The internet has drastically changed how businesses market themselves and interact with customers. An essential component of any digital marketing strategy is content creation. High-quality, valuable content helps companies connect with their audience, build authority and trust, and improve website visibility. While companies create much of their content directly, guest posting has emerged as a content marketing tactic with proven benefits.
What Are Guest Posts?
A guest post is an article or other piece of content that an individual or company publishes on someone else’s website or blog. The post aligns with the host site’s theme and provides value to its audience. The content aims to be informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers.
In exchange for providing content at no cost, the guest poster gets the benefits of reaching a new audience and gaining legitimacy by being featured on the site. The host site also gains from the exposure to fresh, high-quality content without the effort of producing it in-house. Guest blogging leads to a win-win situation when done correctly.
The Rise of Guest Posting
Guest posting has been around since the early days of blogging but has grown tremendously in popularity over the last decade. As content marketing has exploded, marketers recognize the value of guest posting for increasing brand awareness and establishing credibility.
Some key factors driving the growth of guest blogging include:
Guest posts allow bloggers to include backlinks in the content pointing back to their own website. These backlinks are essential for improving domain authority and search engine optimization. Google values guest posts published on reputable sites as a trust signal.
By leveraging another site’s existing readership, guest posters gain access to an entirely new audience. This exposure helps expand brand awareness and drive traffic.
Guest posts enable bloggers to highlight their expertise within a niche. Being featured on industry-leading websites establishes them as thought leaders.
When done properly, guest blogging forges mutually beneficial relationships between bloggers, website owners, and readers. These relationships can spark future collaborations.
Keys to Successful Guest Posting
With so many companies now utilizing guest posting, it’s vital to stand out from the pack. Follow these best practices to succeed with guest blogging:
Find the Right Websites
Only pitch websites with audiences that align with your target customer base. Make sure the site accepts and frequently publishes guest posts. Build relationships with site owners by commenting on their content before pitching to post.
Craft Captivating Content
Great content marketing should be informative, engaging, and educational. Brainstorm unique angles you can provide the audience value. Make sure the content specifically caters to that site’s readers.
Promote Your Post
Let your audience know when your guest post goes live by sharing it across social channels. Link to it from your website and email lists. Promote the piece to maximize its impact.
Include Relevant Links
Naturally incorporate 1-2 relevant backlinks from within the post to your site. But don’t overdo it. Keep the links contextual and helpful to readers.
Follow up with the site owner after publishing to thank them and discuss results. If successful, propose future guest post collaborations to build the relationship further.
Should You Use Ghostwriters for Guest Posts?
Many companies rely on ghostwriters to create guest post content on their behalf. Ghostwriting services employ professionals to craft posts, allowing businesses without dedicated writing resources to secure placements. But is using ghostwriters for guest blogging truly effective? There are pros and cons to consider.
The Benefits of Guest Post Ghostwriting
Here are some of the advantages of outsourcing guest post creation:
Ghostwriters research topics, craft posts, follow guidelines, and handle revisions for you. This frees up internal resources to focus on other initiatives.
Top ghostwriters specialize in creating conversion-focused content designed to perform well. Their expertise in writing strong posts can give you an edge.
Ghostwriting services have large networks of writers who can produce content quickly. This scalability allows posting on multiple high-authority sites simultaneously.
Relying on an in-house team to churn out guest posts while handling other marketing tasks can be challenging. Ghostwriters always deliver posts on time to prevent missed opportunities.
Potential Downsides of Ghostwritten Guest Posts
However, there are some possible disadvantages:
Lack of Originality
While ghostwriters produce new content, it may lack original perspectives you could provide. The content is often not as authentic coming from an outsider.
Guest posting lets you establish direct relationships with website owners in your industry. Using ghostwriters places a buffer between you and potential partners.
Outsourcing content creation requires paying per post for ghostwriting services. This can get expensive, reducing potential ROI.
You may not promote and share a guest post that you did not personally create as enthusiastically. This limits the opportunity to attract backlinks and social shares.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
The smart approach is assessing your own team’s bandwidth, capabilities, and goals to determine if ghostwriters make sense for your guest posting needs. They provide an affordable solution for busy teams to ramp up content production and guest post outreach. But for companies focused on building authentic connections through guest content, keeping it completely in-house has advantages.
