Guest blogging – on the right blogs – can be a powerful way to reach a new audience, gain new readers, and network within your market or industry.
Getting your ideas into a well-read blog can help improve your reputation and increase your own following as well. In that way, it’s like having your article printed in a magazine or business journal – important readers will notice.
Assuming you understand why you want to submit guest posts, and have some ideas about where and to whom you are writing, are you ready to put together an article and click “send”? Not quite. Here are five of the more important things every online marketer should know about prior to guest posting:
1. It can be a wonderful opportunity.
I’ve seen some of my own guest posts attract thousands of views, and in some cases even tens of thousands. When you consider those readers are often business owners, marketing managers, and other people that I very much want to reach, it’s easy to see how getting my articles in front of them is good for business. Plus, guest blogging has allowed me to share ideas and form relationships with some of the very best in my business. With just a few well-written articles, you could do the same.
2. You shouldn’t go in cold.
The first step to a successful guest post is finding the right outlet (i.e., a blog you’d like to write for because it resonates with your readers and interests) and then introducing yourself through engagement. Leave polite and insightful comments on posts you like. Share their content. Make yourself a fan and a regular reader. You don’t want your pitch for a guest post to be the first time their editor has ever heard of you.
3. Research is everything.
Before you write a single word for someone’s blog, you should spend a good deal of time researching it. Find out what topics they like to cover, which subjects have been well covered in the past, and what seems to strike a chord with readers in terms of viewership and comments. Learn how long the posts usually are, what kinds of images go with them, and what sort of tone they take. After you’ve made notes on all of these, you’re better prepared to offer a few posts and see what happens.
4. One-off posts miss the point.
Note that I suggested a “few” posts above, as no editor is likely to grant you a spot if you aren’t thinking long-term. Getting the opportunity to post one guest blog is a big break, but you want to make the most of it by becoming a regular contributor. That way, readers don’t just see you one time; they can get a sense for who you are, what you know, and what kind of advice you have to provide over time. Like everything else on the web, this is about developing relationships, not transactions.
5. You should expect all of this from anyone who posts to your blog, too.
So far, we haven’t allowed a single guest post on Kayak’s blog. It isn’t that we’ve ruled out the idea, of course, but that we expect the same level of detail and professionalism from anyone who wants to borrow our space and represent us implicitly to our audience. When someone posts articles and ideas to your website, it’s your name and reputation that are on the line. Make sure anything that comes through is up to your standards.
Guest posting isn’t as popular as it once was, simply because the traditional SEO crowd – the same group that thinks websites and online marketing plans are made up of keywords and bid prices – have taken their attention elsewhere. That means there are real opportunities for smarter marketers like you and I… but only if we take a patient approach and make sure we know what our audience wants to read.
On the chance you are looking for blogging assistance, we offer blog copwriting services. Feel free to reach out.