Interesting, individual content is a must for any commercial or personal blog, but writing reams of original content can take a lot of time, and it can be slow to attract new readers and followers. There is one method, however, which can help put your brand – be it personal or corporate – in front of new faces, build awareness and attract new traffic to your site; guest blogging.
Whilst Google’s Penguin update over a year ago made an awful lot of bloggers and site owners wary of accepting content from third parties, if approached with caution and common sense, there are still some ways you can execute an effective guest blogging strategy through a variety of channels.
Googling ‘Top 10 Interiors Blogs’ can be a time consuming and often fruitless exercise when it comes to finding decent blogs to write for or send your content to. Unless they have a policy for guest posts then outreach is likely to go unanswered. Use Google keyword search to give you a helping hand finding blogs in relevant industries which accept guest posts. Replace keyword with the relevant term in the following:
These searches should lead you to a blog’s guest post guidelines page, guest post submission page, or to guest posts by other writers to see which sites accept the sort of content you’re thinking of creating.
Alternatively, if you know of any experts in your industry, try Googling their name along with “guest post by”. This should bring up any sites which host content they have written, meaning that these will be good sites for you to approach, too.
Twitter is also a good resource for finding guest blog and article contribution opportunities; search for #journorequest or #prrequest and you’ll see a nice load of shout outs from journalists and bloggers looking for content on a variety of topics. Replying to requests which are relevant to you or your client is a given, but don’t forget to include some sort of CTA – add your email address or phone number so they can contact you directly immediately, or ask them to DM you with more details (and then make sure you follow them so they can actually do that). Less effective is asking for their contact details – if they didn’t include any in their original tweet, they might not want to put them out there.
Alternatively, you might be after some sweet content for your (or a client’s) blog from a third party. Twitter is my go-to for this. As well as including #journorequest and #prrequest, make sure you hashtag your keywords (the relevant industry or content theme). Doing this will mean that you’re visible not only to those already looking to write blogs, but also to experts and influencers in the industry who might suddenly quite fancy the idea of writing down their opinions and having lots of people read them. There are also other hashtags designed to bring bloggers to you, such as #bloggerrequest, #bloggerswanted and #bloggersrequired. Whilst the request hashtags are pretty catch all, the blogger hashtags are primarily used to source bloggers open to collaborations such as giveaways, focus groups, and product/service trials and reviews – very useful if you are planning or undertaking a campaign rather than looking for content immediately. It’s also used to ‘advertise’ items available to help with content, such as experts or celebs available for interview or comment.
There are a number of platforms which make it easy to identify who’s writing and sharing different types of content, but our ringleader is Buzzsumo. This platform enables you to see what content is being shared the most (for sweet content ideas) and identify influencers – perfect for targeting potential contributors to your blog, and hosts for your content. You can also view a list of links which they’ve shared themselves, so you can get an idea of the sort of content which appeals to them, and tailor your request/offering accordingly.
Whether you are looking for content or host sites for your own blog or for a clients’, always approach prospects on a personal level, not a corporate one. This not only makes you more approachable to a wider variety of bloggers, it also means you’re less likely to come across as ‘spammy’ or overly promotional and pushy.
If you decide to use Twitter, make sure you interact with people in a timely manner – it’s a comms tool focused on the ‘now’, afterall. Having conversations not only with blog contributors/hosts but with relevant influencers will help you to be both more credible and more likely to get results.
From a digital marketing point of view (which is probably part of the reason you’re doing this in the first place) make sure you have your SEO in check – links to other sites should be NoFollow and content keywords should be optimised to suit the host site.
Finally, spread the word far and wide. Share new guest blogs on your site(s) across social media, tag the author – and get them to share it too. Do it more than once. If you’ve written something that’s on someone else’s site, share and drive traffic to it – they’ll appreciate the extra blog views and you’ll get much coveted brand awareness at the same time.