guest blogging

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Grow and Build Your Own Guest Blogging Platform with Erika Heald

Have you ever thought about guest blogging as a way to grow your online presence?

Whether you’re looking to start guest blogging on other sites or you want to accept guest posts for your own blog, this week’s #ContentWritingChat is a great one! To help you take full advantage of guest blogging, we’re sharing some amazing advice from the chat in this recap!

How to Grow and Build Your Own Guest Blogging Platform

Our guest host this week was Erika Heald. Erika is a marketing consultant and a freelance writer. She’s also the host of a weekly Twitter chat, #ContentChat. Be sure to check it out every Monday at 2 PM Central!

Erika has plenty of experience with guest blogging, which is why she joined our chat to talk all about it this week. She had great tips to share with all of us, so let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: Why is guest blogging a beneficial way to grow your online presence?

You’ve probably heard people rave about the benefits of guest blogging before. However, you may be wondering if it’s really worthwhile. Here’s why guest blogging can do wonders for you:

Erika said that guest blogging on established websites will help you expand your reach, while also increasing your domain authority. If you’re a blog editor, accepting guest posts on your site will increase your talent pool and distribution channels.

Maureen said guest blogging allows you to show, not tell, people about your expertise, perspective, and personality.

One person who certainly sees the benefits of guest blogging is our very own Julia. She said guest blogging has helped build brand exposure, while also bringing in 50-60% of new leads.

As Brittany said, you get to share your expertise with an audience that has already been built.

Having the ability to share your expertise and knowledge with a new audience is a powerful way to build your own brand.

Guest blogging essentially brings two audiences together and helps you get noticed.

As Sarah said, guest posts allow you to get a different take on subjects, expand your audience, and attract new influencers.

Q2: How do you determine which websites are the right fit for you to guest blog on?

Now that you’re ready to get started with guest blogging, you need to choose the right websites. How do you go about that? Here’s some helpful advice to keep in mind:

Erika likes to look for opportunities with websites that share her audience, but aren’t direct competitors. Ideally, she wants to submit a post to a website that has a higher domain authority that she can count on to do promotion once the post is live.

Lexie shared a great question you should ask yourself when trying to select a website to guest post on. Does that blog have a similar audience to you? It’s important that you’re reaching the right people with the content you share.

Julia suggests looking for websites that allow for ongoing columns. This is great because it’ll consistently provide you with new opportunities in the future. She also said that website needs to be relevant to you and they should allow you to link back to your website.

As Kristen said, make sure you take time to research their audience. You want to determine if their people are also your people.

You don’t want to waste your time speaking on the wrong topic to the wrong audience!

If a website isn’t in the same industry as you, could you still help their audience solve a problem. This is how Brittany considers guest blogging opportunities.

Q3: Once you know where’d you like to guest blog, how do you go about pitching them?

You have a list of sites you’d like to guest blog on. Now you need to send a pitch to them with your proposal for a post. It’s a scary thing for fear of rejection, but it’s a lot easier than you think. Check out these great tips:

Once Erika has chosen sites she’d like to post on, she searches for their contributor guidelines. These are important to follow when submitting work to another site. If you can’t find guidelines, she suggests emailing the editor with your pitch and asking for their guidelines.

Guidelines are definitely essential!

Even Julia agrees that reading and complying with guidelines is a must. She also recommends pitching an entire article, not just a topic.

Another great tip is to share how you can add value to their blog. Give them a reason to accept your pitch.

Developing a relationship with the right person will really come in handy. You’ll be more likely to be accepted when you have a standing relationship with the team. If not, share a sample of your work so they will get a taste of what they can expect from you.

Maureen also recommends getting to know the team behind the blog. That will really help you out!

Shelly suggests engaging with the blog’s social media accounts before pitching. This helps build a relationship with them beforehand because they just might take notice. Comment on their posts and share their content. They’ll appreciate it!

Brent’s advice is to build genuine relationship with the editors, research their site, pitch original ideas, and then deliver quality content.

Brandie said you should spend time researching their network to figure out which topics would be of interest to their audience.

Cheval knows a compliment goes a long way when you’re pitching a guest post!

Kristen said it’s best to pitch a fully-baked article with images. They’ll see exactly what you’re pitching and will be able to determine if it’s a good fit. If it’s not, move onto someone else or use the content for your own website.

Q4: What strategies can you use to get the most out of your guest blogging efforts?

