Guest Blogging is simply writing a post for another website, or accepting a post from another author on your website.
The benefit of writing for another website is that instead of your post reaching the same audience, yours, you reach a new audience, the website where your guest post appears.
The benefit of accepting Guest Posts on your own website is that you provide your audience with expertise further than your own. You can provide a different perspective, a case study, or an interview, which all back up and support the message you are trying to get across.
If done well, Guest Blogging can bring you regular referral traffic, increase your brand presence, and improve your search engine traffic.
Who Should Be Focusing On Guest Blogging?
In my opinion, every business which represents itself online (which is pretty much everyone), should be Guest Blogging. It should be a core marketing strategy just like your own blog is.
I think it is absolutely fantastic the amount of effort and attention that goes into the content being produced in some of the niches I follow. It is actually pretty outstanding. The attention to detail, research, and quality of work that goes into so many blogs is amazing.
But, when it comes to promoting the content, that's when I see people coming into issues. You can have the most outstanding beautiful blog in the world, but if no one reads it then you're not going to get very many clients!
Guest Blogging is a relatively simple way for you to get your message out to a totally new audience and have them find out about your blog and business.
Which Stage Of Business Is Best For Guest Blogging
Whilst I say this I do recognise we only have so much time in the day. So, there is some advice I can give in terms of the stage of the business, and whether Guest Blogging should be a focus.
Guest Blogging is a long-term strategy. If you are a service-based business and your primary goal is to take on new clients quickly, then Guest Blogging might not be the primary tactic to focus on. First, you want to hit Facebook Groups, build your portfolio, and start building relationships.
I Call Guest Blogging A Second Tier Marketing Strategy
Answering Questions / Pitching In Facebook
Joining Online Networking Groups
Relationship Building (Referrals)
One To One Pitching For Service-Based Businesses
Posting On Social Media
Campaigns / Competitions / Content Launches
What Guest Blogging Is Not
It’s not a quick fix.
Guest Blogging is content marketing and content marketing takes time. It takes time not just to perfect the messaging, finding the story which most hooks your audience. But it takes time to research, pitch, and place your post on the right websites.
This can be frustrating for a lot of business owners who expect fast results. But fast results come from Tier 1 strategies.
Tier 2 strategies are long term traffic generation builders. They are tactics which will build up over time and will lead to far better results in the long run.
You need to do more than Guest Post to rank number 1.
Guest Posting does add to your site's authority, assuming you are providing quality content and you are posting in the right places.
If your Guest Post gets shared heavily through social media, like this one did for one of our clients then you're going to get even more positive signals pointing to your site which will help your ranks.
But, you're going to need to do more than post a few Guest Posts in order to rank, and SEO traffic is not the primary metric you should be focusing on.
How Guest Blogging Can Help Grow Your Business
Guest Blogging is still one of the best strategies you can do for your website to build your traffic and grow your subscribers AND REVENUE.
I really love this graph which shows the conversion rates of different channels. Look at the difference in conversion between search engines & social media channels.
Why such a difference?
The reason is that someone who comes to your website from a search engine is in a completely different stage of the buying cycle. If they come to your website through the keyword "free cold email templates" or "best fat-free icing recipes" or "free gratitude meditation" they are specifically looking for information on that topic.
If they are browsing through a social media feed and something captures their eye, then they are coming through in a browsing mode. They are trying you on for size, and if they really like it, they might stick around.
So, customers coming through a search engine are much more targeted. With Guest Blogging this depends on the website traffic of the blog you are publishing on. If your Guest Blog ranks well in Google, customers read it and then click through to your site then it is still super targeted.
This click through can build your email and subscriber list very quickly, though it does take consistency and effort.
Gregory Ciotti, for example, grew his email subscribers to 36,733 Email Subscribers through Guest Blogging.
And Here’s a Case Study of a business owner who published 41 Guest Posts over a period of 5 months and increased his traffic by 20%.
