Posted: 05 Sep 2016 Contributor: Sushil Kumar
A Step-by-step Guide for New Guest Bloggers
Guest blogging is one of the most efficient content marketing plans for brand outreach, also providing incredible benefit for SEO (search engine optimization). By being featured on online blogs that are relevant to your business niche, not only can you build exposure of your company’s profile, but it can also bring awareness of your brand’s authority in the industry. With that in mind, the tactic of guest blogging should be seen as an opportunity to create a strong brand identity presence in the online community. And while guest blogging isn’t necessarily tricky, there are recommended guidelines in producing a successful readership for your content that can help you achieve the best results for your efforts.
Finding the Right Channel
The first initiative you should take in guest blogging is finding the appropriate channel to submit your content to. GrowthRocks gives the advice of using Google Search for useful strings of keywords to find websites to guest blog for:
• Your Keyword + “write for us”
• Your Keyword + “guest post”
• Your Keyword + “submit content”
• Your Keyword + “be a contributor”
The results should bring up a list of blogs that pertain to your topic of interest that are looking for blogs to feature.
However, the decision to guest post on a blog should not only rely on the niche of your business—the website’s outreach potential should be accounted for as well. While the big picture goal is to publish content and create brand awareness, you want to write for a blog with a good amount of audience engagement and feedback to be sure the content you’re writing reaches its highest potential and reach after publication.
In addition to searching for a blog on your own, you can also track down websites that your competitors are or have guest blogged for. You can find this information with ease using Moz’s Open Site Explorer, an online link-building tool for SEO. There are many such free SEO services NYC based and abroad if you’re interested in pulling tools from one of the nation’s marketing capitols. If you have a competitor’s backlink, simply enter it into the URL box and take note of any blogs that they have written for.
Curating a Blog Post
Now that you’ve found a website that accepts guest bloggers, it’s time to evaluate your blogging voice and style. Depending on the blog’s guideline and profile, you might want to skim through some of their content to understand how to pitch an appropriate blog post. Before you dive right into the writing process, take some time to ask these questions about the blog you want to publish for:
• Who is the target audience?
• What is the tone of the blog? Is it professionally polished, or casually conversational?
• What is the length of their blog posts?
• What type content gets the most reader interaction?
Everyone has their own writing voice, but it’s essential to tweak and adjust your content marketing plan and style accordingly to the website’s guidelines. Not only will most guest blogging opportunities require this, but developing the voice should also appeal to your target audience – and more specifically your target audience that is a part of their online readership.
Now that you got down the format, it’s time to brainstorm. When it comes to writing a post, you want to write something that the average reader would want to read. This tip extends beyond just picking an interesting topic to write about—a good article grabs the reader’s attention until the closing sentence. Several ways to ensure an informative yet appealing reading experience are:
• Come up with a good title. Titling your writing piece doesn’t always have to be your first step either—it’s completely fine to do so after you finish writing.
• Use headings to organize your post and make it neater to look at.
• Get to the point, and don’t be too wordy. A large block of text can be too overwhelming.
• Be diverse in your content. Add some images, video, or a .pdf file where it’s appropriate.
• Link all your resources and references. Not only is it common courtesy to credit external statistics and information, but it also shows professionalism in your research.
• Backlink to your own website, but don’t go overboard. Including your own brand’s link isn’t a bad idea, but don’t be obvious about it. Linking to other content of the blog’s website is a great way of showing them that you’ve read their content as well.
• Proofread your post before submitting it. The profile that you create for yourself and your brand is only as authentic as your writing. Spelling errors and bad grammar rarely leave a good impression.
Write an Author Bio
At the end of blog posts, you will usually find a short, 30-word sentence summary of the author. If your readers have gotten to that part, it’s safe to assume that they’ve read through your blog post. By then, they should have a good comprehension of your guest blog’s message and topic, as well as your profile as a writer. Use the guest author bio to leave a final concluding impression of you and your brand.
Having a link to your business website or social media handle in the bio is always recommended—just in case the reader is interested in learning more about you. It’s also a good idea to write your bio in third person and provide a professional photo. For an even more detailed guide in writing an author bio, check out this list of The Huffington Post’s tips on crafting a quality bio.
Overseeing your Results
After your blog post is proofread and published, it’s time to manage your results. Measuring the referrals you get from your guest posts is possible by creating an Advanced Segment in Google Analytics. Kissmetrics explains the process of spotting your traffic sources by creating different groups for referrals from social media, article marketing, link building, and guest posts. Viewing this data will help you determine how successful your guest blogging was, as well as keep track of what blogging strategies work the best.
While your overall goal is to generate traffic via back linking, don’t make your post an advertisement. Guest blogging is an effective way of gaining website traction, but the opportunity to authenticate your brand and your business profile is one of the many benefits you can get out of this content marketing plan. Be engaging and try to engage your readers—promote your content and encourage commentary and shares.