You’ve had the summer to work on your business, and now you’re ready to dive into your content marketing. You may be blogging on your own website regularly, but have you considered contributing content on other blogs? This is called guest blogging, and it can be a highly-effective tool for reaching new customers.
How guest blogging works
Writing for another blog is similar to what you’re already doing for your own. You write informative content that targets that particular audience, and you get a link back to your website in your author bio, which people can click to learn more about you and your brand. The major perk is that you can reach far more potential customers than you do with your own blog. You also can establish yourself as a thought leader the more places you contribute content.
Let’s say you are a business coach and you’re trying to reach small business owners. If you contribute useful articles on blogs that cater to entrepreneurs, you’re essentially being introduced to a wider audience of potential customers. The trick is providing value and convincing blog editors that you’re worth investing time in.
Is guest blogging right for your startup?
If you’re already writing blog content, I’m willing to bet you have the bandwidth to write one or two more articles a month. That’s all it takes to get started. Another option is hiring a ghostwriter who can write the content on your behalf for other sites.
If, however, you’re struggling to update your own blog regularly and don’t have the budget for a writer, it might not be the best time to add guest blogging to your long list of to-dos. Be honest about how much time and energy you have to take something else on. Committing to guest blogging and then not being able to follow through will only make your brand look bad.
If you’ve decided that yes, now is the time to start guest blogging, start by searching for blogs that cater to your niche, or make a list of the blogs you read already. Spend some time reading each blog to ensure that it’s targeting the audience you care about reaching. List these in a spreadsheet to make the rest of your work easy.
Note: you’ll get better results if you focus on blogs that are updated regularly and have a decent amount of traffic. Starting out, target smaller blogs and work your way up to those that get tens of thousands of views per month. Know that writing an article for a blog that gets 100 visitors a month isn’t going to do nearly as much for you as one that gets 2,000 visitors, so don’t be afraid to be picky about the blogs you work with.
When writing your pitch letter, do so to one editor at a time. Take the time to find out the editor’s name, as that will get you farther than addressing the email to “Dear Blog Editor.” Customize each pitch rather than copy/pasting it to dozens of editors.
Introduce yourself and your experience, then suggest three topics to write about (assuming this fits the protocol for how the particular publication accepts pitches). The topics should be some that the blog hasn’t already covered, so do your research!
Get invited back
For the blogs that do accept your guest blog pitch, be on your best behavior:
- Write according to the blog’s guidelines
- Submit in format the editor prefers (Google Docs? Word?)
- Promote published post on your social media
Writing a single guest post won’t do much to boost your content marketing efforts, so your goal should be to get invited to contribute regularly. Once a month is ideal, and if you’ve impressed the editor with great writing, he or she should be open to more content from you.
Guest blogging is an excellent addition to what you’re already doing in content marketing to attract more business.