Is Guest Blogging a Good
Strategy for Web Writers?
If you’ve ever wondered if guest blogging could benefit your web-writing business, you’re not alone.
I’m sure every web writer has wondered this at times.
I sure have.
Conventional wisdom says guest blogging can help you grow your audience and could help you get noticed by potential clients.
Sounds good, right?
We’ll get into how and why guest blogging might be a good fit for you in a moment. But first, let’s define what we mean by guest blogging, in the first place.
The Marketing Terms Dictionary defines guest blogging as, “Writing a blog post to be published on another blog as a temporary featured author.”
That’s a good start.
But, let’s go a bit deeper. Why would you want to be a “temporary featured author”?
Two of the top reasons are to establish your credibility, authority, and expertise on a topic and, as you do so, to be introduced to a new audience.
Both are good reasons that can deliver a lot of benefit to your writing business.
Let’s say you have a specialty in writing for Human Resources. You’ve been blogging on your own site for a while, and you’d like to share your ideas with potential prospects you’re not already reaching … maybe bring them back to your website and open the door to a conversation about working together.
That makes sense.
So, you begin by identifying a few top industry blogs. You know your target market reads these blogs, and being published on any one of them would enhance your credibility and grow your authority.
Now, let’s say one of those blogs is called Human Resources HQ. (I’m making this up.) You do some research on their site and identify a few topics you believe you could cover well and would be beneficial to their audience.
Next, you do some sleuthing to uncover the person who handles their blog, and you send them a note introducing yourself and one or two of your ideas.
After a couple of emails, they agree to one of your ideas, you write it … and a few weeks later, it’s published.
Now you can just sit back and wait for the traffic and inquiries to roll in, right?
Not so fast.
Part of being a well-mannered guest blogger is helping to promote your work. Share it via all your social media channels. Send an alert out to your email list. Send a link to your post to a select few prospects and clients, if it makes sense.
Schedule follow-up promotions of the content, as well. Yes, share it immediately when it’s published. But, a week later, a month later, and three months later, share it out to your social media channels again.
Meanwhile, reach out to your contact and share another idea or two.
The Similarities Between Guest Blogging and Guest Starring
Have you ever seen a TV show with a character who wasn’t in every episode but showed up enough for you to get to know them … and, did you notice how they interacted with the regular characters?
Guest blogging is like that.
A one-time appearance is quickly forgotten.
However, a consistent appearance builds trust and name recognition within your niche. Even appearing on the same blog four to five times has a bigger impact than a one-off post.
This obviously holds true if you’re guesting in an industry publication that publishes frequently. But, what about guest posting on another freelancer’s site? Chances are, they probably publish less frequently and aren’t going to want to publish multiple posts from you. However, if they’re a recognized resource within the industry, that can still be a good way for you to reach a new audience.
Guest blogging expands your reach, aids in relationship building (with blog managers and possibly prospects), and gives you something to point to and say, “I wrote this for x.” Some of them even pay, which is nice.
But, it may not be the best use of your time if you’re only going to write one post.
How to Take a Strategic Approach to Guest Blogging
If you approach guest blogging strategically, it can definitely pay off. I’ve heard of writers who launched their entire career based on guest blogging. It’s important to recognize … what made it work for them was focus.
The writers who’ve made guest blogging a strong part of their marketing plan have succeeded because they knew who they wanted to target.
But, what if you don’t know where to start? After all, you want to ensure you spend your time wisely.
When identifying potential guest blogging sites, you want to look for these characteristics:
- It reaches your proposed target audience. For example, if you write for HR technology companies, then human resource professionals are a good target audience.
- It’s a respected industry resource – that way, you gain the credibility you crave.
- It publishes the type of content you want to write.
- It accepts guest posts.
You may already know some of the blogs you want to target. If so, write them down. If you don’t, you can use a tool like Similarweb.com to determine the amount of traffic and authority of a site.
Then, follow the guidelines I mentioned above. What topics do you want to write about? Match those topics with the relevant blog and reach out to see if they’re interested.
What do you think? Are you interested in making guest blogging part of your marketing strategy?
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