A guest blog is a blessing for marketers looking to draw online traffic, differentiate their business from others of its kind, and engage existing customers.
So, what exactly is guest blogging? And how can you profit from it?
Guest blogs, in layman terms, are blog posts featured on the website written by industry professionals, third-party bloggers, or writers.
It is ideal for small business owners who don’t have the time to write blogs for their websites.
In this case, you invite writers, fellow business owners, and professionals to contribute to your website.
They get a slice of your traffic, you get the free blogs to increase reader engagement. It’s a win-win for all!
On the other hand, you can contribute to popular guest blogging sites to increase your reach.
To do this, you approach renowned websites and offer to write a blog post for them.
With guest blogs, you get an opportunity to talk about your business, insert quality links on third-party websites/platforms, and more.
At Page Potato, we can help small business owners set up and manage guest blog outreach campaigns.
Let’s Understand How Guest Blogs Work
Wondering if Guest Blogging really has the potential to achieve everything mentioned above?
Allow me to share a success story with you with respect to guest blogs.
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 online traffic of 100K users.
Read this interview to find tips on successful guest blogging by the man himself.
From cafe owners to marketing coaches- guest blogs can help anyone who wants to spread the word about their business.
Let’s begin with these 9 simple tips to publish a guest blog
Understand your Audience
The first step to a guest blogging strategy is- identify your target audience.
Understand your reader, and then approach websites/platforms that have high engagement with a similar demographic.
For instance, a baker in Melbourne (let’s call her Anne), specializes in wedding cakes. For her, the target customer would be engaged couples looking to get married.
Anne, in an attempt to attract more clients, can approach wedding celebrants, wedding vendors, planners, etc. to feature her guest posts.
I recommend business owners approach platforms that function within the same domain. This way, you can organically pitch in your services while still adding value to the guest posting website.
Run Outreach Campaigns
There are four main reasons why small businesses usually get into guest posting
- to gain a referral audience,
- to be perceived as an expert in your domain,
- to generate business opportunities
- to convert potential leads into sales
Question yourself about the who, what, how, and why of your campaign.
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.
Gather a list of potential websites that can feature your guest blog post.
Here are some ways you can find lucrative guest blogging sites in Australia.
Make sure you use appropriate keywords while searching for a chance to write a guest blog.
For instance, use keywords like your industry niche + write for us to get a list of popular potential guest posting platforms.
You can also directly search for guest blogging sites + your industry niche to get accurate results.
Also, you can reach out to the bloggers/influencers/online platforms you follow to pitch in a guest blog.
I found this useful hack in a blog “25 Lessons From Guest Blogging For The Top Blogs In The World” on how to find guest posting sites on Twitter
Use the “Advanced Search” option on Twitter to find the latest guest posting opportunities. All you have to do is enter your industry niche and add “write for us” in the “This exact phrase” category.
Source: CoSchedule Blog
You can use Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your industry. Searching a person by their name is a sure-shot way to find them online.
If the name of the influencer is common, add your industry niche as a suffix while searching. For eg. John Carter SEO.
There are hundreds if not thousands of potential websites that can feature your guest blog. You cannot possibly look into, analyze and connect with every guest posting website manually.
Here are some tools to make the job easier:
Buzzstream: For link building, compiling lists of potential guest posting websites, and managing emails.
Active Campaign: To automate your emails, send autoresponders, follow-up personalized emails, etc
Buzzsumo: Use the filter at BuzzSumo to find the top-performing guest posts
Paid vs Free Guest Blogging
Are paid guest blogs worth it?
Well, that depends on your business goals.
Free guest posting is ideal for small-scale ventures that want to expand their brand and build more connections.
Paid blogging, on the other hand, is effective for businesses that want to drive more leads to their landing pages. This boosts your sales.
Both paid and free guest blogging have their place in your content linking strategy.
The main question you should be asking instead is- how do I decide which platform is worth it?
And this would be a good segway into our fourth point which is…
Find the Right Platform
With outreach tools like Buzzstream and YAMM, you can collect thousands of potential guest posting websites.
You cannot possibly approach everyone on the list and write a blog for them. This is where our experts come in.
At Page Potato, we have a team of SEO experts who analyze the website to figure out whether it is worth approaching.
Here, we usually track things like
- domain authority
- organic traffic
- SEO ranking
- audience engagement
- website layout
- website content
- other featured guest posts
Pitch your Idea
Once you have the right platform, it is time to make a pitch they simply cannot refuse!
A pitch is usually an introductory email where you talk about your business, and suggest some topics that you want to write on.
A quick tip: always browse through the website to look for any guest posting guidelines. This gives you some insight on the acceptable topics to pitch, blog length, word count, tone, and other details.
For instance, take a look at Hubspot’s Sales guest blogging guidelines 2020
Most guest blogging websites also provide a customs form or an email id where you can contact them
Our team helps you set up email automation campaigns using the Active Campaign tool to personalize these pitches and save you a lot of time.
Once your pitch is accepted (and this might require a bit of back and forth with editors/website owners etc), it’s time to write.
Draft the blog, and stick to the guidelines on the website.
Draft the Blog
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% of readers read past a blog’s headline.
Work on your draft meticulously and eliminate all grammatical errors and formatting discrepancies.
Modify it such that it suits the blog’s style.
Add links to your website, blogs, and landing pages wherever there is scope for it.
A tip: Read through the guidelines carefully to check which type of links are allowed on the blog post.
Usually, for free guest posts, the website doesn’t allow do-follow links. Confused?
Here’s an insightful blog on internal linking on AHREF that you can read
Use bold/italics to emphasize important points. Keep it crisp and to the point and ensure that your paragraphs are not too long.
You should also use H1, H2, H3 subheads in your blog. The average length of any guest blog is 800-1200 words
Set Up a Landing Page
Anyone who reads your guest blog must be redirected to your website landing page. The entire purpose of putting in all this effort is to drive leads.
So, the next obvious step after writing the blog is to add links to your landing pages. Ensure that these links are organically inserted in the content and relevant to the topic.
A high-converting landing page is important for you to get a better SEO rank. Optimize your landing pages to keep the lead engaged enough to make a purchase.
A tip: you can entice your readers into visiting your landing page by offering a free resource such as a free online writing course.
Once the reader comes to your website. you can ask them to subscribe to your services. Collect the email ids of prospective clients and create an email list.
Our team of WordPress developers can create a conversion-friendly website landing page to nurture your leads effectively. We can also optimize an existing landing page on your website by adding banners, CTAs, relevant keywords, etc,.
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.
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. The renowned blogging platforms usually have an entire team of editors to evaluate your content before it goes up on their blogs.
Be open to constructive criticism and modify the content as per the guidelines of the blog, wherever need be.
An extra tip- Spread the word!
Once your post goes up on the blog, post it on your social media platforms and help it gain publicity.
Also, do not forget to thank the blog owner for your posts for letting you write a guest blog.
You can track the reach and readership of the blog using Google Analytics