In marketing, guest posting is one of the most cited ways to build clean backlinks to your site. Which is true, but guest posting the wrong way can cause more harm than good. Do it right and not only are you building your site’s authority, you’re also sending great referral traffic back as well.
Guest posting the right way is about providing value to the site you’re reaching out to, and being certain your site is relevant to the situation. You don’t want to write an amazing piece on why Star Wars is better than Star Trek and get it published on the perfect movie site with the hope of getting traffic to your health equipment store from a bio link.
Are You Worthy of a Link?
The first step is analyzing your own content. Do you have content that is the best resource available for what you’re addressing? If not, your first step before attempting to guest post is to design something for your own site (don’t forget to promote that piece as well).
Who Needs Your Content?
Once you have a piece of content on your site that is better than anything else on the web you can move on to finding a target. Find the people who need to know about that topic. Look at blogs, magazines, and news sites. If you have a piece of content on your site that teaches people how to think like a professional writer when it comes to marketing, you may want to look for opportunities where people need to know about content marketing for instance. Content is King, but relevancy is no court jester. If there’s no one who reads the site you want to guest post on that needs what your site offers – you’re on the wrong site.
How Do You Engage Them?
You have a great resource on your site and have found a place with readers who need what you’ve got. The next step is to figure out how to write for that particular site. Don’t just read the “write for us” section. Check out a dozen of the best performing posts. See what that audience engages with. Do they want you to write as a distant professional, or a friend with some great advice. Should you include subtitles and images? Basically it comes down to doing your homework.
Writing is the hard part for a lot of marketers. We know our research, we can pick a target audience out of the masses but we’re usually left to figure out writing on our own. The great thing is that writing well involves the same research as marketing does: knowing your audience. I sat down with a writing professor to put together a guide on writing for marketers, that’ll put you on the right road when it comes to your writing for your audience.
If you make sure every piece of writing your produce on your site and off is top notch the value of each piece will grow well beyond the last. If you write in the same industry on different sites pretty soon people will start recognizing your name – you want them to recognize your name as being the first thing to read, not something to skip.
Where Does Your Link Go?
Linking. Make it contextual. Make it relevant. See what I did in that last section? I included a great resource that links back to my site. Everything else in this post leads to the inclusion of that link. I can’t recreate a nearly 4,000 word guide in this post, but giving you the resources you need to write well is hugely important for anyone who wants to approach guest posting as a tactic. And you know exactly what you’re going to get when you click on that link above. When it comes to a bio link – you might have a sense of who I am and what you’re getting from my brief bio, but it’s limited. A contextual link is how you get traffic, instead of just link juice.
What Do You Do When You’re Done?
Send it out. Don’t worry if someone shoots you down. Ask them why they don’t feel it’s a good fit for their site. Take their recommendations and go back on the hunt. Once it does find a home, make sure you follow up with the editor after it’s been posted. Thank them and ask them about potentially working together again in the future. Great marketing relies on relationships, always work on building them when you have the opportunity.
Good luck and happy writing.
I’m Dave Hermansen, the “Coach” from Storecoach.com. I teach entrepreneurs how to start online stores and market them. I’ve been in eCommerce now for the past 10 years, and I’ve run over 60 successful eCommerce stores. I’m particularly interested in SEO and content marketing, but I study and write about social media marketing as well.