At Muffin Marketing, we’re always talking about the benefits of guest blogging.
By perfecting your guest post pitches and writing truly great content, you can use guest blogging to increase your domain authority, put your brand in front of a new audience and meet new people, some of whom could turn into new potential customers.
In fact, guest blogging is a strategy that we use to increase our own digital presence, and while it can be hard work and deflating at times, it really does pay off.
However, while writing guest blogs is all well and good, people very rarely talk about the other end of the coin: the benefits of accepting guest posts on your website.
Of course, you should only accept content on your website if you think it truly provides value and your audience will enjoy it, otherwise, the quality of your blog will suffer and your readers may go elsewhere.
But when great writers reach out and offer to create some great content, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t say yes. Here’s why…
Gives you more content
The chances are, you work hard to keep your blog fresh and up-to-date with relevant content every week, but it’s often tough to maintain your strict schedule and have something new ready in time for publishing day.
With guest contributors, you can publish more great content on your website and ensure that readers have a reason to keep coming back – even when you’re busy.
Research suggests that bloggers who push out content consistently have a more dedicated and loyal audience, so it makes sense to keep up with your content strategy and have new material go out every week. In some industries, a new blog post every day could be an option.
Of course, there are other ways to create more content. Those include:
- Hiring a content marketing expert: If you’re running a medium-sized business and have a marketing budget to spend, then content marketing could be the best way to generate a return on your investment. Hire a professional who knows your industry inside out, and get them to spend their time creating content for your blog and social media channels. A good content writer could create a couple of well-researched, impactful posts every day, allowing your brand to become a content powerhouse.
- Outsourcing your content marketing: Another way to keep your blog ticking over is to pay for a content marketing company to write material for you (sidenote: we offer content marketing for small businesses, with packages starting from just £35 a month). It might not be as cheap as writing material yourself, but unlike guest bloggers, you’ll know that the content is well-researched, aligns with your values and is optimised for search engines, increasing your chances of ranking for competitive terms.
- Spending more time writing: Want to maintain a consistent voice and write the content yourself? Sounds good, but you’ll need to find the time to fit it into your busy schedule. Perhaps you could hand over some of your other responsibilities – like social media scheduling and responding to emails – to another member of your team, or you could work extra hours and create content in your spare time?
- Repurposing older material: Got lots of old blog posts and resources sitting around collecting dust? Keep your blog fresh and engaging by repurposing them and updating with more up-to-date statistics and sources. You can then bring that post back to the top of your blog and push it out as a new, updated resource for customers to read.
- Creating expert roundup posts: An increasingly popular content marketing technique is expert roundups. Like guest blogging, roundups rely on the thoughts of external sources, but they’re less intensive and the blogger has majority control of the piece.
Simply put, opening your blog to guest contributors will provide you with a flow of free, regular content, and provided you have the time to edit those contributions and schedule them up on your blog, it’s much cheaper than outsourcing or hiring a dedicated content writer to do the job.
Encourages new readers
One of the biggest benefits of accepting contributions from established and well-known writers is that they already have a loyal readership – readers that could become regulars on your website.
Every time an ‘expert’ writes for your website, they’ll be bringing their loyal readers and cohort with them. They’ll likely share their new post on their social media channels and add a link to it in their newsletter, driving free traffic to your website and exposing your brand to more people.
Granted, the majority will visit your website only to check out their favourite writers’ post, but some may stick around if you work hard and have a sticky call to action.
Frees up your time for other marketing activities
We recently talked about how you can save time when working on a content marketing strategy, and although there are some techniques that can speed up the process, it’s still hard working pushing out consistently high-quality content that your readers will enjoy. Accepting guest bloggers can help.
While we’re not saying that you should look for a guest contributor to write content for your site every week, the odd post here and there will free up a week on your calendar.
We recommend having at least three or four weeks of content scheduled and prepared so that you don’t miss out on a week of blogging, and adding a guest post into the mix can bulk out your schedule and ensure you have something new going out onto your website.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll really appreciate that extra time, which you can use to work on other marketing activities, or writing your own guest blog for another website.
Builds relationships with bloggers
Whether blogging is your full-time job or content marketing is only a small part of your marketing mix, building relationships with fellow bloggers and influencers can never be a bad thing.
Having a fellow blogger on hand can make it easier to promote content, receive blog comments, get advice on new posts and help each other out with recommendations and feedback.
After all, running an online business can be lonely, so it always pays to network and make friends.
Relationships with bloggers can also lead to link exchanges and guest blog swaps.
— Muffin Marketing (@MuffinMarketing) March 21, 2018
If a blogger submits a piece of content to your website and they have a similar audience, then you could ask to write a blog over on their site. That way, you mutually benefit from the exchange.
