Did you know that there are more than 600 million blogs that post every day? It hurts to even do the math. So, how can you move beyond simply writing informative posts for your own blog, cut through the digital noise, and expand your brand and platform? By using someone else’s. Enter guest posting!
Blogging has changed the world and how we communicate, and guest blogging is taking it a step further. But are you using guest posts as part of your content marketing strategies? If you still haven’t thought of running a guest post campaign, it’s definitely time to add one to your SEO arsenal.
Guest posting is one of the best tactics to build relationships with influential bloggers, promote your business, reach a wider audience and climb to the top of the SERPs through great content, but only if done right. So, today, we’ll get into the ins and outs of guest blogging to help you learn the ropes.
Let’s get started!
You can buy attention through paid ads. You can ask for attention from the media by using PR. Or, you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free. Enter guest posting!
In a nutshell, guest posting, also known as “guest blogging,” is a content marketing tactic that involves writing and publishing content (blogs and articles) for other websites in order to build lucrative relationships, exposure, authority, and backlinks. It’s often used as part of content marketing strategies and best search engine optimization (SEO) practices for promoting personal or corporate brands.
Thus, a guest post or a guest blog post is simply an article written for and posted on someone else’s website or blog with a referral backlink to your website and keywords that you want to rank for in search engines.
The logic behind guest posting is pretty simple and straightforward – you contribute valuable content to someone else’s blog, and in return, you get an external backlink to your own blog and, thus, more exposure. It’s a simple concept, but why exactly is guest posting such a great idea?
The fundamental purpose of guest posting is to use this form of natural marketing to increase your brand’s exposure, place yourself as an authority in your niche, boost your SEO with organic traffic and win your target audience’s trust.
It all starts by seeking out guest blogging opportunities and then reaching out to websites and blogs within your niche and with a respected background that you think would be a good fit. They should have an engaged readership, and their audience should belong to the demographic that would be interested in your blog or brand as well.
The best way to land guest post opportunities is by showing reputable blog owners that you’ll be able to provide value to their readers with original, engaging, and informative content and, ultimately, land yourself a lucrative, SEO-boosting guest blogging opportunity.
Over the years, there’s been a lot of speculation about the supposed “death of guest blogging” as an SEO strategy. However, guest posting is alive and well and still remains a powerful content marketing tactic – the overload of spamming and backlinks pasted into meaningless content is what triggered the major backlash.
Google’s Penguin update release back in 2012 helped kill spam and sought a more holistic approach to guest posting – content that brought relevance, quality, value, and authority to the table. In other words, guest posting has plenty of benefits if you are willing to go above and beyond, follow Google’s guidelines, and deliver something meaningful to end-users. When done right, guest posting can be a powerful fuel for your business growth.
Guest posting offers a range of benefits for both parties. Hosts receive fresh and authoritative content, while the contributors (guest bloggers) gain exposure. Thus, guest posts are a win-win solution as they mutually benefit both parties involved.
It might seem counter-intuitive to produce content for other blogs when you can publish it on your own website. However, the array of advantages guest posting offers will quickly change your mind as it’s a valuable content marketing and SEO tool for a number of reasons:
Guest posting is the perfect opportunity to expand your reach, increase your readership and build clout organically by leveraging other publishers’ audiences to grow your own. Tapping into the host blog’s readers allows you to enter an already-established community and connect with relevant audiences ready to hear what you have to say.
If your guest post captures readers’ interest, you attract and hopefully win over new readers, subscribers, and followers, thus improving lead generation and getting qualified leads. You can also benefit from the host site’s social media following and get more social shares by guest posting.
Building authority in your industry goes hand in hand with building trust. Being a guest contributor is an excellent way to showcase your expertise in the field and, thus, build a strong reputation in your niche with unique, well-written content published on credible, established websites.
It should go without saying that web traffic is the oxygen that breathes life into any business. Also, backlinks are the lifeblood of SEO, as search engines consider the number and quality of links pointing to your website when determining your rankings.
So, by guest posting, you’re killing two birds with one stone – you’re earning white hat and natural backlinks to your website, which in turn help drive referral traffic to your site and boost its SEO, position on search results pages, and domain authority. Over time, high-quality backlinks will raise the value of your website to search engines, making your content easier to discover.
Guest posting provides a unique opportunity to build good long-term relationships with influencers and well-established companies in your niche. Having ongoing relationships with big names in the industry and popular blog owners can lead to more opportunities down the road and further boost all the other benefits of guest posting down the line.
