The short answer is: Yes.
If you’re into content marketing, you’ve probably read/heard a lot of industry experts talk about guest blogging as a key element for growing your audience and promoting your brand online.
I have to say that I agree with them. In my opinion, if you’re an expert within your field, and you’re presented with the opportunity to showcase your knowledge on another party’s credible website – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for it.
This sort of thing does wonders for your online presence. Apart from that, guest blogging can help you earn valuable links and establish solid relationships with the top players within your niche.
Even as cubs in the industry, guest bloggers, if they open all the right doors, can instantly become authority figures among their peers.
There are a lot of benefits that you can earn from appearing on other people’s websites.
Guest blogging is a valuable SEO and social media strategy for both the blogger, and the site owner who receives and publishes his or her content. How come? – Well, because, in this scenario, the blogger and the site owner cross promote each other.
Guest bloggers are usually credited for their work by the blog owner, by including a link back to the guest blogger’s website. Most of the times, both of these parties tend to share their freshly published material with their own audience, so thus – they can count on double exposure.
These days, especially after the recent Google algorithm changes, placing your content on all sorts of relevant sources around the Web has, in fact, become a necessity for all businesses who want to make it big online.
Although most online businessman guest blog only for Google rankings, when I do it, I tend to think about all the other benefits as well. To me, a solid guest post, if written and designed right, can be quite valuable to the customers who reads it on a particular company or industry blog.
If I, for example, write a valuable and engaging piece of content about web hosting and publish it on a site that has an active following of people that I want to reach (small to medium-sized businesses), the chances are, I will see a significant increase in traffic on my own website.
How come? – It’s simple. I’ll trigger their imagination. If they like what I wrote, my content will provoke them to learn more about me. Who am I? What do I do? Where do I work? Do I have any other interesting insights to share? Etc.
I’ll see new sets of eyes rolling all over my web address with whom I want to build relationships, and, in the end, do business over and over again.
So, before we continue to deeper analyze this subject, let us first get all the basics right:
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is a form of content marketing most successful online businesses use to attract new relevant audiences to their website.
It’s all about writing blog posts for another blog that’s related to your field of expertise or niche. Your goal here is to provide a well-researched, interesting and compelling article for the readers that will help you gain some relevant exposure and EARN a ton of valuable links.
Now that we got that in the clear, let’s focus on some of the more complex questions about guest blogging, like:
How to Get Published On Desired Websites?
There are a lot of ways on how you can publish your content on another person’s or company’s blog. First and foremost of all is to visit their website and look if they have some sort of a predetermined guest blogging policy. Do they accept content from people outside of their walls, and if so, what rules you have to follow in order to see your text displayed on their website.
If that’s not the case, then start by approaching blog owners that relate to your industry and offer to guest blog on their website, free of charge, of course.
There are basically 5 steps to getting your content displayed on other people’s site:
1. Locate desired publishers.
2. Check their website to see if they have any submission guidelines. If so, be sure to follow all their rules.
3. Write something you think they might want.
4. Submit it.
5. Repeat 1-4 for other publications, until you get published.
What Happens If Certain Websites Don’t Accept Content From Outsiders?
Most popular sites that don’t really accept guest posts have established enough readership to pay a staff of writers to produce content they perceive to be “useful”. However, if your goal here is to present your content on these exact web addresses, then I’m quite sure that most of them won’t blow you away, if you truly give them something they might see as interesting to their audience – they’ll publish it.
So, having all this in mind, you might consider digging up their email and submitting a one-page query letter with a lead paragraph detailing how you plan to develop the article.
Be sure not to go overboard here and give them your final version of the content. You shouldn’t need more than three or four paragraphs to sell your story. If they don’t bite, they don’t bite.
If they accept your content, you can then talk to them about linking it back to your site. This is a crucial part of the equation. Why? – Well, because backlinks can help you drive customers to your site and business, and better rank your name in SERP.
Things You Should Avoid When Guest Blogging
Although guest blogging is a pretty simple concept, there are still a couple of rules you need to respect if you want it to go smoothly:
1. Never mention your products and services directly: Before you even write a single word, you have to understand that other people’s blogs are not just a free advertising space for you and your company. They are not interested in publishing ads and sales pitches. No, their goal here is to provide their readers with valuable content.
If you really want to talk about your content, make sure you do it in a way, so it doesn’t feel like you’re selling them your product. Design your content around a problem and offer a solution.
2. Be polite: When writing for another party, it’s very important that you try your best not to offend anyone with your content. Put all your personal views aside, your mission here shouldn’t be to provoke anyone with your writing, nor anger a specific group of people.
If the blog owner sees your content as something that could expose him or her to certain risk, the chances are, you’re not gonna get published.
3. NEVER argue with the blog owner: Anything you write that disagrees with the owner of certain website on which you’re trying to get published will cost you your appearance in front of his crowd.
Apart from that, it will create bad blood between you and someone who has some influence in your targeted niche. You don’t want that. Be sure to play by the rules. When you think about it, you’re their guest, and no one likes it when someone comes into their house and starts telling people how to do their job, what to think and what to feel.
Things You Should Always Do Before You Start Writing a Guest Blog Post
To counter the first list, here are a couple of useful tips that could help you get the most out of your guest blogging efforts:
1. Research the blog before you submit an article: I know that this seems bizarre, but I cannot tell you how many times I received articles from people who clearly never really opened my blog before they sent me their content.
For example, I run a web hosting blog. My targeted audiences are small to medium-sized online businesses, and I do my best to tailor content that could be of some use to them.
Not long ago, I received an email from one gentleman who wanted me to publish his text about luxury wristwatches on my site.
How could this sort of content be any good for me or my audience? Naturally, I respectfully declined his text.
2. Never write about a topic that has already been covered on that blog: This sort of thing brings us back to research. No one in their right mind will publish two article that cover the exact same thing. Before you start writing for a specific site, make sure that you’re covering a topic that still hasn’t been explored on that particular web address.
3. Ask to review it again, before it gets published: At the end of the day, we are all human, and that means that we all make mistakes. That’s why it’s important to check a particular piece of content as many times as possible before it goes live. Who knows, maybe someone deleted a word or a sentence by accident. These things happen.
Apart from this, it would be quite normal to ask the site owner when he or she plans to publish your content. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have to hover over a site for days and weeks, hoping that your text will magically show itself on top of their blog page.
Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope it was useful to you. If you have anything to add on this subject, feel free to write what’s on your mind in the comments section below.
That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.