When it comes to marketing, it can be difficult to keep up with all the different subdivisions. Content marketing can be easily misunderstood since it’s often a combination of both tricky and simple. The idea of content marketing is the simple part; create engaging content for your target audience, and you’ll be able to use it to build a stronger relationship with them, promote your brand, and boost your exposure and reputation. However, things start to get complicated when you’re trying to compete with literally millions of other companies online who are all trying to do the same thing. Making your content stand out from the rest is key, but that’s easier said than done thanks to the sheer amount of content available on the web today.
Guest posting has long been a staple of content marketing, even though it’s been through its own set of ups and downs. Years ago, anything was acceptable when it came to guest posting; as long as your keywords and links were included, you could quickly move your way up search engine rankings by posting spun, boring, or even spammy content. But, Google soon put a stop to that; after all, guest posting isn’t just about improving your ranking in the SERPs. It’s a valuable tool for connecting with your target audience, promoting your key products and services, and getting the word out about your brand. So, what are the most important things to keep in mind when writing guest posts? Let’s explore some key rules.
First and foremost, there’s no point in targeting a blog if it tends to cover a completely different topic to the one you’re planning to write a guest post on. Today, most blog owners are very particular about who they allow to guest post on their blog, and what kind of content can be published. It’s unlikely that you’re going to get the go-ahead from a blog owner whose content is nothing to do with your own. It may be worth an ask if you find a blog that covers a wide range of topics but steer clear of anything that’s not within your own niche. Not only are you very likely to get rejected right off the bat, but the blog’s target audience may be completely different to your own, meaning that all the time and effort you put into creating awesome content will just go to waste.
Working on building good relationships with blog owners is key to getting ahead with your guest posting strategy. Working together with bloggers in your niche can be beneficial for both parties, but bear in mind that the majority of bloggers aren’t willing to let anybody create content for their site. Take the time to get in touch and work with the blogger to come up with a fantastic guest post for both of you. Today’s ideal guest post will not only attract more visitors to your own site but will increase traffic to the blog and boost their reputation, too. And, don’t forget that a blogger who’s had a great experience with your guest posts in the future is far more likely to offer you the opportunity in the future. You could even become a regular contributor.
Once you’ve found some blogs that are ideal for guest posting and have got the go-ahead from the owner, it’s time to start putting together a guest post that’s really going to captivate and interest your audience. Remember that before a user clicks through to read a blog post, something has to make them want to read more – in most cases, this will be the headline. According to marketing and advertising experts, at least five times as many people will read the headline that read the copy itself. One of the biggest mistakes that many business owners make when guest posting is leaving the headline as an afterthought. Although it may be easier to come up with a suitable headline once you’ve written the post, invest some time in coming up with one that’s magnetic, appealing and creative. Ask people to read your headline and tell you honestly, would they want to read more?
Using large, technical words may have been the norm when writing essays for college, but the truth is, the average web user doesn’t want to have to report to their dictionary when skimming through your guest post. When writing, it’s important to make sure that you keep everything as simple as possible and explain your points in layman’s terms; particularly if your target audience tends to be just regular shoppers as opposed to highly skilled professionals. Of course, the wording that you use will depend on a number of factors, including the context and the type of people that you’re targeting with your content. But, try to keep using jargon to a minimum. If it’s not necessary or something that could be explained in simpler terms, then try to keep it as short and sweet as you can.
Failing to proofread your guest posts before submitting them to bloggers could mean that they end up getting rejected, even if the substance of the content itself was awesome. Bear in mind that no blogger worth their salt will be interested in a guest post which is filled with spelling and grammatical errors, no matter how interesting the subject is or how much information it provides readers with. Simply put, it looks bad on them and they may not have the time to edit and make necessary changes before posting. So, make sure that you always have somebody proofread your guest posts – outsourcing this task, rather than doing it yourself, is typically the better option since it can be harder to spot your own mistakes.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that guest posting doesn’t always have to only be written. Whilst most guest posts are traditionally written content, times are changing – web users are demanding a wider range of content options, particularly videos and images, which are often easier to take in than a lengthy article. Being creative with adding videos, images, and infographics into your post gives the reader a variety of content choices and will also help to break the post down and make it easier to read. In fact, many bloggers today will specifically request that you provide images or videos to accompany your guest post.
Lastly, the way in which you format and present your guest post can make all the difference. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is the use of white space; this is basically the empty space between the lines, paragraphs, and characters in your guest post. Using adequate white space within your content will help to break it down and make it easier to read. For example, dividing your text into small chunks, rather than one long article, instantly makes it easier on the eyes and helps your readers avoid losing their place if they look away from the text.
Guest posting is still one of the best forms of content marketing you can employ. However, with everyone now doing it, you need to make your submissions stand out from the crowd, especially if you want to secure the best placements. From building good relationships with your bloggers to ensuring the posts you submit are high quality, there are plenty of things you can do to achieve this and be successful. Hopefully, the above article has helped you to understand the most important aspects of guest posting in 2018.