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November 8, 2016

How to Win Through Guest Blogging: A Nutshell Guide

Photo Credit: Adikos via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

For anyone looking to build a company from scratch, earn more traffic, or boost their name online, guest blogging can be an incredibly powerful tool.

While only six percent of marketers publish a high level of original content as guest posts, guest blogging can be an incredibly powerful tool for anyone who wants to build their online presence.

Need an example? Consider a statement by Mark Traphaghen, who said that his boss Eric Enge created Stone Temple Consulting (which is a major name in SEO) almost entirely on the foundation of guest blogging.

I’ve used guest blogging to create massive success for my company, as you can see in the results of our recent case study.

So how do you take guest blogging and make it a fruitful and viable approach for your company?

Here’s everything you need to know, in a nutshell.

Why Guest Blog?

Guest blogging has many benefits. In addition to exposing your content to a wider audience base by expanding it to someone else’s platform, guest blogging also makes it easy to grow your reputation. It helps marketers build authority and stand out as leaders in your industry as well as showcase your prowess in a particular topic or niche.

Ideal for bloggers ranging from the novice just getting started to the experienced business owner looking for ways to drive more traffic back to a given site, guest blogging is a highly effective way to build a reputation and expand popularity online.

Your Keys to Guest Blogging Success

To ensure your guest blogging outreach is as successful as possible, you’ll want to follow a few essential guidelines. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Focus on as few channels as possible

The secret to guest blogging isn’t simply to spread content everywhere, without regard for which channels are most effective or productive. Instead, it is to focus your guest blogging efforts on as few channels as possible, to ensure that you can maintain quality and relevance for each. I’ve found that focusing my guest blogging efforts to just a few key channels is the best way for me to maintain quality. What’s more, this type of concentration also allows me to spend as much time as possible connecting deeply with each of the individual channels and their audiences, which boosts my ROI.

With this in mind, focus your blogging efforts on a handful of channels that promise high engagement and a good ROI. While it may seem like more is better, you’ll have more success in the world of guest blogging if you focus on the quality of your channels rather than the quantity.

2. Locate the platforms where your target audience likes to hang out

Guest blogging is only as productive as the audience of the person who owns the guest blogging platform. With this in mind, target your guest blogging efforts to the platforms that feature the highest concentration of your target audience. In addition to allowing you to more efficiently develop deep relationships with your target audience, this tip also allows you to hone your voice in a given niche and build your knowledge in your industry.

Ideally, you should be targeting guest blogging platforms that offer a high readership base, high levels of engagement, and a focus that closely parallels your own company. This will help make all of your guest blogging efforts as lucrative as possible.

3. Develop a relationship with the person behind the blog

A guest blog is more than just a platform – it’s a person. The key to a successful guest blogging relationship is to develop a relationship with the individual behind it. By reaching out to the owner of the guest blog and seeking to establish a relationship with this person, you can secure long-term blogging relationships and help ensure that you’re making a great name for yourself with your guest blogging spots.

Instead of wasting all of your hard-won time and effort on an anonymous contact form, go the extra mile and find an actual person to contact. Whether this is the managing blog editor or the webmaster, connecting on a personal level with the real human behind the blog is an effective way to build relationships that are much more profitable than even the guest post itself.

4. Reserve your best and most in-depth content for your guest blogging audience

When you guest blog, you need to go out of your way to provide the best possible value to that audience. This means reserving your best content for them, and taking the time to ensure your tone, approach, and pitch is as tailored to that particular outlet as possible. In the world of guest blogging, getting your tone wrong can be devastating, and it’s critical to ensure you’re providing the value the readers of the guest blog so deeply want. This is an essential way to build the relevance and importance of your guest blogs while also ensuring that you make a good name for yourself online.

5. Don’t give up

Guest blogging can be a little frustrating at first, and it can take some time to find your feet. With this in mind, go out of your way to keep pursuing the route of guest blogging, even if you have trouble finding placements or opportunities at first. Always trust that the guest blogging will pan out, and you’ll go far. The reason so few marketers guest blog, probably, is that it takes some time and attention to establish. Luckily, however, the people who stick with it have the potential to reap major rewards.

The Case for Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can completely overhaul your content strategy, and it’s important to give it the attention and time it deserves. While we here at Express Writers have seen the benefits of guest blogging firsthand, experts like Sujan Patel have also talked about its benefits.

Whether you’re looking to make a name for yourself in online content, or simply improve your reputation in your given community, guest blogging is an essential tool that has vast and far-reaching implications for both you and your company.


Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.