Ready to promote your brand through thought leadership and increase the visits you get to your website? If so, you should implement a guest blogging strategy for your brand and this post will tell you exactly how to do it.
Guest blogging allows brands to authentically promote their name and divert traffic back to their website and content assets. When brands publish thought leadership guest posts, readers establish trust and credibility with the brand which leads to high conversion rates.
A well-ran guest blogging campaign can bring in three times the amount of leads than paid advertising. So, we are here to make sure you have all the assets and steps in place so that you can see these results from your brand’s own guest blogging strategy.
Step 1: Identify the Right Sites
The first thing you need to do is hone in on the sites that your target consumers follow or visit frequently. You can do this by googling for blogs that focus on a certain topic or use an identification software like GroupHigh or BuzzSumo. One mistake brands make is thinking that there aren’t many blogs that coincide with their brand, but, we are here to assure you that there is a blog about any topic under the sun!
Creating buyer personas can help you determine which blogs to reach out to and here is a great free template to build out the personas for your brand. Identifying blogs that align with your buyer persona’s interests and pain points will ensure that your guest blogging strategy stays on track.
Step 2: Engage
After you identify the blogs you want to post on, it may be tempting to email them right away. But, you’ll get higher response rates if you establish brand familiarity first. This can be anything from leaving comments in the blog posts or sharing their posts on social media. You can even link to the brand in your brand’s blog posts. These engagement tactics can shed a positive light on your brand and lead to great response rates from bloggers.
Step 3: Finesse Your Pitch
Once you’ve established awareness about your brand with the bloggers, it’s time to send out your pitch. You want it to be personalized and outline your expertise as a thought leader. Here are some things to include in your pitch:
- A catchy subject line
- Why you want to write for their blog
- Examples of your past work
- Praise their blog and the work they do
- Reference a post they’ve written to showcase the fact that you’ve done your research
- Let them know the topic you want to write about
- Assure them that you will share your post that you write for them on your own channels and in email
Step 4: Create Your Guest Blogging Hub
Organization is key to a successful guest blogging campaign. Create a spreadsheet or blogging hub consisting of the blogs you reach out to and what their response is. You should also list the topics you’ll write about for each blog to make sure that your posts are not repetitive. This spreadsheet is key to having a well-oiled guest blogging campaign.
Step 5: Come Up with Thought Leadership Topics
Through your guest blogging posts, you want to exemplify your opinions and/or experience as it relates to different topics that align with your brand. The goal is to come up with thought leadership posts as opposed to posts about your brand. So, in your spreadsheet, you want to brainstorm a bunch of thought leadership posts for each blog that you write for.
If you need a little inspiration, look to posts the bloggers have written before. This can help you come up with ideas that will resonate with their audience.
Step 6: Write the Post
When it comes to getting your posts written, the first thing you need to do is decide if you, someone on your team, or hired help are going to write the post. If you don’t trust yourself as a writer, it’s a good idea to hire a writer who is comfortable with ghost writing. You can look on LinkedIn, Pro Blogger, UpWork, or any other sites that connect talent with brands. Be sure to vet their work and ensure that they’re comfortable with writing for your industry.
If you’re writing the post yourself, be sure to allocate 3 hours per post and give the bloggers an accurate timeline of when you can deliver the posts.
If you’re new to writing blog posts here is what the structure should look like:
- Intro that explains what the post is going to be about
- Headers for each topic to create a clear outline
- Short and to the point sentences
- A conclusion with key takeaways
- Hyperlinks to any sources or references that you mention
When you’re writing your post, be mindful of link backs. You don’t want to come across as self-promotional so keep the buyer’s journey in mind and steer your readers to resources on your website like blog posts or case studies instead of linking directly to your brand. The direct link should be in your bio.
Step 7: Compose Your Bio
Your bio is important to give you and your brand credibility for your great posts. A good rule of thumb is that your bio should be 2–3 sentences and highlight your expertise and your brand. Many blogs don’t allow guest bloggers to link to their brand in the body of the post but rather in their bio so this is important for you to get your link back. We also recommend that one of your sentences talks about you as a person and your hobbies and/or interests to add a human element for your readers to connect with. Don’t forget to include a headshot for the blogger to add in your bio section.
Step 8: Share on Social and Email
To make the most out of your guest posts, it’s important to share them on your brand’s social channels and in any email newsletters or content digests that you send out. You want your guest post to benefit the blogger who is allowing you this generous opportunity so getting their blog in front of your brand’s own audience is key.
Step 9: Measure Your Success
As is the case with other content marketing strategies, you’re going to want to measure your guest blogging campaign to determine success. Some metrics to consider are:
- Social shares of your posts
- Traffic back to your website
- New leads generated
- New clients landed
- Comments on the blog post
- Number of pieces of content generated
- An increase in SEO
We mentioned creating a campaign hub in a spreadsheet and this sheet is a great place to record your guest blogging campaign metrics and links to the posts you create.
Step 10: Repeat What Works
Once you’ve measured and determined how your campaign is going, it’s time to repeat the strategies that are working for you. By analyzing which post topics are performing the best and which blogs are bringing in the most traffic, you can write more posts that are similar to the posts performing the best and ask the blogs if you can post on their blog again. If you’re sharing your posts on social and in email, the blogger is going to be more likely to let you post on their blog again.
If executed well, a guest blog post campaign can generate a lot of new traffic and leads for your brand. To condense all the steps we outlined, here is a check list that you can print out and hang on your wall!
- Identify the right blogs
- Engage with the bloggers before reaching out
- Send your pitch email
- Create a spreadsheet for all of your guest blogging opportunities and post topics
- Brainstorm thought leadership topics
- Write your post and stick to a timeline
- Compose your bio
- Share your post on social and in emails
- Measure your campaign
- Repeat what works the best
Remember, the goal of your guest blogging campaign is to establish thought leadership and brand familiarity to gain new visitors and convert those visitors into sales. Good luck!
Do you have any tips for brands who are wanting to execute a guest blogging campaign? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter @Feed_Otter!