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What is guest blogging?

In this era of ecommerce growth and omnichannel approaches, creating engaging content is key. Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with customers and with each other. 

Blogging is one way many businesses use to both inform their customers and to guide them to products and services. But constantly creating new content can be a massive task. One tactic is to invite guest bloggers to create that content. But what is guest blogging, and what benefits does it have?

What is guest blogging?

Guest blogging is when you invite someone from outside of your company to write a blog that will be published on your website. The writer will usually work in the same industry as the organization or be an expert on the subjects to do with that organization. 

It can be a great way of working with others in the same industry, whether in the area of sales collaboration or in tandem with strategies such as affiliate marketing. 

How does it benefit the host?

Guest blogging offers benefits for both parties. For the writer, especially if they are new to the field or if their company is small or a startup, it is a chance to get their thoughts - and their products - out to a wider audience. Other benefits include:

  • Brand awareness. Hosting engaging guest posts can establish your blog as worth reading. People will associate your brand with interesting content and expertise from a wide range of talent - meaning they’ll think of you, not your competitors.  

  • Fresh content. Sometimes blogs can get a little repetitive and stale. By bringing in guest bloggers, you introduce fresh content that brings with it different points of views and styles. Just make sure it’s relevant - a post like ‘what is collaboration technology’ is great for a software company, but not so much a health food one.

  • Leadership. You want your brand to be perceived as leaders in your industry. By seeking out experts in your field to provide guest content, you help widen the knowledge base your readers have access to.

  • SEO. Guest blogs can be a great way to boost your SEO and your search engine rankings. By including good keywords and links, your site may be found by more potential customers. 

How does it benefit the guest blogger?

Sometimes these posts aren’t due to an invitation by the host, but a pitch by the writer. So just what benefits do guest blogs bring to writers? 

  • Relationships. For new or emerging writers and companies, guest blogging can help you build relationships. Having an ongoing relationship with bigger organizations or popular bloggers can lead to more opportunities, and boost the following benefits even more. 

  • Reach. Writing a guest blog for a bigger organization or site extends your reach. If you engage the readers well, they will follow links back to your own business or click on your bio details to find out more about you.

  • Audience. Writers want an audience and the bigger, the better. By guest blogging for a site with a large readership, your audience grows. Readers are likely to look at your own blog, as well as share your posts on their social media platforms.

  • Money. Yes, guest bloggers are often, but not always, paid for their efforts. In fact, many people make a good living simply by writing guest blogs.

  • Fame. Ok, we may be exaggerating a little here but if you have a good content strategy and several sites inviting you to write for them, your name will become better known, and more opportunities will follow. 

How do you become a guest blogger?

So you know you can write, and you consider yourself well-informed as far as your field is concerned. How do you go about getting into the guest blogging world?

  • Understand your goals. What do you want to achieve from guest blogging? Do you want to earn money from it? Or do you want to use it to improve your own organization’s reach? Knowing your goals can help you plan.

  • Seek out opportunities. Identify companies and sites that you think you would be a good fit for. This could be ones who sell products/services you know a lot about, or it could be a business that sells things related to your own products and services.

  • Tailor your approach. If you have an existing portfolio of writing, you can now approach organizations/sites and send them examples of your work. You can ask them if they have submission guidelines or even read other guest blogs they have posted to get an idea of what they want. Avoid pitching topics they already have - if a blog has a post on digital marketing tools, they’re not going to want another one, but they might want something similar.

Best practices for guest blogging 

When it comes to guest blogging, your primary focus is to create content that engages the readers by entertaining or educating them. However, good content isn’t enough on it’s own - there’s a few best practices you need to keep in mind to really excel.

  • Have an interesting author biography. This can help establish the writer’s credentials to build trust and can include links to the author’s own site or company.

  • Build links - but not too many! Ensure any blog piece contains a number of links. These could be to the host’s own site or to other related sites when agreed on. Overdoing this puts you at risk of penalties from Google, so make sure all links are relevant.

  • Monitor results. As with any content, you want to see how blogs perform. This may be comments on the original blog, through platforms where the blog has been shared, or simply the view count.

  • Share. If you limit your audience to those on the host site, you limit your readers. Make your blog shareable so engaged readers can share and extend your reach. 

The takeaway 

Guest blogging can offer benefits for all involved, especially when the arrangement is reciprocal. Guest blogs can really help your marketing department as they have something new and educational that they can use in any campaigns or social media posts. It’s also great for the writers, since it provides access to a new audience and a chance to get your business noticed. By understanding the role of guest blogs, and following the best practices, you’ll be able to reap the many benefits and position yourself as an expert in your field.

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