On Episode 31 of the Write Podcast, I have the honor of speaking to Aaron Orendorff. Aaron is an incredibly impressive content marketer. He’s the founder of Iconic Content, and his site slogan happens to be: “Saving the world from bad content.”
Seriously – one of the best taglines I’ve ever heard.
Today, Aaron shares (generously) his clever, high-level strategies on the strategy behind writing for coveted guest blogs, that offer a huge payoff and high ROI.
Aaron is a rock star content contributor at CMI, Unbounce, Copyblogger, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Business Insider – and that’s just for starters. He has authored some of the top-read, top-shared blog posts of the year. You could say he is a genius guest-posting machine.
On top of all that, Aaron recently became the editor-in-chief at Shopify Plus, which gives him a unique perspective from the other side of guest blogging – the gatekeeper side.
If getting more guest-blogging opportunities is on your resolutions list this year, this episode is a must-listen!
Ready? Let’s go!
The Write Podcast, E31: Content Strategy for High-ROI Guest Blogging with Aaron Orendorrf
- 3:25 – 5:28: How Aaron Went from Freelancer to Editor-in-Chief – Aaron focused on guest-posting for two years, most of it unpaid. He explains how he started freelancing for Shopify Plus, which eventually turned into a big game-changer for his career.
- 5:30 – 7:50: What Aaron Does in His Shopify Plus Role – What does being editor-in-chief at a major B2B entail? Turns out, a lot of it is old-fashioned SEO and content marketing 101, including targeting niche keywords and scoping out audience intent.
- 7:51 – 10:15: Leads Over Social Shares – It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics like social shares or likes – leads from your content are the real gold. Aaron recounts an interview where that point was driven home.
- 10:16 – 12:45: How Do You Get Guest Blogging Gigs on Major Sites? – Aaron shares a few secrets for nabbing the guest-posting gigs of your dreams. He also divulges the blog format that can score impressive engagement, which will make editors welcome you back for more content.
- 12:46 – 15:32: More Tips for Scoring Guest Blogs – There are a few things that Aaron did a little differently when it came to getting posts on sites like Mashable, Fast Company, and Entrepreneur. A big one: He wrote posts specifically for the site and their audience, then sent them to the editor in a cold email.
- 15:33 – 18:59: Today’s Guest Posting Climate and What You Need to Get Noticed – Aaron talks a little bit about why his method is necessary for guest posting today. Hint: Huffington Post closing its contributor network is a good example to learn from.
- 19:01 – 21:36: Expect Rejections, but Don’t Quit – When one of Aaron’s guest posts got rejected by Forbes, he revised it to fit the next publisher on his hit list. When they rejected it, he went through the same process. Eventually, that piece got on Mashable.
- 21:46 – 24:47: Top Do’s and Don’ts for Guest Bloggers – There are some basics you should and shouldn’t do before approaching a guest blog platform with your content. Aaron shares his top tips, including making sure to read the platform’s contributor guidelines. He also suggests a Chrome extension called Contact Out to help you email editors directly.
Favorite Quotes to Tweet:The thing about writing for an enterprise audience is you will get called on faking it, fast. Click To Tweet Some of those giant posts that are guest posts, that do build up your personal brand, are absolutely amazing for lead generation as a freelancer. Click To Tweet The real big ROI of guest-posting: You're not going to get a lot of traffic, but if you get the right traffic, that pays off huge. Click To Tweet It's so easy to get lost in the deluge of traffic and shout-outs and social shares. All that can be good for a certain goal, but when it comes to actually feeding the bottom line – lead generation – that's not the game. Click To Tweet It's so easy to get lost in the deluge of traffic and shout-outs and social shares. All that can be good for a certain goal, but when it comes to actually feeding the bottom line – lead generation – that's not the game. Click To Tweet SEO content has built our bottom line. Click To Tweet What opened doors for me on the guest-posting side of things: I don't think I ever sent a 'pitch.' Click To Tweet Make it easy for (guest blog) editors to say yes. Click To Tweet
- Follow Aaron on Twitter: @iconiContent
- Get the Chrome extension mentioned in today’s episode: Contact Out
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- Get my new book, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing