Guest blogging. Ever heard of it? It’s often an underutilized tool, but if you figure out how to do it well and create opportunities for yourself it can do a lot of great things for your SEO success, increasing your social reach, and widening your audience.
Why Guest Blog
When you guest blog, you’re essentially writing on a topic for another blogger, for their audience. I know, it sounds like handing out free work right? But this is a mutually beneficial relationship.
The host blogger will accept your request to write for their website and link to your website somewhere on the page. This creates the almighty backlink. These backlinks look good to search engines when crawling, and makes you look like a credible source for information in your industry.
Not only are you bettering your SEO, you are speaking to a whole new audience. This gets your name out there to people whom you may not have reached otherwise.
If you target relevant blogs in your industry, you’re speaking to an audience with a well established community already primed for the information you have to give. Share your blog on your social media outlets and ask the host to do the same.
This can expand your brand and increase your social media following. The benefits are far-reaching if you are adding value to the discussion and tackle it with some patience and persistence.
The 'How To'
So you’re with me now. Guest blogging is beneficial. But how do we get started? Where can we find those valuable connections? Research is your best friend here. Google is a great starting point. Simply google your keyword (your industry) + ‘guest post’. That will give you a few options.
Your Favorite Blog
Another great way to find bloggers should be obvious! Hopefully you already read blogs from others in your industry. If you don’t, start! Remember the names of the authors. Pick one of your favorites -- one that has a good following, and most importantly one that has an author who is active on social media.
Many of these bloggers know the value of guest posting and allowing others to post for them. So network! Chances are they will be glad to make the connection too.
So make sure you don't burn any bridges and offer to let them make some content for your site too! They will bring their audience to your page and will fill in those content gaps you may get while spending your time writing for others.
Finding good guest blogging sources is pretty simple with social media. In the search bar function of a social media platform like Twitter, search for your keyword (industry) + guest post and see what comes up. It’s always worth a try and could lead you in the right direction.
MyBlogGuest is a blogging community that allows people who are looking for bloggers to create content for their blogs and bloggers looking to guest blog. It makes the act of reaching out easier and more streamline. Keep in mind that it’s important to still vet these blogs and make sure you are getting everything you need out of your time:
- A good audience
- A presence for your work on social
- And of course, backlinks!
Hopefully you have been attending conferences and trade shows for your industry. Again, if you haven’t, start! Making connections in your industry is a great way to start a blogging relationship. Broach the subject by underlining the benefits for you both, and offer to let them blog for you too!
Vetting Your Competitors
Once you find out who your competitors are, you should look into their own blogging plans. There is a resource you can use to do this. You can download Open Site Explorer to your toolbar here.
This tool will allow you to look at all the backlinks of your competitors and help you find link building opportunities. Do they have a lot of backlinks? Who are they guest blogging for? This is valuable information for your business and may help you model your own blogging journey.
So network! Reach out! Write blogs for other pages! It seems counterintuitive, but you can really make a difference in the size of your audience and reach by putting time into guest blogging. It's an important component of you inbound marketing strategy, so don't over look it. And remember from time to time, open your blogs to others too!