Scared of starting a blog?
Got a blog but SEO won’t help?
Tried Guest Blogging without any results?
Perhaps you just weren’t doing it right.
That’s why I created this Guest Blogging Guide. It’s easy to understand and fast to put into practice. Honestly? I wish a guide like this existed when I was starting out with blogging. It would’ve saved me so much time and so many headaches could’ve been avoided.
I like to consider it a guide for intermediates. Not just people who’ve never used Guest Blogging and not just experts who are looking for the latest tips and tricks. It’s a guide designed for people who want to get an overview on blogging.
Although there are chapters on writing well, its main purpose is to educate people on all the different elements around writing a post on someone else’s website.
You’ll get to see what goes on before and after you write your guest post.
Stick with me and you’ll learn:
– The benefits of Guest Blogging for your website and business
– What influencers are looking for in a great Guest Post
-How to properly research your blogging prospects
-Why you should provide value before you ask for a post
-How to differentiate yourself from all other guest bloggers
– …and much more about blogging, influencers and content marketing.
I want to create the best experience for you, so I’ve created the Table of Contents below. Use it to jump to a specific chapter or keep track of where you are:
1. The Definition Of Guest Blogging (in 2016)
2. What are Benefits of Guest Blogging (Number 3 Might Surprise You)
3. Google’s Take On Guest Blogging And Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared
4. Set Your Objectives Right: Key Performance Indicators For Guest Blogging
5. Research Your Prospects #1: The Techniques To WOW The Influencers
6. Research Your Prospects #2: Use These 7 Tools To Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
7. The Golden Rule Of Guest Blogging: Give Before You Ask
8. Write And Perfect Your Guest Post Pitch
9. Craft Your Article #1: How To Differentiate Yourself From The Crowd (The Pan Am Method for Guest Blogging)
10. Craft Your Article #2: Learn How The PROs Leave Their Mark On The Audience.
11. INTERMISSION: Digital Entities That Use Guest Blogging Successfully
12. Measure Your Guest Blogging Results: The REAL Metrics For Success
13. Follow-Up And Repeat: The Essence Of Relationship Building in Guest Blogging
14. The Flipside: Why Guest Blogging is Important and How To Accept Guest Posts
16. The Future Of Guest Blogging
17. Further Reading: Recommended Articles, Guides And Courses
So let’s jump right in with our first chapter.
The Definition of Guest Blogging (in 2016)
To Guest Post – verb – To collaborate with marketers to reach a wider audience, in order to provide immense value to a target audience, through content that answers its needs.
Now that might NOT be the definition you had in your head because most marketers talk about themselves and their results. I look at things a bit differently. Who are we all servicing? Our target audience. Who do we craft content for? Our target audience. Who pays us? That same target audience!
So if Guest Blogging is a 3 step process that looks like this:
1. Build a relationship with influencers in your niche
2. Write killer guest post for those influencers
3. Get targeted traffic to your website and sell them stuff
Then why are most people obsessed with step 3 the most? That’s like meeting a girl for the first time and wondering when you’ll have their first baby together.
It’s time to stop thinking about Guest Blogging as just a tiny part of the Content Marketing Framework. Guest Blogging is about networking with fellow marketers, writing blog posts you didn’t think you were capable of and, ultimately, becoming a leader in your field by obsessing over the value you provide your audience, day in and day out.
Just like Public Relations is part of Digital Marketing, but it’s also managed to break away from that, so should Guest Blogging. It should find a path of its own and stop being seen as a way to piggyback off of someone else’s audience.
Download this handy Cheatsheet to be a PRO at Guest Blogging.
What are Benefits of Guest Blogging?
Build Connections through Guest Blogging
Authority comes not only from the people you know, but the people who know you. That’s why Guest Blogging is; essentially, borrowing an audience and making you look like an expert in the process.
Digital connections are fragile. But nurtured right, you’ll get immense value from just a few emails every few months. Remember, as with everything in (content) marketing, the purpose is to provide value. It should be a two-way relationship
You and your blog owner/influencer should work together to service the audience. You’re both doing it for them, so don’t make it about yourself…
Increase Traffic through Guest Blogging
If you are measuring your impact through Guest Blogging, traffic is a good start. After all, brand awareness is great, but that takes time and effort. A single guest post could rocket your blog and make you call your hosting provider to upgrade to one of those shiny dedicated servers. That is – to keep up with all the traffic you’ve gotten through Guest Blogging.
