Guest blogging is about taking what you already do well and spreading your knowledge into other areas of your target market to increase your reach and build a reputation for subject matter expertise.
It can grow your online efforts into something sought-after, authoritative, and even profitable. But what is it? And where do you begin?
What is guest blogging
Guest blogging is a mutually beneficial exchange between a blogger and another writer. The concept is quite straightforward:
- The author writes an article and shows it to the blogger;
- The blogger then decides if the article fits his blog, and if the answer is yes, publishes it on the site.
Thus, the blog owner who hosts a guest blogger can take a break from creating content, while adding a fresh point of view for readers. The guest blogger gets the chance to reach a new audience, attracting new readers to his or her own blog or website.
Usually it’s the would-be guest blogger who gets in touch with a blog owner to request publication. Blog owners who are open to guest contributions will accept pieces that they consider a good fit for the blog. The normal practice is for the blog owner to give proper credit to the guest blogger, and to include his or her contact information.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
There are many benefits to becoming a regular guest blogger. You can grow your audience, build your online reputation, earn more links to your own blog or website, and meet influential people in your industry.
Building a Targeted Audience
Guest posting on blogs related to your particular niche can expose you to a whole new community of people who are interested in your area of expertise.
These readers are your potential new fans, followers and long-term readers. If they like your work, they’ll promote it to their own fans and followers.
- Short-term benefit – Quick spike of interest in your site or product.
- Long-term benefit – Acquisition of loyal readers and followers.
Building Your Reputation
Every time you write for a different blog within a specific niche, more people interested in that subject area will become acquainted with your work. If you consistently produce high-quality content, you’ll soon win recognition and respect as an expert in your niche area.
A credible online reputation will burnish your brand, helping you build trust with prospective followers and customers.
Consistent guest blogging helps build trust and a solid reputation.
As your reputation grows and you reach more targeted communities, you will have increased the opportunity for your brand to go viral.
Guest bloggers can achieve viral popularity in two ways: slow and fast.
The slow way is to build a readership across many blogs. You’ll gradually spread your influence beyond each blog’s core readers to new ones as they share your work with friends in Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
The fast way requires a lot of hard work and more than a hint of good luck. If you manage to publish a guest blog spot on a particularly active and popular site, your work could suddenly go viral. Your story could hit the front page of Digg, or get tweeted across the entire micro-blogosphere.
- Short-term benefit – Reach front pages of popular social media sites indirectly by publishing your content on highly popular sites.
- Long-term benefit – Build up a solid following by consistently exposing your work to social media users who frequent different blogs in your niche.
Most guest bloggers write for established blogs – blogs that search engines regard as pillars of authority and trust in their specific niches. If you’re trying to earn high rankings in search results for your own blog or website, backlinks from these leading blogs can be worth their virtual weight in gold. They’ll add an air of relevance and authority to your own site.
Don’t treat guest blogging as just another link-building tactic. Most blog owners won’t post poorly written content that’s been designed solely to get links. On the other hand, well written articles that include links to relevant websites are more than welcome on most blogs.
- Long-term benefit – Build up high-quality backlinks by providing useful content to high-authority established blogs.
The established bloggers in any given niche are often connected to prominent figures in the related industry. When you provide good content for these bloggers, you build your visibility and reputation with the people who matter in that industry.
When you’re first getting established, this is a great way to win attention for your brand. If you do a good job for the established leaders in your field, they’ll be more willing to help promote you and your future projects.
- Long-term benefit – Establish solid relations with niche influencers and earn their support by providing high-quality content.
- Remember, the key to guest blogging is to provide high-quality, original, relevant content that adds value to others in your niche.
Always strive to produce your best work to make sure you get the most out of your guest blogging strategy.
How to find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to promote your blog, meet new audiences and build valuable contacts. Therefore most A-list bloggers guest post, and thatís why if you are a blogger, you should too.
