You know your niche and you’ve got plenty to say.
But here’s the question: how do you boost your reach – i.e., get your work out in front of as many interested eyeballs as possible?
While a solid social media marketing plan and good organic reach are definitely helpful, they do take time when it comes to generating any real brand awareness and driving traffic to your website.
So while you’re waiting for those approaches to generate some buzz, how do you connect with your target audience quickly and directly?
Two words: guest posting.
Get off the Fence
Yes, at first glance it can seem counter-intuitive. Why submit the fruits of your labor to other blogs (often for free) when you could be investing sweat equity in your own publication?
But hold off on the skepticism. There are good reasons to get off the fence. You actually have more to gain than lose by sharing your work as a guest blogger.
Find a New Audience
If you continue to post only on your own blog, you’re basically “talking to the converted”. Your own audience has already heard your message and, clearly, they “get” you. That’s fine – but it limits your reach. You want to speak to as many people as possible.
When you guest post on a number of other blogs, you raise your brand awareness amongst readers who likely know nothing about you. If you consistently provide quality content as a guest blogger, there’s a good chance that strangers might become friendly followers.
Boost Your SEO Results
Effective links have a lot to do with your SEO performance. When you guest post on an authoritative website, your readers get a handy backlink to your site. When readers “discover” your website via an authoritative blog, this in turn raises your own site’s authority.
That said, it’s important to ensure that link-building isn’t your sole objective in blog posting. If it is – Google’s gonna get you! It recently launched a link spam algorithm update. If you’re guest posting just for the links – it’s time to rethink your strategy.
So – what should a sensible strategy look like? Something like this:
- Know your objectives. We’ve already established that it can’t be just about building links. What else do you want to achieve? Generate leads for your website? Capture subscribers? Build social proof? Once you define your objectives, you can devise a good guest post strategy.
- To maximize your return on guest posting, you have to pitch to the right blogs. Making pitches for guest posts requires time and effort, so be sure you’re clear on who you want to connect with, and how to find them. Don’t throw everything at the wall to see what sticks.
- Hire a freelancer on Upwork who can do research and outreach for you. Create a document that details the website niches they should look into, and how to find the right person in the company to reach out to. And sign them up for a service like Hunter.io that can help them pinpoint the email addresses of appropriate people to reach out to. This can help you personalize your pitch.
- Sign up with a service like Rightinbox, where you can set up email sequences you can automatically send to designated recipients requesting a guest post.
- Once your blog posting request is approved, outsource your content to a top-rated freelancer who can write the content for you. Do however note that outsourcing costs can escalate pretty quickly. Keep an expense tracker to make sure you are not overshooting your monthly budget.
- Create a document that trains your writer on the specific call to action (CTA) and links you will need to include in the article to meet your marketing objectives.
- Set up a landing page that you can promote – both in your guest post author box and also within the content – where readers can click to visit your pages and sign up for your service or newsletter.
- Integrate this with the rest of your eCommerce marketing funnel so that you can nurture these leads into becoming paying customers for your business.
- Measure the success rate of your guest post against other marketing strategies like email marketing, and content marketing and continue to monitor traffic for optimization.
Keep a couple of points in mind as you’re devising your strategy.
Steer Clear of the Competition
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it bears a mention.
Don’t think about guest posting for sites you’re in direct competition with. That’s not going to garner new readership for your blog – it’s only going to contribute additional content to your competitor’s site.
Think instead about niches that are related to your blog’s focus, and brainstorm some other interests that your target audience may have. For example, offer a useful post about freelance writing to someone who makes their living as a “digital nomad”. That’s an intriguing topic, and would probably appeal to your target audience. Formulate pitch ideas by building on your audience’s interests.
If you’re a blogging newbie, it’s probably not realistic to pitch your work to top-authority websites. But your goal is to post for websites that raise your brand awareness and broaden your audience reach – so be like Goldilocks. Find a site that’s “just right” for you size-wise.
Look for blogs that are either larger than yours, or are a similar size but occupy a different niche. Bigger is better: writing for a blog that’s smaller than yours will do more for the other guy than it will for you.
Take the Long View
You want to generate more traffic to your site so you can grow your audience. Strategic guest posting is a great way to do that.
Pitch ideas that are unique but genuinely useful to your target audience. If your published post hits the right note, you should begin seeing an impact on your traffic from the day your post goes live. Don’t expect an immediate flood.
But your backlink will stay live on that guest post for months, possibly even years. And if your post does its job, you should continue to see a consistent stream of traffic to your site over time. Meaning – you’ve successfully sparked the attention of a new potential audience.
Ready to get off that fence?