Next month I’m offering a free webinar on the magic of guest blogging. Sign up to join us! My plan is to spend most of the hour on HOW to get your posts placed on popular blogs, how to get editors to say YES to your guest posts.
But I realized while putting together the content for this event that some of you might not know WHY you should bother with guest blogging. So here are four reasons it’s worth your while:
1. Gives you credibility. Being able to say I’ve written for popular sites like Problogger, Mashable, Lifehack and Copyblogger helps me land clients and writing gigs. After all, if you’ve written for those outlets, you must have something valuable to offer, right?
Once, while evaluating pitches for Brazen Careerist’s blog (which I manage and edit), I nearly pressed the “delete” button on an idea that sounded kind of shady… until I noticed the bottom of this wannabe-contributor’s email, where he mentioned he’d written for a site I knew and respected. Because of that ONE mention, I clicked over to his piece and gave it a read — and it was good. Good enough to run on our blog.
Letting me know he’d written for a well-respected blog gave this contributor credibility in my mind. It got him in the door. And it could do the same for you.
Of course, this is one of those chicken-or-egg scenarios: how do you convince editors at big blogs to run your posts if you haven’t written for another big site already? The answer is this: work your way up. Start at smaller blogs, and use those bylines to land opportunities at bigger and bigger outlets. Work your way up the guest blogging ladder. (We’ll talk more about this in the webinar.)
2. Boosts your SEO. When other sites — especially sites Google views as credible — link to your site, that boosts your ranking in the search engine, which means more people will find your site through search. This is SO powerful, because it translates to new eyes on your site, eyes you could convert to loyal readers.
Some sites won’t allow links back to your own site within the post, but you can almost always include a link in your byline or bio. When you do link, use smart SEO practices. One of the easiest ones to remember is to link relevant anchor text. That means adding your link to vital keywords like I just did with “smart SEO practices,” rather than “click here.” Linking relevant anchor text helps Google send people to your site. Which brings us to…
3. Brings traffic to your site. Or your newsletter or newest product or whatever you want people to see. Because if you write a valuable post, readers will want to know more about you, which means they’ll click whatever link you included.
Choose that link wisely. When I first began guest posting, I linked to my home page, and then I went through a phase where I linked to one of my guides that was most relevant to the post. Now I almost always link to my newsletter, since that’s what I most want to grow for the coming year.
The coolest part about all this traffic you’ll bring to your site is it will include people who haven’t visited your site before. That gives you the potential to drastically increase your readership. It’s why new bloggers who have relationships with big-time bloggers who let them guest post on their site tend to grow their followings so much faster than new bloggers who don’t guest post at all. This can be HUGE for your blog.
4. Leads to more opportunities. You never know who will see your guest post, especially if you contribute to sites that reach different readers than your own blog. That post could bring you a client, speaking opportunity, interviews and more.
Guest blogging, of course, isn’t the easiest way to get the word out about your site; it takes a lot of effort. But if you’re willing to put in some time to make your own luck, this is a smart way to go about it.
Have you used guest blogging to reach your goals? What benefits did you experience?