Should I Be Guest Blogging If I Don’t Like To Write?
I can’t imagine it, but I do know there are lots and lots of people who don’t like to write. Kind of weird if ya ask me ;)
I personally believe the most important thing in any business is to ENJOY what you are spending your time on. You didn’t start your own business to feel like you're some kind of content churning machine tied to your desk.
You need to pick your marketing tactics wisely.
For example, with Ginger Marketing you will not believe how many people have told me I should be getting on live video and doing webinars. Well, that’s great for people that like doing live broadcasting and shooting and then editing videos.
I personally don’t like doing any of those things.
Perhaps when I have enough budget to invest in experts who can help me to set that up for my business I might do it, but right now I don't have the budget, and it just doesn't excite me.
So, if you don’t like writing, then there is really only two options.
1) Don’t focus on this tactic now
2) Invest in an expert who can do it for you
I am a huge believer in hiring in expertise over learning to do everything yourself. I don’t really understand what’s going on in the Marketing / Business world right now with the whole you need to be an expert at everything thing. It doesn't make sense!
Why not slowly build up your channels over time as you take on new clients, and then invest your revenue in more channels to grow even more.
Hiring an expert might cost you slightly more money than spending $79 on a course but think about how much money you will save in time. Stick to your zone of genius and hire (or swap if you can) the rest.
If you'd like to start Guest Blogging download our Free Guest Blogging Tracker.
Whether you are managing a link building, content marketing, PR or even a sales campaign you’ll need to write outreach emails.
I’ve lost count with how many outreach emails I have written during my marketing career.
Over the years I have started to hone my technique & get an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. This article will provide 9 actionable tips you can use when writing your own outreach emails.
My hope is that you will apply these techniques and see your conversion increase and also start to build beneficial relationships with other businesses instead of annoy other businesses. More on that in the first tip!
Tip 1: Address your mindset
The first tip is to make sure you are in the right mindset during the outreach process. This has to be constantly checked, I need to check myself all the time.
When dealing with a lot of data it is very easy to slip into an analytics mindset.
It is easy to only think about the numbers and lose the human approach. You must remember that you are reaching out to another business to build a relationship with them, it cannot just be about the numbers.
The point is to grab the readers attention & interest long enough for them to enter into a conversation with you about how you can help each other out. A robot does not grab attention. Nor does language which sounds to rushed, abrupt or angry. (passive aggressive emails never go down well!)
The mindset you are when writing the email influences how you put together the outreach email and the tone of voice & pace of your writing. An analytical mindset leads to copy which does not resonate and may in fact just piss people off.
Tip 2: You do the work!
The person you are speaking to doesn’t want to have to work out how they can work with you in a mutually beneficial partnership. You must do the work since you are emailing them and interrupting their time.
So, work out what it is that you are suggesting. This means work out which specific tactic you think could work & also the specific content. I.e. X post shared on X channel because X.
The worst emails are those that just say I want to guest post, can I? Or, I want to partner can we? Um no, is my immediate response when I get those emails and I can imagine that’s what other people think when they receive them too.
So, when I email someone I tell them exactly how I think we can work together and take the time to map it out so they don’t have to spend time working it out themselves.
Tip 3: Get to the point quickly
Mystery does not increase conversion. Most of the emails based on mystery are doing so because Tip 2 hasn’t been implemented. The person doing the outreach hasn’t figured out how or why they are emailing x person.
The outreach manager just wants to work with somebody …. NOW!
And the reason is, they are too much in the analytical mindset and not the relationship building mindset, Tip 1. See how these points build on each other?
You must get to the point really quickly, ideally in the first 2 sentences. You are a new person taking up someone elses time which is already annoying.
So, you must eliminate the annoying factor as much as possible by helping the other person make a decision as quickly as possible. No-one wants to work with someone they don’t like. So, get to the point and help the other person decide yes, no or maybe.
