When it comes to content marketing, most businesses are so focused on their own website’s blog or branded social media accounts that they forget to expand their reach via other strategic avenues. And if there’s one area that I see so many entrepreneurs and marketers neglect, it’s guest blogging.
Why Write a Guest Blog Post?
Guest blogging, which is basically the practice of writing content under your name and publishing it on someone else’s blog, is a highly effective method of growing your own brand. Here are three specific reasons why:
- Increased exposure. The first thing guest blogging does is increase your exposure to new readers. Whereas posting on your own blog limits you to the people you’re already interacting with regularly, having content published on a brand new platform exposes you to hundreds or thousands of people who may never have otherwise heard of you. This is good for both your business brand and personal brand.
- Referral traffic. A fraction of the people who read your post will see your byline and/or a backlink in the body of the post and click. This drives referral traffic to your own website, where you can further nurture these individuals and welcome them into your brand’s ecosystem.
- Link juice. Guest blogging can be a powerful tool for building up backlinks, which Google and other search engines use as authority and trust signals in their ranking algorithms. We unofficially call this “ link juice.”
There are plenty of ancillary benefits associated with guest blogging, but these three are the most evident. And if you get nothing else out of your guest blogging other than increased exposure, referral traffic, and a blast of link juice – well, it’s worth it!
3 Tips for Getting Max Value
The biggest piece of advice is to just dive in and do it. Chase down opportunities and get your foot in the door with a couple of guest blogging partners. If you build up these relationships, you’ll eventually be able to publish regular posts on these sites and create a secondary audience for your brand. But here are some more practical and granular tips to get you going:
- Focus on Adding Value (Not Promoting)
It’s easy to get your priorities out of alignment when you first start guest blogging. You get so excited about the opportunity to get in front of a new audience and potentially drive traffic and trust back to your own site that you forget to execute.
There’s nothing wrong with promotion – and we’ll discuss it in the next point – but promotion without value to the reader is worthless. The emphasis must be on adding value above all else. Then, and only then, can you promote your brand. If readers get value from your content, they’re going to begin knowing, liking, and trusting you. This will then compel them to learn more.
- Have a Plan in Place
While the previous point still stands, you also need to have a plan in place for how you’ll leverage each guest blogging opportunity. Most people make the mistake of just including a vague homepage link back to their website, but this does very little to further the relationship. Instead, consider using a CTA in your byline (or within the post, if allowed).
Directing readers to a specific landing page or calling them to download a PDF or eBook will help you generate better results. After all, the goal isn’t a one-time click on your site. You want to indoctrinate them into your brand so that they keep coming back.
- Leverage Your Growing Credibility
Getting your first guest blogging opportunity will be the most challenging. But over time, you can leverage each guest blog post to join forces with even more authoritative partners. By saying, “I’ve been featured on ABC and XYZ websites,” you instantly have more credibility than if you were pitching a blogger cold.
Give Guest Blogging a Chance
Guest blogging is constantly evolving. But as much as it’s changed over the past decade and a half, one thing is for certain: It’s still an incredibly valuable marketing investment. Consider creating a strategy where you write one guest blog post per week. If nothing else, this will give you 50-plus backlinks and exposure points within 12 months. That, my friends, is how you gain traction!