Of course, it tends to not happen like that. At least not from your very first blog post. But keep aiming high and your traffic will get there. And there’s no need to get fancy here – Google Analytics will do just fine, if you look at the “All Referrals” section.
Guest Blogging for Generating Leads
Connections and traffic are fine, but those don’t pay the bills. Leads are one step closer towards financial rewards for your Guest Blogging efforts.
Since you’ll be choosing a target niche very similar to the one you’re in, you can be sure that the incoming traffic will be very targeted. Not only that, but since you’ve done your research, your Lead Magnet will offer a nice reward in exchange for a name and an email address.
And once you have their email, you can go ahead and charge them…
Now don’t get me wrong, I still stand by my previous words. I still believe you should offer value and that should be your end goal. However, these are side-effects of doing a great job.
There are definitely blogs that offer money for (ghost-written) Guest Blog Posts, but those are only one-time payments. Get great leads, interact with them, learn about them and craft a very specific offer in the form of a guide, a course, a program or a lifetime membership.
That’s how you monetize your expertise through Guest Blogging.
Just like brand awareness itself is a goal, but also a means to an end, Guest Blogging should be primarily associated with educating and entertaining the audience.
But we mustn’t forget that as digital marketers we also have an obligation to drive sales.
Google’s Take On Guest Blogging And Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared (Is Guest Blogging Dead?)
Matt Cutts is the man to talk to about Google’s position on SEO. In January of 2014 he published a detailed blog post about the fall of Guest Posting for SEO only. In it he explains that there’s nothing wrong with contributing to the community and bringing value to a discussion.
The harm arises when this is done ad nauseam, on a lot of websites, just to get backlinks from them. That’s where the difference lies between “contributing” and “piggybacking”.
Kissmetrics clarified a few of the points even further in a February 2014 post. The DOs and DON’Ts of Guest Blogging are fairly simple (and you don’t need Google to tell you this):
- Don’t write on every blog that accepts Guest Posts.Take the time to research the websites, the niche and whether or not you have something of value to add.
- Don’t ignore the comments once you’ve written a Guest Post.Google might not have an algorithm to determine whether you are the one actually responding to the commenters. But not replying to them is digital rudeness.
- Don’t go looking for Guest Blogging opportunities just for SEO. Since this is frowned upon, you should look towards Guest Blogging as a Content Marketing tactic that gets your foot in the door that might earn you a link. But don’t use it just for that.
Even TheNextWeb got in on the action, with an in-depth analysis of the Google Penguin 3.0 algorithm update. You can find that article in the last section of this guide.
With everything Google, the mantra remains true: “Don’t be evil”. If you feel like you’re doing something shady online, you probably are. If you find evidence that Google doesn’t like what you’re doing (sending you AdSense warnings, penalizing your website in Search Engine Results, etc.), you should probably stop.
In this increasingly complex world, great content will still shine through. And 10X Content will shine even brighter – Chapter 10 will teach you how to craft memorable articles.
Set Your Objectives Right: Key Performance Indicators For Guest Blogging
The S.M.A.R.T. objectives are golden here. Your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. Let’s get a closer look at each one:
- Specific: I want to get at least 1 Guest Post.
It’s not a random number, nor is it framed like “more” or “a lot”.-
- Measurable: I want to get 5 Guest Posts.
“At least 1” can mean almost anything, but “5” is easily measurable.
- Achievable: I want to get 5 Guest Posts on small blogs first.
We’re not aiming very high just yet, we’re trying to learn the ropes first.
- Relevant: I want to get 5 Guest Posts on small marketing blogs first.
Guest Posts are my aim, but not any type of blogs will work – they have to be in the marketing niche.
- Timed: I want to get 5 Guest Posts on small marketing blogs first, within 2 months.
The last element – time – helps us put a deadline on our efforts and forces us to make it happen.
S.M.A.R.T. objectives help plan your success. You won’t be happy and you won’t feel you’ve made it unless you pinpoint this part of your plan. Having an amount of time dedicated to this goal means you’ll have to focus and find creative ways to achieve your goals.
With your objectives set up, you will now turn your attention towards your prospects.
Research Your Prospects #1: The Techniques To WOW The Influencers
There are 3 very basic techniques you should do if you want influencers to be impressed by your Guest Post pitch:
Understand the “WHO”
This is crucial and you shouldn’t skip forward to the next technique until you get this down right. You have to be willing to understand the person you’re pitching to. This will dramatically increase your odds of success.
Noah Kagan is an avid taco lover and a firm believer in practical self-development. Joanna Wiebe was shy about money and unsure about the prospect of owning a business. Peep Laja likes experiments and taking things apart to find out how they can work better.
Validate their “WHY”
Marketers are nothing if not focused on results and impact. Joanna Wiebe wants to teach you about the persuasive power of words. Noah Kagan wants you to start a business and be your own boss. Peep Laja needs you to understand that small tweaks can bring big wins.
Latch on to their larger goal. Talk about how their ideas and articles have influenced you and use real examples to illustrate the idea that why they’re doing something is as important as what they’re doing.
Show them the “HOW”
If the first two techniques were the jabs, here comes the right hook for the knockout punch!
Illustrate your influence (previous articles + social-media activity + number of comments), explain the multiple content containers you want to create (the guest blog article will become a podcast, an ebook, an infographic, etc.) and set a high goal (create the most-linked-to resource on that topic).
Guest Blogging gets harder and harder. But use these techniques wisely and you’ll do better than the majority of marketers trying to get a post on someone else’s website.
Research Your Prospects #2: Use These 7 Tools To Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Buzzsumo to find guest blogging opportunities
If there’s just one tool I could recommend, it would be this one. With pricing starting at $79/month (if you pick the yearly payment), it’s not the most affordable tool on this list. But with constant updates and great customer support, you get your money’s worth.
Use it to research how many shares a link has got (including who on twitter retweeted it), who the influencers in a particular space are (based on hashtags, keywords or twitter handles), how a brand’s mentions have evolved over time
It manages to do a few things really well and it’s more focused on the first segment of the Influencer Outreach process. Exporting results is a breeze, so withing seconds you’ll have tens or hundreds of contactable influencers ready to go.
Ninja Outreach to find guest post opportunities
The blogger plan $22/month paid every year. This makes it the cheapest influencer outreach tool on this list. And let me tell you, the price definitely packs a lot of value.
You find influencers, add them to lists and send them an outreach email – all from within the tool. This even comes with 7 free email outreach templates ready do go (Interview Request, Podcast Invite, Guest Post Request, Link Request, Tester Invite, Broken Link Building and Content Pre-Promotion).
The colorful interface and simple options make Ninja Outreach a must-have in your Guest Blogging arsenal.
Scoop.it to find guest post opportunities
Less of a research app and more of a Content Curation tool, Scoop.it makes it easy to post great content without thinking about it. Enter a few topics and you get content suggestions, with added social media activity for each.
Curating content allows you to see whose content is popping up more frequently and also position yourself as a thought leader to your influencers.
The Pro plan is $11/month (paid once per year), but I didn’t find it offered enough value for the money (added possibility of scheduling content, plus a few other not notable features). So you’re safe on the free plan.
Epic Beat to find guest blogging opportunities
Looking for the free Buzzsumo alternative? It’s here, in its BETA form. Discover content, trends and, most importantly, influencers.
The killer features are Content and Community Insights. These analyze content based on your keyword and give you actionable data. Like what the most popular days to post content (on that topic) are. What to include in your tweets? What social networks are the most recommended in that category?
Onalytica Content to find guest blogging opportunities
You get to filter by location, create a new twitter list with them or simply export all the data. This last option is my favorite, since you get 50 results right away.
Take that export file and analyze the number of followers and tweets and make an informed decision whether you want to pursue that influencer. The tool is free, so snag up an account before it gets more expensive.
Anewstip for guest blogging opportunities
The $79/month with an annual commitment tool finds media influentials you can pitch your article towards. It’s geared more towards journalists and media outlets and it’s surprisingly robust (despite it’s very basic interface).
The real winner here consists of Public Media Lists. These are helpful gatherings of influencers, compiled by other Anewstip users. You can, for example, find 65 journalists that have covered iPhone Apps in just a few seconds. Access to these lists is free, all you have to do is sign up for a free account.