To maximize your guest blogging efforts, there are a few things you can do! For a guest post that really pays off for your brand, keep this advice in mind:

To make guest blogging work for you, Erika said you want to gain a quality link back to your website. Make sure you have great content on your website you can link to within the guest post.

To increase traffic to the post, she suggests including influencer contributions in the post. They’ll be more likely to share something they’ve been featured in. Plus, you need to share the content through your own social media channels. You might even run a paid ad on social media!

Maureen suggests adding a clear call to action at the end of your post. You want to tell readers what that next step is, especially if they’re just hearing about you for the first time.

Brandie’s advice is to think about your goals for guest blogging. She also encourages you to include a call to action to check back to respond to comments people may have left.

To make the most of your efforts, Julia thinks it’s a great idea to continue to write for that blog. If things worked out, pitch them in the future to gain more exposure.

Having a long-term relationship with the people behind the website you posted on is very beneficial. It opens up the door for more opportunities in the future.

As Sarah said, make sure you are sharing the content on all of your social media channels. She even suggests repurposing it into different mediums like a podcast or video.

Q5: How can you start accepting guest posts for your own website?

Now that we’ve talked about pitching guest posts for other websites, you may want to consider accepting them for your blog. To get started with that, here’s some advice that will help you out:

To get started with accepting guest post submissions, Erika advises you to create guidelines. You can present this to writers to ensure their content fits within your quality standards.

From them, Erika said to post a call for contributors on your site. She feels it’s important to respond to all submissions you receive, even if they don’t make the cut. Let the writer know why their piece wasn’t approved and give them the opportunity to redo it.

As Lexie said, you have to let people know you accept guest posts if you want people to begin submitting. Don’t wait for them to come to you.

You can create a page on your website where you ask for guest post submissions or share the details on social media.

And remember that there’s no shame in rejecting a piece that was submitted to you. Stick to your standards!

Q6: Is it important to provide writers with guidelines when submitting posts? How do you ensure your content fits?

We’ve already talked about the importance of having guidelines, but how do you know when a piece of content is the right fit? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:

Without guidelines for writers, Erika knows you’ll wind up with a lot of submissions that simply aren’t good enough or don’t fit your site. Your guidelines should include topics you’re looking for, post length, and anything else you deem important.

As Sarah said, it’s not a free-for-all! Guidelines give people something to follow and strive to achieve. Sarah suggests reviewing the writer’s past work to get an idea of their skills.

Julia said guidelines are key to ensuring your brand is represented correctly by every writer.

Having guidelines in place will ensure you get good submissions.

Tony said that he had a site send over guidelines before he began writing, which is a major plus.

Q7: Which websites are great for content marketers to contribute to?

If you’re a content marketer and need some suggestions for sites to pitch, check out these recommendations from the chat:

Erika recommends pitching to the following sites: Content Marketing Institute, SpinSucks, MarketingProfs, and Marketing Land.

Julia knows it’s all about choosing relevant sites. You need to know your audience and figure out which websites they’re actively reading.

Brent suggests guest blogging for sites like Content Marketing Institute, Skyword, and Copy Hackers.

Cheval’s recommendations include Simply Measured and Social Media Examiner.

Q8: What final advice should we keep in mind when guest blogging or accepting submissions for our site?

To wrap up the chat, we asked everyone to share their best advice that everyone should keep in mind going forward with guest blogging. Here are a few key tidbits:

Make it your goal to be invited back for another guest post in the future. Erika said it’s also important to engage with the readers. You can do this by responding to the comments you receive.

She also knows the edits you do can make a huge difference with your content. Just don’t overdo it when it comes to SEO.

Always focus on producing quality content.

Julia shared two great pieces of advice. First, she encourages everyone to remember that pitching blogs can be a long game. You have to be patient, establish a relationship with the site’s team, and have perseverance.

She also said you shouldn’t be afraid to go after those sites you want to publish a post on. You never know what might happen, so go for it!

It’s also wise to tell people how their guest post submitted when it’s one on your own site. This gives the writer great feedback for the future.

Kristen said to use guest blogging as a way to develop ongoing relationships. That always makes a huge difference and opens the door for many more opportunities!

Don’t be afraid to be stingy with the work you accept on your own site. You want to make sure only the best makes it through.

Ready to join in on #ContentWritingChat? We’re hanging out on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you stay updated!

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