How To Use Guest Blogging To Get More Traffic To Your Site
Getting traffic to your site isn't easy these days when almost everyone and their dog owns an online business or a blog.
The competition is fierce, but there's good news for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to get quality visitors to their sites.
This article is going to outline some effective ways to get more traffic to your site through guest blogging.
If you're spending a lot of your valuable time creating awesome posts that no one is reading, then read on to find out how to get ahead in the online battle for eyeballs.
Getting more traffic from guest blogging isn't as easy as just posting a few articles on some blogs in your niche then getting a flood of visitors. If you want to be successful at this, you have to know what you're doing and do it effectively.
Follow these strategies and techniques listed below and your blog traffic will see a dramatic increase in no time at all.
But first, for those who doubt the immense benefits of guest blogging, here is a brief recap of what it can do for your blog.
Benefits of Guest Blogging:
Guest blogging puts you in front of a large and relevant audience that you otherwise may not have had access to and it helps you establish authority and credibility by providing valuable content on reputable sites.
Readers who see the value you provide will want to go to your site to get more.
Guest Blogging earns you lots of quality back-links which help boost your standing with the search engines.
In addition to that, if you have an article on a site that is highly ranked, it means that the post will rank much higher on search engines than it would on your own lower ranking site.
1. Find out who your ideal customers are
You can never hit a target if you have no idea where to aim, and guest blogging won't help you much if you don't know who your ideal audience is.
Who is it you're marketing to?
Is it a young mom living in New York?
An old grandpa who loves fishing and camping?
Or maybe you're targeting small business owners who need to build their email lists?
Either way, you have to know exactly who it is you're targeting so that you can craft content that will provide them with the most value. A lot of bloggers try to write for everybody, and this never works. If you try to do that you'll end up writing for no one.
2. Find out where your customers are hanging out
Now that you know who your customers are, it's time to figure out where they are.
Look for the places online where they congregate. Search for the things they are reading. What sites are they visiting and which ones are relevant to the content, products or services that you're offering?
You can figure out what your customers are reading by doing the following:
Search on Google
This one is a bit obvious, isn't it?
Search on Google for the words that your audience are most likely to be searching for. If your customers are social media marketers, for instance, you could search 'social media marketing' or 'social media marketing blog' to get some good ideas of what content they are reading.
You can also conduct a search for your article's specific topic or topics, such as 'email segmentation' or 'targeted email lists' and so on.
Google does a great job of putting the best sites at the top, so the high ranking sites that you come across in the results are likely to be the ones with the most traffic.
Customer Development Interviews
Finding out what your audience is reading can be as simple as just asking your customers. This will help you to figure out where to guest blog.
Some customer development questions that you can ask to figure out what people read include:
What is your favorite blog/blogs?
What is your favorite news site/sites?
Which sites do you read for industry-related educational content?
Before starting your search, make sure that you're searching for the correct terms that are being searched by your ideal customers.
For example, if you're in internet marketing, you may think that a search term such as 'startup ideas' would actually be a common one, but it turns out that the search term 'business ideas' is ten times more popular.
Use the free Google Keyword Planner to determine which are the most common keywords and phrases.
If you input some ideas into the tool, it will show you the search volume that each term gets as well as make suggestions for other terms that are relevant and popular.
Audience Intelligence Tools
Just go to the tab labeled 'followers' and there you will see what your audience is interested in as well as who they commonly follow.
This will give you a good idea of the kind of site that you could guest blog on in order to reach a similar audience.
Use this strategy to ensure that the people who follow you are within the customer segment that you target (but then again, given the level of spam on Twitter, they might not be...) and then do some qualitative analysis of the sites that you find.
Followerwonk is another useful tool that you can use to search Twitter bios using your target search terms. You can rank people according to their influence and find out if they have blogs that you can guest blog for.
3. Write Great Content
This is a no-brainer, but still worth mentioning anyway.
As previously stated, we live in a world where everybody is a blogger and so it's more vital than ever to have content that stands out from the rest and provides real value to your audience. It's crucial that you write about things that people want to read otherwise you'll just be wasting your time and energy.
So the first step is for you to determine what people want to read.
Look at the common questions that they are asking, and if different people are asking the same question, there's a good chance of a larger audience out there who will want to read a well-written blog post about it.