The Golden Rule Of Guest Blogging: Give Before You Ask
The Reciprocity Principle, analyzed by Luciano Gamberini, Giovanni Petrucci, Andrea Spoto, and Anna Spagnolli in 2007, referenced in an article by the Nielsen Norman Group, talks about this social psychological law.
Imagine getting a dollar in the mail and a survey you would have to fill in and send back. That dollar does seem enticing, doesn’t it
Of course, there is nothing preventing you from just keeping the dollar for yourself and not sending in the survey. But what kind of person would that make you? And most of all, how would you be able to live with yourself knowing you wronged someone? Someone who’s put their faith in you?
Even if it’s clearly just a marketing ploy to get your personal information, this principle still works today.
1. Retweet the messages you find most interesting.Most influencers are active on twitter, but if the ones you look up to are on other platforms, like facebook, snapchat or instagram, interact with them there. Just don’t do it in a spammy automated kind of way.
2. Comment on their blog posts when you have something to add.If the post ends with a question, this is your opportunity to shine. Stay away from adding links or mentions of yourself – contribute to the discussion.
3. Reply to their newsletters.Most people don’t do this. You should do this. Make it a compliment or a question, but reply to their newsletters once in a while.
4. Provide feedback when they need assistance.If you find a question or a query from them, go out of your way to help. Provide data or any kind of assistance (as long as it’s not creepy). Helping is human and they’ll remember you for it.
5. Sincerely compliment their work.Look for nothing in return. If you enjoy their work – whatever that may be – mention it. You’d be surprised how few people make it a sincere compliment.
Alex from Groove has a great article on interacting with influencers. Sorin from the Janeiro blog talks about influencer outreach when you’re just starting out in online marketing.
Don’t go looking for any magic formula like “Re-tweet 5 messages, send 1 email and get a Guest Post opportunity”. It doesn’t work like that. When you feel the other person is responding to your messages, time to go for the ask. But not sooner than that.
Write And Perfect Your Guest Post Pitch
You’ve set your objectives, you’ve researched your prospects and you’ve even interacted with them, in order to create a connection. It’s time to go ahead and introduce yourself. Below you’ll learn how to write and perfect your Guest Post pitch.
The Subject Line for Guest Post Request Email
One thing you always have to keep in mind is that these influencers are bombarded by emails every day. Even if you do manage to find their best email address, your subject line might not be good enough to make the cut.
Make it personal, try to reference something they’ve done or talked about and keep it short. Also make sure your first words work together with the subject line, as these 2 elements appear in the email preview snippet on most devices.
The Flattery in Guest Post Pitch
Even when I know the person and we’ve talked before, I still like to give them a compliment. After all, if it’s genuine, how does it hurt? Genuine doesn’t just mean you should believe in it.
It also means that it’s not something shallow like “Loved your latest blog post”. Try to get specific and quickly talk what impact the person’s writing has had on you.
No need to keep it longer that a few phrases. Otherwise, you’ll come off as market-y and they’ll smell you want something right away.
The Story in Guest Post Pitch
The next step in the pitch is to sell them on your idea. Convince them that your article is so great, that it deserves a greater audience (greater than the one you can reach with your own blog). Craft an attainable image that mentions the audience, benefits and the overall industry impact.
Since you’ll be sending a basic text email, you can’t use actual images. So you’ll have to rely on your words to do the talking. That being said, you should pay attention to Power and Friction Words.
The Ask part of your Guest Post Pitch
Time to seal the deal. This is where the ask comes in place. If you’ve done your job right, then this section will already be in the person’s mind. He’ll want to help you any way he can, just because of how persuasive you’ve been.
Nevertheless, the ask should be properly phrased. Less “Can I…”, “Could I…” or “Is there a way I can…”. And more “How can we…”, “Let me know how we can collaborate on this” or “I’d love to talk more about this with you…”. Make it so that you’ll already collaborating, but you’re waiting for him to respond.
This is entirely optional, but I’ve seen it work wonders. It’s hard to quantify the exact power of this last element, but I like to think it humanizes the whole discussion.
You want to craft Guest Post pitches like you would be sending an event invite to your friends. Make it positive, describe the situation and add a final P.S. for color.
