Three Practical Strategies for Boosting Awareness and Credibility with Guest Posting
Despite ongoing changes to Google, guest posting remains as a highly effective strategy for establishing credibility. Whether you are a coach, consultant, small business or corporation, guest posting offers a proven, low-cost way to share expert views and ideas with your target audience.
The latest round of changes announced by Google in late 2013, reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating the practices of guest posting for SEO only. While initially concerning, this change is good news for guest bloggers as the focus is now firmly on delivering high value, educational content for readers.
Outlining Clear Goals for Guest Posting
An effective guest posting campaign starts with outlining clear goals for your program. With a plan in place you'll be better able to choose the right sites to target for guest posting. Ultimately, your goals should tie back to either awareness or credibility for your personal or corporate brand.
Specific goals may include:
Increasing reach on social media and building followers on key networks.
Establishing expertise within your industry by posting on authority site.
Reaching new audiences to generate greater awareness
Boosting quality traffic to your site.
Driving email opt-ins.
With your goals in place, you can start determining the plan of attack for your guest posting including your stories, targeted sites and more.
Determining Your Story Angles
As guest posts are educational in content, you will need to take time to develop story angles that are not promotional in nature. For example, if you are a small business focusing on time management software, you could post about 10 time management strategies, ideas for making the most of your schedule or other related topics.
One of the most common concerns when it comes to coming up with topics for a guest post is that the subject isn't "new". The reality is that you don't need a brand new idea, but rather a new angle or spin on it. A classic topic can easily become fresh and exciting with new information and timely stories added in.
Taking the time upfront to develop strong stories will help increase the success of your guest posting overall.
Try these ideas for generating post topics:
Look at the most frequently asked questions by your customers and prospects. If you listen carefully you will have topics for many, many guest posts.
Examine what's being said in your industry and find the topics that are not being discussed. Taking a stand on a specific topic can be particularly effective.
Read the sites you want to post on and carefully assess what they are writing about and identify any areas they may be missing in their coverage.
Create Your Short List of Targets
Armed with some story ideas, you are ready to start researching targets for your guest posting. There is no shortage of places you could guest post, but you want to pick targets that are tightly aligned with your may want to try a lower-level business outlet or local site before you go after well-known outlet.
Research is a critical component of the process, and you need to critically assess not only what stories may be a fit for the sites you are identifying, but if you want to post on those sites or not.
Create a checklist to assess your targets including:
Is this site a good fit with my target audience?
Does this site get enough traffic to refer traffic to my site?
Is this an active site? Are there comments? Shares on social media?
What is the reputation of the site?
Will this help me build authority?
Once you've answered those questions, you will have a clear idea of what sites to include on your shortlist and be ready to get started with guest posting.
Guest posting can be highly effective when you take the time upfront to define your goals, understand your stories and the select the right targets for your efforts. When done right, guest posting can deliver many results and truly help you reach more people with your message and boost credibility.
Follow Maggie Patterson on Twitter