Guest blogging is an incredible resource, one that is often ignored as a valid promotional technique. Because in the end, that is exactly what it is: a way of promoting your website, your niche and – above all – yourself. It might not pay, which puts a lot of people off, but it has an incredible payoff by way of increased visibility and tapping into new reader pools that may not have followed you before.
The most invaluable thing provided by your guest posting is that you are increasing your experience and your presence on the web. You are putting yourself out there to be viewed as someone who really knows there stuff, and who is trusted by other experts in the field to contribute to their popular and entertaining/informative site. This will give you greater leverage when it comes to setting rates in the future, showing your portfolio to potential clients, and just expanding the worth of your own blog in both monetary value and exposure.
There are 5 major steps that can get you started.
1. Decide Where You Will Post
You might be tempted to start sending out your request to every blog on the web, but this isn’t a good tactic. You want to target your search and put together a small number of possibilities from within the general scope of you niche of writing or interest, preferably related – but not identical – to the topic of your own blog. But how do you find the right blogs?
- Try blogs you read regularly. There should be a section on their site that tells you if they allow guest posting. Follow the directions they provide to apply for the position.
- Use Twitter’s real time updates to search for blogging opportunities. Be sure to include some kind of phrase that is direct enough to target results.
- Use Google for a more niche-based search, by including words like ‘guest blogging’, ‘your niche’ and anything else relevant to what you are looking for.
Actionable tip: When you have found a great blog you feel like contributing to, make sure to see which other guest posts get accepted and are well-received. Use [SITE:BLOG.COM guest post] search command in Google. See:
2. Decide What You Will Do
One of the biggest problems guest bloggers have is finding the time to write. It isn’t that they don’t have a moment to spare to put together a blog post per week, it is that they put it off behind their usual projects, as they pay, and then end up procrastinating until they forget it altogether. Since writing the post isn’t mandatory, and you aren’t losing anything tangible when you don’t, this is an easy habit to fall into. So you need to:
- Commit to the blog job.
- Set a schedule and follow it,, preferably by working the post into your usual work routine.
- Do it at the beginning of the week, before anything else, to get it out of the way.
- Remember the benefits.
Actionable tip: The best way to turn “optional” guest posting plan into the work routine is to include it into the schedule. The only way for me to guest post a lot was to email several pitches a week and, once I got an approval, reply with the exact time frame promising to send the complete guest post no later than some date. The feeling of responsibility to the person, I have promised to, made me stick to the plan.
3. Decide What You Want To Do
What is it you are hoping you will achieve by writing these guest posts? What do you want it to lead to? What results are you wanting to see, and by when, for it to continue to be a regular part of your work routine? A few things to look forward to are:
- Increasing the readership on your own blog.
- Getting your name out to potential clients.
- Branding (or rebranding) your own site.
- Drawing people to a product or service.
- Creating a list of useable and useful connections for the future.
- Breaking the tedium of your own blog writing by writing on another topic, in another way.
- Increasing experience.
- Adding to your portfolio.
4. Decide What Your Byline Should Say
A big reason for guest blogging is the chance at the coveted byline, a section that provides information on yourself, your website, and what it is you hope to achieve through your writing. But often writers will break some very simple rules when writing their own, making it cheesy self-promotion that turns people off instead of drawing their interest. When you write your guest post byline:
- Be memorable. Saying your name is Bob Smith and you work in marketing and relations will put you on the list of thousands of other identical, nameless Bob Smith’s who do the same thing.
- Don’t be sleazy. Don’t give into the impulse to talk yourself up as the greatest, or the top expert. This comes off as disingenuous and tacky, and gives off the wrong impress. Say what you know about, but let the content you create speak of your expertise, not your bragging.
- Keep your links to a minimum. Have you ever seen a byline that came with a reference list of every website the guy had created since high school, his three email addresses, his Facebook, his Twitter, his phone, cell and fax numbers, his LinkedIn profile, his forum and his portfolio? Nothing is more irritating than that. Give a single website, an email address and maybe a Twitter or Facebook account if it is used for work.
- Let them know your experience. If you have worked for 30 years in the industry, say so. Keep it simple keep it short, and be informative.
5. Decide Now To Fight It Out
You will be rejected. You will be ignored. You will be criticized by bloggers and readers alike. This just happens from time to time, and you have to learn to take it in stride. Don’t give up on your guest blogging just because it doesn’t pan out right away. Take it slow and steady, and it will be sure to pay off.
This is a guest post by Ann Smarty – an SEO blogger and full-time entrepreneur. Ann blogs on search marketing and social media. She is also passionate about guest blogging and her passion resulted in her newest project – My Blog Guest, the free forum for guest bloggers and blog owners. MyBlogGuest.com community strives to advocate the quality approach to guest posting