If you are looking to hire a writer for your online content it can be a pretty confusing process to enter. One of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to hire a content writer or a copywriter for your project.
In this post, let’s go through the main difference between each discipline, we hope this can help you decide which type of writer is right for your project.
Let’s start first with copywriters, what do they specialise in, what are their core skills and why should you hire a copywriter?
What Do Copywriters Specialise In?
Copywriters are writing specifically to sell. It doesn’t really matter what the format is but their primary goal is to make a sale of a product or service.
For example, an Advertising Agency like Ogilvy will have a team of copywriters who will do the copy for their client’s TV ad campaigns and billboards.
A campaign at an Ad Agency for a large client will be themed around a central idea and then delivered to the public through a range of different formats. The best campaigns are delivered so that the target audience sees the campaign multiple times a day, in different places, for several weeks, resulting in a strong product recall and sales long into the future.
Brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and Vogue, which rely heavily on selling a concept and an idea to the consumer, spend vast amounts of money on these campaigns. They can do that because once someone starts identifying with a brand at their core being, they will be buying for a lifetime.
When it comes to online copy, copywriters will write landing pages and core sales pages, sometimes shopping cart pages too. Any touch point where the reader is close to purchasing something, a good copywriter can increase conversion rates and capture more sales.
What Core Skills Do Copywriters Have?
Copywriters need to be creative but also analytical and be able to create content around a central goal and track it. There are a ton of different goals one might have.
For example, Coca-Cola might come to an ad agency and say; “Our market research is showing that consumer behaviour is now preferring healthy drinks, smoothies and juices. How do we position Coca-Cola so that it is still a preferred soft drink and increase our sales by XX?”.
The campaign will be created to shift consumer behaviour and so the creative will be wrapped around this core goal.
Another goal could be that a business coach wants to increase the sales of her coaching program by X, by improving her sales page. How can she go about doing that whilst still remaining true to her voice and keeping the integrity of her brand?
Copywriters need to be able to take a brief and use market research to back up their concepts and the delivery of their creative.
Should You Hire A Copywriter?
A good copywriter is not cheap, the work they do is very advanced stuff requiring years and years of education and practice. Hire a copywriter for the really important sales touch points in your customer journey.
If your budget is small then your sales page is the first place to start. A good copywriter can cost anywhere between $1,500 - $2,000 and up for a single sales page. But the value you get in return from increased sales will be huge, so it is well worth it.
Of course, I love the written word, I find it one of the most powerful, everlasting and important forms of communication there is. My recommendation is to spend as much as you can on quality copy.
When hiring a copywriter, double check that is what they specialise in. Many online writers say they are copywriters when actually they are content writers using the term to add $$ to their pricing. Copywriting is a specialist skill so watch out for those who say they can do it all!
What Do Content Writers Specialise In?
Content writers specialise in writing online content which is produced to educate, entertain or inspire an audience into taking an action. More often than not, content writers are focused less on sales and more on lead generation.
Content writers will be writing the 90% of the web that comes through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your favourite blogs and online magazines. These could be blog posts, guest posts and social media updates.
Content writers focus more on the top of the funnel, they are attracting the first eyeballs into the brand, copywriters will convert them. Content writers will tend to focus more on competitor research, keyword research and positioning the content in a way which will engage the reader and drive a subscription, provoke a social media share or a comment.
When it comes to guest posts, content writers will also be focused on link building and improving the SEO of the site they are writing for.
What Core Skills Do Content Writers Have?
Content writers also need to be creative and analytical, able to track what is and isn’t working. They need to be able to think quick on their feet and produce a high level of quality, engaging content at a quicker rate than copywriters.
Copywriters might write several landing pages a month, content writers might be writing 4 or 5 long form pieces per day. They need to have strong attention to detail and be able to think imaginatively and creatively. They also need SEO skills and they should understand the basics of content marketing on the web.
Should You Hire A Content Writer?
