Guest blogging is one of those most useful and multi-faceted marketing strategies that you can use even if you are a blogging newbie. It is an incredible way to grow your blog audience even further than what you could do on your own.
One of my favorite quotes explains it all – “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Guest blogging is just that, it’s a collaboration where you can join forces and even create meaningful relationships in your niche.
Social media is amazing for building your blog audience, but guest blogging has the potential to take things to new heights. Guest blogging will not only grow your blog audience, but will allow your blog to be seen by so many more new eyes. You can also use guest blogging as a way to grow your email list, which I will be going further into that later in this post.
In the first 2 posts in this 3 part series, I covered how to utilize Instagram and Pinterest to grow your blog traffic and promote your posts. In this last post, I will be covering why guest blogging is helpful to optimizing your growth, how to find the right opportunities, use guest blogging to grow your email list, and how to prepare a genuine guest pitch that has no chance of getting overlooked.
How to Grow Your Blog Audience with Guest Blogging
Guest blogging should be a win-win for everyone involved. It’s a win for you because you are able to get your writing in front of new, interested readers and in turn growing your blog audience. It benefits the host blog you are writing for because you are giving them valuable content for their own readers while building new relationships in your niche. And it benefits the readers as they are introduced to someone brilliant, new, and relevant – YOU!
Guest blogging is an important tool to use when you are first starting out in the blogging world because it can be a way for you to position yourself as an authority / expert in your niche or genre. You can also use guest blogging to get exposure and quality traffic back to your blog. Building backlinks to your blog is also beneficial for SEO, especially when you write for a blog that’s been around for a while.
Before you jump head first into the world of guest blogging, try to think about your own blogging goals. Do you want to grow your blog audience, social media channels, build more trust and credibility, and/or build relationships with influencers in your niche? Guest blogging can be time-consuming so you want to make sure it is mutually beneficial for everyone involved.
Finding the right blogs to grow your audience
With proper research and planning you can truly pick the most uniquely valuable host blogs to enhance your own audience and grow your blog traffic like a pro. Finding the right blogs and opportunities is where the magic happens. Not every single blog will be right for you, so choose wisely and make it worth your time. You want to make sure that you find the right blogs in your niche that will benefit your audience as well as benefiting the host blog’s audience as well.
I recommend doing some research to know exactly who your own audience is so you can know exactly what type of content your audience needs and what blogs your audience reads. It all starts from knowing who you are trying to attract and learning about them on a deep level. Do a proper audit of who they are and where they hang out online so you can meet them where they already are.
If you don’t have an audience yet, then imagine who they would be. I you’re going to grow your blog audience, you want to know who you are looking for. Who are you on a mission to reach? What is the person like that would read your blog? Get specific here as this will get you closer to understanding your audience. It is easier to imagine one person (your ideal reader) than many people together as your audience.
From there, get completely familiar with the blogs you believe your ideal reader is hanging out on. Find out if the content is focused in your mutual direction. Make sure there is some content and topic overlap between your blog and the host’s blog.
Some questions you can ask yourself while you are doing the research on potential blogs you can write for are:
- Will the audience of the blog be interested in your zone of genius?
- Does the blog have engaged followers on their blog and social media outlets?
- Is the content focused enough to benefit both the reader, host blog, and you? Make sure it has the potential to benefit everyone involved.
- Lastly, do they have other guest bloggers on their blog? Look through their posts and see if they fall under the same genre or niche as you. How different or similar are they to you?
This research will not only be great for you to see if it is a right fit but also help you in the pitching process which I will be covering soon.
Write and submit guest post that make you stand out
There’s no fun in filling in a post for the sake of getting your article published somewhere reputable. In order to make it worth everyone’s time, put in as much effort (or even more) than you would on your own blog posts.
This is your time to shine and make an impression not only on the host of the blog, but potential readers who can become part of your blog community. Be sure to make a post that stands out among the others. Put in the time, research, and love that is needed to create valuable content that your ideal reader needs to read.
There’s a balance between creating content that is right for the host blog’s audience while staying true to your own voice. You can adjust to their needs while letting your own perspective shine through. Make sure both the host blog’s needs and your voice align in the same direction.
