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A Guide to Guest Blogging

If you are an avid blogger or are considering becoming a blogger, you may have come across the term: guest post. Another term that is commonly used is guest blogging. This is basically the act of publishing articles on websites that are not your own. There are many reasons for getting into guest posting, but the up-and-coming blogger should be aware of a few things. Guest posting is not a task that is easily crossed off a to-do list. It takes effort, planning, and careful execution. This article is meant to help you both understand what guest posting is, and how to properly execute a guest posting plan.

guest posts

What is Guest Blogging?

When you go onto a popular website chock-full of articles and essays, chances are that a lot of those were written by guest bloggers. There is a reason for that. The site owner is not just lazy, nor do they not want to hire their own writers. There is a method behind guest posting, and a lot of these site owners actually seek to draw in guest bloggers. 

Guest blogging is the process of writing and publishing articles on a website other than your own. The article could be considered a review piece, an essay, or any form of writing really. The length varies depending on the publishing site, as of course does the content. In many cases, however, the writer of the article does not get paid for their work. So, you may be thinking, why on earth would you write a guest post in the first place? Well, there is a method behind the supposed “madness.”

Benefits for Site Owner

The benefits for the site owner, or the “host”, primarily revolve around boosting their own content and establishing dominance in their own industry. By creating an environment that attracts quality guest bloggers, a host also sets themself up to bring in quality guest posts. With engaging content from exciting writers, more readers will be attracted to their sites. The more visitors they get to their sites, the more they will be seen as a leader in their industry. Of course, hosts need to be careful who they let write for their sites.

Most guest bloggers need to have at least some kind of experience in the host’s industry. Or better yet, be an expert in their field. The more renowned the guest blogger is, the more the host will be seen as a leader in the industry. In addition, bloggers seek to perfect the SEO of their articles. With quality articles that also have quality SEO on your site, you are sure to come up high in search engine rankings. Bottom line: guest posting helps hosts establish themselves as industry leaders.

Benefits for Guest Blogger

The benefits for the blogger are actually somewhat similar to that of the host. Bloggers are looking to establish themselves as experts in their fields and to get traffic back to their own sites. By publishing work on other sites, they are essentially being given free advertising space for their sites. These free advertising spaces help extend the reach and popularity of these guest bloggers. They will reach a larger audience and build a bigger following through this type of work. Additionally, it gives you places to backlink to your own webpage. Finally, guest blogging can be a great way to build relationships with other experts in your field. This is partially because to begin guest blogging, you need to know people. By building these relationships, you can get your foot in the door with bigger hosts, build your own rapport, and increase traffic back to your own site.

how to guest blog

How to Guest Blog

Over the past several years, guest posting has become a rather difficult club to get into. Many say that the hardest aspect of guest posting is simply starting. Like trying to pedal uphill with a bike in high gear, it may feel like you are exhausting all of your energy trying to get to a place that you will never reach. It is difficult to attain regular guest posting jobs with just hard work. Instead, you need to learn how to work the system so you aren’t exhausting yourself. Here are a series of steps to take to ensure you are working smarter and not harder:

  • Pick Your Industry – Don’t be wishy-washy about your industry. Find something that you are knowledgeable about, passionate about, and would enjoy writing and researching.
  • Build Rapport Through Round-Up Posts – The next step is to begin building relationships with guest bloggers and other experts in your industry. You do this through the use of roundup posts. After a series of roundup posts, you will have enough authority from interactions with bloggers and experts to pitch a guest post.
  • Find a Site to Post To – To find a site to post on, go onto Google and type in “(a keyword from your industry) ‘guest post.’” 
  • Plan Your First Post – Once you have some authority under your belt, you need to go about your first post very carefully. Imagine it like a first impression on the experts in your industry. Make sure it is on a site with high domain authority, it is written well, and it is on a topic that is relevant to the readers of the site you are pitching to.

guest blogging

Crafting the Perfect Guest Post

As with all writing, you want to make sure that your work is readable and informative, but also entertaining and engaging. If your work is sloppy and boring, you likely won’t get to write many more guest posts. Therefore, each guest post must be fine-tuned, well-edited, and represent your best work. Below are some tips for writing a good guest post:

Give Thought to Topic Selection

This ties in largely with pitching a post to a host, but it can’t be overstated. You shouldn’t just write about something that is interesting to you. You need to find out what the host’s audience is reading, and pick a topic based on that. If the host site has a section for popular articles, go there and a pattern to base your topic on. Be creative, but be smart.

Write for the Host’s Audience

Remember that a guest post is meant to be enjoyed by an audience. If they don’t enjoy it, then it won’t be read and your work will have been for nothing. Keep your audience in mind and write for them.

Align With the Host’s Brand and Format

This requires you to do a bit of research on the host site and their published content. Pay special attention to patterns you find in tone and format. If the site’s articles are 750 words with three sections, then you should format your guest post the same way. If the tone of the articles tends to be casual with a hint of humor, then aim for that same tone in your own writing.

guest post

Make Your Byline Perfect

This should be the only aspect of the article that is actually about you. Your byline is really the only piece of information that the audience will learn about you. So, make sure that the piece of information you use will resonate with the audience. This ties back into writing for your audience because you need to consider what they will be impressed by. Will they appreciate an achievement or your level of education? Pick whatever you think will motivate them to click on the link that sends them to your landing page.

Practice Good SEO

This will benefit both you and your host. SEO will increase the likelihood of your article appearing higher in search results, leading to increased traffic to your article and, in turn, to your landing page. Good SEO practices are not difficult to learn, and will benefit you as a blogger more than almost anything else.

Should You Start Guest Blogging?

Guest posting is a great way for bloggers to build relationships, increase traffic, and network with experts in their field. It proves to be a great boon to the hosts as experts help them become a leader in their industry. It also provides a way for bloggers and writers to become recognized themselves, and to increase traffic back to their own sites. If you are looking to write a guest post or two, just remember a few things: beginning is the hardest part. Build relationships through roundup posting to get your foot in the door, and then really deliver when you get your first few jobs. Finally, learn to craft your guest posts for your intended audience. If you have more questions concerning guest posting, reach out to our team at SEO Design Chicago for a free consultation.

FAQs:

  • How can I find guest posting opportunities?
  • What is a guest post?
  • How do I start guest posting?
  • Why should I do guest blogging?
  • How do I write a good guest post?

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