by Dana Detrick-Clark
Before there were blogs, authors and marketers could broaden their audience through e-zine articles, hosting columns on a niche hub, or trying to get syndicated through a larger website.
During that time in internet history, I had three of these going at any given time: my monthly column on local music website The Zone; my bi-weekly column on The Women of Mp3.com; my weekly column for Estrogen Music; and a music review section in print magazine Local Flair.
Creating fresh content for each of these outlets replaced much of my need to advertise. The music clients that were hiring me already knew my expertise and point of view as a side effect my articles, so I didn’t need to blast them with other marketing messages.
Now is an even better time to become a featured author or guest blogger outside of your own blog. More exposure, influence, and social sharing add to the benefits e-zines could provide in the past.
I’ve regularly published articles and content through my own blog, as well as on sites recently including Paradux Media Group, LinkedIn, Voices.com, and VoiceOverXtra. These posts serve to establish my expertise while being an asset to my industry.
So, how can you get started as a guest blogger?
First, define your niche.
What area of expertise are you either already blogging about on your own site, or feel you best have knowledge to share in? If you are an audio expert, for example, should you be guest blogging to entrepreneurs? To other audio creators? To voice artists who hire studios?
Well, that depends.
If you have clear buyer personas, you know who your current and ideal clients are. There lies the answer to what angle your blog content should take.
Second, seek partnerships with blogs that speak to that audience.
This may actually put you in collaboration with some of your competitors! But if it drives readership for both of you, it’s a good thing.
Some blogs have a form on their site for potential guest bloggers to apply for an opportunity, while others prefer direct contact, or will follow up and ask more questions about your work before giving you an official invitation to write. Sometimes, opportunities just fall into your lap and a blogger or site may reach out to you for permission to reprint or modify a blog post you’ve already published on your own. Choose wisely whether you are the pursuer or not which partnerships are a good fit.
Third, make sure you are making it about the audience.
This part doesn’t change from any blogging or marketing you do. Once you have all of the details about optimal length, how linking and keywords are handled, and preferred subject matter, focus on solving a problem for the reader. You have their attention, now do something great with it!
If you run a bakery, for example, your audience may be struggling with finding the time they need to get everything done for the holidays. Your first instinct may be to present your holiday menu specialties, so they’ll know they can save time by ordering from you instead of making their own.
But a better way to earn their trust and interest may be with your “Top 10 Time-Saving Cookie Hacks” or a quick and easy recipe for a holiday standard. You don’t have to share trade secrets and put yourself out of business, but you can still provide value that puts you on their radar.
Don’t waste the opportunity by turning your blog post into a sales message for your company. Odds are good you will never be asked to blog for that site again if you try to manipulate instead of educate their audience.
Guest blogging is a great way to reach a broader audience and be a bigger asset to your industry. The benefits don’t stop at feedback and networking, as these opportunities are also a way to creatively market your expertise, if you do it wisely, to the right prospects.
Latest posts by Dana Detrick-Clark (see all)
- How to Create a Quarterly Plan That Completely Changes 2016 - April 6, 2016
- How To Barter Smarter [free download] - February 9, 2016
- How to Craft 3 Valentine’s Day Specials That Will Make You Irresistible to Your Clients [podcast + free download] - February 1, 2016