Three months ago a close friend of mine asked me for a favor.
He needed to get more traffic to his company’s website. They couldn’t afford to hire anyone so he was asking as a friend, just for a bit of friendly advice.
“What one thing can we do that will have the biggest impact?” he asked me.
There’s no easy answer to a question like that. Inbound marketing is about knowing your audience, what they need and what triggers will build trust with them fastest while maximizing your exposure.
But if your budget is zero, you’re eager to boost your site traffic, and you have NO IDEA how to do it, there is one trick my team goes back to over and over again.
More precisely – guest posting on major industry blogs with large, existing audiences.
Why a Guest Post is the Creme de la Creme of Inbound Marketing
The goal of inbound marketing is offer value to your audience, build trust and attract them to your sales materials over time. It has significantly higher conversion rates over time because people come to trust you as an authority who will provide them with accurate, useful information.
Now consider what a guest post does:
- It teaches something valuable to readers
- It appears on another site with greater authority than your own
- It generates recurring traffic from that site’s visitors
It’s a short cut to the authority you want to generate an it’s good for SEO to boot. But a good guest post needs to be from a site that matters. Just getting a link from another site is not enough.
Imagine getting interviewed by CNN vs. public access TV in Milwaukee. That’s the difference between a high Domain Authority blog and just any old blog willing to take your post for free.
For branding purposes, for traffic purposes, and for authority generation, your guest posts need to piggyback on the perceived trust of a big time site.
Here’s How to Do It
There are two ways to get on a big name blog in your industry.
- Find blogs that solicit guest posts and submit a query
- Find blogs in a complimentary field and submit an unsolicited query
The former is easy. Create a long list of blogs in your industry (use Google Blog Search or Technorati) and start going through them, looking for “write for us”, “guest submissions” and “queries” links. The larger the site, the less likely they accept open solicitations, but it’s always worth checking.
Two sites I’m featured on have forms just like this, and one in particular, Lifehack.org, was very easy to connect with. They have a guy on staff who literally answers and schedules guest post queries.
The latter applies to any site on your list that does not have a form.
The vast majority of SEO marketers and business owners, when they don’t see a form will ignore the site, but just because a site doesn’t have a guest post form doesn’t mean it does not accept guest posts. I’ve gotten guest posts on numerous major blogs, including for some of our clients and business owners I’ve met in passing.
So when you meet people at networking events, when you find a site you like but that doesn’t have a form, or when you are reviewing your list of potential matches, don’t let anything stop you unless the site very clearly says “no solicitations”.
It Takes Time and Persistence
There’s a reason SEO is becoming a thing of the past. The technical automation that most companies used for so long just doesn’t work in a world where low quality links, including guest posts, have so little value.
It all comes down to persistence, willingness to build an audience, and comfort calling or emailing people who may tell you no. There are services to streamline this a bit. I maintain memberships with numerous PR lists including:
- Help a Reporter Out
- Pitch Rate
- Radio Guest List
All three of these and many others send me daily bulletins with PR opportunities for myself and my clients. When there is a match, I contact the reporter or podcast/radio host with our pitch. It takes 20 minutes every morning and we’ve landed some good spots.
Combined with persistence research, willingness to take a risk and some fresh, creative new ideas, you can get your guest posts on some very big, very important, and very traffic-rich blogs in your industry before you know it.
Ready to give guest posting a try and not sure where to start? Or are your current digital branding and marketing efforts not quite hitting the milestones you’ve set – contact Great Leap Studios and learn how we can help jump start your efforts quickly and effectively.