The idea for this blog came to me while I was meditating one morning. Unknowingly, I asked myself what I was going to talk about for my next guest blog post and I realized something.
I blog for a living. I am a blogger. Not only that, I am a blogging coach. So guest blogging is pretty important and it is something that I teach all of my clients to do immediately.
I have been working on the same guest blog post for about 2 months. Not because I can’t write it or don’t know what to say. Funny enough, it is about the correlation between meditation and blogging.
I am terrified.
I can write and write all day for myself and not question anything but I am intimidated. The guest blog post that I am working on is for someone in the same exact niche as me. She makes me more than me. Which in my head means…
She is better than me.
I know, silly right?! But I am so caught up in my own head that it stops the flow of words and so every day, I put this blog post to the side. And every day I feel bad for not just writing it. The internal struggle of the year. Oh, I have had so many of those this year.
WHAT IS A GUEST BLOG POST
This very post that you are reading is a guest blog post. It is blogging content that is written for another blogger showcasing your expertise. Your name will be attached to a guest blog post and the blogger that you are writing it for will feature it on their website.
Feel free to check out my other blog post all about what a guest blog post is.
BENEFITS OF GUEST BLOGGING
Oh the list of benefits can be quite lengthy but we are going to go over some of the main reasons to include guest blogging in your blogging content strategy.
1| Guest blogging gets you in front of a new audience. You want to be writing for a blogging that is in the same niche or a shoulder niche. What is a shoulder niche? A shoulder niche is a niche that is similar to yours but different. So think of a wedding blogging. Shoulder niche ideas for that would include party planning, photographers, and bakers to name a few.
You want to ensure that not only you are benefiting from this collaboration but so is the other blogger.
2| You get to help build up your domain authority. Oh domain authority (DA), what are you? Domain authority is a score that was developed by Moz that will predict how likely a website will rank on search engines. This is ranked on a scale from 1-100. The higher your score, the more likely you will rank higher on search engines.
So how does guest blogging help you rank higher with DA? There are multiple ways that it will help you but I want to focus on just two of those reasons.
- It helps you to build links back to your website. When you are creating a guest blog post, you want to ensure that you have links in the body of your text that link back to your site. Plus since you are getting credit for this blog post, your website link will be added to the post to help as well.
- It attracts traffic back to your site. By writing a post that engages a new audience, your readers will want to learn more about what you do. So make sure that your post is engaging, educational and fun so that they want more of you.
3| You set yourself up to be the expert. This goes hand in hand with having a higher DA. You want to show new readers that you know what you are talking about. Your audience already knows that but you want to continue to grow.
This is why it is important to make sure that this type of blogging collaboration is beneficial to the both of you. There is nothing worse than a collaboration that is one sided because that is the opposite of what a collaboration should be.
4| You get to create new and exciting content for new readers. Have fun with guest blogging. By starting with this blogging content strategy immediately, you are working on building your blog up for success. By adding guest blogging to your plan, you are writing more and keeping the creativity flowing.
TIPS TO HELP YOU WITH GUEST BLOGGING
Before you begin writing for someone else, you want to know what it is that they offer their followers. This doesn’t mean that you need to write in their voice. It means that you need to do a little bit of research on them. IG and FB stalk them. Get to know what their blog and company is all about. Don’t head into a guest blogging situation and have no idea what you are walking into.
Be prepared with a few ideas of your own. This will depend on the collaboration itself. Sometimes they will want ideas from you. Sometimes they will have ideas for you. Don’t lead with your ideas. Only share them if they ask you. And once they ask you, don’t share all of your ideas. Share 1-2 ideas and open up the conversation. They will make suggestions to you and that is perfectly fine. Afterall, it is their blog that you are writing on.
Know the ground rules. Get clear on what it is that they want from you. Common questions to ask when setting up guest blog post content.
- How many words do you want the blog post to be?
- Do you want me to create graphics for the blog post or will you create them?
- Can I self-promote?
- Can I link back to other pages on my website in the blog post?
- Do you need my bio and photo?
- Will you share the blog post with your social media followers?
Be yourself. Write like you do for your own readers and followers. You are wanted as a guest blogger for that exact reason. Stay true to yourself and what you write about.
Know what your desired outcome is. Why are you writing the guest blog post? It has to come down to more than just building your authority and expertise. What do you want your readers to walk away with once they read your blog post?
Do you want to gain more followers on a specific platform?
Do you want to gain more website subscribers or email subscribers?
Do you want to put your knowledge out there to increase who you reach?
Think about these goals before you submit your blog post to any other blogger. It will help you to maintain focus and to create a call to action in your post that will reflect that goal.
REACHING OUT TO OTHER BLOGGERS FOR GUEST BLOGGING OPPORTUNITIES
This is the scary part. The part where you have to put your fear aside and just step into your goals. Rejection is scary but when it comes to guest blogging, don’t make it personal. This will stop you in your tracks and you will decide not to do it again.
Not everyone is going to say yes to you and that is okay. Not everyone is going to like your ideas and that is okay. This is where you get brave and just start reaching out to people.
These people can be small business owners that you follow on social media platforms. Let’s use Instagram as an example. Here are ways to help you interact with them before reaching out.
WAYS TO HELP YOU INTERACT
- Remember to do your research before you reach out. If you follow them already, chances are that you already know and love what they do.
