As any astute inbound marketer will tell you, blogging plays a key part in strengthening your websites search engine optimisation (SEO). But did you know that Guest blogging can also provide similar SEO benefits?
If you’ve been blogging for a lil moment, you might have even come across this form of blogging. Just for context, guest blogging is a collaborative marketing practice where a brand will write content for the purpose of publishing it on another brand's blog.
Now, if you are umm-ing and ah-ing about whether or not you should give guest blogging a go, here is what we say; You should definitely integrate guest blogging into your marketing strategy. Here's why.
Guest blogging positions yourself as a thought leader
By openly sharing your knowledge on different brand platforms within your industry, others will progressively see you as an expert in your field.
Guest blogging expands your audience
Generally, established businesses with informative, relevant blogs most likely have a dedicated audience. Therefore, when you share your ideas and knowledge with this particular customer base, you inherently further your reach and bring about brand awareness.
Guest blogging increases referral traffic to you website
As well as gaining awareness, having a direct line to a pre-built audience means that a whole lotta people will be coming through your website. Additionally, if you start to grow a name for yourself within an industry, other people will hear about you and see what you have to offer, which means more website traffic.
And, most importantly, Guest blogging positively influences your website's domain authority.
Backlinks, or inbound links, are links created when an outside website makes an external link to your website. The more backlinks your site has, the more credible your site is as a resource, which builds your website's domain authority and positively influences its rank on search engines. As a guest blogger, you can actively create backlinks to your site and increase its domain authority.
Now you have some idea on what SEO benefits can come from Guest Blogging, here is how you can get started.
1. Create a list of businesses you can guest blog for
Compile a list of who you can and want to write for. These businesses must relate to your market niche, not direct competitors, openly accept outside contributors and have high domain authority.
You can discover businesses who accept guest bloggers via a google search or twitter search (twitter is surprisingly really helpful when it comes to finding guest blogging opportunities). Format your searches like this:
[Your market] + "Keyword(s)"
Where [Your market] is the type of market your business is in and "key words" are key phrases like "guest post", "writers wanted" or "submit content" ect.
To suss out if a website has a high domain authority, insert its URL into MOZ, a software that calculates domain authority . Most ideally, you want the website to have domain authority score between 21-70. Websites within this range normally have a reasonably-sized, committed audience and enough authority to justify you creating your blog for them. Just an FYI, the higher the domain authority, the more writing guidelines you'll receive and harder it will be to get a guest blogger position.
2. Get your posts ready
Create some blogs so they are ready to send away. An efficient way to get the creative juices flowing is to work with content you've already published. I don't mean copy your stuff word for word (that would be too easy). Use it as a framework to build something new off it.
Here is also a good opportunity to insert some key backlinks to your own website and get your rates up. If you have guest blogged for other platforms, you can even sneakily backlink to these posts.
3. Make contact
Get friendly with the companies you want to write for before even pitching them ideas. Butter them up a bit- post about one of their articles you liked on the socials and tag the company & author to really capture their attention. At this stage, you are building the foundations of a hopefully fruitful and wondrous relationship, so try to engage with your target company on multiple occasions during a good amount of time (at least two weeks).
Once contact has been made, send a personalised email formatted similar to something like this (be warned, the following information is going to be a bit dry, but its helpful, so suck it up):
- Introduce yourself.
- Talk about why you admire the businesses content.
- Why you are reaching out? Make it clear here that you want to provide content for their blog.
- Dot point 2-3 ideas you want to write about on their blog.
- Link to how these ideas are within their guidelines.
- Validate your expertise- link to a blog that you've published already.
- Close with a response about how you are keen to talk further.
5. Chat with your audience
Get in touch with the peeps who've commented on your blog via the host site or social media. If they have taken the time to talk to you, then its only fair to reciprocate the effort. Even if some of the comments hurt you in the feels, stay strong and remain professional and fair. In the end, more comments will strengthen google's assessment of your relevancy.
6. Nurture your relationship with the hosting company
As you may guess, it takes time and patience to find good guest blog opportunities. So make sure you don't waste it when you have it in the bag! Create a positive and meaningful experience with your contact- keep up with people, be genuine, share information, show an interest in what they do. Doing so could lead to many splendid guest blog ops in the future.
Now before you go out into the world, guest posting your heart out, here is a disclaimer; This is not a short-term practice. It is not the quickest route to improving your SEO. Its a long-term strategy that requires long-term commitment. But, as I have detailed, the benefits that you can reap from guest blogging, which not only include better SEO, but increased brand awareness, engagement and trust, means this strategy is worth the time and energy it requires.