Guest blogging – a social media win

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to take up a slot as a guest blogger on The Social Penguin Blog. Being the smartarse that I am I decided it’d be funny to guest blog about guest blogging. And here is the result:

Guest blogging is basically social media in a nutshell.

Firstly, you are creating content, a vital part of the process.

Secondly, you have proved that you are listening. You have answered the call for guest
bloggers and paid attention to what that particular forum is looking for.

Finally, you have only gone and engaged as well. You’ve connected and this brings with it
a whole host of rewards. Not only do you get your content viewed by a wider audience, you
also actively help out a fellow social media pioneer. You both win, as does the audience in
general because they get to read your insightful musings.

There are a few tips that you should consider though, should you want to guest blog:

Firstly, think about yourself. Bear in mind that social media, and usually blogging, is about
building your personal brand. Make sure that whatever you write highlights your skills.
Wherever possible, link back to your own blog. You don’t get many better opportunities for
good anchor text than in a post you write yourself.

Secondly, think about your host. Do your research and refer readers to relevant content on
the very blog that you are writing for. Also, be clear in your mind that you are addressing the
audience that follows this blog. Don’t write about your love for peanuts on a site about nut
allergy.

Think hard about your byline (this is the little bio at the bottom of this post). Include an
optimised link with crafted anchor text. Make it short and informative but not too salesy. It
should probably take you as long as it does to write the post in the first place.

It doesn’t stop there

Once your opus has been published (providing it gets the green light), you will hopefully
generate some comments. This is where it gets social. Make sure you sign up to your own
post for updates when someone comments. Respond where you can, this is very often what
separates a good blogger from a great one. How often have you discovered that the comments
on a blog post are far for interesting than the blog itself? Good example from my own blog
here.

After a respectful amount of time has passed you can also include the post on your own blog.
Be sure that you credit it’s source (that’s not you). Make sure that you talk up the blog it
appeared on and nurture any connections that this has thrown up. Social media is all about
engagement so don’t let any lead from this go cold. Bring willing participants into your
own network at the same time as you are encouraging your own readers to engage with the
blogger who had you on-board.

Finding guest blogging opportunities

It’s not all that hard to find the opportunities to supply guest content, here’s a handful of
avenues to explore:

  • Your own network. Open your RSS reader and scan through it for a) blogs in a similar
    field to your own and b) blogs that already have guest contributions
  • Your blog comments. If your own blog is successful you will have comments. Follow
    the links from your commenters to their blogs. 9 times out of 10 this will be a good fit
    with what you are trying to do, given that they took the time to engage with you.
  • Twitter search is a mighty powerful tool. Try keying in some searches in your niche.
    Very quickly you’ll start to find links to blogs that are useful.
  • Finally, don’t discount Google. You can tackle it from 2 angles, firstly look for blogs
    in your world by using keywords related to it. Alternatively, why not tray searching
    for “Guest bloggers wanted” or similar. It depends how specific you want to get with
    the topics.

And finally. You might want to consider closing the loop and inviting guests to blog on your
site. It’s a great way of broadening your audience and opening up new opportunities to listen
and engage.

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