When new clients reach out to our Nashville SEO marketing company for the first time, it’s often after they’ve tried to handle their company’s digital marketing efforts on their own and discovered how time-consuming it can be (upwards of 20 hours a week if you’re already familiar with marketing, and quite a bit more if you have to spend the time teaching yourself the ropes first). While of course we’re more than happy to offer clients our SEO services, it’s also true that many SEO tactics, such as guest blogging, are less complicated than they initially seem, once you learn the essential do’s and don’ts.
Whether you serve local customers in Nashville, TN, or offer digital services to clients all over the world, learning how to do guest blogging right can work wonders for your brand’s SEO outreach.
What is guest blogging?
If you’re brand new to digital marketing, there’s a chance you don’t even know what guest blogging is – if that’s you, don’t worry. It’s actually one of the more straightforward aspects of digital marketing strategies.
Guest blogging is simply this: writing an article for someone else’s blog as a guest contributor.
Usually the other blog will have a submission process for guest contributors, which you’ll follow by sending a pitch, and if they accept the pitch then you write an article to their standards and guidelines. Guest blogging can be helpful to your business in a number of ways:
- Piggyback off the publication’s audience to increase your own
- Win those ever elusive backlink opportunities
- Receive referral traffic from other websites
- Gain brand authority in your industry
Not only does guest blogging for other companies help you get exposure, it allows you to provide a useful service that may lead to a long-term partnership, which is another excellent way to grow your business.
5 common guest blogging mistakes
Our Nashville SEO marketing company has been around for a while, so we’ve seen firsthand how much people struggle to figure out the intricacies of guest blogging. While making a few mistakes isn’t likely to hurt your brand much, it can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort on guest articles that don’t perform well or don’t talk to the intended audience.
If you’re going to spend time blogging for other websites, it makes sense to get the most out of it. Avoid these 5 common mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to guest blogging success.
Blogging without a plan
We’ve already talked about the importance of having a marketing strategy overall, and having a strategy for your guest blogging efforts is just as important. Take the time to figure out:
- What you’re hoping to accomplish with your guest articles (increasing website traffic by X number of visitors, X number of new newsletter subscribers, increasing your domain authority by X)
- The steps you plan to take to reach your objectives (sending out X number of pitches per week, writing X number of articles per month)
Blogging without a plan will amount to a lot of wasted time as you spin your wheels hoping to get traction on your guest post outreach efforts.
Pitching to the wrong places
If you’re a regular follower of our blog, you already know how important it is to focus on target markets when creating content and advertising strategies. Unsurprisingly, the same principle applies to guest blogging – instead of wasting time and energy trying to reach everyone with your guest articles, focus on websites that will give you the most bang for your buck.
When choosing places to pitch to, you want to find places that:
- Are reputable (look for a high domain authority rating and low spam rating)
- Have accepted guest blog articles in the past
- Appeal to your target audience
- Cover topics related to your industry
As an example, say you own a catering company in Nashville, TN. If you wrote a guest post for a fishing blog based in the Midwest, that probably wouldn’t win you a whole lot of business, even if the audience loved your article. Instead, you might want to focus on local online publications like The Nashville Scene or The Nashville Edit, since their readers are more likely to be interested in your services.
Failing to do your research
Once you’ve done your research and narrowed down a list of online publications you’d like to write for, it’s time to … do more research. That’s right, your job has just begun at this point – now it’s time to go through the blog’s previous articles to get an idea of:
- What their audience is interested in
- What topics they’ve recently covered (so you don’t repeat topics)
- The types of content they usually accept
- What writing style or angle they prefer to take in their articles
Some of this information may be in their pitching guidelines, but it’s always a good idea to get a feel for the type of blog they like before pitching to them – it shows them you’re serious about giving them the content they (and their readers) need.
Forgetting to focus on writing
Some business owners get so wrapped up in their guest blogging strategy and finding the perfect blogs to write, that they neglect the most important aspect – the writing itself. Obviously, whether you’re writing for your own site or someone else’s, it’s vital that the writing be of good quality if you want it to give people a positive impression of your business.
But there are a few extra things to consider when writing as a guest contributor:
- Don’t forget to include backlinks to your website so interested readers can easily find you (Note: this doesn’t mean clogging your article full of backlinks – include a few relevant links where appropriate).
- Make sure your the publications you get approval from are aware that you would like a link that goes back to your website (to ensure it’s included)
- Optimize the article for SEO with keywords and links to reputable outside sources.
- Make sure that anything you write is genuinely useful to the audience, whether it’s providing information, education, or entertainment.
Neglecting to track your results
Businesses often use key performance indicators to track tangible metrics and get an idea of how their business is doing. If you’re serious about guest blogging, you need to track your results or you won’t know whether your efforts are paying off. Besides, if you don’t know how your campaign performed, how are you going to adapt for future campaigns?
Keep track of every aspect of your guest-posting strategy:
- Pitches: how many sent and when, rate of rejection and acceptance
- Articles written: when and for which brand
- Article performance: backlinks clicked, new website traffic, increased sales
Building organic traffic to your site through tactics like guest blogging is a long game, making it that much more important to keep records of everything so you can get a clear picture of how you’re doing over time.
Up your guest blogging game with an experienced Nashville SEO marketing company
Guest blogging isn’t difficult once you get the hang of it, especially if you enjoy writing content and know a bit about digital marketing tricks like winning backlinks and organizing SEO keywords to help you optimize your content. But if you’re already busy with other aspects of running your business or simply don’t like doing it, the endless cycle of pitching and writing guest blogs can seem more hassle than it’s worth.
That’s where an experienced Nashville SEO marketing company can help. Take the Stairs, based in Nashville, TN, provides a variety of SEO services such as guest blogging that can help you reach a wider audience through organic search results. Reach out today to schedule a discovery call and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.