Every post you post on your own blog or doing a guest post gives valuable experience and practice. Start where you are at and your unique voice will develop over time. It’s an incredible thing to see when you’ve been blogging for awhile and you can look back at how far your posts have come over time and how much your efforts have helped to grow your blog audience. Keep valuable content with heart and purpose – it will pay off and stand out along the way.
Crafting a guest blog pitch that won’t be ignored
I’m sure you have a good idea by now who you absolutely would swoon over if you had the opportunity to guest blog for them. Does fear creep into your mind when you think about pitching them a fabulous post idea? Do you wonder if they would even read your email?
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us but the reality of the situation is that you don’t need to be an extremely well known blogger to be accepted to guest blog on a reputable blog in your niche. A genuine, not copy and pasted pitch can go a long way.
No one likes getting those over the top, formal, pitchy emails. The best place for those are in the trash so be sure you really understand how to approach potential host blogs. The best part about it is that you don’t need some lengthy, crazy email either. No one has time to read those anyways. Most importantly, please don’t sound like a robot.
I hope that through the research you’ve done for potential blogs that you have become well-versed in the host’s blog. If not, stick around for a bit – follow them on social media, subscribe to their email list, read through their old and new blogs posts, and especially read other guest blogs they have. By doing this, you can approach your pitch from a genuine, interested perspective. Be aware of what is going on in their world so you can show them you’re not blindly throwing pitch emails around.
Once you’ve become well-versed in their world, approach them with a specific idea. Do not email a pitch to brainstorm ideas. No one has time for that. Come up with a clear idea of what you think will be valuable to their audience. If it fits well, offer to provide a freebie or content upgrade for their audience as well. We’ll talk about how these can help build your email list later in this post.
Another goal you may have in the wild world of guest blogging is to build relationships with influencers and like-minded bloggers in your industry. Guest blogging is an amazing way to build these relationships. Your chances of having your pitch noticed is much higher when you have already built a genuine relationship with the host blogger. This will pave the way for a more natural and easier connection. And who knows – you could become a regular contributor to their blog from simply building an authentic connection, rather than just submitting a pitch blindly.
Also be aware of the host’s rules as some blogs have pitching rules and guidelines. Be sure you do a thorough look through their site for any guides they have on guest blogging and pitching.
How to use guest blogging to grow your email list
I’m sure you’ve heard an email list is one of your most important assets of your online business or blog. The best thing about guest blogging is that you can use it to super speed your list growth and get new, interested subscribers to help grow your blog.
The magic here is creating a content upgrade or freebie that your blog host can put in your post that will then link to sign up for your email list to receive it. A content upgrade can be a mini ebook, checklist, or worksheet that takes the readers deeper into your post topic. Be sure to create this with the utmost intention and purpose. Don’t create this content upgrade for the sake of adding one in there. This is about building trust with your new readers and you don’t want to let them down as a first impression.
Here’s an example of a freebie used on FounderU:
Be sure to make this content upgrade completely relevant to your post. It should be a easy and more in depth transition into your post topic. I know at times we can get so excited by the idea of creating it that we lose focus on the connection it has to the post itself. And of course, make sure it links to your email subscription. Test your link a couple times to be sure you’re not missing out on any new subscribers here.
It’s always a good idea to check in with the host blog to make sure that providing a content upgrade and a link to sign up to your email list is allowed. Every blog has different rules so be mindful of this.
Keep posting on your own blog consistently
By now, I know I have you convinced that guest blogging is an important tool to grow your blog audience. With this said, be sure to not get too focused on guest blogging that you neglect your own blog. Guest blogging is an added tool, but always keep your eye on the prize which is building your own blog up.
You want to make sure that when you get all those new eyes on your blog that they have something consistent and valuable to read and look through. Consistency is key in both blogging and promoting your posts. Don’t let your blog become a ghost town because you’ve been focusing all your energy on other people’s blogs.
In this post, I covered how to find potential host blogs to submit guest blogs to, but instead of searching for the opportunities, they can find you as well. If you can build your own momentum with your blog and audience, blogs may reach out to you for guest blogging opportunities. This is another key reason why it’s important to maintain your own blog and continually grow your blog audience.
Keep up the incredible work on your own blog and before you know you’ll have a dozen opportunities knocking at your door or inbox. Guest blogging is a valuable tool you can add to your growth strategy toolbox.