“I’m a blogger.”
The mere sound of this depicts an artistic mind, an outspoken character, and a taste for tactful exchange or sharing of information. But what really is blogging?
The term “blog” came from the words: web log. It came into popularity during the late 90s, when people started expressing their opinions in not-so-traditional ways. During that time, you could still count the number of bloggers in cyber space. Today, however, especially with the emergence of free blogging sites, thousands of users all over the world have at least one such kind of “post” somewhere on the Internet. And they would be called bloggers.
Then, there’s the guest blogger. Is it any different from a regular blogger? Come to think of it, what exactly is a guest blogger?
Regular Blogger vs. Guest Blogger: The Difference
Regular bloggers are those who write, and post their content on their own blog sites. On the other hand a guest blogger writes a blog post, gets in touch with another blogger, (usually one who shares his or her niche), and offers his or her article for the other blogger to post in his or her blog or website.
Why guest blog?
If putting up your own blog is both free and easy, why bother dealing with other bloggers and posting your entries on their site? The thing is, guest blogging provides a lot of benefits to your credibility as a blogger and to your website’s authority. Three of these are listed below:
1. Guest blogging increases your online influence.
Guest blogging is a great way to touch other people’s lives. It is a way to send a message across the physical dividers that exist in our real world, which can lead to influencing them to think about their stand on a specific topic, or even accept your point of view.
2. Guest blogging increases your online credibility and writing skills.
By guest blogging you not only reach a certain number of people, you also gain credibility if your writing is good, and if your content is of good quality. Credibility leads to authority on a certain topic. The more people consider you to be an authority, the more they read your blog.
Guest blogging is also a great way to practice and improve your writing skills. After all, blog or website owners are looking for quality posts, and practice makes perfect!
3. Guest blogging allows you to build your brand.
Once readers frequent the blogs that you write guest posts for, and your authority on a given subject grows, then comes your brand name. People will automatically remember your post when a discussion about your theme comes up and they will seek your writing elsewhere. You will be the one true authority when it comes to a specific subject.
Given those three benefits and many others, you’re probably thinking of giving a stint as a guest blogger a shot. But before that, here are some of the qualities you must possess.
Qualities of a Good Guest Blogger
1. You Already Have a Blog
It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to become a good guest blogger is to be a blogger yourself. First, start a blog of your own. This will become a solid portfolio of your work, which can help other bloggers gauge what kind of writer you are. It also gives you a place where you can hone your writing skills and try different approaches.
2. You Have Expertise or Have Mastered the Topic
Blog or website owners ideally are looking for guest bloggers who are experts in a specific niche to guest post on their site. The quality of a blog post is hugely dependent on the guest blogger’s knowledge and mastery of a specific subject or topic. Who would want an entry that does not really say anything? Be sure you’ve done your research if you are moving beyond your current area of expertise.
3. You have a good-to-impressive social profile
Blog owners check a guest blogger’s social profiles. They check out your blog, your social media profiles, your connections, followers, and even participation in forums and other online activities. It is important that you have a good and credible-looking online persona, backed up by a real online following. It helps if your connections promote your blog and like your blog posts.
4. You have some knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Knowledge of the right keywords to use to make a blog visible is another quality that is considered when assessing a potential guest blogger. It can save time and money that the site owner might have to allocate for someone to optimize the post.
5. You can write well
Of course, it is important for a guest blogger to have good writing skills. Understand and follow the tone and style of the blog where you intend to guest post. Reel your readers in by writing engaging articles that give readers what they need and want. Provide them information and/or entertainment.
What Not To Write
After considering the qualities to look for in a guest blogger, let’s go to what posts should be avoided. Here are some of them:
1. Articles of poor quality
Do some quality checking before submitting your work. Never plagiarize. Posting copied content can get you into trouble, not just from Google or other search engines, but also from legal authorities for breaching intellectual property rights.
Another thing to consider is taking care to avoid typos and the worst grammatical errors. No one is asking you to become a qualified editor, but content that is full of these kind of errors can frustrate readers and cause your search engine ranking to drop. Submit only quality posts.
2. Articles that do not follow the target blog or website’s theme, niche or topic
Study your target website before guest posting. Check out the kinds of contents or articles that are posted and the kinds of information that its readers need.
3. Articles that promote certain products, services, companies, personalities, politicians, etc.
Unless the blog allows promotions or advertisements, keep them off your article. Many guest bloggers try to advertise a particular product or service. This can cause conflict with the target blog’s followers, as this defeats the purpose of merely sharing useful information.
4. Articles that are offensive
Avoid using foul, abusive or offensive language in your articles. It can turn the readers off or even invite unfavorable response or criticisms.
Frustrations of the Guest Blogger
The number one challenge that a guest blogger faces is lack of communication and information. Where should the post be submitted? When will it be published? Will it ever be published?
The solution should be fairly easy. Before taking on a guest posting stint, make sure all the bases are covered. How long should the article be? What should it be about? Where must it be sent? When will it be published? Usually, it is best to check out the blog or site’s Contact Us page to see how you can reach the blog or site owner. You can send an email, use the site’s Contact Us mechanism, or post through the comments section. Get in touch with the owner, build a relationship, offer to guest post, and have all the other questions answered in the conversation.
Covering these basics will promote a harmonious relationship between the guest blogger and the blog owner.
To Guest Blog or Not to Guest Blog: Guest Blogging for Business
After taking into consideration the information given above, how does guest blogging help a business?
If you’re doing this whole thing for business, guest blogging allows you to reach out to a bigger audience. You are tapping not just readers of your own blog, but also those of others.
It also allows you to introduce yourself and your product to other bloggers and their followers. Even without aggressively selling your product on your post, your author biography at the end of the article, as well as well-placed and appropriate links within the content, will help generate good traffic and links for your own site. This will, in turn, help increase your site’s ranking and authority, making it more credible and more easily searchable. This can bring more people to your site and expand your market, and eventually, your sales and income.
Don’t be afraid to try the guest blogging space. It can be good for your business, your website, and the additional work on your writing skills can snowball into even more opportunities.