Every so often, I will feature guest posts from writers who actually have important and interesting things to say. And since this is a guest post about guest posting, I liked the whole meta vibe, and decided to publish it, especially since she’s a fellow word nerd.
Ellan Dineen is the Marketing Associate at Design Wizard. When she’s not hard at work in the Marketing Department, Ellan can be found en route to foreign lands with a book in her hand and a podcast in her ear. With a Master’s in English and Diploma in Social Media Marketing, she knows the importance of staying up-to-date with the industry’s latest trends and insights and is keen to pass these tips on to her readers.
Want to establish your online presence? Want to be the “go-to” expert in your niche?
It’s time you finessed this thing called guest posting.
Guest posting allows you to reach a wider audience by posting your articles on related authoritative websites. It strengthens your brand and gives you a massive boost in credibility.
Like with anything when it comes to digital marketing, however, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.
In this article, we take a look at what you should do, what you should not do, and what kind of quality content you need to be posting.
Identify Your Value
You won’t be able to build authority if you don’t bring any value to the table. The only reason a website will allow you to publish an article on their website is because it offers both them and their audience a massive amount of value.
No value = no guest post.
There’s another reason why value is important. As well as educating audiences, solving their problems and positioning yourself as their go-to expert, the Google algorithm also prefers valuable content.
According to research, long form content gets more traffic than any other type. This is content that contains more than 1,000 words, and which offers in-depth, valuable and actionable information to the reader.
Each time you pitch an article to another website, identify your value first. This will make it so much easier for the blogger to say yes to you.
Don’t focus too much on your ‘tips and tricks.’ Show them how your valuable content is going to benefit their audience.
- How is your content is going to benefit people?
- What issues are you addressing and solving?
- Are these issues that people care about?
Solid content by itself won’t work if no one can see where the value is.
Research The Websites You’re Targeting
You can’t build authority if you don’t do your research. Unless you know enough about the websites you’re targeting, as well as their audiences, your content might miss the spot.
Take a look at your target website’s audience and ask yourself some questions:
- Will they benefit from a link to my web page?
- Will my infographics be of use to this audience?
- Will this audience buy from me?
Find out who is engaging with a particular website and whether or not this is an audience who will appreciate your article and advice.
To build authority via guest posting, it’s also a good idea to take a look at the content a website has already published and stick to the format. For example, do they capitalize their subheadings, do they use images in their content and if so, how do they credit the images?
When you follow the format of a website blog you are giving the editor less work, and that is very hard for them to say no to.
A big no-no when it comes to guest posting is to fail to do your research. If you identify 30 blogs and send them generic emails with your pitch before doing any research, you’ll be wasting your time.
Always take your time to learn more about who you’ll be pitching to. Then, you can adjust your content and send out hyper-personalized emails accordingly.
Top tip: Avoid spelling and grammar errors in your emails. Use Grammarly and other tools to catch these mistakes before you click send.
Produce Your Best Content
It goes without saying that if you want to position yourself as an expert, your content has to be brilliant. Each time you produce a guest post, ask yourself “is this my best piece of content?”
To this end, you need to produce long-form content (1,000 words minimum) that offers unique insights to the reader. Your advice needs to be actionable, as different as possible to what has come before, and it needs to be of use to the target audience.
A huge no-no is to spend most of the article discussing things the reader already knows. The key here is understanding who your target audience is and what stage they are at in their journey. For example, if you’re writing an article about the do’s and don’ts of digital marketing to an advanced reader, don’t waste people’s time discussing what digital marketing is. They already know.
Your content needs to be readable, shareable and it needs to be as up-to-date and relevant as possible. This means understanding the latest trends and including links to recent stats and research (as opposed to information from 2014).
It’s also a good idea to write from personal experience. After all, you’re the expert here. If you’re writing about a subject you know intimately, don’t be afraid to write from your personal experience while making sure that your personal examples are relatable to others.
Your best content will need quality images and graphics, too. If you’re not sure where to source images from, you can use a tool like Pik Wizard. To spice up your graphics so that your content is as professional, engaging and eye-catching as possible, meanwhile, Design Wizard is your friend.
Absolutely do not go into this thinking that you can get away with posting below par content. Impressive content that educates, informs and engages people is the best way to establishing your authority and boosting conversions. The ultimate aim of guest posting is to grab more traffic from other sources and you can only do this by producing your best content.
Don’t hold back on the value factor. Yes, you’re doing this for free in the sense that you don’t get paid for a guest post. But the ROI will be worth it when you start to build your authority.
Moreover, the more awesome content you produce, the more chance you’ll have of securing a guest post with a super high domain website, such as Forbes or the Huffington Post.
All in all, building authority through guest posting comes down to identifying your value, identifying a related website’s audience – before producing as much valuable, usable content as possible that the audience can take action on. Focus on quality, not quantity, do your research and don’t hold back when it comes to value. Educate, inform but also engage.