Are you using a guest blogging strategy as part of your content marketing plan?
If not, it’s time to start now. Over the years, there has been a lot of speculation about the death of guest blogging, but tactics remain one of the most effective ways to promote yourself and your business.
Here are a few examples to prove our point. Elna Cain used a guest blogging strategy to earn a full time income from freelance writing. And Buffer used guest blogs to get 100,000 customers.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to create and execute a successful guest blogging strategy. We will illustrate this with examples of successful guest blogs. Ultimately, you’ll be able to effectively use guest posting to increase your business and brand visibility and improve lead generation.
What is a Guest blog?
Guest blogging, also known as “guest blogging,” is the act of writing content for another company’s website. Guest bloggers typically write for similar blogs within their industry in order to: Drive traffic to your website.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
If you are using content marketing, a guest blogging strategy can be a key tactic for increasing your traffic and content marketing ROI.
In fact, as the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) points out, guest blogging is a vital part of your marketing funnel, delivering expert content offsite.
Now let’s take a look at some other benefits of guest blogging. Guest posting is a great way to build brand awareness because the content you post on other sites teaches new audiences about you.
These new readers can visit your site or landing page, which means guest blogging helps you attract new subscribers and improve lead generation.
Guest blogging also builds trust. If trusted and authorized sites publish your content, some of that trust is rubbed off on you. In fact, regular guest blogging can help others see you as an expert, which is great for your business reputation.
When thinking about the benefits of guest blogging, SEO is one of the main things. Building links from high quality sites is an important SEO ranking factor and will improve your site’s position on search results pages.
As a guest blogger, you’re not the only one who benefits from the guest blogging strategy. The blog that hosts you too. Since creating content is such a huge challenge when it comes to content marketing, guest blogging helps site owners by making it easy for them to meet their content needs.
How to Execute a Guest Posting Strategy in Eight Steps
Creating a successful guest posting strategy involves several important steps. These steps will help you lay a good foundation for your plan by setting clear goals, expectations, and standards to decide which opportunities are best for you.
The rest of this article will teach you how to:
- Determine your guest posting goals
- Find guest posting opportunities
- Rate guest posting sites
- Develop themes for blog posts
- Create the perfect shade
- Write an article worth publishing.
- Track your work
- Track your results
Step 1: Determine Your Guests’ Posting Goals
As with all good marketing strategies, a smart guest posting strategy starts with defining your goals. Knowing the results you expect from your work will help you create a clear roadmap to get there.
Consider what can be accomplished through guest blogging and determine which two or three goals best match your marketing goals.
- Increase brand awareness. Get more people to know about you and your brand.
- Present your projects and services. Let more people know what you are offering.
- Show the public how you can help. Show more people how your expertise, products, or services can solve problems.
- Improve visibility on social networks. Get more people to follow you and engage with you or your brand on social media.
- Boost SEO. Get high quality backlinks to support your off page SEO strategy.
- Develop authority in the industry. Share your experience so that people see you as an expert in your industry.
- Increase traffic. Drive more traffic to your website through referral traffic.
- Increase leads. Generate more leads by reaching new audiences.
When you know what you want your guest post to accomplish, it’ll be easier to identify the best guest blogging opportunities. Always prioritize sites that will help you get closer to your goals.
For example, if your goal was to increase traffic, you wouldn’t want to waste time posting to a small, niche site that has very little traffic. But if your goal is to build industry authority, you can take advantage of that by writing for the small industry specific blog.
Step 2: Find guest posting opportunities
If you don’t know how to find guest posting sites, use these three tactics.
Find sites that interest your audience.
Start by researching sites that appeal to and interest your audience. If you’re unsure of what interests your audience, use a buyer persona template to create a profile of your ideal customer. Also, use the Alexa Audience Interest tool to find out what topics interest your audience and which sites they visit the most.
Go to your site or to a site that you already know is using your audience. The tool generates a list of categories that are of interest to the audience of this site.
The report also includes details like percentage of audience who care about the category, sites related to the category, and popular topics within the category. You can use this information to narrow down your potential guest posting sites and think about what content you might send to them.
Find sites that are similar to your ideal guest posting sites.
When you know which sites your audience uses most often, you can use that information to find other related sites.
Enter the URL of a site that you know your audience is visiting in the Alexa Audience Overlay Tool. The tool will provide a list of other sites that have audiences similar to the target site.
