If you have your own website, you’ll naturally want to get as much exposure as you can. And although social media marketing is essential – there are other ways to get your name out there – and even get paid to do it, too!
‘How?’ you ask.
Well, by guest blogging and promoting your blog and business in the process.
But getting your name or content on another site isn’t as easy as it sounds.
That’s why we’ve devised this step-by-step guide to show you how to guest post effectively and grow your audience.
Here are 10 steps to becoming a successful guest blogger.
1. Determine Your Goals
Before you begin devising your guest blogging strategy, you should identify what your main goal is. Do you want to become a well-known blogger and expert in your field? Do you want your content to reach a wider audience? Or do you simply want to get exposure and backlinks back to your site?
If you’re lucky, you will get all three. But if you want to focus on traffic and links to your site, you need to target blogs that have a good domain authority. To check the root domain authority of a site, use the MozBar tool.
2. Find Opportunities
The next step is finding the best opportunities to publish your content. You ideally want to focus on websites in the same niche as yours so that the audience of that site will be interested in your content and will bounce to your page.
The easiest way to find a site is to do a simple Google search with your keyword + some common phrases such as ‘write for us’, ‘guest article’ and ‘become a contributor’. For example, if you’re a fitness guru, you would enter the following search term in Google: ‘“fitness” + “write for us”’.
Alternatively, you can use social media platforms like Twitter to identify sites of your interest and check their domain authority as we suggested above. Be sure to only target sites with a DA of 30 or higher to ensure you get the views that you want.
3. Build Relationships
Now that you have a list of websites that you would like to contribute to, it’s time to form a genuine relationship with them. In such a demanding industry, with so many writers firing off impersonal pitches left, right and centre, it’s important to build trust and understanding with the owner of the site. Otherwise, your idea will wind up in the trash with the rest of them.
I bet you’re thinking: ‘well, how can I do that?!’ To begin with, be sure to follow them on all social media platforms, interact with their posts and share their content (don’t forget to tag them, either!). You could also reply to email newsletters and share your thoughts so the editor knows who you are when you contact them.
4. Plan Your Posts
Now you’ve got the relationship-building in motion, it’s time to start planning your posts. You need to choose a topic that’s ideal for your target audience and that’s relevant to the content that is on the site already.
When doing this, it’s best to put your feelings aside and focus on the facts from your market research because, although you may feel strongly about a topic, it can go unnoticed online.
The best way to identify a winning topic is to use analytical tools like Buzzsumo and Keyword Planner to check if it’s a hot topic and then research to see what the website has written around this already.
5. Send a Pitch
Once you have your topic, you’ll need to write and send your detailed plan. When doing so, you need to follow the guidelines provided on the website, showing that you pay close attention to detail.
It’s important to keep your pitch short and to include all the relevant information with a catchy headline to go with it. When describing the content of the article, don’t give too much away but rather provide a few short bullet points that will intrigue them into finding out more.
You’re not writing a cover letter, so you should make this personal, captivating and fun. Remember: you want the site owner to remember you and to ultimately like what you’re offering.
6. Tailor Your Post to the Blog’s Style
All bloggers have their own style of writing but if you want to get your content on another site, you should try to tailor it to their style as much as possible. This will be easy if the blog has their own submission guidelines, but if they don’t, you’ll need to read through heaps of their content to identify patterns.
In particular, you should focus on H tags, structure and good SEO linking. To find links for your anchor text, you can Google ‘[the website name] + [keyword]’. Be sure to also incorporate common keywords and to format your article correctly before submitting it.
7. Create a Captivating Bio
Your bio is one of the most important parts of guest blogging. This is where you will show your readers a glimpse of your personality and where you have the opportunity to link back to your site and social pages.
Let’s say you’re freelancing as a writer looking to get more blogging opportunities; you could include this in your biography. For example, you could say something like: ‘Emma Jones, a freelance writer helping fitness fans reach their health goals and live a happy life through friendly and informational blog posts. To find out more, follow Emma on Twitter.’
In short, your bio should say who you are and how you can help your readers. When you provide solutions, they will spare the time to read your work.
8. Share on Social Media
Once your post goes live, it’s important to promote it like you would if it were your personal website. Use the same strategy by sharing at specific times and including it in your newsletter. And why not even link to it from your site?
The most vital thing is to try and drive more traffic to the website. The owner will appreciate it and will most likely send you more requests or give you more opportunities to guest blog in the future.
9. Interact with Your Readers
Just because it isn’t your site, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t interact with your readers. It’s essential to reply to every single comment and try to provide some useful information to keep the discussion going.
Blog comments are a great way to gain feedback and get to know your readers a bit better. You can even identify trends or questions and answer them with a follow-up post!
10. Write More Guest Posts
Talking of follow-up posts, now that you’ve got the hang of this whole ‘guest blogging’ thing, you should try to build up your readership and write more for other websites.
You can also aim for similar posts to go out within a parallel timeframe so that it appears as if you’re everywhere, on every platform. That way, people in your industry will begin to recognise you as an expert and will start to follow your online footprint.
Guest blogging is no walk in the park, but once you’ve identified your own strategy and target audience, you can become a household name in no time.
If you’re an aspiring guest blogger, join in on the conversation below to let us know your own tips and tricks…