Guest Blogging 101 For Beginners
So, you’ve just started a blog. You’ve created some incredible content that you are super passionate about and you really want other people to read it. But you don’t have any traffic on your blog beyond your mum liking all your posts. It’s cute, but it doesn’t help much. Everyone has to start somewhere and in blogging, this is usually where you begin.
To really drive traffic to your blog you are going to have to come up with a content marketing strategy that will get both your name and your content out into the world for all to see. While Googling around you may have found out about one strategy called guest blogging and wondered whether it is a good strategy for your blog. Here is a beginner’s guide to guest blogging
What is Guest Blogging?
Simply put, guest blogging is where you write a post for someone else’s blog. Sounds easy enough, but there is some strategy behind it. What you want out of guest blogging is one or multiple of these three things, either:
- You want to put your name out there as a figure with authority and knowledge in your industry.
- You want exposure for your blog which leads to increased traffic.
- You want to build organic backlinks to your site.
Guest blogging is a perfect way to generate each of those. Determine what you want to achieve from this strategy, and it will help you decide on which sites to target.
For example, if you want to generate more traffic or build your personal brand, look for blogs with high traffic within your industry. If you want better backlinks aim for blogs with a strong domain authority.
Now how do I start?
You have built your strategy and now want to get started on guest blogging, but how do you start? The first thing that you need to do is find blogs in your industry that accept guest bloggers. This is actually the easy part. Begin by searching google for blogs that do guest blogs. So search something like “Industry name guest blogs” or similar search terms. Here you will find some blogs, however, there is another sneaky strategy that can help you find blogs that don’t necessarily advertise that they do guest blogging.
Obviously, you read a lot of blogs surrounding your industry, right? Simply find these blogs and then find the authors profile at the top or bottom of the blog. From there right click on their profile picture and search for similar images through Google. Google will then present you with a list of all the locations this blogger has appeared. Now you have a nice list of blogs in your industry that accept guest blogging.
Preparing your idea
Now that you have found a list of potential blogs it is time to begin creating pitch-able content ideas that will attract the editors of these blogs.
Begin by determining the type of content each blog writes. Do they post a lot of how-tos? Case studies? Heavily researched posts? By reading through their content and generating a guide for yourself that determines content type and style, you can set your content up for success. For editors to accept your content it will need to match their blog’s theme, including writing style and structure style. Some blogs that are open about accepting guest bloggers may have a published style guide for you to follow. Another important element to look at is the audience for the blog. If they are writing their content for beginners in your industry, then you will need to tailor your content to suit beginners. Similarly, if they are writing for B2B readers you need to take that perspective within your content.
Now that you have determined what type of content these blogs accept you can begin creating your own ideas for content then pitching them!
Pitching your idea
Pitching can be intimidating. You are not only selling yourself but your baby, your idea, too. It can be tough to hear that your idea sucks! This is where a lot of potential guest bloggers falter and give up. Here, persistence is key, but so is strategy. Prepare a strategy for pitching, determine when you will pitch and how you will pitch. Begin by making your presence known on the site. Comment on new posts, generate discussion, like and comment on social media too. That doesn’t mean you should overdo it and spam everyone with your comments, just provide one or two comments per week. Then you can begin to take advantage of opportunities to pitch your idea.
You can look for opportunities such as a direct mention of you in their posts or on social media, or when the blog advertises that they are looking for guest bloggers. However, there are some things that you must do before pitching.
- Read the guest posting guidelines. Understand exactly what the editor wants you to pitch. Do they want an idea, or do they want a fully realised post that they can submit right away? It is important to know exactly what is required of you before you reach out.
- Don’t use a template! It is extremely obvious when you have written a template. It sounds impersonal and can be off putting. If you do use a template, ensure that you make it flexible enough so you can change it to fit each pitch.
- Tell them who you are! It is great to know that you want to post for the blog, but why should you be allowed to? Who are you? You should ensure that your initial contact with the editor answers that question. Mention that you are a blogger, talk about your passions within the industry and maybe provide some links to previous work. Allow the editor to know who you are so they can be more comfortable allowing you to post on their blog.
Now that you have made first contact you need to sell yourself and your idea. A good rule of thumb is to pitch multiple ideas. This way you have more chances of success and the editor gets to pick and choose. Don’t be afraid to get creative in your pitch too. Take advantage of all your talents to create a unique pitch that stands out.
Now you write the content. Follow the blogs style guide, ensure that you format your posts in their exact formatting structure for both text and images. It is just common courtesy. The editor will have less work to do and they may recommend you to other blogs or ask for more blog posts in the future.
From there, continue guest blogging. Follow your strategy to build those backlinks and get your name out there. Eventually as your personal blog’s traffic grows begin bringing guest posts into your own blog. What other content strategies do you employ for your blog?
Unsure on how to begin content marketing for your business? Contact Link Pixel today!