Guide to Guest Blogging: How it will Grow Your Small Business
25th August, 2021Start Reading
Want to grow your small business and gain more exposure to audiences that can turn into new leads? Looking to improve your competitive advantage in your niche market and gain rewards such as meeting your business KPIs quicker?
Guest blogging (also known as guest posting) is a great strategy to create positive connections with your target audience, gain greater exposure, and increase your backlinks. Making sure your digital marketing strategy is well-rounded with the inclusion of guest blogging will help you compete in the increasingly competitive environment that large and small businesses are facing today.
This guide will teach you the essential steps you need to follow to effectively plan and write guest posts and get your content piece published on relevant guest blog websites.
Essential reasons why every Small Business needs to do Guest Blogging:
Guest blogging is a method used in marketing strategy that involves publishing your small businesses article on someone else’s website. Creating quality guest blogs will push your small business ahead in the market. Generally, when this is achieved you will be able to receive the following benefits:
- Positive exposure (Traffic) to your website and relationship building with other businesses and their audiences.
- Positioning your small business as an authority and well-known name in the industry.
- Increasing your backlinks so there are more ways people will be able to find your website.
However, to gain these guest blogging benefits in 2021, it is important to understand how the Googles search engine operates. Google wants to prioritise showing content that is relevant and useful to its users. This is essential when creating guest posts, so make sure the article is relevant, engaging and benefits your reader to avoid being considered ‘link spam’ by Google.
Steps to Gain Results Through Guest Blogging:
So, you want to receive all of the benefits of guest blogging, and boost your small business competitive advantage?
To make sure you will gain results, it is essential to understand your goals and your audience. As well as create quality relationships before deciding on your content topic. Once this is achieved, you are ready to create a valuable, informative, and engaging content piece that is guaranteed to make your small business stand out from the crowd.
1. Key Essentials for High Performing Results:
- What are your business goals?
Understanding your business goals before you begin the guest blogging journey is essential. What are your main reasons for wanting to create guest posts? And, what are the resources that you have right now to support this strategy?
It is important to have your goal reflect wanting to create value and quality for your readers, not just to generate backlinks. High quality and well-performing backlinks come from content that consumers will find relevant, helpful and valuable.
- Who is your target market?
What is your small business offering and who is your target audience that you are trying to reach?
It is essential to understand who the reader is that you are trying to reach, and what exactly they are trying to accomplish.
Is your audience trying to find information to answer a question? Looking for the best product or service to buy? Are they looking for a tutorial?
Creating a guest blog that reflects your readers intent will ensure you will successfully gain results. If you’re unsure of how to understand your target market you can read our article ‘Content Writing: Full Guide To Mastering The Basics’ which has a detailed guide on how to create a buyer persona.
2. Discovering Your Ideal Guest Post Targets:
Finding the right guest blogging website is important to create an authentic connection with the audience you are trying to reach. Choosing a site that is trustworthy and has a strong connection with its audience will ensure your small business will build a solid online presence and dominate your niche.
A great way to start is to reach out to the smaller players in your niche, which generally boast high-quality content and loyal readership, this step generally takes time but will allow you to gain higher results. To do this you can use the following platforms and methods that are designed to help you discover the right websites:
- How Google can help:
Google is one of the most accessible ways to discover guest post websites. To find a list of potential websites you may use is using the search bar to input a keyword that describes your niche followed by a phrase guest blog posting websites often use when accepting guest posts, this typically looks like the following keywords:
- Write for us
- Guest post
- Become an author
- Submit an article
Google also offers you the ability to search for articles that have already created a list of the top guest blog posting websites available for your niche.
This is a great way to receive immediate results from websites that will accept your article. However, it is important to keep in mind that the sites may be low quality, potentially saturated with articles or demand from your competitors (meaning your article could get lost).
- Join Guest Blogging Communities:
Facebook is a great source of online guest blogging communities that are dedicated to inviting guest bloggers to write for them, and are eager to co-operate with experts in the field. There are a range of public and private online communities and may have groups specific to your niche. Thus, offering a multitude of guest blogging opportunities you may not have found via the Google search engine.
