Public relations is all about developing relationships, creating exposure, establishing authority, and creating links. Since guest posting helps brands to achieve all of the above, it has become an essential part of any company’s overall marketing strategy. Ultimately, guest posting harnesses earned media by helping brands to gain visibility in the media and among their target audience. It is a great way to establish a relationship with bloggers and high-authority websites that can host a company’s posts and gain more followers for additional exposure. Media professionals and bloggers are ultimately interested in publishing high-quality content on their sites to attract new readers as well as retain their existing ones. By guest posting, brands can create a win-win situation for both themselves and the blogs they partner with by helping them rank high on search engines, attracting more readers, and establishing authority with their audience and the audience of the blogger.
While it’s time-consuming to use this as an inbound marketing strategy, guest posting is still one of the best ways to get an audience and drive traffic to a company’s owned media. Through guest posting and getting to know audiences, companies can also boost their social media presence.
Table of Contents:
- Basics of Guest Posting
- Creating a Guest Posting Strategy
Basics of Guest Posting
When it comes to creating content, there is no specific way in which it should be written Pretty much everyone who can string words along can write a guest post, but only a few can create content that will resonate with audiences and retain their attention. Rather than focusing on the virality of the content, writers need to make sure that their content is helpful, provides value to its readers, and is well-written to generate traffic and provide authoritative and high-quality links.
- Guest posts need to be well-written, not just for the website/blog but also for search engines.
- They need to provide value and be on-topic because people want to gain maximum value from the content they read
- The content should be good enough that people want to share it on their social media platforms. Guest post content does not need to go viral, but it needs to make people want to talk about it
- Outbound links must be helpful and relevant to the article and not waste people’s time or frustrate them through broken links
According to research done by PR and marketing professionals, an ideal guest post should be more than 1000 words because data suggest that long-form content is what gets people reading a company’s content. However, every word needs to serve a purpose to avoid wasting readers’ time by being long-winded and repetitive.
Secondly, a guest post’s headline is what draws people’s attention to the company’s content. Clickbait headlines might capture attention, but the content that follows must measure up to what the reader is expecting. Remember, the objective of a headline is to attract clicks in search results and get readers engrossed in what you have to say.
Here are some headline ideas for guest posts that PR professionals and expert writers have used to provide a clear vision of the content of their guest posts.
- What is….
- How to…
- Tips for…
- Examples of…
- Best examples of…
- Benefits of…
- Alternatives to…
- Product vs. Product
- Top …. Tools
Creating a Guest Posting Strategy
When it comes to creating an effective guest post strategy, the first thing that companies need to do is figure out what their guest posting goals are. Companies can figure out the best blogs to submit their guest posts to by understanding their goal before pitching their guest post idea. Usually, the primary goals behind guest posting are positioning the company as an authority in the industry, driving traffic back to their website, and building backlinks to the website.
The second step is to find their ideal guest posting opportunities through sites and blogs relevant to their niche or industry. Things that they need to consider include: whether the content on the site/blog is focused on their niche, whether the readers are interested in the topics related to the industry, if the blog has engaged readership, and whether the blogger/media professionals also have other channels that they use to communicate with their audience. There are many ways for companies to find the ideal blog for their content. However, keyword searches remain one of the best ways to find blogs, and this type of search should ideally lead companies to a blog’s guest post guidelines page, a submission page, or actual guest posts written by people. Other ways to search are looking for prolific guest bloggers, searching for competitor backlinks, social searches, etc.
The third step of a guest posting strategy is to do PR and media outreach by sending email pitches to their chosen bloggers and media professionals. Before they do so, companies need to familiarize themselves with the site they want to pitch to by understanding the blogger’s writing style, who their audience is, and what topics they have previously covered. Companies will have a greater chance of success if they send a personalized email pitch and start developing relationships with the bloggers and journalists on their list. When companies write their initial pitch, each one they send out must be personal and exciting. If it is clear that it is a “bulk email,” media professionals won’t even think twice about not opening the email. Finally, when companies start writing the actual guest post, they need to make sure that they have the right person creating their content. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in the industry. Even so, they should have some prior knowledge and have done the appropriate amount of research to craft a high-authority, informative guest post.
Other ways that companies can effectively accomplish guest posting is by:
- Targeting websites with high domain authorities
- Trying guest posting services
- Creating high-quality content
- Considering websites that have published their competitors’ content
- Tracking their results
- Spending time in comment sections
1) Targeting websites with high domain authorities
It is a lot more practical for companies to target websites and blogs that already have a high domain authority because they already have a loyal following of loyal readers. These blogs already have an established brand in their niche. If you can post content on those sites/blogs and link back to their site, the readers from the high-authority blog will most likely be able to discover your site through the links embedded in your guest posts.
2) Trying guest posting services
Guest posting may not be the biggest priority for companies that are just starting out, since they already have enough to juggle. To find relevant blogs, submit proposals, or create content for guest posting, companies can try guest posting services. This ensures that the process runs smoothly and effective guest posting is achieved. Companies need to find a reliable service from people who know how to do this right. If they don’t, they risk having poor-quality links that can negatively impact the brand’s visibility because of the penalties that search engines are now imposing.
PR agencies like Pressfarm provide guest posting services in addition to creating newsworthy content like email pitches, press releases, guest posts, press kits – all things which companies need to gain visibility in the media as well as among the general public. Beyond creating quality content, Pressfarm goes one step further by helping brands to put this information in front of the right eyes with a multi-pronged distribution strategy. Pressfarm works with startups and companies of various sizes to distribute content on their own channels, publish guest posts on industry blogs and pitch journalists. Finding your ideal media match is made easier with Pressfarm’s extensive PR database with over 75,000 journalists. In addition all clients get personalized media lists built by an account executive, thus helping them to connect with the best journalists in their respective niches. It is important to remember that distribution and guest posting takes time. Hence, companies need to be flexible and be patient if they want to obtain efficient and effective media coverage.
3) Creating high-quality content
Creating high-quality content is one of the most important outcomes of successful guest posting. Most websites have pretty high standards for the content they choose to post on their blogs. Since they already have a good reputation among their readers, they want to maintain the standards they have established. For this reason, they will only publish content that provides value to their readers. When it comes to writing, companies need to think about exciting and unique content and try and write something that can give them long-term benefits. Redundant topics have a very high chance of getting rejected.
4) Consider websites that have published competitor content
While their content should be unique and different from their competition, they should consider looking at websites and blogs that have published guest posting content from competitors. First and foremost, companies need to figure out who their competitors are and post their content to reach out to those websites/blogs. They have a higher chance of getting their content published because the bloggers have already accepted content related to their industry/niche.
5) Track their results
Effective guest posting does not stop once a guest post has gone live. Companies need to gather data after posting and track results after their content has been published. Tracking results help them figure out how much and what kind of traffic they could gain through their guest post. They should also keep track of social shares and conversations to determine whether they should work with the same websites/blogs in the future.
6) Spend some time on the comment section
Rather than just guest posting and moving on, companies should also check whether any readers made comments or asked questions regarding their post. They should take some time responding to any comments and questions made, which will add to their authority as the creator and establish them as the go-to person when people are looking to gain more insight.
Guest posting remains an effective way for companies to gain visibility for their brand. However, it is essential to know which websites/blogs should be pitched to so that companies can reach their target audience while also reaching audiences that they may not have been able to reach without the influence of their target media professional or blogger. High-quality content will continue to be the foundation of effective guest posting, especially with search engines being on higher alert for quality content to enhance SEO. Whether on their own or with the help of guest posting services, companies can create newsworthy content and gain insight into how to achieve visibility for their owned media.