If your strategy is heavily focused on using content marketing to generate leads then you should consider hiring a content writer. They can produce your blog posts, guest posts and all of your social media updates. Many can even produce your email newsletter (though if you can afford it I would invest in a copywriter for your newsletter, especially if you are focusing on selling affiliate products or your own products through your newsletter).
Good content writers will also have an understanding of marketing on the web and how the content they produce for you fits into an overarching Digital Marketing Strategy. They can provide you with extra ideas and some advice about how to grow your leads and subscribers through Content Marketing. They should also be staying up to date with the rapid changes that happen in the online world. It is very handy to have a good content writer on your team!
Do We Focus On Copywriting Or Article Writing At Ginger Marketing?
We focus on Content Writing, this kind of writing lies at the core of producing quality blog and guest posts. However, we don’t just simply ignore copywriting. We spend one day a month learning about copywriting tools and techniques and then write down how we can start practically applying it to our article writing to improve client results.
For us, a key indicator of content success for clients is the engagement. We track how many social shares and comments each piece of content receives. Copywriting tactics can be subtly applied to blog and guest post writing to improve this engagement.
We don’t have time to go into specific examples here but sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to get access to this content when it is up.
Have you ever hired a copywriter or a content writer? What was your experience?
Failing. Fail. Failure.
How do you feel about these words?
I’ll tell you how I feel - indifferent. But it didn’t used to be that way, so I totally understand if you’ve used these words before. Next time, don’t say you “failed”, say “you haven’t succeeded yet”, or “you have come up against a challenge”.
These words used to bring about a tightness in my chest, a sinking feeling in my stomach, low energy, dissatisfaction, fear and sometimes envy at everyone else who didn’t seem to be failing.
Thankfully, I don’t feel that way about the word anymore; it’s just the best word to describe something that didn’t work out.
I’m going to try not to get too deep and heavy. I’m writing this on a sunny day in Italy; it’s morning and I’m in my bright pink checked pyjamas and comfy hoodie. Not a time to get heavy.
I feel the time has come to share a little bit of my story from the last few years with you, because in a few more years I will have forgotten the early stages of building a business. The memories won’t be as strong and maybe the moment I am in now, and the thoughts I have on failure, can help a new business owner who has just left their 9 to 5.
The First Idea Will Set You Free... But Probably Not In The Way You Think
My story is the same as thousands of others; I didn’t like my corporate job so I left and set out to start my own business.
When I left my job, I had zero business experience, very little interpersonal skills, zero personal development skills, I had extremely poor emotional development and a complete lack of focus.
At the time, I thought I was going to change the world in a heartbeat.
Now, I am beginning to understand the only thing I needed to change was me.
I did have enough sense to realise this was kind of a big change; leaping out of a steady paycheck and career path into a blank space, to create a vision of my future from scratch. So I had money saved and booked-in several months to go and volunteer at a retreat centre in Spain.
It was here that my first business idea formed. Well, a name... a concept…
I wanted to help others who felt stressed out and overworked in the city to feel at ease in their own life and stay connected to themselves and each other.
Just with the details I’ve given so far, I hope you can now understand why I was not in a position to show anyone the path to embody any kind of peace or tranquillity in a city. I had just run away from one and was hiding out at a yoga retreat in Spain, decompressing and trying to come up with a plan.
City Calm failed.
Well, at least for now, it is permanently calm to the point of asleep.
BUT, moving into creating this ‘business’ helped me to start to piece together the skills I was lacking, and through contrast, I have developed a lot of clarity and direction I would never have found otherwise.
And that is why I say ‘The First Idea Will Set You Free... But Probably Not In The Way You Think’.
I have seen this pattern repeated soooo many times!!
People leave their job, then come up with an idea to help others in the area they really need help in.
A Health Coach Who Struggles With Her Own Health
A Motivational Coach Who Finds It Hard To Stay Motivated
A Mindfulness Teacher Who Gets Constantly Pulled Back Into Negative Thought
The last one is me!