For example, if you want to publish an article on Buffer.com, enter that site in the Audience Overlay tool. You will get a list of sites with buffered audiences, which can also be good guest posting opportunities.
Use the visualization view (as shown above) to see groups of similar sites and select individual sites to learn more about your site’s metrics. You can also switch to table view to see the combined overlay score and Alexa rank for the sites you find. Take a closer look at these sites with competitive website analytics or save them in your workspace for future reference.
Find where your competition is posting.
Another way to find guest posting sites is to see which sites are already related to your competition. If a site is already linked to your competitor, it is probably linked to your site as well.
To find backlinks from competitors, enter up to 10 competitors in the Alexa Competitor Backlink Checker. The report displays sites that are already linked to one or more of the listed competitors.
The report also shows the URL of the pages that link to the contest. Click on the linking site to see URLs that include links.
Not only can you see what content popular sites prefer to link to, but you can also find guest posts. This is a sign that the linking site could also be a good guest blogging option for your brand.
Step 3: Evaluate guest posting sites
Once you have a list of potential guest posting sites, start rating them. Look for blogs that accept guest posts, but also suit your strategy and goals.
Create a set of criteria that matches your goals and guidelines for guest blogging. Look for sites that:
- Have the target audience you want to reach
- Be the size of the audience you want to reach.
- Generate traffic
- Have great authority in the investigation.
Use the Alexa Site Snapshot tool to find metrics you can use to measure and rate sites. Enter the destination site URL to view site stats, Alexa rank, number of linked sites, traffic sources, audience demographics, and more.
To compare multiple guest blogging sites at once, use the Alexa Site Comparison Tool. Enter up to 10 sites to compare performance and popularity. This report makes it easy to identify the best guest posting opportunities among a group of sites.
Step 4: Develop blogging ideas
Once you’ve found a site that matches your guests’ posting criteria, it’s time to develop blogging ideas. Come up with post ideas that will support your goals while meeting the wants and needs of the publisher and their readers.
Make sure it is suitable for your readers.
Consider the publisher’s audience and develop topics that match their interests.
Remember, you can use the audience interest tool to identify the most popular topics on a site.
Enter the site URL to see what interests your readers. Click on a category to display the topic groups in that category. From there, expand topics related to the site’s most popular categories.
Investigate content needs and gaps
You don’t want to introduce topics that have already been covered on a blog. Ideally, you’ll come up with ideas that fill in content gaps and needs. Please review the site and identify topics that would be suitable for the site but not yet covered.
You can easily find the gaps in the content using Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix. Enter the destination site and up to nine of your competitors. (If you don’t know the site’s competitors, use the Audience Overlay tool to find them.) Use the filter to “Show missing keywords” for the target site.
This keyword research tool will create a report showing the top keywords that drive traffic to the target site’s competitors, but not to the target site itself. From there, you can see what topics are of interest to the site’s target audience, but don’t have any content for this keyword research process, which is a great way to generate a list of topics that are relevant to your posts. guests.
Make sure the topic connects with you and your goals.
While you want to make sure your topic fits the site and serves the publisher’s audience, keep in mind that it should serve their interests as well. Pick topics that promote your interests, relate to your industry, and connect with your ideal audience.
Step 5: Create a guest post pitch
Starting a guest blog isn’t as easy as submitting a guest post and having an editor run it on your blog. Before your content can be considered for publication, you must first gain the attention of the publisher by submitting your article.
To create a guest speech that stands out:
- Find the right person to contact. Do not go directly to a site’s general contact page. See if you can find the name of the blog editor or administrator, find their contact details, and contact them directly.
- Find and read the site’s guest posting guidelines. Before submitting your proposal, check if there are any requirements for guest posting. Don’t waste your time (or the editor’s time) throwing out posts that have no chance of being accepted.
- Create a compelling subject line. Chances are, you’re not the only one introducing the publisher, so you should stand out in their inbox. Write an interesting and catchy subject line instead of something vague and outdated like “Guest Post Submission”.
- Be personal, not promotional. You can send dozens of guest posts, but that doesn’t mean you have to copy and paste the same post to all editors. Write your outreach email as if you were writing one-on-one correspondence.
