The benefits of guest blogging and how to get started
Guest blogging is an effective way to expand your brand’s reach. Find out how to start using this strategy today.
If you have a blog, you’ve probably heard about the importance of guest blogging to increase your traffic and expand your reach. But do you understand, in fact, how it works? And most importantly, do you know how to use this strategy?
In this post, we’re going to answer the questions above and teach you all the steps to start a guest-posting strategy on your blog! So, without further ado, let’s get down to business!
What is a guest post?
A guest post is an article someone posts on a blog as a guest author. This usually involves an exchange of content between collaborators, i.e., each one sends a post to be posted on the other one’s blog.
This practice, known as “guest blogging” or “guest posting”, usually benefits both sides, as well as those who read the content, as they’ll have access to original, useful and enriching texts, related to their interests.
If you’re used to browsing Hotmart’s blog, for example, you’ve certainly noticed that we have worked with partners to provide great value to our audience.
Examples of Guest Posts on Hotmart’s blog
We have also written articles that were posted in other blogs, such as this one, on the Visme blog:
Why invest in this strategy?
As you can see, Hotmart believes this can be an effective strategy. And if you have a blog, or intend to create one, you should definitely consider guest blogging.
Many people starting out in the world of content production think that only the website owner should post articles and other materials on the blog. But, this is very shortsighted.
By investing in guest blogging, you can post more quality, diversified content. And this is essential to attract visitors and generate value for them.
Besides, when you post content from experts on a given subject, you gain greater authority for your page and greater acceptance by the audience.
What are the benefits of guest blogging?
Exchanging guest posts with strategic partners can be very beneficial for your blog. Check out how:
Reaching a larger audience
By posting your text on another blog, you reach readers who usually access your guest-posting partner’s content. This means that more people have access to your work and get to know who you are!
This way, by posting quality content from partners, this new audience may become interested in knowing more about your brand and the services your offer.
Establish strategic partnerships
When you exchange guest posts with another blog, you create a bond with this partner and get to know other professionals in your field (or similar niche markets).
Gain more authority
The two previous items, combined, originate the other important guest posting advantage: by reaching more people and establishing strategic partnerships, you gain more authority in your niche market and begin to be seen as a point of reference in your field.
Other SEO benefits
Link building is currently one of the most important SEO strategies. This means that having other websites link to your blog us relevant for Google (especially if the authority of these pages is high).
Websites that don’t have external links will hardly be well ranked in search engines. Therefore, when writing your posts for guest blogging, you can include a few links that lead to your page and that can provide more strength to your domain.
However, it’s very important that you agree with your guest blogging partner which links will be “dofollow”, so they’ll influence page ranking on Google. Avoid “nofollow” links, which are those that do not influence the landing page’s ranking.
Also, don’t overuse links in your texts.
Provide valuable content to your audience
Even if you’re an expert in a given niche market, there are bound to be certain topics in which you haven’t delved deeper. And this is where a guest blogging strategy can make all the difference.
When you enter partnerships with experts in other areas, you provide highly valuable and unique content to your audience!
How do I get partners and start exchanging guest posts?
Now that you know what a guest post is, and already know its advantages, now it’s time to face the thing many bloggers fear: Getting to work! Getting partners and start exchanging guest posts is one of the greatest challenges for those who have a blog.
But don’t despair! We’ll show you a few simple steps you can follow in order to put this strategy into practice. Let’s go?
1. Find possible partner blogs
The first guest-posting step is to find blogs who will collaborate with you. This part is very important and must be done carefully so that the rest of your strategy can work. Check out a few steps you can follow:
a) Create a spreadsheet
The first step in finding partners is organizing this task. Therefore, a good idea is to create a spreadsheet with a few basic columns that will help you, such as:
- Name of the partner blog
- Blog address
- Domain authority
- Area of operation
- Name and contact of the person responsible
- Status (Have they already been contacted? Have they already replied?, etc.).
As you prospect for possible blogs partners, fill out the spreadsheet with the corresponding information.
b) Find blogs with similar topics
It is essential that you seek partnerships with blogs that related to your niche market or that have a similar target audience as yours.
If you have a blog about gluten-free cooking, it doesn’t make any sense to post your texts on a blog about horror movies, for example. Besides not providing any real value to the readers, this practice is frowned upon by Google.
To do so, the most obvious path is to list the blogs you already know and that are related to your area of expertise. In addition, you can use Google itself to find new blogs with similar topics.
Another good idea is to use a few Internet tools, which provide valuable information that can help you. You can use SEMRush, for example. In the top textbox, select “Keyword overview” and enter a keyword related to your market.
Check out the example below:
After clicking “Search”, scroll down to the “Organic search results” section to view the main site ranked by that keyword.
Add all the sites, which might be interesting for you and your audience, to your spreadsheet. Do this with different keywords related to your blog’s universe, until you find a considerable amount of blogs to prospect.
c) Check which blogs already use guest blogging
When browsing possible partner blogs, a good tip is to check out those that are already guest blogging. This doesn’t mean that they will accept your proposal, but it shows that these blogs are already open to partnerships, which makes your work easier!
If they already have active partnerships, checking out the other blogs with which they exchange guest posts may also be a good strategy, depending on your area of expertise. This may even provide you with insights about possible new partners to whom you can offer your content.
d) Check out the domain authority of the prospected blogs
Another important point is to check out the selected blogs’ domain authority. Websites with low authority are not strategic and, in certain cases, might even affect your website.
