Building your blog audience with guest bloggers

When it comes to building your blog audience and expanding your social media reach, one of the best strategies to implement is to invite guest bloggers to write on your blog.

But to do it right you want to be strategic with who you choose to ensure you don’t just reach ‘anyone’ or ‘everyone’ but targeted readers and followers who are interested in your business, products and services.

So who and what should you ask when looking for a guest blogger for your blog? Here are six tips to help.

1. Invite influencers

The best guest bloggers are those who have influence in your industry or a large social following. Influencers will not only build your credibility by association with the “wow they know them?” factor, it also helps you to leverage their contacts.

The right influencer can rapidly increase your following and website hits. By sharing their blog post they expand your reach not only to their following, but their followings following when their loyal readers who enjoy their content share it on. Get this process right and you can find your blog going viral.

2. Find influencers who share your target market 

To really maximise the guest blogging opportunity for your business also make sure that they have the same target audience as you. While a boost in ‘likes’ is great for your ego, at the end of the day you want to make sure you are reaching people who want to buy your products or services.

3. Ask for original content

Original content not only guards against penalties from Google, it also ensures your guest blogger will be more inclined to share the post. 

Just think about it, if you spent time writing an article that you weren’t going to post again wouldn’t you share it on social media so your ‘tribe’ could still read it? 

4. Ask them to share

Sometimes it is not enough to assume a guest blogger will share the post, people are busy and they may not even be handling their own social media accounts. 

This is why it pays to ask if they could share the post across their social media, blog and newsletter when you are organising the guest blogging opportunity. 

5. Mix up your format

Keep in mind that not everyone will be able to, or want to, sit down and write a blog post, so give them options. 

You could do an interview (a great way to also maintain control of your content), feature a case study on what they have done, a checklist they use, a list of resources they draw on, or questions they ask themselves/professionals/before they buy.

There are many different ways to get content out of people while making the process easy for them and interesting for your audience.

6. Give suggestions

At the end of the day you know your audience best so don’t be afraid to offer suggestions around content. In fact, most people as busy as they are will appreciate the prompts. 

Something as simple as “we are currently looking for someone to write on [x] covering [point 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]” will suffice. This also gives you control on the content going up on your blog.

While you are offering suggestions, you may also like to include the audience they are writing for, your ideal word count and any terms and conditions around promotion so your guest blogger can deliver what you are after.

Do you invite guest bloggers to write on your blog?


Five tips to help you pitch more effectively to bloggers

When it comes to getting your message out to a large audience, the first response for most business owners is to target the media. Though what more brands are starting to realise is that bloggers can be equally powerful, if not more powerful, at spreading the word.

Not only are they powerful influencers with their loyal audience, they also provide valuable link backs to your website, give you greater flexibility with more promotional posts than the media and can be a lot easier to gain coverage on – provided you do it right.

There are a number of ways you can work with bloggers, from sponsored posts, link placements and advertising, to guest posts, reviews and giveaways. You will find most PR friendly blogs will have a PR page that lists the opportunities available with them and how they like to work with brands. 

Since this is such a great way to get the word out about your business, I thought I would share five tips on pitching to bloggers as both a blogger and publicist, so you can improve your chances of gaining coverage on blogs and building an ongoing beneficial relationship with bloggers.  

1. Personalise your email

It is important to understand that bloggers, like journalists, can receive hundreds of PR pitches a day so it is important to stand out from the crowd. To do this take the time to find out their name and interests (you will normally get this from reading their posts and ‘About’ page).

Don’t send out a blanket email to hundreds of bloggers with ‘Dear blogger’ as the header, general statements like this immediately strip any personal touch from your email and can be skipped over in a sea of emails if there is no powerful subject line or headline to capture attention.

2. Read their blog

There are a number of reasons why you should read the blogs you are targeting. First and foremost you need to determine if they are someone you want to associate your brand with, secondly you want to double check they have your target audience and lastly you want to get to know them as a person to make a targeted pitch.