Setting up and running City Calm was awesome. I taught basic Mindfulness classes in the park, I ran fun events like ‘A Sand Castle Competition’ or ‘Mindful Journaling’ and ‘Mindful Colouring’.
I ran a Mindfulness retreat with a highly experienced yogi and neuroscientist who I am still in touch with now; Paresh Mhaispurkar.
I passed around a beautiful bunch of flowers at a top Marketing Conference full of execs and spoke about universal energy and oneness (still makes me smile from ear to ear when I think of this!!!). The execs were so engaged and interested in learning about Mindfulness and even took it back to their teams; it was an absolute dream to teach that class.
It was fun, and I’ll be going back into running events and retreats in the future, that is GUARANTEEEED! And my practice will continue to grow and develop and I will, without doubt, start teaching again.
But the company failed.
Here are some key business lessons I learnt.
Planning Doesn’t Generate Revenue
We made very little - to pretty much NO MONEY.
There was no business model, in the first year I actually made: £0.00. I had to fill in my tax form and the tax office thought there was an error. NOPE, I just literally thought writing numbers in a spreadsheet would somehow magically create revenue.
Planning becomes more important as you start to generate revenue. Cash flow planning, in particular, is one I am getting my teeth stuck into right now. And project planning, resource planning, etc. But those only come ONCE you have revenue.
The ONLY reason you need to project future revenue is to make a strategic business decision. Projection planning isn’t there so you can know when you will become a millionaire.
Enjoy The Daily Process Of Improving Your Craft
In the first year, I practised a lot of yoga, mindfulness and meditation. I was addicted to learning as much as I could on the topic.
In the second year, I started to teach Mindfulness. I even put together an online course with Karen, a highly knowledgeable and practised Mindfulness teacher from London (if you are ever in London check out her classes and events, she is a lovely lady!).
The course was professionally filmed and edited by Leah, an intern who came to work for us for a while. It started to feel like we were making it. We were now modelling the website of a competitor who was raking it in; there was no way this plan couldn’t fail. There was a great team of people involved who believed in the vision and the future of City Calm. You should have seen my spreadsheet projections, we were all millionaires!
The course wasn’t bad - it was pretty well put together and I thank everyone who helped to make it a reality. But the fact is, "pretty good" isn’t good enough.
It was going to take a lot of time to get up to the level we needed to be and I didn’t enjoy the process of creating or selling online courses.
And that’s another reason why I think the first idea is likely to fail.
In order to succeed long term - to get up there with the likes of Kimra Luna, Kriss Carr or Marie Forleo, the entrepreneurs we see online and want to emulate - we have to be playing at the very, very top of our game. These guys have been at it for years!
To play at the top we have to put the work in. And you need to enjoy the work. You need to enjoy the daily process of improving whatever it is you are improving.
Otherwise, the standard of what you put out isn’t going to be high enough to create the abundant business you crave.
We need to be specific about the actions we do and don’t take, and they have to make YOU feel good.
Passion For A Subject Isn’t Enough
Having tried both the on and offline version of teaching mindfulness, I know 100% that offline teaching is what I prefer to do. I know I absolutely detest the process of creating courses and marketing them.
I don’t get Facebook Groups, and I don’t enjoy learning how to make them work.
I don’t enjoy testing sales sequences and sales funnels and I have zero desire to set up webinars or start videoing live streams on Facebook.
Going through the process of these activities just takes out all of the joy I had for the subject in the first place.
Slowly but surely, I am starting to figure out, mostly through contrast, which activities I enjoy and which activities I don’t.
So take note, be specific. Unless you have a high level of self-awareness already, it might take some time to unravel what you do and don’t enjoy.
Using Contrast Positively
This is the reason why failure is not something negative. It’s neutral.
You tried something, it didn’t work.
Why didn’t it work?
