Blogs are powerful. As a small business owner, you can use blogs to build exposure for your business, to attract new customers and to establish yourself an expert in your niche. And you don’t even have to have your own blog in order to do that.
If you can’t invest the time in daily blogging or are just looking for another way to increase exposure and awareness, guestblogging on other blogs is a great way to attract new customers, create business partnerships and to introduce your brand to people who may be naturally inclined to like you. The trick to guestblogging is learning how to find the opportunities that will get you the most targeted exposure.
You don’t want to be guestblogging everywhere. To get the most benefit, you want to pick and choose the blogs and industry resources that will help you gain the most authority, exposure and goodwill. However, the sheer volume of blogs out there can make this process a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.
Here are some tips to help you locate powerful guestblogging opportunities.
Contact the bloggers you already know: Blogging has become incredibly popular over the past few years, which means you probably already have some blogging connections under your belt. When posting would be mutually beneficial, reach out to them. For example, if you own a bakery in town, it may be possible for you to reach out to your friends with grocery, diet-oriented or exercise blogs and find opportunities there. You could provide recipes, talk about nutrition, or even create a video of you making your best dish. Or maybe your local chamber of commerce has a blog and they’d be open to highlighting businesses in the area or letting you write an informational post on your industry to help others learn about it. Bloggers are always in need of content, so if you can create a situation where the blog is getting unique, informative posts, they’d likely be open to letting you contribute.
Be observant: Pay attention to the bloggers in your niche and the folks you read on a regular basis. If you notice that a blogger mentions they’ll be going out of town for a conference, taking a family vacation, having a child, etc, drop them an informal email and ask if they’d be interested in using guestbloggers for the period they’re away. It can help you nail down a rare guestblogging opportunity, and it will also generate some goodwill between you and the vacationing blogger.
Use Technorati to find high authority blogs: Even if you know a handful of bloggers you can guest post for, you’ll still want to seek out other complimentary opportunities to help expand your bubble. You should be looking for blogs in your industry and neighboring industries that are well respected and well-linked to. The goal of producing this content is bring awareness to your own blog/site/company. So the more eyes you can get on your post, the better. To locate high authority blogs, use tools like Technorati. Technorati allows you to perform a search for the keywords of your choice and then sort your results by authority.
You’ll want to take a look at the blogs that Technorati ranks as being authoritative and then dig around until you find one that you think would be open to a guest post. You don’t necessarily have to aim for the cream of the crop, but do look for blogs with “some” authority.
Do Google Searches: Not every blog will be open to allowing guest posts so you want to do some research before you waste time going after bloggers who simply won’t be interested. To help narrow down your list and find those that are, perform quick Google or Google Blog searches for queries like [your industry +guest post] or [your industry + guestblogger] to find blogs that have a history of being open to guest bloggers. You don’t have to necessarily stay in your industry, either. You just have to find blogs that would be interested in your content, which often means going outside of blogs that focus directly on what you do. For example, if you’re a financial adviser, you can look for opportunities to post on wedding blogs to write about low cost weddings, relationship blogs to cover cheap date ideas or retirement blogs to speak on how to save a million dollars by your 40th birthday. If you’re willing to get creative, the opportunities for guestblogging are endless (and lots of fun)!
Look for user generated blogs: Thanks to the social media craze, many blogs have been turned into mini communities with their very own user generated content (UGC) sections. These areas have been sectioned off so that community members can come in and create their own posts to share with the community. For example, anyone in the SEO world knows that the YOUmoz section of SEOmoz is a place where any site member can come and write their very own blog post on a topic of their choice. Posting in these forums allows you to build connections with others in your industry and to establish yourself as an upcoming expert. It’s very likely that your industry has similar opportunities. You just have to seek them out.
Guestblogging is a great way to earn some free exposure, get traffic to your site and to establish yourself as someone worth knowing in your space. Be selective about which opportunities you take and have fun with it. You never know who you may meet out there in the blogosphere!