If done correctly, guest posting can substantially increase relevant and targeted traffic to your website.
If you are looking for ways to bring in site traffic—and who isn’t?—then you should definitely consider guest posting.
Guest posting is a popular way to get exposure for your website, and, if done correctly, can substantially increase relevant and targeted traffic to your website, which in turn can result in more customers and clients.
In this post we will explain:
- What guest posting is,
- Why you should consider trying it, and
- How to do it successfully.
Let’s get started!
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting involves you acting a guest author on another website.
As the name suggests, guest posting involves writing an article or post to be published on someone else’s website or blog, with you acting as a guest author.
You might choose the topic of the article or post, provided it is on the same theme or topic of the target website, or the website’s owner might give you a topic to write about for the post. In either case, you will be required to write an article that will be of interest to the site’s readers.
Why Do It?
At first glance, writing a piece of content to be published on someone else’s website for free might not seem like the best use of your time—especially when your own blog needs attention.
Access a Wider Audience
Guest posting allows you to tap into another site’s audience.
However, guest posting can be a valuable and even essential part of your marketing mix, because it allows you to tap into another site’s audience. A guest post can introduce you to a large readership, and, through links back to your website in the post, can attract new visitors to your site.
If your website hasn’t got much of an audience yet, then writing posts for your site that won’t be read by many visitors isn’t always the best use of your time. While adding more content to your site on a regular basis, will, if done correctly, increase your readership over time, publishing an article on a website where it will be read by many more visitors can really help jumpstart your visitor numbers.
Make Industry Connections
Guest posting can improve your reputation in your field.
A secondary benefit of guest posting is that it helps you connect with other businesses and website owners in your field. Guests posts on a well-respected blog can improve your reputation in your industry, and can educate a large readership about the type of services you offer.
How to Guest Post Successfully
Hopefully now you should see the benefits of guest posting. Now, how to do it?
While in theory guest posting is as easy as writing a post for your own blog, there are some things you can do to ensure it’s a good use of your time and results in a successful outcome. Here is a quick rundown of the tasks required to get the most from guest posting:
- Draw up a shortlist of relevant websites
- Pitch those websites with your article ideas
- Write one or more articles
- Create an effective author bio with a link back to your site
As you can see, nothing too complicated here. To ensure you get off to a good start, here are some more detailed instructions on how to benefit from guest posting.
Which Sites Should You Write For?
The audiences of your shortlisted websites must be the same as your target audience.
The first step of becoming a successful guest blogger is to identify the right blogs to approach. The basic rule is that the audiences of your shortlisted websites must be the same as your target audience. The closer the match between your target audience and that the of the site your guest post is published on, the more relevant and targeted any visitors who make their way to your website will be, and therefore the more likely they are to become clients or customers.
Comments left on recent posts can indicate a blog is still popular.
You should also look for signs that the blog is well read. The number of comments left on the most recent posts can give you an indication that the site is (still) popular.
Any social signals, such as buttons indicating the number of times a post has been shared on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, can also be a good sign that the site is worth approaching.
The number of followers the site, or its authors have on the social networks is also worth noting as there is a good chance they will share your post with their audience, further increasing your exposure.
It’s important to be realistic about your targets.
When creating your shortlist of websites, its important to be realistic about your targets. While securing a guest post on a heavily trafficked website would be great, if you’re just starting out then setting your sights lower can results in a better acceptance rate.
Making the Pitch
even if the sites on your list don’t mention anything about accepting guest posts, you shouldn’t be deterred.
Some of the sites on your shortlist might be advertising their willingness to accept guest posts. After all, for a website owner, its a great way to get free content for their blog. If this is the case, then there will usually be some information on the type of content they would prefer. However, even if the sites on your list don’t mention anything about accepting guest posts, you shouldn’t be deterred.
Personalize your email as much as possible.
You should be able to find an email address on the website, or a contact form to use to send your message. Try to personalize the message as much as possible, using the website owner’s name in your opening.
You can use the following steps as a template:
- Introduce yourself, highlighting any relevant qualities that will help demonstrate that you are a suitable author for their website and can offer value to their readers.
- Provide links to previously published posts, either on your own site or elsewhere, in order to showcase your capabilities as a writer or blogger.
- Provide post ideas: three to five ideas of posts you could write, with a sentence to describe each one. There is no need to write the post at this point, but giving site owners a few options to choose from helps them decide if you are a good fit for their site and audience.
Again, personalizing this list to suit the blog you are approaching will greatly increase the chances of your pitch getting accepted.
Your first task is to ensure that your content is of value to the site’s readership.
Your first task in your guest posts is to ensure that your content is of value to the site’s readership. Avoid at all costs writing a piece of promotional material for your business. Instead, share some useful knowledge or advice that will benefit the reader.
To get ideas of what types of content to pitch, take a look at the posts already on the site. See what is being published, such as advice, tutorials, guides, reviews, or opinion pieces. This can help you with your list of pitch ideas and increase your chances of getting a yes from the website editor.
Writing the Article
Once you’ve had one of your pitches accepted, and a topic approved, you can start work on the post.
Before starting your article, make sure you take a look at the content that has already been published on the site, and answer some of these questions:
- What is the style of writing (formal/conversational)?
- How savvy is the audience (beginners/intermediate/advanced)?
- What type of content is popular (tips, guides, case studies, reviews)?
- How long are the articles?
- How are they formatted and presented?
- How do they use images?
Carry out your own research.
The site owner might give you some guidelines on how to present the post, but it’s still a good idea to carry out your own research. This can help you to determine what type of content is the most popular with the site’s readership, and what gets the most comments, and social shares.
make sure to stick to any agreed-upon deadlines.
In all this, make sure to stick to any agreed-upon deadlines to avoid missing out on the guest posting opportunity.
If you are permitted to do so by the site owner, you can insert a link in the article to your website, in addition to the link in the author bio which usually follows posts. If you get this chance, take it!
Crafting your Author Bio
An enticing author biography is essential.
The main goal of guest posting is to tap into the established audience of the website you are writing for in order to bring some of those readers back to your site. As such, an enticing author biography, which will be displayed after your post, is essential.
Include an offer of help to the reader or an opportunity.
Make sure the bio is relevant to the article you’ve just written and explains how you can help the reader. Don’t just write about your years of experience in the field, but instead include a strong call-to-action, backed up with an offer of help to the reader or an opportunity (“mention this article for a free half-hour consultation!”) that will prompt readers to follow the link back to your website.
Remember to focus on the benefits you can offer the reader, rather than what line of business you are in or how long you’ve been in operation for.
Direct readers to the most relevant page on your website—which may not be your homepage.
The link should take readers to the most relevantpage on your website—which may not be your homepage. If you’ve been talking about a specific problem the audience might have, link to a page on your site with more information on that topic.
Once you’ve written your article and author bio, you’re ready to submit the post to the website for approval and publication. After the post has gone live, make sure you are on hand to respond to any comments that the post receives. Try to engage with the audience as much as possible.
Guest posting might seem like a lot of work, but it’s a tried and tested way to build your online audience and quickly grow your blog’s readership.
If you guest post properly, your reward will be a big influx of relevant and interested visitors to your website.
By following the above advice, you should be able to identify which sites to approach, pitch ideas they will accept, and write a great post that delivers value to their readership.
If you can do all this, your reward will be a big influx of relevant and interested visitors to your website, who stand a good chance of them becoming clients or customers. Good luck, and let us know if you’ve got any questions!