Be Our Guest (Blogger)
Guest blogging can be like introducing a new character into an existing group of characters in a movie. New characters inject new ideas and perspectives into the action. If they prove popular enough with the audience, that character can be spun off into movies or TV shows and take a central role in a different set of adventures.
The same principle works with guest posting on blogs. Small business owners can cultivate a following for their own website or blog by making an appearance on other blogs relevant to their industry. It is a multipurpose tool as small businesses can also use guest posting to audition writers before they hire bloggers for their own blog.
What can you do as a small business owner to get the most out of guest posts? Here are a few ideas worth considering:
Break the mold
Blog posts are best when they offer a fresh angle on a familiar idea. People are naturally drawn to things that feel original. Don’t hesitate to offer up a post that changes how your target audience looks at a topic. In the world of journalism, for example, this principle is expressed through the idea that a headline reading “Man bites dog” will spark greater reader interest than a headline reading “Dog bites man” because it offers a different kind of story beyond the norm. Creativity equals visibility.
Create a connection
Guest posting only makes sense if you target blogs that are a natural fit with your brand’s personality and your target demographic. If you sell outdoor sports equipment, for example, guest posting on a video gaming blog probably won’t draw much traffic back to your site. You are better off connecting with sports blogs or outdoor recreation blogs. Where and when you post matters as much as what you post.
Craft with care
Writing a guest blog post is a little like going on a first date. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Mess it up and chances for a second date are slim. Your guest post is an extension of your brand identity. You need to establish credibility and authority with an audience seeing you for the first time. Flesh out ideas in a persuasive, engaging and informative manner. Provide real informational value so your audience can see value in following you.
Avoid mass production
Tailor guest posts to fit with the blog audience. Taking an assembly line approach to blogging can spell disaster. You can remain true to your brand message while still tweaking the delivery for a new audience. If you gave the same exact speech to multiple crowds, it eventually feels unauthentic. The same is true with repetitiveness in blogging.
John C is a professional writer and editor who has written articles and blog posts dozens of websites and publications for more than a decade. His current goal this summer is to branch out into the exciting world of fiction writing.