What Is Guest Posting? A Marketing Insider’s Guide
Guest posting is the act of writing content and placing it on another company or publisher’s website. This practice is often associated with influencers who are experts on a particular topic. Every industry now has professionals who build their reputation and spread word of mouth about their brand identity through guest blogging.
Guest posting is like having a booth at a trade show or taking out an advertisement in a local trade journal. When you choose the correct website or publication, you’ll increase the number of people specifically interested in your topic who hear about your brand.
Guest posting boosts your search engine optimization (SEO) when the company or publisher links back to your website. This backlink serves as a referral to Google, telling the search engine that your site is reputable, which ultimately improves your position on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
5 steps to becoming a successful guest blogger
Becoming a repeat guest blogger is a time-based process as you build your reputation with various publishers. Thankfully, marketing experts have been perfecting how to build your reputation as an influencer for decades. Check out these five main steps you can follow as a framework for finding your success.
Set your posting goals
It’s essential to decide where guest blog posting fits within your overall marketing strategy. Typically, guest posters have one of three goals:
- Authority: These bloggers want to become known as experts and build a loyal following.
- Traffic: Some guest bloggers want people to click through an affiliate link, so they can build traffic to their website.
- Backlinks: A backlink occurs when the guest’s website links back to your website. When done properly, this link creates increased domain authority for your website on search engines like Google.
It’s becoming increasingly popular to focus on all three of these goals rather than one. Why? Google typically rewards backlinks, unless a site receives so many backlinks in random places that they begin to seem like spam. When you balance authority building and traffic on genuine industry websites, you receive backlinks as a helpful bonus.
Strategically search for opportunities
There are a number of inside tips and tricks for finding opportunities to serve as a guest blogger. The top four include:
- Google searches: Whatever your industry, there will be opportunities to break in through guest post blogging. You can search keywords like “marketing guest posts,” “marketing blogs accepting guest posts,” and more to find potential partners.
- Competitor backlinks: You can use a backlink analysis tool to find what guest blog posts your competitors have written. This process will provide you with ideas and options for industry-related websites to approach.
- Industry guest bloggers: You’re likely already familiar with the bloggers you frequently see posting on various outlets in your industry. For example, in the field of marketing, famous influencers include Seth Godin, Neil Patel, and Tim Ferriss. You can research where these influencers contribute and approach those blogs.
- My Blog Guest: My Blog Guest is a free online community of guest bloggers where you can search for blogs that are actively receiving posts. You can also post your information and areas of interest so that blogs can reach out to you.
Choose high-quality guest posting sites
Your time and effort are valuable resources. Remember to carefully select websites that meet your marketing goals. While you may want to gain exposure quickly, it’s important to prioritize quality over quantity.
You should know the size and demographics of the target audience you want to reach, determine how much traffic you want to receive and your other goals. For example, you may be able to write three short blog posts for amateur bloggers on your topic in three hours, while one long blog post for a professional site will take four hours.
If your goal is word-of-mouth marketing, you might first consider investing your time in grassroots bloggers. If your objective is to reach a large mainstream audience, it might make sense to choose a larger publication.
Develop relevant ideas
Next, it’s vital to create blog post ideas that are unique, relevant to your marketing goals, and meet the needs of the guest blog. Tools like the Blog Post Idea Generator provide actionable ideas based on your subject.
Generally, the most popular blog posts answer a user’s search intent. The number one type of search is for how-to’s and tutorials, the second type is lists, and the third type is resources or lists of links.
Write a winning guest blog pitch
You should follow a several-step process to win a spot as a guest blogger in your favorite publication. The main steps include:
- Contact: Network and research writers and editors through online resources like LinkedIn to find the right person to contact.
- Guidelines: Review all the guidelines provided by the website to make sure that your content matches the publisher’s vision.
- Email: Write a friendly, persuasive email with a catchy subject line to make yourself stand out in a sea of potential applicants. Briefly tell the publisher your story in the letter rather than writing a marketing message.
- Resources: Show the publisher other places you’ve written, your website traffic, and social media metrics. Demonstrate why you’re an outstanding influencer.
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