The Power of Guest Blogging: Building Your Brand and Expanding Your Reach

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Guest blogging has become increasingly popular in content marketing. Getting your articles onto a website that already has eyeballs from your target audience can help with public relations goals and search engine optimization goals. Essentially, guest blogging is the process of creating content for another website or publication, typically an industry leader or authority with an already well-established audience.

As companies and thought leaders looked to diversify their content production and distribution strategies, guest blogging emerged as an effective way to leverage the pre-existing audiences of reputable publications. This not only allows brands to tap into new readers and leads but can also help strengthen credibility and trust by having an external platform showcase your perspective and expertise.

As content marketing began accelerating as an inbound strategy, marketers realized that while developing great content on their own sites was critical, there was also value in secured placements on industry authority sites. The goals were to take advantage of the domains and audiences that influential publishers had spent years building.

The interest from brands was met with open arms from many site owners, who were looking to increase traffic and bring more diverse perspectives. Some site owners opened up another revenue stream and charged for guest blogging submissions.

The Benefits of Becoming a Guest Blogger

When executed properly, guest blogging has serious advantages. Being showcased as an expert voice on a popular platform can do wonders for building brand awareness and trust. Specifically, here are some of the key reasons you should consider guest blogging as part of your content promotion initiatives:

Strengthen industry authority and thought leadership

One of the primary reasons companies leverage guest posts is because of how effectively they build credibility and showcase expertise. Publishing content on trusted, established sites signals to readers that the caliber of your insights meets the standards of a premier outlet. This 3rd party validation goes a long way towards establishing authority.

Expand reach and access new audiences

Guest blogging grants you direct access to engaged audiences that you likely would not reach otherwise. For companies just starting out or those looking to promote lesser-known content offers, guest posting for a popular publication means instant new exposure. Even well-known brands recognize guest content for audience expansion.

Diversify ideas, content and narratives

Writing for an outside site also provides the opportunity and flexibility to explore ideas that might not align directly with your own site or typical content messaging. Since another site’s audience may respond differently, testing out innovative narratives or formats can deliver value.

Read next: Is your brand story ready for the narrative economy?

Increase website visitors and backlinks

Guest blogging is effective for referral traffic. Quality guest posts can result in spikes of visitors from social shares and lead to valuable backlinks, higher authority, and better search visibility over time.

Network and connect with industry influencers

The relationships formed and connections made through the guest posting process should not be discounted. Editors and site owners of premier publications tend to be very plugged into industry circles. Making a strong impression can pay dividends in networking, partnership opportunities, and spreading positive word-of-mouth.

How Guest Posting Works

While guest blogging offers tremendous upside, achieving maximum impact requires much more strategic intent than typical article posting. Expectations around contributor performance are understandably high for editors providing the platform and audience reach.

Understand publication/editor preferences

The first step is dedicating time to closely analyze the target site(s) you are hoping to write for, ensuring the publication is a fit for your brand values and that the proposed content aligns with readership interests. Get clarity on editorial guidelines and writer expectations. Study published posts’ tone, perspective, topics, and formats to discern preferences. Customize pitches specifically for each editor and site.

Provide unique value and ownable perspective

Think beyond guest posting as an audience grab or link play. The top priority should be providing tangible value through education and insights that the publication’s readers can’t get anywhere else. Have a distinct and thoughtful POV that enhances the dialogue readers expect from the site. Be insightful rather than self-promotional.

Follow specified guidelines and formatting

For most editors, following proper guidelines around tone, article length, images, headlines, and metadata is mandatory. Not adhering signals a lack of care for their site integrity or respect for their readership. Get clarity on expectations and deliver compliance.

Promote posts through owned platforms

After the piece is published, don’t expect the site owner to drive all traffic. Guest contributors should have a promotion strategy prepared ahead of securing a placement, including sharing posts via social channels, email lists, and other owned properties to drive readers.

