One of the best ways to gain exposure for your own site is to write a guest blog for someone else. This will both increase your visibility to new readers and, if your guest post includes links back to your own site, it will also increase your visibility to search engines.
Before writing a guest post for a blog, you should have a fair level of familiarity with the site first. Who are their readers? Is their tone more casual or more professional? What subjects do they normally address? A good guest post will add to their content and be enjoyed by their current readers. Ideally, it will also hook some new followers back to your own blog.
Do Your Homework
Another part of becoming familiar with the site is to research other guest posts they’ve sponsored. Suggesting a guest post on a subject that was recently addressed will not go over well. Such a proposal is repetitive and clearly shows that you’re not a regular reader of the site. Instead, see if you can spot a clear need or gap which isn’t being met, then fill it. Sometimes an outside source can see things the main author is too close to see and bring fresh insights.
While it is certainly possible to “cold-call” another site owner and just offer to write a guest post, you might have more success if you form a relationship first. Start small, by leaving comments on their blog posts. If they offer a newsletter subscription by email, you can occasionally reply via email as well. The goal is not necessarily to become best friends; it’s to make sure that your name is familiar enough to them that your guest blog request is given more consideration than a request from a complete stranger.
Remember, if the site in question already has a guide for a specific way to request a guest blog post, definitely follow that instead of the preceding suggestions. Just like some companies prefer resumes and others want you to fill out an application, all websites have their own way they desire things done, and it’s best to respect that.
One of the least-mentioned, yet most important, aspects of guest blogging is the bump they contribute to search engine results. Every guest post is an automatic backlink to your own website; the more relevant backlinks your site has, the greater its pagerank in the search engine results. Including at least one or two other links back to relevant articles within your own site will edge these ratings higher, as deep links hold more weight than a link just to your initial landing page. Proceed with caution, however; no site owner wants a guest post that ends up looking like nothing more than a spammy advertisement for the guest author’s site.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
When done properly, a guest blog benefits all parties involved: yourself, the other site owner, and the readers of both sites. The site owner will have fresh content handed to them on a silver platter, which they didn’t have to invent themselves. They get a break from writing, and their readers experience a change as well. The readers themselves benefit by being exposed to a new voice with new ideas. The main benefit to guest blogging, however, is to you. A good guest post will bring you new readers, increase traffic, and heighten your search engine visibility.