3. Keep your pitches relevant

Just like the media, don’t send bloggers every bit of information or news on your business. Only send products and services that are relevant to them personally and their audience and do it sporadically. If you email them too regularly or continue to send them irrelevant information they may get into the habit of deleting any email that comes through or block you altogether.

4. Make it win/win/win

Often many businesses get caught up in focusing on the win for themselves and the win for the blogger’s readers that they completely forget the blogger! But bloggers work hard to build their audience and like any human being, want to know what’s in it for them.

So before you approach them think about what you can offer them. With reviews you will obviously give them the goods or services to keep for the review (though make sure it is of a monetary value that is worth their time) and sponsored posts you pay, though what about guest posts? Could you provide them with promotion by promoting their blog and the article across your social media? Could you offer them a reciprocal guest post on your blog or in your newsletter? Think about what they might like or what would help them.

5. Build a relationship

Instead of aiming for a once off mention on their blog, look to build an ongoing relationship with the bloggers you target. Attract their attention by interacting with them on their blog and social media and continue to build rapport by engaging with them.

The better the relationship you build with the blogger the more opportunities you will expose yourself to – particularly if you build a relationship between the blogger and your brand. If they become a fan of your products or services, there is a high chance you will get extra mentions above what you have asked for or arranged.

Do you have any tips or any questions when it comes to working with bloggers?


Five business blog post ideas that are sure to be a hit with your readers

Have you ever felt the frustration of finally making the time to sit down and write that blog or article you’ve been meaning to only to find that all of your ideas have dried up and you can’t think of anything to write about?

We’ve all experienced writer’s block at some point, even those of us who write for a living have days when where we can’t seem to think of any more words to say.

So what do you do when inspiration doesn’t strike? You look at what topics you know well and what types of blogs readers love reading, and in no time ideas start flowing. To help get you thinking here are five business blog posts that are sure to be a hit with your readers.  

1. How-to’s

Look to solve a problem for your reader or save them time by providing tips, tricks and guides. It could be based around your areas of expertise like “how to get more leads with less effort” or your personal experience, talking about what you’ve learned, what you’ve done, what’s worked or what hasn’t like “five valuable business lessons that can make or break your business”.

Also try reverse how-to posts on mistakes to avoid or what not to do. Often these are more popular than ordinary how-to’s because we tend to move faster away from pain than towards pleasure.

2. Interviews and profiles

Most of us are sticky beaks by nature and love a good interview or profile on someone well-known or interesting.

It could be a rags to riches story, an inspirational story about overcoming great odds or an interview with a successful business person on what worked for them, whatever it is, find a way to make your interview more interesting and different by taking a different angle or finding out little known facts.

3. Lists

Who doesn’t love a good list? Whether it’s a bulleted list, numbered list, checklist or cheat sheet, lists are great for making complicated topics simple and they have a habit of making life easier in general. Not sure what list you could do? Here are some examples “ten apps that will save you time, money and effort”, “eight business resources you won’t want to live without” or “what you need to bring on the day to ensure a successful event”.

The more relevant and comprehensive you make your list, the more likely your readers will share it and keep coming back to it again and again.

4. Shortcuts or hacks

What’s better than a list? A shortcut! We’re all on the lookout for ways to do things easier, quicker, better and cheaper that’s why shortcut posts are so popular.  Think along the lines of  “seven shortcuts to help you grow your business in record time” or “six life hacks that will buy you more time”.

5. Insights and trends

As an expert in your industry you have access to information that is not readily available to others, information that could provide great benefit to your readers. 

Are you noticing any patterns or trends within your industry? Are there any predictions being made and why? What insights could you give on the current and future happenings of your industry or areas of specialty? Include statistics, surveys and facts along with practical ways to use the information to make your post even more compelling.

What blog posts have you found popular?


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