Guest Blogging: strategy, tactic, toolkit

With every new update of the search algorithm Google makes the task of web site promotion more and more difficult, constantly changing the rules of engagement. First of all engineers of the Google company pay their attention to the external links, because these links are the most powerful weapon in the fight for a higher place in the tops of search engines.

Links of the catalogs of the mediocre quality, links from the articles in catalogs, links, obtained by exchange lost their influence, and many other methods stopped working too. Under the current circumstances you particularly want to have a reliable link framework and here arises the question – how, without a large investment, can you get natural links that will be valued by search engines in the short and long term?

One of the most attractive ways to get these links is guest blogging.

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What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging – it’s creation of a unique useful content in order to place it on the major news hubs. Usually guest blogging goals are:

• to increase brand recognition

• to receive targeted traffic from other sites

• to receive leads

• to receive links and to increase traffic from search engines.

It is important to understand that the guest blogging – is often not a one time attack, but an ongoing process. The task of guest posting is to continuously and systematically receive publications on high-quality third-party sites, thus achieving the recognition of authors of publications and of the promoted sites. With this approach guest blogging gives the best results.

What does the process of guest blogging consist of?

Let’s review the most important stages of creating a guest blog.

Collection of potential sites for hosting a guest post.

I always recommend to start the work with defining the sites where hosting is planned. The easiest way to keep track of sites for guest blogging is Excel (see the example on the screenshot).

Choosing places for guest posting is the most routine part of work. How to find places for post hosting?

1.            Google Search. With the help of special operators you can significantly expand the scopes of your search. Here is a perfect article by Ann Smarty on the topic of search of possibilities for guest post creation with the help of Google.

2.            Use of communities for guest posting. The most important communities: 

  • http://myblogguest.com/
  • http://postrunner.com/
  • https://www.guestbloggenius.com/
  • http://www.guestblogit.com/
  • http://www.bloggerlinkup.com/
  • http://guestr.com/
  • http://www.postjoint.com/
  • http://www.blogdash.com/ 

Contact with site editors (bloggers)

The process of placing the post is much like a normal sale. You need to “sell” the guest blogger your post in order to get the placement. Moreover, this sale will be cold, the so called «cold calling».

I recommend to study the material of the personal site of Jill Konrath, dedicated to active sales. Especially her excellent guide «The Ultimate Guide to Email Prospecting». You can download it here.

According to Jill’s conception, in cold sales through email messages it is important to bear the concept of SNAP:

The key, in my opinion, Jill’s tips on writing the first letter:

The length of the letter – no more than 90 words.

Appearance – plaintext, only black text on a white background.

Links – no more than one link in the email.

Attachments – no investment in the first letter.

Literacy test – print out the letter before sending.

Subject – good examples: «Sally Smith suggested I get in touch with you», «Quick question about next month’s conversion-rate goal».

For the guest blogging you can try such variants

«Question about Blog Name editorial calendar» or «Ideas for Blog Name upcoming posts».

Sample of a good selling letter from the Jill’s book with explanations:

For more information on how to communicate with guest bloggers right, you  can read here, and especially here. Also we recommend to study Post Pitch Infographic by Ann Smarty.

Content Creation

Let’s suppose that contact with the blogger is established, he agreed to place a guest post and you have discussed topics that you can write, format and the post size, as well as other details. The question is – where to take this content from? It is not always possible to create it yourself, there are not always enough human resources in the marketing department to create content, and colleagues from other departments are not able to help.

In this case, you can try to find freelance ghostwriters at freelancer markets, such Elance, Odesk and so on. In the project description make sure that you specify detailed requirements to the format of articles, requirements to the images in the articles (all love pictures!), requirements to the author expertise, etc. After a series of tests you will definitely be able to find those people who will be able to make great content for you on a regular basis.

We will not dwell upon how to write a great content – there are hundreds of articles on this subject. In short – it should be “Awesome”.

Hopefully, these blogging tips will help you make your guest blogging process a little better!

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