For many newer bloggers and businesses, one of the key obstacles to overcome is getting your website in front of an interested audience. While a strong social media marketing plan and organic reach are great methods to rely on, they can take some time to generate any real brand awareness and traffic to your website.
One of the quickest methods of boosting your reach? Guest posting. A blogger’s tool that’s been around for years, and remains an extremely reliable way of appealing to a new audience. In this post, we’re going to cover the key benefits of guest posting, who you should be reaching out to, and how to guarantee you land a guest posting slot with every pitch you send out.
Why guest post?
Some people may be skeptical to the idea of guest posting – submitting to your own hard written articles to other blogs (commonly for free) sounds counter-intuitive when you could be spending that time on your own website. However, there are many far-reaching benefits to guest posting:
Appeal to a new audience
If you only post on your own blog, you’ll only ever be targeting your own audience (how ever much it may grow over time). However, by guest posting on other blogs, you’ll be raising your brand awareness amongst an audience who may never have heard of you — and with a quality post, may quickly become your audience as well.
Build your authority
Quality articles are highly valued online, especially when so much waffle is churned out these days. Target sites known for their authority on certain subjects, and where you too can showcase your expertise on your niche. Submitting evergreen, informative content to authority website’s, in turn, builds your authority in your field.
Generate traffic to your site
Guest posting is a great way to generate more traffic to your site. This won’t just be in the single day that your post goes live either – your link back to your own site will be live along with that guest post for months, and even years in many cases. If your post is successful, you’ll see a steady stream of traffic to your website from that same guest post — giving your potential new audience a chance to see what else you can offer.
Boost Your SEO Performance
Another major benefit to guest posting is that it can also positively impact your SEO performance. Guest posting on a larger and more authoritative site will provide a valuable backlink to your site, in turn raising the authority of your website. This is a fact many spam companies try to take advantage of, so be mindful if someone ever contacts you asking to guest post on your site that they’re from a genuine blog that relates to your niche.
Who to contact
To get the most out of guest posting, you need to be pitching to the right blogs. Pitching for guest posts can be a time-consuming task, so make sure you know who you want to contact, and how to find them before you start sending pitches to everyone and anyone. A few key points to remember when thinking about who to guest post for include:
Don’t go for your competitors
Don’t try to guest post for people you’re competing with. This may sound obvious, but it’s easy to get stuck in your own niche.
Instead, think about niches related to your blog, and think about the other interests you know your target audience has. For example, as a freelance writing blog, you could offer an extremely valuable post to someone who blogs as the digital nomad lifestyle, other freelance careers etc. Think about your audience first, and go from there.
Aim for bigger blogs
When you’re a completely new blogger, it may be unrealistic to pitch to huge authority websites. However, it’s still important to remember that you want to guest post for website’s that will raise your brand awareness and audience reach, so writing for the right sized blogs is important.
Aim to write for blogs that are bigger than your own, or of a similar size but in a different niche. Writing for blogs that are smaller than your own will help that blogger a lot more than it will help you, and may not be the best use of your time.
Check they accept guest posts
It’s also a great idea to check that the website you have in mind actually accepts guest posts. They will typically have a guest post category, or you can search “guest post” on the website to see if you get any hits. Only contact website’s that confirm they accept guest posts to ensure you don’t waste your time.
How to find guest post opportunities
As mentioned above, it’s best to only pitch to website’s that absolutely accept guest posts to ensure you do not waste your time pitching to people who won’t be interested at all!
One of the best ways to find guest post opportunities is to simply type in the niche you’re looking for and “submit guest post” into a search engine. This will generate the websites that have a section with guest posting guidelines/instructions and will provide you with an instant list of websites that you could consider pitching for immediately.
How to land every pitch
Once you’ve found the websites you want to guest post for, you need to know how to generate an amazing pitch that is guaranteed to make the blogger you’re contacting say yes every time. Remember that bigger bloggers receive guest post pitches frequently, and if they don’t like your pitch, your email will quickly be deleted and forgotten about.
Here are a few great tips for making sure you land every pitch:
Tailor every email
Do not send speculative guest post pitches to every website. This is very lazy and instantly transparent to bloggers — people who clearly do not even include the name of the website they are writing to will be labeled as someone only looking for a link, rather than trying to provide genuinely useful content.
Instead, tailor every single pitch you send out to that particular website. Mention the name of the site (and the blog owner if you can find their name!), perhaps share what you like about the site, and why you think you could offer something useful.
Tailored emails will show that you care about guest posting for this website, not just any blog on the internet. This is far more likely to form a genuine connection with the blogger you are reaching out to, and make them recognize you for a fellow blogger rather than someone just looking to use the foundations of their more established website.
Pitch unique ideas and titles
Definitely, don’t make the mistake of simply asking a website if you can guest post for them without submitting any ideas or titles.
Before sending your pitch over, take a look at the website you are reaching out to and see what type of articles they publish, the style they write in, and anything they haven’t covered that you could.
If a website typically publishes list-type articles, a long-form personal essay isn’t going to be a good fit. Likewise, if a website has already covered a topic, they’re not going to be interested in a re-hashed version from you. Pitch unique ideas that haven’t been covered on that website before (but are still applicable), and even suggest some title ideas for the post to show just how much you’ve thought about what you can offer that site.
Try to create a human connection with the person you are reaching out to. Remember, there is a person behind that website as much as there is behind yours, and even if they have a bigger blog than you, they’re still just a person. Avoid being too much of a ‘fan’, or being too arrogant, striving to reach a comfortable balance of relatable, but respectful.
Avoid being too robotic and formal, and instead, write an email that shows who you are as a person. A little bit of humor can go a long way — and make your pitch the most memorable in an inbox filled with others.
Show off your writing
Remember to include some samples of your own writing in your guest post pitch. Bloggers want to know that they’ll be sharing a quality, well-written article on their site, and the best way to be assured of this is to show them your writing style!
When sending over your pitch, include a paragraph to say: “here are a few samples articles from my blog that you might enjoy”. This not only shows that you have experience in the content you are suggesting you write about, but also that you are a genuine blogger with a background in content creation.
Guest posting is a wonderful way to connect with other bloggers, build valuable backlinks to your website, and appeal to a wider audience. The key to landing guest posts is to stay authentic — blogging is full of people trying to scam other bloggers, and they may be wary of this as a result.
Be genuine, relatable, and reach out to sites only that you know you can offer genuinely useful content to. With this in mind, guest posting can add a truly valuable string to your marketing bow.
This article originally appeared in Red Robot Media. This article was written by Yasmin Purnell fromBusiness2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.