Business owners are always on the lookout for marketing and PR strategies that can boost their reputation and brand visibility without costing too much in terms of time or money. Most of the time, more effective strategies end up costing additional time and/or money, but there’s at least one tactic with a ridiculously impressive cost-to-benefit ratio: guest blogging.
What exactly is guest blogging, and how can it benefit your business?
What Is Guest Blogging?
Let’s start with a basic explanation of guest blogging. Blogging, of course, is the act of writing “blog” posts regularly—in other words, written articles on the internet. Guest blogging is the act of writing a blog post for an external publisher; you’re acting as a “guest” contributor on their site, providing material for their readers.
Guest blogging can be executed in a number of different ways. You might make individual pitches to external publishers whenever you have an idea their readers may like. You might have a recurring role as a weekly or monthly contributor for a specific publisher. Or you might work to increase your visibility and reputation by working with bigger and more reputable publishers over time.
The Benefits of Guest Blogging
However you approach guest blogging, it has a number of benefits for you and your business:
1. Low costs
First, it costs almost nothing to start a guest blogging campaign. You don’t have to pay anything to pitch an article to an external publisher; in fact, most will be more than happy to take contributions, assuming they’re valuable for their readership. The only thing you’ll need to pay is the time it takes to write the articles. Of course, you can outsource this writing, but even then, guest blogging is relatively cheap compared to other marketing strategies.
2. Brand visibility
Posting on external sites is an easy way to improve your brand visibility. You’ll likely have a guest author profile set up, which will introduce people to your personal brand, and you can introduce readers to your company in your biography. Depending on your relationship, you might even be able to mention your brand in the body of your work. With major publishers, this can be a massive boon for your brand reach.
3. Link building opportunities
Many guest authors seek out new publications as link building opportunities. The more links you have, and the higher authority those links are, the more your own site’s domain authority will grow. Higher domain authority means higher rankings in Google search results. The catch is, you can’t spam links or build them unnaturally—but guest blogging gives you the perfect opportunity to build links naturally.
4. Reputation improvement
Guest blogging is a great way to improve your reputation as an expert. If you’re consistently writing about topics relevant to your industry and your business, it’s only a matter of time before you become widely recognized as a thought leader in this space. That could mean having an easier time closing sales, or building trust with your existing clients.
5. Relationship and networking benefits
Writing for external publishers introduces you to a wide circle of editors, writers, and influencers. If you spend enough time fleshing out your portfolio and building new relationships, you can reap the networking benefits of this strategy as well.
6. Social media development
Guest authorship is a perfect gateway to social media development. Whenever you create a new post, you can broadcast it on social media, increasing the visibility of your work and potentially attracting more people to your following. Over time, you can attract readers from a wide variety of publications, and nurture your audience to grow even further.
7. Engagement and discussion
Writing guest blogs also provides you with an opportunity to engage with your readers directly, and host discussions about topics that are important to you. Depending on the topic, this could be a way to get more visibility, learn more about a topic, or get a feel for what your target demographics really think.
8. Long-term growth possibilities
Guest authorship is highly scalable and offers many avenues for growth. Over time, you can get published in bigger, more visible publishers, and become a better author in the meantime.
If you’re interested in getting started with guest blogging, the best approach is to build a strong blog of your own. You can build it on your business’s website, or start a separate website of your own. With a powerful foundation of high-quality content, you’ll have a much easier time making your case as a guest author to external publishers.
Reach out to publishers related to your niche, and make specific pitches for articles you think would be beneficial to their target audience. Start with low-authority publishers to build your reputation, and gradually work your way to more authoritative sites.