See an example Guest Post pitch in this article from SitePoint.
Pitching is just a part of the battle. Time to go ahead and write the article that will differentiate yourself from others.
Craft Your Article #1: How To Differentiate Yourself From The Crowd (The Pan Am Method for Guest Blogging)
Not only was that unheard of at the time, it was also weird. Pan Am didn’t really have any competition back then. There were ten other U.S. airlines ready to copy their planes or offer better prices.
So what Pan Am was doing was setting a high standard for itself and for its passengers.
Getting back to our guide, you have to become the Pan Am of Guest Blogging if you want to really be successful. To do that, you’ll need to have 10X Content.
According to Rand Fishkin, there are 5 specific elements you should look for, when you’re creating content to get it to that level:
1. Provide a positive experience for the user.That means you should think less in terms of “an article” and more “the best content piece anyone will create on this topic”. 10X Content always has great fonts, colors, images and seemingly blends all of them together.
2. Solves a problem or answers a question by using comprehensive, high-quality, trustworthy resources.If you can make it all of those and your piece still makes sense, you’re on your way to 10X Content.
3. Make the piece load fast.Apple Watch, Android Wear, Google Glass and the iPad Pro are only a few of the latest “not quite mobile” devices from previous years. 10X Content should look right and load fast on anything.
4. Evoke a response in the visitor.Great content moves you. Whether it’s awe, surprise, disgust or delight, 10x Content delivers an emotion that makes it unforgettable.
5. Achieve a great deal of amplification.When the quality is there, the followers and shares are right behind. With the right kind of an outreach strategy, 10X Content should get the attention and traffic it deserves.
Becoming the Pan Am of Guest Blogging is not easy to do.
It takes focus, hard work and dedication. And if you want to get very specific about things, Pan Am isn’t the greatest example out there, as the airline no longer exists. You should set your sights higher – Tesla, Virgin Galactic and Space X.
Craft Your Article #2: Learn How The PROs Leave Their Mark On The Audience
Just like Show Business, Guest Blogging is a two letter word. At times you will need to focus on the “show” side of things, but you mustn’t forget it’s still a “business”. The same goes for the subject of this guide.
Yes, you are “blogging”, but on other people’s websites you are a “guest”. You should act accordingly.
That said, you have a few tools in your arsenal to leave your mark on the audience. Tools that hopefully will be permitted by the website owner, so you’ll get all the value from them.
So before you start making plans about all the wonderful ways you plan on “capturing leads” or “funneling traffic”, make sure to have a talk with the person in charge of the website you’ll be writing on.
In the land of SEO, Do-Follow is king. However, even if one or two links towards your website are only No-Follow, that’s still all right. Google’s algorithm is getting smarter and smarter.
Lately, it’s less about associating exact anchor text with your website and more about finding relations between digital entities.
That means that if you have a whole article on the new Google Update and one link to your fantasy football league website, that one link will seem unnatural. And you might end up with less SEO juice you were hoping for.
Providing value for the user is great, but what about also giving him something to take home (or save and print)? Giveaways are more of a gray area in the Guest Blogging world, as the website owner has to agree with all the content presented. That means he will be endorsing that particular giveaway.
Even though I see Guest Blogging as a partnership, not all marketers think this way. It means that if you really have a great book or app beta invite to give away, really make sure that both parties (the website owner and you, the Guest Blogger) see eye to eye on this matter.
You wouldn’t want your book on Italian cuisine to damage the reputation of a video game journalist.
Author Byline for Guest Post
This one is by far the easiest to get. Since you are blogging for the first time on that particular website, the owner will want you to introduce yourself to the audience. This leaves you with about a paragraph to make a good impression.
Here are the key elements to making your byline shine:
- The Profile Image
I’m not big on ego, but I know a thing or two about presenting the best image of yourself.
Spend the time to find great pictures of yourself. Or ask that photographer friend to shoot a few quick pics of you. Tell him what you’re hoping to achieve (serious, trustworthy, calm, sincere, etc. image) and what the format should be (ideally a square image of your face and no distracting background).
Try to go for color images, but don’t go overboard with image correction. You want to look real and approachable. If you wear a suit day to day, wear that.
If not, don’t embarrass yourself in one that doesn’t fit right. Ask your female friends for an honest opinion, they’ll usually spot things you won’t see at first.