Tip 4: Prove you’re worth their time
The other person is just like you. They have their own targets to hit and want to grow their company so they can make the impact that they want to make. Whether it’s increasing their salary so they can look after their family, or making the impact they want to see in their community or the world.
Every person you speak to has their own motivations.
So, they are only going to speak to you if they believe you are worth their time and can help them reach their own goals.
Perhaps that sounds really selfish, but it’s just how we are wired. I believe everyone has good intentions and are good people, but when it comes down to it, we are all under a lot of pressure, and under pressure we make selfish decisions based on own deep routed motivations.
In the first sentence you should say who you are, the company you are writing from + include trust metrics / social proof. I.e. we just won X award, we have 1 million hits per month, we planted 500, 000 trees last year, we have the largest selection of X online, we are established in x countries, we have a 95% score on trustpilot...
If you are a blogger or solo entrepreneur you can talk about your experience, I’ve worked for X,X + X company or, I’ve analysed over 5,000 websites, I gave a ted x talk…
Whatever you say has to be TRUE. Don’t make something up, it has to sound good but it has to be true, very important.
Also, with this point you can go overboard.
No-one wants to speak to an arrogant person. The person you are speaking with wants to feel good during this interaction. They want to feel that they are speaking with someone who is trustworthy and can help them to their goals, but they also want to feel good about themselves at the same time. A single sentence is a good length.
Tip 5: Include links to back up points
You also have to appreciate that you are interrupting this person’s time and they don’t know you, at all.
It is also unlikely they know the company you are emailing from either, even if you think your company is well known.
Which means, just because you say you are trustworthy, doesn’t mean they will believe you. So, make sure you link through to your website at the very least. And ideally also a review site which shows your positive customer feedback.
It is also important to link through to the specific content you are talking about promoting. As well as any channels you want to promote it on.
Finally, if you can link through to the blog you emailing about that is also great, ideally you should add it as an anchor text link instead of a straight URL since this looks more natural.
I don’t know of an email system which adds anchor texts in automatically, so, if you are scaling your campaign it may not be possible. However, if you are outreaching to some high value businesses and websites you might want to just write a personal email and include the anchor text links.
Tip 6: Include name
If you or your outreach software can find the bloggers name then include it at the beginning of the email. Keep the intro quite informal i.e. Hi Sally,
When the name is not found you can use “there” this works with “Hi” so it would read “Hi there”. This is a point we don’t really need to labour on, it’s quite simple, I just have one thing to say.
Adding the name does increase conversion and it does get the relationship off to the right start since it’s just common courtesy to find out the person’s name that you are emailing. I do appreciate though that in large campaigns with limited resource finding the bloggers name is not always possible, just expect less reply's if that is the case.
Tip 7: Keep the email short
Your email shouldn’t be longer than 150 words unless the partnership opportunity you have is quite complicated and needs more explanation. For most outreach emails, 150 words is enough space to introduce yourself, your pitch and close the email.
The average reading speed is 200 - 250 words per minute. So, it's going to take the person you are emailing just less than a minute to read your email. Most people will then file the email, leave it in the inbox or delete it.
This could be because of a few factors.
a) The person needs to think about it, but they also have a lot to do so they file your email and move on to something else with the intention to come back to your email.
b) The person doesn't want to work with you but they don’t want to be rude by saying so.
c) They are pissed off at you for interrupting their time.
d) They want to work with you but pioritise other activities on their list for the time being.
Very rarely do you get instant responses from an outreach campaign. A few people will reply back several hours later, some, several days later. The majority will forget the email leading us to tip 8.
Tip 8: Follow up
The big advantage of email software is the automatic follow up. Following up can double your response rate (or more) study. The reasons are what were described in Tip 7. The follow up email just needs to be a couple of lines repeating the ask.
It should go out around 3 days after your first email. Studies show that the longer a decision is not made the less likely the person is to follow through, so it’s important to get the conversation going and the decision made quickly. Study.
