How Guest Blogging Can Help You Grow Your Business

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on May 18, 2012
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You’ve been blogging on your company website for awhile now, which is helping to build your brand and boost your site’s search rankings. Now that your name is out there, you’ve either started to receive requests for guest posts from others — or are starting to wonder why you haven’t. In either case, you barely have time to keep up with your own blog, let alone someone else’s. Why should you consider writing for free on other people’s sites?

Here are just a few of the many benefits of guest blogging.

  • It brings you exposure to a wider audience. By submitting guest posts to relevant, high-traffic sites, you can share your viewpoint and expertise with a much larger audience than you can reach on your own business blog. If your content is compelling and the blog on which you’re guest-posting is popular, the results can be astronomical: Oli Gardner, marketing director at the landing-page creation company Unbounce, did a blog post and infographic for SEOmoz that was ultimately shared more than 200,000 times. Additionally, strategically choosing blogs to guest post on is a great way to target your marketing approach. If you’re selling a product for kids, for instance, consider contributing to parenting-focused blogs.
  • It creates backlinks that can increase your website’s search rankings. Any good SEO strategy focuses on getting high-quality inbound links from reputable sites. The more of these you have, the higher your own site will rank in Google’s search results. By including internal links and a short bio with your guest post, you can create your own “anchor text” that includes the most relevant keywords for your business. Ben “Jackson” Sibley, founder of SEO Discovery, offers some practical tips for optimizing the SEO terms in your guest blog posts. If your guest post gets shared on other blogs, you may find other blogs linking back to your site, too: Gardner says that his SEOmoz post helped Unbounce generate thousands of inbound links to the business site. If a site owner does not allow you to link back to your own site in your guest post, the opportunity may not be worth considering.
  • It helps you to establish expertise and credibility. Even if you have a product to promote, it’s generally frowned upon to actively promote that product in guest posts. Instead, focus on sharing relevant, useful information with your audience, and save the sales pitch for later. Although this method may not increase sales as rapidly as you’d like, it does something far more valuable, says Loren Baker of the internet marketing agency BlueGlass: It establishes you as a thought leader in your niche, increases your visibility for future promotional opportunities, and helps you to earn prospects’ trust more quickly.

How do you go about finding the right guest-blogging opportunities? Check back soon for a post about which strategies to use!

kathryn

Kathryn Hawkins is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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