OpenSourceVarsity

How to Do Guest Blogging

Do you want to know the most important strategy for increasing your traffic, gaining loyal readers and building relationships with other bloggers? It’s Guest Blogging.

What is guest blogging?

Well it is basically publishing an article or blog post on someone else’s blog or website. Sounds simple enough, but it’s actually a really strategic thing.

By guest posting in the right places, you can build great relationships with other prominent bloggers, benefit from their sources of traffic and their readership, increase your search engine optimization and build a tribe of pretty awesome people that will help your blog succeed. And the host blog benefits from your post as well. Guest posts can add variety to their blog and help their blog reach a new audience they might otherwise not reach.

Overall, guest blogging is a win-win situation. To get started, follow these easy steps.

Step #1: Find the right blogs

The first thing you need to do is find the right guest posting opportunities. The key here is not to focus on the business aspect, but to focus on finding bloggers you can build a relationship with. Look for blogs that:

Write in the same industry or niche that you do
Have a steady readership that interact and engage with the blogger
Have active social media accounts

Step #2: Connect with the bloggers

Now that you have found some blogs, you want to cultivate that relationship with the blogger. Establishing a rapport with the blogger first will greatly increase your chances of landing a coveted guest post spot.

If you aren’t already doing so, read their posts and subscribe to their blog. Make useful comments on their blog posts that will help grab the blogger’s attention.

Start following them on social media too. Share their posts on your social networks to get their attention even more. Don’t forget to tag the blogger so they will know you shared their post. To really drive the fact that you are an advantageous colleague, link back to their posts your own blog. Write the blogger a short, but complementary, email that lets them know that you used their link.

Step #3: Get to know the content even more

Continue reading the posts that the bloggers write. You want to get a feel for the type of content they feature on their blog – Are they long posts or short posts? Do they do general informative posts or long tutorials? Are the posts geared toward a beginner, intermediate or advanced reader in your industry? What is the tone they tend to use in the posts? Anything else? Do they use headings or bullets often?

Besides the type of content, you want to pay attention to which type of post their audience seems to enjoy the most. Look for posts that get the most comments were the most shares. If the blogger has a “popular posts” section, start there. And of course, continue sharing and commenting on the blog post that you read.

Step #4: Reach out to the bloggers

By now you should have gotten the blogger’s attention. They have noticed your thoughtful comments that prove you know the niche well and have seen that you share their posts to your own network.

Let’s take advantage of it. But first, check their site for guest post guidelines. Some sites clearly spell out how you should go about contacting them or submitting a post. Some bloggers ask you to pitch some ideas, while others may want you to submit the finished post right off the bat.

So now that you know what they blogger wants, reach out to say that you would love the opportunity to submit a guest post. Personalize the email and use the blogger’s name. Using a generic – Dear Sir or Dear Madam - negates the relationship you have built with the blogger. And you have built a relationship, whether or not you have conversed online.

Suggest several topic ideas that you think will fit with their blog. Take into consideration all that you have learned about the blog, the writer and the audience. Also include why they should consider you to be a guest poster. What can you bring to the table? Include some links that showcase your writing skills, preferably those that have been shared quite a bit to show off your networking skills.

Step #5: Write an awesome post

Once you get your pitch accepted, take your time and write a great guest post. Remember, this post is going to be seen by the blogger’s extensive audience, as well as your own, so make it a good one. Keep in mind that this post isn’t about you, your business or blog; it’s about adding valuable content to the blog you are writing for.

Format your post like the ones you see on the site, and stick to generally the same length. At the end of your post, include a call-to-action for comments to encourage discussion.

You also want to include a bio. This is likely the most important part of guest posting for you. This is the one place where you can promote your own blog, website or product or service. How you write your bio will depend on your goals. For example:

If your goal is to get traffic back to your site, add your site URL to your bio.
If your goal is to get more social media followers, include links back to your social media channels.
If you are promoting something, link to a landing page for that specific service or product.

As always, make sure to double check the blogger’s guideline for linking, but in general, host bloggers know that you will want to promote your blog or a product of some sort.

Wrapping it all up

Continue making connections and reaching out to bloggers in your niche. You will start to gain more traction in the industry as you guest post more and more, so just continue what you are doing. Reserve your best ideas for blogs where your posts will get seen the most, even if that isn’t your own blog.

April 1, 2016
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