Getting publicity for your business is great - it really helps spread the word about what you do, which brings in more customers and builds your credibility. Plus, when the articles are online, you get back links to your website, which help search engines find you. But publicity doesn't just come from the press writing about you. You can write your own articles if you can find someone to take them. So how do you find guest blogging opportunities?
Here are six steps to help you get started:
Step 1: Identify which blogs you'd like to be featured in.
There are literally millions of blogs. So whittle it down. Choose one or two that reach your target market, have a good following and which have guest blogging opportunities (not all do - you'll be able to tell by looking at the contributors of other posts on the blog.) Still not sure? Then start with the blogs you read. If they have a blog roll, look at those blogs - they are probably in a similar field.
Step 2: Ensure you have relevant content
Think about what content you could offer them that would fit their readership and profile. No point targeting a fashion blogger with your content on cooking. The better the fit between you and the blogger, the more likely you are to be used.
Step 3: Come up with a catchy title
You don't have to write the entire blog post and hope it will get used. Just come up with a catchy title to start with. You can write the rest once you've secured the opportunity. For example, titles like the one on this blog post tells the reader exactly what they're going to get. Plus anything along the lines of 'Five Tips' or 'Ten ways to...' tend to be well received as they'll be quick, useful posts for their readers. The more useful, controversial, topical or surprising your blog post idea is, the more likely it is to be used.
Step 4: Send your idea in
Find out who the blog editor/owner/manager is. Look at the 'About us' or 'Contact us' pages of the blog. Send them your blog idea / title with a brief outline of what you would cover. Be sure to explain why your piece would be beneficial to their readers. The less work the blog owner has to do on your submitted post, the better. So make it easy for them to want to use your stuff. Also explain why you have the authority to write about this - give them a brief overview of your experience or credentials.
Step 5: Prove your writing ability
Send a few links to other bits of writing you've done, even if it's just to your own blog, so that they can get a feel for your writing style. It doesn't matter how cracking an idea your post is, if your writing is poor, they aren't likely to use you.
Step 6: Share it
Once you are accepted as a guest blogger, be sure to tweet and share the post so that the blog owner can see that you are helping to spread the word about their blog. They are far more likely to use you a second time if you do. What's more, other bloggers may see that and ask you to write a post for them. You can also reference any guest blogging you have done when seeking out future opportunities. The more you have been used by others, the more credible you seem.
P.S. A final avenue that will bring guest blogging opps flooding in is to write a really good press release. While journalists tend to use your news release either verbatim or as the background for an interview and article they write, bloggers or websites will see your news and and invite you to write an article for them. A client of mine did this. She sent out a press release I wrote for her, put it on a news wire and has since been asked to guest blog on Gransnet, Family Friendly Working and do a podcast for RadioGorgeous. Great stuff!
Speaking of guest blogging, I've had two opportunities to do exactly that recently so I thought I'd share them here, in case you've missed them.
The first - Five questions to help you figure out your business story - appeared on She Owns It. The post has been retweeted more than 150 times and has resulted in me getting a number of new Twitter followers and sign ups for my newsletter.
The second - What is PR and why does your small business need it - appeared on Talented Ladies Club. It to has also added to my Twitter and Facebook followers.
Guest blogging does work. And it is a FREE way of getting publicity for your business.
If you need help with writing articles or blog posts, please give me a shout.