You might have read about the benefits of guest blogging. But most articles fail to dig below the surface when explaining how guest blogging can actually help your business.
The question is, can you can really justify spending time on guest blogging?
So I’ve given you my top guest blogging benefits and explained each one so you know if it’s right for your business and worth your time.
The truth is you can make connections online without ever guest blogging. What guest blogging does is take that to the next level. Rather than making small exchanges that don’t take much thought like a tweet or comment, you are making a bigger commitment with a blog post. This move alone, separates you from 90% of your competition!
It also gives you other ways to interact with the blogger. For example after you’ve written a post, you can help promote it for the person, and you have a great excuse to follow up and keep in touch with them because you’ve already created the personal connection. Just think of the exciting opportunities that creates!
Do you know what separates good guest blogs from great blogs? Good blogs don’t want to connect, they want your content. They don’t care what it is, they’ll take anything, they don’t have time to connect. Great bloggers realize the value of quality and are picky. They won’t just take any post that comes along, in fact there’s probably a waiting line to get published on their blog. So building a relationship is going to benefit at every stage with them.
One of the biggest frustrations new bloggers have is they start writing on their own blog and after a few weeks or months, they look at their analytics and pull their hair out because they can’t figure out why people aren’t flocking to their blog from Google.
To grow a successful blog, you need social proof. You can’t grow a blog by only posting on your website and claim the Lone Ranger. You need to be interacting with other people not only through social media but through other blogs as well.
When prospects Google you, what do they see? If all they see is a LinkedIn profile your site and every single other result is from you, they have no context to put you in because it’s you you you. Most people don’t realize they can control the results that come up in Google more than they think. You want to be able to show that they can look around at a variety of sites and not just take your word for it but see that other people trust you enough to post and interact with you online as well. That’s building credibility.
Getting backlinks is probably the biggest reason why most bloggers guest post today. Although it is important, I think you’re selling yourself short if you only focus on that. Getting backlinks is just including a link back to your website in the article that Google can crawl and see that the blog you are posting on links to you. The more authoritative the blog is that links to you, the more authority you’ll have in Google’s eyes.
That’s why we’ve seen many low-quality spammy blogs get penalized in Google’s recent Algorithm updates because they were accepting guest blogs from anyone and everyone and really just becoming article submission sites. Quality should always trump quantity.
Guest blogging on the right blogs can transform a marketing strategy from a traditional shotgun approach to a laser-targeted sniper approach. For example, if a website designer submitted a guest post about the elements of a good website to their local paper, they’re getting anyone and everyone. Some may be qualified, some may not be. But take that same post and submit it to the business journal, they go from a huge pool of people to a much more targeted group of mostly local business people and decision makers. Yes, you may get more people but more people doesn’t mean more activity. If those people never act, never visit your site, never sign up for your list, they’re useless no matter how many there are.
You need to define what targeted traffic means for your niche. If you want to attract peers, blog on industry specific websites. If you want to attract prospects, write for industry related websites.
I saved the best for last!
The feedback you get from guest blogging is pure gold. Here’s why: When starting your blog, the first people to read it are usually people you know like family, friends and coworkers. And that’s great! BUT you don’t want them for feedback. Chances are they aren’t your target audience and they aren’t going to want to hurt your feelings. If you want an ego boost, they’re great but if you want pure objective feedback, seek out the strangers on someone else’s blog who have no prior opinion on you. Those are the people that you really need to hear from.
The value in this is being able to test what resonates with your audience and what they respond to so you can test on someone else’s audience, find what works and apply it.
Guest blogging is essential if you want to grow your blog and reach a wider targeted audience. There are a lot of different benefits you can get from guest blogging, but I recommend you choose your top 3 and focus on those.
I’ve found a combination of these tactics help focus my guest posts get results.
What other benefits do you get from guest blogging?
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Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.