- The Experience
Since there isn’t a lot of space in the byline, you’ll have to condense your experience into only one sentence. Add numbers if they’re relevant enough (“1 year of copywriting experience” vs “5+ years of copywriting experience”), mention current status (“works as a digital marketer” vs “leads a team of 5 digital performance marketers”) and important achievements (“writes 1.000 words each day” vs “has been featured in Fast Company, Business Insider, Inbound.org and NeilPatel.com”).
You should always tailor the experience description to the blog audience. If they’re more into growth hacking, focus on community and quick business wins.
If they’re old-school business owners with an aversion to digital, explain why the old ways are just updated in this online world.
- The Connection To The Article Topic
Digital Marketing experience sounds good, but what part of it makes you an expert in the topic you just wrote about? You have to pick one or two elements from your expertise. Those will prove to the audience that what you just wrote is not only true, but will also help them if they apply the techniques described.
Just like you would personalize a CV and a cover letter for a specific job, you should have a different Author Byline for each Guest Post your write.
Just don’t make them so different from one another that people don’t recognize you anymore.
- The Call To Action
You can’t just have a phrase pointing to your website. You have to make visitors care and take action. Craft your wording to that your link is the Call To Action. Ben Levesque has a few pointers in that direction.
Take the time to know your guest audience and don’t assume they’ll download anything, just because it’s free. It still has to have value for them.
- The Lead Magnet Page
It’s important to have a more precise view of your landing page. Ryan Deiss mentions 9 essential types of Lead Magnets, but if you get creative you can come up with a lot more than that. These are digital “bribes” you can offer your visitors, in exchange for their contact info (name, email, job title, etc.).
You have your borrowed audience’s attention for about a minute after they click your Call To Action. That means your Landing Page better have an amazing offer for them, otherwise they’ll just leave.
You’ve seen what it takes to create a well thought out plan to engage with your audience and make them take action from your guest blog post.
It’s now time to take a look at the people and brands that employ Guest Blogging as a successful part of their Content Marketing Framework.
INTERMISSION: Digital Entities That Use Guest Blogging Successfully
AdWords and PPC in general is a complex part of digital marketing. Ever evolving, with secret tricks and techniques, it’s hard to keep up. Lucky for you, WordStream helps you manage your AdWords campaigns. And its Founder Larry Kim is an embodiment of providing help.
You can find his articles on Inc.com, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal and HubSpot among many others. He talks about inbound, PPC, remarketing, facebook and focuses more on the unique aspects of each medium, explaining how to be extraordinary and become “a unicorn”.
By lending a helpful hand and covering so many digital marketing niches, Larry is hard to ignore and his company always pops up, thanks to the Author Byline.
The simple help desk software was built with users’ needs in mind. Not only that, but their transparency and hard work made Groove a top tier choice for this kind of apps.
Alex Turnbull is Groove’s founder and he’s keen on letting you know that Guest Posts made it into a successful business. How sucessful? $200.000+ in revenue in October 2015.
And his guest posts? They’re doing fantastic in terms of social shares and comments. Like this great.
By doing posts on popular websites, he’s mixing in with the right crowd. He’s sharing his knowledge and Groove’s story, in the process.-
Leo Widrich is the founder of Buffer, a social-media scheduling app. In an interview from 2012 he admits that Guest Blogging got Buffer around 100.000 users in 9 months.
How did he do it? He first used BloggerLinkUp and MyBlogGuest to find websites willing to accept his posts. Once he got his foot in the door a few times, he was able to go for bigger websites, by emailing the editors directly and mentioning his past guest posts.
9 months and 150+ guest posts and Buffer raised over $3.5 Million at a $60 Million valuation. Guest Blogging does work wonders!
He’s worked for Mint and Facebook and he’s the founder of AppSumo, a daily deals site for entrepreneurs. Noah’s had Guest Posts on Kissmetrics, Buffer, TechCrunch, Sean Ogle and Startup Bros just to name a few.
By constantly building new products and services to help entrepreneurs and digital marketers, Noah has been able to switch from one type of audience to another with ease. His latest project – SumoMe – reached 1 Billion users.
