How to Create a Guest Blogging Strategy Step by Step
Guest blogging, or guest posting, is a marketing writing strategy that can be very attractive. However, to be successful, it must be executed according to a well-designed plan. Collaborating with other sites without clear objectives can be a waste of time and resources. By following the recommendations we detail in this article, you will be able to increase your traffic and ROI for both your organization or brand and your host.
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging is a tactic that is as simple as it is effective. Basically, it consists of publishing as a guest author on a third party’s site. Although the name refers directly to blogs, it also includes posts on social networks and websites.
The content of these collaborations must be aligned with the host’s theme and provide added value. In this alliance, everyone benefits. A common problem for site administrators is the difficulty of constantly producing content. New authors can take advantage of the relevance of established sites to make themselves known. It can even be a strategy used by experts to access new audiences.
What concrete results can be obtained?
Your blogging services agency may recommend implementing a guest blogging strategy. The benefits will have a direct impact on your business objectives because these lead to concrete and measurable results. If the collaboration is properly planned and executed, it can achieve:
- An increase in your visibility and digital presence, promoting awareness of your brand, corporate or personal
- An increase in traffic to your site and access to new audiences, prompting the acquisition of new subscribers and potential customers
- An opportunity to build authority. In being cited by other sites, you position yourself as an expert in your industry as well as a valuable actor and reference.
- The transfer of credibility and trust that the host site may have with its audience or industry
- The improvement of SEO positioning due to highly valued links. You will be able to attract valuable backlinks, which will strengthen your site’s SEO and domain authority.
- An optimization of content marketing ROI through extending the reach of your communications
How to create a guest blogging strategy step by step
Guest posting on someone else’s blog is not something that happens by chance. It should be the result of a well-planned digital marketing strategy. The places where you publish will have an impact on your positioning and brand image. This can be very positive if you find suitable platforms; otherwise, it could be damaging to your reputation. On the other hand, it is important to know how to maximize your chances of being invited to contribute to a blog. Below we explain step by step how to develop a successful guest blogging strategy.
Your time is valuable and should not be wasted on actions that do not have a precise objective. So the first step is to define what you hope to achieve with a marketing writing strategy. As we have seen, you can get very specific results by posting on third party sites. However, you should prioritize your needs and objectives in order to identify the best possible partners for you.
Generally speaking, one or more of the following objectives is likely relevant to you:
- Positioning your brand (corporate or personal) as an authority in your industry
- Increase visibility and traffic to your website
- Create backlinks to help you rank higher in search engines (remember, however, that this practice can be penalized)
Once you have clear objectives, you need to find out which blogs are valuable for your guest blogging strategy. In doing so, consider the relevance of the site to your industry or niche. You can determine this by identifying the target audience for the blog or site and check if the content is appealing to the audience generally interested in your industry. You should also ensure that the site accepts guest writers.
Why is it important to explore blog content?
Many blogs can address the same topic but from radically different perspectives. For example, a film blog can be aimed at viewers or industry professionals. In the first case, the content will contain film reviews or the premiere listings as well as discussions of both. A specialized blog would provide comparisons of equipment, calls for competitions and festival information for filmmakers.
Knowing your target blog content will allow you to pinpoint your audience. It will also identify what kind of formats you could use in your publications. Are they video tutorials? Are they in-depth articles or lists of resources?
Audience interactions suggest a certain degree of interest or engagement. However, this is not the only indicator. You can also find out the authority level of a site, using analysis tools like MOZ’s Open Site Explorer. With the free version you can make 10 link queries per month. You can also learn which keywords are used, identify the main pages of the site and check the backlinks.
On the other hand, it is convenient to know how many subscribers and followers the blog has on various networks. When a site is popular, this data is generally visible. In any case, you can always check their social media profiles. Also, take the opportunity to investigate how you promote your content and if you mention the content of guest authors. To check the traffic, you can type the URL in the search box on the Alexa home page. The free version offers basic metrics, but, if you need more information, you can take advantage of the 14-day trial.
How to find out if a blog accepts guest posts?
If you are lucky, the blog will have posted guidelines for collaborations. This would be a clear indicator that the site is open to third party publications. This, however, is rare. Usually, you will need to use other means to find out.
Google search and social networks
Make the query from the search engine. Simply place the keyword of the topic, followed by a phrase that mentions the collaborations. For example:
- [topic keyword] + “become a contributor”
- [topic keyword] + “guidelines for guest posting”
- [topic keyword] + “write to us” + “write to us
- [topic keyword] + “collaborate” + “collaborate” + “collaborate” + “collaborate” + “collaborate”
- [keyword of the topic] + “guest article” + [keyword of the topic] + “guest article” + “guest article”
You will get a result similar to this:
You can also run this query on Twitter. This will display the latest tweets about guest posts in your industry. Follow the links and check the terms of collaboration of the blog.
