Starting a blog is an important step when growing your business. To broaden your audience in new ways, you’ll want to try guest blogging. What is guest blogging? For bloggers, it is an opportunity to gain new readership. For businesses, it is a way to position yourself as an industry leader.
Don’t worry if you don’t know a lot about it. If you’re just starting to look into guest blogging, this article will help. Below, we’ll cover fundamental topics, including:
- What is guest blogging?
- Why is guest blogging important?
- What value does it bring to SEO?
- What are the risks?
- What are guest blogging best practices?
- How can you get started with guest blogging?
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What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging or guest posting is when a writer or professional creates content for another brand’s blog, website, or social media channel. Typically, guest bloggers tackle similar topics in their main body of work.
For both the blogger and the host brand, the goal of guest blogging is to:
- Boost brand credibility
- Build brand awareness
- Create important connections with new readers and fellow brands
- Compel readers to visit your website
When bloggers and brands collaborate, they often extend the invitation in both directions. The blogger will write a guest blog post for their host brand, who will later provide a blog post for the guest blogger’s brand or website. In other words, guest bloggers and brands often enjoy a symbiotic relationship.
Why is guest blogging important?
Guest blogging unlocks a long list of benefits for businesses of all kinds. Some of the most exciting advantages include the following.
Establishing your brand as an authority
An important element of marketing is establishing your brand as an authority within your industry. This helps build a wider audience for your business while establishing trust and loyalty among your customers. When it comes to building a strong content marketing strategy, positioning yourself as an expert in your field will boost the value of your content over time.
Refreshing your blog
When you invite a guest to create content for your blog, you provide a refreshingly new point of view for your readers to enjoy. To generate buzz around a visiting blogger, include the news in your email campaign and social media posts. Invite guest bloggers in regularly to avoid letting your blog feed get stale.
Providing thought leadership
Many blogs use guest blogging as the cornerstone of their content structure. When you utilize guests as a primary source of content, you can elevate your blog as a collection of thought leaders in conversation about your industry.
To show off your impressive lineup of guest bloggers, use social media posting tools to get the word out.
In this example, the educational blog TeachThought establishes itself as a community of thought leaders by highlighting posts from both its founder and collective staff.
What value does guest blogging bring to SEO?
The simple answer is that inviting guest bloggers can help you boost your search engine optimization over time.
To maximize your SEO benefits, focus on using relevant keywords and generating valuable content for your readership. More technically, the way guest blogging helps your SEO is through backlinks. For example: If someone links to your blog, Google interprets the links as a validation that your blog is compelling and useful to readers.
When your guest blogger links to your blog on their brand website — and vice versa — your SEO ranking will begin to climb. Along with using SEO tools, guest blogging is a great way to improve your online visibility.
As seen below, lifestyle blog Say Yes provides its guest blogger with an enthusiastic introduction. Within the intro, Say Yes links back to Victoria’s website. This essential step provides SEO benefits for both blogs. It also establishes credibility and creates an important connection between the two websites.
What are the risks?
Earning credible inbound links might be a badge of honor, but — like many marketing tools — it has been abused by brands looking to take a shortcut to the top of online rankings. When used as a form of spam, poor-quality guest blogging can earn your brand a penalty from Google.
It is important to be aware of the risks of shady guest blogging. However, it shouldn’t deter your brand from generating collaborative content with properly vetted fellow professionals.
What are guest blogging best practices?
Creating great content is all about writing with your ideal customer in mind. Guest blogging is no different. The goal is always to provide a resource to your audience — whether the value is created through entertainment or education.
Save your advertising tactics for Google Ads. Instead, think of ways to provide actionable content and make a meaningful connection with your readers. Best practices include the following.
Using an internal link
Guest bloggers should include at least one internal link that is relevant to the topic at hand. Link back to the host company’s previous blog post to drive traffic and start establishing trust with visiting readers.
Including an author biography
Help readers connect with your guest blogger by including a well-written artist bio. A biography provides you with the opportunity to share your experience within the industry and continue establishing trust. Some guest blog posts use the bio as an opportunity to link back to the writer’s blog.
Generating shareable content
One of the goals of creating great brand content is to encourage interaction on social media. Guest bloggers should keep shareability in mind when crafting a post. Consider sharing tips, creating a brief guide, or including compelling visual content to inspire readers to share the blog post with others.
Both the guest blogger and brand should post about the crossover event on your respective social media channels. Include a call to action for your followers to share the blog and vice versa!
Food and lifestyle blog Our Food Stories uses a unique Q&A structure to welcome its guest blogging duo. This format is effective because it is easy to read, interesting, and personable. Beyond this, it allows Our Food Stories to link to both guest bloggers’ social media channels as well as share compelling content about their home life.
As with any blog post, you’ll want to use analytics tools to gain a deeper insight into the success of your guest content. Read comments and monitor social media engagement to learn more about what content resonates with your target audience.
How can you get started with guest blogging?
For brands looking to connect with guest bloggers, it is important to take the time to get familiar with potential guest bloggers’ work. Make sure they align with your brand values and are not a direct competitor to your business.
For bloggers looking to guest blog, reach out to brands to which you think you can offer tangible value. On either side of guest blogging, research and communication are key. Choosing a brand or blogger that doesn’t align well with your brand can break customer trust, drive away leads, and damage brand relationships.
To find a good match, both parties should consider:
- Are you a part of the same or complementary industries?
- Does the brand or blogger have a positive SEO ranking?
- Does the brand or blogger have a visible and active following on social media?
- Does the brand or blogger you’re researching have an established blog or body of work?
- What benefit can both parties gain from guest blogging?
Whether you are a blogger or brand looking to make use of guest blogging, chances are that you’ve poured an immense amount of time crafting your brand website and blog.
To get the most out of guest blogging, you must take the time to find a partnership that will serve your carefully developed business. When you do, guest blogging can be a deeply rewarding experience for both blogger and host brand.
You’ve learned what guest blogging is, why it is important, and how to get started. To discover additional online marketing advice, read The Download — a free marketing guide for professionals from Constant Contact.