A guest posting campaign is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get quality backlinks, and it can also have a positive affect on branding and can set you apart as an expert in your niche. Still, many bloggers who are familiar with the benefits of guest posting are not using it to its full potential.
In this article I’m going to share some tips from my own personal experience, in an effort to illustrate how your marketing campaign can improve your web presence and your domain ranking and value.
These days guest posting on blogs is much more beneficial than posting in article directories. (See this post: Article Marketing vs. Guest Posting, and decide which is the best approach for you.)
If you are a blogger, you probably know that most blogs accept guest post submissions. You can submit a quality guest post to a quality blog and get free backlinks and recognition in return, similar to what we do here at ShoutMeLoud (Check: Submit Guest Post).
What is a guest blogging campaign?
Simply stated, a guest blogging campaign is when you start writing guest posts on other blogs. In the past this type of external posting was limited to article directories, but now blogs and websites regularly accept guest post submissions. You can read the Wiki article on Article Marketing for a more technical description of a guest posting campaign.
When you are considering engaging in a guest posting campaign, it is important to ask yourself what you want to achieve from your campaign. So, let’s look into some of the benefits or goals which you can set with this type of marketing campaign. (This type of plan will work for any business website or professional blog.)
One of the direct benefits of guest posting is branding. When you post on a website, the very reference to your name and author image (see Gravatar), adds to your credibility. This alone makes your name more recognizable and/or gives more visibility to your brand.
Backlinks are among the most important reasons for guest posting. A typical email which a professional blogger like myself might receive from a freelance writer or an Internet marketer, would look something like this:
“Hi, I would like to publish a quality and unpublished post, especially written for your blog. In return, all I need are 1-2 backlinks to my website/client’s website.”
Backlinks help you to improve your keyword ranking as well as your domain value. In the atmosphere of a post-Panda world, it is especially important to maintain a good and consistent link building strategy, and guest posting is an excellent way to achieve this important goal.
If you are someone who has created a product or who is offering a service, product promotion is very important to you, and guest blogging is a great way to promote your products and/or services. Based on your niche, you can guest post on blogs that have a solid, far-reaching audience, and meet your target customer requirements. Be careful to add a meaningful post, and do only a soft promotion of your product.
Giving shape to your guest posting campaign:
By now you probably have a clear picture of some of the excellent benefits you will receive from a good guest posting campaign. Now, let’s formulate a strategy. Let’s talk about how you can make the most out of your guest posting campaign, and how you will use this opportunity to create maximum visibility.
Have a list of target blogs:
This is the preparation stage. This is where I would suggest that you spend most of your time and energy in the development of your campaign. I use Google docs to maintain my list, which enables me to sort it and share it anytime.
I generally create a list of blogs, and also create various columns to sort them quickly. My list usually contains the following details:
- Blog link: Do you really want me to explain this?
- Blog niche: Identify any blog’s niche by looking at some of the most popular articles from that blog. You can use Alexa or other sites to find what keywords are getting maximum traffic for that blog, or what kind of content is most liked by the audience.
- Relations: Blogging is also about creating good relations with other bloggers. Some bloggers are very active on social media, and others are loners. Depending upon your interaction with a particular blogger, make a column for the purpose of noting the relationship. This will help you to connect with blog owners, as you work to identify their social media presence and personal identity.
- Page rank: This is an important column which I maintain because it helps me to maximize my output. Remember, one of the reasons for guest posting or article marketing is to create backlinks and increase visibility. If my sole reason for guest posting is backlinks and page rankings, I will choose blogs with high page rankings. If my reason for guest posting is for branding purposes and to reach a wider audience, I will choose a blog in my niche with a large community, preferably a blog where we can generate lots of comments and reactions. Use bulk page rank checker tools to find the page rank of any blog or website.
- Number of allowed backlinks: Some blogs allow 1-3 in-post backlinks, and some only give a link in the author’s bio. This is again relevant to my above strategy (page rank).
- Submission process: I created another column which describes the submission process. My best picks are blogs which allow submissions from the dashboard. This makes the whole process easy. If you have a WordPress blog, you can refer to the following guide to make your blog a multi-author blog with dashboard submission capabilities: Useful WordPress Plugin for multi-author blogs.
- Quality of guest post: Every blog has a different strategy for the guest blogger. Some accept only well-researched articles based on personal experience. Other blogs accept posts with 1-2 web apps., software reviews, or small list posts. In your document, give a difficulty level to the quality, as this will be helpful to you in the long run.
