How to use guest posts as marketing

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On Monday, Kam shared her (brilliant) tips for brainstorming, pitching and submitting a guest post. She has really covered all the *big* things you need to consider for guest posting – go back and read it!

But why would you want to write a guest post? WHY would you want to do all that work for someone else’s site? For no money?

Answer: Marketing. Growing your audience, gaining a few more customers, increasing your visibility.

There are many different ways to think about what marketing is and what it can do for you … But mostly, you can use basic marketing techniques to connect with potential readers and customers.

That’s really all there is to it.

Having a guest post published can :

  • introduce you to readers (who may not look at the sidebar ads)
  • allow you to show off your unique voice to connect with readers
  • give readers a reason to visit your site

All of these can help you connect with new readers.

With that in mind, I’ve actually found guest posting to be an effective marketing technique for Lemon and Raspberry. I try to brainstorm a guest post whenever I’m sponsoring a site, as well as every couple months in between sponsoring a site.

But any guest post I write, I always need to include a call-to-action. I always give that new audience a reason to come visit Lemon and Raspberry.

Of course, there are more steps and pieces you want to include leading up to your call-to-action. And you, of course, want to make sure that your call-to-action drives new readers to your own site in some way. But other than that it’s not at all complicated.

This means that you shouldn’t be wasting your time writing guest posts that simply curate a bunch of pretty photos (unless your blog is known for curating pretty photos). This means that you shouldn’t be wasting your time writing guest posts that feature a recipe (unless you blog recipes regularly on your own site).

A good, general rule for myself is to think about what I usually write about on my own blog, pump it up with steroids, and submit that for a guest post.

After all, the goal with all of this is to connect with new readers and new customers.

You will, of course, want to make sure the guest post works for you as well as the blog’s author. For example, I wouldn’t ever write a guest post about basketball. I love basketball, but any readers of TrueHoop.com for example that like my guest post will not really care about anything on Lemon and Raspberry. A guest post about basketball is not going to do anything for me or for marketing my site. It’s not going to get me any new readers or new customers.

On the flip side, when I was promoting Tell Its Story, I wrote a couple guest posts for various creative, crafty blogs, and was able to connect and get readers excited about the product. I made a few sales directly from the guest post, as well as increased my subscribers, any of which could be customers or become loyal readers in the future.

Guest posting for other blogs is a really great, low-cost strategy for connecting with a new audience and growing your fan base – as long as you keep a call-to-action in mind.

Do you have a goal in mind when you write guest posts? Or do you like to just do it as a favor to the blog’s author?

I will be releasing a small, simple guest post template next week! Perfect for helping promote your next release or featured series.

If all this “marketing” talk sounds just too overwhelming for you, let me know. I’m happy to offer consulting for strategizing or even copywriting or ghost writing for you.

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