As a beginner to content marketing one of the best ways to market a blog or website is to guest post. It is a great way to build traffic and to grown an audience especially if you don’t have enough money to advertise, promote or distribute your work out to thousands upon thousands of people via social media, search engine advertising or the many other methods.

It is something a lot of bloggers do and over at Process Street we written roughly around 100 guest posts in the past year in an attempt to build our blog, all whilst we make amazing business relationships with the blog/website we’re posting on.

Guest posting is an easy way to tap into an audience that someone else has already built but by ensuring it overlaps with your target market, you can reach your market by using the blog’s audience enabling you to grow without having to create your own audience, neat, eh?

 

Finding Sites To Post On

Starting out guest posting can seem overwhelming, especially if you want to be ranked on all the big and popular websites, but when you’re just starting out keep it to a smaller scale and aim for sites that are only just a little larger than your own. The first thing you will want to do is find guest post opportunities. When looking for places to guest post on, your main goal is to find sites relevant to your niche, industry or keyword you’re targeting. You are looking for blogs that fit the following criteria:

  • The content is focused on your niche, industry or keyword.
  • The audience of the blog will be interested in your industry/product.
  • The blog has an engaged readership (posts have been shared socially and commented upon).
  • The blog owner is active on social media (so you know that they will be promoting your work on their site).

So if you’re selling computer software, you will want to find software blogs or websites that have an engaged audience about that topic. This will help the posts go viral or be popular.

Determine What You Want To Achieve

Next up, you need to determine what you want to achieve from guest posting. Do you want extra social media followers or more backlinks? Having an idea of what you’re looking to achieve will give you a greater idea of what you want to post and what you want to include in those posts

 

Find What Posts Work Best

Once you have mapped out what websites/blogs you want to target, take the time to read their previously written articles. By getting to know the blog’s content you will get a better feel of how they write and what they aim for in their posts. You need to know a few other things before you contact them, some including:

  • The level of audience write for (beginners, intermediate, advanced)?
  • The type of audience they are writing towards. If your business is B2B you want to target businesses.
  • What type of content do they write? Is it mostly general concepts or specific, detailed tutorials? Do they like lists? How many images do they appreciate?

Check Out How Other Guests Post Do On The Site

While a blog may have guest posts, the question is do the guest bloggers do well? Check to see if their posts actually receive much attention from readers. Do guest blog posts on the site get as many comments and social sharing as blog posts by the owner of the site?

Some sites might accept guest posts, but if the audience is only tuning in for the blog owner, then you won’t do so well if your goal is to build authority or get traffic back to your website. Stick to websites that have good guest post interaction and where you believe you will gain an audience from.

Pitching Your Guest Post

There are some crucial steps you need to follow when pitching your guest post.

Read the guidelines carefully. You need to read and follow the website/blog’s guidelines very carefully. They will have specific instructions that they like their guest posts to be written by. Does the blog owner want you to pitch an idea or actually submit a full guest post? What format do they want it in? Do they accept links? These are all things to know ahead of time before you initiate contact.

Personalize your email. Never send an email that sounds generic or mass distributed, this will instantly stop a blog/website reading your email further and giving you the chance to post. A simple ‘Hi’ with their name included is always a good start.

Who you are. State carefully who you are and why you’re contacting them, and include your credentials. If you’re a writer or blogger yourself, then make sure to state that in your email this will make the website/blog you’re pitching to feel more ensured that you can write quality content catered for their audience. You could say something like ‘Hi John, My name is Ben and I am the head writer over at Process Steet’ — they will appreciate that.

Pitch more than one idea. If the guest post guidelines ask you to submit a topic idea, then (based on your research of previously popular posts), pitch a few different ideas so the blog owner has some to choose from. This will give you a greater chance of being able to post on their site. Around 3-5 post ideas is advised, giving them a list of 30 will be hard work as they most likely will never read them all.

 

Conclusion

You will notice that we don’t just jump from finding guest blogging opportunities to contacting the blogs straight away. That’s because there are a few crucial things you need to do before you propose a guest post for a site you’ve just found.

Remember, guest posting is also a two way street, you can also gain from a guest posting on your website/blog as the guest poster could be bringing an audience with them through their social links, email newsletter or by any other means of promotion.

 

Benjamin Brandall is the head of content marketing at Process Street, where he writes on productivity, design, startups and tech. Get in touch with him on Twitter.