These days, if you want to make your digital dreams into a reality, then you need to invest at least some time and effort into content marketing.
The days of outbound advertising strategies like sales calls, direct mail leaflets, and billboards are long dead, and today’s consumers have more control than ever on the things they choose to view, engage with, and ignore.
With the right content marketing campaign, you can convince a new customer of your value, showcase your authority in a niche, or even increase loyalty with your existing customer. In fact, the statistics on blogging and content production speak for themselves:
74% of companies believe content increases their lead quantity and quality.
36% of businesses indicate that their content is extremely effective.
Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates three times as many leads.
So, what’s the problem? Why isn’t every organisation churning out more blog posts every day? The simple answer is that content creation is hard. It takes time, dedication, and focus that most brands simply don’t have to spare. In fact, of the top 5 content marketing challenges that businesses face, lack of time (51%), producing enough content (50%), and maintaining consistency (34%) are some of the biggest problems.
The good news is that there’s a simple way to start boosting your brand presence with an enhanced content portfolio – and you don’t need to find any more time in your schedule to do it. Guest posting or working with a guest blogger to build your content campaign could be the simplest solution out there for brands seeking long-term recognition.
Roll out the welcome mat: The benefits of guest blogging
Many companies assume that the biggest advantages of guest posting typically go to the author. After all, if someone writes for your website, they get access to your existing consumer base, your hard-earned authority, and even your social media accolades.
However, as wonderful as a guest blogging strategy can be for the writer, there are more benefits than you might think for the host website too. In fact, here are just some of the advantages you could face when you roll out the welcome mat for a guest blogger:
A mutual boost to reputation
We’re living in a world where your reputation is crucial to your survival. If your clients don’t believe in your company, then you’re not going to get anywhere – no matter how much traffic you might already have coming to your blog. In fact, “reputation” is one of the things that Google considers when it’s deciding where certain pages should be ranked in the search engines.
Authority in your niche is calculated according to how much value you offer your customers. When you add guest posting to your site, you’re confirming that other people agree that you’re a trustworthy source of information. The more you collect authoritative guest bloggers for your website, the more your reputation will improve.
Greater social visibility and engagement
A guest posting strategy can also be a great way to generate more attention for your social media presence too. When you accept new authors to your website, you can bet that they’ll share the link to their content with their own social network, so that your brand awareness begins to grow into new marketplaces.
Additionally, the new perspectives offered by your guest blogger could encourage your social followers to take part in a conversation that sparks engagement for your entire campaign. The more you start speaking with your audiences, the more you learn about the kind of content they want from you.
Access to new expertise
No matter how much of an expert you might be in your chosen niche, there’s always a chance that there could be someone out there who knows more than you do about a trending topic or important piece of information. Guest posting opens the door for new authorities to come through and start discussing their thoughts on what’s happening within your industry, this can fill any gaps that might prevent you from becoming an authority.
New perspectives on existing topics
Spend too long in the trenches on your own content strategy, and you’ll start to develop a sort of tunnel vision that makes it harder for you to extend beyond your own opinions and biases. You might start to gravitate more naturally towards topics that were successful for you in the past, instead of exploring new ideas. Unfortunately, that’s not much of an exciting process for your reader.
The benefits of guest posting allow you to look at your industry from a different viewpoint, and it also gives you a much-needed break. After all, even the best writers can suffer from a block after too long working on the same campaign.
Backlinks for your SEO
Finally, many of the people looking for opportunities to host a guest blogger will have blogs of their own that they’re trying to generate more attention for. When someone new joins your guest posting strategy, they’ll undoubtedly link to you at some point in the future so that they can reference the material they wrote. This gives you a chance to improve your backlinking strategy and show off your value to Google.
Guest blogger wanted: How to find guest bloggers
When you’re looking for ways to make your website as memorable, and valuable as possible, there’s a good chance that you’ll dedicate a significant amount of time to looking for the right guest posting opportunity.
Whether you’re struggling to keep up with a consistent content calendar yourself, and you need help engaging your audience, or you simply want a fresh perspective for your brand, learning how to find guest bloggers that support your company can be a powerful solution for many digital marketers.
The problem is, the benefits of guest blogging mentioned above are only possible when you choose the right contributor for your site. So, how do you find guest bloggers that can bring new value to your existing audience?
