Public relations is all about developing relationships, creating exposure, establishing authority, and boosting your brand’s online visibility. Guest posting is part of any effective marketing strategy and a form of earned media that you should consider using for your company. The concept is quite simple; you need to write a blog article according to the blogger’s requirements and get a backlink to your site in return.
What is a guest post, and why use it?
Guest posting is an effective strategy to establish a relationship with bloggers and media influencers that plan to host your blog post. It may also help gain a larger audience for additional exposure. You are also able to establish authority within your audience and theirs. Ultimately, bloggers are interested in publishing high-quality content from their blogs to attract new readers and retain their current ones. This makes guest posting a win-win situation for both website owners and bloggers because both parties want to achieve higher rankings in search engines and attract more readers.
There has been speculation about the longevity of this inbound marketing strategy, but guest posting is still one of the best ways to get an audience and drive traffic to your site. Through guest posting and getting to know the right audience, you might even indirectly increase your social media influence. You can think of guest posting as a strategy to pitch to an existing community. If you add value to their reading experience, then they will visit your site to check out your other content.
An important concept to remember is that one needs to be adamant about the inclusion of a link to your blog site when you post on another person’s page. Whether it is embedded in the text or included in the author’s bio, generating these links is the primary goal of guest blogging.
What is earned media?
Marketers know that companies need to have the right combination of paid, owned, and earned media to have an effective media campaign. Each form of media plays a different role to get the same result. Earned media is pretty much what it sounds like; it is any form of media that is generated when people start talking about a company or brand. It is the most trusted form of advertising for companies out there.
There are various types of earned media, and a lot of it relies on media outlets and customers getting the word out there. A variety of earned media builds up when brands pay bloggers or offer products in exchange for reviews. If bloggers love the product, they will write a review or create a video review without compensation.
Shares, likes, comments, or retweets that any post gets are all types of earned media. These are all practical organic approaches for people to see content and find out what a brand has to offer. Once they have this information, they will be willing to promote the brand to their friends. Press mentions are another type of earned media. Earned media occurs any time a media outlet mentions the brand in a news story, magazine article, TV, or radio show.
Organic search result ranking is another form of earned media. To be considered earned media, the content needs to achieve a high ranking in search results organically and not be obtained by paying for prominent placement.
Creating a guest post strategy for your startups
There are a few steps that you need to take when creating a compelling guest post strategy. One of the first things a content marketer does is figure out their guest blogging goals. You can figure out the best blogs to submit your guest posts to by identifying the purpose ahead of time. The main reasons behind guest posting are positioning the company as an authority in the industry, getting exposure back to their website, and building backlinks to the website.
From there, you need to find guest posting opportunities. The main goal is to find sites that are relevant to your niche or industry. The things for consideration are that the blog focuses on the niche, the blog readers are interested in the industry, the blog has an engaged readership, and the blog owner is active on social media. There are many ways to find the ideal blog, but search engines are the best bet. Keyword searches are the best way to find blogs, and the searches should lead companies 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, and more.
Pitching your guest posts
Once you have found the most appropriate blogs to write for, you need to start sending email pitches to each one. It would be ideal to have some familiarity with the sites you’re pitching to. You also need to understand their writing style, who their audience is, and the topics they have already covered. As a guest poster, you will have a greater chance of success if the blogger has some idea of who you are.
Make each of your pitches personal and exciting, and you will have more luck. Keep in mind that this is a numbers game, and it is ok to get rejections because you will find someone eventually. Your email should be short and to the point and sum up your post in a paragraph or less.
When you start writing the actual blog post, you need to choose something that you are qualified to write. That does not mean that as a guest post writer you are an expert on the topic. However, you need to have some prior knowledge of it, and you need to add a bit of research to make a good blog post.
