Like it or not, your business needs inbound marketing to shine. When it comes to inbound marketing, one of the most sought after approaches is guest blogging. Guest blogging is so effective, doing a simple Google search for “guest blogging” returns nearly 5m result pages.
However, not everyone that does guest blogging is doing it the right way. From finding the right blogs to pitch, to measuring the ROI of their guest blogging efforts and everything in between, mastering the craft takes a lot of learning.
In fact, people have been using guest blogging but have failed miserable in measuring the results of their efforts. I did a post on MarketingProfs on how to measure your guest blogging efforts, which you can apply to measure the ROI of your guest posting campaign.
In this blog post, I want to share with you some of the rules you need to follow if you want to use guest blogging to grow your business, whether wholly or to complement your other marketing efforts.
#1. Think Outside of SEO.
This coming from me might sound counterintuitive, but I want you to do your job for once as if Google is not a major factor. I’m not saying you should ignore the search engine quality rules required to deliver high quality content. But I want you to serve the audience, those that Google wants to please and those that would have to pay to keep your business running.
Once you’ve taken SEO rewards out of the equation, you will find that your aim would be to offer real value in your content.
#2. Only Target Blogs Where Your Customers are
The niche relevance of the blog you’re writing for should be similar to your website. This should be where your ideal customers are hanging out. Such publication should be so relevant to your business that a simple mention of your brand on it would drive sales and leads to your sales funnel.
This is an approach that is guaranteed to show your business to a rich and well targeted customer base.
#3. Identify what the blog needs before you start
Why is it important to identify the needs of the blog you’re going to be writing for? It helps you understand their readers better. If you’re going to be successful with guest blogging, you need to deliver content that speaks to their needs.
When you try to identify what the blog needs, you’ll discover that most blogs place the interests of their readers as priority and this is where you, as a guest contributor, should excel. Find out which areas this blog has not been able to fully meet the needs of their readers and instantly fill that gap.
If you’re able to successfully meet the needs of the host blog, you’ll find that their readers will seek you out.
#4. Align your topic to your products and offerings
What are you selling? Is it worth the interest of the readers of the blog you intend to blog for? If so, then let the topic of your content be around your offering. This way you’re giving them valuable and helpful content while prepping them for what to expect when they click over to your website.
Be mindful not to go overboard by promoting yourself in your guest post, as doing that will only guarantee you a “NO” from the editors of the blog. Create interesting stuff that is both relevant to the audience in terms of value and will reflect your brand.
#5. Introduce a new dimension to your audience
When you’ve been let in, you should not disappoint the audience of the blog by serving them in the same style they’ve been used to. Giving them the same feeling they’re used to only guarantees that your brand and identity is instantly lost on the numerous content found on the blog. Turn things around and introduce something new to them.
A good example of how a Problogger guest contributor creatively used an unusual approach to win the hearts of the audience was an article of less than 100 words that instantly went viral on a blog known for its long-form, detailed content approach.
You simply need to find out what will work for you that is different from what the audience of the blog are already used to.
#6. Always add something to takeaway
Don’t let your content be just the regular guest posts people normally come across on the blog. Try to go a little extra by offering the readers something to takeaway. This might be as little as a suggestion on how to start implementing the ideas you covered in your blog post, or as good as a pdf version of the article itself.
It helps to deepen the readers’ interest in your brand, well, because everyone loves extra.
#7. Give them reasons to come over to your website
Avoid leave without leaving a mark or without giving your audience a reason to come over to your website. This is where you get to reward yourself for the hard work you’ve done. Again, this is not an opportunity to start linking excessively to your pages.
It has to be a process where you entice your audience to the value-packed content you have on your website.
#8. Initiate a Conversation
So many people end their articles and guest posts with bland, uninteresting conclusions that do not invoke any reactions from their readers. A great article would naturally invoke a conversation around it, but you should also nudge readers into interacting with you on your contribution.
One way Neil Patel increases engagement in his blog posts is by asking if his readers have any more ideas they want to share with everybody.
While your readers may not be inclined to share new ideas with you, by initiating a conversation, you’re guaranteed to encourage a conversation around your article. This will not only inject live into your post, but it will also encourage the blog owner to warm-up to more content from you.
Do you have any other methods to boost your guest blogging performance? You can share them with us below.
Featured image credit Flickr (Free Blog Photos)