While you may have your own blog, you also may want to build readership and gain more exposure. Guest blogging can open doors online for you, establish you as an expert and bring many more readers to your own site.
As your name gains recognition, other bloggers may ask you to contribute to more sites online, widening your audience reach even further. Finding good blog hosts, strengthening your writing ability and maximizing your follow-through efforts all play a role in gaining credibility online.
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Finding a Host
When looking for opportunities to share your writing on other sites, keep a few things in mind so that your work gets maximum exposure:
1. Look for sites that share your niche and sites where you can offer expert insight and help the blog grow readership.
2. Pay attention to the level of engagement on blogs you consider. Make note of the sites where the audience offers a fair level of comments and where you could have an extended conversation with the readers.
3. Remember that you need to be able to be beneficial to the blog with your voice, and the blog needs to benefit you with more exposure and a wider audience.
If you want to be a guest blogger, you need to size up the competition. Spend time reading other blogs in your niche field. If you have a site in mind where you would like to appear as a guest blogger, study that site and build a relationship with its owner. You could cross-post to the blog from your own. Use social media to help other bloggers promote their sites with your own audience through Twitter or Facebook. Over time, these overtures may not go unnoticed, particularly if your own followers help to drive traffic to another blog that you promote.
Your efforts at content promotion could gain you a guest-blogging invitation. If a blog owner seems appreciative of your work but is slow on inviting you to write, go ahead and ask whether this is a possibility. This is the time to make that perfect pitch to the blogger with concise, targeted points. Your points need to show that you are an expert who can bring a new level of interest to a blog. Make it clear the ways you could engage readers and possibly include links to samples of your writing. Once invited, you can begin to assimilate into the host blogger’s online ethos.
Crafting an Idea
The next test of your writing ability is how inspiring your post will be to drive traffic and raise a host blog’s profile. Tools to help you think outside of the box include:
1. Mind mapping: Download a mind-mapping app or just use paper and pen to start thinking about absolutely everything related to the topic. The advantage of using an app for this is that it can take your mapping and turn it into a rough outline. The more time you spend on this process, the more creativity you may bring to your article.
2. Be well sourced on your topic: Go beyond a general Google search and the top results when researching your article. Look for research papers, news articles from reliable sources and other avenues of solid information to support your writing.
3. Think about something completely different: Changing your thoughts so that you stop obsessing about your topic could bring a new line of critical thinking when you return to the project. Even a 10-minute Pinterest break could be just what you need to rejuvenate your creative side. If taking a short mental break does not work, get away from the computer and go do something else for 20 minutes, such as cooking, cleaning house or taking a shower.
4. Turn to social media: Reporters often go to their followers on Twitter or Facebook and ask for people’s questions on a specific topic before they set out on interviews. This crowd-sourcing strategy can help you discover what might be of most interest to your new audience about your topic.
5. Go for a walk: Exercise is an important part of the creative process. As much as you may want to spend time gathering information and reading everything you can on a topic, you also need time to organize your thoughts. Going for a walk can help clear your head, and your post may begin to take shape in your mind.
Ready, Set, Write
Once you have your ideas and outline ready to go, then it is time to charge ahead and let the words flow. The more preparation you have behind you, the easier this process can go. Do not let writer’s block scare you. Keep the work in perspective and stay true to what you think the audience will be most interested in from your research.
Go With the Flow
As you write, keep in mind that while your voice and style are important, the blogger has his or her own style that you need to follow. Make sure you have the rules and goals of the blogger’s site in front of you so that your own creativity does not stray too far from your host blogger’s tone. You want to shine, but not so bright as to overwhelm your host blogger. You may even send a preview of the post to your host so that there are no surprises with your submitted work. This strategy also can offer the host a chance to do some advance promotion of your upcoming appearance on the blog.
After the Post
Once your writing appears online at the host site, there is still follow-up work to do by engaging with the readers who comment and by generating further promotions of your post on your site and in social media. All of this can help maintain a level of interest and drive traffic to your hard work. Once completed, your writing could lead to other guest appearances and future success as a respected blogger.