What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging is where you publish your content on someone else’s platform or website or vice versa. This can be hugely beneficial if done correctly, but you don’t want to go around giving your content for free to just anyone! And as always, the quality of the content is king!
Guest blogging on other people’s websites and platforms
Writing guest blogs for other people who have a following that could benefit from your expertise, products, or services is fantastic marketing. It gets you in front of a new audience and simultaneously grants you some trustability since the brand which is featuring you clearly approves.
But you have to choose who and where carefully, and your approach needs to be appropriate!
So you’ve identified a business or individual that you think would be perfect for a partnership. Their audience is your target audience, your ethos aligns, and you would love to get your blog featured on their site or platform.
You can’t just go spamming people willy nilly asking them to publish your blog posts. It needs to be relevant to their audience and be of value for them to share. Not only that, but you really need to have a relationship with this person before you approach them for this to have the best chance of success.
It is sometimes said that you should save your best content for other people’s platforms. If you’ve identified an ideal partner you’d like to work with, then you want to woo them with some pretty impressive content that they can’t refuse. But what if you don’t know them yet and you’re not even on their radar?
You could just cold call them and pop up in their inbox but let’s be honest, for the most part, that feels hideously spammy, and you only get one shot at a good first impression.
So how do you court them before asking them for the big date?!
Start interacting with them on social media. These must be genuine interactions, not spammy, slimy comments, or emojis! If they have content that your audience may find useful or interesting, then share it. Again, do this in a natural way, not a sudden influx of masses of post shares or comments. If you genuinely like their content, then this should come naturally!
As with all of your content marketing, your engagements should be relevant, useful, and balanced
When some time has passed and you are legitimately on their radar, hopefully, they’ve even engaged with some of your content showing that the feeling is mutual, then you can take the next step.
If you can share an example or two of previous blog posts with them, this will give them a feel for your writing. Consider their audience and how you can tailor your content to be beneficial for them and their readership. Make sure your pitch to them is angled from this point of view rather than what you can gain from it, and you should be rosy!
What should you include in your guest blog?
You want to naturally sell your products, services, or establish yourself as an expert in a particular field. This needs to be a subtle part of your content ideally and not screaming in the reader’s face. Blogs work as an excellent marketing tool because they help build trust, affinity, and belief either in you as an individual or in your product, ideally both!
Super salesy content is a big no-no in my book. Let your content do the work and ensure you have a link to your website and, if possible your socials and contact information in there.
Should you accept guest blogs on your own website?
You can also accept guest blogs from others on your site. Again these people need to be chosen carefully; you’re giving them a slice of your brand’s pie. But if you get it right, that person will share their blog, hosted on your website, with their audience. BINGO!
You may be lucky enough to be wooed and approached by somebody who is a perfect fit for your brand, or as above, you may have your eye on someone who you think could provide really excellent content that your readers would benefit from.
Depending on the size of your audience and that of the individual you are approaching, this could be an easy sell to them, or it could take a bit of pitching to get them onboard.
For the most part, we all like to be seen as desirable, so attracting guest posts could be seen as a smidge easier, but as with any kind of proposal, you need to find the sweetener for them.
What do they gain from blogging for you? Whilst blogging doesn’t cost anything financially, writing a good blog is a big investment of time, so there has to be something in it for them. If your audience isn’t the sweetener for them, then perhaps you could offer your product or service in exchange for their feature. Of course, if you think that the payoff would be worth it, then you can always consider paying for that content but do bear in mind that any promotion from an individual that is promoted as ‘sponsored’ does lose some of the trustability factor that you otherwise gain from a blogging partnership.
Backlinks – what are they, and why do they matter?
This is a blog in its own right and is on the list, don’t worry! But in short, the more quality links you have to your website, the better. Google liketh this.
Partnering with others in your sector is a really brilliant way to support one another, share your respective audiences, and exchange really good quality backlinks that actually receive clicks! Ding, ding, ding!
Use this link to easily check whether your website has any backlinks already.
Networking with small, like-minded pet businesses
My experience of the pet professional world is that, for the most part, it is a very positive, friendly, caring network of people who really enjoy collaborating.
The people you choose to partner with don’t have to have enormous audiences for them to be beneficial partnerships.
A small but well engaged, committed audience is not to be sniffed at. So when you’re looking at guest blogging opportunities, don’t skip over the small fry. Small pet businesses often have some of the most devoted and loyal audiences, and if they’ll share them with you and you them, this is gold.
If you’ve not found Rachel Spencer’s Facebook Group full of wonderful pet professionals yet, then hop on over to Publicity Tips for Pet Businesses. Not only does it host some of the nicest people in the pet industry, but Rachel has lots of fabulous content, resources, and courses to help you increase publicity for your pet business too. It’s a genuine goldmine for lovely little pet businesses.
If you’re going to bite the bullet and submit a guest blog, then check out this article on how to format your blogs so that people want to read them, and submit something they can’t turn down! Good luck!