Within the context of Google’s constantly changing algorithm updates, it’s critical to keep finding new ways to build links, develop good content, and show authority. A solid guest posting strategy is a great way to achieve all of these goals and market your products, services, and ideas to new audiences.
But before you dive into the fast growing world of guest posting, step back and evaluate your goals. With a clear plan in place, you’ll accomplish your objectives and have more hits than misses along the way. Here’s my 7 step, no fail formula to help you find and place high value guest posts.
Step 1: Connect your guest posting to your content strategy
Good content has three functions: it helps you rank for specific keywords in search engines, engages readers to convince them of your expertise, and motivates your readers to take action. Guest posts do the same thing. In addition to building valuable links to your website, it gets your message out in front of new potential clients, helps you strengthen social signals through content sharing on social media, solidifies relationships with other thought leaders in your space, and establishes your personal brand.
A well-executed guest posting initiative is part of a broader content strategy that takes into account onsite and offsite content goals. What are your content strategy goals? Specific things to consider include:
- What keywords are you trying to rank for?
- Who are you trying to reach with your message?
- What niche or industry are you working to build your brand in?
- What products, services, ideas or causes do you want to put front and center?
- What calls to action are most valuable to your business’ bottom line? Is your goal to make sales, to develop your email list, or something else?
With these goals in mind, you can begin to create an outline of the topics, sites, and overall focus of your guest posts. Once you’ve sketched out this preliminary roadmap, it’s time to move to the second step: identifying the best places to focus your efforts.
2. Find guest posting opportunities – including those your competition is missing
Four strategies are worth employing when you’re finding places to pitch guest posts. The first is to get to know the big players in your field. It’s important that you know who the best thinkers are, what blogs your colleagues are reading, and what subjects are causing discussion and debate. Read these regularly and engage in meaningful ways through smart and timely comments. This not only raises your profile, but it will build your pattern recognition for the best quality content in your field.
Another strategy is to look for opportunities by searching for your keywords and specific modifiers. So for example if you wanted to contribute posts about gardening, you could search for the word “gardening” and any of the following: