By now, most marketers understand the concept of content marketing, and the inherent value in building marketing messages into blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, videos and other informational content.
Still, many aren’t taking full advantage of the opportunity to write guest blogs for other organizations and media outlets. Only 64 percent of bloggers in the U.S. write for more than one blog, meaning some are missing out on the chance to build credibility, generate more leads and fully optimize their content SEO. After all, well-conceived and -written guest blogs can be an excellent way to drive inbound traffic to your website.
“It’s a mutual exchange,” summarizes frequent marketing blogger Neil Patel. “Site X gets great content from producer Y (you) in exchange for Site X’s audience and promotion. High-quality, high-value, consistent blogging will transform your business.”
If you’re interested, consider the following steps:
- Settle on your goals. Are you trying to drive visits to your website, position yourself as a thought leader, raise search rankings for your own blogs or meet some other benchmark?
- Research and list potential venues for your blogs based on those goals. You might start by Googling something like “submit a guest post” along with a keyword representing your industry or topic category. Seek websites that focus on your niche or industry, those that have an active social media presence and those that already engage with established audiences. If you’re aware of prolific bloggers in your field, Google their names along with the words “guest post by” to reveal organizations in your industry that might welcome your blogs. This tool at Moz.com can then help you compare metrics for various websites so you can narrow down your best options.
- Check out guest blogs on your short list, noting their content, length, format and tone and the reader interaction they generate. Then craft your own blog ideas aimed at providing real value (not just promotional schlock) to the sites’ potential readers. Think in terms of “news you can use”; try to tell audiences something they don’t already know, write clearly and convincingly, avoid confusing jargon and back up any claims you make by citing research and/or the expert opinions of credible sources.
- Pitch your blog idea(s) to the organization using its stated guidelines. Refer to yourself as a blogger and list any previous blogging experience and accomplishments.
- When submitting your blog, work in a link to your landing page, details on accessing your company via social media, strategically chosen keywords and at least one link to the host or its content. End each piece with a call to action encouraging further reader interaction, then make plans to track any comments. According to Patel, the best-performing blogs overall are around 2,250 to 2,500 words in length.
- Track the results of your guest blogging by creating an “Advanced Segment” in Google Analytics; use that data to inform your next strategy.
- Consider accepting guest bloggers on your own website in return to reinforce your credibility and presence in the guest blogging community.
Yes, guest blogging can take considerable time and effort. But when done well, it can be extremely effective in drawing attention to your company, pulling in leads and positioning you as an expert in your field.
“It’s just like going to the gym — if you don’t put in the time, you aren’t going to see the results,” concludes Patel.
Ask the experts at Dial800 how to optimize guest blogging as part of a comprehensive inbound marketing campaign.