Sharing your journey means being honest, laughing at your own mistakes and keeping an open mind. Noah Kagan is the epitome of that.
Anyone that gets links from Mashable deserves attention. Ann is the founder of MyBlogU, a crowd-sourcing Guest Blogging collaboration platform. It allows you to find websites to post on, but also get ideas for your content, sharing your ideas and getting feedback from the community.
As a digital marketer and ex-Director In Chief of Search Engine Journal, Ann differentiates herself from other bloggers by building products around this area of content marketing. Alongside MyBlogU, she’s also the co-founder of Viral Content Buzz, a simple way to get your content seen and shared by influencers (if you share their content first).
She’s actively engaging with marketers and commenters on websites such as Social Media Examiner, Small Biz Trends, Crazy Egg and Marketing Profs.
Looking for conversion rates advice?
Look no further than Peter. His services are focused on building/improving value propositions and increasing the results you’re getting from marketing. And they’re exactly the same topics he’s tackling when he’s doing Guest Posts for websites like Write To Done, Boost Blog Traffic, Kissmetrics and Duct Tape Marketing.
His experience shines through with every article. His Author Byline contains not only links to his website and to a special Lead Magnet, but also UTM parameters, to accurately measure his incoming traffic. Peter’s been doing his homework and he’s teaching everyone a lesson in the efficacy of Guest Posts.
If you build it, they will come. In Sujan’s case “it” means “brand” and “credibility” and “they” are “leads” and “customers” for ContentMarketer.io, his influencer-connecting app.
Even before the tool was in the planning phases, you could see Sujan’s articles popping up everywhere: from Business.com, TheNextWeb and Inc.com to Entrepreneur.com, Buzzsumo and Business Insider. As a constant contributor, he seems to cover the spectrum of business, tech and marketing news. It almost seems like he’s using content remarketing to show you his articles on each website you visit.
He’s managed to make a name for himself mostly by being a nice helpful marketer and increasing his chances of getting his name out there through Guest Blogging.
If you’ve tried Guest Blogging and it hasn’t paid off yet, it’s probably time you tried again. Learning from the examples above, you’ll understand it takes patience, dedication and honesty to yield great results.
Measure Your Guest Blogging Results: The REAL Metrics For Success
In terms of WHAT you will be actually measuring after your Guest Post goes live, John Unger has a pretty good idea. Based on Jay Baer‘s and Curata’s research on the topic, your metrics fall into 4 basic categories:
1. Consumption Metrics.These take into account both the quantity of visitors coming from the Guest Post to your Lead Magnet, but also the quality of visitors, via Bounce Rate, Time One Site etc.. The same can be measured on the actual post itself.
2. Sharing Metrics.Again, you should measure these on the Guest Post, but also on your Lead Magnet. It will give you an idea of how useful your content is to your target audience.
3. Lead Metrics.Readers and sharers are great, but they’re nothing without people actively engaging with your content. On the Guest Post side, these metrics are the comments you get. On your Lead Magnet, they’re the people who’ve decided your offer was enticing enough and sign up with their email address.
4. Sales Metrics.What are leads if not a step closer to sales? It’s lovely to think you could sell something directly to people coming from a Guest Post. If the offer is great and the price is right, that might just happen. But more often than not, you will track sales weeks and months after your Guest Post went live, after you’ve actively (and genuinely) engaged with your leads.
If you’re looking for a more basic way of looking at things, try Erin Everhart’s approach at 352inc. She breaks things down into SEO, Social and Leads. On the other hand, Harrison Kratz at The Community Manager keeps things clear: Personal Branding, Traffic and SEO.
Whatever way of thinking you choose to follow, make sure to track something. Otherwise you can’t be sure of the effectiveness of your Guest Blogs. There’s nothing worse than doing a lot of work without knowing what to show for it.
13. Follow-Up And Repeat: The Essence Of Relationship Building in Guest Blogging
Relationships are hard. It’s a constant give and take. It’s also nerve-racking not knowing what the other person thinks about. So in the spirit of honesty and transparency, you should employ the follow-up email.
I like to give it about 3 days after the article has been published, before I come back with another email. That way, I’ll have a chance to promote the article myself, see the reactions it got and reply to any comments.
Consider yourself lucky if the influencer contacts you about the Guest Post.
