Guest posting remains a fantastic way to spread your expertise across the Internet. It grants you access to a new, but established audience and provides some link-weight with Google if you include a link back to your site, whether in the copy of the post or in your author bio.
Though guest posting as an SEO strategy has received some recent scrutiny, rest assured that the inherent benefits of creating and sharing quality content online will always remain.
Many are now opting to put no-follow links in their posts to avoid the slightest possibility of looking spammy to Google, but if you’re only including one relevant link back to your site, this might not be necessary.
Always remember that while improving your SEO can be a side objective to your guest posting strategy, your most important priority is creating content that has true value and relevancy to potential readers.
To simplify your efforts, consider these three Ps of guest posting as you begin.
When you guest post on another person’s blog, it means that the blog owner is giving you the floor and trusting you with access to his or her readers. That’s a hefty vote of confidence, which as the blog contributor, you should take pretty seriously. Adequate preparation is key.
Take your time coming up with a great topic that you’re going to enjoy writing about. It should fall under your area of personal expertise or special interest. Three angles you should consider during brainstorming are:
- Focus on solving a common problem. The problem can be prevalent or niche, depending on your audience goals, but your approach to solving it should be original and new. For example, “Five Ways Baking Soda Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars a Month,” might be an appealing guest article for a blog that’s all about thrifty housekeeping.
- Use your unique experience or knowledge to analyze a current event or pop culture trend. “Teenagers Are Socially Stunted and the Internet is to Blame,” can be an arresting headline on a parenting blog.
- Leverage the experience or wisdom you’ve gained professionally or personally to share an interesting, instructional story. “How I Became a Libertarian and What Cats Had to do With It” is a completely appropriate and compelling headline, especially on a political blog.
Make sure the headline does justice to your carefully selected topic. Check out this site for inspiration on headline structure if you need a jolt to the brain: http://www.inboundnow.com/apps/kill-writers-block/.
Now that you’ve got a topic and a headline, it’s time to dive in to actually writing your post. It’s always smart to outline your posts, remembering that headers and itemized lists are great stylistically for blog posts. They make your post easier to scan and less formidable-looking to someone on a time crunch, and you always have to assume that your readers are a mouse-click away from leaving. Keep their attention!
Your outline and first draft will:
- Explain the issue at hand
- Provide or suggest a solution or new point-of-view
- Summarize the issue and solution
Once you’ve got a first draft, revise, revise, revise, and consider these tips to make your writing irresistible.
You always want to have an article prepared before you start contacting potential blog owners. If you don’t already have some relevant sites in mind, head to Google to broaden your options. Search for your topic in quotes for exact search results, such as “frugal housekeeping” “guest posts.” This will help you find relevant sites that may be accepting guest posts.
Only contact one potential blog owner per post at a time. Find their contact information on their site and reach out to them directly, preferably by email. The subject line should include their URL and your email should include your title, the attached Word document of your article, and your name. Plan to follow up at least twice, and if you receive no response, move on down the list.
When selecting potential sites, make sure that they’re relevant to your topic. Google will target guest posts as spam if they have nothing to do with the site on which they’re posted, and the last thing you want to do is look like spam to Google.
What other tools or techniques have you found that have helped your guest posting strategy? Share in the comments!
Jacobs, Deborah. “How to Submit a Guest Post.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2012/10/06/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/. (July 16, 2014.)