When people start a new blog, you often start by creating their first few posts, then sharing a link on social media asking your friends and family to check it out. But most want more than just friends and family to be you readers. So you study up on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but you can’t count on search engine traffic driving readers to your blog for a few months, minimum.
So how do you get new readers that you don’t already know? Guest posting on other people’s blogs. Before you recoil in horror at the idea of sharing your ideas and writing talent with others, especially others who write about the same things you do, consider the reasons that guest posting is to both your, and the other blogger’s benefit.
Benefits of guest blogging to you
Build your authority for search engines
Part of SEO is having links that go to your website from other relevant sites. The more links you have from other bloggers linking back to you, the more authoritative and legitimate you look, which boosts your ranking in the search results.
Get direct traffic
When you guest post, every good blog will allow you to link to your site. Some even allow you to create a short bio in which you link to your site. When a reader on that site enjoys your guest post, they’ll often click the link to go to your website and read more of your posts. If they really like it, you’ll have a new, consistent reader. So make sure you have high-quality, engaging content on your blog when you begin guest posting.
Spread the word farther on social media
When you share on your own social media, you’re sharing with those that you’re connected to, or who have chosen to follow you. If they choose to share, you’ll get a slightly larger audience, but it’s still somewhat limited. When you guest post, that blogger will share your post on their social media. Established bloggers have a much broader social media audience, ensuring that you reach many more eyes than you would on your own.
Develop solid relationships with other bloggers
Other bloggers in your niche are not competition. Just like lawyers, doctors, and other professions network, so do bloggers. And just as those other professions use that networking to get feedback, or open doors that might otherwise be closed to them, bloggers do the same. A blogger you guest post for and develop a relationship with may toss an opportunity your way when it isn’t good for them but could be great for you.
Build your mailing list
By guest posting and drawing in readers from the blog you guest posted on, you can get more visitors who opt-in to your mailing list or subscribe to your RSS feed.
Benefits of guest blogging to the other blogger
Provides social proof for their blog
Social proof is critical to credibility for a blog. It shows that there’s a community for the blog, that it’s not just someone typing into a vacuum. One form of social proof is Facebook likes, tweets, and comments on the blog. Another form is having guest bloggers. It provides value to that blog’s readers by allowing the contribution of other thoughts and ideas to the message the blog is trying to convey.
Gives readers a different voice
When readers are trying to learn about a topic, they may be simply trying to confirm what they already know. But many are looking for both sides of the idea. They want the good and the bad. Allowing another voice on the blog, one that provides context, a contrasting viewpoint or other information that the original blogger doesn’t have, gives those readers that additional information and shows them that the blog isn’t afraid to let other perspectives be heard, that it’s confident in its message.
Builds more authority in that niche
When people blog, they often want to be seen as an authority, an expert in whatever their topic is. They want to be the place that everyone goes for answers. The problem is, they don’t always know everything there is to know about the topic. Allowing guest bloggers on their blog provides the answers their readers want without requiring the original blogger to know everything.
Provides unique, relevant content
As a blogger yourself, you understand how hard it can be to not only come up with ideas to write about but time to write about them. Having guest posts on their site provides that blogger with the unique, relevant content they’re looking to provide, while freeing them up to work on other things.
Publishers, or the blogger that owns the blog you guest post on, can benefit financially from allowing guest posts. They can earn income in a variety of ways, from selling their own products to inserting affiliate links or earning additional Adsense income.