read by people who can’t afford to buy what you sell. You might get more mileage out of a site like Forbes instead of a small-budget blog read by cash-strapped college students.
Step 2: Find Guest Post Opportunities
Here are a few ways to find great guest posting opportunities:
1. Find sites that interest your audience.
If you want to guest post on a site, it’s important that you’re targeting the right audience. So the first thing to do is to find sites where your ideal audience hangs out.
You can find these sites by Googling topics related to your niche. For example, if you run an ecommerce store selling baby clothes, try searching for terms like “baby clothes” or “cute baby outfits.”
Then go through the search results and look for sites that are publishing content in your niche. If they’re publishing content, there’s a good chance they also accept guest posts.
2. Find where your competitors post.
It’s also a good idea to see where your competitors post. If they’re posting on a certain site, it means their audience is reading that site too.
To find where your competitors post, enter their domain name into ubersuggest and click Search:
ubersuggest will show you all of the links that have been shared from their site:
You can then sort by total shares to see which pieces of content have gotten the most social media shares:
3. Find sites similar to your ideal guest posting sites.
The best way to find similar sites is to use tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush or Moz Open Site Explorer; they all offer keyword analysis tools that let you see what keywords competing domains are ranking for. You can also look at which sites are linking to the pages of your ideal guest posting spots.
Once you’ve found some potential guest posting opportunities, sign up for their email newsletters or RSS feeds to see what topics they’re interested in.
Approach them with a personal email or phone call, and ask if they accept guest posts. If you can’t find the contact information on their site, try using a tool like WhoIs to get the names of the site’s owners.
You should also do a web search for phrases like: “site:yourindustryguestposts”
Examine these sites’ link profiles to find other potential guest post opportunities.
Step 3: Qualify Guest Posting Sites
Once you have a list of potential guest posting sites, start qualifying them. Look for blogs that accept guest posts, but are also a good fit for your strategy and goals.
Create a set of criteria that aligns with your goals and guidelines for guest blogging. Look for sites that:
- Are in your industry or topic area
- Are high quality and relevant to your audience
- Have an audience size that fits your target demographics
- Have a track record of publishing guest posts (one-off guest posts are a red flag)
Step 4: Develop Blog Ideas
Once you find a site that fits your guest posting criteria, it’s time to develop blog ideas. Brainstorm a few ideas for posts that will support your goals while also serving the wants and needs of the publisher and their readers.
Start by reading several posts from the publisher’s site so you can get a feel for their style, content, and tone. Pay attention to how they use images in their posts and how long their articles tend to be. Some publishers may have a specific length guideline for guest posts, so make sure you pay attention to this if it’s included in your research.
Once you have an idea of what they like to publish, get creative! Think about who their audience is and why they would want to read your post. What problems do your products solve? How can your expertise help people? What questions could you answer?
You should also consider the end goal of your post. Are you using it as part of a larger content marketing strategy or just for one-time traffic generation? This will help you determine how much time and effort to put into creating the best content possible. If you plan on creating an ongoing relationship with this publisher, then it’s worth your while to invest more time into developing quality
Step 5: Create a Guest Post Pitch
Guest blogging isn’t as easy as submitting a guest post and having a publisher run it on their blog. Before your content can be considered for publishing, you first have to catch the attention of the publisher by pitching your post.
To craft a guest post pitch that will get noticed:
Research the publisher’s blog.
Take time to review the blog you’re pitching to make sure that it’s a good fit for your post. If it is, learn about the topic areas they regularly cover and the type of tone they use in their articles.
Search through similar blog posts on the internet to get an idea of how your content might be perceived if it were posted on this particular blog.
Identify what makes your content unique and relevant to their audience.
It’s essential that you create a unique angle for your guest post so that publishers don’t see your content as generic and rehashed, or even worse — all about you.
Write the pitch.
You should keep it short and simple, with only enough information for them to understand what you want to write about and why it will provide value for their readers.
Step 6: Write a Post Worth Publishing
Once you have an accepted pitch, it’s time to actually write the post.
This can be a worthwhile task just for the link, but don’t forget that guest posting is also a great way to build your brand.
The blog you’re writing for has an audience. If your post is good, those readers will click through to your site to learn more about you. They may even share your post on social media.
If you do guest blogging right, you can generate traffic and leads from each guest post you write.
To make sure each post is worth the effort you put into it, follow this checklist:
- Write a headline that clearly states what the reader will learn by reading your post.
- Keep the headline short, ideally under 60 characters.
- Include links to 3–4 relevant posts on your blog in the body of your guest post.
- Add a call to action at the end of the post asking readers to share the article on their favorite social network or subscribe to your email list.
- Make sure you set up a Google Alert for your name so that if someone publishes an article mentioning you or your company, you know about it immediately and can respond as necessary.
- Add a link to a relevant page on your website in every comment you leave on other people’s blogs when commenting on an industry-related topic.
Step 7: Follow Up
Your work isn’t over once you submit a guest post. If you want to build a good relationship with the publisher and write for them again, follow up after your post is published. Here are some things you can do:
Promote the post:
Share it on social media, and encourage your friends and fans to share it as well.
Respond to comments:
The publisher may not have time to monitor the comments on your post and respond appropriately. If a reader asks a question or makes an observation, reply promptly. That will make readers more likely comment in the future.
Keep an eye on links:
If your post includes any links, you may want to check them periodically to make sure they still work.
Step 8: Track Your Guest Posting Results
You can’t fully understand what you gain from guest posting unless you track your results. For each guest post, use metrics to track and monitor the marketing ROI of your work.
Create a list of your posts along with the name of the website, the live link, and relevant marketing KPIs. Track metrics that are most relevant to your goals outlined in step one. These metrics may include:
How much traffic is generated from each post? Use Google Analytics or similar tools to learn how visitors interact with your site and if they convert further into leads or customers.
Social media shares
How many people share your post on social media? If your goal is brand awareness, this metric will be key. If a popular blogger shares your post on Twitter, this can increase traffic and engagement with your brand exponentially.
Are other sites linking to you? The number of quality backlinks will improve SEO performance and authority in search engines. You can use tools like Moz Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs Backlink Checker to keep track of any new links pointing back to your site.
After tracking these metrics for several months, you should have enough data to determine which guest posting opportunities are driving the most results for your.
But remember that you’re trying to build relationships with other influencers in your niche. Even if a particular publication doesn’t drive a lot of traffic or links, it still might be worth writing for them if they’re an authority in your industry.
Now that you’ve read this post, you understand the value of guest posting and know how to put together a winning strategy. Take what you learned here and start building your own list of sites that match your blogging style and business goals. And if you need to learn more about the topics we covered, check out these links:
If what you see here is relevant for you and can help you grow your business or organisation, we’d love to discuss further with you. Drop us a message or schedule an appointment with us.