Following is a guest post by Lijit publisher Nadia Jones outlining a number of tips and tricks for building a guest post campaign. Check out all of her great recommendations — they do in fact work because after all, she was able to convince us to post them to the Lijit blog!
For Internet marketers who’ve been in the business for awhile, guest posting may seem just a little bit passé. It used to be a fairly rare form of marketing, since it was usually a method used by individual bloggers to get the word out there about their blog. Once Internet marketers discovered it could be used as an incredibly effective marketing tool, guest posting took off. Now, however, the ubiquity of guest posting, and its general resistance to being scaled up, means that you’ll have to find other, less traditional ways for building a solid guest post campaign. Having done guest posting for years, here’s what I’ve learned:
- Identify and reach out to different types of blogs.
If you want to build a guest post campaign that produces results, you’ll have to identify and appeal to different types of blogs that you reach out to. Many guest bloggers will say that you should tailor your outreach to be very specific to each blogger you want to write a guest post for. While this may be true to a certain extent, many blogs have made it such a standard practice to accept guest posts that you don’t have to take this coy in your approach. You can be much more upfront. On the other end of the spectrum are blogs that have never accepted guest posts before, and may not even know precisely what a guest post is and how it works. These bloggers will take more time and effort in courting them. The bottom line is this—understand who the blogger is and approach him accordingly. Don’t waste your time tailoring a very specific email to a blogger who essential runs a guest post clearinghouse.
- Expand the breadth of your outreach by using social media.
Especially for the super-picky, super-high quality blogs, you’ll have to think beyond email when it comes to your outreach. In fact, email alone hardly ever works. Tweeting at different bloggers, sharing information that is relevant to their respective niches, and commenting on different articles on their blog are all different ways that you can get on the blogger’s radar. Then, once you approach the blogger about a possible guest post opportunity, the blogger already knows and trusts you.
- Don’t ever go into guest posting with the attitude that it’s all about the link.
While “getting the link” may have been the holy grail when guest posting was in its infancy, now, links don’t matter as much anymore. The quality of the blog where your link is posted matters, but even more than that, the content itself matters. For your guest post campaign to be effective, the content that you publish on different blogs must spread far and wide for your brand to get the recognition that will pull more new customers, curious about your brilliant guest posts, in to your sites and services.
- Focus on relationship-building with bloggers.
I’ve touched on the importance of building relationships with bloggers to get a guest post opportunity in the first place. But once your first guest post is published, the relationship should never stop there. Especially when you get published on an A-list blog, maintaining the relationship through Twitter, Facebook, commenting, etc., will give you continued guest post opportunities in the future. It’s much more effective to get several guest posts published on a really good blog than to have one guest post published on millions of blogs that will take anything. Why is this? Simply because better blogs have more cohesive audiences that will be much more likely to share your material, especially once you’ve built that trust.
- Keep data on everything to understand what works and what doesn’t.
This recent blog post from SEO MOZ got me to thinking how important analyzing data is in determining what works and what doesn’t. This article conclusively proved or disproved many of the theories that are floating around about how best to approach a guest post campaign. For example, did you know that females who approach bloggers for guest post opportunities are much more successful in response rate than males? Keeping this type of data and analyzing it carefully will help you figure out how to develop your guest post campaign in the future.
In the realm of Internet marketing, guest posting has always been my favorite strategy, simply because it’s much more personable and requires much more thinking than some of the other strategies out there. As long as you are systematic, persistent, and, above all, genuine, you’ll create a successful guest post campaign, too. Good luck!