Some other ways that you can effectively implement guesting posting to get the proper benefits include:
- Trying guest posting services
- Targeting websites with a high domain authority
- Creating high-quality content
- Considering websites that publish your competitor’s guest posts
- Tracking your results
- Spending some time in the comments section
Try guest posting services
As a startup focusing on content marketing, there are many things that you need to think about, and guest posting may not be the biggest priority at the time. That is why guest posting services were created. They handle those things for you. This way, you don’t have to go through the process of finding relevant blogs, submitting proposals, or creating content when you need to focus on other things. All you have to do is compensate the website and make sure that everything is going smoothly. You need to find a reliable service. After all, poor-quality links can negatively impact your website because of the penalties that search engines may impose.
Targeting websites with a high domain authority
It is more effective to choose websites with a high domain authority because they already have many followers who read their blogs. They also have an established brand in their niche. If you do manage to post content that links to your site, the readers from that blog would most likely be able to discover your site.
Creating high-quality content
Well-written content is a hallmark of successful guest posting. Most websites have pretty high standards for the content they choose to post on their blogs. They already have quite a good reputation, and they want to maintain what they have established. When it comes to writing content, one needs to think of something exciting and unique and try and write something that can give you long-term benefits. Something to remember is that redundant topics have a very high chance of getting rejected.
Consider websites that publish your competitor’s guest posts
Figure out who your competitors are, and if they are using guest posting strategies, you should research where they are posting their content. You have a higher chance of getting content published because they have already accepted your competitors’ content.
Track your results
Once your guest post goes live, that is just the start. It is essential to gather data after the posting and track the results after your content is published. As a content writer, you need to figure out how much and what kind of traffic the site receives. It is essential to keep track of social shares and conversations, and this information can help you determine what websites you can work with again in the future.
Spend some time in the comments section
Rather than moving on to your next target website, you should check in from time to time to see if any readers made comments or asked questions. You should take the time to respond to the comments so that you can boost your authority as the creator of the post. Content writers can also establish themselves as the go-to person for readers to gain more insight.
Guest posting for backlink building
The first rule of guest posting for backlinks: DO NOT USE GUEST POSTING FOR BACKLINKS.
Successful guest blogging has never been backlink focused. The whole point is to build brand authority and earn readership. Any backlinks you receive are just incidental. If you approach guest blogging for the backlinks alone, you will probably end up with low-quality content.
Make sure that you have a viable brand. Your sites, your design, authority signals, content, domain, and focus, will impact whether your guest posts get accepted. Most high-quality blogs and editors will not want to link to sites filled with low-quality content, no matter how great the guest post is. Your brand should include:
- A clean, modern design and logo
- Social signals; Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Facebook
- Trust signals such as mentions in authority publications, testimonials, etc.
- Relevant, high-quality content
- About us, contact, legal pages, and more.
To continue guest posting on top publications, you need to have at least one high-quality guest post published on a reputed site. You need to give editors an example of your writing style and quality. If you have not guest posted before, you should write a great post and publish it on a known site dedicated to your niche area.
To start a guest blogging campaign, you need to start with a list of guest posting targets. You can find these opportunities; the Google search method, the influencer method, the competitor backlinks method, the Buzzsumo method.
Create a media list for guest blogging
After implementing those methods, you will have quite a list of dozens of guest blogging targets. You will have the right mix between high-authority sites and low-grade blogs. From the list, you need to figure out:
- Domain-level metrics: Domain Authority/Rating, referring domains, backlinks
- Content quality: Go through a few blogs to see what kind of content they usually post. It is best to go for high-quality sites.
- Profile location: Does the site give guest authors a visible profile above the fold or bury the profile at the end of the article?
- Engagement: How many shares does a typical post have? A highly engaged audience is a good sign.
- Content relevance: Does the site post regular content about your niche? And what is the typical engagement level for such topics?
- Guest authors: Check what kind of guest authors the site has hosted before and whether they come from authority sites or spammers.
