Why you should guest blog + how to get started

ARE YOU A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER WONDERING HOW TO GROW YOUR AUDIENCE? IF SO, GUEST BLOGGING IS A GREAT WAY TO DO THAT. THIS ARTICLE OUTLINES THE ADVANTAGES OF GUEST BLOGGING FROM GROWING YOUR AUDIENCE, AND IMPROVING YOUR SEO, TO ESTABLISHING YOUR AUTHORITY. IT ALSO WALKS YOU THROUGH THE STEPS OF GUEST BLOGGING FROM FINDING THE RIGHT BLOGS TO SUMBIT TO, HOW TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE, AND WHAT TO DO AFTER. THERE'S ALSO A LIST OF BLOGS THAT ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS. CLICK THROUGH TO START GROWING YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH GUEST BLOGGING!

If you’re trying to grow your business, guest blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there and expand your audience. I’ve had a lot of experience writing for blogs of all sizes and have reaped many of the benefits. If you’re interested in guest blogging, here are some reasons why you should give it a shot and some helpful tips to get you started. 

Advantages

Even though guest blogging is free to do and accessible to anyone, know that it will take time and effort on your part. Below are some of the reasons that it’s a worthwhile investment for you personally and for your business.

New Audience & Potential Clients

One of the obvious benefits of guest blogging is that you’ll have the opportunity to reach a new audience. This can potentially lead to new inquiries and clients. I personally received a new client within a month of my first guest post being published. It's important to mention that I've also written several other guest posts that haven't lead to any new clients. There's no guarantee you'll end up with a new client, but if you do it definitely makes the time and effort you put into writing the post pay off.

Increased Traffic & SEO Benefits

Guest blogging will lead to increased traffic to your own site. Not only will there be an immediate boost when the post is published, it’s likely that there will be ongoing traffic from it, especially if the blog you’ve written it for continually promotes past content.

In terms of SEO, it's incredibly beneficial to have other websites linking to yours. These are called backlinks and if they are coming from reliable sources they will benefit your site. The more backlinks to your site, generally the higher your site will rank on search engines.

Establishes Authority

Another benefit of guest blogging is that it shows your expertise and establishes you as an authority in your field. If you write intelligent and helpful articles, readers will trust and respect you. If you’re writing for well-known blogs this will improve your credibility. Linking to the guest posts you’ve written somewhere on your own site will show visitors that you are knowledgeable and respected in your industry.

Free Marketing

If you don’t have a large marketing budget, guest posting is a great way to get your name out there for free. There will be a time and energy cost, but it’s usually worthwhile. Although harder to come by, there are paid blogging opportunities as well, which I cover in more depth further down.

Writing Experience

One of the best benefits I’ve received from guest blogging is an overall improvement in my writing skills. Like with anything, practice makes perfect. Since I’ve started guest blogging the quality of my own blog has greatly improved. Strong writing skills are always beneficial to possess.

Finding Blogs to Submit To

So you're convinced that guest blogging is worth it and you're ready to get started. Wondering where to begin? To find blogs that accept guest posts you can google terms like "become a contributor", "write for us", or "guest blogging opportunities", along with some terms that are related to your industry. I have also included a short list at the end of this posts of some blogs that accept guest writers. Even if a blog doesn't explicitly state that they accept guest posts it never hurts to reach out and ask. Below are a few things to consider when searching for a blog to submit to.

Ongoing Verses One-time

Some blogs are looking for one time contributions, while others want ongoing contributors. Typically the one time opportunities are unpaid, while the ongoing ones tend to be paid. I’ve done both and they've each proved valuable in different ways. If you're just getting started blogging, it's beneficial to gain some experience by writing free blog posts first. Once you have writing samples under your belt you have a better chance of scoring a paid position as a regular contributor.

Paid verses Unpaid

The majority of my guest posts have been unpaid. When they lead to a new client they pay for themselves, but as I previously mentioned there’s no guarantee of that happening. I’ve written many guest blog posts that didn’t lead to any financial gain. They have, however, had many of the other benefits mentioned above.

Once you’ve gained enough writing experience, you'll probably find that free guest blogging is no longer worth the time investment. Take into account that ultimately you want to grow your own readership. If guest blogging is taking away from your own blog, it might be time to scale back on the guest posts.

The Right Audience

There's no point in writing an article if it won't be read by the right people. Be sure to look for blogs that would attract your ideal client. Read past articles on a blog you're considering contributing to and see what kind of topics are discussed. If the blog topics seem relevant to your industry then go a step further and see who is commenting on the posts. If there is a high amount of engagement by people who could be in need of your services or products, you’ve probably hit a goldmine. 

Submitting Articles

Blogs that clearly state they accept guests posts will usually have guidelines for how to submit them. When contacting  a blog you would like to write for be sure to include the overall topic(s) you would like to write about, with an example of a specific blog post you think their readers might enjoy. Some blogs will require that you submit the entire written post in order to be considered. Others will just want the topic and maybe some bullet points. The main thing they will look for is whether or not your article will provide helpful content to their readers.

Deciding On a TOpic

As previously mentioned, the article has to provide substance and value to the reader. Some ways to do this are through a how-to article, a step-by-step tutorial, or a persuasive article on why they should or shouldn't do something. Ultimately, you want to provide practical help for the reader in a way that establishes your expertise and shows the benefit of hiring you. Remember that the post is for the benefit of the reader and it’s not about self-promotion.

The first guest post I wrote was about how to avoid hiring the wrong designer. I talked about the warning signs that someone looking to hire a designer should be aware of. This is helpful to someone who has never worked with a designer before, but is looking for one. I didn't talk about my business or how I could help them. Instead I provided valuable information and ultimately it led to me receiving a new client. 

Writing Your Bio

Most guest posts will be accompanied by a short bio about you. This is the one chance you have to blatantly promote your business, so don't hold back. Be sure to include the name of your business, what you do, who you do it for, and a link to your site. It's also a great idea to mention any free opt-in that you give to people who sign up for your email list. Something along the lines of "Be sure to grab a copy of the FREE Mini Branding Guide on her site" is all it takes. This will encourage people to visit your site and help grow your list. Most blogs will also include links to your social media profiles, as well. Most importantly, follow any guidelines that the blog has for writing your bio.

Following-up with your Article

Don't expect to have people contacting you the moment your article is published. It will take time, so be patient. The good thing about blog posts is that they can continue to bring new visitors to your site long after they’ve been published. In the meantime, it's a good idea to check-in on your post periodically to see if there are any comments. Oftentimes people will ask questions in the comments and it's important to answer those. It shows potential clients that you're helpful and knowledgeable on the topic you've written about.

Blogs That accept submissions

To help get you started, here are some great blogs that are currently accepting guest posts.

I'm sure there are more out there! You just have to start searching and find some that are relevant to your industry. Do you know of other blogs that accept guest posts? Leave them in the comments!