Why, How, Where: The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blog Opportunities
You’ve crafted a brand strategy that makes an emotional connection to your target market and helps consumers to see themselves in your story.
You have an expertly-curated social media presence, and though you’re not exactly an influencer yet, you’re still pretty pleased with how well your photos reflect your brand values and present your products in the best possible light.
You’ve even invested in promotional products that you can use to get the word out about your company both on and offline.
You’ve done a lot of work — so why aren’t you seeing results?
It may be because you’re not taking advantage of the right blog opportunities.
We know what you’re thinking: But we already have a company blog! That can’t be the problem! Here’s the truth: it’s not your own blog that’s the issue. Instead, it’s that you’re not dedicating enough time and energy towards guest blogging.
However, 60% of companies already use blogging on their own sites as a lead generation tactic. So, if you want to stand out, you’ll need to get your content in front of a larger audience. Guest blogging can help you to do just that.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the power of guest writing.
What Is Guest Blogging?
So, what exactly is guest blogging, anyway?
Think back to some of the websites and blogs you read every single day. Maybe you religiously check Forbes first thing in the morning or read Entrepreneur on your lunch break.
If so, then you’ve probably noticed that these blogs always have tons of different authors writing for their websites. Yes, some of them are standard writers just looking to add to their portfolio.
But most of them are doing exactly what you should be doing: guest posting.
In short, guest blogging/posting is when you or another representative of your company writes a blog post for a well-respected publication or blog in your specific field.
The goal here is two-fold.
One, you’ll be able to spread awareness about your company to your target market, show off your expertise in your field, and likely also increase your following on social media and beef up your email subscriber list.
But guest posting also allows you to subtly “pitch” your products or services directly to readers. You can include links to product pages in your content or write about a need that your company helps people fulfill.
As an added bonus, you’ll also improve your website’s overall “link juice.” That’s because by including links back to your own website on a reputable, high-traffic blog, search engines see that a major website has “promoted” your site. This gives you a serious boost in the search engine rankings.
And even better?
If you’re able to find blogs that pay, you’ll be able to make a bit of extra cash by guest posting.
Now that you understand the basic definition of guest posting, let’s talk about how to find blogs worth submitting to.
How to Find Blogs That Accept Guest Posts
While we know that you’d love nothing more than to be able to start your guest posting strategy by writing for some of the biggest and most highly-trafficked blogs out there, you may need to start smaller.
Remember that there are far more blog opportunities out there than you might think.
It sounds obvious, but honestly, a simple entry into a search engine is a fine place to start looking. However, you will need to be sure that you’re only submitting to blogs and websites that are truly within your industry niche.
For example, if you’re a car dealership, submitting to a beauty blog probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But if you can find a blog on DIY car repair and the latest car makes and models, you’re in business.
Now is also the time to start establishing relationships with those bigger blogs you want to guest post for one day. Start linking to their posts in your own blog content, and send them an email letting you know you linked to them, and that you’re always interested in guest blogging for them if they need content.
When you pitch your guest posting article idea, no matter where you’re trying to place it, be honest. Let the blog know that you’re writing to promote your own company and that you plan on including links to your own content in your post.
You’ll quickly find that this is standard industry practice, so don’t worry too much about any pushback. Still, it’s always best to be upfront with other bloggers or risk getting yourself blacklisted.
Need a little help on writing a compelling pitch for an online article or blog topic?
This post will teach you everything you need to know about the fine art of pitching. Treat guest post pitches with as much professionalism and care as you would pitching an editorial to a newspaper — a well-crafted pitch can really set you apart from the competition.
Write Quality Content First
So, you’ve finally landed your first ever guest post — and though you’re excited, you’re also deeply afraid of messing it all up!
If you want your guest post to be a success, there’s one thing, in particular, that’s far more important than anything else: the quality of the content itself.
Let’s quickly go over some rapid-fire tips on how to create the best guest post possible.
Conduct Topic Research
One of the worst mistakes you can make when you’re guest blogging is writing about a topic that’s already been covered to death, or writing on one that simply doesn’t appeal to your audience.