Once you have created an initial target list, you can start approaching guest post targets by finding email addresses and building relationships. You can use tools like Pressfarm to find media outlets to email. An essential part of all PR campaigns is building relationships or registering your name on their radars. It is necessary to maintain regular communication for the future and additional opportunities.
Generate guest post ideas
From there, you will have to come up with guest post ideas. It would help if you built your thoughts around what is already known to work on their blog and understand that your target blogs need additional readers, and when you send them some topic ideas that have worked in the past, they will be more likely to give you a guest post spot. It is also essential to keep the audience’s expertise level in mind, and since one of your objectives is to build backlinks, you should try to pick up ideas that align with your site.
The general next step is to pitch to blogs and media outlets about your idea and see if they will take it. Cold email pitching an effective way to go about doing this. Once you have an approved concept, you can start creating the content by focusing on readability, including custom images, and getting contextual backlinks.
Guest blogging purely to build backlinks is not viable. Even so, it can result in some beneficial backlinks when used as part of a broader marketing strategy. This is true even if you publish a small volume of guest posts on authority sites. As a result, you will be able to see a noticeable boost in your traffic and rankings.
Guest posting email templates
As mentioned before, cold email pitches can be quite an effective way to get your guest post request accepted. Here are some templates that you can take a look at to reach your goals.
#1 – Template 1
From the email, you should let them know that you aren’t just a random person looking for a guest posting opportunity. Rather, you are a regular reader of their blog. Build a relationship with them and possibly showcase some of your achievements and guest posts on other popular websites.
I’ve been an avid reader of [Blog site] for quite some time now – and I enjoy reading your blog regularly.
I’ve been researching an idea for a blog post about [Blog Post Title] – and I thought that this could be an outstanding contribution to your readership.
The basic synopsis of the post that I’m writing is…
[Bullet List / Paragraph Summary of the Post]
I’ve also published several well-researched guest posts on some big blogs like [Blog Title 1], [Blog Title 2], and [Blog Title 3] – which I have linked below:
What are your initial thoughts about some of these topic ideas? I would love to send you a draft for your review.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
#2- Template 2
Try and keep your emails short and to the point because nobody likes to read long and tedious emails when they probably get hundreds and thousands every day.
I know that you probably receive a ton of emails every day from the readers of your blog [website name]. So, I’ll keep it short and simple…
I see that you publish some great content about the topics like [Guest Post Topic 1.] and [Guest Post Topic 2]. I am currently writing a well-researched blog post on the Topic [Blog Post Title], which might be a great addition to your website.
Here are the links to a few latest blog posts:
[Guest Post Link #1]
[Guest Post Link #2]
Would you mind if I send you the draft to publish on your blog site?
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks and Regards,
#3 – Template 3
Sometimes, telling bloggers that you randomly stumbled on their website while researching can work. You can also add a list of a few topics you can write articles about.
I researched [Topic Name] this afternoon and stumbled upon your site [Website Name] – a great collection of high-quality articles.
I am reaching out to you to contribute a high-quality post to your blog. Below are the topics on which I can write a well-researched post:
[Guest Post Topic 1. ]
[Guest Post Topic 2 ]
[Guest Post Topic 3. ]
I look forward to hearing from you on one of the topics above. I’d be sending you an initial draft as soon as possible if you think it makes sense.
How Pressfarm can boost your guest posting efforts
Do you need help creating engaging guest posts so that you’re free to focus on product development? Guest posting is actually one of the many services that PR agencies like Pressfarm can provide. Pressfarm also offers other PR services. These include online press release creation and distribution, press kit creation, and access to an extensive PR database. The experts at Pressfarm have helped thousands of companies to increase visibility across major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. This team can help with all your content creation needs, in addition to providing top tips for PR, online visibility, and more. They also have a powerful, filter-based search engine that can help you scan their media database of over 1 million contacts to find the ideal media match for your startup and target audience. Whatever your PR needs may be, Pressfarm is there to guide you every step of the way.