I first met Ellen Finkelstein at an event called NAMS in Atlanta, GA about 11 years ago. Over the next several years, I developed an appreciation for her analytical thinking and straightforward thought process. When she asked to appear on the Marketing Words Blog, we discussed a topic. In typical Ellen style, she touched on something fundamental that I had completely neglected to cover before: guest posting. Thanks for filling the gap, Ellen. Take it away!
What is a guest blog post? You’re reading one now. That’s because I wrote this post for Karon Thackston’s Marketing Words Blog. I’m a guest in her house, so to speak. I knocked on her door and she invited me inside.
Why would I spend the time writing a blog post for someone else? And why would she let me do that?
Follow along as I explain:
- Why writing a guest blog post is so valuable for you
- Why you might want to accept guest blog posts on your blog
- How to set up a guest blog post
- How you can expand this concept to other types of joint ventures that will help you grow your business
Writing a Guest Blog Post Expands Your Reach
Most bloggers have (or should have) a systematic way to promote each blog post they write on their blogs but what if you could get someone else to promote what you write?
When you write a guest blog post, your host promotes your post in the same way she would promote a post of her own. At the very least, she’ll send a link to her subscribers and create social media posts to promote it.
In this way, you gain access to a new group of people who are interested in what you have to say.
And because your post should have an offer – usually a free download – your host gives you access to new subscribers. Whoever reads the blog post and is interested in your topic can subscribe and get your free offer.
You gain the same trust that your host’s followers have in her. They may not know you, but they know and trust her. That trust gets transferred to you when she promotes your blog post.
This is an example of a partnership – at the end of this post, I’ll talk about partnerships and joint ventures in a broader context.
Accepting Guest Blog Posts Gives You Easy Content and More
The most obvious reason to accept guest blog posts is that these posts give you easy content – content that you don’t have to take the time to write on your own.
But let’s think about this issue from the point of view of your readers. Whatever the overall topic of your blog, there are subtopics that you don’t or can’t cover because:
- They are outside your area of expertise
- You aren’t focusing on those areas
- You never got around to them
An outside expert can fill in these holes and give your readers more variety and a different point of view. Your readers will benefit from getting this new content.
In addition, if you choose your guests well, their authority rubs off on you. The fact that they agreed to write for you validates your authority.
Finally, as I explain further down, your guest blogger will promote the post as well, bringing new people to your blog.
Proposing a Guest Blog Post
If you’re ready for the extra visibility, subscribers, and sales that you can get from writing guest blog posts, you need to start with some research.
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- Who are the experts in your field who have blogs?
- Do they accept guests? (Even if they haven’t done so in the past, you may suggest it.)
- What topic do you know about that is relevant to their audience, but they haven’t covered? (This requires reading through several existing blog posts.)
Before sending a proposal, I recommend that you develop a relationship with the blogger. Here are some steps you can take – and these steps work for any partnership, not just guest blogging:
- If the blogger has a subscriber list, subscribe
- Comment on several blog posts, being sure to add value to the readers
- Connect with the blogger on Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever else both of you are active
- If the blogger invites subscribers to reply to emails, do so
- Offer to interview the blogger if this is something you can do
Some well-known bloggers require the proposal to be formal but, in many cases, you’ll do this more informally via email, as a Facebook message, on the phone, or in a video meeting (usually Skype or Zoom).
Your proposal will start with your suggested topic but in the end, you need to discuss the length (number of words), number of images, format, date to be submitted, date to be published, how both of you will promote the post, how to include your bio, and what type of offer you can make. A lot of this is dependent on the requirements and practices of the host blogger.
Promoting a Guest Blog Post
A guest blog post is a joint venture in the sense that both of you promote the post. Not only does the host blogger do the usual promotion, but as the guest blogger, you also promote the post to your list. You announce to your subscribers and followers that your blog post has been published on the host’s blog. That sends new people to that blog post, and of course, when you accept guest bloggers, they, in turn, promote your blog.
Whether you write or accept a guest blog post, the promotion is a two-way street and both of you get added traffic.
Promote your guest blog post in the same way that you promote your own blog posts and you will become a valued partner.
Other Types of Joint Ventures
In its literal meaning, a joint venture occurs when two or more people work together to create content or a product. If Karon and I wrote this blog post together, it would be a joint venture.
But the expression “joint venture” is more often used in a looser way to mean any partnership. In this sense, a guest blog post is a joint venture even if only one person writes it.
The value of increased visibility, subscribers, and sales applies not only to guest blog posts but to many other types of partnerships. Here are some to consider:
- Cross promoting each other’s free offer
- Selling products of others as an affiliate
- Speaking on a podcast – this is very similar to guest blog posting, but you’re speaking instead of writing
- Speaking at a telesummit
- Contributing to or even organizing a giveaway in which several people come together to contribute free products and they all promote it
Joint ventures are a powerful way to grow your business.
I produced a Facebook Live on the topic of “5 Steps to Multiply Your Business with Partnering.” Get free access to the recording along with my notes so that you can learn how to incorporate partnering into your business.
Have questions about guest blog posts? Talk to me below!