26 Ideas to Get More Traffic to Your Blog Using Guest Posts
By Lynette Young November 12, 2014
Traffic makes the web go ’round. There is a lot of talk about converting your website blog traffic into email list signups, but the catch is you need to have a good amount of traffic (people visiting your website) in the first place to drive email list signups!
While there are many ways to entice people to visit your website such as your email list, search optimization, paid advertisements, social media and even in-person signage, one of the best ways is to get your message in front of other people’s audiences. How do you accomplish this? By writing and publishing articles on other businesses’ digital properties using a guest post.
What is a guest post? A guest post is when you write an article to be published on blog that you don’t own or control. Guest posting allows you to “borrow” the readers of another blog and provide them value and promote your expertise – and attract them to your own blog. The goal here is that you deliver valuable information to the other site so that their existing readers will want to read more of what you have to say and stick around on your site to become YOUR loyal readers as well.
Where to find places to submit a guest blog post
- Find guest post opportunities on other blogs: Find places to post by Googling:
- “guest post” + your topic
- “write for us” + your topic
- “become a contributor” + your topic
- “submission guidelines” + your topic
- Write a post on Medium.com (Medium Publishing for Companies) or LinkedIn.com (LinkedIn Publishing Platform) – there are most likely more eyeballs there than on your own site so use the traffic to your advantage.
- Speaking or attending any networking events or conferences? Approach the event organizers and ask if they would like to publish a piece from you.
- Look for products and services you use in your own business and consider writing an article for their blog.
What to look for in a guest post opportunity
- Look for a guest post opportunity on a property that has more – or more diverse – followers than your blog. Check Feedly.com as it gives you an estimate on RSS subscribers or at least an audience that you don’t normally have access to. Don’t ignore sites with readership smaller than yours. You may find the community is more focused!
- Don’t go after the major A-Lister blogs right away, you will have better luck getting your guest post accepted – and read – on a site that isn’t as large as Inc.com or Mashable.com.
- Inquire how a blog post is distributed – do they rely on RSS subscriptions, do they promote heavily on social media, do they include blog posts in their email newsletter list? All of these channels are additional opportunities for exposure!
How to solicit publishing a guest post
- Personalize your request: Be sure to cite several other guest / posts on their site you’ve read that you have gotten value from and how you intend to add the same value to their property.
- Ask when there is an opening on their editorial calendar for your type of content. While your post may not work right now, there is a chance they can schedule your post for a future date.
- Have a few different ideas outlined and ask the blog owner what content they feel would work for THEIR audience. Ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?”
How to promote your guest post
- YES, you have to promote your guest post! Don’t assume that by planting flowers in someone else’s garden that they will water them for you! The more you help in gaining traffic to their blog, the more likely it is you will be invited back for a repeat guest blog post.
- Promote on your own social media and email lists. Be sure to let your own readers know your content is being published on another media property.
- Keep a lookout for your guest post being promoted on the social properties of the blog owner – Retweet and share on your own properties, and think about even spending a few dollars for Promoted Tweets or Boost a Post on Facebook.
What to do
- Hang around their blog for a bit before submitting. Leave thoughtful and valuable comments on relevant topics to get the attention of the editors.
- Be ready to send completed (and copyedited! don’t let that fall on the blog owner) articles over as soon as requested. It’s better to have something “on the ready” that can be edited than to have to rearrange your schedule to write a post on the fly.
- Be able to provide a content brief, summary for metadata, suggested tags and rights-cleared photos / screenshots / graphics.
- Have your headshots byline written. Make sure you have this available in HTML so that you can include links back to your own site – and email signup form!
- Consider creating a landing page on your site that is tailored to your new readers coming from your guest post. For example, if you write a guest post on career coaching, give those readers a link on your site that leads to a curated page with your very best career coaching articles – NOT articles you’ve written about dog training! Of course, if you are maintaining an email list for sharing content about career coaching (and possibly your services) be sure to give ample opportunities to join that list!
- Clarify ownership of content. Is the content the blog owner’s to do with as they please (including resale, editing or claiming authorship)? Think about posting under Creative Commons.
- Keep a spreadsheet of all places you’ve submitted – and successfully posted – a guest post. Think about listing these on a media page on your own site! At a minimum you need to keep track of what blogs you have contacted and the result.
What NOT to do
- Don’t send complete articles unless asked.
- Don’t guest post the same exact article on multiple blogs (a tweak / rewrite is sometimes fine, but ASK the blog owner first.)
- Don’t get offended or upset if the editor asks to change your content, strip out your affiliate links or alter your title. If you are not comfortable with the changes, you should rescind the article.
- Don’t expect payment for your article. A guest post isn’t a writing assignment or work for hire.
- Many blogs require a fee to post an article on their site if the content can be at all considered promotional. This falls under “native advertising” so be aware that an advertising fee and disclosure may be requested.
- If done exactly in the same way, accepting guest posts on YOUR blog could also bring you a lot of new traffic as well!
Guest blog posts can expand your reach significantly and deliver value to all-new audiences – as long as you keep these points in mind. Interested in submitting a guest blog post for AWeber? Check out our Guest Blog Post Guidelines.