Are you looking for a way to increase traffic, sales, and your online community? Becoming a guest blogger may be exactly what you need. Creating a guest blogging campaign is a marketing tactic that is used by business owners/marketers as well as book authors and publishers.
Guest blogging can be quite effective when you’re launching an information product like a webinar, a home study course, a coaching program, or a service. It can be an exceptional tool to build your following, increase traffic to your website, and grow your business.
What Is a Guest Blogger?
Guest blogging is exactly that… you identify blogs in your niche, contact the blog owner with an offer of free content for their blog, and publish that content as a guest post on the blog.
The content is mainly written, but you can most certainly create a video blog post if the respective blog owners allow.
Guest blogging works best when you post on blogs that are relevant to your product, service, or your book audience. For example, a romance author wouldn’t get great results if they submitted and published a guest post on a punk rock website.
Likewise, a health and fitness blogger probably wouldn’t want to publish a guest blog post to a blog on pet training. Unless, of course, you write a blog post with a unique twist that appeals to both the fitness and pet niches.
How Do You Prepare for a Guest Blogging Campaign?
Guest blogging requires advanced planning and preparation. It’s not something that you can just decide to do today, and start posting tomorrow. We’re going to focus on strategy quite a bit, because once you have a strategy for your guest blogging campaign, the rest is just a matter of following through.
Guest blogging requires you to:
- Identify your goals and objectives for your guest blogging campaign.
- Identify and research potential blogs that you want to post on.
- Review their guest post submission guidelines if they have them.
- Brainstorm content ideas for each blog that you’d like to guest post on.
- Reach out to blog owners; tell them what you’d like to do and what you want to write about, and then wait for their response. Be sure to include that your article will be free to them in exchange for a link back to your website or wherever you want the reader to go.
- Write (or have written for you) your guest blog post.
- Edit and polish your post.
- Submit the guest post to the blog owner. The owner will get back to you with the link on his/her blog with your post or let you know when your post is scheduled for publication.
- Respond to comments in real time, if possible. The new connections you make as a guest blogger can be a significant boost to your business and reputation; and success on the Internet is all about connections.
Many of the steps are intuitive and easy for you, or an assistant, to accomplish. Let’s talk about the more challenging components of a guest blogging campaign, and discuss tips and tricks to make the most of your efforts.
Setting Goals for Your Guest Blogging Campaign
What do you want to accomplish with your guest blogging campaign? Yes, it can build awareness for your company, your products, or your services. But then what?
What are you going to do with that audience? What’s the end goal? Do you want to:
- Drive them to your email opt-in page?
- Send them to a sales page?
- Create brand awareness?
- Position yourself as an authority in the industry?
- Drive traffic to your website? (Good for affiliate income and traffic numbers for ad revenue.)
- Build backlinks to your website?
You can have many reasons for embarking on a guest blogging campaign, but honestly, most guest bloggers, at least in the beginning, do so for the traffic, potential connections, and the backlink. That’s why it’s important to choose the blog you want to post on wisely.
And if you’re getting ready to release something new, a new promotion, product, or service, then a guest blogging campaign can be exactly what you need to create awareness and excitement.
As with everything you do as a marketer/business owner, establishing your goal and objective is an important first step. It lays the groundwork for the rest of your strategy.
Spend some time on this. Take a look at your existing marketing strategy, and explore how a guest blogging campaign will fit into your existing marketing efforts.
If your primary marketing goal for the year is to increase email subscribers by 15%, for instance, you could leverage a guest blogging campaign to achieve that goal.
Get as specific with your goal as possible. Once you have a goal that you’re satisfied with, let’s look at one of the more time-consuming steps in the process; identifying blogs that you’d like to post on.
Find Your Guest Blogger Opportunities
There are a number of excellent ways to find good guest blogging opportunities. Here are a few suggestions:
Use hashtags that your audience might use and find relevant bloggers this way. You might also take a look at the people your existing customers and followers also follow. This can lead you to some relevant bloggers.
Blogs you follow:
Who do you currently follow in your niche? Identify industry leaders and visit their blogs. Are they relevant to your audience?
Search online like your audience might search online. What keywords do they use to find information? You can limit your search to blogs. You can also simply search for the term “guest blogging opportunities” plus your keywords to see what shows up.
As you can see in the screenshot below, using the keywords “guest blogging opportunities” and “internet marketing” a list of blogs and websites came up along with a great list of 140 guest blogging sites. That discovery alone might save you hours of searching time.