1. Try guest posting forums and communities
If you’ve been working on your brand awareness strategy for a while now, then you’ve probably come across content forums and industry communities before in your search for writers and freelance contributors. Many niche websites online are packed full of experts who are willing to share their knowledge about your market.
The key to choosing the right guest blogger from these places is making sure that you choose someone who not only has the potential to start a conversation, but also knows the value of good grammar, and exceptional writing.
2. Examine your blog comments
Sometimes, your biggest fans can also be your biggest assets. Not only can dedicated readers show their worth by acting as ambassadors for your brand, but they can also take part in your guest posting campaign too – provided they have something valuable to offer other readers.
These days, you might struggle to find someone with marketing expertise who will still take the time to write a message in your comment section, rather than sending you a private email or social media post, but it’s worth looking just in case.
3. Follow your favourite bloggers
There’s bound to be at least a few websites out there that you like to go to for inspiration on how you can boost word of mouth marketing, or polish your visual identity. Sometimes, these blogs will even offer up insights from their own writer if you can show them that posting on your website could be beneficial to them.
Check out their information and look for any signs that they might be willing to act as a guest blogger for your company. Alternatively, consider sending an email pitch explaining why you’d like them to contribute to your site.
While there’s no perfect map for finding the ideal guest posting expert, the more you browse through websites, communicate with guest blogger forums, and connect with people who reach out to your brand, the more likely it is that you’ll find a writer whose tone and voice fit with your existing marketing plan.
4. Advertise your guest blogging opportunities
Finally, just as you might market a new service or product offered by your company, it’s also worth promoting your desire to host new guest authors on your website. Use hashtags on social media like #GuestBloggersWanted or #GuestPosting alongside a brief post describing what you’re looking for in a contributor. Send messages out to your email newsletter list to see if anyone in your existing network is interested in taking part.
Don’t forget, while you’re advertising your willingness to work with new writers, make sure you have at least one page on your website outlining everything a professional would need to know about your business, and your blog, before they get in touch.
How to choose the perfect guest post for your campaign
By this point, you should know that a guest posting strategy is a great way to start expanding your online presence without having to do a huge amount of extra work. Guest posters share links to their content when it’s published, which basically adds up to free marketing for your company, and they’ll also do their best to contribute to your online authority too.
The more effort you put into your guest posting campaign, the more likely it is that the content you collaborate over will generate interest from not only your target audience but wider groups of people you may never have considered targeting before.
Of course, like any marketing strategy, before you can simply jump into guest posting head-first, you’ll need to put a plan of action into place. Here are just some of the things you need to do before you can put up that “guest blogger wanted” sign:
1. Understand your goals
Goals are the key to fantastic marketing. If you don’t have your sights set on a specific outcome, then you’ll never know whether your campaigns are effective or not. For most brands, the goals of a guest posting campaign will be similar to the targets you set out for your overall content strategy, for instance, you might want to:
Build a stronger social following and a longer email marketing list.
Engage new customers and establish affinity with existing prospects.
Showcase your authority and demonstrate credibility.
Encourage click-throughs and conversions.
Knowing your goals will help you to determine what kind of guest bloggers you want to reach out to, what your guest posting guidelines should be, and whether there are any specific topics you need to cover in your content campaign.
2. Create your “guidelines”
Look at some of the most popular guest posting websites online today, and you’ll find that they all have one thing in common: a distinct set of guidelines for guest bloggers to follow. While you want your guest posting messages to have a different tone of voice to your existing content, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t follow any rules.
Make sure that every post submitted to your company is brimming with high-quality, actionable information for your readers to follow. At the same time, remember to give your authors some tips on the grammatical rules you like to follow, how you address issues with imagery and photographs, and whether you prefer blogs written in a certain style.
3. Have a promotion plan
Once you’ve successfully reached out to an influencer in your field who’s willing to write a piece on your behalf, or you’ve attracted a writer with your guest posting strategy, let them know that you’re willing to sing their praises.
Many guest posting experts will share their industry knowledge for free, so if you want to get the good ones on your side, then you need to give them remuneration in the form of promotion, instead. Explain how you’re going to share each post on social media, and whether it will be included in an email news blast too.
