It’s easy to start a blog, but it’s hard to get people to read it. Many people think that it’s enough to write great articles, but they often learn the hard way that if you don’t promote your blog, your readership doesn’t expand beyond your grandma and your cat. How can you attract people to your blog when you are still an internet nobody?
Guest posting is the most effective method for promoting a new blog.
Guest posting (also known as guest blogging) is an online marketing method that works like this:
- You have a website that you want to promote.
- You pick a big website in your niche that has a similar target audience.
- You write a high quality guest post, submit it to a website, and get published.
- People who like your website click on the link in your byline and visit your website.
This marketing method allows you to get your work in front of a lot of people and consequently drive targeted traffic to your own website. It is time consuming, since you have to spend a lot of time researching websites in your niche, writing guest posts, and pitching to editors, but once the post gets published, hundreds of new visitors will rush to your blog. Honestly, I don’t know any other marketing method that is more effective for getting a new blog off the ground, therefore I suggest you to make it the core of your marketing strategy.
How to prepare your blog for the upcoming flood of traffic
It’s important to understand that it’s not enough to simply drive loads of traffic to your website. All your efforts are empty if people visit your blog then forget it five minutes later and never come back. You have to aim to convert your new visitors into loyal readers.
Here are two most important things that you have to take care of before your guest post goes live:
Content. You have to display interesting and valuable content if you want people to remember your blog and come back for more. No amount of traffic will help if your three most recent posts are about your cat, your favorite brand of cereal, and the latest “90210″ episode.
Opt-in forms. You need to capture e-mail addresses of your new visitors in order to increase the chances of them coming back in the future. Many bloggers are shy when it comes to that, because they don’t want to come across as spammers. In reality you have nothing to worry about if you put opt-in forms in the right places. Have an opt-in form below every post, on the top of the sidebar and on your “About” page. Also, make sure to have a feature box in place.
Don’t skip these. Many people rush to get their post published, but driving traffic to a website that is not optimized for converting new visitors to loyal readers is, frankly, a waste of time. It’s better to put in the work and get good results than to slack off and only get 2 or 3 subscribers.
5 steps to your first guest post
I’m always surprised when I hear people whining that “guest posting is hard” and complaining that “this guest posting stuff doesn’t work”. The truth is that guest posting works very well if you do it the right way and the process itself isn’t that complicated. You have to be prepared to put in the time and energy necessary, though.
1. Pick a website and analyze it’s content. Take time to understand what kind of content an editor of a website might be looking for. Again, if you want to get published, you have to do your homework.
2. Write a high quality guest post. Your post has to provide value to the readers. Try to offer a solution to a problem they might have. Make sure that your solutions are detailed enough so that readers who try to follow the process you outlined would be able to get actual results. Also, don’t leave spelling or grammar mistakes, because that greatly reduces your chances of getting published.
3. Submit your guest post. Send a simple e-mail to the editor saying that you would like to do a guest post on a certain topic and attach the article to that e-mail. Don’t sweat it.
4. Get an answer from the editor. Make sure that you check your e-mail regularly so you wouldn’t miss the reply. In case it’s been few weeks and you haven’t heard from them, e-mail them again, politely reminding them about your guest post submission. Editors are very busy people, so sometimes they don’t notice your submission, or forget to send you a reply.
5. Rinse and repeat until you have a popular blog. Guest posting is most effective when you do it on a regular basis. Take a look at how many new visitors and e-mail subscribers you got from your first guest post. Now, imagine, what would happen if you would publish ten or twenty more guest posts like that?
Keep in mind that writing the article is the most important part of the guest posting process. You won’t be able to get a low quality guest post published no matter how hard you try. Moreover, the amount of traffic that you will get from a guest post heavily depends on it’s quality. It’s better to take your time and write the best post that you possibly can.
Where should you start?
Here are three major web design and web development websites that accept guest posts:
These websites are on the constant lookout for fresh high quality content, so write an article that meets their requirements, and shoot an e-mail to the editors. Good luck!
Don’t get distracted, stay focused.
Guest posting is hard. You have to put in a lot of time and energy into it in order to make it work. However, it’s the most effective way to promote a new blog, therefore don’t get distracted with stuff that is easier and makes you feel good about yourself, but doesn’t bring any significant results (hello, social media). Stay focused on guest posting.