Guest blogging can help you build links to your site, tell a new audience about your message, build your brand and form valuable relationships with influential people or organisations in your industry. The idea of “guest blogging” may sound simple enough, but actually getting opportunities to post your content on someone’s site takes some planning.
Step 1: Research and Build a Target List
First, identify blogs you want to publish articles on. Start looking for industry leaders and websites your market probably visits. Your guest posts should be relevant to your own business and should also be on sites where you can reach your audience, or people who are likely to be interested in what you have to say.
Only add high-quality, legitimate websites to your list. Stay away from spammy sites or unprofessional organisations that could harm your search rankings or reputation.
Step 2: Start Priming the Pump with the Blogger
With your list in hand, identify the bloggers or site owners you need to contact for guest blogging opportunities. Then, start priming the pump by interacting on their websites. Leave comments, ask questions and share blog posts. The idea is to show the blogger that you are interested in his site and want to see him succeed too.
This also helps you stand out. When you do pitch your idea to the site owner, she’ll be more receptive if she recognises your name or you show that you are familiar with her content and audience.
Step 3: Come up with a Win-Win Idea
Once you are familiar with a target website, come up with an idea for a blog post that benefits the site’s readers and is still relevant to your own business. The blog post needs to provide a lot of value to the site’s readers. Bloggers are careful to only publish content that fits into their niche and that their readers will like.
The idea should also help you raise awareness about your business, the solutions you provide, or your industry, without becoming a sales pitch. Work to provide value first, and then only mention your own business in the “biography section” of the post, which tells readers who you are and links to your site.
Your idea should be win-win in the sense that it benefits the blogger with great content, and your business with some subtle messaging, links and the ability to reach your target market.
Step 4: Pitch your Idea
With a fully fleshed out idea, you are ready to pitch the blogger. Reach out through email and introduce yourself and your business. Mention that you have been following his blog and feel like you are trying to reach the same market.
Then, share your idea, telling the blogger why your post would be a good fit for his blog. If you don’t hear back in a few days, follow up with a second email.
Step 5: Publish and Follow Up
When your pitch is accepted, provide the blog post in a timely manner. Make sure it is professionally written and error free. It should also reflect your own brand without sounding like an advertisement. In most cases, you shouldn’t mention your business or products in the post at all.
After the post is published, follow up by thanking the blogger, sharing the post through your own social networks, and responding to comments from readers. These last few steps show the blogger you are serious about your content and want to help her audience, helping you form a relationship that could lead to more guest blogging or marketing opportunities.
Each of these steps is important to landing guest blogging opportunities that benefit your marketing efforts. Start using this strategy at your business by adding it to your content marketing plans.