Are you ready to take your content marketing strategy to the next level? We all know the benefits of creating a blog for our website. We get to engage with our audience, deliver valuable content and drive consumers through our sales funnel. But there’s another way you can dramatically increase your website traffic and brand visibility using content.
Today, we’re going to talk about guest posts. Specifically, I’m going to help you get your first guest post published. If you’re not familiar, guest posting is when you publish a piece of your original content on someone else’s website.
There are plenty of amazing benefits that come with writing articles for other brands. Let’s explore four smart tips to keep in mind on your journey and explain some of the ways this content marketing strategy will help you grow your business.
Find the right publications.
First, find publications accepting new submissions. You can find several publications on Google by using the following formats when searching:
• [Keyword] + guest posting opportunities.
• [Keyword] + write for us.
• [Keyword] + become a contributor.
In place of the word “keyword, ” enter some of the actual keywords and phrases you use on your website. For instance, if you run an email marketing firm, you would type “email marketing + guest posting opportunities.”
Now, sift through the results, and search for companies looking for contributors. Keep in mind, not every business is a good fit. You wouldn’t want to write for another email marketing company because that’s your competition. However, if you can find a hosting website that’s looking for content about email marketing, that’s another story.
If you’re writing for a company in a similar space but with a different product or service, it will be easier to link your posts to the content — if they allow it. Backlinks to your website help improve your SEO ranking, especially if they are featured on websites with high domain authority.
Before you commit and start crafting your pitch, spend some time reading content on the company’s blog. Does it seem to have the same target audience as your brand? Can you write in its voice? Understanding the different publications accepting guest posts can help you find the perfect home for your content.
Craft a personal, engaging pitch.
At this point, you have a list of publications. It’s time to sit down and start writing your various pitches. In my experience, the most common way to send your ideas to blog editors is through email. Some people like to create a template and send the same email to everyone. I’m against that practice.
When you pitch to a publication, it should be because you see a tangible way to bring value to their audience. If you’re able to provide value, you’ll see more traffic to your website from your post, and potentially get the chance to post in the future.
During your brand research, make sure to take note of the editor’s name. If you’re sending emails that start with “Dear Friend,” there’s a good chance your message is going directly to the trash bin.
Your email should include what you like about the publication, a link to your blog and some topic ideas. The key is to keep your email short and sweet. Most blog editors don’t have time to read every single guest post pitch that comes their way. If you want to improve the odds that you’ll get published, write concise emails.
Follow the guidelines.
The most effective way to boost your odds of success is to make sure you’re following the guidelines. Website owners and editors set specific rules for people who want to contribute to their websites. If your email is a garbled mess and you clearly didn’t follow their directions, again, your email will end up in the trash.
All of this comes back around to proper research. It’s almost unbelievable when someone sends you a pitch that has nothing to do with your website. I know of a website that gives writing tips to freelancers. The editor there used to get emails from someone who would pitch once a month about guitar lessons. Can you imagine sending such a silly request to a company not once, but three times? If they had followed the guidelines, they would have noticed the first line that explicitly states that they only publish content about freelance writing.