Guest blogging remains a popular and effective PR and marketing strategy. Almost all website editors plan to publish more or the same number of guest posts this year, reveals a new survey by Influence & Co. Editors say guest posts help them increase website traffic and share fresh ideas, opinions and expert insights with consumers and potential customers.
Guest blogging is mutually beneficial. “When you do it well, guest posting can be a great addition to your content marketing strategy. You can reach new audiences, establish credibility, drive qualified site traffic, generate leads, and earn links that help you build a stronger organic presence,” writes Kelsey Meyer, president of Influence & Co., in a guest post for HubSpot.
The company’s State of Digital Media in 2018 reveals the types of content website editors want:
Non-promotional posts — not self-serving advertisements and promotions. Being too promotional is the most common reason why editors reject submissions. Promotional tactics include forcing mentions of the writer’s company, products or clients into an article, including a link to their company’s homepage in the body of the article. Writing about your industry from a vendor’s perspective is another no-no.
Topics that fit the publication’s readership. They want content that speaks to their specific audiences and meet their audience’s particular needs. That underscores the PR tenant that understanding the publication’s audience is essential.
Original insights, research or analysis. “I would love to see more original research and original takes on topics,” says Jess Ostroff, managing editor at Convince & Convert. “No one needs another how-to post or list about something that any skilled copywriter could research and write. We need more original ideas, new takeaways, and deeper analysis on the amazing research and resources that are out there.”
Writers with authority. Many editors contemplate the authority of the writer submitting the post. They consider the writer’s expertise and credibility and if their readers respect their views.
Submissions during content shortages. Editors need more content from contributors in December more than any other month. The summer is also a dry time for submissions.
New types of content. Editors plan to publish new kinds of content such as podcasts, videos, infographics and webinars. However, many lack resources to create those forms of content. Many may turn to contributors. Although editors especially want to post more video, many find videos the most challenging to produce.
More Advice on Writing and Submitting Guest Blog Posts
Vet your partners. Many PR pros first seek blogs with high page ranks, but it’s important to submit guest posts only to blogs you want to be associated with, regardless of their page rank.
Record your progress. Keeping track of what posts and ideas you submitted to what editors might become a problem over time. Spread sheets or editorial calendars, available for free on the web, can help record your activities.
Monitor your placements. A social media monitoring and measurement service can track reactions to guest posts and measure their overall effectiveness. A social media monitoring service is especially valuable to track the reception the blog post has received from the target audience.
Go broad. Your own blog will convert better if it has a narrow audience. But you should seek a broad audience when guest posting, advises marketing expert Neil Patel. There are relatively few guest post opportunities with small niche audiences, but there are many broad-based blogs. You’ll be in good shape if just a small percentage of their readers are interested in your post.
Bottom Line: Guest blog posting may become an even more valuable PR and marketing strategy this year for PR pros and content marketers who know how to deliver what blog editors want. Editors remain open to receiving submissions and especially desire more video and other forms of new content, but they can be picky.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.