So now, let’s dive into how you can become the next star guest blogger and earn yourself your own collection of quality, holistic links.
How to Guest Blog for Successful Link Building
Guest blogging isn’t about making a list of the most successful sites today and pitching to all of them.
If you want success, you need to follow the correct guidelines.
1. Be Selective About Where You Pitch
Pitching to one authoritative site that’s right for you is better than pitching to 100 authoritative sites that are wrong for you.
Here’s how to narrow things down.
Choose a Site in a Similar Niche
If you are in the content marketing niche, it’ll do you no good to guest blog on a fashion site.
Yes, readers will enjoy your post if it’s well-written and entertaining. But they don’t need your services.
So, the chances that they’ll check you out online are slim.
Review the Site’s Performance
After you’ve narrowed your search down to a select number of sites within your niche, check to see how well each one is doing online. These pointers indicate the site may be a good choice for your guest post:
Even if you’ve been a huge fan of a site for years, never pitch for a guest post if you won’t get a featured bio.
You want your byline, a headshot, and a link back to your site for readers to follow. If you find out that you’ll be posting as a ghostwriter or simply a “Guest?” Run.
Unless all you want is bragging rights, of course.
2. Craft a Pitch that’s Impossible to Ignore
Imagine yourself pitching to a magazine like The New Yorker.
Enligt The Write Life, you have a 0.0000416% chance of getting published in the magazine!
So, what do you do?
You do all the required research, then create a pitch the editor can’t ignore.
It’s easier to get a guest post at a prestigious site than to get your story into the New Yorker. Still, it requires the same work ethic and skill.
Follow these steps to increase your chances of winning that guest post.
Do Your Research
Spend quality time on the site you want your guest post to appear. Take note of the kind of blogs they post. Which topics get the most attention? Is there anything missing that you feel you can address in a blog of your own?
Pitch to a Person instead of a Website
If you sound impersonal and generic, you will be ignored. Guest blogging is a relationship. It’s connecting with real people and forming lasting ties.
For example, I started my column at Huffington Post by directly emailing Ariana Huffington!
Dig in Deeper
Check out who else is guest posting on the site. Read their posts and visit their sites. Become a detective.
Don’t Ignore the Guidelines for Pitching
Not paying attention to guidelines will get your pitch deleted without being read.
Get straight to the point with the owner or editor of the site. Don’t bombard them with a cartload of details they don’t need. Instead, outline what you can give them in a few concise, succinct sentences. Show them you value their time.
Tell the Editor or Owner About Yourself
Listing your own site’s credentials is a good idea. No one wants links to low-quality sites on their blog. Also, blog editors and owners want to know who they’re working with.
3. Write a Guest Blog That’ll Have Readers Flocking to Your Site
Creating your pitch is tough but writing the guest post itself is even tougher.
Here are some tips that’ll make your writing resonate with readers.
Know What Your Audience Needs
People don’t read for fun (unless it’s literary fiction, of course). They read because they need something. Maybe they need information they can take action on, a service that’ll make things easier for them, or an inspiration to impact their dull, boring lives.
Your mission is to find out what that need is. When you do, you’ll be able to craft a guest post that’ll suck your readers in and have them chasing your site’s link.
People read International Living because they want to get insider tips on retiring abroad in style. One problem many of them face is trouble with banks and brokers. So, when they see this article? They read it.
People will read your post if you address their needs. It’s that simple.
Catch Readers with Your Headline
When people read your headline, they decide whether or not they’ll continue with your post.
Look at these examples of two headlines that address the same topic.
Headline number one:
Headline number two:
As a reader, you’d likely pass over headline one and click headline two.
Headline one is generic and uninteresting. The lowercase letters rob it of professionalism.
Headline two, on the other hand, has a huge promise for you. When you click, you’ll learn six essential proofreading skills. Plus, it uses power words like perfection, polish, glossy, och sheen.
If these words don’t make you picture clean, shining, perfect writing, I don’t know what will.
Go In-Depth with Your Content
Your content shows your readers who you are. When you guest post, don’t merely scratch the surface of your topic. Dive in and dive deep. Show your authority and expertise.
Here are some tips to help you dive deep into your topic.
Keep your post up to your readers’ knowledge, expectations, and education. If you’re writing as a business expert, for instance, make your writing strong and statistically driven.
Pick your ideas apart. Come up with initial research and then make a list of the questions that spring out of what you find. Answer those questions in your post.
Back up all of your claims with credible sources. Add links to these sources for readers to dig in even deeper.
Create an interesting angle. Think out of the box. Make it your goal to write something in a way that’s never been done before.
Drive all your content towards a goal. What’s the main purpose of your blog? To teach readers a new skill? To inspire them? To make them understand a difficult concept? Keep this goal at the forefront of your writing and make every paragraph flow towards it.
Be benefit-oriented. Before you sit down to write your post, list down at least six benefits people will get from reading it.
Proofread exhaustively. Examine each paragraph one by one. If you find a paragraph that doesn’t contribute to your big idea? Weed it out.
Provide Content That’s Easy to Digest
The average reader will run when met with a long block of unbroken text. Since you don’t want that, follow these three steps for easily digestible content.
