This is the final post in a series of post on how I built a blog that was making four figures monthly, and, most importantly, how you can do the same.
Here’s what the series covers:
- Part 1: How I Planned My Blog and Chose a Niche
- Part 2: How I Chose My Domain Name, Set Up My Blog, and Created Key Pages
- Part 3: My Process for Writing Key Posts that Drive Income
- Part 4: How I Market My Blog
I’ve addressed how I planned my blog, how I created my blog, how I make money from my blog, how I create key posts, and how I create key pages.
Today’s post will be addressing an essential part of my strategy; how I market my blog.
How I Market My Blog or My Guest Blogging Strategy
My marketing strategy is based solely on guest blogging; nothing complicated or fancy.
I’ve experimented with other marketing tactics in the past but guest blogging seems to be the only effective one for me, without really going out of my comfort zone, both on the long and short term.
However, I have been guest blogging for 3 years now so I have made quite a number of mistakes. This post will be teaching you my approach that works, eliminating all the guesswork I had to do when I was just getting started.
Why It is Important to Plan Your Guest Blogging
Most bloggers approach guest blogging in a simplistic way; by looking for blogs willing to publish their guest posts, and submitting posts to these blogs.
Before guest blogging, it is important to have a plan; in other words, you need to design a guest blogging campaign, and this campaign will often be influenced by the following factors:
- What are your goals?
- How soon do you want results?
- How much time can you invest into guest blogging?
- What niche are you in?
The above questions, and more, should influence your guest blogging plan. Here’s how they can influence your guest blogging plan:
1. What are your goals?
Do you want to use guest blogging to get one or two quick clients, or do you want it to be a core part of your blog growth strategy? Depending on your answer, the kind of guest posts you write, the kind of blogs you guest post on, and how many guest posts you write will be different.
Example: If I am a freelance writer who needs to get 1 – 2 clients within a month, and I’m considering doing this by guest blogging, instead of just submitting guest posts to any blogs I can find, it will be more effective to find the biggest blogs read by the kind of clients I want, that will publish my guest posts quickly, and submit my guest posts to them.
I will also want to make sure my post is in some way relevant to the freelance writing service I offer, so that clients can see a connection and then hire me.
In other words, looking for the top tech blogs and contributing a post about the top iPhone apps, or sending a random post to my favorite blog about blogging, won’t cut it.
2. How soon do you want results?
If you want results as soon as your guest post is published, you should focus on quality instead of quantity; in other words, you want to avoid targeting a lot of small blogs. Instead, you want to target the very big blogs since they tend to have a wider reach.
3. How much time can you invest into guest blogging?
The time you invest into guest blogging will, almost always, be directly proportional to the results you get. If you don’t have enough time, you need to ensure every minute you invest counts; in other words, you need to find the very best outlets for your guest posts so that every post you submit can make an impact.
If you have a lot of time, you can focus on a strategy that might not get immediate results but will have massive impact on the long run; by this, I mean you might also want to consider using guest blogging as part of your SEO strategy.
4. What niche are you in?
This is critical. Guest blogging isn’t the same in every niche; some niches have very few blogs, and the popular blogs in some niches have few readers. You have to factor this in when you’re guest blogging.
If you are in a niche that won’t really help you benefit from guest blogging, you might want to consider an approach where you target relevant blogs in much bigger niches and look for ways to link the topic of that niche with the topic of your niche.
Decide on the Number of Guest Posts You Want to Write
Once you’ve considered the 4 factors outlined above, the next step is to decide on the number of guest posts you will be writing on a monthly basis.
The number of guest post you decide on should be influenced by all these factors. Here’s a summary of the factors again:
- Your goals
- Your niche
- Available time
- How soon you want results
Depending on what your goals are, you will find yourself writing 2 – 20+ guest posts every month; no matter the situation, I will recommend not writing less than 2 guest posts a month.
For me, my initial plan was to write 20 guest posts a month but I soon realized that, with my other activities, that is easier said than done, and, most importantly, I didn’t need to write as much guest posts.
How to Find the Right Blogs to Guest Post On
When it comes to guest blogging effectively, a huge part of the process is finding the right blogs to publish your guest posts.
Here are some tips for you when trying to find blogs for your guest posts:
- Make sure the blog is in your niche, or relevant to your niche.
- If you can’t find a blog relevant to your niche, make sure there’s a way you can tie your topic to the topic of that blog. Example: I can promote a marketing blog on an iPhone blog by writing a post titled “10 Cool iPhone Apps for Marketers.”
- Avoid writing guest posts for blogs have easy criteria; you are looking for results, not an easy guest blogging opportunity.
Techniques for Finding Blogs for Your Guest Post
Here are my favorite techniques for finding blogs that will publish my posts:
1. Google Search: By searching for guest blogging-related terms + the niche I want to guest post on, I can find hundreds of blogs in Google after a few hours of searches. Assuming I’m looking for blogs in the design niche, here are terms I would use:
- Design blog + “write for us”
- Design + “write for us”
- Design blog + “submit guest post”
- Design blog + “guest blogging opportunities”
- Design blog + “guest blogging”
- Design blog + “guest posting”
- Design blog + “contribute”
- Design blog + “submit article”
You can also use variations of the above terms, replacing “design” with your niche. It’s also important to include the quotes in the guest blogging related terms when searching, as this only shows blogs that actually need guest posts.
How to Write Guest Posts that Get Results
When trying to write guest posts that get results, make sure you consider the following tips:
- Look for a proven formula that works with the blog; try to see if you can find their most popular posts, or analyze their most recent guest posts, to see what they have in common. There’s every probability the blogger already has a formula she believes in, and you will increase the chances of your guest post being accepted if you stick to this formula.
- Make sure the topic of your guest post has a connection to your niche; this way, readers of your guest post have a reason to check you out.
- Link to relevant and authoritative sources in your guest post; this helps readers associate you with these sources, and it improves the chances of your guest post ranking well in the search engines for long-term gain.
- Make sure your guest posts are properly formatted; you might already have your own formatting style, but it might help to study the blog you will be publishing on, and to format your guest post using the format common on that blog.
- Make sure your bio describes you well; it can talk about your expertise, experience, as well as how you can help readers of your guest posts.
Guest blogging can be very powerful, especially when you use it as a core part of your marketing strategy; this post is the last past of this series and it details how I approach guest blogging for my blogs. I hope you are able to get results on your blog by following the suggestions in this post.
Bamidele Onibalusi is a blogger, freelance writer, and the founder of Writers in Charge, a popular blog for writers. If you want a proven formula for getting writing clients by blogging.