You’re putting great content up on your site regularly and it’s helping drive traffic and leads, but have you ever considered how much more you could do with a blog by having it posted on another website?
Guest blogs are an often underused tool in the “marketing handbook” but they can help you gain name recognition, improve search rankings, and more.
Approaching sites to offer a guest blog post is easier than you may think. In this Guest Post How To Guide, we’ll go over the benefits of offering guest blog posts regularly and how to do it successfully.
Why Should I Offer Guest Posts?
If you’ve ever used Google Ads, you’re most likely familiar with their targeting features when it comes to the Display Network. It allows your ad to appear on various websites to get your message out farther, and you’re able to choose either by topic or specific website which sites would make the most sense.
For example, you’d probably choose a technology related website rather than one about baby furniture for your add about computer repair.
Think of guest blogs as an organic way to do the same type of thing. You’re targeting websites that the leads you’re looking for might visit regularly in order to get your helpful content in front of them and get them to come over to your site.
Taking the time to write content that readers like and incorporate guest posts into your overall marketing strategy can have some significant upsides. Here are several of the benefits.
Great for SEO Backlinks
Quality backlinks have long been a ranking factor in search results. “Quality” meaning from sites with good content and that are not just pages hosting a bunch of links without much else.
Backlinks to your website help in a couple of important ways when it comes to Google search rankings:
- Quantity of Links: The more domains linking to your site, the better. There is a direct correlation between the number of quality websites that backlink to your site and your ranking position. For example, it’s better to have 10 links from 10 different websites than 10 links from 2 different websites.
- Domain Authority: When other quality sites link back to your domain, it enhances your domain authority in Google’s algorithm. For example, if you guest blog on 6 different websites discussing anti-malware tips, and all link back to you, Google will take notice that your domain is an authority on that subject and boost your ranking for related search terms.
Spreading the Word About Your Business
Targeting high traffic sites in your service areas can help you spread the word about your business to people who may not know your company yet. If someone is already on a trusted site and they see a blog from your business there, there will already be a level of trust and familiarity transferred over to you.
Guest blogging is a great way to find audiences that your other marketing may not have reached yet and tap into new lead streams.
Establishes You as an Authority & Builds Trust
When you create great content and share that through guest posts on other websites, it establishes your business as an authority on technology subjects. People may begin to see your company name appearing on more than one site they visit (especially if you’re targeting local sites) and that’s going to increase their trust.
81% of American consumers consider blogs as trusted sources of advice and information.
When you provide helpful content, people are going to trust your company over others when looking for IT services. So, just like online reviews can build trust, so can guest blogs.
Exposure to Targeted Traffic
When you have a guest post hosted on a quality website, you’ll begin to see traffic almost immediately after the blog is posted. Guest posting is faster than SEO at traffic generation and costs a lot less than paid ads, so it’s a “sweet spot” between the two when it comes to traffic generation.
77% of internet users read blogs regularly, so you have an excellent opportunity to tap into targeted traffic that’s already been established by another site, while offering them free content in exchange for the exposure. It’s a Win-Win.
Boost Social Media Shares and Followers
Blogs tie in beautifully to social media strategies. They’re easily sharable and many sites now utilize social share links on their blogs to make it even easier. If your followers have plateaued, guest blogs are a great way to reenergize your social media.
According to LYFE Marketing, customers spend approximately 20%-40% more money with businesses they interact with on social media.
Additionally, social shares can help boost SEO, so social gives you a whole other channel that qualified leads can come from thanks to a guest post on a qualified website.
So, how do you get started with guest blogs for your IT business website?
Read on for the steps to take to start building this area of your content marketing strategy.
How To Build a Guest Post Strategy That Works
People are hungry for good content, which means the door is open to provide guest blogs. Many websites are glad to get the additional help feeding their audience the information they crave and enjoy the connections they make with other businesses.
So, how do you get started?
Here are the steps you’ll want to take to get a guest posting strategy off the ground.
Step 1: Make of List of Sites to Target
To make the most impact with guest posts you’ll want to consider a few factors:
- Site traffic (does the site have enough traffic to make it worth your while?)
- Site relevancy (the post you write should be relevant to that site’s readers)
- Local SEO (can the site help you get local leads?)
You may want to search both for wider reach sites that can help your domain authority (and possibly already have a guest blog program) and sites that are local to your area. This two-pronged approach will help you on both fronts.