- Author markup: Some blogs already integrate Google authorship, and it’s a good idea to maintain a column noting this. It may not sound useful now, but I suspect that in the future it will be a major factor in article ranking and CTR. It will help significantly with branding, and will establish more CTR on your guest article.
I realize that the above list might take some time to build, but in the long run it will be worth your time and effort, as it will be helpful in various ways, and will make your work easier overall once it has been completed.
Create a list of guest post article titles:
Okay, now it’s time to work on creating a list of guest post titles. Be sure to stick to your target niche, and don’t come up with random posts. For example, if my target is to promote my blog consultancy service, I will stick to some of the general blogging issues and methods of promoting a blog.
Here are five titles I can think of right away:
- How to use social media for blog promotion
- Optimizing your content for search engines
- Why social media presence is important for bloggers
- How to leverage social media for your benefit
- 5 social media sites where every blogger should leave a footprint
If you will notice, all of my guest posts are closely related, but they are also different. You can create your own strategy depending on your target blog. Having a list is always helpful, and it’s closely related to mind mapping, which we usually do for our blogs.
Create a pillar post/landing page on your blog:
As I mentioned above, we will not be using article marketing solely for the purpose of getting backlinks. Our strategy here is to get traffic for the long haul, otherwise the ROI (return on investment) from your article marketing campaign will never be up to speed. So, in addition to getting a backlink, we want to focus on driving traffic and converting one-time traffic into subscribers.
In setting up my strategy, I will start working on my pillar post before working on the campaign. So, I have to come up with a post which many people would be compelled to link to, that works well for other visitors.
A few types of posts which might work would be:
- Well researched posts
- List posts (preferably 51,101 list posts)
- A useful list of 101 social media articles from the web
What we have accomplished so far:
- Pillar post: Done
- List of blogs on which to guest post: Done
- Ideas for guest post titles : Done
Shooting for the stars with your first guest post:
Once you have accomplished the pieces of the strategy/plan noted above, you can start working on your first guest post. Make sure you do proper keyword research and optimize your content with the help of our on-page optimization guide. Your target should be more than backlinks and authority, (authors miss this important concept most of the time). Write a post with a keyword in mind in an effort to make your guest article rank well with search engines. If you are submitting a post on the authority blog, it will be easier for you to rank, and you will continue to get traffic for a longer term.
Things to keep in mind while crafting your guest post:
Soft promotion: Your article marketing campaign, is designed to help you in several ways. If you are missing the process of the soft promotion of your brand, you are not making the most of of your campaign.
If you see an opportunity for soft self-promotion, take it. For example, if my post title says “How to Increase Google+ Followers”, I won’t mind saying the I’m the 3rd most followed person on Google+ from my country, and I use the following strategy and here’s why it will work for you too. (Did I just use self-promotion?) Make sure your soft self-promotion does not appear as over-rated and direct promotion. Everyone hates that, and you will feel the backlash!
Backlinks: Most commonly, it will be suggested to you that you should link to blog posts to get backlinks. Sure – we all understand this by now. But why do only what thousands of others are doing? Let’s think outside the box, and not only work for your own article boost, but also work to boost your guest post ranking. Your target is to get as much traffic as you can drive to your blog.
Your guest post is live on a blog! Now, what?
Now your time, energy and effort start to pay off., and it is time to leverage your guest post for maximum benefit. Let’s, see how we can do it:
Sharing is caring:
You have written an awesome article as a guest author, and now you need to share it with your audience. Share it on your Facebook page, on your Google+ page, on Twitter and anywhere else where you are active. If you are using Digg, Delicious or StumbleUpon, bookmark it. When sharing with your direct audience, don’t forget to add a personal remark / comment. This will help to create a better reputation among those in your own audience, and it will also set you apart from the general league. Make sense? If not, feel free to ask questions in the comments section at the conclusion of this post.
Be sure to continue to share your guest post into the future, as long as it remains relevant.
This is where most of your guest post campaign never gives 100% result. How many of you reply to all comments in a Guest post? A comment reply is like a normal comment, but when you reply to every commentator, it adds more into personal touch and you just turned one commentator into happy commentator. Reply to all commentator genuinely and don’t forget to strike a conversation if possible. This will bring more engagement to your guest post. More over, with every comment, you increasing chance to drive more traffic to your Website.
Links, links and more links:
Whenever you have the opportunity and it is appropriate, link to your guest post from your own blog. Again, increase the value of your guest post, and your audience will be happy to see your presence everywhere. Don’t let your campaign die. Let your posts live forever.
Now your strategy is prepared and your guest blogging campaign is ready to go! It’s time to get the ball rolling and let the magic of guest posting begin.
If you’d like to add your own tip, feel free to share via the comments section below.