Guest blogging is a win-win strategy used by websites and blogs owners in order to increase their pages’ visibility on the web. The host bloggers see it as an opportunity to obtain fresh content without having to write it themselves or to pay a ghostwriter for the job. Moreover, guest blogs bring a different perspective and new topics. On the other hand, guest writers are rewarded a number of backlinks towards their own pages. This helps their SEO and drives more traffic to their website.
Despite its great potential for both parties, guest blogging is rarely properly done. Here are a few tips to help you build a successful guest blogging strategy:
1. Take the time to study the host website
Guest blogging is not only an optimizing strategy. It is also a way of getting your voice heard across the web. Browsing the website you are planning to submit your post to will allow you understand what its readership is. You will thus be able to choose an interesting topic and to adapt your writing style accordingly. Take the host website’s architecture into consideration when picking your topic and check whether the subject hasn’t already been approached. If this is the case, ask yourself the following question: Can I bring a different perspective and new pieces of information? If the answer is negative, brainstorm for another topic.
2. Write for your audience
A common mistake bloggers frequently do is writing for search engines and losing sight of their readers. If they want to increase their pages’ position, most webmasters will reject over-optimized keywords stuffed articles for a simple reason: Google penalizes such blogging behavior and no one wants to fall in the disgrace of the virtual world’s major player. Research your keywords and introduce them naturally, without overdoing it.
3. Turn the author’s bio into a marketing tool
Craft a detailed bio, providing the relevant pieces of information that position you as an expert in the field you are writing about. This increases your words’ credibility. With the amount of information currently available on the World Wide Web, anyone can write about anything. However, this does not make them experts in the topic they are blogging about. Therefore, when writing the bio, explain your readers why they should take your opinions into consideration.
4. Respect your quality standards
If your article is meant to be uploaded on somebody else’s blog, this does not mean that you don’t have to respect your usual quality standards. Structure your ideas, pick your words, and check your spelling and grammar as if you were writing for your own website. After all, each guest post takes back to your pages. A poorly organized article or one filled with typos is not likely to persuade readers to click on the links you inserted. Such a guest post will bring little benefits to your blog.
5. Check your facts
Informative well written articles are more likely to be accepted. Do your homework, make a proper research and check your facts. Nothing could be more embarrassing both for you and for the webmaster who has published your post than a comment proving your sayings wrong.
6. Avoid self promotion
It is true that guest blogging is meant to make your pages more visible and to drive traffic towards them, but too much self promotion will only decrease your post’s chances of being accepted. The best strategy is to find blogs and websites focused on an adjacent topic. For instance, if you have a photography blog, you can look for travel, wedding or party planning websites.
7. Choose your host carefully
Just like in the offline world, the entourage says many things about you. This is a crucial criteria search engines use to calculate a website’s page rank. Therefore, evaluate your relationships carefully. Spammers are the worst alliance within the blogging world. A glance at Alexa toolbar will provide you with valuable information about your potential host. Check out the website’s rank, the back links redirecting to it and the traffic flow its pages have been driving.
8. Introduce yourself
When pitching a guest blogging opportunity, start by introducing yourself. You don’t have to send over your curriculum vitae. Keep things simple. Provide your potential host bloggers with the pieces of information they need in order to trust you. It is advisable you use your real name, but even if you don’t, be persistent. Pick a suggestive pen name and stick to it. When approaching a blogger for the first time, show samples of previous posts you have published and come up with a topic. You could also mention the social media channels through which you are planning to promote your post. Proving that you have a good number of Facebook likes or Twitter followers may give you more chances to have your post accepted.
9. Create a personal relationship
The first step is to personalize your message. Canned e-mails put people off and this will decrease your chances of getting an answer, left aside having your article published. Then, try to engage with your peer webmaster on topics that would concern you both. You may not get together for a beer, especially if your host blogger lives on the other side of the Earth, but it will help you open new doors and discover new opportunities.
10. Don’t take no for an answer
Although the above mentioned pieces of advice will certainly decrease your chances of rejection, nobody’s perfect. If your peer blogger does not accept your post, ask for details about the reasons. Remain polite and take the rejection as an improvement opportunity. Brush up your article and re-submit it, letting the host blogger know about the amendments you made and thanking for the chance.
By following these simple tips, you will increase your chances of having your posts accepted from the very first submission, even if you are approaching the most demanding webmasters. This will help you create valuable relationships within the blogging world and build a successful guest blogging campaign.