Blogging effectively is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Guest blogging may be even tougher. When guest blogging, you have to adapt your writing and content to another source in order to appeal to a community other than your own. That said, guest blogging can be one of the most effective ways in building your brand and authority as you open yourself up to new readers and conversations.
Here are five tips for writing effective guest blog posts that any blog owner will be happy to publish:
1) Know the community. Instead of writing an article, then looking for a suitable blog where you can guest post it, it's much more efficient to target popular blogs with high search engine rankings that cover the same topics as your blog. Get to know some of the large and medium-sized blogs in your niche and learn all you can about their reader communities. If you're just starting out with guest posting, get some practice writing for medium-sized blogs before moving on to the larger ones.
2) Establish your authority/be resourceful. Whether you've chosen the topic for your guest post or are fulfilling a request from the blog owner, meticulous research is crucial when it comes to establishing your authority. Instead of writing off the top of your head, find some facts that will back up your ideas. Short quotes from experts are a great way to add authenticity, but don't forget to cite your sources. Make sure you understand the blog owner's policy on external links. Some allow one or two external links besides a link to your own blog, while others prefer that you link only to articles from the blog archive. Provide external links to reputable sources if allowed.
3) Provide a fresh perspective. Come up with an attention-grabbing headline for your guest blog post. Even if you're writing about a topic that has been covered many times on other blogs, brainstorm before you write to come up with a fresh perspective. Don't use your guest blog post for self-promotion and avoid rehashing stale ideas from other sources. Instead of sprinkling references to your own blog throughout your article, close with a short bio and information about your blog (no more than two or three sentences), along with a link to your blog.
4) Research past articles on the site. Before you begin writing for a particular blog, read several articles from the blog's current content and archives to get a feel for the tone and subject matter. Determine if other posts are serious, humorous or slightly outrageous and then prepare to adopt the same tone for your article. Check out the comments that follow articles to learn more about the blog's readership and to find out which subject areas are most popular. Don't forget to find out all you can about the blog owner. All of this research will help you write a top-notch article that will resound with both the blog owner and the blog's community of readers.
5) Respond to comments. After your guest post is published, stay connected by returning to the blog and responding to comments left by readers. Add a positive response (if possible) for every comment. Many of the comments will include a link to another blog, so this is your chance to network with other bloggers. If a comment inspires you, use it as the basis for a post on your blog and provide a link in your comment response.
One last piece of advice that may seem obvious: Be confident in your writing. Nobody ever wants to read someone who is unsure of themselves. Understand that the reader is turning to you for insight and answers – own that responsibility and you will be guest blogging as if you were writing your daily blog.
By Guest Author -Harrison Kratz is the community manager for MBA@UNC, one of the nation’s top online mba programs from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where they also offer a distance mba through their Executive Program. Harrison also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive.
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