Guest Blogging: Trick or Treat? Here's What You Need to Know

Guest Blogging: Trick or Treat? Here’s What You Need to Know

Guest blogging has been an important part of the blogosphere almost from the beginning of the genre. As soon as bloggers started forming communities, hosting other bloggers for debates, discussion, and fellowship became increasingly common.

While guest blogging was originally just a way to form and nurture community and relationships, nowadays it’s an important part of building and promoting your blog. In fact, it’s now so common to guest blog that even corporate blogs have guests on occasion.

But, what do you need to know about guest blogging generally? The following handy guide speaks briefly about the ins and outs of guest blogging. I also go into this topic more in-depth in a downloadable guide you can sign up to receive at the bottom of this post.

Let’s dig in.

Why is Guest Blogging so Awesome?

Before we start looking at the benefits of guest blogging, let’s consider the overall value of this practice. Briefly, guest blogging helps raise the profile of your blog, build relationships, and open the door for further collaboration.

It is One of The Best Sources of Social Proof

One of the biggest reasons to write guest blogs and have guest bloggers come onto your site is social proof. In other words, if you are the host, then you’re showing your audience that the guest blogger is trustworthy. Likewise, if a blogger lets you write and post a guest blog, it serves as a sort of endorsement for you and your blog.

How does this benefit you? In some ways, it’s similar to the social media world. When you are seen on someone else’s blog, or when you host a more influential blogger, this builds a type of social proof. After all, bloggers get far more readers when people link to their websites. Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get that boost.

It Helps with Relationships and Thought Leadership

In addition, guest blogging is a great way to forge and nurture relationships. This is how guest blogging started before the genre was commercialized. However, nowadays these collaborations are excellent for working with influencers. An influencer can appear on your site or vice versa. Either way, you’ll be exposed to that person’s followers.

Similarly, when you write a guest blog, you can begin to build a brand as a thought leader. For instance, someone might ask you to write something as an SME that is relevant to their topic, but outside their expertise somewhat. By answering the questions of someone else’s readers, people learn to trust what you have to say.

It Helps Increase Traffic

Finally, guest blogging helps boost your website traffic. One way it does that is through brand awareness: people will read your guest post and get curious. If you leverage your opportunity well enough, then people will often click through to see your biography and check out your website. The other way is through referrals on the host website.

Overall, Guest Blogging Improves Your SEO

Yes, I just said it. Guest blogging helps improve website SEO for both parties. If you’re the guest, then having a link from the other website, called backlinks, can improve your visibility. This is especially true if the person whose guest blog post is on the more important site. If the search engines see that your website is considered important by a market leader, it automatically assumes your site is high enough quality to move up in search engine rankings.

Likewise, guest blogging can improve SEO by helping people reach your website and spend more time on it. Search engines assume that if people spend more time on a website, then it is more valuable to those people. After all, who wastes time reading things they don’t find to be worthwhile? Finally, the increased traffic to your blog shows the search engines that your site is considered valuable by readers. Besides SEO writing techniques, this is one of the best ways to ensure your site gets more traffic, and better ratings, over time.

Guest Blogging is Also Beneficial for Your Host Website

One of the great things about guest blogging is that it’s a win-win. Both the guest blogger and the host blogger benefit.

Freebies are Great

Freebies are Great

One of the tougher parts of being a blogger is having the time to write. This is especially true if the blog is busy and your host still has a day job. For this reason, a lot of people pay freelancers to write individual posts. However, if you can get an outside writer to do a guest post, then it’s a big bonus.

They Get Fresh Perspectives

It’s easy in some industries to develop “tunnel vision,” where people hold one perspective or have a limited range of perspectives. With guest blogging, it’s much easier to break out of the tunnel vision because of the fresh perspective other professionals bring to the table. And, if the guest posts on the edges of a niche, even the host pays to learn something.

Exposure to New Audiences is Priceless

Finally, blogging guests will often share the post you’re hosting for the. For instance, they might brag about it on Instagram or share a link through Twitter. Sometimes, they’ll even include the accolade on their corporate website. Either way, guest blogging hosts benefit from greater traffic, which can in turn become regular readers, customers, or subscribers.

Ready to Get Started Guest Blogging? Here’s How.

Like almost everything else in life, failure to plan with guest blogging is a plan to fail. Think nonexistent blog owner enthusiasm, faulty marketing/PR, and poor SEO. Luckily, as marketers and bloggers, we’ve found that certain steps and tactics are very effective.

I will treat this section very briefly, in part because it’s too long. However, getting the “whole picture” of guest blogging is one reason to download my e-book.

