March 31, 2015
Guest blogging has proven quite effective for a number of businesses in the past for creating leads and drawing an audience. And, guest blogging is desirable from a business point of view simply because of the amount of potential it has as a revenue driver. It is also one of the most efficient returns on investment around, since guest blogging costs you no real money but your time, and garners you a ready audience with potential leads that can translate into further business.
Guest blogging, just like any other marketing campaign, needs to be planned strategically. Goals must be determined beforehand in order to figure out the best method of approach to your guest appearances on other blogs. You have to balance your visibility with your approachability and at the same time represent your brand as an articulate expert in your niche — no small feat to accomplish in the best of situations. When considering guest blogging, however, you need to start from the beginning, and that means figuring out what you want out of your guest posting.
The Goal of Guest Blogging for Business
Before you can even consider guest blogging successfully, you need to take into account what you need to get out of your guest appearances.
Having a plan and working to it saves you time and worry later. It’s much more efficient to have a targeted approach than to scatter a lot of guest blogs around and see what sticks. There are a number of ways that you can benefit from guest blogging:
- Spreading awareness about your business or brand;
- Drawing an audience to your blog;
- Creating backlinks between your site and expert sites across the Internet;
- Raising your credibility as an expert in the field.
Each and every one of these benefits can lead to a larger bottom line for a company as well as increase their rate of revenue return.
Two Rules to Use to Find the Best Places to Guest Blog
Not all places to guest blog are equal. In fact, some are downright bad. To draw the line between the good and the bad, there are a couple things that you can look for to stay away from the less upstanding guest blogging opportunities.
- If it’s too Easy to Publish, it’s Probably Low Quality. This rule of thumb allows you to weed out the guest blogging opportunities that are from sites that will probably not drive a lot of traffic to you, nor raise your standing in the community. They have little to no quality control and it is reflected in the poor traffic they send to contributors.
- Guest Blogging is Personal. If your guest blogging opportunity doesn’t have a real person on the other end of it, it’s probably not going to be very effective. Blog owners that are worth their salt have a reputation to maintain. To this end, when they invite a guest blogger to the field to expound on a subject, they want to know exactly what’s going to be said and retain the right to veto it or call for a rewrite of the topic. The best guest blogging opportunities come with personal meetings that allow you and the blog owner or operator to hash out the details of the topic.
6 Ways To Do Guest Blogging That Nets You Returns
All of the above seems like a complicated process to get readers to your blog but the returns are well worth it. Guest blogging has had a proven benefit to a number of companies in terms of bottom line improvement and visibility. The best part about this is that guest blogging is not industry specific: this formula will work for any industry. You might be wondering how guest blogging can do all this. It’s simple really, guest blogging can benefit a company financially in the long run by:
- Providing Access to a Ready Audience. Probably one of the most prominent ways that guest blogging can benefit a company is by driving more customers to the business. This can translate into revenue in a number of ways ranging from ad revenue to direct conversions through sales. How guest blogging does this is by providing a link to an audience that is already in the niche. Your guest blogging provides them with information and gives them an alternative to their current solution. If you provide good, informative content with your guest blogging, you can probably entice them enough to check out your own site, and there you have it. The aim here is not to sell them on your product, but sell them on your ideas and demonstrate your expertise. It can count for a lot more in this particular situation to show off what you know than what you’re selling.
- Ad Revenue from Traffic. Although there will be a good enough number of people coming over to your blog to make it worthwhile, the true turnover power doesn’t lie in direct conversions. It lies in your traffic score. Guest posting on a blog gives you access to all the subscribers on that blog, which could number thousands more than what you currently have access to. Even though all of those visitors won’t clock through to your page, a large volume of them probably will, if just to check out what you’re about. This traffic translates into earnings from ad revenue due to your incoming numbers. As far as return on investment goes, there is simply no cheaper way to get access to that kind of traffic. Guest blogging grants a whole lot of return for very little input.
- Building your Credibility. There is an alarming tendency for people on the internet to claim to be experts in an area without having anything to back them up. If you’re going to start making these claims, you need to have the experience and the support to be able to stand up to scrutiny. Guest posting to respected blogs in a niche raises your credibility, not just with other bloggers, but with the audience. This can translate into increased traffic from blog posts but more importantly, increased subscribers on your own blog. Endorsements from other bloggers and invitation to guest blog on their blogs only add to the snowball effect of the increased credibility.
- Getting you Connected to the Right People. Good business rests on your ability to make the right decisions based on what is currently happening in the industry. For you to do that successfully, you need to have access to information that benefits your business and its prospects. Guest blogging creates networking opportunities with other experts in your niche, allowing you to draw on their experiences in order to build your own business. These experts can give insight into the direction of the industry, or new trends in marketing that are industry specific. The possibilities for growth are endless. The more professional connections you manage to solidify through guest blogging is the more likely you’ll discover something that will affect your future business decisions resulting in a better bottom line.
- Helping your Link Building. Link building isn’t one of the major reasons for you to get into guest blogging, but it’s a pretty good bonus. Almost all companies depend on high quality backlinks as part of their SEO strategy. By getting features on industry expert blogs you can find yourself with an abundance of good backlinks that only serves to increase your popularity with the search engines. Most high quality blogs don’t allow you to backlink within the body of the post and usually reserve that for the author bio. You should utilize proper target keywords for these backlinks in order to maximize their effectiveness. Be warned that poor quality backlinks will hurt your SEO strategy. That’s why you should consider the quality of the blog you’re guesting for, since the lower quality guest blogging opportunities will hurt more than they will help.
- Increasing Social Media Outreach. Every single blog has multiple channels of distribution of its content, and this includes social media networks ranging from LinkedIn to Facebook. Guest posting for these blogs allows you to access their social media users since blogs usually share their entries with their social media pages to garner more traffic. This is good, because more traffic for them means more traffic for you. Not only does it drive your own blog traffic, but it allows you the opportunity to develop your own social media following or to garner new subscribers within the social media circles that you operate. More users always equates to more business in the long run and a better bottom line overall.
The Only Thing Guest Blogging Detracts From You? Time.
Examining the options that you have for interaction and development of a marketing strategy aimed at acquiring new users, it is easy to spot where guest blogging outdoes any competition it may have. The only thing guest blogging costs you is time. The returns are far more impressive than the amount of effort you put in.
In the final scheme of things, it’s not only recommended that you look for high quality guest blogging opportunities but that you make the most of them by utilizing the ready audience and networking opportunities that come bundled with these guest appearances. Your business returns at the end of the year will thank you for doing so.
Julia McCoy is a top 30 content marketer and has been named a Forbes industry thought leader. After dropping out of college, she grew her content agency, Express Writers, to $4.3M in revenue completely through content marketing. Julia is the author of two bestselling books on content marketing and copywriting, certifies content strategists in her training course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course, and most recently, teaches growth-focused content marketing at The Content Hacker. Julia lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter and husband.