Find out where your competitors publish
You’re probably familiar with the names of influential bloggers in your industry. Do a Google search of the name and the phrase “guest post by.” The results will show the sites where the individual has guest posted. Check your social profiles as well, as most people share links to your posts, both on their own and via third party media.
Believe it or not, there is a community that connects bloggers with experts and guest authors. Blog owners can register to get in touch with people interested in posting on their site. You can join this and create your profile and offer your blogging services as an author on the topics related to your interests and your area of expertise.
Now that you know where you could and would like to publish, it is time to approach the individuals who run the blog. Develop a relationship with them before making any proposals for collaboration. Start by following them on social media, leave comments on their blog and follow up over the course of a few weeks. Tag them in your posts and share information of interest. The intent is to integrate into their community and, hopefully, vice versa, before they approach you.
You can make mentions on your own blog and subscribe to their database to receive their emails. You will become a familiar figure which will enable you to foster interactions and lay the groundwork for a future relationship.
The collaboration proposal must refer to a specific topic. Analyze how your post can add value to the blog. Find out what the most popular topics are and think about what additional information you can contribute. Avoid sending proposals that are repetitive. Always look for a fresh perspective. You can also identify trends in your industry and see if they have been addressed on the site. Make original and relevant proposals that would interest the blog administrator and, of course, your audience.
Try to learn the name of the person responsible for the blog. You may need to look it up in the site description or social media accounts. Note that if you want to establish a relationship, a generic greeting may not be the best way to establish contact. Start your proposal by introducing yourself. Provide information about your own blog and your experience. Subtly make it clear why it would be to their advantage to have you as a guest author. Avoid empty self-promotion. Be sure to include links to your publications or your profile on relevant networks. This will help them find out who you are. Moreover, it is a more sophisticated and strategic way to present your skills.
Finally, touch upon the topic you would like to address. Give a brief description with a couple of sentences or a few bullet points. Take these recommendations into account:
How to present your idea
A good presentation of the idea will increase the chances of acceptance. There are no magic formulas, but there are some considerations that can tip the scales in your favor:
- Explain why that specific content will be valuable to the blog’s audience
- Be concise in your presentation; there is no need to go into detail. Describe only the key points.
- Consider adding an example of the meta description of the article that follows the rules of SEO content writing.
- Plan a development of the topic according to the length of the blog posts. If the site’s entries are 500 words, limit the topic so that you meet these requirements.
If the proposal is accepted, be sure to check the deadline and publication parameters. Adapt your content to the format, word count and style guide of the blog. When writing your article, remember:
- Content should not be an advertisement for your business. You can use relevant examples, but the focus of the publication should be on providing information of interest to the audience.
- Write a compelling headline using action words or the benefits it will bring to the reader.
- Include keywords that will rank well in search engines and contribute to a traffic increase on the site.
- Check that the information in your publication is accurate and up to date.
- Include relevant internal and external links that contribute to SEO and build authority.
- Include graphic elements if the blog format suggests it. This allows you to highlight the main points and improve the readability of the text.
Generally, the biography can include a link to your site or the contact for your social networks. Use these short lines to direct your audience to the landing page you are promoting. It may be necessary to create content to fit the characteristics of this audience. Do not forget to make a call to action. This can be an invitation to leave comments, visit your blog or follow you on social media. You can even post a link to a downloadable resource.
In your description, include any information about your experience or projects that may be relevant to readers. Adapt it to your blog readers. This does not necessarily have to be the same biography you use on your site or in your networks. We all have different interests and angles to promote, and it is advisable to use the one that is most relevant to the audience or platform.
Respond to comments and mentions of your post to make connections with your new audience. Engagement will also improve relevancy from which both you and the blog owner will benefit.
Create a Google Alert to track mentions and shared links. Ask the blog owner to share or give you access to the site’s alerts, so you can be notified when someone comments on your post.
Promote your guest post to your own audience. This strategy will strengthen your relationship with those responsible for the blog and will open doors for new collaborations. Your host will be pleased, as your traffic will increase, and you will gain more visibility and build authority in your industry.
Track your post and contact the people behind the blog to review its reception. You can also use the analysis tools mentioned above. Consider new collaborations or the opportunity of becoming a regular guest author.