Guest Post Ideas that Attract Editors and Readers

While guest post opportunities abound today across blogs, news sites, and niche publications, the competition has simultaneously intensified. Simply offering a generic article leads to rejection.

Crafting ideas tied directly to a specific publication’s editorial mission and reader interests is imperative.

Timely, original insights on industry trends

Relevant data points and analysis around market shifts make for broadly appealing content. Consider polling your audience or customers for statistics to feature. Add frameworks and models to present the information in an original format. Trend commentary showcases your fingertips on the pulse of changes.

Q&As and guest interviews with other influencers

Editors often welcome contributors offering pre-set interviews featuring exclusive commentary from respected CEOs, founders, or authors discussing recent projects. Prepare 4-5 intriguing questions that prompt insights otherwise not shared to provide reader value. Increase appeal by interviewing their past contributors.

Unique proprietary research and survey results

While conducting primary research solely for guest posts may be excessive for smaller brands, lead generation surveys, consumer polls, or internal data sentiment analysis can pay dividends for securing placements. Even surveying email subscribers on preferences can yield interesting statistics for articles. Findings that haven’t been previously circulated often pique editor interest.

“How to” guides and tactical step-by-step walkthroughs

Service content that educates readers on processes to solve pain points or detailed “how to” for complex topics has universal guest post appeal. While not appropriate for hard news sites more geared to commentary, sites focused on industry education welcome such evergreen tutorials.

Roundup posts with quotes from respected leaders

Curating feedback from 5-6 influencers on industry issues works well for editorial placements. The key is ensuring a variety of perspectives as well as context setting on why the topic is currently important and strategic questions to guide commentary.

Thoughtful analysis on news events or controversies

While steering clear from guest posts that are overly promotional, adding a measured perspective to current event analysis through a lens that highlights your expertise can provide value. Avoid politics unless it aligns with a publication’s focus. Tie commentary back to the potential impact on loyal readers.

Read next: The Art of Real-Time Marketing: Capturing Opportunities in the Moment

How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities

If the content quality bar is high, the competition for guest post slots maybe even more fierce. Even extensive networking may only get a brand so far without a polished pitch and ideas tailored to each publication.

Build relationships with site editors and past contributors

Connect with both editors and established contributors. Comment on their posts, share content, or reach out for informational interviews. When appropriate, let them know you are open to discussing ideas in the future.

Craft tailored pitches that speak to audience needs and preferences

Ensure ideas align with the site’s topical focus and reader demographics. Convey proposed headline and theme, along with a specific framework for delivering info that caters to their preferences.

Provide multiple ideas with expected reader value

Increase the chance of acceptance by including 2-3 complementary, well-developed ideas in initial pitches. Offer to write on other topics if needed and express flexibility.

Measuring Guest Post Impact

Given the resources invested, quantifying guest post impact through metrics is key for proving effectiveness and optimizing strategy. Areas to track include:

Traffic referrals & readership performance

Monitor visitor growth, traffic sources, and referrals by posts. Prioritize placements driving significant visitors. Identify referral traffic drops quickly for replacement posts.

Backlinks, search rankings & authority

Measure impacts on domain and content authority from secured backlinks. Chart keyword ranking gains for critical terms from guest content.

Social media engagement

Compare engagement levels across platforms and guest posts. Connection volume indicates content resonance.

Qualitative feedback & testimonials

Positive testimonials and commentary from editors provide powerful social proof for securing additional placements.

Overcoming Guest Blogging Challenges

For brands investing in guest content, obstacles naturally arise, threatening results. Common difficulties and tactics to overcome.

  • Creating custom, high-quality content
  • Pitching consistently and securing placements
  • Setting reasonable targets for outreach and monitoring results to optimize strategy over time.

With a sound guest blogging strategy and persistence in unlocking placements, expanded brand exposure and traffic growth can be achieved for years to come. Industry connections established in the process also present future partnership potential.

In closing, are you ready to tap into the power of guest blogging? Let me know if you have any other questions about getting started.

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