If you’re interested in developing your personal brand, getting notoriety for your blog, or simply boosting your company website’s domain authority, one of the best strategies at your disposal is gust blogging. The basic premise of gust blogging is simple: you’ll write valuable, high-quality articles for different publishers, earning visibility (and sometimes links) in the process. But the nuances of guest blogging as a marketing strategy are much more complex. If you’re new to the strategy, you may feel overwhelmed—especially if you’ve already gotten a few rejections.
In this article, we’ll teach you the basics of guest blogging and how to get started.
Establishing Your Priorities
First, it’s important to identify and solidify your main priorities for guest blogging. There are many advantages to this strategy, but some are going to be more valuable to you than others. Optimizing your approach to cater to these priorities is essential if you want to make the most of your work.
These are three of the most common priorities:
- Personal brand visibility. This is ideal if you’re trying to get yourself more recognized or more popular as an author. If this is your goal, you’ll need to focus on developing a persona for yourself, and work with publishers who will allow you to have a full bio on their site. Consistency and community building are your keys to success here.
- Link value and domain authority. The more links you have pointing to your site, and the more trustworthy the sources of those links are, the higher your domain authority (DA) is going to be. The higher your DA is, the higher you’re going to rank in search engines. If this is your priority, you’ll need to focus on getting published on the highest-DA sites possible, and try to earn dofollow links along the way.
- Referral traffic. You may also optimize your strategy for referral traffic, attempting to get as many people as possible to visit your site directly. This has good synergy with the domain authority angle, since you’ll need links for both. However, referral traffic optimization is more heavily focused on piquing readers’ interests in your content.
Writing Strong Onsite Content
Before you get too deep in your guest blogging strategy, you need to write and publish strong content on your site. This is important for several reasons. First, it’s going to serve as an example of your capabilities when you pitch content ideas to new publishers; editors will want to read samples of your work, and if those samples are impressive, they’ll be more likely to host you. Second, it’s going to serve as good linking material; it’s much easier to build a link in your guest blogs when you have an archive of original, valuable material on your site. Third, it’s going to keep your new site visitors interested long enough to engage with your material.
So what makes strong content strong? This is a complex subject worthy of its own article, but in general, “good” content is:
- Original, meaning it has information or arguments that aren’t already all over the web.
- Detailed, offering lots of statistics or examples to prove a point.
- Eloquent, meaning it’s both easy and pleasing to read.
- Entertaining, often with the help of a humorous or friendly personal voice.
- Valuable, meaning it provides something important to the reader.
- Visually neat, organized with clear subsections and lists.
Reaching Your First Publisher
Now it’s time to get guest blogs written. You’ll be tempted to start at the top of the ladder, pitching to high-DA and high-traffic sites, but it’s usually better to get your start lower. Lower-tier publishers are easier to work with and more welcoming of new submissions; once you get published and popular on these platforms, you’ll find it easier to climb up the ladder, so to speak.
The biggest factor in your success is the quality of your pitch. You have to pitch an article idea (or several) that will appeal to the publisher’s target audience, and it has to be clear that the publisher will benefit from publishing it. If the editor or other point of authority makes recommendations for changes, or offers a different idea for you to write, be accommodating; starting the relationship is vital if you want to succeed.
Developing Your Strategy
From there, it’s all about developing your strategy according to your priorities. If you want to build your personal brand, you might try to become a regular contributor with your first publisher. If you want to increase your domain authority, you might try to get published on a wide network of different publishers. If you want more referral traffic, you might focus on high-traffic sites. Either way, you’ll need to work through this gradually and remain committed to your long-term goals.