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?