By Simon Slade
The practice of soliciting guest posts, when someone writes an article to publish on another company’s blog or website has grown in popularity over recent years, and for good reason. Guest posts provide a new perspective and fresh content for a website. It might seem like the benefits weigh heavily on the side of the guest poster, but that’s not the case.
[Get more content marking tips: 6 Tips for Writing Effective Content]
Expanding your content marketing strategy to include guest posters is an excellent business decision. I encourage any business to incorporate guest posting—with caution and responsibility—on its website or blog. Let's look at the business benefits of guest posting.
Guest Posting Offers Networking Opportunities
One of the main advantages of featuring guest posters on your business website is that you build relationships with industry leaders. Building those business relationships increases the likelihood that those leaders will mention you or your business to their audience and promote your content to a new sphere.
Say, for example, you own a site where you sell computer hardware. If you feature a guest writer who owns a tech website, he learns about your business. If one of his readers inquires about a good place to buy computer hardware, he may offer up your name, or even suggest your services in one of his blog posts—all because you sought out a guest blogger and provided space on your site. It dramatically expands your influence, which is great for business.
Guest Posting Saves Time
When you feature guest posters on your site, you spend less time creating unique, valuable content for your site. That's time you can spend elsewhere—perhaps even on improving the content you already provide. The idea well runs dry every now and then, and guest posters can help you maintain your reputation without losing sleep over the topic of your next great blog post.
Guest Posting Helps Grow Your Audience
A guest poster inevitably attracts his or her readers to the guest post, those visitors are bound to take a look around and see what your site is about. That gives you a new, organic audience of potential customers for your business. A guest post acts as a stepping stone for that audience to find your original, valuable content, and then ultimately return for more.
For example, imagine that you feature a fashion guru’s guest post about summer trends on your retail clothing site. The guru has a loyal following, and when she shares the guest post with her readers, they end up on your site, perusing your merchandise and other content. Even if they don’t purchase immediately, you have appeared on their radar. Without the guest post from a source they trust, they might never have known your site existed.
Guest Posting Adds More Expertise
I’m sure you are great at what you do, but you don’t know everything. No one does.
If you own a real estate company, for example, you know a lot about housing and property, but you're probably not also an expert in energy-conscious building features. But you could find an expert in alternative energy and sustainable living to do a guest post about keeping your energy bill low in the summer months or improvements you can make to increase a home's value while making it more energy efficient. Your readers will probably appreciate this information and return to your site looking for more engaging content.
When you invite someone to guest post on your site, you recognize the limits of your knowledge, and you put your audience before your ego. It shows your readers that you prioritize providing them with quality content, not just using the platform for your own agenda. Readers really appreciate this type of diversified content.
Guest Posing Generates Likes, Follows, & Tweets
By sharing the spotlight with fellow industry leaders, you not only tap into their organic web traffic, but you also reach their social media followers. Connecting with other experts in your niche is an important part of social media success. When people discover that you're associated with a topic they follow, you'll see see more engagement on your social media accounts.
Guest Posting Drives Sales
Ultimately, all of this increased traffic can get you more sales. As long as you provide quality content, your guest poster’s audience represents an untapped world of potential customers. The pursuit of new traffic via guest posters will result in increased site revenue in the long run.
Guest Posting with Caution
An increase in guest posting holds the potential for guest posting abuse. For this reason, you must absolutely focus on quality over quantity. That means accepting only article submissions that benefit your audience over everything else. If your guest poster uses spammy tactics or plagiarizes content, Google will punish site.
Check all guest posted content carefully for dead-end links and unoriginal content. This free plagiarism tool can help detect unoriginal copy. Maintain strict policies about these things and share them with your would-be guest posters. As you build trust in these writer relationships, you will have less to worry about, but you always have to stay vigilant.
If you use guest posters often enough, and people start pitching guest posts for your site, it’s worth outlining your guest po st guidelines on your site. Here's a good example of thorough guest post guidelines . Also, if you want to know where to find guest bloggers for your site, check out this Vertical Response article.
Guest posting can be a very valuable strategy to expand your exposure. When chosen carefully, guest posters can save you time, build your relationship with industry leaders, and give your business access to an entirely new group of potential customers.
Simon Slade is the CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo.
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