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What is guest blogging all about, and why should you do it?
Currently, 60% of all blogs write one to five guest posts every month, so there must be something in it, right? The evidence suggests that guest blogging helps in a lot of areas, not least of all SEO.
If you have never written a guest post before or probably did, but did not see any results, it is possible you may be unaware of all the potential benefits. Let’s go over the basics.
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging on the part of a blogger involves writing an article or piece of content that is published on someone else’s blog or website. The content created is often (or should be) for blogs within the industry or niche of the guest blogger. Most of the times, the blogger writing the guest post is someone with high knowledge, or even an expert, on the proposed topic.
Guest blogging is often free work (for both parties), but in return, the contributing blogger is usually allowed to include at least one personal link in the content. Some blogs may charge a small fee to have guest posts placed on their sites, depending on the type of content.
The process of guest posting usually starts with the prospective guest blogger reaching out to a blog they want to share their content on. However, some blogs and companies may also reach out with a request to submit a guest post. In addition, a guest blogger will usually be left to produce all the content after being made aware of the guest blogging guidelines. But in some cases, they will be asked to work with the in-house blogger, editor, or content team.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
The guest blogger usually has their name listed as an author of the published post. That’s one benefit already. There are a number of other major benefits available to bloggers who write guest posts for other people’s blogs. Let’s list them out to give you a clearer picture.
1. Builds your content marketing skills
Whether your monetizing endgame is to earn through affiliate links, by selling digital products, or venturing into ecommerce, your content marketing skills will play a big role in how successful you manage to be. Being good at content marketing means being able to do proper research, knowing how to write for different audiences, and figuring out how best to get your work in front of the right people. All this takes time to learn. However, each time you take part in guest blogging activities – writing pitches, collaborating with editors, negotiating terms and conditions, etc. – you will likely find that your content marketing skills improve.
2. Brand visibility
Success as a blogger depends on how well you create awareness around your brand. Regardless of the niche you are in, you likely have competition left, right, and center that can make it difficult for your own name to stand out. Guest blogging helps to bring visibility to your brand because the blogs hosting your guest posts will likely expose you and your work to people who have never heard of you before. If your content is really good, your brand will start sticking out even more in people’s mind, and this is a great thing.
3. Strengthens your portfolio
Guest blogging is a great way to add strength to your portfolio as you develop your writing career. The stronger your portfolio, the more opportunities you can pursue as a blogger. If you are just starting out and have not done much work in the field of blogging, it might be slightly hard to prove to your readers that you are able to produce substantive content.
Even if you have posted a lot of content to your own blog, your portfolio will gain more value if you manage to also get your work on someone else’s blog. If you are going after a big writing project, for example, or applying for a content management or marketing position, a portfolio consisting of externally published content will carry more weight than one that only involves work on your own blog.
4. Increases organic traffic
As a blogger, getting more and more people to visit your blog is something you want to be happening all the time. Running ads on Google and social media can be helpful to bring in new traffic, but it is not exactly sustainable, especially if you don’t have a formidable budget. Organically growing your readership is a much better strategy, and guest blogging is one way to do it.
Organic traffic refers to people who visit your website after finding your content on a search engine, without any form of advertising involved. A guest post on someone else’s website, with suitable backlinks, has a chance of drawing traffic this way. For one, the more external content you have linking back to your blog, the more inclined Google and other search engines will be to show it to people who are searching for related keywords.
In addition, a guest blogging strategy can improve your SEO in general. This is possible if you are posting on top blogs within your own niche, because it would allow you to write guest posts that are in sync with the keywords and topics you are targeting on your own blog. If your guest posts are being shared around a lot, this will bring in visitors from social media. But it can also influence Google to push your work to the top of search results, leading to even more traffic.
5. Prove your credibility
Your ability to grow your audience and monetize your content is inherently linked to how credible your brand is. People look for signals such as reviews, comments, shares, and general feedback related to your work in order to decide if they should become subscribers or if your offerings are worth paying for. Publishing guest posts is one way to show that your brand is credible and worth following. This is especially true if you have guest posts on blogs that are considered to be trustworthy or high-value. Your online credibility gets a boost every time you contribute to another blog that readers find useful.
6. Breeds better content
When you write guest posts and include links that lead to your blog, chances are high that some readers will visit to view your content. These people can become regular readers, followers, and even subscribers, but only if your content is as good as – or even better than – the guest post that attracted them in the first place. If your blog has poor articles, visitors from guest posts will feel their time was wasted and avoid your content going forward.
With that said, if you are serious about reaping the benefits of guest blogging, it will automatically force you to produce topnotch content on your own blog. This should always be the case, but especially if you want visitors to take some action upon visiting your blog, whether that means subscribing to your mailing list, clicking on an affiliate link or ad, signing up as a member, or even making a purchase.
7. Grows your network as a blogger
Finding success as a blogger is not just about writing good content. It also has a lot to do with the people you manage to form relationships with in your field. There are groups and forums that bloggers can join to connect with like minds. But guest blogging also opens up avenues that can lead to collaboration with other creatives, as well as the chance to work with influencers in your niche. The more active you are as a blogger taking part in guest blogging, the more these opportunities will arise.
8. Helps to build your mailing list
Being a blog owner, you most likely have a mailing list (you should start building one as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so). As you probably already know, a vibrant mailing list is key when it comes on to boosting traffic and getting people to click on your content. And while most guest blogging arrangements will not allow you to invite subscriptions, they can still lead to new subscribers.
If people like what they have read in your guest post, for instance, it is possible they may click back to your blog to check out more of your content. If they find themselves liking the rest of your stuff, they might be inclined to join your list of subscribers in order to receive future updates from you.
9. Improves your social media presence
You would be mistaken to ignore the impact of social media as a content marketing vehicle, especially as it relates to guest blogging. For starters, a well-written guest post on a popular website will likely pick up some shares on the relevant social media networks it is linked to. Moreover, most blogs allow guest posters to add their bios, along with links to their social pages. This makes it easy for readers to check out your profiles and even become new followers. The more followers you have, the larger your audience and the potential for growth of your own brand.
More and more bloggers are tapping into guest posting as part of their long-term content marketing strategies, and for good reason. If you aren’t yet indulging in guest blogging, now is a good time as any to start reaping the associated benefits.