In a video we released earlier this year, I discuss how I view Inbound Marketing like public relations online. I go on to state how there are many ways a company can go beyond its website with inbound marketing to draw in new site visitors. We realized the value this has for businesses and have chosen to expound on the subject in a three part series. This is the first article of the series. In this article I will provide a three step process a company can implement if they wish to use guest blogging as a way to market beyond its website.
This article covers: how to build a target list, how to get in touch with authors and editors and finally how to pitch your guest blogging idea in a value added manner.
1. How to build a target list
While guest blogging can be a great marketing tool for a website, it is important for businesses to consider the implications of guest blogging. Specifically, you want to be targeted in the sites that you pitch your guest blogs towards.
First, you want a blog that aligns with your business’s values and services. In this sense you would not want to talk about the latest and greatest in plumbing techniques on a pet food blog. A good starting point is to consider the type of blogs both you and your prospects read in order to know which blogs you want to target.
Second, search for blogs which are seeking guest bloggers. In the inbound marketing industry, there are even articles where guest blogging opportunities and their guidelines are aggregated. When you review the guidelines see if the blog provides the opportunity for you to A. link back to your site and B. creative license to write about things related to your business. The goal of guest blogging is to lead people to your site for your services. If you cannot succeed in these two areas then you will miss the mark with your guest blogging aspirations.
Third, consider your strategic partnerships. This could be competitors you have agreements with, vendors whose services you use or companies that you work with to provide your services. At ClearPivot these have been our most beneficial guest blogging opportunities. We have been able to blog on sites such as Unbound Growth, Creatrix and even HubSpot!
Once you have done your research on who offers guest blogging and created a strategic plan on how you want to implement your guest blogging you are ready to move on to step two.
2. How to get in touch with authors and editors
Most guest blogs have guidelines on how to get in touch with authors and editors for publishing opportunities. If a blog does not have this information readily available you want to seek out the contact information for the content manager or lead marketer for the company. They will be the best equipped at making the decision on allowing a guest blog or informing you of their guest blogging policies. When approaching a company about guest blogging you want to first make sure they are open to the idea of guest blogging. Avoid yourself the embarrassment of not even receiving a reply by just assuming that they would be open to your guest blog. Reach out to the person in charge via email. Reaching out through social media can come across as desperate or spammy and may in fact get lost or never seen (can you believe some people don’t actually check their social platforms on a regular basis?). Take the time to build a relationship first and then begin to discuss the opportunities of guest blogging. The good news is if you followed step one, you will be contacting a company which sees the value of guest blogging.
3. Tips on how to pitch articles and demonstrate the value to others.
Once you know the site is open to a guest blog you want to lead with a fully planned out topic. It should be beneficial to both the site’s readers and for your business. If you have guest blogged before you want to explain the value that you have gained from the experience, whether it’s a new strategic partnership or direct traffic and conversion metrics. You also want to explain how your perspective differs from the current site perspective or fills a content gap they have, without making them feel inadequate. By doing these two things you will be able to build a solid case for why your article should be allowed on their site as a guest blog.
From our experience doing these three things will help increase guest blogging opportunities and the quality of your guest blogging experience. If you are seeking to reach people beyond your website and social channels, guest blogging is a great opportunity. Guest blogging allows you to reach outside of your traditional audience base. When done properly guest blogging increases the value for both businesses involved.
At ClearPivot we have participated in guest blogging before and we get 100s of spam guest blogging requests each year. We have found when we build strategic partnerships with other businesses this allows us the opportunity to guest blog in the most beneficial way possible. We hope that you are able to find the same for your business.