Guest blogging has been a touchy subject recently. Many believe that the practice is dead and that the costs and frustrations far outweigh the benefits. I don’t think that is true. Guest blogging simply requires more work than it used to. Below, I’m going to go through some steps that, hopefully, help you get started with your guest outreach.
The benefits of expanding the scope of your blog are pretty self-explanatory: you expand the scope of your content, add new perspectives for your readers, build relationships with key influencers, build backlinks, and bring a wider audience to your blog through the writer’s existing followers.
Keep your expectations reasonable
One of the key mistakes many make when starting their guest post outreach is only looking at the biggest names in their industry. It is a great idea to follow and interact with them. However, your outreach efforts are better served by maintaining realistic expectations. While getting Elon Musk to post on your tech blog would be a game changer, that’s in no way an expectation you should have.
Remember, guest blogging should be a mutually beneficial relationship. You’re getting something of value in return for proving the guest with something of value. When you’re just starting out, you should look for opportunities and writers that would also benefit from working with you.
Links, traffic, and exposure
Something you have to keep in mind: bloggers, writers, and influencers have their own objectives for writing guest posts. They can be incentivized to write for your site primarily through one of three ways: links to their site, increased traffic from your audience, and exposure to a wider audience for themselves. One of the simplest ways to incentivize these writers, which is almost mandatory at his point, is to allow them to include links to their site as well as a byline on the post. This allows for your guests to receive one of the most direct benefits for their work: a quality backlink.
Use guidelines to keep your content consistent
Guidelines are an important aspect of getting great guest posts. From a bottom-up approach, guidelines allow you to control the type of content that appears on your site. It also ensures the content you’re getting is something your audience will appreciate. Guidelines also allow you to set your policy for linking to avoid spammy guest posts (more on that in a moment). Ultimately, a well-constructed set of guidelines appears more professional and higher quality writers will be attracted to that.
Make sure the content is quality
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you have to make sure that the content on your site is high quality.
Unfortunately, a growing number of guest posts are becoming lower quality and spam infested. Take care with these posts and, quite simply, do not accept them. Not only will accepting a low-quality post appear negatively to your audience, it can impact your ability to attract great writers in the future. Great writers may not be willing to associate their brand to one that accepts low-quality spam. Ultimately, having great content helps generate more great content.
Utilize your own community
One guest post resource that is often overlooked is your own community. For the same reason you might be interested in turning customers into brand advocates, it is important that you pay attention to your commenters. These are individuals that are already actively engaged with your community and are enthusiastic about your site. While those commenters may not have the built-in audience others would, they absolutely increase the quality of your blog. Additionally, engaging your readers by having them guest posts creates a better, and more engaged, readership.
One of the best ways to find a quality writer for your site is to venture to the metaphoric watering hole. These are places like bloggerlinkup.com and myblogguest.com. A lot of bloggers use sites like these to find sites that accept guest posts. You can use them to reach out directly to the writers.
Other great places to look for quality writers is through sites like Inbound.org as well as mainstream social media sites. When you’re looking at these sites, keep an eye out for particularly engaging writers with plenty of shares and comments. These are the people you want to be reaching out to.
A final place you should keep tabs on is Quora. A good idea is to look for questions your audience might have and the top answers to those questions. Reach out to the person answering to see if they are interested in expanding that into a guest post.
Services to look at when planning and implementing your outreach strategy include Buzzsumo, Traackr, and NinjaOutreach. Each of these tools helps you create and curate a list of influencers to reach out and build a relationship with. I personally prefer NinjaOutreach due to its inclusion of Instagram influencers and automated outreach features, but any of the tools above will help you get started in your efforts.
Guest posts are an amazing tool for getting more traffic – but only if you do it right.
And, since we’re fans of practicing what we preach here at Pagely, if you’re interested in writing a guest post, we’re open to it.