In this day and age any small business owner should be aware that the greater their online presence, the more likely they are to attract business. On the most basic level this should involve having a commercial website, through which customers can transact. However, there are many things business owners can do beyond this to lead customers to that website and encourage their loyalty once they’ve found you.
We look at how writing guest posts can boost brand awareness, traffic and sales to deliver real results for your business:
What is guest posting?
Guest posting involves writing an article or blog post for someone else’s website. This can then be attributed back to you or your business by the hosting site’s owner. By making your guest post relevant to your business you can promote yourselves as experts in your field and – on a more practical level – you can incorporate links to your commercial site from the post, to drive traffic and hopefully sales.
What types of websites will host my posts?
That really depends on the type of business you run. You should really look to guest post on websites that are relevant to the products or services you offer. Let’s look at some examples:
If you run an online florists you may make enquiries about writing a guest blog post on a wedding-related website or blog. Someone in your line of business will be privy to current trends and be able to offer expert inspiration for brides-to-be, so your content would probably be prized by a wedding website owner.
Another option is approaching websites in a less promotional, more informative capacity. For example, if you run an online pharmacy you may suggest a guest post about breastfeeding alternatives for new mums, to be posted on a mother and baby website.
As you can see from these two examples alone the options are limitless – but you should think carefully about what you can write convincingly about before approaching just any old website.
How do I approach a website about hosting my posts?
Browsing online for relevant sites then using the contact details to get in touch about offering guest posts is always a good place to start. If possible you should offer to return the favour on your own site, though this may only be possible if you run a blog yourself.
The other option is finding businesses that run blogs in tandem with their commercial sites and approaching them about allowing you to guest post on those blogs. Networking at trade events and via sites like LinkedIn can be a good way to get in touch with these businesses. The trick with this is finding businesses that tie in to what you do, without being directly in competition with you.
What should I write about?
As we’ve touched on above, the topics you choose to write about will depend on your field of expertise. The golden rule when writing any article or blog post is to keep it genuinely interesting and not too overtly sales-focussed.
When it comes to writing for the web it’s also worth taking a few other points into consideration:
- People don’t like to read anything too long online, so try to keep your post fairly snappy.
- When online, large chunks of text can look intimidating, so try to break your article up into short sentences and paragraphs.
- Vary the layout of your post to keep the reader’s eye engaged, bullet points and headers can help with this.
- Break up your content so it feels manageable to readers, top 10s and questions and answers can be good as these are both reader-friendly formats.
How can I incorporate links to my business into my post?
As well as raising brand awareness, the point of writing your guest post will be to drive traffic to your website through text links. Try to ensure these are incorporated into the text as seamlessly as possible, to guard against your post feeling like one great big ad, which will not go down well with readers.
Another tip is to make sure your text links are made up of useful words, as the links themselves will automatically draw the eye to them. Take a look at the examples below to see what a difference this can make:
Click here to find out about out most popular kid’s party packages…
Our most popular kid’s party packages are well worth a look…
Is there anything I should avoid while writing my guest post?
Yes. As outlined in the previous section you’ll need to work to make your post feel like an informative article, rather than barefaced promotion.
The other point to consider is that websites may have their own guidelines for guest posts. These may include limiting the word-count of the post and the number of text links you can include within it.
The owners of the site you appear on will also probably not appreciate you slandering individuals or organisations (even if they are your competitors) on their website. Finally remember to give them fresh material, they’ll probably not be very impressed if the post you’ve written for them has already been published on umpteen other websites!