- IG stalk them. Now don’t be a creep about it but start commenting and liking their posts. Commenting is more important but I always like a post when I comment because then I know which ones that I have commented on. Don’t just comment for one day and then stop. Make sure that you create a list of who you are commenting on and continue to do so. This will start bringing your name to their attention.
- Go to their IG profile and check out their website. Do they have a blog? Is their blog active? You want to make sure that when you decide on who you want to guest blog for, that their blog is active and up to date. You want this collaboration to benefit you as well.
- Reach out. Take a chance. I would reach out through their contact page on their website. It looks more professional than just sending them a message on IG.
- Continue to comment on their posts while you wait to hear back from them and after. You want to keep building that relationship up.
WHAT TO SAY IN YOUR ASK EMAIL
Step 4 from above is to reach out through their contact page but what do you say when you reach out? Here are the main points to capture in your email.
- Say hello and tell them who you are. Share your first and last name.
- Talk about a blog post that you read of theirs that you absolutely loved and why. Get personal.
- Share what you do and why you are interested in writing a guest blog post for them.
- Let them know that you have a few ideas for the blog post but that you would love to discuss further with them.
- Thank them for their time and make sure to put your name and website underneath your name. Also tell them that you look forward to hearing back from them.
The ask email doesn’t have to be long or intense. Make it personal and all about introducing yourself and why you love what they do.
Set yourself up for success by showcasing your personality, your business and your expertise through guest blogging. Remember to have fun along the process. Don’t take life too seriously. Thank you for being here beautiful and I look forward to next time.
TIPS TO BEGIN CREATING YOUR OWN FOLLOWING THROUGH BLOGGING
- JUST START. This is always the hardest part. We allow overthinking, fear, and not knowing to stop us. You don’t need to be an expert to just start. I didn’t know anything about blogging at first. All I knew was it was putting words on a website. Everything else came after that. There are going to be people that judge you either way. By starting you are not allowing fear to win. You are stepping into your power as a storyteller, as a woman, as a blogger.
- BE HONEST. Your people want to truly know you. They want to know your pain and weaknesses. They want to know your happiness and strengths. The more you show people, the more loyal they will be. This doesn’t mean that you need to tell them every little piece about you all at once or even ever. It means to share what you are comfortable with. Only you will know that.
- LEARN TO BE COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE. True growth comes from the moments when we are out of our element. Whether that means learning something new or sharing a piece of us we never have before. Being uncomfortable means that we are expanding who we are in the present moment. It is exciting, scary, and sometimes messy. Embrace it all.
- YOU DON’T NEED TO BE AN EXPERT WRITER TO BE A BLOGGER. You just need to be yourself. There are tools to help you with the other aspects of writing. Show the world who you are. We all start out a beginner. Start where you are and learn from there. You can’t be an expert if you don’t even begin.
- WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT. There is always room for you, no matter what your passions are. By sharing what you are passionate about, your blog will shine. Your readers and followers will know when you love what you are writing about versus when you are faking it. Be authentic. When you are true to yourself, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses will show your readers that you want to help them.
- DON’T JUST SHOW THE HIGHLIGHTS. To create a connection to those who are following you, you must show them the tough parts. The parts of your story where you struggle and you may not know the answers. Your readers can’t connect to you when all they see is the perfection that they show them. Social media is about being social. It is about being honest with your life and showing them that you aren’t perfect.
- ENGAGE WITH YOUR READERS. Your readers are on your site, reading your posts for a reason. They want to be there. Engage with them. When someone comments, take the time to respond to them in a meaningful way. Your readers want to feel heard and seen. They want you to know that they are there. We all want to feel special and loved.
- EMBRACE THE READERS YOU CURRENTLY HAVE. I think we get caught up in trying to grow and expand that we lose sight of where we currently are. Nurture the following that you already have. Remind them often that you are grateful for them being a part of your story, your journey. When you make one person feel special, you change that person’s world. You don’t need to have a huge following to make a HUGE impact. Begin where you are.
- ASK FOR HELP. A 4 letter word that can cause us to feel inferior, stupid, and weak but has the power to open up lines of communication like no other word. By asking your readers for help, you are opening up a dialogue, a true conversation that has the capabilities to change the outlook of someone. When we ask for help, we allow those who have been where we are to open up and share what worked for them. Allow them to share their voice, their story, their advice on your blog. Allow your readers to read and listen to another point of view that you can’t give them. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it lifts up those around you to step in when you need it most. It empowers. It changes lives. It becomes a part of your life.
Blogging is scary. Sharing your story is scary. But allowing that fear to win is the biggest regret that you will have. Fear and the unknown are temporary and will pass. Don’t let that stop you. Starting your blog means healing yourself. It means healing those around you. You have a following that you don’t even know about.
Remember that it isn’t the ones that are commenting and interacting with you that need you the most. It is the readers that you don’t even realize you have. The ones that are sitting silently in the corner, soaking up everything that you have to say. You are helping them to build THEIR strength to share THEIR story someday.
Samantha Laycock is a blogging coach for women and a freelance blogger for female entrepreneurs in the self-care industry. She is a HUGE self-care and self-love advocate, sexual assault survivor, mother of 3, a wife of 14 years, and a believer in the power of sharing your story. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook as @samanthalaycockblogging and on Pinterest as @samanthalaycockblogger