by John Rampton
Guest blogging is not a new technique. In fact, business leaders have been guesting on high-profile blogs for years. Marketing-savvy professionals know the power guest blogging has to amplify their messages, in addition to the networking benefits it brings. What started as a great way to improve search engine results is now a mainstream marketing strategy, used by almost all savvy marketers.
Over the past 5 years I've become somewhat an expert guest blogger. I've put out more than 5000 articles in the past 5 years. Yes, that's almost 3 articles a day. I write a lot. I saw a trend starting to happen and I went after it.
While I love guest blogging and know that it's amazing for my business. The many benefits of guest blogging will only become clearer in the next few years to most business owners.
Here are a few reasons guest blogging is poised to become mainstream among marketers and business professionals in the "very" near future.
When members of a business’s leadership team are considered experts in their field, customers pay attention. Whether a brand specializes in products or services, that expertise instills confidence, leading to sales. This is especially true of brands appealing to the millennial generation, who tend to mistrust marketers more than previous generations did.
Unfortunately, with so many marketers in every industry trying this strategy, it will be crucial that a professional fully commit to establishing thought leadership in order to compete with the many other brands attempting it. Guest blogging has become one of the best ways to establish thought leadership, especially if you can land a spot on a well-respected blog. When you can get a guest post to rank prominently in search results whenever an industry-relevant search term is entered, you have a chance to move ahead of the competition.
The goal of any sound marketing strategy is to reach an audience beyond your existing customer base. Guest blogging gives you exposure to the networks of each of your hosts, but it’s important to ensure those audiences are relevant ones. Experienced marketers realize the best way to amplify a brand’s message is through finding high-profile guest-blogging opportunities and targeting those with guest post pitches.
Solutions like this one by fellow marketer and friend Drew Hendricks, have emerged that can help marketers like myself connect with influencers in their industry. This allows them to get them in front of the biggest audience possible. Influencers have either a large blog or social media following, which means that your post will be shared with a customer base you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Community building is an important part of growing a business, whether you own a local service-based firm or an ecommerce site that serves customers across the globe. When you reach out to an influencer or a colleague to request a guest-blogging opportunity, you demonstrate a respect for that professional. On the day your post goes live, you should thank the host on your social media accounts, returning the favor partially by introducing your own online followers to your host.
Most importantly, make sure the post you write for the guest host is something that person’s readers are likely to find useful. Long after your post has gone live, make sure you continue to nurture the connection you’ve made with the host blogger. You may find other opportunities arise from your previous collaboration.
SEO has already changed significantly over the past decade, and that change is likely to continue in the coming years. Keywords are still important, but as algorithms continue to grow more sophisticated, brands will need to ensure their keyword placement is natural. Search results will also be more personalized, with results tailored specifically to each web searcher’s specific interests. Some things won’t change, however, including the value of link building in a brand’s search engine optimization efforts.
Each guest post generally includes a link directly to the guest poster’s website, increasing that site’s appearance as an authority to web crawlers. For local brands that rely on geography to reach customers, though, the SEO aspect of guest blogging may become more complicated, since sites that mention location will likely rank higher, especially if businesses are looking for local shopping options.
Today’s latest marketing techniques will either fade away or become part of the mainstream. Guest blogging has already proven it has longevity, so it’s important to recognize the many ways it can be used to build a brand’s reach. Not only can guest blogging help brands gather more online followers and long-term customers, but it also can be a great way to network with others in the business world, leading to even better opportunities down the line.