Guest blogging directories:
MyBlogGuest.com is one example of a blogging directory. You can post that you’re looking for guest blogging opportunities and see who reaches out to you.
And don’t forget to connect with your friends and associates, your existing customers who may also own a blog, and your list. Depending on your niche, some of your existing leads and customers may be ideal places to add to your guest blogging campaign.
Once you’ve found a list of the blogs that you’d like to post on, it’s time to prepare your pitch. Keep in mind that not all of them will say, “yes,” so you may want to pitch to more blogs than you plan to write for. If your goal is to post on five different blogs, you should line up 15-20 sites to contact to make sure you achieve your objective.
Writing Your Pitch
When you’re reaching out to the various bloggers that you’ve identified, it’s important to keep this in mind. For the most part, blog owners accept guest blog posts because they want contributors from others in their niche.
They want to give their audience varied information, and they want a steady flow of fresh content for their blog. They may not have the time to create it themselves but they still want to provide original, relevant content for their audience. So you need to put in the effort here.
By that I mean make sure you have a good understanding of the blog’s goals, audience, and motivations. Write your post for that audience.
A great way to get a blog owner’s attention is to provide a benefit; offer a giveaway along with the post. It’s a bonus for them because they’re giving their audience unique information and a gift, too.
Your outreach letter doesn’t need to be long or complicated. You just want to introduce yourself; tell them a little about your background. Then tell them about your offer.
The offer is generally the blog post at no cost to them in exchange for a brief “About the Author” section at the end of the article with a link back to your website, or blog, or product/service.
The link should further your objective. If your goal is to get more subscribers to your email list, then you would link to your opt-in squeeze page. The action needs to align with your intended goal.
If your offer is accepted then return your article quickly and thank them for the opportunity.
Craft a Strong Bio Box
You also want to include a bio box. This is about you, but it’s not about you.
Yes, you want to put your best foot forward; present yourself as an authority in your niche. But don’t go on and on about yourself from kindergarten to present.
Quite frankly, the reader won’t care. They just want to know you’re someone they can trust, someone worth taking the time to listen to when they visit your website or sign up to your list.
Again, I’ll refer to my go-to guy, Neil Patel, as an example.
Neil includes several links in his bio. They link to his websites along with his profile on twitter, and there’s also a subtle invitation to read more content by him.
Neil is a prolific guess blogger and, more importantly, a well-known, well-respected authority in SEO and online marketing. When Neil speaks, people listen.
If you’re beginning and don’t know what incentive to offer the reader to visit your website or sign up to your list, here is a short, basic article with suggestions on what you can include in your bio box:
Speaking for myself, I’m not a big fan of bribing people to take further action. It’s my belief that if your article is top-notch and your information is solid, the reader won’t need an inducement to visit your site… they’ll want to visit your site.
But that’s just me.
Do I ever offer an incentive? Of course I do… but it depends on what my objective is.
A quick recap of tips to keep in mind. . .
1. Compile a list of many blog owners to submit to; not just a handful.
2. Make sure you have more than enough blog posts at the ready. If you send out 50 outreach letters and 20 blog owners respond favorably, you’ll want to have blog posts ready to send.
3. While the blog you submit your guest blog post to will have an audience and will generate traffic to your website or blog, it would behoove you to further promote your guest posts.
You could send out a quick post to your social media peeps and to your email subscribers letting them know of your latest post at (insert the URL.)
Or, you could even link to it from another related post on your blog. For example, if I were writing a new article about types of content to keep your blog interesting, I could link to my guest blog post like this:
Read my guest blog post “How to Write Content to Keep Your Visitors Coming Back for More” if you want to learn more.
This is just an illustration; I would create a link back to the article in a real blog post related to content. The point is you want to let your readers know of your blog post because they won’t find it on your blog. So, you have to send them to it.
Before we wrap it up, it’s important to keep in mind that you are a guest on someone else’s blog. Match their audience’s needs, respect their blog style and format, and be present to answer comments on your post.
Be a blogger that gets invited back and leave an exceptional first impression. Then, the next time you’re ready to embark on another guest blogging campaign, you know that you have connections and resources.
Guest blogging requires planning and organization up front; then it can be enormously rewarding. Growing a captive audience as a guest blogger requires a solid objective, relevant industry blogs to include in your campaign, quality content, and a bio box that supports your goals and objectives.
Good luck and have fun!
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