I love blogs. I strongly encourage almost all of my clients to start a blog as either a companion piece for their standard HTML website or as their standalone primary website.
But most small business website owners don’t own or use blogs regularly. Usually only a handful of brick and mortar companies in a local niche market truly embrace internet marketing and use it to its maximum potential when it comes to blogs.
Still I can understand many people’s reluctance. While blogs are great ways for an individual or even an entire company to establish rapport and build relationships with their prospective customers; many business people think of blogs being too personal.
Business Blogs – Not just for Bragging Anymore
Blogs started off as being interactive platforms that enabled anyone to express their opinions and views on just about everything from pimples to politics. And that is still true. But it’s this authenticity and openness, which make blogs so popular with both consumers and search engines alike.
And as we all know, the more the search engines such as Google “like” your website the higher you search page ranking will be and the more traffic will redirected your way and the more visitors you will have.
Still few channels can beat a blog when it comes to using multimedia (text, video and audio) when it comes to communicating with your customers about your products or business.
Plus with blogging you can reach a targeted market or zero in on a specific type of client or customer. This is why blogging can be more effective in some situations than commercial television when it comes to personal branding.
No Blog? No Worries – Guest Blogging Works!
But what if you currently don’t have a blog or don’t really want to go through the trouble of installing or running one either.
Well, you can always use a free blogging site such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com in order to tip your toe in the waters, so to speak.
With a free blog, you don’t have the responsibilities of maintaining the site of course; but you still must produce new and original content in order for it to be successful.
Remember the old saying, “publish or perish”. That phrase is especially true for business bloggers – the more content you create, the more popular your blog will become and the higher your “money” numbers such as leads or sales will be too!
It doesn’t matter if your blog content is articles (i.e. posts), special reports, shareable .PDF documents or images (pictures or graphics), podcasts (audio “talk shows” or music files) or videos – good content is the lifeblood of any small business blog.
However, the same problems I just mentioned (constant content creation) can actually be used to your advantage if you don’t have a blog yet. Think on it a moment – if you are reluctant to take on the daunting task of producing content all the time, other small time publishers are also in the same bind!
This is where guest blogging can help you solve both your marketing problems. A guest blogger is a writer who volunteers to write blog posts for a blog publisher in a related or similar field or industry, in exchange for a web link back to the guest writer’s website.
By being a guest blogger, you can easily write articles that showcase your business or products in a favorable light without all the headaches and hassles of running a blog of your own.
The more you write guest blog posts, over time you will start seeing increasing streams of web visitors from those guest posts back to your website.
Plus all those backlinks signal the search engines to pay more attention to your site since it has so many links pointing to it. Not to mention all the business relationships you are building with your “publishing partners” as well.
Boosting Your Business with Guest Blogging
This section below will explain some easy to follow tips on how to start guest blogging.
Guest Blogging Tip # 1 – Find Relevant Blogs. The first step you have to do locate blogs that have or are accepting articles from guest post writers. The best way to do this is to open up your web browser and type in some simple search terms like these:
- “guest post was written by”
- “Guest post by”
By using the double quote marks you automatically focus your search results to only websites that contain these exact words or phrases. This means the site or blog has a history of using guest writers (at least once).
You can also narrow down your add in other related words to your search terms that directly pertain to your particular field or industry. For example, you can search by using a term like this “guest post by” “small business”.
Now you have a list of sites that hopefully contain both guest written articles and have topics concerning small business issues. If you are using Google, you can also use their new sidebar filter
Guest Blogging Tip # 2 – Study Your List of Blogs. Now instead of just jumping in with both feet, take some time and read over the blogs you have found. Use your list to pick out at least 2 or 3 blogs that you like the best and read over each of their archives carefully, especially any guest articles or posts.
You are looking to see not only what kind of topics would be of interest to that blogger but also what style of writing is done. Is the writing done in a conversational tone or more a formal fashion?
Does the blog get a lot of comments and if so, what topics got people’s juices flowing? Try and get a feel of how a blog publisher deals with their audience and what grabs their attention.
Guest Blogging Tip # 3 – Write Your Guest Post. Now that you understand a bit more about who makes up particular blog’s audience and what might interest them, start writing your article. Create a quick outline that centers around 3 or so points and start writing – filling in the blanks as you go.
Write only one article per blog. Don’t attempt to create a one-topic-fits-all piece, even if the blogs are similar. Make each guest post unique to that blog. And don’t sound like an advertisement or anything! Use this platform to create value for any prospective customers and for your blogging partners.
Once you have your guest post completed, you can send an introductory email to the blog editor or publisher, asking is they would be interested in seeing your article. If yes then forward them your post.
Don’t be discouraged if they say no. Not every blogger wants to use guest posts. But also just don’t give up if you haven’t heard back from a blogger. Send out a “reminder” email since many people have a lot of junk mail and might have missed your first message.
While a writing guest blog post isn’t for everyone nor for every industry, you might be surprised as how receptive some bloggers are to having well written and interesting articles offered to them for free!