Guest posts are a great way to increase your audience so it is crucial that your piece is written properly. First impressions can never be taken back, as we all know. When publishing a guest post, you get a unique chance to attract a whole new audience to your website.
The best approach to brainstorming your guest post is to research what the readership is looking for. The most common mistake people make is to assume that quantity is more important than quality. This assumption cannot be more wrong. You should write tactical posts backed up by a clear and concise long-term strategy.
The two common goals you should keep in mind are:
- Attracting email subscribers
- Enhancing your website’s ranking
We all know that if a website doesn’t rank on the first page of Google search results, chances are, it is missing out on potential visitors massively. Guest posts allow you to leverage other platforms’ audiences to increase your website’s traffic and build a reputation as an expert in the field.
Let’s start by defining what a guest post should be and how to master the skill of writing stellar guest posts.
What Is a Good Guest Post?
A guest post is a post written by an author for someone else’s blog. For a guest post to achieve its purpose (see the two goals above), it needs to be published on a blog with a large following and an RSS feed. In this way, the readership won’t miss the new publication.
A good guest post should establish you as an expert in the target field and make the readers want to learn more about you and your products/services. That means that on top of providing quality content, you also need to follow up.
Contrary to popular belief, the finest of guest posts aren’t a form of advertisement. Linking your website is fine, but go easy on overvaluing yourself. Rather, for a guest post to fully achieve its purpose, it needs to be editorial.
Editorial Vs. Advertorial
Editorial posts are informative rather than self-promoting. Think about it: do you look favorably upon people aggressively trying to sell you their products (no matter how much you may like them)? The answer is, of course, no, and this is a good lesson on how being blatant can drive off potential clients. In terms of guest posts, these would be advertorial posts.
Editorial posts, on the other hand, inform the readership about your product and educate them about its benefits and uses. Rather than being aggressive, an editorial post is explanatory and demonstrates your expertise on the subject. The information it provides is usable; in this way, you build trust with your readership. In the long run, that trust will come to pay off.
How to Write High-Quality Guest Posts
Now that you know the form of a quality guest post, it’s time to brainstorm its contents. While there is no universal rule covering all topics, there are still some general tips that will help you write better and attract more people to your website. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Establishing Outreach
To establish proper outreach, you should mind a couple of things. First of all, you should make an attempt to familiarize yourself with the platform your guest post is to be published on. After all, you should be looking for a specific audience likely to be attracted to your website. For example, if the website is offering jobs you should try to pitch them something related to employees, work atmosphere etc.
Secondly, you should be an expert in your field. If you’re not, why would the platform bother to publish your post? High-authority guest posters are always a welcome addition to any blog, after all.
Lastly, you should get the message across that you can provide value to the blog and its target audience. Be specific as to details. You can also offer to include internal links on your own website.
2. Write for the Blog Audience
When writing a guest post, as mentioned above, you should provide value both to the blog and the audience. That means that you may wish to apply a different approach than you normally do when you write for your website if the audience is looking for different information.
Every successful blog post addresses audiences’ immediate needs and problems. Empty platitudes, no matter how eloquent, won’t get you far.
3. Write Actionable Content
Writing actionable content is probably the most difficult part of the process. It is all too easy for experts to state the facts, but providing the readership with actual ideas on how to act upon those facts is another matter entirely.
One suggestion is to use examples from your expertise that have helped you and your clients address a need or solve an issue. In other words, some practical tips are likely to be more valued than general knowledge that can be achieved via other sources.
Another option is to hire agencies or freelancers to create your content. Job boards like Upwork, Fiverr, or Problogger can help you find writers in your niche.
You can also use affordable content agencies such as Content Keen, ContentFly and TheHoth to find high-quality, actionable content for your guest blogs.
Remember that if you do a great job with your guest post, it will be much easier for you to get more guest post opportunities for your brand.
4. Add Effective Images
The matter of images has managed to divide readership. While some people are strictly against it (especially those looking for expertise without cheap entertainment), others argue that useful images and videos break the text, making it easier to read through and digest the entire post.
Our personal opinion aside, you should do what the readership wants, and that is, in most cases, a guest post with a couple of images. Research the blog to get an idea and align with their format.
As for the choice of images, don’t be content with just any that illustrates your point. No serious blogger would like to feature the same image that’s prominent on a gazillion of other websites. Take your time deciding on the images and make sure to name them properly. Nothing speaks “unprofessional” more than an image named “123.” If you have numerous relevant images you’d like to share, you can always create a slideshow video to combine multiple images into a slideshow presentation.
5. Brainstorm Links
Now, many guest bloggers make the mistake of including a link to their home page. While that approach isn’t necessarily inefficient, it is even better to send the readers to a page featuring a specific offer linked to the content of your guest post.
If you want to attract subscribers, provide a link to a free sample in exchange for their email addresses. Alternately, you can provide smaller chunks of information leading to the visitors wanting to buy the entire package. The strategy is wholly up to you, so make sure to think it through.
These are some general tips on how to brainstorm each and every guest post. The last word of advice would be: be yourself! There are experts and experts, but only you can provide the content that speaks volumes about your business promise. Be consistent and follow up. If you do that regularly, results are certain to follow.