Guest Posting to Generate Backlinks
One primary motivation for guest posting is acquiring backlinks from a site with high domain authority to boost your own SEO. But balancing this with creating quality content and adding value for the host website is key. Here are some tips for properly using guest posts for backlinks:
Find Sites That Align with Yours
Only target websites where you are genuinely a good fit to become a contributor. Trying to force guest posts solely for backlinks on irrelevant sites will likely fail.
Research Sites Thoroughly
Vet sites to confirm they actively publish guest writers and have domain authority. Prioritize sites related to your industry. Established sites with good traffic offer better SEO benefits.
Don’t reach out to a site owner cold with a promotional pitch. First, engage with the website by commenting on posts and sharing content. Then propose your guest post idea.
Write Genuinely Useful Content
Create content that caters to the site’s audience. Avoid overly self-promotional posts that are blatant link bait. Deliver authentic value to readers.
Naturally work 1-2 contextual backlinks into the post content that enhance the reader experience. Avoid forced or over-optimized links.
Promote the Content Extensively
Maximize exposure of your guest post by promoting it across your website, email lists, and social media channels. Amplify its reach.
By providing excellent content as a guest blogger, you can build relationships that result in recurring posting opportunities and backlinks over time. But quality matters most.
Evaluating the Success of Guest Posts
Once you publish a guest post, it’s essential to evaluate its impact and success. Metrics to track include:
Analyze how many high-quality backlinks you acquired from the post and if it improved your site’s authority.
Check Google Analytics to see if the post drove an increase in website visitors from the host site.
Count social shares of the post across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If the post contained a call-to-action, measure any resulting conversions.
Assess if the guest post opened the door to an ongoing relationship with the website owner to guest post again.
Check the post comments and any direct feedback received for perceptions of the content and your brand.
By regularly evaluating these metrics, you can refine your future guest posting strategy to maximize impact. The more you post, the more data you’ll have to analyze too.
Guest Posting Strategies to Adopt
Guest posting shows no signs of declining. As content marketing continues trending up, properly leveraged guest posts provide an edge. Here are effective guest posting strategies to incorporate in 2023:
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
Don’t worry about the specific number of guest post placements. Focus on posting stellar content only on websites with truly engaged audiences.
Take advantage of evolving blog formats by incorporating visual content into posts through images, charts, videos, and graphics.
Post on Industry Forums
Active industry forums and aggregators represent untapped guest posting potential. Provide value by sharing your expertise through posts.
Partner with Influencers
Reaching out to industry influencers for cross-promoted guest posts can expand reach tremendously.
Monitor the Latest Trends
Stay on top of your niche by incorporating the latest research, trends, and innovations into posts to highlight thought leadership.
The guest posting landscape will continue changing. But adapting these strategies will set you up for content marketing success in the year ahead.
While often considered a supplemental content tactic, guest posting offers immense strategic value as part of a digital marketing strategy. By leveraging high-authority sites’ audiences and credibility, guest posts allow brands to increase awareness, establish thought leadership, build backlinks, spark conversions, and forge partnerships.
But securing and optimizing guest post opportunities takes research, relationship building, excellent content, and promotion. Having a defined process for identifying websites, pitching posts, writing compelling content, and evaluating results is critical to maximizing guest posting ROI.
As brands refine their approaches in 2023, guest posting shows no signs of fading from content marketers’ playbooks anytime soon. This versatile promotional channel will only continue growing in importance for brands seeking to reach new audiences online.
Guest Posting FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about guest posting:
1. What are some tips for getting a guest post accepted?
Take time researching the website and crafting a compelling pitch email. Follow submission guidelines closely. Always customize your posts to align with the specific site’s audience. Provide posts on time in the required format.
2. How much should you charge for a guest post?
Most guest posters do not charge a fee and provide content for free in exchange for the exposure and backlink benefits. However, influencers and extremely high-authority sites may charge a publishing fee in some cases.
3. What topics should you avoid in a guest post?
Avoid overly promotional posts that focus on selling products vs. providing info. Don’t cover controversial issues or include negative remarks about competitors. Stick to topics that offer value.
4. How many links should you include in a guest post?
As a rule of thumb, incorporate 1-2 relevant backlinks at most into a post to avoid looking spammy. Links should occur naturally based on context.
5. What is the ideal guest post length?
Aim for posts between 1,000-2,000 words. Very short posts may not provide enough value, while extremely long ones may not hold reader attention. Analyze what post lengths a site prefers.