The premise of guest blogging is easy to understand. As a guest author, you’ll contribute articles (and sometimes other types of content) to external sites, known as publishers. These publishers will get the benefit of using your content to connect with their audience, and you’ll get the benefit of exposure. Oftentimes, because this relationship is mutually beneficial, both parties offer their part for free.
Guest blogging is becoming increasingly popular as a marketing strategy for businesses. But why is this the case? Why is this simple tactic receiving such incredible attention?
The Benefits of Guest Blogging
Let’s take a look at the benefits:
1. Brand exposure and familiarity. First, you’ll get the benefits of brand exposure, and eventually, familiarity. When you write a post for a publisher, you’ll include information about your brand in your biography. You might even get to mention your brand directly in the body of your work. Either way, more people will grow acquainted with your business. Over time, you’ll get more direct visitors to your website, and your marketing and advertising will be received better.
2. Link building for SEO. In the body of your guest posts, you may choose to include a link back to your site. If you do, you can benefit strongly from these links in your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The inner mechanics are complex, but the basic idea is this: Google ranks sites higher when they have higher authority, and they earn higher authority by earning links from authoritative external sites. Work with the right publishers and build good links, and eventually, your site will rank higher in search engines.
3. Link building for referral traffic. Of course, link building isn’t just about optimizing for search engines. Readers have the power to click your link and visit your site directly. This counts as “referral traffic” in Google Analytics and other marketing analytics platforms, and depending on the publisher, it can be a powerful stream of new visitors. This is most impressive when you start publishing on websites that get tens of thousands of visitors daily.
4. Author expertise and recognition. When you first start, you won’t have much of a reputation to work with. But as you get multiple posts published and as you work with more publishers, you’ll gain more notoriety and recognition. Assuming you’re publishing excellent, sought-after content, your authors will start to build independent followings, and each post they publish will have more and more value.
5. Ongoing publisher relationships. If you write an article for a publisher that does well (i.e., it attracts a fair volume of traffic and encourages lots of comments), that publisher will want to see more work from you in the future. Chances are, you’ll get the opportunity to make regular contributions with this publisher, posting indefinitely into the future. For SEO, links on the same publisher have diminishing returns, but you’ll get to build your author reputation and referral traffic for free.
6. Social media fodder. Your guest posts serve as perfect “fodder” for your social media profiles. You can share your posts periodically to earn more attention for them and engage with other users directly to spark more interest in your work. Over time, you’ll generate a bigger following and be able to leverage more power in your social media marketing campaign.
7. Long-term growth potential. Guest posting is also popular due to its scalability. When you first get started, you’ll work with small, relatively unknown publishers. But as you develop a bigger reputation as an author and flesh out your body of work, you’ll get the chance to post on bigger and more reputable websites, multiplying the benefits you see many times over.
8. Cost savings. Marketing and advertising can be obnoxiously expensive. If you place ads on TV, on billboards, or via other traditional channels, your budget can be quickly exhausted. But guest posting is relatively inexpensive; in fact, you can usually post content for free as long as you put the time into developing it.
Getting Started With Guest Blogging
How can you get started with guest blogging? Your priority should be building and maintaining a high-quality blog on your site. Write several high-quality posts you’d be proud to show off; these will serve both as a kind of portfolio when you reach out to guest publishers and as a link building source in the future.
Once you have those in place, look for publishers that might accept your work. These include less-authoritative publishers and publishers within your niche. Make a pitch for what you’ll write for them and focus on benefits for their audience. Once you get established, you can work your way to bigger and more authoritative publishers and grow your influence from there.