This is what I learnt:
*I realise these two are ridiculously obvious but hey!! Sometimes knowledge is only fully integrated through failure.
This is an amazing amount of learning and information which I can take forward and put into any new project or business.
I hope this has helped you to understand Why It’s Absolutely Okay To Fail. Why don’t we use the comments section as a little reflection centre today? Share with us something you have failed at and what it taught you - let’s learn from each other!
Sorry to be blunt but here is the honest truth.
I know you are in love with your business. I know you think you have the best thing since sliced bread and you are going to become a millionaire. But the sad fact is that no-one cares about your business; what it does, what you do, what you sell, etc. etc. etc.
Ours too, don't worry ;-)
If you want to find a path that equals zero sales plus a lot of disappointment, keep talking about your business all the blooming time. Keep telling people that your VA Package is exactly what they need, that your website design service is THE BEST OUT THERE.
It will never be enough.
Most marketing people then go on to say "you need to present the benefits". Whilst this is true, this post isn’t about presenting the benefits.
Because, usually, even presenting all the benefits isn’t enough.
How often have you read something and you are like “Hum, that does seem like it’s exactly what I want and need but um... maybe there is something better out there? Maybe I need to keep looking around, I might find a better deal or more value?”.
Unless you are an amazing copywriter and marketer who has spent years perfecting your sales page, or you can afford to pay those people to do it for you, focusing on the benefits isn’t enough.
Most customers need at least 7 touch points with you and your brand before they make a decision to buy.
So how can we make people care about our products & services?
The best way to make clients want your service is to show them that you can solve their problems. Don’t just tell them, actually help them out.
This is the strategy that entrepreneurs like Kimra Luna and Neil Patel, and pretty much every big name online entrepreneur out there, does. They show their customers how they can help them.
There are different ways a product and a service based business might go about this, so let’s quickly look at a few now.
Remember, whenever you are communicating with your audience you have a chance to help them solve a problem. Even if it’s the teeniest, tiny problem, once you have helped someone get closer to what THEY WANT, you are one step closer to having a new customer.
There are still businesses out there that waste the golden opportunity to solve problems for their potential clients by shouting at them about their business instead.
Traditional PR is much like this. You write a press release about your latest product or service, you submit it to a PR distribution service and they send it to hundreds if not thousands of journalists. Then hopefully one of these journalists picks it up and writes about your product or includes it in a piece they are writing.
Press distribution needs to be extremely targeted in order for it to work and have any real results. The reason being journalists don’t care about your business either. Journalists care about the article they are writing and the sources they can get for it.
It’s the difference between writing a post titled:
Ginger Marketing Launches Today - We Provide Quality Guest Post Services
How To Find Guest Posting Opportunities For Your Business
Unless I am specifically looking for a guest post service, there is no reason for me to click on the first title. And even if I do click on the first title, I know I’m being sold to and am very unlikely to actually follow up and make a sales enquiry.
The second title appeals to anyone who is looking for guest posting opportunities, they might not even know a service exists to help them. It will get clicked because it can help a group of people who have this problem.
And I know the readers 1) care about guest posting and 2) need help finding guest posts!
So they are going to be pretty targeted. PLUS I am helping them with a problem they have straight away, providing tons of value which they will be super-duper happy about.
I hope you can see the difference between these two approaches and why, if you apply the right strategy, Content Marketing can be so powerful.
Getting the right person to view your content is one step in the equation. Then the hard work really begins! Getting that person to read down to the bottom, take in the information and actually know, like and trust you is a whole different game.
And if you want sales enquiries they need to know, like and trust you AS WELL as knowing you can help them get what they want.
This is a guest post from Neil at Only Way Online, a Marketing Agency in London.
Backlinks have long been one of the main backbones of SEO, you could even go as far to say they are the holy grail of SEO. A recent study which analysed over 1 million Google results and looked at the trends found that the number and quality of backlinks to a website correlate with its ranking in Google.
