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Home > Digital Marketing Blog > Top 10 Best Practices for Successful Guest Blogging

Top 10 Best Practices for Successful Guest Blogging

Top 10 Best Practices for Successful Guest Blogging
June 5, 2019

Top 10 Best Practices for Successful Guest Blogging

Jun 05, 2019
Padmaja Patil
Padmaja is a passionate digital marketer with content creation and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills.

We come across various online marketing strategies as we walk through the path of digital marketing, one of which is content marketing and we know how blogging is a vital part of it. Let’s take a step further towards guest blogging to know how this is different from blogging and understand the three W’s(What, Why and Where) of guest blogging.

What is Guest Blogging?

An article or blog that’s written and published on a website or blog other than the author’s own website or blog.

Why should we go for Guest Blogging?

The benefits of guest blogging are many. Some of them are getting backlinks, a major SEO ranking factor that increases the value of your website, improving your ranking in the SERP. Guest blogging introduces you to a newer set of audiences. Increases organic traffic to your website. Guest blogging also helps in building new relationships with other bloggers.

Where can I do Guest Blogging?

You should pitch for those websites that fall under your niche, where your target audience resides and where your post can bring value to the other website.

According to The Social M’s, over 50% of the bloggers participate in the guest blogging.

Guest blogging provides you a platform wherein you can share your thoughts and talk to your intended new users and it also helps you to establish yourself and influence a larger set of audiences. When done correctly guest blogging can be an asset aiding bloggers to establish themselves as an expert in the industry they belong to and grow their online audiences.

Some examples of guest blogging that helped bloggers taste the success are: Buffer, a social media scheduling app. When Buffer was a novice in the market, Leo Widrich, the co-founder of buffer wrote 150 guest post in 9 months and increased its customer base from 0 to 100k. HelpScout provides email software services for small businesses. Gregory Ciotti, a marketing strategist used guest blogging to grow the email subscribers list to over 36k in 14 months.

Let us now shed some light on the top 10 best practices for successful guest blogging.

1. Have a Crystal Clear Objective

Guest blogging can open up a pool of possibilities for a blogger, it can be either traffic to the website or building backlinks to the website or creating awareness about the product/brand or building solid relationships, etc. As Aristotle said “Well begun is half done”, so, it is of utmost importance to have a crystal clear objective for your guest post. Knowing what you are aiming for through the guest post is the key to determine the target websites. For example, if your objective is to get backlinks to your website then your target website should have high domain authority.

2. Your Niche is Your Strength

Consider a situation wherein a travel blogger approaches an education website for a guest post. What do you think might be the outcome? Sorry to say but definitely travel blogger will not be entertained for the guest post. Logically thinking, why would the audience like to read about the experiences of a travel blogger when they are actually there for educational related blogs. Also, such an act brings no value either to the website owner or the guest. So sticking to your niche when looking for websites to guest post is very important. Adhering to your niche also means that you have an upper-hand on the content that you share with the audience as that is where your expertise lies.

So the best practice is to be glued to your niche and be strengthened.

3. Research and Identification of the Websites

Not all the websites out there in the internet world accepts guest posts, hence research is primary. This is another best practice for successful guest blogging. Through research, you will be able to list down the websites falling under your niche. You can then identify and shortlist the ones that best suit your defined objective. There are various ways you can carry out your research, the simplest one is Google search. Below is the example snippet of the websites that accept a guest post in the digital marketing niche.

There are also a lot of tools available online that can help you ease your research. One example of such tools is Ninja Outreach. Tools like this provide you with the required results like number of visitors per month, Alexa ranking, number of social shares, etc. By studying these number you can easily decide on picking the websites that align with your goal. Social media research can also come handy. Search for the topics in your niche on social media and understand which bloggers are guest posting and which websites are accepting them.

4. Exceptional Content

a). Informative and Quality Article

There is enormous amount of informative content available online for the audience. To stand out from the rest and outshine you should work on a fresh, unique, creative and informative content worthy of the readers time. Don’t just swim on the top layer, dive deep into the subject and prove yourself as an expert. Another factor about the content that goes in the guest post is, it should adhere to the guidelines of the website where the post will be published. For example, the length of the guest post, etc. You should also make sure that your content is free of grammatical errors. For example, Grammarly, a software that identifies and suggests spelling and grammar errors spot-on. Make use of such software or tools available as they help save a lot of time. Perform keyword research before proceeding with content creation. Add appropriate sub-headings, attractive images, quality links, etc. Format the content and proofread it. Your guest blogging content should be equally good as the content on your blog or even more appealing

b). Compose a Striking Biography

Well, don’t just concentrate on coming up with a great article. Let people know the person who is behind the production of a great piece of work. After all, this is what the end goal is, to put your name out there for people to know. Don’t drag, briefly describe yourself keeping in mind what you want people to know about you and how you want yourself to be identified. Another significant part of the guest blogging is the link back to your website in the bio section. If you have successfully compelled readers to click on the link to your website, you should not fail to retain them. Don’t land them in a place which is least expected by them. Be true to your words and show them what you have promised and what they are looking for. For example, if you asking readers to click on a link that talks about taking them to an article related to the current topic, show them the article and not the subscription form. This gesture builds trust and helps you to hold back new audiences.

