How to avoid digital sharecroppingGuest posting takes a lot of work, mental energy, and time. So it’s smart to think about how you can get the most bang for your buck. The more strategically you think when you’re planning out your guest blogging program, the more you’re going to get out of it.
You need to hold two things in your head at the same time - how this post will benefit the host blog, and how it’s going to benefit your own business.
There will be times when you write a guest post to get a single one of the benefits outlined below — maybe to strengthen a relationship with an important content publisher.
But as often as you can, try to include every benefit in this post.
Pro Tip: Before you write a post, make sure you’ll be able to include at least one relevant link to your own content in the body of the post, as well as an audience-friendly call to action in your bio.
1. Guest blogging enhances your authorityWhen you’re getting started with content marketing, you may be incredibly knowledgeable about your topic — but you have little authority, because no one knows you yet.
Placing posts on other blogs helps your potential audience start to associate your name with high-quality information. And a bit of the authority of your host blog will transfer itself to you.
The more readers see your work, the more authority you will generate. It’s a cumulative process, but one that can happen quickly if you have the ability to put a lot of work in over a short period.
Pro Tip: If your topic is so competitive that you’re having trouble placing guest posts, look for lateral opportunities with content publishers who have the audience you want.
2. Guest blogging brings in an audience, not just trafficAnyone can buy traffic using pay-per-click or other forms of advertising. And that can be a good strategy. But what you’re buying is just that … traffic.
Traffic from a guest post, on the other hand, is already an audience. In other words, it’s already a group of people interested in your topic who are also intrigued by what you have to say.
You’ll still need to convert those visitors into a longer-term relationship, by using smart content marketing strategies. But with a guest post, you’ve already taken the first few steps in that process.
Pro Tip: In the bio for your post, send traffic to a landing page you set up just for readers of that blog. Use a strong, clear call to action and remember that the content there needs to benefit the reader.
You’ll be able to add, refresh, or update content to your page as your business evolves, without having to ask the host blog to update a link.
3. Guest blogging builds your publisher networkHow do little content publishers grow up to become big content publishers?
They make connections. They develop a healthy network of publishers (large and small) who will help them get the word out.
A tweet or link from a big enough publisher (one with a passionate, responsive audience) can get you well on your way to the minimum viable audience that can support your business.
You probably won’t start out by writing for the biggest names in your topic. And you don’t need to. Most successful content producers build their networks by writing for sites with slightly bigger audiences than their own, then gradually working up to sites that have more and more readers.
Pro Tip: Writing one post for a blog is nice, but writing multiple times for the same blog will bring in much greater rewards. Create a relationship with the blogs you write for, and contribute as regularly as you can. Once a month is often a good rhythm.
4. Guest blogging is superb for natural SEOBuilding high-quality links is one of the trickiest elements of effective SEO. Guest posting allows you to get a relevant, natural link, using the anchor text of your choice, on a site that has excellent search engine authority.
Just remember: as always with SEO copywriting, keep things natural and audience-friendly. Write for the readers first, and search engines a distant second.
Pro Tip: Don’t stuff your guest posts with links back to your own material. One or two highly relevant links will do you more good. Include a few links to your host blog’s cornerstone content in your post as well.