If you’ve been slow to adopt a guest blogging strategy for your small business, I can understand why. It’s hard enough to keep constant content on your site without dedicating time to creating content for someone else. But in this noisy content-eat-content world guest blogging on relevant third-party Web sites is a powerful way to grow your business and introduce your brand to new customers.
How exactly will guest blogging bring value to your business? Below you’ll find six potent side effects of a serious guest blogging strategy.
1. Increased Exposure
You know those people who appear to be everywhere all at once? Their content is always being tweeted and shared, and you hear their name from everyone in your contact list? This isn’t an accident. They’ve strategically increased their exposure by being a part of multiple conversations. Guest blogging can help you accomplish this. By contributing content to relevant blogs, sites and satellite communities you increase your exposure by introducing yourself to new audiences. You put your brand out and give people something to talk about and associate you with. With new content on multiple channels, you’re always part of the conversation.
2. Increase Your Community & Engagement
Guest blogging also gives you the opportunity to increase the size and engagement of your community. By posting on related blogs there’s a good chance you’ll have an overlapping audience of readers who know you, as well as the blog you’re writing for. By showing up in another one of their trusted networks, it raises the trust they have for your site and elevates your profile in their eyes. At the same time, you’ll also be introduced to an audience who may not have been familiar with you beforehand but who is interested in the material you’re talking about. Without your having to sell, they you and how your blog and/or Web site can help them reach their goals. Because they heard about you from a site they trust, now they’re more inclined to check you out.
3. You Can Attract Varying Audiences
By being strategic with the content you write and the sites you pitch it too, you can go after a variety of different audiences. For example, maybe you’re a local caterer trying to increase your customer-based in a certain area. Sure, you could write for other catering-related blogs and try to work up some partnerships or goodwill. Or you can get more creative and go after a completely different audience than the people already reading your blog.
You could write guest posts for:
- Recipe blogs.
- Wedding blogs.
- Raw cooking blogs.
- Travel blogs about local cuisines.
- Work at home moms in need of dinner or fun meal ideas.
- Corporate events blogs.
By going after completely different types of readers than your main blog, you can introduce yourself and your company to people who wouldn’t have found you otherwise.
4. Brands You With A Topic/Expertise
Consistent authoritative blogging about a topic or niche brands you in that area. Pretty soon you become the Go To source for social media. Or home repair. Or DIY designs. Or whatever else it is you want to be known for. By increasing your exposure around the Web for these topics, you leave behind a trail of helpfulness and expertise that will be tied back to you wherever you go. This can be a huge help if you’re trying to build your personal brand and authority.
5. Build Relationships
Let’s face it, we could all use a little help. By offering to guest blog for someone else, you’re making their load a little lighter and adding value to their community. That’s not something a small business owner is going to forget. By building that relationship now, it allows you to take advantage of it in the future. Maybe you’ll need them to “cover” for you on your blog during a really busy time or maybe you’ll need them to share an article you wrote or to make an introduction for you. A pre-existing relationship will help.
6. Take Advantage of SEO Benefits
Another powerful side effect of guest blogging is all the SEO benefits you get to take advantage of. Like having the ability to link to your own Web site via keyword-rich anchor text and driving traffic to important pages. Or varying your author bios on different sites you post on to go after different terms. Or building links to your site simply by creating a great post that everyone wants to link to and reference.
It may seem like guest blogging just equals more work for you to do, but if you take a look at all the benefits listed above its clear to see why so many SMBs have adopted aggressive guest blogging strategies.
Hi Lisa, 6 great points. What’s your thinking on ensuring quality and relevance?
We offer guest blogging opportunities but we are very specific about wanting content completely specified to our audience and we also ask that:
1. Guest bloggers must be able to write well as a first requirement
2. Articles need to be based on research not just random opinion pieces
3. Guest bloggers need to be sensitive enough to get inside the heads of their audience, but tough enough to realise that not every request to blog is going to work out.
What other guidance do you give your guest bloggers?
HI Lisa – excellent post and a great read. Very timely given the blog that I have just published: “Driving Traffic. 16 ways to drive traffic to your website for free” With Guest Blogging being one of them!
Devon from Big Billions
Excellent points and great follow up, Lisa. However, you did forget the point about how guest blogging can be used to drive targeted traffic to either your own products or an affiliate offer. Ka ching!
Thinks mentioned in the aricle are SEO practicies, they contribute to the site popularity – the more people visit your page, the higher PageRank it receives and therefore it appears higher in SERPs.
I’ve seen great success with this strategy and have even been able to get my dad a few guest blogging gigs on food blogs (he raises grass fed beef). Usually it’s just a matter of setting a limit/goal on how much content you’ll be producing for guest blog posts. Don’t over extend yourself, but the benefits are significant.
Great post, Lisa! These are awesome benefits for your SMB just by guest blogging. It’s a great strategy to become more knowledgeable and increase your own brand awareness through community engagement & SEO. Thanks for your thoughts!
You make some great points, Lisa! I have found that the “building relationships” aspect of guest blogging is one of the most enjoyable, and in the long-term, profitable benefits.
Lisa: Great advice. I will take into the account the idea to go after a variety of different audiences. Robert: Could you send me some information regarding your dad’s grass fed beef. I have friends who are into the paleo diet.
Awesome! I wish there could be a follow-up article with HOW-TO guest blog. As in, how to get the opportunity to.
All points mentioned above are very well-said. Guest blogging is absolutely a good strategy for brand exposure. Thank you for sharing.
Guest blogging has become popular because of its SEO benefits like free brand exposure. But guests must provide good comments/suggestions relevant to the topic. Thank you for sharing Lisa!
Excellent points and very compelling. I especially like the varying audiences point. So true. Many times we think we are limited to just one audience and we need to expand our thinking. Thanks.
Thank you for reinforcing my gut reaction to why guest blogging is useful. How would I obtain permission to use your Venn circle illustration? It says it all.
I agree, gaining exposure on high traffic sites with a guest blog post is one of the best ways to get more traffic for your business. It associates you with other high quality sites that expose you to new readership you otherwise wouldn’t garner.