Divide your blog into sections. Even serious readers won’t want to scour through endless blocks of text. It’s a good idea to divide your topic into sections, then subdivide those sections. Keep each division below 300 words. Numbered lists work wonderfully in keeping reader attention.
Use visuals. Images bring your blog to life. Also, they help you illustrate points and explain concepts in an easily digestible and enjoyable way.
Keep paragraphs short. Don’t go over six sentences for any paragraph. Break the paragraph in two if it’s over that number.
4. Funnel Your Readers to an Outcome
When you guest post, you’ll be given space in your biography section to add a link. Although you might be tempted to link to your homepage, don’t do that.
Instead, think of the outcome you want to achieve through the link. Do you want readers to sign up for your email newsletter? Check out your online store? Follow your blog?
Choose the best way you can get your product or service out there. Then, link to the page that gives you that outcome.
5. Reply to Comments on Your Post
Guest blogging isn’t putting your content out there and then forgetting about it.
It’s engaging with people on a real, personal level.
So, when readers comment on your post, leave them a reply. Answer their questions and engage with them.
By showing you’re active, you’ll be able to increase your conversion rates and put yourself front and center in readers’ minds.
Guest Blogging: The Secret to Indirect Link Building
Once your beautiful, well-polished content shines on a site with thousands of followers, the results are easy to predict.
Readers will come flocking to you. You will be recognized as an authoritative expert. Your blog will gain its own crowd of followers.
And of course, you’ll gain your own quality backlinks.
Timeframe: Ongoing starting month 3
Results detected: 4-12 months
Average blog posts per month: 4
Get attention from readers of prestigious blogs.
Establish your authority and expertise.
Build links indirectly.
Improve brand awareness.
Increase traffic and leads.
Featured Image: Julia McCoy
All screenshots taken by author, November 2019
A recent unused poster design for 1977’s Star Wars has surfaced and reveals just when you think you’ve seen it all around this iconic movie, there’s always something new to talk about. Particularly as this rare and unused Star War movie poster art was so bad it could have ruined the franchise before it even launched.
The unused Star Wars poster from 1977 was posted on Twitter by film nerd’ account The Spaceshipper and many fans of the franchise were thankful it was never used. While some recent film posters, like new Ant-Man 3 posters that are a Photoshop nightmare, this rare Star Wars poster is bad on so many levels – it’s a graphic design fail, the slogan makes no sense and there’s little to engage with.
Star Wars (1977): Unused poster concept pic.twitter.com/moXm4NVF2iJanuary 19, 2023
Star Wars film posters have been some of the best ever designed, from legendary artists such as the Hidlebrandt Brothers who painted the original 1977 poster that was used. Iconic poster artists have also designed for the franchise; the Drew Struzan Star Wars poster for The Force Awakens impresses and Hugh Flemming revealed all in our feature ‘the secrets of a top Star Wars artist’.
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.
In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.
By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.
In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.
What is an online brand, and why do you need one?
Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.
It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.
It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.
How to manage your online brand for success?
Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.
A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?
1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.
Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?
Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.
Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.
2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.
When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.
By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.
3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.
Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.
For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.
Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.
4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.
Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.
Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.
If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.
5) Pay attention to your social media presence.
Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.
Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.
6) Monitor your online reputation.
Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.
For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.
7) Manage your online brand proactively.
The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.
By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.
The benefits of having a strong online brand
Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:
1) Stand out from the competition.
With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.
2) Build trust and credibility.
A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.
3) Connect with your audience.
By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.
4) Drive traffic and sales.
A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.
5) Increase your visibility.
A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.
6) Attract media attention.
A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.
7) Enhance your career prospects.
Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.
8) Make a positive impact.
Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.
The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy
As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.
When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.
Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:
1) Define your brand.
The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?
2) Create guidelines.
Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.
3) Train your team.
If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.
4) Monitor your brand.
Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.
5) Be prepared to adjust.
Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.
A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.
If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.
About: Oscar is a passionate full-time blogger and a part-time author. In his personal blog OssieRodriguez.com, he writes about software, online influence, and different business models.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing.
SEO helps with brand discoverability. When done right, SEO can create the most consistent and by far the highest-quality traffic source which doesn’t require on-going maintenance.
Yet, SEO is usually the most isolated part of the marketing. Whether it is an in-house team or a third-party service that’s delivering your SEO campaigns, it usually exists on its own without really communicating goals, progress or results to the whole company.
This creates silos that can lead to poor results and even reputation crises.
How does SEO work in digital marketing and how can a business make it work better?
What is SEO?
SEO is a collection of tactics (content, technical, link building, even website security and usability) that ensures that your website is easy to understand for search engines.
Basically, it ensures a machine knows that your page will be easy to find to a human being who is looking to solve a related problem.
Search engine traffic is one of the highest-quality traffic for many reasons:
Unlike PPC (paid) traffic, it doesn’t require an ongoing investment to keep coming
Unlike social media traffic, it doesn’t require an ongoing work to keep coming
Unlike social media traffic, you are not interrupting people’s browsing. Instead you give them what they were actually searching for.
