Guest blogging is one of the best ways to grow your SEO organically. Guest blogging is when you write a blog post as an expert in your field for someone else’s website. According to Exults Marketing, guest posts give you the opportunity to build backlinks for your site, which is so important because backlinks (links on third-party sites that point to your site) are one of Google’s most important ranking factors.
Essentially, Google views each backlink as a “vote.” The more votes you have, the more useful Google thinks your site is, and the more opportunities you have to build brand awareness and increase relevance. But guest blogging isn’t as easy as it seems. With that in mind, here are some major mistakes that guest bloggers make:
Not creating custom pitches
People get guest opportunities by pitching their expertise and demonstrating that they have something to offer to the blog owner’s audience. But when you cold email without taking the time to read through the blog’s “About” page and get to know their brand, it shows in your email. You need to do your due diligence and research what makes you a blog a great fit for your content and vice versa.
Many blogs that accept guest posting have guest submission guidelines that can give you a nice, clear view of what they’re looking for.
Not including a post idea
Your pitch should include the idea for your blog post. For many blog owners, one of the biggest peeves is receiving an email that asks whether they’re accepting guest posts.
By now, you should have learned enough about the blog to have this information, and even if you don’t have a verifiable answer, you should still include your blog idea(s) in the email. No blog owner wants to have a constant back and forth communication with contributors. Describe your blog idea with a working title and a few bullet points to outline the copy.
Sending in the same content
If you take a look around the blog’s site, you’ll quickly gain a good idea of the type of content that they’re publishing. As such, you should refrain from sending in content that’s redundant.
For example, if you run a graphic design business, you should search the site you’d like to pitch to for similar content that has been published. You can do this by searching via the search bar on the site, or by searching the site through Google using the search term, [insert phrase here, i.e, graphic design] site:[insert website URL].
Not having a concrete strategy
When you start guest blogging, it should be a part of an overall strategic marketing plan. Without a guest blogging strategy in place, you’ll end up losing track of your mission, becoming disheveled with your lack of organization, and not knowing whether your efforts are actually proving worthwhile.
Start by defining your goals. Are you trying to grow your subscriber list, build social media followers, or increase traffic to your website? Once you’ve defined your goals, you’ll be able to maneuver your efforts around that.
Choosing the wrong guest blog
Choosing the right blogs goes hand in hand with having a strategy in place beforehand. Chances are, this will require a great deal of research. Rather than sticking to the top blogs in your industry or niche, it helps to think outside the box and search for smaller, growing blogs. These blogs will have a lower barrier to entry and you’ll be able to build relationships early on—before they grow to a point where relationship building is difficult.
Using industry jargon
Just because you may be an expert in a particular area doesn’t mean that you should use too much jargon that the target audience may not understand.
For example, if you were contributing to a marketing blog, you should be explaining each of the technical terms you mention, like meta tag. Don’t assume that the reader understands what you’re talking about—in many cases, the reader is seeking information and wants to learn. The exception is, of course, when you’re providing content for journals or industry-specific blogs where the audience is well-versed in your industry.