As a marketer, you’re already creating content for your own website (including product descriptions, blogs, whitepapers, your About Us page, etc.). To get that content in front of an audience, hopefully you’re also sharing it on social media and through marketing emails. If you’re doing all of this, you’re off to a great start.
Unfortunately, the success of your efforts will be limited by the number of people who already visit your website, follow you on social media or subscribe to your email newsletter. To greatly expand your reach and boost the ROI of your content-creation efforts, give guest blogging a try by writing a guest blog yourself or taking advantage of a marketing consultant’s guest blogging services.
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging is the submission of a blog you’ve written (or obtained from a marketing services provider through ghost-writing) to a publication outside of your organization. For example, if your company is ABC Widget Co., you might submit a blog on “5 Widget Trends to Watch in 2018” to Widget Magazine for publication on their website or in their print magazine. This strategy is also referred to as “content syndication.”
5 reasons to give guest blogging a try
If you were classically trained in the megaphone marketing tactics of yesteryear, the idea of drawing people to your business with content that is more informational than promotional may be new to you. (If so, Here’s Proof That Content Matters to B2B Buyers.) And it may seem counterintuitive to create content that won’t appear on your own website. Nonetheless, guest blogging for a well-known publication is a smart strategy. Here’s why:
- It boosts brand awareness. When the readers of Widget Magazine see your guest blog, they’ll be exposed to your company name, helping them to recall it later when they’re looking for products or services you offer. (Just be sure to include a short bio including your company name and a link back to your website in the post.)
- It helps with SEO for your own website. One of the (many) factors search engines like Google use to determine your website’s ranking on search engine results pages is how many high-quality links there are from external websites back to your own website. Guest blogging for reputable publications will help to create more of these valuable links.
- It positions you as a thought leader. If you can avoid the temptation to talk about your products or services in your blog, you’ll be free to explore other, broader topics of interest to your audience. While some clients we work with don’t give themselves enough credit in terms of having something valuable to contribute, we’ve never worked with anyone who didn’t have at least a few good stories to be told or opinions to be expressed. This credibility will improve the chances of your post being accepted by the publication, and it will increase the chances that prospects will view your company favorably.
- It can give your website traffic an immediate boost. If you’ve shown through your post that you’re knowledgeable in your area of business, many of those who read that post will want to learn more about you, and will click through to your own website. Many will be people who had never heard of you before, critical to expanding your reach and growing your sales pipeline. Keep this in mind when you decide which webpage to link to from your post, and make sure that page shows visitors exactly what you want it to. If building your email list is one of your goals, for example, you’ll need to make sure the page you’re linking to has a visible “join our email list” call to action somewhere on the page.
- It’s a lot cheaper than traditional advertising. We’ve found that guest blogging, which only costs you a few hours of time (or a relatively low fee through a guest blogging service), can have just as much impact as a paid advertisement that can cost thousands. Kind of a no-brainer, right?
Ready to give guest blogging a try? You can ensure that all parties involved benefit from the arrangement by choosing the right publication, creating audience-focused content that is informational (not promotional) and building a rapport with your contacts at that publication. Remember to pay attention to a publication’s policies regarding guest blogging. Some may require a pitch first; others may not even accept guest bloggers.