Writing guest posts for another website is a great way to broadcast your quality content to a whole new audience. It immediately gives your content credibility and sets you up as an expert in your field, as well as (ideally) bringing hordes of new readers back to your own website. And, despite what you might think, setting up a guest posting arrangement is actually not that complicated. Here are six steps to help you get started:

  1. Find the right demographic. You’ll want to find several successful blogs within your industry that you can pitch your guest posting services to. These are likely the industry blogs you already read to stay on top of your field. Bigger blogs are obviously better than smaller ones, but engagement also counts, so if the choice is between an active smaller blog vs. a passive larger one, go with the former.
  2. Prove your worth. Typically, you’ll need to show these websites some of your writing to make a case for why you’d make a great guest poster. If you’ve been listening to us, you already blog regularly on your own site, so you should have a nice backlog of great content for your pitch.
  3. Don’t make it about you. A good guest post fits well within the content on the host site. Don’t make the post about you or your company, and don’t go with the “hard sell” approach. Instead, focus on being as helpful, insightful, and interesting as you can possibly be.
  4. Don’t forget about the bio. The one-to-two sentence bio at the bottom of the guest post, on the other hand, is your space to talk about yourself and your company. It’s OK to include a link back to your own website, so those who enjoy your writing can find more of it. Including a photo of the author (you) also tends to make a good impression.
  5. Keep it consistent. As with your own blog, you should know that SEO and readership isn’t built overnight. When you’re setting up the guest post commitment, plan for three to six months of weekly posts. Your up-front efforts will be repaid when you notice you’re still getting leads from a series of guest posts you finished 6 months ago.
  6. Return the favor. You can get just as much from having guest posts on your own blog as you can from posting on someone else’s. For one, offering space on your own blog is a great bargaining chip when you try to get someone else to let you post on their blog. It also offers your own readers some variety, and shows you have valuable contacts in your industry. Finally, it’s always helpful to have another content generator on board.

Guest posting, especially on a blog bigger than your own, can seem intimidating at first. But remember, content producers (and widely read blogs more than any others) are always on the search for quality content. Follow the steps above, make a strategic pitch to several of your favorite blogs, and chances are you’ll get a favorable response back from at least one.
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