The purpose of this guide is to give you an introduction to the world of guest posting.
We will cover:
- what is guest posting
- different types of guest posts
- myths about guest posting
- benefits of guest posting
- common guest posting problems
- a brief overview of the process
What is guest posting?
Guest posting (a.k.a. guest blogging) stands for publishing content on websites that you do not own. This is why the person that writes guest posts is often called a guest contributor.
Most people use guest posting to build links towards their website with an effort to position their site higher in search results. The idea is that you offer free educational content to a website in your niche that likes to publish content on a regular basis. Since you offer it for free, the unwritten rule is that they let you link to one (or more) guides on your own blog.
That being said, some people guest blog just to spread brand awareness and help other people in their niche.
Bloggers and editors know what you are trying to do, so more and more of them actually ask a fee for publishing your content. These types of “deals” go under the realm of sponsored posts and are not something that Google is fond of.
Different types of guest posts
There are a few types of guest posts editors love to publish more than others:
- How-to guides – editors love guides on how to solve a specific problem.
- Listicles – are those “X ways/tools for doing something”. They are very flexible as you can choose how in-depth you want your explanations to be, as well as how many points you want to feature in the first place.
- Case studies – explain how you or another brand did something right. They are similar to how-to guides, but often focus on explaining one example in great detail.
- Infographic republishing – is a great approach for those who feature
- cool infographics on their blog. Editors are usually willing to republish infographics on their site; however, you should also be willing to write a custom intro for them, explaining what the infographic is all about.
Characteristics of a good guest post:
- based on real examples and personal experience
- provides actionable advice
- grammatically correct
- properly structured
- follows given guidelines
Characteristics of bad guest posts:
- Duplicated – you can’t publish the same post on multiple different blogs with a few minor tweaks. Google doesn’t like that so editors will rarely agree to publish content that was already featured somewhere else.
- Plagiarized – it’s similar to duplicated content but in this case, it’s not duplicating your own content – it’s duplicating someone else’s. You’re using someone else’s research, graphics, statements, and presenting them as your own.
- Poorly written – content that it’s written by someone who doesn’t know anything about the topic at hand and/or simply doesn’t have a knack for writing.
Myths about guest posting that are not true
- Guest posting is dead – it’s not. As long as there are blogs that need new content and as long as backlinks are an important ranking signal, guest posting will be here to stay.
- I need to have a reputation as a writer – you don’t. You can start with some less popular blogs and work your way up.
- One email = one guest post – you wish! Be prepared to send lots and lots of emails. There are so many things that can affect your outreach efficiency and you’ll learn how to increase it with time.
- It’s impossible to get guest posts on ‘big sites’ – It’s hard, that’s for sure, but not impossible. It usually takes more time and effort as they have more strict guidelines and can be quite picky.
- My job is done when it’s published – it’s not. After your post gets published, you should share it on your social media accounts and be engaged
- in the comments section.
- It’s not worth it – it is. You can see how it worked for some of our clients when complemented with the right content strategy.
Benefits you can expect from guest blogging
Backlinks that increase your website traffic aside, here are some other major benefits of regular guest posting:
- Referral traffic – by publishing on other blogs you can attract a whole new group of visitors to your site. This happens when people click on the links in your guest articles that lead them to your website.
- Brand awareness – if you do a good job by writing high-quality articles, providing great information, and generally showing that you care and know what you are talking about, this can work wonders for your brand awareness (especially when you are able to get featured on high authority sites with a lot of traffic).
- Engagement with potential customers – after you publish your guest post on sites that have an active community and a lot of followers, you can expect the readers to leave some comments – these readers could potentially be your customers. This is a great opportunity to engage with them directly.
- Building relationships – by reaching out and collaborating with popular sites and influencers in your industry, you can build a lot of relevant relationships you can leverage in the future – to boost some other marketing actions you might be taking.
Common guest posting problems
There are a few common guest posting problems that you need to beat.
When you do a lot of guest posting, you start to run out of relevant sites to contact, especially if you operate in a narrow technical niche. To overcome that, you can try to organize a brainstorming session, look to expand into related niches, start becoming a regular contributor on select sites, contact websites that you weren’t able to get featured on in the past again etc.
Writer’s block is a common problem among people who aren’t primarily writers. It’s important to post regularly, so when you run out of ideas what to write about – do a little research. Visit Quora and niche forums blogs, do keyword research, browse social media, and you’ll get plenty of ideas for your next post.
Hard to scale
If you want to publish dozens of guest posts each month, you will either need to form an in-house team or outsource it. Between finding sites, managing outreach, coming up with new titles, and writing the posts, it is simply too much for just one or two people.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss who is guest blogging for and who guest blogging is not for.
Who is guest posting for?
Guest posting is for people that want to grow their business by growing organic traffic to their website – and then capture those website visitors with enticing offers and carefully crafted landing pages.
In other words, guest posting is an integral part of content marketing and other marketing strategies like affiliate marketing.
Guest posting and content marketing are so popular because they are a more cost-effective option for most businesses – when done right. For example, if you do a lot of paid advertising, new leads will stop flowing in as soon as you turn off the ads. However, your website traffic will not drop as soon as you stop actively building links.
Guest posting is not for people who:
- do not rely on digital marketing to grow their business
- do not have any content on their blog
- focus on social media marketing and paid ads (PPC)
- simply want to focus on other marketing activities
The evolution of a guest post
- Researching trending topics in the niche – by visiting relevant blogs, forums or Q&A sites you can easily find out what people are talking about, their problems and their needs. Those are the things that they want to know more about and that’s what you should write about.
- Generating post ideas – now that you know what your potential customers want to read about, you can come up with a few title ideas.
- Researching potential guest blogs – in this step, you should do a research of potential blogs that accept guest posts. There are many ways of searching for blogs.
- Contacting editors with your ideas – write a pitch and send your ideas to the editors on sites you want to be featured on.
- Writing the post if accepted – follow the guidelines they give you and write the post on time.
- Post getting published – you can’t expect your post to go live immediately. They need some time to read it, edit if needed, and add it to their publishing schedule. You can expect it to be published anywhere from 2 days to several months after sending it.
- The ‘thank you’ mail – once it’s live, send them a ‘thank you’ email and remind them you’ll schedule shares on your social media accounts too.
- Promotion – keep up your promise and share a post on your social media accounts. Don’t stop there: you can also promote your article on all the places where you previously searched for your ideas.
- Keep track of your article – depending on the blog your post is on, it’s possible you’ll get comments on the post you wrote. Reply to people that have serious questions and praise.
So this was a short introduction to guest posting. It is a method that takes a lot of effort and time to be executed correctly, but it pays off.
There are a lot of great guides out there on how to execute guest posting campaigns for those that are ready to start.
For others that do not have the time to do it in-house, but want all of the benefits that you get with guest posting, you should consider outsourcing it to a trusted agency.
We at Point Visible have a lot of experience and examples, so if you’re considering taking the next step, feel free to reach out to us at any time.
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