Guest posting often gets overlooked by online businesses for two reasons. First, many entrepreneurs are either unaware of the benefits or lack the knowledge of how this strategy works to help with achieving marketing goals. Second, they know someone who has tried it and got mediocre results.

Both reasons are pretty silly and apply to every digital marketing strategy. It’s unreasonable to go out there and try to convince someone to avoid doing something because of them (I know quite a few entrepreneurs who have tried email marketing, paid ads, and other techniques just to get poor results).

The truth is that guest blogging is one of the best inbound marketing strategies that has helped numerous startups and small businesses to reach more customers. With 77 percent of Internet users reading blogs, it’s definitely worth a shot.

In this article, let’s talk about it in more detail and explain why it should be a part of your marketing effort.

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What is Guest Posting?

Guest posting refers to writing and publishing articles for websites other than your own. While this may sound counterproductive – why the heck should you write stuff for others, right – it’s actually a damn good marketing strategy.

Case scenario

Let’s assume that you’re an owner of a small digital PR agency. To raise the awareness of your business and show off your expertise, you decide to pitch some articles to high-authority websites in your niche. These websites have tens of thousands of visitors every week, so having an article there could do wonders for your marketing.

So, you publish a few great pieces across multiple websites where you share actional tips on promoting products and services and other actionable content related to PR campaigns. The articles start to generate engagement – comments, social media shares, etc. – and, after some time, you see a few marketing directors in line for you to approve their connection request on LinkedIn.

Guest Posting: How It Benefits Small Businesses

In the above scenario, guest posting provided you with a new communication channel through which you gave potential customers actionable insights and helpful advice they can actually implement. In other words, you’ve established trust and even provided them with a bit of a taste of how collaborating with your PR agency could benefit them. As a result, you’ve got a lead.

However, this is not the only good thing that happened as a result of you publishing a guest article. In addition to lead generation, the strategy can also help you with (I’ll mention the most common mistakes, too, to let you know why people had only mediocre results with guest posting):

Building authority in your niche. “By sharing your expertise with potential customers, you’re making more people trust your business,” says Mia Dorsett, a digital marketing expert. “In the online environment where fake experts and low-value content are everywhere, your articles could stand out as truly interesting to read.”

Mistakes to avoid:
a) creating mediocre content that has little to no value for potential customers; in this case, you’re just another “fake expert”
b) publishing on low-traffic websites.

Increase website traffic. “By publishing guest articles on a consistent basis and including the links to your website or specific pages, you can draw people in,” according to Julian Selke, an SEO expert. “Links to case studies, landing pages, customer testimonials work especially well.”

Mistakes to avoid:
a) overdoing it with links and making yourself look desperate for attention
b) inserting low-value links that customers won’t find relevant
c) publishing on low-traffic websites.

Building relationships with leads. This won’t happen overnight, of course, but if you commit to publishing guest posts on a consistent basis, chances are that people will comment, ask you questions, and connect with you via social media.

Mistakes to avoid:

a) thinking that your job ends with publishing a guest post

b) failing to monitor engagement with your content and interact with the audience

c) failing to follow up with the owner of the website that accepted your article (this creates opportunities for future posts).

Improving your website SEO. According to Google’s SEO guidelines, links from high-authority and high-traffic websites improve SEO because they’re considered as helpful to search engine users. If you have a website like Forbes or Jeff Bullas – both of which accept lots of guest posts, by the way – then your website’s rank should improve as well.

Mistakes to avoid: a) submitting articles to low-authority websites with little visitor engagement, b) not following submission guidelines on websites and getting articles disapproved.

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Over to You

Guest posting is a legitimate and low-costing marketing technique that you should definitely try. Remember that in the end, the success or failure of your content comes down to the relevance and usefulness to your target audience. To increase the chances of getting published and taking advantage of the above-mentioned benefits, take your time with each article and always keep the needs of the reader at the center.

About the author: Dorothea Oppelland is a graduate from Hamburg University, now a marketing specialist and business consultant who currently works at Ghostwriter Preise

Title image from Icons8 Photo Stock

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