Getting a guest blog post on a high-profile website is a great feeling.
However, with the diversification of different networking channels, some people seem to have given up guest posting — which is a shame, as it’s a great way to simultaneously develop your brand and build links.
This post will run through some of the reasons why guest blogging remains one of the best content creation strategies for your inbound marketing campaign, and some ways in which you can refine and develop your own guest posting strategy.
Guest Blogging for Brand New Brands
If you are a startup looking to establish yourself, guest posting can help you build up some quality backlinks.
Guest blogging helps connect your site with the broader online community. These links help boost your rankings quickly, as well as attracting inbound traffic to your webpages.
In the first instance, you should be checking that the sites you are hoping to guest post for will be worth your time. Use a DA checker and ensure that the site attracts a high rating, and that it also gets genuine traffic and isn’t a spammy article submission site. (Steer well clear of those for your guest posts).
You should also make an effort to follow the blog for a few weeks before you approach the business or agency with your article pitch. This will ensure that you know their audience and that you are well-versed in the website’s ‘house style.’ This will give you the best chance of impressing an editor and being published.
Make sure that you use the editor’s name in your pitch emails. It is common courtesy, and it shows that you actually know the blog you’re writing for and are not just trying to ‘blag your way in.’
Guest Blogging to Qualify Leads
After you have used guest blogging to raise awareness of your website on other sites, you should consider how you can use this inbound marketing strategy to help 'qualify’ your incoming leads.
With this in mind, audience research will become a vital component of your guest blogging strategy. Through keyword research and social media analysis, you will soon find out the exact questions and queries your target audience has for your brand. For instance, a post outlining the various ways you can fund your home improvements could be beneficial for a loans provider company seeking to help homeowners leverage their equity.
If your own blog doesn’t have a readership yet, a feature on a high-traffic site that goes into the heart of a pressing matter may just single you out as ‘someone to watch’.
Similarly, if you are looking to build up a loyal base of brand advocates, articles about product or service aftercare will offer reassurance to blog readers.
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Becoming an industry authority has never been more critical for brands looking to ‘ace’ their inbound marketing strategy. It’s also a great way to bolster your personal brand.
Competition for attention online only increases as the amount of online content continues to grow. You must ensure that you are doing all you can to become a trusted voice in your line of business.
You can find your top industry influencers using social media and content analysis tools such as Buzzsumo. Follow influencers on all of the relevant networks and begin commenting and sharing their content in order to start building up a rapport.
Engaging with the ‘big hitters’ should inspire you to push the boundaries with your own content production as well. Dry and formulaic posts are best left to the weary in-house writers — you want to be pitching and writing posts that ‘pop’.
Some ideas to get you started include:
- Writing in-depth review posts of the most recent industry tools and technologies — these will be popular with all of the big tech and industry sites
- Air your opinion on a controversial topic such as the over-reliance on ‘gurus’ or the marketing buzzwords that are overused (but be prepared for any backlash)
- Analyse the strategies behind some of the biggest companies in the world — people always love to ready how others ‘made it big’
- Go to an industry event and interview a guest speaker about a hot industry topic.
Promoting & Making the Most of Your Posts
By heavily promoting and making the most of each guest post placement, you will maximise guest posting ROI and bring them into your larger inbound strategy.
Create newsletters and an opt-in email form that pops up when the reader follows a link back to your page. These can be set up quickly, and you can try a host of automated marketing tools that can be set to run from your site’s backend. Refer-a-friend apps, apps that set up points-based loyalty schemes, personalised deals, abandoned cart emails: the list is expansive.
Social media ad campaigns can also be utilised to promote your best placements. With permission from the blog editor, turn your post into a paid ad. Set the audience targeting to fans of their site (and similar industry blogs) in the hopes that they give it a read. Include a link to your product, or (for Facebook) double-up on your content. Include the guest post link and a gallery of the products discussed in the article.
You can also re-publish your best guest posts on your own blog (and even LinkedIn), sharing your expertise with the world. As well as celebrating a feature on someone’s else site, make sure you make the most of the post on your end too. Frequent sharing and tagging people in posts will help keep the post ‘fresh’.
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There Are Many Ways to Boost Your Online Reputation
Guest posting, at its best, is all about community development.
Open source questions sites such as Quora are amongst some of the most trusted websites in the world. People go there to find answers and your guest posting content, in many cases, can be a great fit. Take your keyword research and search for answers to the most common niche queries on Quora. If you find that your subject has a lot of previous content, critique some, or raise a question of your own to encourage collaboration.
You should also go to review sites and forums related to your industry and contribute comments on your industry. You should not use these forums as a place to openly ‘plug’ your products, lest you face the wrath of the moderators. However, on many forums, you can include a link to your site within your bio.
Guest posting isn’t ‘old hat’ or ‘irrelevant’ — it’s just evolved and become more social over time. From an inbound perspective, it’s a great way to find new customers on their terms, not yours.
Discover the techniques used by top bloggers to gain inbound success by downloading our free Content Strategy Secrets eBook: