Guest posts are a crucial cog in the content marketing machine. They can spread the word about your awesome business and build backlinks to your website. When used properly, they can skyrocket your traffic and search engine performance.
What is a guest post?
Guest posting is a content marketing technique where you write for a website, blog, or publication that isn’t your own. The post usually includes a link to your own website somewhere within the text, and maybe a little acknowledgement at the end of the post.
Aren’t guest posts dead?
If you’ve heard about the idea of guest blogging for SEO, you have also heard that the technique is dead. In 2014, SEO guru Matt Cutts said “stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done.” So, is he right?
Not by a long shot. Using guest blog posts for SEO is an old, old SEO technique, and it’s a technique which is filled with spammy practices. However, there are ways to do it right — and people are still producing amazing results by doing it right.
As of 2018, guest blog posts are not dead. They are alive and well and they still help to produce amazing results — not just for our clients, but for small and large businesses across the internet.
What are the benefits of guest blog posts?
Guest blog posts have some awesome perks. Getting your website mentioned and linked to on a respected website with a high Domain Authority website will build traffic, give you an SEO boost and start building your reputation as an expert in your field — the triple threat of a content marketing strategy.
What’s more, linking back to your website’s blog is a great way of building an audience. Aside from all the SEO benefits, it says: “Hey, if you like what I wrote on this website, why not check out my blog?”
Write enough top-notch guest blog posts around the internet and you’ll build that audience. You’ll be seen as an expert and your website will benefit in turn.
Is guest blogging right for my business?
It’s easier to do it in some industries than in others, but it all depends on how your industry feels about the value of their articles. A topic like HR is drenched in opportunity, because there’s a common goal to share knowledge. Travel, however, is more about individual experience and it is a very competitive and content-saturated marketplace. Bloggers and publications in the travel sector tend to prefer to produce their own material.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t do guest blogging in the travel sector; it just means that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It also means that you should try experimenting with other content marketing outreach strategies such as sponsored content, influencer outreach and influencer events.
Have a quick search around to see if there any any popular websites in your industry that accept guest blog posts. Bigger publications will often have a dedicated section on their website which gives you their writing guidelines, so look out for these. On smaller websites, look at the authors of their blog posts. If the words “guest post” crop up, you might be in luck.
Content marketing tip! Google search “topic” + “guest post” for a quick list of search results showing websites that accept guest posts. You can also try “topic” + “write for us”, “submissions”, “submit a guest post”, or other search queries for similar results.
How can I use guest blog posts in my content marketing strategy?
Guest blogging should be just one weapon in your content marketing arsenal. Use it alongside sponsored content, blogger outreach and a steady stream of killer content from your own blog. Some of these strategies will work better for your business than others, so you need to be prepared to tweak your content marketing campaign in order to get the most out of it.
Tips for pitching and writing
Now you’ve been introduced to the world of guest blogging, it’s time to start pitching. Editors of popular publications receive bucketloads of pitches every day, so make yours stand out. This means making life as easy as possible for the editor.
First of all, make it clear in your pitch that you’re familiar with their website. Give examples of your favourite articles and state how your article would fit in with their publication. State in your pitch that you’ll write the post, but consider also mentioning that you’ll source quality images and make any required edits.
When writing the post itself, make sure you abide by any formatting rules they might have, because nothing annoys editors more than reformatting stuff.
If you’re given a deadline, stick to it. A late post can sour relations, and you don’t know how many editor friends that cheesed-off editor has. Your name might be on a blacklist before you’ve even submitted anything.
When planning your content marketing campaign, be sure to make room for guest blogging. It might not pay immediate dividends, but in the long run, it can be killer. Write your guest posts to an awesome standard and you’ll be hailed as a wizard in your field in no time.
If you looking for a team of ridiculously skilled Content Marketing Ninjas to do your guest blogging for you, check out Exposure Ninja’s range of content marketing services!