In this era of changing search algorithms and more complex page-ranking systems, guest blogging has become one of the most popular and effective marketing strategies. Successfully blogging on high-traffic, well-respected sites offers numerous benefits with relatively little cost or time commitment.
Of course, the idea is not a new one and you will certainly not be the only business approaching the best websites for a chance to share your thoughts with their readers. Learning the best methods for pitching your guest posts will help you get a foot in the door.
What is guest blogging?
This is when outside entities are given license to write blogs and articles for someone else’s website. The topics will vary depending on the site, but it is always important to provide relevant, quality information that the host site feels will be of interest to their users and ultimately benefit them.
Why do it?
Most of us are busy, and the idea of putting a bunch of time and effort into writing for someone else’s website doesn’t necessarily sound like the ideal use of our time. Of course, there is a lot more to consider. There are many benefits to be gained by guest posting, especially if you manage to get your material featured on a very popular site that is followed by your target audience.
Being given a platform to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your area of specialization is a priceless opportunity. Consumers are inundated with content these days and, as a result, are increasingly looking to find leading industry thinkers rather than simple promotional material that re-hashes things they have already seen. Guest blogging shows off your knowledge and proves that you are respected by other leaders within the industry.
Getting a link back to your pages on a popular website can greatly increase your overall traffic.
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Increase your followers
The first two benefits, when combined with an effective landing page and efficient overall marketing system, should result in a more captivated audience for your site and more long-term followers.
Ok, so you’re now sold on guest blogging as part of your overall marketing efforts, focusing on thought leadership and a multichannel approach to mobile engagement. The next step – and it’s a big step – is convincing these powerhouse websites to accept your blog proposal and give you the chance to get your voice in front of all that new user traffic.
Tips to have your guest post pitch accepted
Define your goals
While all three of the previously stated benefits probably sound pretty good, it is usually best to choose one and make it your main focus. Trying to accomplish everything in one blog post is difficult and likely ineffective. If your main goal is to get more people to your landing page to sign up for your newsletter, then shape your topic, content and links to make that happen and let the other factors take care of themselves.
Choose blogs that fit your style and expertise
Trying to be something you’re not to match up with what you think each website’s users are expecting will only result in a lower-quality product. The most important driver of results is impressing the people who read your material. Covering the topics you know best in a style you are comfortable with is the best way to produce an excellent piece.
Match the tone of their site
Having said that, you may occasionally need to adjust your writing to match the target site. If you are pitching a very business-like site that values facts, figures and tables, sending them a whimsical theory piece full of images and high-concept ideas is, first of all, unlikely to be accepted and, secondly, probably not going to appeal to loyal readers of their regular content.
Provide your qualifications
Presumably, you are offering to write on topics you are strongly qualified to discuss. So, make sure you show them what makes you an expert on the subject and why they should consider sharing your thoughts and advice with their readers.
Offer new, original ideas
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people out there trying to land guest post features. There is also a lot of information. Regurgitating the same topics and ideas that have been covered a thousand times before makes you less likely to be chosen and won’t do much to compel readers back to your site to find out more.
Set up your email template
The nuts and bolts of a great guest blogging pitch starts with the email request. You have a very limited platform to explain your topic, your expertise and to convince them your content would be an asset for them. It is important to be concise while including all the necessary details to allow them to make an informed decision.
- Write a good subject line
- Use their name
- Be assertive
- List your qualifications
- Explain your motivations
- Provide a brief synopsis
- Choose your best headline and offer a short outline
- Explain why this benefits their readers
- Thank them for their time
- Lay the groundwork for the next post
Let’s assume you’ve followed all these steps in a thorough and intelligent manner and your guest post has been accepted. Congratulations, not only have you achieved your initial goal, but you now have a tremendous opportunity to turn this into an ongoing project. If you can take advantage of it, having future material featured should be much simpler now that you have your foot in the door.
Build a relationship
Interact, ask questions, compliment other parts of their website that impress you and, overall, just do your best to make this more than a simple, one-off business transaction. It doesn’t take a lot to turn a contact into a partnership.
Produce excellent content
Don’t cut corners, and don’t just throw something together. Producing excellent, compelling content that engages their readers and produces positive results is the number one factor in having a site ask you to contribute again.
Optimize your site
Having great content that accomplishes all the previously stated goals can all be for naught if users follow the link to your site and end up struggling through an unattractive, difficult to navigate site. Host sites will quickly cut ties with guest bloggers who don’t maintain well-optimized sites of their own.
The bottom line
Guest blogging is one of the most effective methods available in online business today. Few, if any, marketing techniques can provide so many positive benefits for the cost of something you are probably already doing for your own site.
Follow these steps to get your business started in guest posting and watch your marketing jump to the next level.