Guest blogging is a highly effective method for driving organic traffic, yet it’s one many businesses overlook.
Far too many miss the valuable opportunity to guest blog. Even those who have done a guest blog here or there may not have maximized the potential of this strategy. The key is consistency.
Yet, some brands fail at guest blogging because they don’t understand how to produce the right content.
Today, we’ll dive into how guest blogging can drive organic traffic and what successful guest blogging entails.
Guest blogging is when you write a blog for another company. That company publishes the blog on their website, social media, etc., but credits you as the author.
Of course, you should certainly be doing your own blogging on your own site. However, guest blogging offers some unique benefits for building your brand including:
To succeed with guest blogging, you must create valuable content, and valuable content takes TIME. According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of B2B content marketers are challenged with producing engaging content.
Guest blogging begins with in-depth market research. When you write, it should be for your target audience. To craft compelling content for your unique audience, you must understand them in-depth. Through market research, you identify and get to know the people who you want to read your content.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, market research helps to “confirm and improve your business idea.” This includes products and content.
Market demographics help you better understand who your audience is. Furthermore, these demographics are the starting point for learning more about the nuances of your audience’s obstacles, goals, motivations, and more. You should gather any demographics that are relevant to your business including:
More importantly, market research allows you to keep up with fast-paced business trends. You can use it to identify potential market changes and find new opportunities to grow your business. It can also help you reduce business risks by better understanding your customers. When it comes to guest blogging, all these things help you produce more valuable content for your audience that will have a greater positive impact on your business.
There are many helpful avenues for market research, but simply asking can be extremely helpful.
One of the best places to start with market research is to ask your current (or potential) customers. For products, this may involve asking how they feel about the product or what features they want to be added.
The same applies to blogging in general, including guest posts. Before you write a guest post, you need to conduct market research. Some questions to ask include?
The better you understand your ideal customer, the more impact your guest content will make in their lives.
Focusing on a broad audience may seem like a good idea, but it’s often better to narrow in on a niche audience for your guest blogs. Broad audiences include people at every stage of the buying cycle. Write for the audience who is in the buying stage associated with your current goals and offering.
Here is an infographic of Engage 2 Engage’s User Marketing Journey:
Guest blogging is a great way to grow your business. However, to effectively guest blog, you must determine your target goal.
Figure out what you’re looking to achieve from guest blogging. One common goal that many businesses have is to acquire quality leads for email marketing. When first building your email list, it’s very difficult to acquire new members. Guest blogging can help you drive relevant leads to your email list.
However, guest blogging may be used for an array of other important goals. While some companies want to drive leads to their email list, others want to attract social media follows. Some may be focused on getting people to a service page on their website, or even their blog on their own site.
Once you’ve researched to understand your audience and goal in-depth, then you can plan content ideas. Research your topic thoroughly so that you can create the most helpful, engaging content.
Find the key topics people are talking about and interested in. What unique perspective can you bring? How can you create content that is more valuable than what’s out there?
Choosing the right places to guest blog is paramount for success.
A unique window of opportunity was opened for me in 2010 when I started contributing to a major corporation high-traffic blog site (CA Technologies) and in turn, it boosted my networking and brand presence.
However, not all blogs are created equal. Some blogs will send you fewer than 50 visitors. On the other hand, other blogs will bring you not just traffic, but leads and high-paying clients.
First and foremost, consider your target audience. Focus on where they will be when determining where to guest blog.
A major challenge with guest blogs is the possibility that readers don’t see your author’s byline and don’t click to learn more about you. This is a common obstacle and one I was facing when I had my blog column on CIO.com titled Mindful CIO.
I learned later to overcome this by asking a question or having a call to action (CTA). Keep in mind that every guest blog site has its own rules to account for, so make sure you understand the rules about CTAs and author bylines. Some will delete your CTAs. Furthermore, some allow for comments that they monitor, while others may not.
One of the best solutions is to strategically position the CTA in the byline of your author’s name or towards the end of your article.
Example of an article I wrote for Thrive Global, has several links at the bottom, above my author bio. There is a link that takes a reader to my author website, a link to my company website, a link to a workshop event, a link to a lead capture form, and links to my books.
Further, I have included a short author bio at the end. You could include the links in the author bio as well, but keep in mind that those links are universal across all your articles on that platform site. And some platform sites do not allow hyperlinks within the author bio section. That is why I chose to put my links at the end of the article so I can customize them per the article topic as relevant and not worry about links not populating in the author bio section.
Groove is an excellent example of successful guest blogging. In total, Groove has reached over 1 million people through guest blogging. One of their most successful posts, posted on Buffer’s blog, earned them over 20,000 unique site visitors. Their takeaway from guest blogging is that it’s the fastest, least-expensive method for reaching new audiences.
Guest blogging is a powerful tool that businesses in all industries can use to drive organic traffic. Engage 2 Engage is here to help simplify and streamline guest blogging so you can maximize this incredible opportunity. Learn more about our programs and how they can help you with your guest blogging strategy!