When businesses give away something for free, they often get a lot in return from their fans or customers. One of the benefits of business blogging is that it establishes trust and thought-leadership. For example, even though HubSpot is an Internet Marketing software company, we share lots of free advice on our Internet Marketing Blog.
Contributing a post to a blog other than yours is another way of giving away something small for free, but getting more in return. In this post, I'll share some practical tips on how to approach guest blogging, and how to get the most out of it.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
Reach New Audiences
A post on your company blog will go out to all your subscribers. They might share it with their friends through social media, and you might gain some more interest or even subscribers. However, publishing on someone else's blog lets you reach out to a whole new audience. A guest post is an opportunity to let a new group of people find out about your expertise and blog.
Public Relations & Branding
Guest blogging should be a win-win situation. It should benefit both you and blog to which you are contributing. This is how public relations works, and guest blogging is yet another offering to help establish these connections. It also puts these connections on public display, which can build your brand's authority.
By giving to and connecting with your industry's blogging community, you can also get people to help fill your blog with content. The rule of reciprocity says that if you do something for someone, they are more likely to do something for you.
Gain Inbound Links
Gaining external links from relevant and authoritative websites is a powerful way to improve search engine rankings. With your guest posts, you should have your bio with a link back to your website or blog. If appropriate, you can also put links to other blog posts or resources your company offers in a guest blog post.
While inbound links are a benefit, don't look at this as the only benefit. Being a guest on someone else's blog is like being a guest at their home, and you should respect that they have their own goals, which are not to promote your company.
How to Guest Blog
Approaching a blog for a guest post is not difficult. Most blogs have a contact form, and some even have an 'invitation to blog for us' form. You can also join My Blog Guest, an online community that helps you find guest blogging opportunities.
Before approaching a blog for a guest post, make sure the blog satisfies the following criteria:
If you're blogging already you should know your own audience. You can also get a feel for the audience of other blogs by reading a few of their articles. Your guest post should not compromise your own goals. Try to target blogs in which there is an overlap between your audience and theirs.
You will gain more in terms of all the factors mentioned above if you do a guest post on a more influential blog. This can be a mainstream blog, or a prominant niche blog in your industry. Either way, you can run a blog through Blog Grader and better understand its influence.
Make Guest Blogging a Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Guest blogging is an opportunity that many bloggers neglect. Of course, you should not lose your focus on regularly producing great content on your own blog. At the same time, if you follow the guidelines above, you can make guest blogging an effective way to improve your brand, search engine optimization, and audience.