8 Tips to Become a Guest Blogger

8 Tips to Become a Guest Blogger

One of the most effective strategies in building up more traffic to your website or blog is to create content specifically for other more established companies. Guest blogging on other websites can be an easy way to see a huge jump in traffic and get people more familiar with you and your brand. Using the existing visibility of another business can give you a much needed boost as you make more connections online.

Becoming a guest blogger can be a major benefit to you but it can take some effort to get involved in this type of blogging. You’ll need to know how to give the company what they want so that you can both mutually benefit from the exchange. Once you become a frequent guest blogger you can enjoy a steady flow of traffic to your page.

There are some tips on how to become a guest blogger:

1. Write High Quality Content

Before attempting to blog for another company make sure that your writing quality is up to par for what an established business or “authority” blog would expect. The subject matter of your blogs should show a certain amount of expertise and be free from any grammatical errors. Most importantly your content should be interesting and appealing to readers in a way that encourages people to like, share and interact with the post.

2. Start Small

If you have never attempted to guest blog before and are relatively unknown, you will have to work your way up to eventually posting on authority sites. Look for smaller, lesser known sites that might be interested in publishing your content. Find blogs or sites that are in your same niche industry and represent the type of brand that is similar to yours.

3. Work on Your Guest Post Pitch

In order to connect with another site and ask them if you can write a guest blog you will need to be able to sell yourself and your brand in a way that convinces them it will be a beneficial exchange. Developing a good “pitch” is essential in helping you to get other businesses interested in posting your content. Write a template email for your pitch that tells them who you are, why you are a fan of what they do and how your expertise can help them.

4. Customize Your Pitch for Each Company

It is helpful to have a template for when you offer to guest blog for someone but don’t send out a generic email to every person you contact. Make sure to customize the pitch and be specific about what you like about them and tailor your writing to the style that they represent. The more specific you are the less your email will seem spammy or insincere.

5. Look at Existing Guest Posts

Whatever type of blog you are hoping to guest post for, it is important to have an idea of the tone and style that they expect from their bloggers. Read and review their existing guest posts so that you can fit your style to what they present to readers. You should always produce the best content that you can but make sure to customize it to suit each blog and you will have more success.

6. Don’t Get Discouraged

When you are just beginning to try getting your content on other blogs there may be many cases where the company rejects your pitch or simply ignores you. The rejection may not have to do with you or your writing but just that they don’t need a certain topic or aren’t looking for a new guest blogger. Don’t take any rejection personally and make sure to continue pitching to as many blogs as possible.

7. Interact with Other Blogs

Becoming a guest blogger can be easier when you become a part of an online community and are already interacting with other sites. If you leave comments on the site and express interest in what they do by engaging with them you are more likely to leave a good impression. When you are already communicating with people on the site they will recognize you as someone who has valuable opinions and cares about what they are doing.

8. Promote Guest Posts

If you do become accepted as a guest blogger make sure to promote your post as much as possible. The other site will appreciate it if you share their content and contribute to promoting them on your own site. Do all you can to benefit the host site and they will be more likely to ask you back to blog again in the future.

The more guest blogs you write the more you will build your reputation as a writer and be able to experience the benefit on your own website. Word hard and write often and you will begin to see the results you want.

Dear Blog, Are You There? It’s Me…

Over the past few years, blogging has changed and so have my thoughts on it. Starting my 6th year on this blog, it’s nostalgic to look back and reminisce about the past. Most notably, when comparing blogging best practices.

blog-writing

An exercise used in writing is what you would tell your younger self. Sure, it’s an activity mostly used for diaries or journals but it can also apply to blogs. Why not? Here are 5 things I would tell my younger self about blogging.

1) It’s not all about keywords

Short-tail and broad keywords have been targeted since blogging was first associated with SEO. It was all about using and repeating keywords in a blog post. Nowadays, that is seen as overoptimization.

Instead of pushing certain keywords, it’s a good rule of thumb to target long tail and more “conversational queries”. This includes answering FAQs and common questions. They key here is to focus on content as a whole rather than keywords on their own.

2) Links aren’t everything

Links and keywords used to go hand in hand. As often as you could push desired keywords, it was about getting links. More links with more exact match keywords was once a good thing and the ultimate goal of why blogs were used in SEO. Nowadays, we certainly know better and that this can lead to an unnatural link warning.

Natural links aren’t solicited or paid for. Instead, the idea is to build good content so that people will want to share it naturally.

3) Blogs are an extension of your brand’s personality

Blogging

In the past, blogs were hardly thought of to convey any human aspect of a business. Blogs were strictly meant for business and part of the SEO process. Today, blogs consist of more than just keywords and links. We want blogs to be found, read and shared. This means posting things that aren’t necessarily just for SEO purposes. Posting about events, company news and just your own personal thoughts are a different way to incorporate a human touch in a business blog.

