Drive New Traffic to Your Site with a Guest Blogging Strategy
These days, all kinds of businesses need a high-traffic website — after all, the Internet is the primary channel that’ll get you the most leads and paying customers. But if you want your website to be noticeable, attractive, and rank well on search engine behemoths like Google: you’ll need to keep it updated with original and relevant content. In most cases, this means starting a blog.
But as your website becomes more established and its audience grows, you’ll need more content to keep the increasing number of visitors engaged. You’re probably seeing the problem already — at the end of the day, there’s only so much content you can write yourself — and you probably don’t have a staff filled with dozens of writers that are constantly churning out content.
If you want to fill up your content schedule and remain relevant, there’s one thing you can do — create a guest blogging strategy and start relying on guest bloggers.
Guest submissions are the perfect way to shake things up in your blog and bring some much-needed diversity — while also keeping it stocked with content consistently. New guest authors might be able to contribute content outside your writers' area of expertise or provide points of view you haven’t considered before. And most importantly, over time, you’ll get a sizable boost in website traffic.
But to do all of this, you’ll need to figure out how to attract the best talent, encourage guest writers to contribute with their best content and make sure they don’t step out of the bounds of your brand image and voice. With that in mind, we’re going to help you create the best possible guest blogging strategy that achieves all of the above!
What is guest blogging?
So, before we get into the nitty-gritty of your guest blogging strategy, let’s take a look at a quick overview of guest blogging. Mainly — what is guest blogging anyway?
As we’ve pointed out above, all businesses need an online presence. And that online presence almost always includes a website — which, in turn, needs to include a constant stream of relevant content to attract audiences.
There are several methods of creating such original content, and guest blogging is one of them. Sometimes also referred to as “guest posting”, it’s basically the practice of getting another blogger, writer, or industry expert that doesn’t work for your company to write content for your blog.
In most cases, these are bloggers that are already writing content for similar blogs within your industry. And it’s important to understand that this is a mutually beneficial relationship for both website owners and guest bloggers.
On the one hand, a website owner gets fresh, original content that increases their brand awareness and credibility while also attracting more traffic. Plus, you don’t need to write blog posts on your own, or you can reduce the workload of your in-house writers. And if you get a reputable guest blogger, you can leverage their personal audiences for more engagement and shares on your content. Most of all, you’ll save time and energy you can then spend on higher-earning tasks.
On the other hand, guest bloggers can use this content to create links to their own blogs and website, increasing their personal traffic as well. Plus, they raise their own credibility within the industry by writing for established companies.
Essentially, guest bloggers write either in exchange for payment or exposure. The specifics depend on your exact arrangement with the bloggers. Naturally, offering payment will increase the quality of guest bloggers you’ll attract, but it will be more expensive than simply offering exposure.
Luckily, plenty of guest bloggers are more than happy to settle for the latter, especially if they’re trying to grow their own businesses or create their own blogs. In those cases, even expert bloggers will happily write guest posts for you without expecting payment.
Exposure in exchange for content is an excellent bartering deal — you get content, they get free PR for their business or blog.
Why should you create a guest blogging strategy?
When you get writers that aren’t directly affiliated with your business and aren’t your employees to create content for you, there are a bunch of excellent benefits for your business.
First of all, your website will have more original and relevant content. As we’ve said above, you won’t have to put in as much work to fill out your content calendar.
However, guest blogging also lets you tackle a wider range of topics. Different guest bloggers will come up with wildly varying ideas on how to attract your target audience with relevant keywords and topics.
Also, once you get someone to write a single guest blog and both you and the writer are happy with the results — you can always evolve this into a long-term collaboration. There’s nothing better than having a pool of constantly recurring guest bloggers you can rely on. And if you decide to make another permanent addition to your in-house team, those outside collaborators will be the logical first choices.
Right about now, you might be thinking — if all of this is true, then why don’t all websites and businesses use guest bloggers? Unfortunately, plenty of business owners and website managers don’t know the intricacies of online content creation. And even when they do, they don’t always know how to attract the best guest bloggers in practice — which is precisely why that’s what we’ll be talking about next.
How to find great guest bloggers for your website
Don’t worry; we’ll go through the exact methods of finding the best guest writers — while also making your website enticing for collaborations. But before we get into that, there’s another matter to discuss — what kind of writers are you actually looking for? Once you’ve got a ton of guest bloggers to choose from, how can you be sure you’re picking the right people?
At the end of the day, this is a job like any other — and that means there are certain qualities that you should look for in your guest bloggers. Roughly speaking, these are:
- Experience in writing for your website’s niche;
- Ability and willingness to adapt to your established blog style;
- Ability to come up with high-quality ideas for topics independently;
- Punctuality in delivering content.
Naturally, the highest-quality writers will want to have a prominent author bio as a part of the post, or at least a byline — while some might also expect monetary payment. Regardless of what kind of arrangement you set up, it’s vital that all parties believe that they’re benefiting from this collaboration.