One of the most effective ways of getting high quality backlinks to your website is through Guest Posting, but this strategy does take a significant amount of time and cost. There are other ways to build links which can also be effective.
So lets go through 6 of them now!
Method 1: Provide Testimonials
This is where you write a testimonial for another website and they link to you out of respect.
The cool thing about testimonials is that they are generally seen as being a winning situation for everyone involved. Look at it this way.
You go to a site where you have used their product or service and leave a testimonial. In that testimonial you can setup a link to your own website.
They benefit from your feedback and you benefit from a link back to your website.
I did this recently. I left Nik a testimonial for being an SEO expert and great guy and he thanked me the best way he could, with a backlink.
Method 2: Take Advantage Of Directory Submissions
Directories seem to have been around since time began and a quick search is going to throw up thousands of them that you can go and add your website to. However, that would be a kamikaze approach and will only result in you falling into the belief that the more links the better.
Instead, the Google algorithm is set up so that it focuses more on quality rather than quantity.
This means directories don’t carry a huge amount of weight when it comes to links but when you’re just starting up with attracting links, 20-30 directory links is not going to harm your site.
The more relevant the directory is to your business the better, but don’t overthink it.
This is meant to be a small “quick” win. Emphasis on “quick”.
Directories also happen to help diversify your anchor text, so that’s another benefit right there for. Just in case you needed some convincing.
To help you along the way, here’s a list of directories.
Method 3: Use Social Media to Your Advantage
If you look at the profile pages of the likes of Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit and so on, then you have space for one link. Use it!
Leaving this space blank is a missed opportunity because even though they are typically no-follow links, these sites are high quality and authoritative. Always, always have a link to your website because you will still benefit from the power of these social media websites without putting in too much work.
It’s not going to blow your SEO out of the water, but will help you build up your SEO presence slowly.
Method 4: Work on Your Relationships
Focus on building your relationships online as they can lead to a fantastic network of backlink opportunities.
Consider this. You have a blog and there is a community of other bloggers out there. If you spend time fostering relationships with others in the community then they may feature you on one of their posts.
When you’re top of someone’s mind and they are writing about a topic relevant to your niche, it’s easy for them to share your expertise with their audience.
For instance, a good friend of mine who teaches blogging online, recently asked me to do a podcast teaching her audience about SEO. I’m sure she will also write about this in the future and mention my website (i.e. link to it).The more you build up your authority, the more other bloggers will trust you and link to you.
Remember, relationships are a two-way thing. That doesn’t necessarily mean linking to their website as well, but simply finding out how you can help them.
Method 5: Make Your Content Amazing
Content has always been a fantastic way to build backlinks, but just as it has become more important for the quality of the links to be high, the same can be said for the content itself.
If your content is amazing and relevant for your purpose, then it is also going to be relevant and an attractive proposition for those that want to reference quality expert advice. Your content has to be able to achieve this.
Quality content gets shared naturally and people talk about it. Is your content share worthy? If you were one of your readers, would you mention it to someone else who was in need of advice?
High quality content is a major ranking factor for Google, Search Engine Land wrote about it’s importance.
So if you’re already creating epic content, then you’re starting SEO on the right foot.
Method 6: Making Use of Resource Pages
Now, you might never have heard of this, but using resource pages is a fantastic way to build those links. So, what are resource pages? Well, think of them as being the Internet and website equivalents of a bibliography in a book.
In a bibliography you get a list of the resources that were used or recommended to you and each thing is seen as being relevant to whatever the book spoke about.
For resource pages, you will find a series of links that are relevant to a particular topic or product. Getting your link onto these pages is going to count for a lot as the links on resource pages are seen as representing those that are an authority in that area.
There may have been a number of changes to backlinks, but being an expert still counts.
If you want to see a detailed guide on resource pages, I’d take a look at this post.
So, there you have it. Six different methods to get backlinks without you having to resort to guest posting. In my opinion, you need to do as many of these things as possible to really benefit. Link building is a regular activity for our client sites and we’ve seen the growth.