- Lead with benefits. Tell the publisher what you will get from the deal. Highlight the benefits of publishing your article by sharing what your readers will gain and how the publication will serve your site. (Make your posts stand out even more by including a screenshot of the competitor’s keyword matrix to show that you’ve done your research and that your post will fill a content gap on your site.)
- Add proof of its quality and value. Include links to other guest posts you’ve written, your social stats, and more to show the editor what you can contribute and why they should be working with you.
Step 6: Write an article worth publishing
Once your proposal has been accepted, all you have to do is write an article that the publisher wants to publish on their site. Publishers are more likely to publish your article and work with you again if you can deliver your content.
Submit a guest post they’ll love by following these best practices.
- Follow the directions. First, ask for guest posting guidelines and editorial standards (if not provided) and follow them.
- Don’t be too promotional. Even if your goal for guest posting is to promote your products and services, remember that most publishers will not accept overly promotional posts.
- Add value. Instead of being overly promotional, focus on adding value. By giving readers something to take away, you are serving them while increasing the chances that the editor will publish your article.
- Read again. Repeat. Don’t let editors make your article worth publishing. Do a few rounds of proofreading and editing to make sure it’s clean and professionally written.
- If possible, link to a page on your site in the blog post. Most publishers have guidelines for linking guest posts. Follow them and, if allowed, include a link to some of the content on your site. This helps redirect relevant traffic to your site while also supporting off-page SEO.
- Write a bio that invites readers to learn more. Another way to get readers coming back to your site is to use your author’s bio. Include a link to your site (if allowed) and include a call-to-action to make readers want to click through to find out more. Consider using your bio to promote a giveaway or signing up for your site to drive even more traffic.
Step 7: Follow up
Your work is not finished after submitting a guest post. If you want to establish a good relationship with the editor and rewrite for him, follow up after your article is published. Help the publisher promote and manage the publication.
- Share your post on social media. Get involved in promoting the blog Share the content with your audience by posting about it on your social feeds. When possible, mention or link to the publisher’s brand to show them that you are working to help promote your article.
- Respond to the comments. Keep an eye out for the comment section of your post. If people leave messages, please follow up in a timely manner.
- Link to it on your website. Promote the post on your site by linking to it on a portfolio page or by writing a post summary with a link to the original on your own blog.
Step 8: Track the results of your guest posts
You can’t fully understand what you’re getting from guest posting unless you’re tracking your results. For each guest post, use metrics to track and monitor the marketing ROI of your work.
Create a list of your posts with the website name, live link, and relevant marketing KPIs. Track the metrics most relevant to your goals outlined in step one. These measures can include:
- Referral traffic amount
- Number of new website visitors
- Number of shares
- Comments on the number
- Changes in SERP location
- Number of new prospects
- Number of brand mentions or links
Using these metrics, you can identify which sites have helped you achieve your goals and which sites have not. This will help you determine which sites you should try to re-post guests to and which sites should be removed from future guest posting plans.
Now you know how guest posting can support your marketing, PR, and SEO initiatives. You also know eight steps you can take to plan and execute your strategy.
Make good use of that information and start creating a guest blogging plan that will increase your brand awareness, generate leads, and drive more organic traffic to your site.
To support your new guest posting plan, sign up for a free trial of the Alexa Advanced plan. It includes all of the Alexa tools mentioned in this article, as well as other keyword research, content planning, and competitor research tools to help you execute a strategy.
Do guest bloggers get paid?
A lot of blogs are offering to pay guest writers for the contributions they make. That isn’t to say, of course, that you can just pitch any ideas you like and rake in a ton of money. In most cases, paid guest posting opportunities aren’t exactly lucrative. … Even so, guest blogging basically amounts to unpaid labor.
Does guest blogging work?
Guest Blogging FAQ. Does guest blogging work? Yes, guest blogging still works and is a viable way to build relationships with other bloggers, get in front of a new audience, build your blog’s reputation and improve your SEO.
How do I find guest bloggers?
My favorite place to find guest bloggers is on competitor sites. Simply visit other blogs in your niche that also accept guest authors, and see who’s writing for them. Chances are, they may be interested in writing for your blog too.
What is the difference between blogging and guest posting?
The primary value of a guest post is that you get a link back to your site, you get your name out there, and you get name recognition from the readers of this other high profile site you’re posting on. … Compared to this, a blog post on your own site is by default not going to be a valid backlink.