Following are some useful yet lesser-known Google search tips that will let you find valuable guest posting opportunities in your niche.
1. Make sure you use all Synonyms
Various bloggers use different words to invite guest authors. Some directly ask to “submit a (guest) post”, others offer to become their author or write for them. Even the most straightforward invitation can be expressed in different words: you can be asked to submit, suggest or send a post for example. Here’s more or less complete list of phrases bloggers use to invite people to guest post:
- Submit a guest post
- Add blog post
- Submit an article
- Suggest a guest post
- Send a guest post
- Write for us
- Become an author
- Guest bloggers wanted
- Contribute to our site
- Become a contributor
- Become guest writer
- (Write for our) guest column
Now, you may have noticed that all the phases are surrounded by quotation marks . This is to force Google to search for the exact match. Otherwise you will get too-general results randomly mentioning “post”, “contribute” and “guest”.
If you add some words that describe the topic of your blog, you will end up getting tightly relevant results.
2. Take advantage of the wildcard (*) operator
Some guest invitations can be slightly different aside from using quotation marks for better search results targeting. For example, a blogger may write “Become our contributor” instead of “Become a contributor” or “Send us your post” instead of “Send your post” but these blogs will be filtered out because we were using quotation marks and thus instructed Google to search for exact match.
So how can we include all those slightly different results without sacrificing on relevancy?
This can be done with help of Googleís Wildcard operator (*) which in search results get substituted by one or more words. So if we, for example, search for “submit * guest post” search results will include:
- submit a guest post
- submit your own guest post
- submit your guest post
- submit one guest post, etc
3. Use ‘or’ and ‘~’ operators to better describe your niche
More often than not, it is hard to describe your blog topic with one (or two) words. For example, your blog may be about money, saving, frugality, shopping, etc. The more words you use, the lesser results you will get, because Google will do its best to show you only those pages that have all of those words listed.
To get broader but relevant results, you should instruct Google to search for any relevant words. Say you can use OR operator between the words – “money OR saving OR frugality OR shopping” – because, essentially we are interested in guest blogging on sites covering any of these topics.
To go even further in this direction, use ~ operator before a word that may have many synonyms and related words, and thus instruct Google to look for all those synonyms. For example, a “~money” search will include words like “currency”, “finance”, “financial”, etc.
More ways to find guest blogging opportunities
Look around your current blogging contacts. One of the best ways to start guest blogging is to use your current network. Guest post at your friends’ blogs: this way you’ll be able to try your hand at guest blogging in the friendly community you already know.
Look for new, rapidly-growing competitors. The first thing to keep in mind here is that there are no REAL competitors when it comes to blogging (this is one of the reasons why I love it). Blogs can’t really compete because each of them has its unique voice and thus takes its own place.
New bloggers have nothing; they are hungry and they’ve got to be creative. Watching what they are doing and following their steps, you can learn a lot. It doesn’t mean you have to copy everything they are doing – you’ll notice yourself getting inspired by watching those active bloggers. You will also find plenty of unique ideas and way of doing things.
You can search and track Twitter as you won’t be able to (easily) find new bloggers in Google, because they don’t have enough link authority to outrank more established blogs. But you will surely find them Tweeting.
Join a guest blogging forum like My Blog Guest – a free guest blogging community all guest bloggers must join. It organizes guest posting offers and calls to let users find each other:
Except for the basic forum features, there other options that help bloggers build connections through high-quality content. One of the most effective guest blogging tools inside MyBlogGuest is the Articles Gallery. Basically, it allows members to expose their content to the gallery for blog owners to come to offer their blogs to publish the posts. It gives authors one place to publish the articles for blog owners to come and apply.
Guest blogging is one of the best methods of increasing visibility on a web that is saturated with blogs, both good and bad. Rather than investing energy in the shady world of article directories and ezines that are flooded with questionable content every day, take some time to develop worthwhile posts for growing websites.