While the Internet allows you to voice an opinion, it also lets everyone else with access to do the same! The result is an endless stream of noise and if you have a content marketing blog, there is the very depressing thought that no one will ever read what you have to say. Why? Because best estimates state that there are at least 280 million blogs online and probably a whole lot more.
I feel that too many organisations or individuals begin a noble quest to start up a blog for the purposes of content marketing only to quit when the going gets tough and it ALWAYS gets tough. This explains why there are tens of millions of abandoned blogs so the good news is that the aforementioned 280 million blogs are not all active so you theoretically face less competition!
People often write that having epic content is somehow the key to solving the blog mystery. Newsflash! Great content is the very least you must do if you want to have a shot at success. In my opinion, the REAL key is somehow getting your blog to stand out in an extremely crowded marketplace and this is where guest posting comes in.
Why You Should Guest Post
- Increased Visibility: This is an obvious one since you are now being read by a completely different audience. If you can write a fantastic guest post, you could be seen as a trusted authority in your niche and this is invaluable. You will have a link to your own blog within the post and this should result in a spike in traffic; new readers will see you have lots of great content on your site and will hopefully become subscribers.
- Targeted Audience: Generally speaking, you will be posting on a blog within your own niche so you will be addressing your target audience. For example, any guest posts I would write would be on blogs in the content marketing niche.
- Build Relationships: Not only do you potentially build a relationship with your audience, you also get to chat with your fellow bloggers and this brings about a host of networking opportunities. Assuming you have chosen a reputable blogger, you will also enjoy an improved reputation through association.
- Backlinks: Your guest posts will have backlinks and this is important for SEO purposes.
Finding the Right Blog
You shouldn’t be desperately searching through the Internet like gold diggers in San Francisco during the late 1850s when there was nothing left. Look upon guest blogging as an opportunity to develop a level of credibility & authority and to increase your reader base. Don’t look upon it as a means of linkbuilding and never attempt to sell your wares as this will immediately turn off readers.
In other words, your guest blog posts should be among your best work and not just throwaway 400 word articles that are rich in hyperbole and flowery language and poor in useful information. I see that type of post all too often and by the end, I realise that the article told me nothing since it was complete fluff! This means you need to search for high quality blogs to post on; preferably ones with a high level of traffic. Here are 5 steps towards choosing the perfect fit for your guest posts.
1 - Define your Goals
It is a simple and basic step but one that is criminally overlooked. You need to outline what you intend to accomplish through guest blogging. For example, you may be looking to build relationships, attract business and find new sources of information that will improve your existing level of knowledge. The number of leads generated, connections made and new blogs to read are excellent measurements of success.
2 – Target Audience Identification
Marketing experts say that creating personas is an excellent way to help identify your target audience. A persona is a hypothetical representation of an audience segment and most companies like to use a total of four different personas to gain a greater understanding of the different types of people that use your product. There are ‘buyer’ personas and you want these people to purchase goods while the ‘audience’ personas are those that keep conversations alive and you want them to continue liking and sharing.
3 – Look for Respected Bloggers in your Niche
Once you know who you’re looking to impress audience-wise, your next step is to find an influential person in your industry that hosts a blog. Followerwonk is an excellent search tool as it allows you to find important people in different industries. By typing ‘content marketing’ into its search tool, I quickly found that Brian Clark of Copyblogger Media would be a possible target albeit an extremely optimistic one.
4 – Is It a Good Fit?
You should look for a wide variety of targets and once you have found what you feel are viable bloggers; it’s time to do some investigating. First of all, you need to make sure that the person in question actually has an active blog and also, more importantly, you need to find out if he accepts guest submissions. There are blogs that try to charge you for the privilege of providing content but you can find bloggers willing to help because from their point of view, it adds more content to their blog and they don’t have to lift a finger!
It is also essential that you check for this blog’s domain authority and link profile or else your hard work will go to waste. A low DA is not always a bad sign as it could mean that the blog is new but often, it can be seen as an indicator of a low quality blog. Check the blogger’s link profile to see if the blog has earned links from reputable places. The bottom line is that you always want to be associated with high quality blogs or else you will pay for it later on.
5 – Make a Decision
If you believe that guest blogging on the sites you have checked will represent the ideal value and culture fit for your business, go ahead and contact the blog owner. By now, you should have already looked through these blogs to ensure the posts are of premium quality. If you find that guest blogging is a match for your business, it could be a valuable use of your time.
Overall, when it’s done correctly, I think you’ll find that guest blogging is a fantastic way to connect with new people, enhance your credibility & authority, generate new leads and develop lasting relationships with reputable figures in your niche.
Have you tried guest blogging? Did you find that it provided a boost to your business?