Guest blogs are a great way to promote content and reach new online users.
So, what is guest blogging?
Well, it’s as simple as writing a post for someone else’s blog, or hosting a piece someone else has written. Whether you are the article writer or the host site, guest blogs can be mutually beneficial for both sides.
By participating in a guest post you can target a diverse new audience, expand your reader base, increase your lead generation potential and build backlinks to your own site.
Whether you were invited to write a guest article, or are planning to host one there are some things you should know that will really make guest posts work for you.
Do your research
We all know that reputation is important. Not only in life, but also with blog swaps, and the company you keep… aka the site you’re contributing to.
When considering a guest post, whether you’re the writer or the host, make sure you do your research. Your name is at stake here just as much as theirs.
Take some time and review the content available on the blog you’ll be featured on, or by the blogger you’ll be showcasing. Make sure you’re in good company, so the end result is worthwhile.
- Does the site/blog you’ll be featured on have a good reputation?
- Are the posts current?
- Do the articles have functional links?
- Does the blog feature author profiles?
- Are the posts relevant to your niche? (more on that in the next section)
- Does the blog have solid engagement?
Getting published in a low-quality blog or one which barely has any traffic can at best, waste your time and at worst, tarnish your reputation, so beware.
- Does the blogger have a good reputation?
- Are their example posts recent?
- Do their posted articles have functional links?
- Is their author profile professional?
- Are their posts content heavy and well written?
- Is their writing engaging?
Even if the guest post being offered is free, if a writer is not a good fit, don’t be afraid to decline. Publishing a poor quality article or one that flops, again, would be a waste your time and may even alienate readers.
Focus on quality
Once you’ve established that the guest post situation is worthwhile, turn your focus to the quality of the article itself.
This is a great opportunity to get your name out there, so you want to capitalize accordingly.
The best way to stand out?
You guessed it: quality.
From presentation to content, quality is super important.
Ask to see the blog’s style guide, learn about their process and make sure you stay on-point.
Before you submit a draft for review, make sure the post is well-researched, has functional links, appropriate citations, great looking images and effective copy.
And don’t forget to proofread. I know it probably sounds obvious, but proofing is extremely important.
Need some help in that department? Click here for a great proofing checklist.
All-in-all, showcasing yourself as a respectable and reliable source of information will really help your post shine when published for a new audience.
P.S. Being easy to work with is a great and easy way to get another opportunity.
The best way to get quality results once you’ve screened a writer? Have clear expectations and instructions.
If you curate a blog, a style guide is a great thing to have. Not really sure where to start? Check out this great reference guide from HubSpot.
Not quite ready to delve into a full style guide? Be sure you least have a set of guidelines to share:
- What is the deadline?
- What is the minimum/maximum number of words?
- What tone, or voice is best for your audience?
- Do you have a competitors list?
- Are there any specific formatting requirements?
Whether you’re a host or a writer, top-quality guest blogs are a great way to build rapport with other bloggers. Which may lead to more guest posts, more followers, more recognition, more guest posts… and even more guest posts…
Plus, creating or featuring an article with relevant content will also increase your chances of growing within your niche. Which leads us to our next topic:
Stick to your niche
For writers and hosts alike, your niche is hugely important. It has a direct influence on your ability to generate traffic.
Think about it this way, you want to guest post an article to promote your content. Then, you’re given the opportunity to do so, but the blog has nothing to do with your topic of choice.
It could be a great opportunity, right?
Well, ask yourself one thing: “Who are you going to reach?”
Say you’re an email marketing blogger. Getting visitors who are interested in fashion won’t help with building your following or obtaining new leads. At the end of the day, they aren’t interested in what you do, despite your article potentially being an absolute hit.
This is why staying true to your niche is crucial to your success. Connect with readers who are genuinely interested in the topic that you are passionate about and you’ll no doubt develop a solid following.
Be sure to include a couple of backlinks to relevant posts you’ve done in the past. Readers are more likely to discover the other content you’ve created within your niche this way.
As an added benefit you’ll continue to build loyalty and credibility within your niche market.
Start making a name for yourself where it counts, and maintain your focus there. Through quality content and niche-targeting, you will gain the respect you deserve as an influencer within your field.
Expert Tip: Use ClickPerfect to add tracking to backlinks and see which blogs are the most popular. From there, you can develop ideas for new posts!
Maintain your style
This one is more for blog writers, but hosts take note as well:
When an opportunity arises to participate in a guest blog, you may come across specific requirements in terms of topic, article length, focus, and more. Those requirements are certainly important to adhere to, but keeping your unique style is essential to your overall success. Even though you’re a guest, it doesn’t mean you have to change your style.
If you want to get people interested in what you do, you have to show them who you are and what you have to offer. The best way to achieve this?
Write a genuine post that is up to your own personal standards.
Being consistent allows you to build a strong reputation and gain respect from your online audience, as they’ll know what to expect from you and know you are a person they want to follow.
Expert Tip: Most blogs have an author box which gives guest writers the ability to introduce themselves accordingly. Take advantage of this, and use it as another opportunity to convey your style! Always present guest posts with a short author bio, a professional portrait image and social sharing links.
Focus on social promotion
Speaking of social sharing, guest blogs are a great way to extend your reach to social media users you haven’t connected with before.
When participating in a guest blog, use your social media influence to promote the article.
Create some amazing social media graphics with Social Studio FX and start sharing. Share on all of your social media platforms, whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Medium.
Tag the host/writer you worked with and ask that they do the same. If they do, take advantage of it and connect with as many new users outside of your circle as you possibly can!
Publicly thank the blog host or writer, reply to comments on their posts, and interact genuinely with anyone who shares feedback.
This will in turn, increase your social media influence and therefore generate more traffic for you.
Guest posts can be a great way to enhance traffic, develop new relationships and ultimately, expand your online influence.
If you participate in guest blogs with quality, niche-specific content that fits your style, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t see great results.
If you take it one step further and capitalize on the social media component, well, the sky’s the limit!
Speaking of social media, please take a moment to like, share and comment below!
Have you ever written a guest blog? Or hosted one?
What benefits did you see in terms of traffic, lead generation or social media following?
We’d love to hear from you!
A New England native who moved to San Diego to spend winters on the beach, she spends her free time soaking up all the sun Southern California has to offer!
Latest posts by Kristen Dahlberg (see all)
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- Build Your Online Influence with Guest Blogs - March 10, 2017
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Also published on Medium.