By Francis King
Capturing your audience’s attention in this volatile and competitive market isn’t easy. People are constantly bombarded with online content, and to stand out, your content marketing strategy needs to be on point. A blog is a great way to get customers to pay attention to your business, and has proven to be one of the best inbound marketing strategies.
Engaging content is key to winning over your customers, especially in this era of omnichannel marketing and ecommerce growth. It can help garner authority and prominence in your niche and also lead to qualified leads for your business. Organisations that have a blog have 55% more website visitors than those that don’t.
What Is Guest Blogging and Who Does It Benefit?
Guest blogging is a treasured tool for many online marketers. Many companies find it difficult to keep creating new content on their online platforms, and a possible solution is to invite someone from outside of their organisation to write a blog for their website. The opportunities for customer attraction it offers to both the blog owner and the guest blogger are significant.
The writer is usually an expert in the same industry as the organisation, so the benefits are mutual–not only is it a great way for each party to collaborate with other industry leaders, it also allows both parties to use search engine optimisation to drive traffic to their respective websites.
Here are a few major benefits of employing guest posting for your site that can result in an improved bottom line:
- Increase trust in your brand. When you have industry leaders writing for you, you can establish your website as an authority on a subject. Having knowledgeable blogs helps boost credibility and grow confidence in your content and your products and services.
- Improve your SEO ranking. Publishing a guest blog can boost your SEO and your search engine rankings. Backlinks are incredibly important for search engines, and having backlinks to your guest blogger’s websites can improve their SEO too. If your guest blogger links to the guest blog from their own website, you can enjoy the advantage of backlinking and welcome a lot of new visitors from there.
- Guest bloggers bring in fresh content and new ideas. Guest blogging can help you avoid repetitive and stale content. A guest writer brings a novel perspective, a different point of view, and a style that your readers might well appreciate.
- Build relationships. Collaborations with industry leaders and subject-matter experts help you create a fraternity that can lead to more opportunities.
- Reach a bigger audience. For the guest blogger, writing for a site with a large readership has a major impact on their reach. With the right links, many readers will end up at the writer’s blog, and since this traffic is coming from a website rather than a search engine it’s high-quality traffic.
- Allows you to write more articles every month. Research shows that the number of articles published per month is proportional to inbound traffic. It’s difficult to write 16+ articles per month in-house. Guest blogging allows you to outsource your content writing and increase your writing capacity.
Building Influence with a First-Rate Guest Blogging Strategy
Your blogs should provide your audience with relevant and useful content. Whether you’re inviting guest bloggers to establish leadership in your industry, or you’re a blogger looking to expand your reach by writing for others, quality content is crucial to achieving success.
The success of your guest blogging strategy depends greatly on the value your content provides readers. If you’re consistent enough and your products and/or services are of sufficient quality, many of your readers will find the temptation to make purchases and become customers too great to withstand.
Blogging is a form of effective content marketing that benefits from long-term utilisation. It helps build authority and expertise slowly, and should be allowed time for its full benefits to become apparent. But, with search-engine optimised blogs, you can also enjoy some quick returns, quality traffic being chief among them.
Your first order of business should be to get in touch with established experts in your niche and invite them to write for your blog. These are professionals who write for other blogs and published media, and your target market will appreciate their wisdom especially.
You may choose to pay guest bloggers. That will cause a strain on your marketing budget, but it will be worth it. Some guest bloggers–especially those new to the craft and who want to make a name for themselves–don’t ask to be paid, though care should be taken to avoid becoming dependent on labour that requires little or no remuneration. Often, the return in terms of improved SEO for their own blogs and the increased outreach is sufficient payment for new bloggers, but this won’t always be enough to keep them offering their services to your organisation in the future.
Alternatively, you could choose to capitalise on the mutually beneficial nature of guest blogging and offer to trade blog posts with your guest blogger to increase reach twofold.
Say, for example, you’re both B2B business owners in the field of network security. You could invite a network firewall security expert to write about firewall monitoring, while you write on the subject of VPN encryption for them. Increased visibility and website traffic for both, and a new professional connection–that’s good business.
SEO Tips and Best Practices for Guest Blogging
The aim of a guest blog is to educate, not advertise. It’s marketing material but not overtly so, and you therefore need to be strategic in how you go about it. How then, you ask, can a blog help with boosting online sales if there is no actual ‘selling’ taking place within it? The answer: SEO!
SEO is the magic wand that makes all of the above possible. Once you’ve invested in a talented writer, implement the following SEO tips to ensure you reach your audience.
- Your title needs to entice people to click on your article–clickbait, if you will, though in the good sense. It’s the first thing your audience sees, and it needs to grab attention.
- All subheadings should be search-engine optimised. They help break up the text and increase readability, and search engines rank them better.
- There should be no keyword stuffing. If your keyword for SEO is “what is .ae domain”, don’t throw it in randomly. Google sees through such tactics and will penalise you. Use it intelligently a couple of times throughout the blog.
- You need a strong meta description. This is a short summary of your content and is what shows up on the search engine’s results page under your title.
- Add relevant internal links. These fortify your SEO ranking and backlinks to the guest blogger’s website will increase their website traffic.
- You need a convincing call to action at the end of the blog. At the very least, ask readers to leave a comment. The more comments on your blog, the more chances you have of appearing on the first page of search engine results, as sites with more engagement are prioritised and rewarded.
- Engaging content is important and that means including interesting graphics and images. Google measures the time people spend on your site, so you need to do all you can to keep them there for as long as possible.
- A short but noteworthy author bio is essential if you want readers to come back. Tell them who the author is and why they should trust their content. A bio also allows the guest blogger to have a link to their website.
- Use Google Analytics to see the traffic your blog posts generate. This can help you determine whether you’re publishing the content your readers want or not.
Getting Your Guest Blog Read
If you follow the tips above and find that you still aren’t generating the visits to your site you would like, there are more steps you can take to increase traffic. You could consider website migration to a domain name that improves search engine visibility.
This affects your blog’s reach immensely; many will find that .com domains suit them perfectly, but if you’re in an industry like academia, for example, and are creating more specialised, targeted content, a .edu domain might suit you better.
Recently, the ai domain defined many of the most influential artificial intelligence blogs, and is currently the reserve of many of the leaders of the industry in tech. You should choose one that helps your domain name become instantly recognisable and matches your niche.
Some domain names stand out more than others. The ae registrar shows the current popularity of .ae domains, for example, which are currently associated with professionalism. Such an association with professionalism would be likely to improve online reputation and visibility.
Beyond SEO, you could also think about promoting your blog on all of your social media platforms and pages, or boost your readership using email marketing. Social media in particular is a great way of thanking your guest bloggers publicly, which email automation can ensure that your mailing list receives an excerpt with an encouragement for them to read every time a guest blog is published.
Getting Started With Guest Blogging
Learning how to guest blog is easier than you think. It’s an arrangement that has a multitude of benefits for all involved. Follow the best practices listed above as you work to position your website as a hub of expertise in your field. Guest blogging helps you delegate content creation to an authoritative writer so you can focus on growing your business online.