Guest blogging can grow your online efforts into something sought-after, authoritative, and even profitable. But what is it? And where do you begin?
Let’s take a look at the basics of guest blogging, and consider some ways to get a mutually beneficial community started around what it is you already write.
Guest blogging is about taking what you already do well and spreading your knowledge into other areas of your target market to increase your reach and build a reputation for subject matter expertise.
For example, if you are a knowledgeable writer on the subject of clothing and you notice that the outdoor clothing maker REI maintains a blog, so you reach out to their people (I’ll talk about about how to reach out later on). You offer to supply REI with one blog post a month or every week for free. The only payment you request is a link back to your own blog.
Which is why you do this for free.
When REI says “sure” (because your content really does rock), your guest post on their site increases the scope of your branding and provides link-backs that allow readers of the REI blog to become regular readers of your work, too. It’s free advertising.
Marketers love to tell folks that content is king when it comes to attracting Web traffic, but they’ve confused the hook and the bait. Content, in fact, keeps readers interested in your blog once they’ve found it. First they must find it and that requires a lure. The bait of the World Wide Web is not content; it’s links. Links send traffic back to your site and grow your search engine rank.
When you guest blog, you’re luring new readers.
Sounds pretty good, but how do you get started?
Think of the Internet as a gigantic and noisy cocktail party. If you stick to a wall, half behind the potted ferns, you’ll never make that next important connection. Similarly, you must meet people to begin guest-blogging. Here are some guidelines to help:
Quality is king here. Begin your guest-blogging outreach when you know that your work is at its very best. No matter how good you get at building your network, if your blogging lags behind your business acumen, people won’t stay with your blog after clicking your links.
Last year I wrote a guest post for the SEOmoz blog. It went from a small idea to an epic endeavour after following a principle of motivation I strongly believe in – self-induced peer pressure. In other words, tell people exactly what you’re going to do (in this case it was telling Rand Rishkin that the post would be EPIC). Setting myself up for *having* to deliver something special.
What was the result? Let’s just look at a couple of stats:
Nuff said. Guest blogging is a good idea. Just do it right.
This is the infographic from the post mentioned above that shows how a piece of content, used wisely, can generate a persistent inbound traffic source, and it all started with the guest post.Oh, and it generated thousands of inbound links…