Guest Blogging. A Guide. [Tips]

Anyone who has ever written or owned a blog will tell you that getting noticed in the blogosphere is a tough job. It takes skill, time, patience and no small amount of self belief. While many bloggers persist with the more common tried and tested ways of getting noticed and attracting traffic, like commenting on other blogs, taking part in forums and article marketing, many are looking to an alternative method. Guest blogging is now widely recognised as one of the most effective ways of getting yourself noticed and driving traffic towards you and your blog site.

Benefits: Authority = Direct Traffic AND Rankings

As a guest blogger, having your guest post accepted and published on a popular blog has many advantages. There is an obvious advantage in the exposure you gain and having people find out about you as a person as well as your knowledge of the subject. This increases your stature and people may see you as a more authoritative figure on your specialist subject.

The second, less obvious advantage, lies in the traffic you can generate to your own blog. Guest blogs usually include a small bio paragraph where readers find out a little about you, the guest blogger. These paragraphs give you the opportunity to include a mention of, and link to, your own site. This not only drives traffic directly from the page your guest blog appears on but the authoritative nature of the larger blog rubs off on your own site through the search engine rankings.

Finding Bloggers in Your Niche

Many of the bigger blogs, already successfully established with large daily readerships, are happy to consider guest posts submitted by other bloggers. The amount of new and original material that a large scale blog needs every day can mean the owners find it difficult to have good quality, relevant blog posts to hand just when they need them. By encouraging guest bloggers they can attract, and choose from, a much larger array of written content.

To find blogs in your niche, use search operators and search terms such as ‘writers needed’, ‘blogger required’, ‘blogger wanted’, or ‘write for us’. To target a specific niche, use the “intitle” modifier (e.g. bloggers looking for writers in the insurance niche).  It is easier for most writers to negotiate with a blog owner who has requested submissions, so if you are new to it all, then this is a good place to start.

Tips on Expanding Your Readership

Guest blogging allows you to target readers that may never have seen your blog before, or may have been unlikely to have found it. Successful guest bloggers will not only write posts on their main specialist subjects, but they will find opportunities to write on related subjects. This helps to expand the readership by targeting areas and subjects that are related, or parallel, to the main subject of your blog, drawing readers to your blog from other niches.

Not every blog will advertise that they accept guest submissions. Some will actively discourage them. More and more successful blogs rely on guest posts to help fill their pages and help them maintain the frequency of posts. As a result, many publish their own guidelines to help streamline the process. If you find a blog that you would like to try and land a guest post with, search the site to find their guest blog submission guidelines. Make sure you stick to the guidelines or you risk having your submission rejected out of hand. This might make it harder for you to submit in the future as the blog owner may give you little attention.

Focus on Quality

Just like having your own blog, the success of your guest blogging exploits will lie in the quality and relevancy of your posts. Blog owners will not consider poor quality or irrelevant posts and so your guest submission will always have to be as good, if not better, than the posts on your own site. Set your bar high and look to maintain a high quality of post on an engaging and interesting subject to maximise your chances of getting published. Remember that guest blogging is a form of advertising. You’re promoting yourself as a blogger and your site as a good place to visit, so quality and interest must be your priorities.

Do you have any experience in Guest Blogging?  Share below…

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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