Since most active bloggers are busy with collaborations, personal projects and day-to-day marketing tasks, it’s unlikely they’ll make the time to follow. But if they do, your post is probably doing great.
Keep this email short – mention the performance of the article, specific things you think you can improve and try ending the email with a question to keep the conversation going. You’re not looking to score another Guest Post from this, just make yourself known.
It’s essential the influencer keeps you in mind for future projects.
Once you’ve done all this, think of ways to help the influencer and the audience even more: create additional content based on that article. Infographics, slideshares, shareable quotes and images, ebooks and guides.
Further down the line, return to that influencer with another proposal in about a month’s time. Learn from your mistakes, talk about what you’ve done in the process and go for another ask.
This time, you’ll be an established Guest Blogger, so it should be easier to post again.
14. The Flipside: Why Guest Blogging is Important and How To Accept Guest Posts
If you’ve got a popular blog, you can be sure people will want to publish their work on it. To accept Guest Posts on your blog, you should prepare a simple page with a guidelines checklist.
Talk about the blog and its audience, the DOs and DON’Ts of publishing on your blog. Make it easy for potential writers to understand what you’re looking for in an article. That way, the pitches you will get won’t be different from what you are expecting to get.
Here are a few examples of Guest Blogging guidelines: the Virgin blog, the Kissmetrics blog, the HubSpot blogs, Forbes.
Good karma is important, so have your Guest Post guidelines ready from day 1 of launching your blog.
15. Final Tips & Tricks
– Choose your guest posts carefully. Don’t rush into things and focus on a few big wins. It’s easier and it gets your name out there much faster than writing for tens of smaller blogs.
– Use the tools to optimize your time.With amazing tools like Buzzsumo available, you shouldn’t be spending your time doing research. You should be studying the industry and building relationships.
– Always be nice and optimistic.It sounds weird, but genuine positivity shines through even in a digital medium. Don’t get hung up that you didn’t get that amazing guest post, there will be other opportunities.
– Never stop learning.The second you stop researching your competitors or your niche, you get left behind. With changes happening much quicker these days, you have to be on top of things to remain the thought leader.
– Be proactive in finding Guest Blogging openings.It would be fantastic if you would get invited to write something for other websites, every day. Unfortunately, in the real world, you have to find those websites yourself.
Most of all, play the long game. That means that even if you decide to use Guest Blogging as a marketing tactic, you shouldn’t expect it to pay off in a week or month’s time.
Think in terms of connections, experience. Less in terms of cash R.O.I.
16. The Future Of Guest Blogging
No matter what Google says, no matter what the naysayers are screaming, Guest Blogging will not go away anytime soon. What it will do, however, is evolve
There are more and more blimps on the radar showing that smart marketers are no longer content to just publish an article on another website.
Guest Blogging will be taken over by partnerships like Email1k, Double Your Conversion Rate In 23 Days and The Smart Marketer’s Landing Page Conversion Course.
These are partnerships between influencers and dedicated content marketers to drive the communication forward.
To push the envelope, to educate, to craft 10X Content, to inspire the next generation of marketers. And to make them remember that they have an obligation, to the industry and their audience.
The future of Guest Blogging is built on a foundation of trust, collaboration and research. With the advent of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, with the proliferation of mobile friendly design and great User Experience, the future will be more accessible, more interactive and more entertaining.
All of these, while staying true to its roots of spreading a valuable message to meet user needs.
17. Further Reading: Recommended Articles, Guides And Courses
Google’s Penguin is flapping again by Rohan Ayyar on TheNextWeb.com
The Real Truth About Google and Guest Blogging by Sherice Jacob on Kissmetrics.com
The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO by MattCuts on MattCuts.com
The Ultimate Guide To Advanced Guest Blogging by Pratik Dholakiya on Moz.com
The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide To Guest Blogging by Apostle Mengoulis on GrowthRocks.com
The Definitive Guide To Guest Blogging by Brian Dean on Backlinko.com
Guest Blogging Blueprint by Joel Widmer on Udemy.com
The Guest Blogging Certification Program by Jon Morrow on BoostBlogTraffic.com
Write Like Freddy by Danny Iny on WriteLikeFreddy.com
Thank you for mentioning our article, Daniel! That’s very solid content right there!
Keep up! 😀
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