When looking for local targets, consider:
- Municipal or community websites (i.e. Chamber of Commerce)
- Non-competing local businesses
When casting a wider net, it helps to first do a search of sites that may already have guest blog programs and then hone those down into relevant sites to your potential leads.
Here’s a trick that can help you find both:
Type: keyword “guest post” (i.e. data recovery “guest post”)
Additionally, you can use the following after your keyword:
- “guest article”
- “contributing writer”
- “submit a blog post”
- “write for us”
- “articles welcome”
You get the idea. What you’re trying to do is find sites that already accept guest blogs that are also in your wheelhouse. You can also use that same search trick on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Another tip for finding sites for potential backlinks through a guest blog is to do a backlink search on one of your competitors. Is there another IT site in your area that keeps out ranking you on Google? Use a tool like Ahrefs to see who they have linking to their site and you may find some targets there.
Step 2: Your Pitch
Once you have your list of target sites to offer a guest post to, you’ll want to do a little more research to see where to send your offer. They might have a specific email for guest posts or you may have to offer it through their main contact form.
Before you pitch them a specific topic, look through their blog to see what types of articles they generally post as well as what’s already been done recently so you don’t duplicate it.
Tailor your pitch to their website, their audience (beginners or more technical?), and where you could add value. For example, if they have 10 blogs in the past year about network security, pitch them something new, like virtual desktops.
It’s also best to make your pitches more generally in nature, for example giving them options between 3-4 topics that you have expertise in. You’ll also slightly vary your pitch depending upon whether it’s a local community website or a larger international technology site.
Here is a pitch example to give you an idea of things to include:
I’ve really enjoyed the information on your website and found it very informative. (You may also add that you’ve been a longtime reader, if you have.)
I’m writing to you because I would love to contribute a guest post on (name of their website) and feel it could be helpful and insightful for your visitors.
I have over (x) years in the IT industry hands on working with businesses (and/or residential customers), and I believe your readers would see a lot of value in topics such as:
- Windows/Office 365 Tips
- Smart Home Networking
- Cloud Office Technologies
- (Tailor this area as general or detailed as you like)
If sending to a local site, include something like:
As a long time (city) resident, I make a point of supporting my local community. I feel that my post may be particularly well-suited to your site because of our local connection.
I can ensure that the piece is original to your site and would also appreciate any suggestions for IT-related content that you feel would be a good fit.
You can get an idea of the quality that my guest blog will bring to your site by reviewing our own posts here: (link to your blogs).
Step 3: Write Your Guest Post (or Have it Written)
Once you get the okay back from your email pitch, you’re good to go for contributing content.
Some things to remember:
- You want the post to be educational not a spammy sales pitch
- If they haven’t already told you, ask them if they have a length in mind (800-1000 words is pretty typical)
- Make sure you include a backlink to your website, and if possible, on a pertinent keyword as the anchor text
- Include your byline (name, title, company name)
You’re also going to want to make it timely. If they haven’t given you any particular deadline for needing the post, it’s still good to have it back to them within a week. If you let too much time go by, they may have completely forgotten about you.
Your earlier research of their site can guide you as to the audience you’re writing for and how technical or “plain language” to make the article.
It’s pretty standard to send it over in MS Word format, unless they’ve requested something different and make sure to PROOF READ your work. If possible, get someone else from your team to proof for typos, because it’s not always easy to proof your own writing.
If you’re a Tech Blog Builder customer that has a 2 or 4 blog a month subscription, you could easily use one or more of those blogs to have a guest post created for you to send (just give us the topic and website to write it for).
Step 4: Follow Up & Relationship Building
Once you’ve gotten your blog posted you want to capitalize on that in a number of ways, including promotion through your own marketing and relationship building with both the site’s commenters and the site owner.
Follow up steps to take once you’ve guest posted:
- Promote the guest post link on your social media/newsletter, etc.
- Watch for any comments on the blog and respond promptly
- Send a thank you to the site owner, let them know you’ve promoted the link that you’ll be happy to work with them again in the future
As you build up guest blog posts, you can also include those links in your pitch emails to keep the momentum going.
Sharing Your Tech Knowledge is a Win-Win
Guest blogs make it a win-win to share your knowledge through a post with another site. Not only does it bring you more traffic and boost search rankings, it also builds your brand reputation.
Have you been a guest blogger before? Share your experience in the comments!