Reciprocal links can offer SEO benefits when done so carefully, but just remember not to link to one of your competitor’s product pages, as you could be driving potential customers away from your website.
You should also avoid directly linking back to the same posts or pages, as this can appear as spammy and unnatural to search engines. Just link to a relevant source or blog post, and only do so when it’s contextually appropriate. Stuffing in links for the sake of it won’t work.
Adds a new dimension to your blog
If you’re running your blog single-handedly, then readers will have come to expect a particular writing style and approach.
You may think that introducing a new voice to the mix in the form of a guest blogger would be risky, as it may go against your readers’ tastes, but it can also add a new dimension and make your blog more engaging and attractive to a wider readership.
Whenever you accept contributions from a guest author, remember to introduce them at the top of the post and add a disclaimer that the views expressed aren’t necessarily your own.
That way you’ll be covered if a guest blogger’s comments offend or go against your own company values.
Offers readers a different insight into your industry
Whether you’re a one-man band or you employ a team of 50, your business (and your blog) is only one part of your industry’s puzzle.
Accepting contributors can bring in new voices and give your audience access to different insights and ideas that they can use to form their own decisions.
Showcasing different opinions and insights on your blog not only increases your transparency and authority, but it encourages discussion and debate within the comments section of your blog and on social media, and it can even give you food for thought for future blog posts.
Of course, we’re not suggesting that you invite your direct competitors to write content for your blog, but you can accept contributions from those who are in similar niches without jeopardizing or risking losing out on business.
Just remember to audit the guest blogger’s website, and don’t allow them to link to any pages that would directly compete with your product or service offering.
Boosts your website’s SEO
The key to any successful content marketing and search engine optimisation campaign is high-quality content on a range of topics that are relevant to your niche.
The more content you have, the better you’ll perform, provided that your content is truly valuable and well-optimised.
Accepting guest bloggers helps you to pack out your website with more of that great content and increases your internal linking structure, as you’ll have more pages linking to other pages, which will increase your online presence and help search engine robots crawl more of your pages.
There are other SEO benefits to accepting guest bloggers, too.
Some bloggers include links to their work in a digital portfolio and some link back to their guest posts in their own content. Both are great ways to score more links for your website, increasing your domain authority.
Before we move on, a quick word of warning on SEO and guest blogging.
Whenever you accept content from a contributor, check that it is truly unique and hasn’t been published before. Duplicate content can cause your website to be penalised; publishing the same content on more than one website is never a good idea, so only accept original content and assume copyright when you publish it.
Makes your blog less “yours”
Your blog is an extension of your business, so it’s only right that you have total control over its content.
However, being the only writer on a business blog can make it a little stale and can also cause your blog to appear corporate or sales-driven, especially if you’re not a seasoned writer.
Accepting contributions effectively separates your blog from your business and turns it into its own entity.
Some of the world’s most successful blogs are given their own brand names and voices to separate them from their business, allowing the blog to take on a life of its own.
Increases your blog’s authority
More on that last point.
Separating your blog from the rest of your business can allow you to create an entirely separate website and product, still attached to your main brand, that people will come to know and love.
And creating an authoritative blog that is trusted and linked to from other websites and sources will naturally increase the overall impression of your brand, too.
If your blog is jam-packed with valuable content and you attract lots of high-quality bloggers to post content, people will want to link to you and share your content on social media.
And, over time, you may find that your blog is your most valuable marketing asset, an asset that you can use to reach more visitors, find new leads and customers and increase brand engagement.
Here’s our five-step guide to increasing the authority of your blog:
- Only accept contributions from reputable writers: Don’t accept content willy-nilly from any old writer. Make sure you fully vet writers before publishing their content and only link to reputable and authoritative sources that provide more information.
- Be a thought leader with original research: Conduct and commission research and data that you can use to create impactful, original content. This could include creating white papers, infographics, exposés and in-depth features that news outlets and industry bloggers will want to reference and link to on a regular basis.
- Publish content consistently: Be consistent with your content marketing strategy; you cannot go for weeks on end without publishing content if you want to be an authority.
- Partner with other bloggers for cross-promotion: Partnering with other bloggers in your niche who are well-respected and have an audience is the best way to increase authority and grow a following. These partners could even be contributors)
- Use guest blogging and outreach to scale your blog: Carry out your own guest blogging and outreach to scale your blog and get your articles and resources to rank. Think long-term, build quality links and don’t cut corners on your marketing strategy.
It’s clear that accepting guest posts from third-party contributors can offer great benefits to your business – you just need to be mindful of the links that these writers are using when they create content for your website.
With some simple auditing before you publish content and a long-term content marketing strategy in place, you can make guest bloggers part of your marketing journey and benefit from their knowledge, time and writing ability. So what are you waiting for?!