To do so, you can use the Moz Open Site Explorer. Enter the website’s address in the URL field and click “Search”. Prefer domains with an authority higher than 20.
2. Define the topics that will be suggested
After you fill out your spreadsheet for blog partnering prospection, you need to define the topics you’re going to propose for each contact collected.
Sending an email with a solid and concrete proposal is much better than sending a message saying something generic such as, “Hi, would you be interested in being swapping guest posts?”
Therefore, this step is critical to ensure your strategy’s success. Below are a few tips to help you choose the topics:
- Carry out a keyword search and find those that related to your blog and the partner’s blog
- Pick topics that haven’t been covered or well explored on the partner’s blog
- Pick topics in which you are an authority in order to delivery rich and complete content
- Pick topics that allow you to insert links to strategic posts on your blog (in a natural manner and that adds real value for readers)
- Always make proposals with unique and original content.
3. Contact the prospects
After you make your list with possible blog partners and selecting the topics for your proposal, you need to send an email to your contacts and ask them if they’re interested in exchanging guest posts.
Try to show why your partnership might be interesting. Also, as we said earlier, send a concrete and clear proposal! Depending on the case, you can propose between 1 and 3 topics, in order to widen the range of opportunities.
Check out, for example, an example of a message you can send to your potential partner:
“Hi, John! How are you? My name’s Julia and I’m the creator of the “Lactose-free Life” blog, which talks about healthy eating for lactose-intolerant people.
I’ve taken a look at your blog and I really enjoyed your content about vegan eating. I believe that the topics we cover have a lot in common and might be interesting for our respective readers.
Therefore, I’d like to propose a guest post swap. This is the topic I have in mind: “10 dairy-free recipes for Christmas that will delight your guests”, would that interest you?. I’m also open to suggestions!
If you feel that my proposal is relevant, reply so we can arrange the details.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!”
Tip: Before contacting potential partners, you can approach them in other ways, by leaving comments on their blog and social media, and sharing their content, for example. This will help you not be a complete stranger when it comes to sending your proposal.
4. Start writing!
If you get the “green light” for the partnership, it’s time to start writing the post! Here are a few indispensable tips to help you with this step of the process:
- Get organized so you can meet the delivery date you agreed with your partner.
- Remember to include the guest posts in your publishing calendar.
- Make sure you meet the minimum number of words previously established.
- Adapt the style and format of your text to the editorial style of the blog where your post will be published.
- Create content that will add real value to readers and don’t advertise your services or products.
- Don’t exaggerate when including links to your blog.
- Deliver the text correctly formatted, with highlighted subheadings, high-quality images, etc.
Writing good guest posts
In order for your guest blogging strategy to be successful, and so you can achieve the expected results, you must write quality content. After all, delivering a bad text that doesn’t generate any value to readers may affect your partner’s blog, and even worse, your image as a professional!
To make sure that your content exceeds all expectations and helps build your authority in the market, we’ve listed a few tips:
Adapt to the partner blog’s style
It’s likely that, between your blog and the blog in which you’ll be publishing your guest post, there will be many differences in design, style, and language.
When writing your text, try to respect these characteristics and adapt to your new partner’s editorial style.
Remember that you are talking to a completely new audience, with their own tastes, behavior, and interests.
Therefore, try to observe the following details:
- Topic: It might sound obvious, but you should always remember to avoid writing about topics that usually aren’t addressed on the blog, or aren’t of this audience’s interest. Before sending your proposal, analyze the older posts, and check out which topics are the most common and those posts that were the most successful. This will help you define what to write about.
- Content: Also, be careful with your guest post content. Get to know the blog readers’ profile, their level of knowledge on the subject, the style of language they use, and if the published texts are more formal or informal. Ideally, you should adapt your style to your partner’s writing style.
- Text format: Are the blog’s texts shorter or longer? Do they use images and videos to underscore the topics? How long are the paragraphs? Observe these details when writing so you can maintain a familiar pattern for the audience.
Remember that the goal of a guest post strategy is not to sell your products or services, but increase your brand’s reach and attract more traffic to your channels. Therefore, always write good content and don’t advertise.
After all, you wouldn’t allow anyone to post content on your blog for free, which instead of generating value for your audience, tries to sell something, would you?
If you post quality content, there’s a good chance it will attract readers’ attention. And they will certainly be interested in knowing more about your brand and the products or services you offer.
Be careful when using links
Guest blogging helps your website’s SEO a lot, since you can include links within the content that will direct readers to your website or blog’s landing pages.
But, always avoid excessive links in your text. In addition to affecting your SEO, the partner might not like it, and you give the impression that you only want to take advantage of the partnership to attract more traffic.
Also, take the opportunity to learn about the blog’s use policy, since certain brands only allow the use of links in the text signature.
If you’ve gotten this far, you already know the importance of guest blogging and are ready to start using this strategy! But, before we finish, below are a few additional tips that might help you:
- Prepare a Guest Posting Guide with a few guidelines and points of attention that partners should take into consideration when writing a text for your blog. Be very clear about what your editorial style is and what you don’t allow.
- After you publish your post on a third-party blog, monitor the comments, and always answer questions. Your work isn’t quite over even after your post has been written and approved.
- Measure your guest post results using tools such as Google Analytics. For example, you can find out which blogs are generating traffic to your own blog.
Now that we’re done, it’s time to get down to business! If you still have any questions on the subject, please leave a comment below. And before you leave, check out our complete guide on how to make money with your blog!