Guest blogging is a blessing for marketers looking to draw online traffic, differentiate their business from others of its kind, engage existing customers, acquire potential customers and grow demand and curiosity of the target segment in their brands.
Wondering if Guest Blogging really has the potential to achieve everything mentioned above? Allow me to share a success story with you. Most of us know of the social media scheduler tool, Buffer. The co-founder of the app, Leo Widrich, wrote about 150 guest posts which took the follower base of Buffer from zero to a hundred thousand. Unbelievable, isn’t it? He took the conventional route of posting on small blogs that did not regularly attract much traffic, to begin with. However, as his success grew, he began posting on bigger blogs and garnered the desired attention and appreciation from his target audience. Within a short span of 9 months, he was able to attract an online traffic of 100K users. Read this interview to find tips on successful guest blogging by the man himself.
There are several other success stories of Guest blogging which prove its significance. If you are thinking of adopting guest blogging as a strategy to give your business the required boost, read on to find out the 9 steps to deliver the most effective guest blogs.
1. Set Goals
Be clear on your objective behind launching a guest blogging campaign. Is it to gain referral audience, be perceived as an expert in your domain, generate business opportunities or convert potential leads into sales? While there could be multiple benefits associated with writing guest blogs, you must remain focused on your own goals. Question yourself about who, what, how and why of your campaign. Set appropriate metrics for measuring success. Define timelines. For instance, if your goal is to attract more traffic to your website, you could set an objective of increasing referral traffic by 50% in 60 days. Once you have a well-defined objective, you can get to work almost immediately.
2. Look for Guest Blogging Opportunities
Find guest blogging opportunities through any of the below mentioned ways:
- Google: This sounds obvious. Make sure you use appropriate keywords while searching for a chance to write a guest blog. For instance, use keywords like your industry niche + guest post or your industry niche + guest blogging guidelines while searching for suitable opportunities.
- Influencers: Find out where the influencers of your industry submit guest blogs. The first page on Google may not contain the desired results but the second page probably will. If the name of the influencer is common, add your industry niche as suffix while searching. For eg. John Carter SEO.
- Buzzsumo: Use the filter at BuzzSumo to find the top performing guest posts
3. Get Started
Make a pitch to the blogger whose pool you wish to attract and wait till it gets accepted. Once that happens, consider that the struggle has just begun. Now is the time for you to produce high quality content for their blog. The first step would be to understand if the blog has any content guidelines with respect to formatting specifications or style. For instance, MostlyMorgan demands that your posts should comprise of more than 750 words.
4. Make a Draft
Work on your draft keeping the guidelines mentioned by the blogger in mind. Feel free to add your own creativity to your post, however, make sure you construct an outline before working on the final piece. Also, create at least five impactful headlines for your post. Some blogs like Upworthy demand 25 headlines for each post, because they realize that only 20% readers read past a blog’s headline.
5. Edit the Draft
Work on your draft meticulously and eliminate all grammatical errors and formatting discrepancies. Modify it such that it suits the blog’s style. Add internal links to the blogs wherever there is scope for it. Use bold/italics to emphasize on important points. Keep it crisp and to the point and ensure that your paragraphs are not too long.
6. Prepare your Author Bio
Introduce yourself to your readers. Write an author bio keeping in mind the following points:
- Write in the third person
- Keep it personal and relevant
- Gain credibility
- Explain call to action
- Provide value and solutions to the reader
- Encourage the reader to visit your landing page
Given below is an example of an author bio that helps readers of Mish Slade connect with her better.
7. Set Up a Landing Page
By now you know that you need to entice your readers into visiting your landing page. This can be done by offering a free resource such as a free online writing course. A high converting landing page is important for you to get a better SEO rank. You could even ask the readers for their email ids when they click on the link to your landing page. This way, you will be able to get their contact details for subsequently pitching subscription of your blog.
8. Submit Your Post
Once you are done writing your article and completing it with links to your landing page, submit it. But be prepared for several rounds of revision as renowned blogs have an entire team of editors to evaluate your content before it goes up on their blogs. Therefore, be open to constructive criticism and modify the content as per the guidelines of the blog, wherever need be.
9. Promote and Assess
Once your post goes up on the blog, post it on your social media platforms and help it gain publicity. Do not forget to thank the blog owner for your posts for letting you write a guest blog. Once your blog begins attracting readership, assess whether it has helped you reach the goal that you had set for yourself in Step 1. The results should leave you with a happy heart.
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