Digital Marketing

Get more visitors to your site by guest blogging

By Mark Ainsworth

Getting visitors to your website isn’t quite as easy as simply having a great content marketing strategy and a unique product. Around 140,000 new websites are launched every day, across a vast range of industries, so however great your site and product is, chances are there will be another company that rivals it.

Informative, funny and interesting blogs and articles are a great way to get visitors to your site but, again, with more than two million new blog posts published onto the web every single day, you’re nothing but a single snowflake in an avalanche to your average web user. It is also unlikely you will be able to afford to pay to sponsor your posts in the beginning, so how do you get the incredible content that you know you have in you, out to the general population?

One of the savviest ways of driving website traffic that small businesses are currently turning to is guest blogging. With a guest blog you get one of your blogs, usually something interesting or educational that relates to your industry, and have a popular blog post it on their site. This opens it up to hundreds or even thousands of new readers and, thanks to backlinks, can instantly up your own website traffic as well.

Should you guest blog?

As mentioned above, guest blogging can be a godsend for small businesses trying to get noticed, but this is a best case scenario. There is always the chance that your blog won’t be read by anyone and your link ignored. This is why it is so important to do your research before you pitch a guest blog to anyone, so that you know that you are providing important content that can’t be ignored.

Decide what you are blogging for

There are lots of reasons to write a guest blog and your entire article should be tailored to your reason for choosing this option. There are no wrong answers when it comes to your personal CMS, just wrong ways of going about it. Think about:

  • Do you just want recognition? A post on popular blog may do nothing more than get something you wrote read by lots of people that you respect, and that is more than enough for some people. It can help you to expand your personal network and connect with influencers that you can later contact for further help or collaborations. In this case you just need to thoroughly research and write something that you know you would personally find interesting, to appeal to your target audience.
  • Are you trying to improve your website traffic? In this case, the call to action will be the most important part of the blog, as well as backlinks to encourage the reader back to your site.
  • Do you want to establish yourself as an online authority? By being part of another authoritative blog you automatically establish a level of authority about your brand, and writing on a subject which you know well backs this up. You are then better placed to sell to your target audience.

How to find the right blog to guest on

If you can’t think of any popular or favourite blogs of yours based on your industry off the top of your head then you’ve got a lot of reading to do. Go online and research popular blogs within your specific industry. Once you’ve identified a few that you personally enjoy, start researching these more closely. You will be looking to identify:

  • Whether or not they will be able to help you to accomplish your goal. A blog which is really funny but gets no audience engagement is not going to help you to drive more website traffic to your site, for example.
  • Whether you have something that you can offer them. Don’t try to make up something on the spot and hope to be accepted. Think about your area of expertise and what sorts of posts you could make that their audience would need.
  • Whether they accept guest posts in the first place. You can do this by looking for guest posting guidelines on their site. If there aren’t any, or any signs of guest posts, then you’re probably out of luck.

How to pitch your guest blog

You next step is to contact the editor of your chosen blog and pitch them a guest blog that they can’t refuse. Never pay for a guest blog, as the likelihood is that if they are advertising for paid posts they are probably posting almost anything and won’t have great audience engagement anyway.

Pitching your blog should follow these steps.

Do your research

Read their guest blogs! See what other people have been writing and make sure that you don’t duplicate any ideas or come up with something too similar. Look on any social media sites connected to the blog and find out more information about the brand and their editor. Tailor your pitch idea to their specific audience so that it is relevant to them.

Go in with a warm introduction

Prove that you have read their blog and understand their brand. Ask questions or make comments about past blogs to show that you are connected with them. You might want to start by interacting with the brand or editor on social media for a couple of weeks prior. Your subject line is also critical – research shows that 85% of editors open emails based on the subject line alone.

Prove your value

Offer the editor something they can’t refuse. Pitch an idea that not only works for their audience but is also completely different from what they already have, thanks to your specific experience or expertise.

Give a few options

You stand more of a chance of being successful in your pitch if you give a few different topic ideas. Make your ideas compelling and original, but keep it as brief as possible to leave them wanting to hear more.

Write your blog

Once your idea has been accepted it would be all too easy to get carried away and ruin it at the last minute by rushing your blog. Your blog should take the longest time of any part of the process. Read and rigorously stick to the guest blogging guidelines, making sure that you run it back past the guidelines at the end before you send it off. Research your subject and make it interesting and engaging, and ask questions that encourage readers to get in touch, share or comment on it to keep them actively engaged.

Write an ‘about the author’ paragraph that your chosen blogger can include alongside your article, and include any backlinks or calls to action in this as well as in the main body of the text. Finally, check and double check your blog for spelling and grammar, as you may find that your article is rejected if the blogger has to edit it themselves.

Following up

Stay active with your post after it is published, to help keep it relevant. Reply to comments both on the blog itself and on social media shares, and thank people who share it personally. Ask and answer questions to provoke discussion. If you do this well you might find that you don’t even need to approach your next blogger, they may well come to you.

Outsource your blog writing

Getting your name out there through blog writing is a tried and tested way of getting more traffic and interest to your website. If your busy schedule means you don’t have time to do this then why not speak to MaxWeb. We make it our business to write great content and do this on behalf of many clients across a wide sector of different businesses.

To find out more please call us on 0151 652 4777 or email info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk and ask to speak to our website development team.

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