I know, at times it can feel too slow to see any reward, but when you do, it becomes addictive!
Neil has a free SEO course over at Your Brand Found and also runs a Digital Marketing Agency in London, Only Way Online, helping businesses to get found and grow their business online.
Everyone wants their guest posts to go viiiirrraaaaal. Who doesn’t want to see a flood of traffic coming into their website.
As long as your conversion on site is good, a big peak of traffic transfers into a big peak of leads, enquirers, downloads or sales.
Add in the extra bonus of getting massive amounts of exposure for your brand and it's clear why getting viral content is a goal for most marketeers.
Before we get into this post though I want to highlight something super important. As a content marketeer or business owner I don’t think you are ever entirely happy with the results your content is getting. There is always more to be done, there is always another level to reach and a new tactic to try.
So, if you are feeling a little teary or frustrated about your results so far don’t worry about it. Move forward from where you are, keep on learning, testing and improving.
The only way is up!!
There’s a lot on the internet about the anatomy of a viral blog post, but not so much about Guest Posts. There are subtle differences between the two which in my experience make a difference to how well your content does, today I’m going to share some key tips to help you land viral guest posts.
CHECK THE AUDIENCE IS LISTENING
Volume stats don’t matter, engagement does.
Website owners will have different levels of engagement on different channels depending on where their focus is. So, always check engagement levels on social media & the site you plan to guest post on.
A good way to gauge engagement is to comment on one of the posts or respond to a tweet or Instagram update, also great to kick off the relationship. See if you get a response. If all you get is tumbleweed, then very likely the engagement from their audience will be low. Conversation is a two way stream so if it’s not a priority for them, it’s likely they won’t have much engagement on that channel.
**This depends on the level of site you are approaching, since I mostly write about niche level websites instead of sites like Forbes / Entrepreneur / Huffington this applies in most cases.
For those who want a metric to track focus on time on site & pages per session. You can find an estimate of these stats on Similar Web for free.
BUILD POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
I don’t hear ANYONE talking about this which is pretty crazy. The relationship that you have with the website owner and how they perceive you and your content can hugely influence its results - they are going to be publishing / promoting it.
This is why sometimes you can get far better results from smaller (2K - 10K per month), niche websites who really value your voice and the quality content you’ve provided them. Over a mid level (10k - 100,000K+) who have less time and more people vying for their attention.
What really matters in all cases, no matter who you are speaking too is the relationship you are building with that person and how you position yourself. Remember, this is a business connection you are creating.
Many business owners outsource their outreach and relationship building to low quality link builders or interns. That is the same as outsourcing your customer service to an Indian company with poor English. You will get cheaper rates, but in the long run what kind of an impression are you giving off about your company?
Play the long game. Always.
Right now you are discussing a guest post. But it could turn into a campaign, cross promotion of a product a partnership or a good friendship. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the buzz of online promotion that often we forget there is another human on the other end of the computer. I for one am often guilty of this and it’s something I need to constantly check in with.
GRAB ATTENTION AND KEEP IT
Ideally you want your guest posts to grow two metrics;
1.Grow your search engine traffic
2.Send you direct traffic
Indirectly your brand presence will also grow but it’s more challenging to hook this up to your guest posting activities because you probably have a lot of other marketing tactics going on as well helping your brand grow.
Number one is always covered as long as you link either in the bio or the body of the article back to your site. There are nuances to this but I’m not going to go into details now because I want to focus on the second metric.
This is a lot harder to achieve and something I am constantly aiming to improve at Ginger Marketing. Our goal is to create content which not only grows our clients search engine traffic, but which sends them direct leads month on month - just think of the HUGE value of that!
Not only will our clients get monthly accumulating leads, but they will be highly warm leads because they are coming from a site the potential customer already knows and trusts.
MAN I GET EXCITED JUST THINKING ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES AND HUGE VALUE THAT DELIVERS!