5. Don’t Just Build Content Build Relationship

Have you noticed a good salesperson? A good salesperson always approaches clients with an intention to build a good relationship prior to pitching his/her products/services. The best practice for successful guest blogging is to step into the shoes of a salesperson. In other words, what I mean is along with great content it is also necessary to build a good and sustainable relationship with the owner/editor of the website. As Rand Fishkin said, “Don’t build links. Build relationships”. Try to call-in if you have the required details to give that personal touch. Gather as much information as possible about the website or a person. Constantly read their blogs, follow them on social media, comment or tweet to get noticed. Understand their need of the hour and offer something valuable they are looking for. This act will definitely make them like you and helps to boost the relationship.

6. Pitch Perfect!

Pitching is a very critical part of guest blogging and one cannot afford to ignore it. What’s the whole point in putting up an impressive article together if you cannot pitch for it to get it out there in front of the readers.

Once you have the websites where you want your blog to be published, reach out to the editor or owner of the website/blog and put forth your intentions of contribution as a guest author. There may be possibilities of rejection too, be prepared. Don’t take it personally and doubt your abilities, be professional and hop on to the next website in your list. Also, keep in mind that you might not be the only one pitching for their website. Successful and popular websites get many guest post pitches, so give your 100% and project your expertise while pitching. Make sure you work on an attention-grabbing outreach email template. Follow-up on the emails keeping in mind to give a considerable time gap between the emails.

Do your homework and let the owner/editor know that you have a good idea about their website and you keep a tab on their work and how your expertise can be beneficial if they let you to guest post on their website. Make sure you adhere to their guest post guidelines before pitching to increase your chances to get through. Here’s a snippet of Hubspot’s guest blogging guidelines.

7. Generous Promotions

This is another best practice that should be considered by guest bloggers. Promotions help your article reach a large number of people and if they really find value in it, in no time its reach will grow exponentially. So be generous in promoting your guest post. Do it like the way you promote your own blog. Let your website followers/readers/subscribers know about your guest post by promoting it on social media, in your email newsletter, talk about it in your own article on your website, etc. They wouldn’t mind reading it as long as it's written by you, irrespective of the website it is published in. This will increase the traffic on the host website making the article popular, in turn increasing your chances of future guest posts. Increase in the traffic will also work as proof that publishing your article was the right decision taken by the editor/owner of the host website.

8. Monitor and Analyse the Metrics

How do you get to know if your efforts have been paid off and your goals have been reached? This is when performance metrics comes into the picture. Once you have completed your actions on what you want to achieve through guest blogging, it’s now time to sit back and monitor the results. Analyse them, understand what is working in your favor and what is not. This will help you to take appropriate actions the next time you plan on writing a guest post. For example, if your goal was to bring more traffic to your website through a guest post and you notice through the metrics that there is no considerable increase in the number of visitors even after putting out your best content forward then you should definitely plan on approaching other websites/blogs in your niche. Use monitoring tools like Google Analytics, Foxmetrics, Buzzsumo, etc to monitor the metrics. Below is a snippet from Buzzsumo, a social media monitoring tool, that shows the social engagements of the article’s on Moz website

9. Leave Quality Comments

When readers leave behind comments appreciating your work, don’t ignore them. Reciprocate to show them that their comments matter and you closely follow them. This helps build trust and relationship with the new audiences and in-turn helps you to move closer to your objectives. The good gesture of leaving behind quality comments by the guest author also helps to build a great rapport with the owner/editor of the website, grabbing you new opportunities for the future. With good things come bad things too, so it is important to handle negative comments gracefully. Make use of the alerting systems available to respond to the comments as quickly as possible.

10. Appropriate Channeling of the New Audience

When you started guest blogging in the first place you had your objectives set. It’s crucial to channel your new audiences appropriately to retain and add them to your existing subscriber's list. The best practice to follow is to prepare your website for the possible outcomes from the guest post first and then publish the article rather than doing it vice-versa. If your objective is a newsletter subscription or traffic to a particular blog or conversion or sales then your backlink should land readers to the subscription form or an article or a form or product page respectively. All that can be said is, don’t let your efforts go in vain and be prepared to channel the new audiences appropriately.

Conclusion

As a guest blogger, leaving a long-lasting impression on the minds of the people is not a cakewalk. After pitching, you may not hear back from the website owners/editors, you may face rejections from the editors, you may also face non-acceptance by a certain set of audience but you should not lose hope. You should have faith in your abilities and keep going on with confidence. One has to be consistent in following the best practices to be a successful guest blogger. We have seen how building a relationship is the core of guest blogging and how important it is to write great content keeping the new audiences in mind. Be it monitoring the results or the research for the websites for the guest post. Each and every point conveys its importance in creating a successful guest blog. And sooner or later success will follow you.

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