Most people assume that because I’m a professional writer, guest posting is a huge part of my marketing plan, and it’s as easy as pie for me.
I’m about to clear that up.
Guest posting is a hot topic these days. It can be very beneficial to your business because it puts you in front of a new audience – and hopefully a bigger, more well-established audience.
Guest posting is also challenging. Before you dive in, you need to figure out and decide:
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- If it compliments your overall marketing strategy
- How much time you want to dedicate to it – realistically
- What outlets / websites / blogs your target customers are reading, which ones are open to guest posts, and for those that are, what their requirements are
- If you’ll be writing your guest-post pitches and articles yourself or hiring a ghostwriter to do it for you
I personally encourage my clients to have an experimental mindset with guest posting. People rarely strike gold with the first swing of a pick-ax. Sometimes you need to mine in a few different locations with a few different tools to find that treasure.
I Gave It the Old College Try
Guest posting has been great for my website traffic. It actually had a lasting effect – months after some of my guest posts were published, I still get traffic from them.
I did my own guest-post outlet research at first, but I found it too time-consuming. So I outsourced it to a researcher who came back with a neatly-organized list of possible guest-posting places, with links to their pitch requirements. That was a great investment. It saved me tons of time and stress.
Once I had that list in hand, I began the process of pitching my guest post ideas. This also was time-consuming, because every outlet had its own requirements. Some were a lot more in-depth than others.
A few of my ideas got picked up. So I carved time out of my schedule to write the posts and sent them off before the deadlines.
All of that work, and even with the traffic bump it hasn’t led directly to any new business for Horizon Peak Consulting.
A Startling Guest-Posting Failure That Led to a Great Success
I pitched a post to a Web design blog about a year ago. The topic was choosing the right words to use on website call-to-action buttons, and the editors quickly gave me the go-ahead to write it and send it to them. So I did just that.
A week later, it was rejected because it didn’t fit their audience.
I went over my pitch again, and I went through their website again, and I couldn’t understand why they rejected it. But I’ve been a professional writer for nearly 18 years and rejection lost its sting a long time ago, so I just shrugged my shoulders and moved on.
I pitched the post to three other potential guest-posting outlets… and it was rejected three more times.
I knew the post was good, so I wasn’t sure what the deal was. I got frustrated enough that I decided to just use it on my own blog.
That post – 20 Power Words That Get Your Audience Clicking – took off like a rocket. It is still one of my most popular posts today.
I Didn’t Give Up – But I Weighed the Reward Against the Effort
So after all of that, I have decided that guest posting isn’t going to be a huge part of my marketing plan for Horizon Peak. And you know what? Lightning didn’t strike me dead. My business is still flourishing.
I’m sure you’ve read many stories of business success that stemmed directly from guest posting – and I heartily encourage you to try it. But if it doesn’t bring you the results you want, it’s okay to not spend a ton of your time on it. There are probably marketing tactics that will work much better for you. Go try something else! You can always come back to guest posting later.