The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Guest Blogging
Updated: Sep 5
Are you looking to get good backlinks to your website? Do you want more traffic for your small business’s blog? Look no further than guest blogging.
Guest blogging puts your website in front of more people. Even if you have an established audience, guest blogging can potentially double it. Think of what that can do for your small business!
Keep reading my Small Business Owner’s Guide To Guest Blogging. You’ll learn everything you need to know about guest blogging and how to get started.
What Is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is when you write a blog post that is published on someone else’s website. Different from ghostwriting, your work is in your name and your business is linked in your post. And because the brand is having you write on their site, they’re technically recommending you.
Guest blogging can be extremely beneficial to your business. It’s a great way to put your content in front of an entirely new and different audience while networking.
How Does Guest Blogging Work?
In most cases, you have to apply to become a guest blogger on a website. If you’re accepted, you simply create a blog post as directed by their guidelines and send it back. Once it’s approved, then it will be published on that website. If it isn’t, it will be sent back for editing.
When you’re guest blogging, it should be for a blog in the same niche or something complimentary. For example, hotels and restaurants aren’t the same niches. However, they complement each other and are under the same “hospitality” umbrella.
Why Should You Be Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is extremely important for bloggers and websites, and even for you. Small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to grow their audience can benefit in multiple ways, the most important being:
Guest blogging allows you to establish your expertise in your industry. This makes you look really good in the eyes of potential customers. It also helps you increase your domain authority. The backlinks from the high DA sites that you guest post on will improve your own rankings.
Backlinks are one of the most important SEO ranking factors. By guest posting, you're creating backlinks for your website, which will improve your SEO efforts.
By guest blogging, you’re networking with other businesses. This helps you to create relationships and opportunities for further collaboration.
Guest blogging is your chance to borrow someone’s reader to promote your own blog. If you’re posting on a site that gets a lot of views, a lot of them will want to learn more about your business after reading. This is also done through backlinks.
Do You Have To Have Your Own Blog To Post Guest Blogs?
No, you don’t technically HAVE to have your own blog to start guest blogging. You do, at the very least, need a website, so you have something to link back to.
That all being said, it is MUCH better and truly recommended to have a blog with a few posts before you start guest blogging. This is for two reasons:
A blog will lead readers coming from your guest post further down your sales funnel.
Many sites won’t approve you to post on their blog without proof that you can actually write.
If you don’t have a blog, but you do want to start guest posting, I highly suggest writing a sample post to send with your pitch just to demonstrate your writing abilities.
How Do You Find Websites In My Industry That Accept Guest Posts?
There are a few different ways that you can find websites that accept guest posts. I want to give you one piece of advice before you search. Don’t just write for any blog. If some rando offers you money to promote your business on their totally unrelated blog, say no.
I know that may sound crazy. But, I’ll tell you why it’s not. Irrelevant blog links are not going to do your website any good. It’s going to hurt your SEO. Like the rule for backlinking, you’ll just go to the bottom of the list.
Google: “your niche/keyword” + “write for us” or “guest post”. For example, if you’re a photographer, you’d search for, “photography” + “write for us.”
You’ll get a list of all the websites accepting guest posts for that keyword. Remember, only apply to post on high-domain websites. Then, send the website a pitch or apply through their process.
Cold Emailing Your Sources
What websites do you commonly refer to in your blog posts? List some of your sources, and send them your pitch. Tell them that you’ve referenced their website before and would like to write an article for them. Then, give them a few topic ideas.
Applying To Guest Blog Post On A High-Ranking Website
Once you’ve chosen which sites to guest blog on, you need to send them an email or go by their guest blogging application process. There are two types of application processes.
Some websites will ask you for the guest post upfront. I’m wary of this because when I first started, I did it this way. This was before I knew how to protect my work and creative rights. They took my work and published it. They never notified me or gave me any credit. It put me off guest posting for years.
If you don’t protect yourself, people can plagiarize you. BUT I will also say that not every website with this application process will do this. Just make sure to cover your… Well, you know.
Other websites have better processes, where you pitch an idea, and get into contact with the webmaster or content manager. This way, make sure you understand what they’re looking for. It also allows you to have the agreement in writing.
How To Write A Pitch That Gets You Approved For A Guest Blog:
When you apply to guest blog on a website, you’ll have to pitch yourself and your idea. Your pitch will either be approved or denied. So, how do you get your pitch approved?
Well, you’re going to have to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Seriously. Make your pitch so juicy that they have no choice but to approve it. Remember that your pitch needs to be relevant to both websites.
Your pitch needs to snag that reader's attention and persuade them to approve your guest blog. You need to state how you’re business or blog is relevant. You’ll also need to present your ideas and demonstrate that you can write to their standards. And, you have to do all of this in a really concise way.
Here’s how you do it.
Start by stating your name, your business name, and what you do. Mention that you would like to contribute to their blog. Then, talk about how your business and theirs correlate.
Suggest a few ideas for blog posts that you’d like to write for them. Make sure that these ideas are unique and haven’t been covered already. Or if they have, present the topic with a new perspective. Make sure that these topics are irresistible and thought-provoking.
Then, ensure that you’re up to the task by listing your blog or a previous guest post in your name. If you don’t have anything, create a sample blog post to send with your pitch. Finally, close off with your contact information.
Guest Blogging Pitch Template:
Here’s a tried-and-true template that you can use for your guest blogging pitch.
Hi there! My name is . I’m a big fan of [Blog/Website].
I’m writing because I’d be thrilled to be able to contribute a guest post to your blog on behalf of my business, . I believe that this would be a great collaboration because .
I’ve been brainstorming, and I’ve thought of some amazing blog posts that I could write for [blog].
You can rest assured that all of my writing is 100% authentic, interesting for readers, and packed full of information that readers haven’t heard a million times before.
I’m sure that once you’ve seen my work, you’ll agree that this collaboration could be great! I’m looking forward to hearing back from you soon.
Pro Tips For Writing An Irresistible Guest Blog Post
Unfortunately, I can’t give you a template for your guest blog post. But I can give you some tips that will help you make your guest post worthy of all the traffic you are going to gain from it.
Keep It Interesting:
Don’t just make the title enticing. The WHOLE post has to be interesting. I know it sounds bad, but you have to write BETTER than you would on your own blog. Use lots of power words in your content to increase interest throughout the whole thing. Also, pack it full of details and new information.
Stick To The Guidelines
Every website has its own writing style and format. When you guest post, you need to fit that. Nail their guidelines and writing styles to the letter. And make sure that you reflect what you’ve pitched. If you’ve promised an article on Montessori Lesson Plan Ideas, don’t write about Montessori philosophy.
Optimize for SEO
Optimize your guest post for the keyword you’ve chosen. If you haven’t been given a keyword, research to find a good one. Remember high relevance and traffic and low competition.
Link Back To Your Website
Don’t forget to link the guest post back to your own blog. You should also create an author bio that can be published with your post. Your bio should include your name, your expertise, and a bit about your business, if applicable.
Not A Writer? No Problem!
Hey, if you just suck at writing, there’s no shame in that. But, what it does mean is that if you want to guest blog, then you’re going to need to find someone who CAN write on behalf of you and your business.
Hiring a content writer is your best bet to success with guest blogging. After all, why not leave it to the professionals? You wouldn’t go doing your own electrical work, would you?
If you need help with your guest posting strategy, contact me. Let’s have a chat about where your strategy is at, and how I can help you.