How to Promote Your Amateur Blog
If you write an amateur blog for your website and post it, do you then stop there? Is your mindset: “My content is out there on the interwebs and now people will see it.” As much as I wish that to be the case, it just isn’t. Like any social medium, blogs need to be perpetuated. You will need to know how to promote your amateur blog. Each additional action will further your chances of someone coming across your post and reading your company's insight. Share a link to a post on Twitter and LinkedIn, or submit your post to be featured as a guest blog on an outlet that aligns with your target audience.
Guest blogging and accepting guest blog posts shows collaboration within the industry. On one hand, the guest blogger is seen as a thought leader on a given topic, as they are featured elsewhere for their expertise. On the other, the host blog is seen as a go-to source for factual, helpful and innovative information within that market space. Guest blogging also helps you share ideas in a reciprocal way. It is a tool to help distribute information on a wider scale.
Featuring a prominent thought leader on your blog can help build an audience since the blogger's following will likely see his or her post on your blog. This works both ways. The host blog's loyal followers will have the opportunity to read your views, grow interested in your ideas and ultimately become followers.
The benefits don’t stop there
While undoubtedly, it’s great for business to appear in the media, sometimes a more organic placement can be just as beneficial, depending upon your target audience and where they hang out online. Guest blogging is an excellent way to boost your brand’s credibility, as it offers the opportunity to offer your insight and thought leadership to a new sector of your key publics. One of the best parts – it’s free, while paying for advertising can often be expensive AND generate less credibility, as readers know you funded that placement.
Another added benefit is the opportunity to increase your SEO, or search engine optimization. According to Sonia Simmone of Copyblogger, “Guest posting allows you to get a relevant, natural link, using the anchor text of your choice, on a site that has excellent search engine authority.” Simmone also suggests keeping content audience-friendly, stressing the importance of writing for the audience first, and search engines second. In order to maintain credibility and not come off too salesy, consider the amount of links back to your own blog – one in the body and one in your bio is ideal.
How to select blogs that are right for your brand
One of the most important factors in guest blogging is understanding how to select the blogs that complement your audience, industry and message. Knowing that prominent blogs receive multiple requests for guest blogging opportunities daily, put some thought into your pitch. Neil Patel of QuickSprout mentioned one time receiving 931 requests for guest submissions on his blog, and of those requests he accepted zero.
In his blog post titled, “How to Get Your Guest Post Published,” Patel offers tips on how to ensure you get a response. First and foremost, never think a generic two-line email will be enough. Well before your initial email, research and actually read more than a handful of posts on the blog you wish to contribute to. This will help you get a feel for their existing audience, writing style and appropriate length of posts. Then, and only then, it will be time to create a personalized email and reach out to the blogger.
It may be difficult to land that initial guest blog, but don’t sell yourself short. Investigate and find the outlets that draw a healthy number of readers so that you aren’t wasting time and energy. When reaching out, know that you may not get a quick response. Bloggers, like reporters, are often under tight deadlines and are busy generating the required amount of content. Breathe, give it a couple weeks and send a follow up email. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Lisa Tilt is Founder and President of Full Tilt Consulting (www.FullTiltConsulting.com), a national brand development and content strategy firm. Contact her at lisa(at)fulltiltconsulting(dot)com.
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