If you’re a blogger or a content creator, there’s one sure-fire way to give your name and your content further reach. That’s through guest blogging on similar or complementary blogs.
You may think I have a hard enough time writing all the posts I need for my blog, but guest blogging is one of the best strategies for growing your own blog’s readership.
On Jeff Goins' blog, he quotes his friend, Mike the Search Engine Guru, who feels that guest blogging on other sites is “five times as valuable as creating new content on your own site.” Based on the popularity of Jeff Goins’ blog, we won’t quibble with this statement.
Reasons guest blogging is necessary
If you’re running your own blog, you know how important good content is. When you create a post for someone else’s blog that generates comments or tweets, you’re adding value to that blog. This helps you build relationships with other bloggers who might be tremendously influential.
Guest posting gets you in front of a new audience if you choose where to post wisely. It’s a matter of doing research to make sure your topic aligns with the host’s blog topics. Also make sure the host blog you’re targeting has a big enough following to make it worth your while to guest post.
You’ll boost your expert status in your field or niche when you guest blog for industry-leading websites. This helps build your credibility and authority in your subject, which could lead to more guest blogging invites or even a new client reaching out to hire you to blog for their company.
Finally, and most importantly, guest posting can boost your own blog’s search engine rating, as long as you get to backlink to your own blog. You must insist on backlinks. If a blog host doesn’t want to include the link to your own blog, look elsewhere.
Don’t make these guest blogging mistakes
Your guest post topic doesn’t have anything to do with your target’s blog.
You wouldn’t want to guest post on a site centered on cats and their hair balls if you’re writing about content marketing. Bad mix there. Not only will the target blog host ignore your request to guest post, but the target audience wouldn’t read it anyway.
Your chosen topic isn’t interesting enough or is overworked to death.
For another example, if your main topic is content marketing and blogging and you want to write a guest post for Jeff Goins’ site, don’t pitch him “How to boost blog traffic” or something else that’s been covered in-depth on the site already. Unless you have some amazing new insight, pitch a fresh topic that will still appeal to his readers.
Finally, if your post isn’t clearly connected to your own blog’s focus, you’ll actually turn readers off.
If you have a blog about writing, then you want to reach people who also care about writing. You can write the greatest guest post in the world about cheese for a cheese blog, but when those readers click on your biography link, they will want more great information about cheese. When they find information about writing, they will be confused and annoyed. They don't care about writing, they care about cheese!
Don’t think about guest blogging as writing for free. Consider it an opportunity to expand your reach and meet new people. Besides the many benefits for your own blog, like increased traffic to your website, guest blogging inspires more creative thinking.
You’ll need to spend some time reading the host’s blog posts and some of their readers’ comments to get a feel for what the audience likes. This will help you see your own content ideas in a surprising light as you try to find ways to appeal to a new audience.
Let us know in the comments below if you guest blog and if it’s been successful for you. And if you haven’t been guest posting, what’s holding you back?
You also might enjoy these posts from our archive:
- 10 Free Writing Apps and Tools
- Our Blunders, Your Gain. What the team at Our Write Side wish they had known about blogging before they began.
- 6 Best Editorial Tools for Writers & Editors
- 10 Top Tools for Bloggers – Save Time, Stay Organized, and Create Content that Rocks
- How your personal blog can generate income through the ProWritingAid affiliate program