07 Oct Is Guest Blogging Still a Great Strategy?
Guest blogging is a great strategy in theory. Write a guest blog post for someone else’s site, or publish someone else’s post on yours, and everyone benefits from reaching new audiences with new ideas.
In reality, it might not be a good idea. It wasn’t for me. A few years ago, I asked a handful of smart marketing people in my network to write guest blog posts for my site. I like and trust all of them, and I figured their insights would be viewed as a great value-add to my audience.
Maybe they did, but I think the effort of reaching out and coordinating with them outstripped any benefit my brand, blog or company gained.
One of my favorite bloggers, Marc Schaefer, recently wrote about this very thing:
“For more than a decade I’ve paid weekly guest bloggers to show their best work on my site.… I’ve known for years that my readers are generally less interested in the guest bloggers. I ignored this feedback because I just liked shining the light on interesting new voices. But in my latest [reader] survey, this dissatisfaction came through pretty loudly once again.”
Marc has worked hard for a decade to build a personal brand. People come to him to hear his thoughts, not other people. This is true for me, and it may be true for you.
There are exceptions to every rule, though.
Yes, guest blogging is a great strategy
You are new and want to increase your reach
If your company is new and you’re just getting started with blogging, writing guest posts for other people’s blogs can help you get your name out there. This is only worthwhile if you can link back to your website from the blog post. Not everyone will let you, a practice that I find rather stingy.
To get started, reach out to partners and vendors who already know and like you. Suggest some topics you think their audiences would find valuable.
Once the blog post publishes, track traffic to your website. If you want to get really fancy, send them to a landing page with a special introductory offer or a free download so you can capture their email.
You are part of a collaborative
This is something I do with MAG Impact Collective, a membership group of high-level, experienced leaders in branding, marketing, design, strategy and organizational development.
When I submit content, I am not just amplifying my voice, but I’m also helping shine a spotlight on the collective’s work. This works in reverse, too. When everyone contributes, the MAG brand is elevated, and my own personal and company brand get a boost too.
You have a talented team that your clients know
Are some of your employees and contractors client-facing? If they have great ideas and valuable knowledge to share, ask them to guest blog for you.
Bonus #1: This also frees up your time since you won’t have to write as many blog posts every month.
If you blog twice a month, hand off one blog post to your team. If you blog every week, hand off one or two, depending on how deep your bench is.
Bonus #2: By elevating their voices, clients and potential clients will get to see just how talented your team is, and they’ll feel more confident that you are the right choice.
No, guest blogging isn’t a good idea
You are a thought leader
Once you’ve worked hard to establish yourself as a thought leader, there’s no reason to either write guest blog posts for other people or accept them for your own site. You’ll just be diluting your brand.
In the past two years, I’ve seen a big uptick in requests for backlinks from my blog and guest posts on my blog. I say no to all of them. One, I don’t know them. And two, their content may indeed be great, but mine is already pretty kick ass if I do say so myself.
Your company is your personal brand
I fall into this category as well. People might not remember my company is called Jansen Communications, but they do remember that I am a kick-ass copywriter and marketer. They want to hear from me, not anyone else.
You heard it’s a good idea but don’t have a strategy
Guest blogging requires a strategy just like any other marketing idea or campaign. What do you want to accomplish by guest blogging for others or by accepting guest blogs? And how will you measure results?
Be clear about outcomes first. Then decide if it’s a good idea for you.
Did you answer no? What to do instead
There are other ways to reach new audiences and help people do the same:
- Mention and link to your favorite people in blog posts and on social media.
- Share their blog posts, social posts, upcoming events, freebies and other stuff your audience will find valuable.
- Team up on marketing campaigns, like special offers from you and them that work hand-in-hand.
What do you think about guest blogging?
Has it worked for you in the past? How might it work for you now?
If you’re thinking, “Guest blogging? I don’t even have time to write posts for my own blog!” – let’s talk. My team and I love to help our clients write and publish blog posts that showcase their unique voice and insights. Contact us today to learn more.