It’s no secret that guest blogging and content marketing can be exceptionally effective tools for marketing your business or your services. It’s also a well-established truism that being overly self-promotional in guest blogging and content marketing efforts is simply less effective than teaching and adding value with the content you create.
That said, if you’re creating content to try to position yourself as a thought leader and build your brand, you’re doing it because you have a business to run and a service to promote. So how do you establish yourself as an expert through your guest blog posts without being overly self-promotional?
Here are a few ways to sell yourself – without actually selling – in your guest posts:
Focus in on Your Niche
What differentiates you from your competitors? Do you have a specialty or a proprietary way you approach your service offerings that makes your company a clear standout? Focus on these individualized areas, those that set you apart, rather than more generalized topics anyone in your industry could discuss easily. When readers investigate potential vendors, your business will immediately land in front of the pack, if you play your cards right.
Don’t Post and Disapper
All too often, submitting a guest post is the last to-do item on a marketer’s list. Instead of providing the post and simply falling off the radar, keep track of social mentions, respond and thank those who recognize your content, and be attentive and responsive to comments. It takes less than two minutes (most often) to respond to blog commenters – and it’s usually two minutes well worth your while.
Be Generous in Giving Props to Other Experts
It’s not all about you. (Shocking, right?) But seriously, give a little link love to some other thought leaders and they’ll be likely to promote your post, giving you more recognition in the long run.
Wrap Up Your Posts With a Signature Blurb
It’s okay to mention your business here and it’s standard practice to link back to your website in this area.
Reference Useful Content You’ve Written
You’ve probably created other useful, educational content that’s hosted on your site or on other blogs. Link to this information where appropriate so that the reader can see other examples of your expertise and can get a deeper understanding of your point of view – and only if it adds real value.
Share, Share and Share Some More
Once your guest post is live, help spread the word via your social networks. Don’t let the website owner do all the promotion. Devoting some time to draw attention to a post hosted by another website appears less self-serving than continuously posting links to your own website. But ultimately, you’re doing the website owner a favor while still building awareness for your own company.
Forget About Selling
Entirely. Focus on simply educating your readers. In the content marketing age, information sells. That’s why people browse the internet – not to be sold to, but to be informed. Impress them with your expertise and the sales will flow naturally.
In implementing these tips, be sure you’re falling within the publisher’s guidelines for guest posts.
For instance, some won’t like the idea of mentioning your business, even as an expert quote, within the body of the article. They’re doing you a favor by publishing your post, so return the favor by providing valuable insights their readers can actually use.
If you focus first on educating, and second on selling, your guest posts will be better received and more frequently shared.
No Sale  Photo via Shutterstock