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. This is achieved 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 your audience, you can also boost your social media presence.
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 together can write a guest post. However, only a few talented people 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 their 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 you need to do is figure out what your guest posting goals are. You can identify the best blogs to submit your guest posts to by understanding your goals before pitching your guest post idea. Usually, the primary goal behind guest posting is positioning the company as an authority in the industry, driving traffic back to your website, and building backlinks to the website.
The second step is to find your ideal guest posting opportunities through sites and blogs relevant to your niche or industry. Things that you need to consider include: whether the content on the site/blog is focused on your niche, whether the readers are interested in the topics related to the industry, if the blog has an engaged readership, and whether the blogger/media professionals also have other channels that they use to communicate with their audience. There are many ways to find the ideal blog for your content. However, keyword searches remain one of the best ways to find blogs. This type of search should ideally lead you to a blog’s guest post guidelines page, a submission page, or actual guest posts written by people. Other ways to search include looking for prolific guest bloggers, searching for competitor backlinks, social searches, etc.
PR and Media Outreach
The third step of a guest posting strategy is to do PR and media outreach by sending email pitches to your chosen bloggers and media professionals. Before you do so, you need to familiarize yourself with the site you want to pitch to. You can do this by understanding the blogger’s writing style, who their audience is, and what topics they have previously covered. You will have a greater chance of success if you send a personalized email pitch and start developing relationships with the bloggers and journalists on their list. When you write your initial pitch, each pitch you 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 deleting the email. Finally, when you start writing the actual guest post, you need to make sure that you have the right person creating your content. Make sure you assign this important responsibility to someone with good copyediting skills. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in the industry. Even so, they should have some prior knowledge and they should have done the appropriate amount of research to craft a high-authority, informative guest post.
Other ways that you 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 your competitors’ content
- Tracking your results
- Spending time in comment sections
1) Targeting websites with high domain authorities
It is a lot more practical to target websites and blogs that already have a high domain authority because they already have a loyal following of readers. These blogs already have an established brand in their niche. If you can post content on those sites/blogs and link back to your 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. After all, they already have enough to juggle. To find relevant blogs, submit proposals, or create content for guest posting, you can try guest posting services. This ensures that the process runs smoothly and effective guest posting is achieved. You need to find a reliable service from people who know how to do this right. If you don’t do this, you 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, and press kits. 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 1 million journalists. In addition, all clients get personalized media lists built by an account executive. These contacts help them to connect with the best journalists in their respective niches.
It is important to remember that distribution and guest posting takes time. Hence, you need to be flexible and be patient if you 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, you need to think about exciting and unique content. Try and write something that can give you long-term benefits. Redundant topics have a very high chance of getting rejected.
4) Consider websites that have published competitor content
While your content should be unique and different from your competition, you should also consider looking at websites and blogs that have published guest posts from competitors. First and foremost, you need to figure out who your competitors are. Once you’ve done this, you should pitch your content to those websites/blogs that have covered your competitors. You will have a higher chance of getting your content published on these platforms because the bloggers have already accepted content related to your industry/niche.
5) Track your results
Effective guest posting does not stop once a guest post has gone live. You need to gather data after posting and track results after your content has been published. Tracking results helps you figure out how much and what kind of traffic you could gain through your guest post. You should also keep track of social shares and conversations to determine whether you should work with the same websites/blogs in the future.
6) Spend some time in the comments section
Rather than just guest posting and moving on, you should also check whether any readers made comments or asked questions regarding your post. You should take some time to respond to any comments and questions. This will boost your authority as the creator and establish you 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 you should pitch so that you can reach your target audience. With the right strategy, you could also reach audiences that you may not have been able to reach without the influence of the target media professional or blogger. High-quality content is the foundation of effective guest posting. This is especially the case now that search engines are on high alert for quality content to enhance SEO. Whether on your own or with the help of guest posting services, you can create newsworthy content and gain insight into how to achieve visibility for your owned media.