Research shows that the fastest growing firms focus strongly on blogging. A good content marketing strategy includes more than just internal blogging, though. For many professional services marketers, the natural next step is to take on guest blogging.
Let’s recap why guest blogging should be a part of your content marketing strategy:
- It increases your firm’s visibility to new audiences. You may already know that producing high quality content on your own blog helps with visibility, particularly in online search. But having content featured elsewhere will increase your brand’s exposure and lead to more subscribers of your own blog.
- It shows your thought leadership and expertise. Don’t keep all of that great content limited to your own blog. Get it out there so other people can see what you are known for and how you solve potential clients’ problems.
- It can increase your domain authority. A guest blogging best practice is to request a link to your website within the guest blog post. Always make sure the page you are linking to is appropriate to the context.
As you increase backlinks to your own website, you will begin to see your domain authority increase. Google ranks the websites that have fresh content and more backlinks higher in SERPs.
If you’ve been guest blogging for a while, you may have hit a plateau. Maybe you feel like that there are no more “good” or relevant blogs to reach out to. Or perhaps you are not getting the enthusiastic response you were expecting.
These five tips will help take your blogger outreach strategy to the next level.
1. Tweak your targeted list
If you have been researching blogs for a while, you may start to struggle with finding new blogs. Now is the time to go back and evaluate your blogger outreach strategy.
Are there any tweaks that need to be made? If you find that you have exhausted your initial list, what other niches or influencers can you reach out to that would find your content useful?
For example, if you typically write about marketing, instead of focusing on marketing blogs, tweak your approach and target C-level blogs that talk about marketing. Adjust your pitches to make it relevant to that audience. Also, expand your search beyond blogs and consider online publications, newsletters, and online forums.
2. Change your search methods
Are your Google searches coming up with the same blogs? It’s time to switch up how you’re searching. Using keywords that correspond with the topics you want to write about will help expand your search. Instead of searching for “marketing blog” try searching “content marketing blog” to find other relevant blogs.
Even after sending a customized pitch with relevant content to a blog, you may notice that you aren’t getting a response. One reason is that the blog may not accept any guest blog posts, so consider adding the word “guest blog” in your search efforts. This will produce a list of blogs that you know are accepting guest blog posts, so you have a much better chance that your guest blog post will be accepted. It’s a small tweak, but it helps.
3. Evaluate your outreach tracking method
How you are tracking your outreach efforts can become a source of frustration if you aren’t organized. You also don’t want to make the mistake of reaching out to the same blogger with the same pitch a few weeks later. If you need to get organized, consider using a spreadsheet to track your efforts, including the following information:
- Blog Name
- Contact Name
- Email address
- Domain Authority
- First Contact Date
- Last Contact Date
- Post Date
If you’ve been doing outreach for a while, it may not be as efficient to rely on a spreadsheet for this data, so consider investing in a Blogger Outreach Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
These software tools can save you time and keep you organized with features such as task lists (to remind you to follow up) and tools to help you analyze your data and blog posts. Research different options, and take advantage of free demonstrations so you can be confident that the platform will work for your blogger outreach efforts.
4. Write about trending topics
Did something happen recently in the news that is relevant to your firm? Continue to show your thought leadership by crafting pitches and subsequent blog posts on a trending topic.
This may have to take a little extra time to write a pitch and do a quick turnaround in article, so make sure you are prepared to contact bloggers and write an article in more quickly than usual. Writing about a hot topic can be very appealing to bloggers (so they can provide fresh relevant content to their readers) and it will help you stand out from others competing for a guest blog spot.
5. Form blog partnerships
Did you get a lot of traffic from a particular guest blog post? Be strategic, and think about best next steps with that blogger. Consider these ideas:
- Offer to write another guest blog post. Let them know you appreciated the opportunity (and their partnership) and ask if they would be interested in another guest blog post. Bloggers are looking for quality content, and even one successful guest blog post can lead to becoming a regular contributor to their blog
- Offer them a guest posting opportunity on your internal blog. Similar idea as above, but return the favor and see if they would be willing to write a guest blog post for your blog
- Keep in touch. Follow your blog partners on social media, and help promote their content as well. This is key as you want to be seen as a partner rather than someone always asking for something. When you do reach out again, mention a recent blog post that you enjoyed to show that you are supporting their content.
- Evaluate for other business opportunities. Would this blogger be a good potential partner for a webinar or other project? Reach out and suggest other creative ways this partnership can benefit each other’s business.
Guest blogging can be a great way to increase your domain authority and reach a wider target audience. Re-evaluate your strategy every so often to look for areas of improvement, and you will become a well-oiled blogger outreach machine.
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