4 smokin’ hot benefits of guest blogging
People say guest posting is dead. I beg to differ. There are many reasons why this type of marketing is still a winner. And from a credibility standpoint, guest blogging is a no-brainer. It’s the primary reason I’ve written a dozen or so guest posts over the years. Many of my As Seen On logos are a result of this effort.
Just like HARO, if your blog is featured on a website, guest posting can score you a shiny, new logo for your As Seen On section. In addition, there are four other perks.
1. Grow a legion of followers
Guest posting gives you exposure. And with any exposure, there’s the opportunity to grow your following. For example, Danny Iny, the founder of Mirasee, splashed on the scene in 2011 writing 80+ guest posts in a single year. This helped him build a massive following quickly and eventually grow a multimillion dollar business.
Gaining legions of followers from guest posting is still possible today; just be sure to ask readers to subscribe to your email list or follow your social at the end of the post. If you’re serious about gaining followers from guest posting, a lead magnet can improve follower conversion rates.
2. Prove Matt Cutts was wrong: Guest blogging still works for SEO
For those who don’t know of Matt Cutts, he was the former SEO spokesperson of Google, who wrote one of the most infamous blogs on guest posting in history: The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. While most people with the word Google in their job title gain immediate street cred, here’s why you should think twice about his statement.
At the time Cutts’ article was published, spammy guest posts ran rampant online. Google made algorithm changes to stop this practice as it allowed spammers to game the system and rocket crappy content to the top of search. So when Matt Cutts said, “guest blogging is done,” he was referring to these spammy posts. Here are some articles that expound on this, from Forbes and SmartBlogger.
The fact of the matter is, if you’re guest blogging for influential blogs, you will improve your SEO as long as those websites provide you a backlink (not all do).
3. Rise to thought leader status as a regular contributor to authoritative sites
Forbes, Entrepreneur, Lifehack and other publishers have contributing writers that post regularly. Develop a good enough reputation and you could become one of them. Some of these opportunities can be applied for, while for others you’ll need to develop a relationship with someone on the platform (more on this later) and then show them your guest blogging portfolio. Either way, an opportunity to regularly write for a major media outlet can launch you to new heights of influence, and expand your reach.
4. Get paid
While many sites don’t pay, there are definitely some that do. I’ve been paid for guest posts, and I know some sites that will pay up to $150. Getting paid to me is the least important reason on this list to guest post, but it’s a nice bonus as you work to rise the ranks of influencer status.
How to score guest posts
Submitting a guest post to a major publication is a pretty straightforward process. Here’s how you can go about it:
3 steps to submit your post
First of all, find out if your target site accepts guest posts—not all will. However, a quick search of the website’s footer, sidebar or Contact page will typically clue you in. A “Write for Us” link or any page named “Submissions” usually is a clear sign that the site accepts posts.
Second, after you’ve verified that the site is guest post friendly, the next step is to follow the submission guidelines. Some sites will offer very few instructions: maybe as little as “send us a Word doc with your completed post.” Others have very detailed guidelines that explain the types of sources that can be cited and how the completed article should be submitted. Whatever the instructions, follow them carefully. Not doing so is a surefire way to get rejected.
Third, write your article and submit it to the site.
How likely is it that your post will be featured?
It typically depends on the authority of the media outlet. Some will be easy, others will be incredibly difficult. For example, Forbes may take dozens of attempts before you get accepted, whereas you may land a post on a smaller, niche site like The Marvel Report on your first try.
While good grammar, following instructions and being a solid writer will help your chances, they don’t guarantee you anything. Even as a professional writer, international bestselling author and TV writer, I’ve been rejected many times. The truth is, some sites are incredibly picky.
To help improve your chances, I recommend networking with people who work at your target publication. For example, I was able to land two guest posts on Make a Living Writing by connecting with the founder through her online community and on LinkedIn. You can do the same, though it won’t happen overnight.
As for your writing quality, refer back to the three blogging tiers mentioned in Chapter 15 of this book. For most platforms, the quality will need to be somewhere between mid level to full-on top tier. Common sense content won’t typically cut it for guest posts. You need to be unique, surprising and empathic. If you’re not at least a decent writer, then consider hiring a professional to help you. That said, expect to pay a premium for this content, as it’s more difficult to create, even for the best of writers.
Now that you’ve learned how to build instant credibility with guest posts, let’s look at one final way to land As Seen On logos for your site.