We have already achieved this with several client guest posts but not consistently, we are working on it.
There are many, many layers involved in getting this right but the first is to grab attention and keep it. That means spending time on the title & the first two sentences of your content.
The average goldfish has a longer attention span than a human being now - you don’t have much room for error.
So make sure your title cuts straight to the core of the issue, speaks directly to the person you want to attract and touches them emotionally.
Lets look at a guest posts we recently did for Denise, one of our lovely clients as an example;
5 Ways to Conquer New Job Anxiety
(100+ social shares to date)
Why this title rocks.
The reader knows exactly what they are going to get from this post if they click on it.
2.It contains X 2 highly emotional words; CONQUER + ANXIETY
The title remains positive even though it touches on a highly emotional topic. No-one likes to admit that they have new job anxiety, we are supposed to be strong, excited and up for the challenge!! But the fact of the matter is that new, is scary, and anxiety comes even without a welcome mat - RUDE!
This title speaks to anxiety but it also speaks directly to the people who want to CONQUER it. This changes the tone of the article making it positive & touching on the emotion of the audience.
3.It attracts the right customer
The two places I always start when creating content titles;
a) Who is the ideal customer
b) What is the primary challenge you are helping them with
Denise wants to attract driven, accomplished business women who need occasional support & guidance. A core challenge she helps clients through is career transition. Whether that’s working out where to go next, attracting the right next move, or transitioning to a new job.
So, you can see how the title speaks directly to her target audience.
PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE
I cannot emphasise this enough. Don’t just expect that the website owner is going to spend time driving tons of traffic to your post. Sometimes you need to prove your contents value before they will realise how freaking awesome it is.
So, share it with your audience at the very least.
To help you with guest post promotion we have also create a group board over on Pinterest so you can share your Viral Guest posts. So hop on over, follow our boards and then send a message so we can add you as a collaborator.
>>> VIRAL GUEST POSTS <<<<
If you want to go one step further then share your post on some relevant Facebook Groups. Chantel has created a fab Facebook group promotion calendar >> So check that out on her site as well.
Top tip >> If you are tweeting your post out make sure you tag the website owner’s account. More often than not they will retweet your post.
We hope you have found these tips useful. Here is a quick and pinnable summary for you to remember the key steps to viral guest posts.
We've love to hear in the comments if you have some extra tips to add! Have you found some techniques and tactics that have worked for your business?
In the Digital PR and Guest Blogging space getting featured on Forbes is considered the pinnacle of success. We often get asked by clients if we can get them high profile mentions on sites like Huffington, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc (answer: yes we can).
But whilst I do agree that getting featured on premium sites can offer exposure and additional benefits, it’s not as black and white as you might think. But then what is... not much sept from this cutie. (meet Raphaella, our adorable rabbit who as I write this is digging outside in the plant pots of our roof terrace - don't tell the landlord!)
If you are looking for massive amounts of exposure, which is the primary reason most business owners want to get onto these publications, then there is only one way to get this.
You need to have something out of this world worth sharing!!
psst, launching your latest product (unless it can automatically clean my bunnies cage or fly me to the moon, in which case lets talk!) is not out of this world worth sharing.
That doesn't mean you can't get onto these publications it's just that you should re-frame how you view them as a marketing tool and be more realistic about results.
Lets break this down a bit..
The primary ways a Digital PR company or you can get on Forbes or similar is;
A. Pay a huge amount of money to a contributor who will quote you within one of their articles
B. Build a relationship with a relevant journalist and either pitch content or a source
C. Get contributor rights
Option A just isn't worth the return on investment. Unless you absolutely need a premium link for your link building strategy it's not worth paying $1,500 - $2,000 for one mention on Forbes. Option C is a possibility but in most cases you need to be able to get a referral and also be a freaking good writer with a bunch of original ideas to share. Which leaves option B, if done well this can deliver a good ROI but it's not all roses and champagne.
