Write a Guest Post
One of the easiest ways to get some internet buzz is to write guest blog posts for various websites that are relevant to your niche. The beauty of guest blogging is that most blogs gladly accept guest posts because it helps them keep their content fresh.
The only condition is that you write them a really good post without flat out advertising your own business. We use guest bloggers at KISSmetrics and Shopify to regularly publish content that's fresh, relevant, and exciting for our readers.
Here's an example from KISSmetrics:
Here's an example from Shopify:
The Benefits of Guest Blogging
When you write a guest post, you’re able to leave a short bio at the end of your post that mentions who you are and what you do. This is the appropriate place to plug your business. So here’s the first important tip, If you write an amazing and incredibly engaging post, most readers will want to know about you and what you do.
With that said, guest blogging is only beneficial to those who put 110% effort into their article. If you’re just going to gloss over a topic and not provide any real value to the readers, then you’ll be wasting your time.
Now, the most obvious benefit is that you’ll get to explain to new prospects what it is that you do in your bio. The bigger the blog, the more prospects will get to learn about your business.
There is also a secondary benefit that really helps with driving online traffic and that is the backlink you get to leave in your signature. As we have discussed in previous chapters, search engines use the number of links that point to your website as an indication of how popular your website is and also how relevant it is for certain keywords. In general, the more backlinks you have pointing to your website, the higher you can rank for certain keywords.
Here’s an example of a signature:
John Smith is the owner and operator of hi-topheaven.com – rare & vintage hi-tops. He is a basketball fan, freak and fanatic and happens to know EVERYTHING about hi-tops.
What Kind of Blogs Should I Approach?
The first thing to do is to create a document or a spreadsheet to keep track of all the blogs that you want to target. We recommend something like this:
Do a Google search of blogs that are related to your niche or industry. As you come across these blogs, list them in your spreadsheet or document.
One very important thing to keep an eye on is how often the blog posts guest written articles, and when the last post was published. If the blog hasn’t been updated with new content within the past couple of months, then that’s a good indication that the blog isn’t very popular. A blog that is updated very frequently usually means the blog is working for their business and thus a valuable asset – these are the type of blogs you want your content on.
You also want to primarily guest post on blogs related to your niche. The reason being that not only will the audience be more targeted, but it will help search engines look for linking relationships based on relevant niche groupings. So if your website fits nicely into the same niche as the blog you’re posting on, the search engines will generally boost the links to your site with more “umph”.
Some search engine professionals will tell you to look at the “page rank” of a blog. That’s not necessary. If you can gauge that the blog is frequently updated, and there are a lot of comments – then you know you have found a healthy online community that you should probably get in front of.
Finally, you may want to sign up for an account on myblogguest.com. This website will match you up with blogs that are looking for guest posts.
How to Write a Good Guest Blog Post
There are a few tricks to writing a good guest blog post that will resonate with readers. Let’s go over some of them now.
Write Conversationally – a lot of people will jump into “school” mode when they attempt to write their first guest posts. And the problem with this is it creates the “term paper effect”. Basically your article is going to read like an essay and it will just be boring.
When you switch to a writing style that “talks” to the reader, then you can create more engagement with your words. Use words like “you” and “your”, and pretend that you are talking in front of an engaged group of real people. Your post will come off much more interesting.
Use Visual Aids – All text and no pictures makes you a boring guest author. Anytime you can use an image or a video to substantiate what you are talking about, you’ll add a ton of value to your article.
- Diagrams – Communicating visually is by all means a great way to increase the value of your article. Anytime you can use a diagram to make explaining what you’re talking about easier to digest – then do it!
- Video – Just about any video you find on the internet is able to be embedded into a blog post. You don’t necessarily need to know how to embed a video into a blog post, but simply copy the link to the video in your article and let the blog editor know that you want them to embed that video.
- Don’t use stock photography unless you have a reason to – It’s very easy to start plastering your article with images of stock photography. Pictures of corporate people smiling and giving hi-fives, we’ve all seen it and it just looks cheesy. Occasionally, there is a good reason to use a stock image, but unless you’re using the stock image to help explain something – you’re better off leaving them out.
Give Actionable Information – The greatest sin you can make when writing a guest post is to simply gloss over a topic. You know, dancing around the details and just giving brief overviews. Your number one priority when creating a guest post is to give the readers as much value as possible. That’s why it’s always easiest to write “how-to” and “recipe” posts – they always provide value and you don’t have to worry if it will work.
Details – The devil’s in the details. Details are a great way to build your credibility with the reader. The more detailed information you can provide, the more they will appreciate your effort.
Leave an Impression, Don’t Forget Your Signature
After you burn yourself out writing your first guest post, you’ll probably forget to focus on your signature. It’s a common mistake. But this is a huge disservice to your business. Follow these tips to get the most out of guest blogging:
- Change your links and keywords once in a while – A lot of guest bloggers will use the same signature over and over again. It’s a good idea to link to different parts of your website using keywords that best match what those webpages are about. This will help build the SEO up for different parts of your website.
- Create a Google Authorship Profile – You will want to get a Google Plus account and learn how to create a Google Authorship link for your signature. This will insert a picture of you in the Google search results when web surfers stumble upon your guest post. Experts have found that results with Google Authorship images next to them get clicked on more often.
- Give your readers a discount – You can leave a coupon code in your signature for a special deal. This will help you test the effectiveness of your guest blogging and hopefully drive some extra sales.
Some Final Words on Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is hard at first, but as soon as you get into the groove of it – you’ll find that it’s an excellent form of online marketing. It builds powerful relationships, boosts your website SEO and builds authority for your brand. Don’t overlook this strategy because it has helped many online businesses rise in popularity very fas resulting in a surge in sales that any business would welcome.