1. Select Target Sites Based on Your Business Goals.

No matter what goals you have for guest blogging, you want to ensure that the topics you choose have a positive impact on your business goals. In other words, you don’t want to use guest posts as a place you simply share thoughts without a clear benefit. Your guest posts should maximize progress towards the goals that you decided after reading the previous section.

2. Find the Best Websites for Your Submission

Even with the very best topics for guest blogging, it’s important to know that you are putting your content in the right place. This is part of increasing your ROI, even if your purpose isn’t promoting products or services. In other words, you want the best outcomes in terms of link-building or brand awareness, too.  The better each post does for you, the better. At the same time, you want the arrangement to be mutually beneficial.

3. Friends: They’re Your Best Source

Because guest blogging is a type of influencer marketing, begin by genuinely engaging with the site owner on social media and their blog content through commenting before sending them an email or messaging them on social media. Remember, you’re asking them to lend their good reputation to you and introduce you to their audience. This is also a significant step because you’ll also gain an industry friend at the same time.

Besides all these points, would you really harm your new blog friends?

4. Prepare Your Pitch

When you’re ready to start guest blogging, you need to decide what to write about. Because you clearly can’t re-post something you’ve already published, you’ll need to invest in a new blog post. However, that doesn’t mean you should write about just anything. In many cases, your blogging opportunity is an important chance to boost your readership and improve SEO. But you have to answer this question for the site owner: WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?

Answer the question right away, and you’ve dramatically increased the chance you’ll get to guest blog on a given blog.

5. Get Good at Blogger Outreach

In this case, bloggers might be willing to host your guest post. As with other marketing techniques such as influencer collaborations, always make sure your potential host is someone you’re OK with for the long haul. Besides this, you’ll still want to build great relationships with other bloggers, as it paves the way for other collaborations.

6. Write A Great Guest Post

Now that you’ve landed a great guest blogging gig, it’s time to make the most of it. Be sure to write a great post that lots of people will find compelling. Craft it with the same level of care that you would on your own blog. After all, if hosts have a good experience with you the first time, there’s more room for quality future collaborations.

7. Be A Great Guest

This aspect of guest blogging goes far beyond writing the post. Instead, you want to be the best guest possible. To do this, comment on your blog post, provide your own biography and promote your post. For promotions, add a link to the post in your newsletter and on social media to drive traffic, and link to it from other places. Combined with tagging your host, these practices are excellent for maximizing the benefits on both sides.

8. Track Your Results

Finally, be sure to track your results. Social media and website analytics are great for this. So are Mentions and search engine rankings trackers. Over time, you will see your tech stack pay off for guest blogging and not just your website.

Not doing well with your efforts? Rework your strategy like you would social media plans.

You Needn’t Go It Alone with Guest Blogging

In fact, you can scale your efforts. There are several ways to do this, such as hiring freelancers, using blogger outreach tools, and building relationships with other bloggers.

Did you notice how guest blogging success is still a relatively social endeavor? Over time, you’ll end up working smarter not harder. And at the same time, boosting other bloggers besides yourself and your host.

Further Reading: 11 Actionable Link Building Strategies For 2024 and Beyond

How to Get Guest Bloggers for Your Blog

Of course, most of us want to benefit from guest blogging the other way: by having guests on our blogs. Finding and managing guest blogging on your site requires many of the same skills as guest blogging, at least in terms of ensuring a successful hosting experience. However, being on the other side of the desk makes it much easier to find potential guests.

  • Link to external sites: it’ll get you noticed.
  • Boost your search engine rankings: it’ll make your blog a more desirable host for would-be blogger collaborations.
  • Get listed on guest bloggers-welcome directories. Google is your best friend here but here’s one to check out: 150+ Sites to Guest Post in 2024
  • Create a page dedicated to your guest blogging policies

Further Reading: How To Invite Influencers To Guest Post On Your Blog

Try Out Some Tools

Lastly, check out some guest blogging tools. Often, you can use existing tools for your home blogs, such as copy checking and backlink research. In addition, there are dedicated tools for finding opportunities. Be sure to check out my recommended list in the e-book that you can download below.

Further Reading: 41 Tools for Blogging That Will Improve Your Writing and Increase Your Traffic

Final Thoughts on Guest Blogging

Getting started with guest blogging can seem daunting. However, as you can see from this brief post, a lot of it is about building relationships. Once you’ve done that, it’s relatively easy to write a guest post. And, at the same time, you’ll be part of a win-win situation where both parties get SEO and other benefits for each other’s blogs. Want more information? Download the e-book today here.

Improve Your SEO Through Guest Blogging
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Oh, and if you are looking for guest blogging opportunities on this site, please see more information here.

Hero photo by Alex Jumper on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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