Now that you know what kind of people you’re looking for, the question is — how do you actually find them? If you’re familiar with marketing terms, you’ll find that, just like with clients and customers, there are inbound and outbound channels for finding guest writers for your blog as well. And for the best effect, you’ll want to combine both.
When it comes to inbound tactics, the main one is setting up an elaborate “Write For Us” page on your website. This page should include all the relevant information any guest writer would want to know — the submission format, the time period required for the approval of submitted ideas, and other general submission guidelines.
If you really want to knock it out of the park, you can include some extra features too — like a sample post that writers can look at for reference or a dedicated submission form.
Most guest bloggers tend to Google “Write for us” pages for their niche, so having one on your website is definitely a good idea. However, if you’re just starting to develop your blog, you may not be getting enough regular traffic to fill up your need for guest post queries.
In that case, you’ll need to be a bit more proactive — which is why you need to learn about the outbound approach as well. If the “Build it, and they will come” method isn’t working, you’ll have to approach writers yourself.
If you’re going to offer payment for guest submissions, you can start by looking at popular freelance websites like Fiverr or Upwork. However, you’re more likely to find professional content writers there than people who have specific experience with your niche.
Otherwise, the best place to find great niche writers is the competition. Check out blogs on the websites of competing businesses and start looking at the authors. Read the author boxes or bylines at the start or the end of posts, and you’ll probably see some contact information for the author. If not, you’ll at least have a full name — which is usually all you need to find a writer on the Internet.
Most other blogs use the same methods for content creation, which means they’re probably accepting guest writers as well. And those same people are extremely likely to be interested in writing for your website too. Plus, you’ll be sure of their quality because you’ve already read their writing in your niche. The only thing that’s left is to see whether they’re willing to adapt to the style of your blog.
Apart from this, you can also start looking at social media — LinkedIn, Facebook, and Reddit are usually the best places to find niche guest bloggers. Just join some Facebook groups related to your industry and advertise your search for guest bloggers out there. Many industry experts and professional writers will jump at the chance to be featured on another website. Though, make sure you’ve read the group rules before you post anything — the last thing you want is for your content to be flagged as spam.
Once you’ve built up your blog and it’s attracting thousands of people on a monthly basis, you probably won’t have any problems attracting great guest writers — they’ll see your website as a chance for personal promotion. However, before your blog becomes popular within your niche, you’ll need to do some more work to actually make your blog attractive to guest authors and convince them to write for you.
The first thing you need to do is to give them ample opportunities for self-promotion. Once your blog is well-established, you’ll be able to limit writer promotion to a reasonable degree — but in the beginning, it’ll be a “buyers' market”.
And for people who are looking to make a living by creating content, getting their name out there is absolutely essential. Sure, a byline on the blog post they’ve written is a necessary first step — but there are other things you can do to make your blog an even better promotional opportunity for writers.
Add an entire author box element to all of your blog posts. That way, guest writers will be able to include stuff like links to their social network profiles, their short biographies, and even small portfolios. These author boxes put the guest writers front and centre, and they’re hugely effective at attracting niche talent to your blog. Plus, readers actually want to know who’s behind a piece of content they were particularly amazed by.
Also, while your blog is in its infancy, you may need to pay for high-quality guest submissions. That doesn’t mean you’ll need to pay for every single piece of content; just the top-notch stuff that gets people through the door.
If writers don’t believe they’ll get a lot of exposure from a small blog, they’ll likely expect payment and refuse to work for exposure alone. However, once your blog becomes more popular, that will change as well.
Use some of your content budget to create a couple of premium-quality blog posts each month, and you’ll see a huge return on that investment. Great posts will attract more traffic, and more traffic will attract better writers — and writers who are willing to work for free.
In the meantime, just offer a flat fee for guest submissions, and be clear about only paying for content you’ve decided to publish. If you want, you can also offer slightly higher payments for proven writers who’ve already published popular content on your blog. Remember — repeat writers are easier to manage because they already know your blog’s style, so they won’t require nearly as much editing.
Having a great guest blogging strategy is essential if you want to drive more traffic to your business and scale up your blog without paying a ton of money for more in-house writers. And once you’ve got an established blog, attracting guest writers is fairly easy because they’ll come to you on their own.
However, smaller and newer websites need a more intricate strategy to attract high-quality guest submissions. You’ll need to give these writers a tangible incentive for submitting excellent work — and you’ll need to do more work to find the right niche writers yourself because they won’t visit a low-traffic blog on their own. Set up a “Write for us page” for inbound submissions, and then start incentivizing writers. Allow them to use expanded author boxes to promote themselves and their portfolios, and try to find some small funds in your budget for paid submissions once in a while.
Most of all, you need to be clear about all of the terms of collaboration — that’s something all professional niche writers will appreciate, and honesty and transparency will keep them coming back to your blog for more pieces!
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