Promote guest posts the same way you would market your own content. Remember, the more you share the post, the more leads you’ll have reading your new article.
4. Be willing to edit (ruthlessly) before you publish
Just because you’ve chosen a top-of-the-line writer to participate in your guest posting campaign, doesn’t mean that they won’t have accidentally overlooked the odd typo. Even the best creatives make mistakes, and if you fail to look for them, then this could reflect badly on your brand. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make sure that every post you publish is pristine before it goes out on your website.
Bad syntax or issues with grammar in a blog will reflect poorly on your website, not your guest blogger, so keep that in mind. Take the time to go through and proofread every piece before you share it with your followers.
Host etiquette: Tips for designing the perfect guest posting strategy
As the host of a guest blogger, you take on a lot of responsibility. While it’s tempting to think that an investment in guest posting simply means that you don’t have to worry about filling up your content calendar for the next few weeks, that’s rarely the case. While you do get all the benefits that come with welcoming an industry authority into your digital world, it’s also up to you to make the most of your new relationship.
To unlock the full benefits of guest blogging, make sure that your posting strategy includes all the following features:
1. A page on how to get published on your site
Eventually, as your business continues to grow, and people become more familiar with your brand name, you’ll stop seeking out guest bloggers, and they’ll begin coming to you instead. At this point, you’ll need to be prepared with a list of requirements that you want your contributors to follow before they start flooding your email inbox with poorly-written blog posts.
Content producers who visit your website will need to know what kind of length you like your blogs to be, which topics you prefer to cover, and whether you have any restrictions on what they can and can’t do. For instance, most blogs will put a limit on the amount of “outgoing” links guest bloggers can use to direct readers back to their website.
2. A list of benefits
While your guest posting page should offer plenty of information on what you expect from your writers, it should also come with insight into what they can get from you in return. After all, remember that your guest bloggers are using their time, expertise, and talents to produce a piece that they don’t even get to share on their own website.
Give them a reason to make an effort by listing out all the benefits they’ll receive in exchange for their post. For instance:
Can they include backlinks to their blog in the content or an author bio?
Do you have a strong email list that you can promote the post to?
Does your site receive plenty of traffic that’s great for generating leads?
Do you have a high domain authority score? (i.e. SEO secret sauce.
At the very least, most experts will expect one link back to their blog in the author byline. Additionally, the information about the author should appear directly underneath their post, so that they get credit for their hard work.
3. A communication strategy
Just like any partnership, a great guest posting strategy relies on good communication. If you want people to reach out to you with their submissions, then you’re going to need to help them do that in as many ways as possible. On your “guest blogger wanted” page, include:
Your email address, including an outline of which formats you’ll accept documents in.
A link to a contact page (your contact page should include your phone number, email address, and social media channels).
A submissions form: If you want to direct all your guest posting applicants to the same place, build a submissions form into your page that writers can fill out there and then. The information can then be automatically sent to the right person for approval, and it will be up to them to get back in touch with your preferred writers.
Is it time for a guest posting strategy?
Though blogs, articles, and guest posting might not seem like the most exciting way to build your online brand, the truth is that they’re far more powerful than you think. Blogs might not be as trendy as social media, or as glamorous as a podcast, but year after year they continue to deliver undeniable results.
Small businesses with their own blog get 126% more lead growth than those without a content plan, and around 77% of all internet users devote some of their time online to reading blogs. The problem is, you can’t just set a page up on your website and roll out a new article once or twice a year. Research tells us that the most effective content campaigns are the ones that deliver consistent value in the form of four or five posts per week!
Since most companies simply don’t have the resources or the time to create that level of content, a guest posting strategy is one of the easiest ways to expand your organic traffic potential, without all the hard work.
Guest posting gives you a chance to highlight different opinions on trending topics, access free content for your blog, and develop increased social media exposure. All you need to do is convince the right writers that your website is worth their time.
Remember, there are plenty of other great sites out there looking to attract valuable writers and authoritative authors for their blog. The tips above on how to find guest bloggers, attract them to your website, and implement them into your content plan could be the key to ensuring you don’t lose your audience to your competitors.
Want to learn more about guest posting? Reach out to the experts at Fabrik for insights into how we can expand your content marketing campaign.
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