Tip 9: Format -- create space & flow
The final tip is about formatting your outreach email. This is quite important because the position of the words, the flow of the sentences and the size of the paragraphs all give off a certain feel. I can write a short sentence. Or I can write a beautifully long sentence which weaves words in a way which makes you feel calmer. Or, I can break it up, and make a point.
Ideally you want a mix of all three of these sentence structures in your email. And you should use all three to pace the email and bring the reader along to the end. This is the most important aspect, you need your reader to get to the end of your email so they can at least be in a position to make a decision.
Along the way, you need to a) not piss them off and b) warm to you at least a little bit. If you have followed all the tips previous to this, hopefully you should be able to accomplish b).
When it comes to writing emails, being a good writer is a definite advantage. Writing good emails is more than passing over information.
As you can see from these tips, writing good emails is about passing over information & the right emotions which lead to a positive outcome.
You could have the best intentions in the world, but if you can’t convey those best intentions through your writing, then your reader will never know about it.
That's the end of my outreach tips for now. I'd love to know in the comments if you have any more to add or if you agree or disagree on any of these points, lets have a conversation!
Working with bloggers on collaborations is a great way to drive traffic back to your company or service. No matter what you sell, it is very likely that there are a group of bloggers out there who can help you reach your audience.
Here are 7 primary benefits of working with bloggers to promote your business.
1. Use The Power Of Leverage For Fast Results
The reason it is so powerful collaborating with other bloggers is because you have access to their audience of followers. It is very important that the audience listens & trusts the blogger you are working with. The volume of followers doesn’t matter as much as the quality of engagement that happens on the blog.
Whenever you work with a blogger with an engaged following who recommended your company you are reaching a wider audience of people who are then introduced to your product or service.
2. Cost Effective Marketing Tactic
Working with bloggers is a fairly low cost marketing activity. If you are doing it yourself the only cost will be providing whatever it is you want to provide to the blogger. And if you are DIYing it I suggest you sign up to our Guest Bloggers Wanted tool and connect with bloggers for free! It is a really easy way to collaborate with bloggers in multiple different niches at a very low cost.
If you want someone to run your blogger outreach for you then you will need to pay for this service, and the more you can afford to pay for a high quality guest posting service the better your results will be long into the future.
3. Open To Every Business
No matter what your business is blogger outreach is a useful tactic. You might adjust it differently depending on the type of business you are… for example a mostly offline business might choose to only appear in well trusted and high authority online magazines and newspapers in order to build their brand trust.
Whereas a mostly online business might decide to heavily focus on working with bloggers to drive online traffic to their site and make more online sales through increased search engine traffic.
4. More Search Engine Traffic
Collaborating with bloggers can help drive more search engine traffic back to your site. This is of course assuming you have the correct strategy in place first. Make sure you know what keywords you are targeting and what you want to be ranking for! Assuming you have this keyword plan in place the additional links that you pick up from collaborations will help your blog content & product pages to rank.
5. Grow Your Brand Trust
Research by BlogHer found that 81% of respondents to their 2012 survey said that they trust the information and advice that blogs give them and that 61% have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blogger. Working with bloggers grows trust.
6. Grow Your Network
Everytime you collaborate with a blogger you have also introduced your company to them as well. Don’t always just think about the audience you are reaching but the person you are in direct contact with! Guest blogging and collaborations is a great way to grow your network and will start to snowball once you hit a certain number of them.
7. The Process Is Fun
Working with bloggers is fun! You are speaking with a person who has spent a lot of time and effort on their blog, growing & nurturing their audience. It is a pretty special thing when they are accepting to work with you and help promote your product or service to their audience. Enjoy the process of creating content, promoting it and seeing the results!
If you want to work with bloggers check out Guest Bloggers Wanted, our new outreach tool which helps you connect with the bloggers & influencers SUPER easily. You don't need to build long outreach lists & get lost in email. Just post your guest post title in the tool and you'll find bloggers who want to collaborate with you!
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Content Marketing Freelancer @ Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)
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