Writing a blog post for someone else’s site actually isn’t much different from creating content for your own platforms. Of course, there are some tricks of the trade you can use to may make your guest articles more appealing and encourage blog owners to ask you for more content in the future for even more guest post opportunities down the road!
High-profile blog owners are busy people with tons of guest post offers to choose from, meaning they’ll take the ones that provide the most value to them and their audience with the least effort on their part. If you’re going to pitch a guest post to a valuable host, you need to make sure it’s worth their while.
This is how you hit all the sweet spots:
Choosing the right guest blogging site to pitch to is as important as putting a great pitch together. When scouring for guest post opportunities, pay attention to reputable and relevant sites that operate within your industry. They should have an audience that will be interested in your band and a high level of engagement.
Choose wisely, as not all backlinks are created equal. There’s no point in guest blogging on a site no one has heard of. Another thing to watch out for is private networks and dropped domains. Check sites’ domain authority when identifying publications you want to pitch a blog post to, as it’s a good indicator of the publishing site’s quality.
You can look for potential clients through Google search or Google reversed imagery, advanced search, prolific guest bloggers, social media, competitor backlinks, or communities of guest bloggers.
At this point, it’s time to outreach and start thinking about how to pitch your guest posting services. Guest bloggers get overflown with pitches daily, so how can you make your ideas stand out and win them over? Outreach is all about building genuine and high-quality connections and showing potential host sites how your needs, their needs, and their audience’s needs align. After all, influencers don’t share their platforms out of the kindness of their hearts.
A one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it – customize each pitch, get personal and show genuine interest to show you are willing to put in the work. Your pitch should be a “teaser” for what you have to offer – give them something specific to latch onto, but keep it concise, short and sweet, just enough to give them a taste of the value you can provide to them and their readers.
Blogging is a conversation with the audience. Who are you talking to? As a guest author, you need to understand the relevant blog or site’s target audience so you can write high-quality content that appeals to their readers. Familiarize yourself with the type of audience and content the blog you’re pitching to is known for. After all, you’re writing for a specific group of people and competing with a million other things for their attention and trust. Get to know them!
Each brand has a distinct style and voice, so you need a tailored approach that will resonate with their format and essence. While you have a unique writing style of your own, you’ll want to adapt that style to fit the brand of the host site for your guest blog posts. If you understand the branding, you will be able to write a great piece of content that will align with the standards and guest post guidelines of the site you’re submitting it to.
The key to great content marketing is that it should never feel like marketing. Guest posts can’t function as just another ad or a sales pitch for your brand, as no one wants to read spammy articles.
Plus, you don’t just want readers to read your content – you want them to follow up on it and you. To make that happen, you need to produce actionable, fresh, compelling, and SEO-optimized content and write an amazing guest post that isn’t too self-promotional but still sparks readers’ interest in your brand, products, or services.
Although it’s important to cater to the host brand’s guidelines and audience, the bottom line is – you’re not guest posting to serve the publishers’ goals instead of yours. For a successful guest blogging partnership, make sure you brainstorm topic ideas that align with the host’s brand but also serve your ultimate business objectives, whatever they may be.
Even though getting those external links is one of the main advantages of being a guest contributor, the power of link-building through leveraging guest post opportunities goes beyond simply acquiring high-quality backlinks. Including internal links to content from the host’s website is a simple yet powerful way to provide additional value for bloggers, as it will improve their SEO.
No need to stop there – you can also link to your other published guest posts, your own relevant content, and other publications such as studies, data, thought leadership, etc. Include keywords in the blog title and the anchor texts that you link to. However, pass link juice in moderation to avoid the article looking too spammy and ensure all the links are relevant.
Paying for links explicitly goes against Google’s policy, so you could face a heavy penalty in your search engine rankings as a result. Ensure you always earn your backlinks and exposure by using white hat tactics and providing genuine value with unique, high-quality content other websites will be eager to publish.
So, guest posting is a great way to boost your SEO, introduce you to a new audience, and make some powerful friends along the way. What more could you ask for? As an excellent way to climb up the SERPs, effectively reach your target audience, and place yourself as an authority in your industry, running a guest posting campaign should definitely be on your to-do list.
Ultimately, it all comes down to providing genuine, informative, and relevant content that appeals to websites and target readers instead of low-quality content that’s treated as a mere way to piggyback links to your website.
Happy host and backlink hunting!
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