As any experienced internet marketer will tell you, guest blogging for targeted traffic can generate a significant amount of leads, and as a result, increase your conversion rate. Of course things are never quite as simple as they first appear to be, and guest blogging in no exception. In fact, guest blogging has become increasingly difficult and increasingly risky during the last couple of years.
Search Engines and Spam Are Mortal Enemies
Once internet marketers realized that they could use guest blogging in order to drive a massive amount of traffic to their sites, everyone started doing it. What followed was only to be expected: guest blogging became “spammy” and the search engines retaliated.
Today, if you guest blog on low quality sites, you’re almost certainly going to be hit with a penalty. The same applies if are trying to get links back to your site by guest blogging on a site dedicated to a particular niche which is in no way related to your niche. Basically, if you think you can scam the search engines, forget it. They are far wiser than you or I.
A Few Important Factors to Consider Before You Begin
I have already mentioned that you need to avoid low quality sites. In other words, the sites you should be targeting must be popular high authority sites. The only problem with this is the fact that these sites will already be inundated with requests from guest bloggers.
In many instances, request emails aren’t even read because of a boring lackluster title. Many others that are opened also go straight into the trash folder, and quite often because of things which are so easily avoidable. Okay, here are 4 (FOUR) things you need to focus on whenever you send someone an email asking them if you can be a guest blogger on their site:
- Proofread everything before you click the send button. Poor spelling and poor grammar implies that you either couldn’t be bothered going over your work, or else you are simply not fit for the job.
- Personalize your email. For example, rather than referring to a person’s site as “your site”, use their site’s name instead. Also, it needs to be evident that you have in fact read through the content on their site. Lastly, when you end off your email, don’t be afraid to use your name.
- ALWAYS let the other site owner know exactly what you intend writing about.
- NEVER offer money in return for an opportunity to guest blog.
Right, now that we know what four mistakes to avoid, let’s take a look at the FOUR fundamental steps you need to follow:
Step 1 – Do Your Research
Some people just fire out a bunch of requests to countless sites and then they hope for the best. Trust me, this approach is not going to result in you posting on any popular sites. Before you approach any blogger, you need to determine 4 things:
- Determine if your chosen site does in fact accept guest posts, and if they do, have a look to see if there is any mention of their requirements.
- Read through several blog posts on the site in order to get a feel of what their visitors want and try to determine what sort of content enjoys the most popularity. Obviously those posts which have been shared on social media sites the most number of times are what you should be aiming for if you end up posting on the site.
- Take some time to read through comments which have been left by readers.
- Analyze EVERYTHING, including writing style, and even formatting.
Step 2 – Choose a Topic and Start Writing
By this stage you should have a good idea of what the site owner likes, and you should have a good idea of what the readers like. Your goal now is to write a post that will appeal to both. Believe me, if you produce a really good article, your post is not only going to be accepted, but you will almost certainly be invited to contribute again.
Steps 3 & 4 – Send Your Email Request and Follow Up
Okay, you are ready to make contact but before you hit the send button, go over your email once or twice, making sure it is in line with the four points I listed towards the beginning of this post.
Additionally, I recommend using an email tracking program such as “Yesware” which will allow you to see if and when your email is opened. Don’t forget, sometimes even legitimate emails end up in the spam folder, which usually means they don’t get read. If that happens, try sending with a different subject line or from a different account. If you don’t get a reply within a few days, send a short polite query. Continue doing this until you receive a clear response.
Step 5 – Promote Your Guest Posts
If you are guest blogging for targeted traffic, you definitely want to be promoting all your blogs that are accepted. The most common way to do this is via social networking sites, but you can also ask friends and family to view your posts and then share them on social media sites. Lastly, make sure you ALWAYS respond to comments from those who have read your posts.