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.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Six of SEO’s Most Troublesome Myths

By its very nature, the realm of search engine optimization is laden with a wide variety of myths. This can make life difficult for anyone trying to get their start in SEO, or for seasoned veterans, who are discovering their time-honored practices to be letting them down. Here are a few of the most troublesome myths I’ve encountered, and the real answers behind them.

Meta Tagging is the Place to Start SEO

Every site needs to have meta-tagging. Just not for the reason everyone thinks. Other than maybe a title tag, there isn’t much that the so very often keyword-stuffed meta tags can offer a website, at least from an SEO perspective. Search engines have learned, for the most part, that these fields shouldn’t be trusted. That’s not to say you shouldn’t waste your time on them, though: More often than not, your listing on the Google results page will be gleaned from that meta description, so it’s a critical step in selling your site to searchers.

The Duplicate Content Penalty

I’m just not sure how this myth ever got started; it just doesn’t make any sense! Imagine a mild-mannered blogger, just writing for fun. That blog’s content gets scooped up by a big, bad, black-hat SEO, and scattered across the web. Google can’t condone the copy-and-paste practices that made that post get copied across the web, but they don’t want to punish that blogger for writing! So, and forget they ever saw the copies, but they offer normal SEO credit to the original.

From a purely SEO standpoint, it’s still a bad idea to use duplicate content, but only because you’ll be throwing away you time on material Google won’t be considering.

“Bad Neighborhood” Links

Many website owners fear sites from “bad neighborhoods,” worrying that links from these domains will pull their own website over to the wrong side of the tracks, damaging their rankings. But just as Google knows a creator of content cannot control who snags their copy, and shouldn’t be penalized, a site owner cannot control who is linking to them, and will not penalize that owner. Of course, if your site returns links back to those bad-news sites, that’s a whole different story–don’t do it.

Flash=Bad SEO?

Accuse me of being biased if you will, but as someone whose portfolio is built almost entirely in Flash, I can tell you that it is not as bad most people think. Okay, it’s not great, either, but for the right kind of site, the benefits of a partially-Flash site can outweigh the drawbacks. As time goes on, search engines are learning to extract more and more from Flash animations, all while site designers are developing new ways, such as XML importing, and internal linking techniques, which are helping them make their content more Google-legible. It won’t be the best-SEOed site out there, but a Flash site won’t be left out in the cold anymore.

Link Swap

One of the biggest trends in small business and small blog SEO right now is the link exchange. While this does have some benefits, I’m not sure that it has enough. Search engines are very good at detecting these boomerang links, and have deprecated their worth to a large extent. Not to mention, there is the risk of a naive site owner being burned by a received link which isn’t worth what was handed out. Also, and maybe this is just me, but I don’t like having too many links cluttering up my site. For most SEOs, the best practice is to link naturally; if you like the site, and think your users will, then link away!

SEO Is a Sinister Process

One of the most virulent myths in the interactive marketing community is that SEO is an awful process, conducted among secret societies who mastermind sneaky strategies that will help their clients jockey for Google’s top spot. Not (always) the case, or, at least, it doesn’t have to be. The heart of SEO simply involves presenting the content of a website to its natural audience, then reaping the benefits in the form of Google placement. Search engine optimization is a technique and a skill, which, like anything else, can be abused. Just as any other form of marketing can falsely advertise and misrepresent their products, SEO can allow a site to misrepresent itself to an audience, and gather undeserved benefits.

Brandon Rhodes works for Response Mine Interactive, specializing in online customer acquisition through search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and more. Follow Response Mine on Twitter: @Responsemine.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Guest Post: Twitter Tools For Business and Building Links

Happy Monday! Hope you all enjoy this guest blog post by Tom Shivers of Capture Commerce:

Feast on some tools, apps and ideas to help you get in the Twitter game and build quality traffic and links to your site.

TweetBeep.com – Manage your online Twitter reputation. Alerts will be emailed to you whenever a Twitter user Tweets about your business, name, or domain. You select the alert criteria and what to watch for. This is great for a business that is concerned about branding, online identity and quickly responding to customers.

Twollo.com allows you to find and follow Twitterers with similar interests automatically. When you create an account there, you will see an empty box with “Twitterers talking about:” above it. I’m interested in Twitterers talking about organic search engine rank, so I submit that interest and Twollo then finds people interested in SEO and follows them for me through my Twitter account. Many of these people see we have similar interests and follow me as well.

SocialOomph.com (formerly Tweetlater) is a Twitter post scheduler among other things. It is easy to use, allows you to Tweet ahead, and lets you select a posting schedule by day and time. You can also setup several interesting features/tools:

* Automatically send a welcome message to new followers.
* Automatically follow people (new followers) who follow me from this point forward.
* Auto unfollow those who unfollow you.

Bit.ly allows you to shorten, share and track your links to save space when you tweet them. The tracking feature displays the number of clicks on each shortened URL you have setup.

How do I get links to my website? First, I must clarify that tweeting a link to your website is not the same thing as link building, it simply allows your followers to click through to your site. Some day Google may modify it’s algo to account for these tweet links but for now, there’s no evidence that Google does.

You often see blog posts with a “Tweet This Post” link on the page, asking people to pass this on to others. This is easy to add to any good content on your site: videos, reports, product comparisons, research, articles, etc. Use this tool to build relationships.

Twitter directories categorize users according to interest/topic and some list users from most followers to least. You can register for free and follow some of the most popular Twitterers. Within your account, you can show your recent tweets and there’s a place for a link to your website. Most profile pages are indexed by Google:

* Twellow.com
* Tweetfind.com
* Twitr.org

In some businesses it can make sense to have several Twitter accounts – one for the business and one for each executive.

Everything I’ve mentioned here actually contributes to building good quality links to your website and the most important one is honing your target audience or followers so they benefit first. If your followers benefit from your Tweets, they will pay you back with retweets, more followers, and links. You also want to “listen to” the issues and questions in your marketplace, so you can provide appropriate answers. Sometimes Twitter is the first place you get wind of what’s coming.

Twitter is another avenue to build real relationships with other professionals. These relationships then can be a source of info, business leads, web traffic and links to your site.

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter too, http://twitter.com/capturecommerce

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.