However, due to Googles algorithm and potential risks, it is important to be cautious of websites that offer paid guest posts as it goes against Googles guidelines. This can also occur when partnering with members for a guest post exchange, which can be considered as a link scheme, and your website may be penalized.
- Whom are your competitors targeting?
Your competition is likely to already be involved in marketing through guest blogging platforms, which means, if they could publish guest posts, your small business can benefit from it too.
Understanding whom your competition has reached out to and used for a guest post will help you to potentially find new websites that you previously did not know offered guest posting.
You can use online platforms such as SEM Rush to search your competitor’s domain and gain insights on their backlinks that generate traffic to their site. Reviewing the backlinks will allow you to see if they have featured guest posts on these sites. A key tip is to filter the website with one backlink per domain so you can remove other potential backlinking that may occur from social media posts and forums.
It is important to keep in mind, that each website you review might not accept backlinks, or may have formed a deal with your competitor to publish their article.
- Using HARO
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a platform used by bloggers to generate backlinks through media coverage, which is the less risky way to create exposure for your website without the potential risk of having your website penalized by Google.
Using HARO is a great way to source relevant and trending topics that allow you to submit a response to each anonymous query with the potential to be referred to in one of their articles. A key tip is to search for topics that are relevant to your small business and create articles based on your expert knowledge about the request, then reply to the email. It is a great way to find new ideas to create content and to gain opportunities to increase your websites exposure.
Important things to keep in mind when responding to a HARO request is:
- Your pitch must be interesting and concise
- You must always provide expertise on the topic
- Avoid using attachments and fancy formatting (HARO strips emails of attachments’)
Lastly, set up Google Alerts for the name that you used when you submitted your HARO response so you can monitor when your content piece is posted and have the opportunity to promote it on your social media.
3. Creating the Perfect Pitch to get in Contact
Guest posting sites receive a high volume of emails per day making it highly competitive to get noticed. Making sure your email is creative, communicates value, and is concise will improve your chances of getting noticed. Apply the following techniques when creating your pitch:
- Build a relationship with the editor:
Researching the editor beforehand and learning their name, and any other interesting information about them has a stronger and more personalised impact.
- Introduce yourself and what you can offer:
Commenting on how you appreciate their content, how you can expand on their points, and new topics that you can offer will show that you have expert knowledge and genuine interest in the field. This is a great opportunity to communicate your value to their audience.
- Offer topics that would interest their target audience:
Include a few sample topics you would be interested in sharing with them that suit their target audience, and provide a few articles you have previously written. This will make you look like an authority on the topic.
- Keep it short:
The editors that are reading pitches have limited time to go through each one. So making sure yours will get noticed and your points will be received is making sure the editor can read your pitch as clear as possible in a short amount of time.
4. Writing your Guest Article:
Before you begin writing your content piece, make sure you are thorough when reading the guidelines of the website. If your hard work has paid off and it got you past the pitch stage, if your article does not suit the site's guidelines, they will not post your article. These guidelines may include things such as language, tone, length of article, spelling, images etc.
- Creating your Top Performing Article:
It is finally time to get started on writing your guest blog post. Writing an article includes keeping your audience engaged and interested consistently throughout. Making sure you are creating a positive impression in your readers' minds will ensure you will maximise results for your small business from guest blogging. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write your article:
1. Draw them in with the title.
2. Make the first line capturing.
3. Choose an interesting angle.
4. Use visualisation techniques.
5. Make it consumable and sharable.
6. Avoid grammatical and punctuation mistakes.
There is so much more to content writing than just these 6 steps, so make sure to read ‘Content Writing: Full Guide to Mastering the Basics’ so you can create an article that will guarantee interested readers.
Now it’s time to take these key steps into action and start seeing positive results for your small business. Remember, ensuring your content piece is engaging and relevant for the target audience is the best way you will be able to create a positive impression of your business on the reader. Although the process is quite time consuming, your audience will appreciate the effort. So, before you begin guest posting make sure you have enough resources to create quality posts and connections. After all, it is worth it in the long run as the increased awareness, traffic, and credibility will strengthen your competitive advantage and drive your business growth.