Content is good.
Blogging is great.
Guest blogging is fantastic.
Guest blogging carries all of the benefits that your standard blog brings to the table: fresh new content, SEO value, “thought leadership,” or whatever you’d prefer to call it, etc.
However, guest blogging takes these principles one step further by exposing you to a new audience on a new site. If you’re new to blogging/guest blogging, this post can help you capitalize on the opportunity.
3 Questions to Ask Before You Agree
Before you can start guest blogging, you need to have some blogs in mind for publication. You probably already know the top blogs in your industry, but getting a post accepted on one of these blogs can prove difficult.
I recommend Google’s special blog search tool for finding blogs related to your industry. Also, Twitter is a great place to find what people are saying about your industry (and where they’re saying it).
Once you know the blog(s) you’d like to publish with, make sure to ask these questions:
Can I syndicate/repurpose content?
You know what’s easier than writing from scratch? Re-writing something you’ve already written before. Most blogs don’t allow you to syndicate or repurpose content, and for good reason. They want original content. However, if the blog is okay with this, then you can get more mileage out of your existing posts.
Do you offer do-follow links?
This isn’t a big deal, but it’s something you should at least be aware of….
There are two types of links: no-follow and do-follow. A no-follow link is a hyperlink like any other back to your site, but Google doesn’t give it any SEO value. A do-follow link is a hyperlink from the blog back to your website that does carry SEO value.
Clearly, you want do-follow links. The reason some blogs give out no-follow links instead is because every do-follow link they give out means their own pages carry less weight with Google.
Again, this should not make or break your decision to publish through a blog, especially since Google’s PageRank is constantly changing its criteria and method of evaluating content, but it is good to be aware.
How do you promote posts?
Some blogs don’t promote their posts. They just publish and call it a day, which makes no sense whatsoever. Will the blogger share your post through social media? Will she link to it from other websites/sources? Will she try to syndicate it elsewhere? These are all good questions to ask before passing your writing over to another publisher.
Key Guest Blogging Strategies
Once you’ve found a blog that’s a match, consider these guest blogging strategies before you start writing or repurposing content:
- Read the guidelines. It’s frustrating for blog-owners to receive submissions that were created with no adherence to their guidelines. Most blogs will share specific submission guidelines, covering everything from word count and link-policies to how the post should be submitted. (Check out this example.) If you can’t find any guidelines, ask the blog!
- Don’t self-promote. If you write a really great blog, then the post will do the work of self-promotion for you. Obvious – and even what you think to be “subtle” – self-promotion is a turn-off. In fact, most blogs won’t even accept a post if it has the faintest scent of self-promotion.
- Pay attention to voice. When you’re writing a guest blog post, you face a two-fold voice challenge. On the one hand, you should sound like yourself. On the other hand, your writing style should mesh with – not necessarily imitate – the blog’s voice.
- Provide value. As Kate Meyers, one of our favorite guest bloggers, told us, “Our primary goal for guest posts is to provide the site we are publishing on with quality content to share with their readers.” Right on the money. While guest blogging is great for you and your company, content should always be about the reader.
- Write a bio that impacts readers. As I said, most blogs don’t allow self-promotional content. However, I’ve never heard of a blog that doesn’t allow a self-promotional author bio. If you’ve pulled a reader through 400-700 words of content, you deserve a bio that encourages them to connect with you and/or view your website. Make sure your bio includes a link to your website, your email address, Twitter handle, etc.
Still hungry for information about guest blogging? Check out our guidebook, Everything You Should Know About Guest Posting.