In order to know what your consumer base is interested in, check out online forums like Reddit and Quora, and see what people in your industry are talking about. What kinds of questions are they asking? What seems to be their overarching concerns?
Write about those things.
You don’t want to create what’s essentially a carbon copy of the kinds of blog posts your competitors are writing about. Instead, focus on bringing new information to the table.
Nail the Tone
Remember that you’re writing a blog post, not a graduate thesis.
While you still want to sound professional (here, we’d like to advocate for the power of apps like Grammarly and a simple spell check) you also need to be relatable.
So, it’s OK to speak in a bit more of a casual, straightforward tone than you would if you were face-to-face with a client in a meeting. This helps your readers to feel like you’re talking directly to them, encourages them to keep reading the post, and even makes them feel like they’re getting insider information.
Keep things simple.
Now is not the time to show off how broad your vocabulary is or to write long, flowery sentences. Think of the easiest possible way that you can say something. Then, say it that way.
Have a Call-To-Action
Your call-to-action is the final “pitch” or “push” that you have to convince people reading your guest post to do what you want them to do.
Maybe you want them to follow you on social media, buy one of your products, or sign up for your email newsletter. Whatever the case, the call-to-action is what really makes or breaks the conversion ratio and success of your guest post.
Include a specific link to your site in the CTA, use words and phrases that make an emotional connection, build on the reader’s fear of missing out or being left behind, then offer relief by providing them with a solution: your company.
Don’t Forget About SEO Strategies
Though landing guest blog opportunities will almost certainly mean that more people read your content, it doesn’t mean that you no longer need to think about your overall SEO strategy.
When you’re writing a guest post, in addition to creating engaging, unique, and well-written content, you also need to consider the technical side of things if you want to rise in the rankings — and stay there.
First of all, consider the internal linkings back to your own website that you want to include in your guest post. This links absolutely must be relevant to the specific content at hand, or you risk being penalized by Google.
If you’re writing about a specific product, include a link to the product page. If you’re writing about how you made it as an entrepreneur, include a link to your “About Me” page. If you’ve got any relevant blog topics on your own company blog, include internal links to them in your guest post.
Next, consider external links.
Linking to other reputable sources in your own content boosts credibility and your SEO score. To ensure that you don’t end up accidentally linking to a competitor (one of your own or one of the blog your writing for) it’s best to stick with statistics, interviews, or newspaper/journal articles.
You should also think about your keyword strategy.
Because you’re writing on a blog that’s likely more popular than your own, now might be the time to try to go after some of those higher-ranking keyword phrases you’ve been unsuccessful in tackling so far.
Make sure you also include some location-based keywords, and that you optimize your keywords for voice search. This quick guide to voice search optimization will be a huge help to you.
Don’t Forget to Include an Author Bio
Once the blog opportunities for guest posting start pouring in, you need to think about what you plan to say in your author bio.
The most important thing here is to be sure to include links to your website and to your social media accounts. First, this helps you to determine just how effective your guest blogging endeavor was, as you can use analytics to help you see who ended up on your site from your post.
But it also allows you to strengthen your authority and promote your business one last time without coming across as desperate.
A well-crafted author bio will help you to secure not only many more blog opportunities in the future, but will also help you to grow your “influencer” status, increase brand recognition, and build your professional network.
So, what should yours include?
Talk about your education, your past work experience, any awards you’ve one, other publications, and of course, your hobbies. Don’t be afraid to show your personality — readers especially like that.
Want to Expand Your Company’s Blog Opportunities?
We hope this post has helped you to understand why you need to start taking advantage of guest blog opportunities.
But although you now know about the importance of guest posting, you’re concerned that your own writing skills just aren’t up to par.
Don’t worry. Instead of writing guest posts yourself, why not hire a professional to do it for you?
We have connections with tons of well-read, well-respected blogs within a variety of industries. Additionally, if you already have a specific website in mind for your guest posting opportunity, we are happy to take care of the manual outreach for you.
In addition to helping you with guest posting, we also work with some of the best content creators when it comes to eBooks, press releases, standard blog posts, and much more. We can even help you with article re-writes.
When you’re looking to take your entire content strategy to the next level, create your account with us here and start placing orders today.
We can’t wait to help your website get the recognition it deserves.