In other words, it is consistent and it converts well. No other digital marketing tactic beats that.
Apart from driving direct traffic, search engine optimization helps build brand awareness by increasing your brand’s organic findability.
Keep Your Whole Team Aware of Why SEO is Important
The great thing about today is that everyone understands the value of ranking high on Google! Sadly, however, many folks only know that they “need SEO” without having really understood what that means.
SEO these days is too hard for a digital marketer to do alone. Many SEOs find themselves in situations where an executive will simply come down and go “Why are we not ranking well for ‘dingwobble’?”
Keep working hard with teams for them to understand how they contribute to the SEO process:
Product Marketers who are responsible for the business, personas and messaging understand that SEO is critical to driving the bottom line revenue numbers de tittar på. En del av personutvecklingsprocessen bör vara utvecklingen av "digital persona” – vilka webbplatser och söktermer söker dessa personer efter? Detta hjälper produktmarknadsföraren när det är dags att utveckla meddelanden, eftersom det kommer att vara avgörande för att utveckla innehållet, så att de rätta söktermerna bättre finns där!
Fältmarknadsförare ansvariga för kampanjerna behöver veta hur SEO passar in i deras kampanj, hur det faktiskt är kärnan i vår efterfrågegenerering och hur man ser till att hålla kampanjerna integrerade.
Marknadsföring Kommunikationer skapar innehållet, så SEO borde mycket väl vara top of mind för dem, eftersom själva innehållet kommer att vara avgörande för hur framgångsrik SEO kommer att bli.
Men det är inte allt! Ofta skapar andra grupper innehåll (pressmeddelanden, blogginlägg, presentationer etc.) som också hamnar på webben och påverkar SEO. Oavsett om det är det Corporate Communications, Investor Relations eller ens Rättslig team är det viktigt att arbeta med dem.
DEN hanterar infrastrukturen och kan vara mycket avgörande för de tekniska aspekterna av SEO.
Försäljning och kundsupport team ligger i framkant av marknadsföringen och pratar med dina framtida och nuvarande kunder, så de måste vara involverade i SEO-strategin. Skapa relevant innehåll går utöver nyckelord. Den måste ta itu med verkliga problem och svara på faktiska människors frågor, och dina kundinriktade team kommer att vara din bästa inspirationskälla här.
Chefer bry dig också! Även om de inte ofta kan påverka den dagliga SEO-strategin, kommer de att bry sig mycket om slutresultatet, till vilket SEO bidrar.
Att utbilda alla dessa människor om SEO hjälper dem att stärka dem, såväl som att positionera dig själv, SEO, som ämnesexperten som inte bara är någon backoffice som ger väldigt lite insyn i SEOs svarta låda, utan någon som är aktivt utbilda och bidra till organisationens framgång.
Granska och diskutera vanliga nyckeltal tidigt och ofta för att se till att alla vet hur segern ser ut för laget.
Vad är nyckeln till SEO framgång i en ständigt föränderlig miljö?
Som utövare av SEO tror jag att du måste titta för att säkerställa att du ser på att både utveckla dig själv i både djup och bredd av kunskap. En viktig fara i namnet av att bli informerad eller att vara en del av SEO-communityt är att spendera all din tid på att diskutera taktik och metoder snarare än att testa dem.
Dessutom måste SEO:er som med alla anställda titta utanför sitt område för att sträcka sig och lära sig att bli mer väl avrundad. Det kan innebära att du lär dig koda eller utbildar dig inom något annat område av verksamheten du arbetar för. Detta kommer att utsätta dig för idéer som andra kanske inte har.
Som chef för människor handlar framgång egentligen om mångfald av expertis. Vem du anställer och vilken typ av människor du anställer kommer att vara mycket mer värdefulla än mycket av det folk investerar i när det gäller SEO-program. Du måste ha människor som kan rulla med slagen och utveckla en färdighet för självförvaltning och personlig tillväxt.
Slutligen tror jag att veta vad dina verkliga mål är med att ha ett SEO-program är nyckeln till långsiktig framgång. Verkligheten är att du kan få mer trafik, men om den trafiken inte kommer från kvalificerade leads och genererar verkliga intäkter kan fördelen vara väldigt liten. Att ha väldefinierade mål och mätvärden hjälper dig också att undvika att jaga algoritmändringar och fokusera på helheten.
SEO är den mest väsentliga långsiktiga digitala marknadsföringsstrategin men för att göra den riktigt effektiv behöver du ett kunskapsteam som är väl integrerat i företagets liv. Lycka till!
Ann Smarty är varumärket NINJA på Internet Marketing Ninjas såväl som grundaren av många startups inklusive MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat och många fler.
Ann Smarty har varit en onlinemarknadsföringskonsult i 10 år och tillhandahållit högkvalitativ digital marknadsföringsrådgivning genom sina tjänster och kurser (både gratis och betalda).
Ann Smartys idéer för innehållsmarknadsföring har presenterats i NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land och många fler. Hon är känd för sina djupgående verktygsrecensioner, innovativa innehållsmarknadsföringsråd och praktiska digitala marknadsföringsidéer.