Picture this – you’re plugging away on your business blog, sharing useful tips and tricks, answering burning industry questions, all that good stuff, when an email appears complimenting you on a recent post and offering a guest post. Quick – what’s your move?
If you’re thinking you’d need to proceed carefully and start with a bit of research about this guest, you’re on the right track. There are right ways and wrong ways to guest blog and today, I’m sharing the real tricks to crushing that guest blogging opportunity.
the thing about guest blogging
If you’ve read my post, “How to Guest Blog the Right Way,” then you’re clear on the basics of guest blogging. The gist of this concept is hosting content that your readers will find useful, while also showcasing your connections within the industry. You can run into trouble really quickly when guest blogging is driven solely by the desire for inbound links, so keep things on the up and up.
Let’s assume that you’ve done your research on the email above and you think a guest post would be a smart move. Ideally, you’ll have the opportunity to post something on their blog as well, as one of the big benefits to guest blogging is the opportunity to get in front of a new segment of your market. It’s a chance for someone in your industry to introduce you as an expert and push traffic your way. Just gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn’t it?
Here’s what to remember when this kind of opportunity comes a-knocking.
Your guest post should link somewhere worthwhile
Remember the funnel analogy, and don’t waste that link in your intro or bio. The idea isn’t to point people in the general direction of your site and call it a day, but rather to something specific. Freebies relating to your guest post content are usually received well, especially if they’re worth the download (hint: don’t offer anything that isn’t worth the download), but closely related posts on your own blog, or an interior page on your site that’s also related can work too. The big idea here is just making sure no one is wasting their time.
Pro tip: Be smart about your anchor text strategy. That’s the copy that links to your site, and the words you choose to link are a big deal for search engine rankings.
Write with an eye to the long game
I’ve written before that really great content is never wasted, even if its performance seems a little lackluster right out of the gate. When you’re writing a guest post, consider how that content will mature. Your goal is a post that boosts your credibility and drives traffic to your site, so start with some keyword research and then write, edit, tweak and make sure you’re posting something that will resonate today, tomorrow and ten years down the line.
keep an eye on the comments
After your post is published, check in periodically and get social in the comments. If someone takes time to leave a comment or question, be thoughtful and gracious in your response. This is where you can start developing relationships and cementing your status as an industry expert.
Above all, remember that guest blogging should be relevant. If you’re proud to host someone on your site because you like what they have to say, chances are good your readers will too.