Another great tactic that you can use to accomplish this goal is by solving a particular problem that you have - scratch your own itch, so to speak.
If you have a problem, others probably have the same issue, too. Ask yourself, if you were in your customers' shoes, what kind of information would be valuable to you?
What is the ideal content that would help to solve your problem?
Even if you don't have a problem this particular moment, you can think of a problem that you had in the past, and produce content that you wish you had then. What is the blog post, ebook, video, course, etc. that you wish you had at the time you were facing those challenges?
4. Network and Build Valuable Relationships
When it comes to successful guest blogging, there are times when it isn't just about how good your content is, but more about who you know. It helps significantly if you can get a referral from a person that an editor trusts, and it can help motivate them to publish your content.
The best way to make something great happen is to make a lot of things happen.
Networking events, connections, and follow-ups require effort, but they will help to make everything easier for you. It may be slow at the beginning, but if you keep at it, sooner or later you will find more opportunities for guest blogging and your back-links and traffic that you will receive will make it all worthwhile.
Your next opportunity is just one person away, so get started right now. Go to workshops, network with people on and off-line, and follow up diligently.
5. Pitch, Test, Track, and Repeat
Now comes the hard part. Not hard in terms of effort, but in terms of getting rejections. Yes, you will get rejections. In fact, if none of your guest posts are getting rejected, it means that you're not aiming high enough.
Look for the big sites with tons of traffic and start the process of pitching, testing, and tracking.
This is the only way you're going to know which sites you can get published on as well as which ones will give you the best return on your investment of time and effort. It's alright if you don't have the right connections. Cold email the editors.
In the beginning, a lot of your guest posting opportunities will come from cold emailing editors.
The trick is to get yourself out there as much as you possibly can. While sending pitches to big sites may seem a bit scary at first, you just have to keep at it and it will get less scary when you start receiving those guest posting invitations.
How to Pitch a Guest Post
Each pitch is going to be different depending on the website, topic, and your relationship. But the majority of them will have a similar process.
Some sites have instructions on how to pitch a guest post. If you want them to take your work seriously, make sure that you follow their rules to a 'T'.
Some key elements that you can include in your pitch include:
State your request clearly at the beginning and the end of your email
Mention your article, what it is about, and why you think it's valuable to their audience
6. Great Content Trumps Mastering SEO
SEO doesn't have to be as scary or complicated as most people make it out to be.
You just need to learn a few basics to make it work. The actual content that you write is what matters the most.
The algorithms that Google uses change each year, but the thing that remains constant is that content that is packed full of value always ranks well, because Google wants to provide relevant and valuable information to its users.
Keyword research will help in getting you the results that you want, but the most vital thing is to consistently produce valuable and relevant content. If you focus on doing this over time, Google will take care of the rest.
7. Use opt-in bribes to build your email list
By building your email list, you not only get more traffic and sales, but you also increase your chances of getting published in the bigger, more reputable sites.
There are a lot of posts on our blog outlining the steps that you can take to quickly build up a list of quality subscribers for your online business or blog.
Just think about the email lists that you subscribe to. Why did you subscribe? I'm guessing it's because they offered you valuable information, and you stayed subscribed because they continued to provide you with great value in their emails.
Offer your readers something that they find valuable to sign up for your email list.
This could be an ebook, a checklist, a list of resources, a short video tutorial, or anything else that you can think of. Link to this lead magnet contextually within your guest post or in your byline.
Instead of just saying 'Give me your email address', if you offer your readers something valuable, they will be more likely to sign up and your conversion rates will increase. Just make sure that what you offer is something that they really want, otherwise, they won't be inclined to give you their email.
There are a lot of tools that you can use to help save you time and get you better results in your efforts to build traffic through guest posting.
These tools include Sumo which provides social share buttons to help you get more traffic. You can also use Sumo to create pop-up windows to collect emails.
Buzzstream will help you to automate the process of researching link prospects as well as conducting campaigns. Use ConvertKit to build amazing squeeze pages and create opt-in forms that you can embed on blog posts easily.
Some of these tools are free and others are paid, but they all make the process of guest blogging a whole lot easier.
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Updated: Originally published June 15th 2018