Not all content on Forbes, Inc & Huffington gets shared thousands of times.
To illustrate this with actual figures.
I just entered this search query > site:https://www.forbes.com/ “guest blogging” into google.it
And I randomly picked some results from the first few pages:
1. Guest Blogging: Is It Really Dead?
Views : 1,448
Click Through: 22.96
2. 39 Actionable Ideas For Driving Traffic To Your Website
Click Through: 10139.22
3. 10 SEO Mistakes To Avoid In 2017
Click Through: 73.28
**Click through is based on 2% conversion which is about average and shares are taken from Share Count a nifty tool you might want to check out!
As you can see these figures are drastically different. The authors personal network, the rank, the placement within the site (front page / category / buried), promotion of the post all play a part in its success.
Also, these figures are based on the contributor having written the entire article, the quote that you might get on Forbes, Entrepreneur & Inc is going to reduce your click through even further. The space you get to sell your value is dramatically reduced unless you are the contributor writing the full article.
I do believe that getting premium placements has a place in a Guest Blogging strategy, but if you are looking for massive amounts of exposure then expectations should be set and cost needs to be controlled.
So! What to do? Assuming you don’t have the time or the interest in becoming a contributor what can you try instead?
Target Mid Level Niche Publications Instead
You can get fantastic results from mid level niche publications which is why we focus on it at Ginger Marketing. On wordpress.com blogs alone in January 2017 there were 22 billion pageviews and blogs outrank social media channels in terms of consumer influencer before making a purchase.
Your customers use blogs and to further get our point across we've put together a nifty little super pinnable graphic with some stats, because we know you like numbers (and we like watermelon).
These stats tell you two things;
Guest blogging on mid level niche publications provides the perfect opportunity for you to show your value, get in front of a new audience and have content ready and waiting for when your potential customers are ready to buy.
What Do I Mean By Mid Level Niche Blogs
You might be confused by this terminology so I will clarify it now. Mid Level Niche Blogs are essentially blogs which are written around a singular topic. For example, gardening or weddings or parenting or lifestyle. When I talk about mid level I use this phrase very broadly...
I mean blogs which have surpassed the newbie phase and are getting over 2,000 monthly visits up to blogs which have 100,000 even 500,000 monthly visits. Any blog which isn't completely new (or spammy) or very premium I count as mid level.
Not all publications are worth the time invested, I have written about this before. If you are hiring someone to do your guest blogging then make sure that you agree on quality level. And if you are doing it yourself then read up and understand how to vet potential sites.
You only have so much time and you want to maximise your ROI. As a rule of thumb always check the website has a minimum of 2,000 monthly unique visits, you can use this tool to check.
And also check out how much engagement their content gets, comments and shares are a good indication that they have an audience listening to what they have to say.
It is also important to promote your post once it has gone live. It’s not write, publish sit and hope. It’s write, publish, promote. Facebook threads are a great way to syndicate your guest posts, and make sure you share them with your audience as well.
If you do share your post via social media then tag the publication and more often than not they will retweet you sending additional traffic.
If done well writing for niche publications can deliver hundreds, if not thousands of shares, traffic & connections.
To share our most recent Guest Post for one of our clients - it received over 70 social media shares, but more importantly a potential client enquiry and a potential speaking opportunity;
We’ve also placed posts like this one with over 550 shares & continues to drive leads to one of our clients.
And this one with over 6,000 shares and counting
Mid niche level placements often deliver a higher ROI for small businesses than premium placements like Forbes, Inc and Entrepreneur.
I'd love to know your thoughts on the comments below. Do you actively engage in Guest Blogging as a strategy for your business and have you seen success with mid level niche publications?
You might have seen other business owners talking on Facebook Groups about how they are using Guest Blogging. Maybe you’ve written a couple of Guest Posts for other business owners and bloggers in your network, and now you are thinking about starting to get a little more serious about using it as a Marketing tactic.