How To Give Your New Business A Serious Boost By Guest Posting

Kayleigh Alexandra

Getting a new business off the ground is a major challenge.

You need to come up with a solid concept, prove that it can work in the real world, get all the operational infrastructure in place, and make whatever financial commitment is necessary — and that’s just the start, because after that comes the marketing stage. If you don’t market your business, it won’t grow very quickly.

That’s true in the offline world, sure enough, but it’s particularly true online. The online world is packed with businesses of all shapes and sizes — and since there’s no such thing as having a prime location (you can’t just rent a spot in a busy shopping mall and get effortless traffic), you need to pull out all the stops to get your business website found.

This calls for you to work on your technical SEO, of course (including local SEO), and provide a fantastic shopper experience to encourage as many customers as possible to drive referrals. The tactic I’m going to talk about in this post, though, is guest posting. What does guest posting involve? Why is it so valuable? How can you implement it most effectively?

As someone who’s put quite a lot of time and effort into guest posting, I’m in a good position to answer these questions — so let’s get started.

 

The basic concept of guest posting

Guest posting, as the name suggests, involves appearing as a guest contributor on someone else’s blog or news section. Sometimes your work will be attributed to you directly, while in other cases (often without your permission) it’ll be attributed to the website owners — in other words, it’ll be presented as original content.

On rare occasions the website owners can reach out to their contacts and ask them for content, but it mostly starts with writer outreach. If you want to produce some guest posts for a particular site, you can reach out to the owner and pitch them an idea (or set of ideas). Manage to convince them that you can write some worthwhile content, and you can get their go-ahead.

I find opportunities through manual research: search in Google and the social media networks of your choice, picking out keywords that fit your chosen area. Look for a hot-button issue and run through the top results (those will be from the most authoritative sites), then check them out. Do those sites accept guest blog posts? If you’re unsure, reach out to ask. There’s no harm in it.

What does great guest post content look like?

It’s often actionable, built around tips (like this one), and anything along the lines of “5 Ways to Do X” can work well. It’s all about making the most of your expertise.

If you have a lot of tips to offer, jot them down. If you can answer key questions pertaining to your industry, that’s a great way to proceed: FAQs are among the easiest pieces of content to produce, search-optimized, and highly digestible.

The key to guest posting is that it’s mutually-advantageous when done well. Consider it from the perspective of a blogger: if someone offers to write content for you, why not give them a shot?

If you hate the content they write, you don’t have to use it — and if it’s solid, you can have fresh material for your blog without needing to put any time or effort into ideation or production.

Where’s the value for the guest poster, though? Aren’t you just giving away valuable content? Well, there are actually various benefits to being a guest poster — I wouldn’t focus on it so much if there weren’t. Let’s go through them.

 

The myriad benefits it has to offer

While I’m sure I could come up with some smaller reasons to try guest posting (it’s a good way to hone your copywriting skills, for instance), I’d say there are four central benefits that make it worthwhile for business owners to start writing guest posts:

  • Attribution builds your reputation. In most cases, a blog post you write will feature your author bio, and you might well get mentioned in the introduction as the contributor. Provided you post on relevant sites, this helps to establish your reputation within your chosen industry: the more people see your name (or brand name) associated with high-quality content, the more positively they’ll view you.
  • Relationships are great for support. If you write a great post for a particular site owner, they’ll be far more willing to help you out in the future, and that can be very useful. You might want some advice on how to expand your business, for instance. The more contacts you build, the better (more on this later).
  • Links help with your SEO and drive traffic. Not all sites that accept guest posts will link to your site (some are deeply paranoid about Google penalties), but most will if you don’t ask for too much. Filling your content with your links is a really bad idea, for instance. And if you can pick up just one website link through your author bio, it can help with your SEO (Google uses backlinks to rank search results) and drive links to your website through people who enjoy your content choosing to see what else you have.
  • It’s often possible to exchange content. Even if guest posting is ultimately a net loss of value (and that can happen), that can balance out when people want to post on your site — and that can happen quite often when you get good at guest posting. If your guest posts are good, then your regular blog is probably good too, making it a great place for other people to get their content featured.

Each of these benefits is important to me. When I reach out to a blog on which I’d love to have my content featured, my track record of submitting great content gets my foot in the door — and when I look to work with a charity (which fits my site), it’s clear from all the effort I put into guest posting that I genuinely care about making my site a valuable nonprofit revenue-driver.

 

Tips for using it most effectively

So, now that we’ve established fairly clearly why guest posting is so valuable for new businesses, let’s run through some core tips for deploying it effectively:

  • Choose your targets carefully. You need to consider how long it takes you to write a good guest post, how relevant any given site is to your desired readership, and how likely it is that you’ll be able to post there again. You don’t have unlimited time and creative energy, and you also need to be careful to avoid having your content featured on a site that’s fundamentally sketchy somehow (featuring stolen content, for instance).
  • Focus on building relationships. Don’t just treat each posting opportunity as a one-off. Be polite, courteous, and responsive, and you’ll be able to build relationships that will allow you to post a lot more content and get a lot of traffic in return. Great posting opportunities are hard to find, so take full advantage of them.
  • Build links whenever possible. Building links certainly isn’t the only thing that makes guest posting worthwhile, but it’s outright foolish not to ask for a link when you have the chance to get one. If they agree to include a link, great! If they don’t, well, you haven’t lost anything. The more links you can build from good sites, the better.
  • Always be ready to edit. If you think you can just write a post, send it, and see it published right away… Think again. It can happen, but you often need to edit or even completely rework a piece due to some kind of misunderstanding of the requirements (this piece is a perfect example, having been entirely redone!). Some writers can find this frustrating, but it’s a normal part of the process and you need to be prepared.

Having been guest posting for years at this point, I’ve built up a huge array of site contacts who trust that I’ll have some good content for them. This allows me to consistently pick up fresh links to my site and keep my blog populated with content from experts in different fields: when they promote their content, of course, they also promote my site. This process benefits everyone.

Wrapping up, guest posting is a fantastic way for the owner of a new business to start building up its reputation. By posting on relevant sites, they can earn some great links that will bolster their search rankings and drive visits, and build some great industry relationships that can help them down the line. I’ve used it to great effect so far, and I have no intention of stopping — so put some serious thought into trying it.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Ready to get started?

Get your first two reports on the house.