4) Think about cross promotion

At one time, blogs were seen as a standalone cog in the SEO wheel. It was something you did and left alone once you were finished with writing. Now that social media marketing is growing in importance, we know that blogs can play a crucial role in that strategy – content creation. Social media thrives on sharing content and blogs should provide fresh content that can keep the conversation flowing.

Blogs were once something built to bring in customers, which (trust me) isn’t going to happen with a little pull. Now, blogs give readers a reason to read, research and share. Blog readers aren’t going to just come across a badly written blog. Luckily today, the mentality for blogging and social media helps a great deal of exposure.

5) Google is going to change more than you think!

Over the years, it can be argued that blogs have dwindled in importance. They once counted for and played a huge role in ranking for desired key terms. Because those processes have been abused and spam, it’s time that Google looks at blogs in a different light. This is why Google updates have also targeted unnatural blog strategies (excessive guest blogging, blog/link schemes, and advertorials).

Although this seems like a disparaging way to look at blogs, the twist is in how blogs have changed. Blogs play a different role by helping a business get discovered and are seen as a signal of trust and authority.

Lessons Learned

Part of growing up is recognizing change and applying that on how to better yourself in the future. Blogs have given us all a lot more to think about in these past few years. And you can expect it to grow again soon. Try this exercise out for yourself and let us know what you came up with. Follow us and Tweet us @emarketed.

New Google Site For Advertisers

Well Google is at it again with another new site. This brings the Google site count up to 6,341*. Wow! There newest addition is for advertisers! There’s plenty of information on it which will help you in the advertising world. There’s a great case study on the home page which is a ‘worst case’ case study of a pet stick campaign. I love it! I’ve inserted the image here for a laugh. google-advertising-site1

The pet stick case study shows you the various tools you can use to market your product which I hope is better than a pet stick. Although I’m sure people would buy the pet stick! So from media planning, new keyword tools, buidling a social media site through OpenSocial, setting up ads on Google, creating a YouTube video, engaging YouTubers, (just learned this is an actual word) you can see how Google can help. The site gets into how TV and mobile ads work as well.

My favorite section was the free marketing section. We’ve discussed some of these tools in past posts, such as Webmaster Tools and the Local Business Center, but there are many more such as Product Search, FeedBurner, Gadgets, OpenSocial, Maps API, and YouTube. I recommend reviewing these free tools and making them work for your site.

larry-and-sergeyIt just occurred to me that a lot of these free tools were companies that Google bought out. We’re actually in the process of creating a tool for our clients so maybe Google will try to buy us out in a few years. We shall see! Please forward this blog URL to Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google Co-Founders) so they can start preparing for the buyout!

* just kidding – I’m sure there are plenty but I just picked this number out of thin air 😉

Great Example of a Catchy Blog Headline

Just read an interesting blog post that I thought I’d blog about. First of all I subscribe to about 20 blogs and they all get fed into my Google Reader which is great. I also just added a gadget to my iGoogle home page so the most recent blog posts are displayed. Now I’m not able to read all of these everyday but I do read headlines and this headline caught my eye today. The topic was something I’m interested in but it was also tied into a movie that I like which was a double whammy for me.  So of course I read the article. Here’s the headline and a link to the blog post:

What Jason Bourne Can Teach You About Social Media

With the amount of conent out there you have to figure out ways to get people to read your content and having a great topic is sometimes not enought. So try and figure out the double whammy for your niche and I’ll do the same.

social media buzz by peta

Just came across PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) website last night through facebook. One of my facebook friends had an award PETA had won for a blog posted on her profile. So I checked out the blog and the various PETA web properties, one of which was their YouTube channel. They have over 3,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 200 videos. Some of these videos are commercials that have been banned from TV. They also have a sexy celebrity channel. I’m sure they get a ton of traffic from these sexy videos so of course I had to check some of them out. 😉 I was doing some market research! They didn’t have the same volume of traffic as the blender YouTube channel we blogged about last week but some of their top videos were brining in over 100k views in a 90 day period. You can check this one out with Jenna Jameson below. Sex sells so PETA is using this to their advantage in promoting their message! Brillant job PETA!

Back to business here. I almost fell down the YouTube hole where one video leads to another and all of a sudden you’ve watched 20 short 2 minute videos. 😉 I was very impressed with PETA’s use of social media buzz on their site. They do a good job of highlighting their different social media properties through links to Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube. They also have PETA TV where they promote these videos directly on their site. Another site the promote is peta2.com where you can find tools for helping animals, class projects, online activism and much more. Another site they highlight is the petakids.com website where they have games and contests for kids. All of this is creating social media buzz for their mission.  They seem to have content for all ages and demographics from sexy ads to games for kids.

Take some time to go through a few of the PETA web properties to get some ideas on how to market your business through social media buzz. I’d love to find out how emarketed can start promoting some sexy models on YouTube to drive traffic for our business. But in the end it comes down to conversions and would this traffic really be ideal for emarketed? It would be fun and exciting to do but would be very expensive and not generate the type of traffic that would lead to conversions.

PETA gets an A+ in our book for creating social media buzz!