If you’re a freelance copywriter, positioning yourself as an expert is key in growing your client list. If you do it right, guest posting is a unique way to get your name in front of a virtually unlimited number of potential clients in your niche.
Guest posting helps you build your personal brand, showcase your expertise, and create solid social proof.
Sounds good, right?
Let’s talk about how guest posting can help grow your copywriting business and how you can score publications.
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting is a content marketing strategy in which a guest blogger creates content for another business’s website. Guest blogging drives traffic back to the author’s website, boosts domain authority through external linking, and positions the guest blogger as an industry expert.
How Can Guest Posting Grow Your Copywriting Business?
If you’re looking for a strategy that increases brand awareness, builds your niche authority, drives traffic to your website, and boosts your SEO, guest blogging is the digital marketing Swiss-Army Knife you’ve been waiting for.
Here’s how all of that works:
How Does Guest Posting Drive Brand Awareness?
When you’re featured as a guest blogger, you will often have a byline. A byline attributes the article to you. Some publications will list only your name and title, for example “Jane Doe, Guest Blogger From X Company,” but some will include a short bio at the end of the article.
For example, this is a byline/bio I secured in a recent guest posting.
In this byline, there is a Brand Mention of my agency as well as my copywriting courses, increasing awareness of my projects.
Why are Guest Posts Good for Building Industry Authority?
Besides brand awareness, guest posts are great for positioning yourself as an industry expert for two main reasons:
- Securing a guest post is great social proof. If a reputable website features you as an author, it shows that they trusted that you know what you’re talking about, and other people should, too.
- Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to put your expertise on display. You can write a thought leadership piece that explains your unique perspective on a topic or sheds a new light on your industry.
Guest blogging gives you a platform to build your credibility.
Plus, you can advertise the publications where you’ve been featured on your website, like this:
How Do Guest Posts Drive Traffic to Your Website?
Besides your byline mentioning your business name and piquing the interest of potential clients, most (not all, but most) publications will allow you to include links back to your website.
Keep in mind, though, that the majority of publications that allow you to link back to your website won’t allow links directly to your homepage or a sales page, but rather, content that will offer value to their audience.
Within your guest post, link to related content posted on your own website, encouraging users to click through.
Why is Guest Posting Good for SEO?
Backlinks are great for your search engine optimization efforts. Google and other search engines rely on links to determine how useful or relevant your content is.
And, the more backlinks you have (and the better your links are, which we’ll talk about later), the better your search engine rankings.
How Do You Secure Guest Posts?
There are a few avenues for securing guest posts.
One way to land guest blogs is to hire a digital PR agency to do it for you. A reputable agency will already have solid relationships with publications and can get you guest blog spots in your niche. This route can be expensive, but absolutely worth the investment if you want guaranteed placements (I use a company called ZUPO to find me guest blogging opportunities).
The DIY route is more cost-effective, but it’s more time intensive and doesn’t guarantee any placements. You may hear a lot of “NOs” before you get a “YES! Send it over!” but with the right approach, you can absolutely do it on your own in just a few steps:
Step 1: Find publications in your niche. First, because publications that are in your industry (or at least related) are more likely to accept guest blogs because you’ll have something to offer their audience. Second, you want your backlinks to come from relevant websites so that Google can better understand what your website is about.
Step 2: Determine the site’s domain authority. Domain authority indicates how “reputable” a site is in the industry and how likely it is that it will help your SEO efforts. Try to find publications with a higher domain authority than your own.
Step 3: Send your pitch! In a clear, concise email, introduce yourself, explain why you’re a great match for the publication, and pitch several topic ideas. If you’re open to writing on a topic they suggest, let them know. Include examples of previous work so that potential publications can get a feel for your writing and gauge whether or not it’s a good fit.
Step 4: Follow up. Website owners get a LOT of guest blogging requests, and many are just spam. Show potential publications that you’re invested in the opportunity and taking it seriously.
Step 5: Write, edit, and proofread your guest post. The publication’s editor is very likely not going to want to heavily edit your submission. Make sure that your content is 100% unique (and not published anywhere else!), easy to read, clear, and cohesive, with no spelling or grammatical errors.
Step 6: Share your guest post on your social media channels and to your audience. If you’ve been allowed the opportunity to be a guest blogger, share it on your socials, both as a way to build your social presence and to thank the publication by driving traffic to their website.
Step 7: Reply to any comments or questions. Keep track of your guest post. If the publication’s audience leaves a comment or asks a question, answer them! Doing so will increase your chances of being asked to write another guest post.
Step 8: Send a “thank you” follow-up. Publications put their own reputations on the line by allowing someone not connected to their organization to write a post for their website. Be gracious and send a thank you email.
Whichever route you choose, securing guest posts can be tedious. But whether you want to learn the ropes yourself and spend the time pitching or you hire a firm to secure placement for you, it’s completely worth it.
Where are the Best Places for Copywriters to Write Guest Posts?
It’s important that your guest posts are published on publications that actually relate to your business. For example, if you’re a copywriter in the tech space, you could write a guest post on a tech website about how a SaaS company can convert website visitors through powerful messaging.
Guest Posting: Best Practices
So, what happens when you secure a guest post?
If you’ve pitched a topic to a publication and they’ve accepted, you’ve already got the “what” out of the way. Now, it’s time for the “how.”
A guest post is not meant to be promotional–guest posts are meant to provide value to an already existing, attentive audience. Websites don’t want you to just come into their world and start selling to their readers, so give them something to read that’s worthwhile!
Your guest post should be informative, well thought out, and leave the audience with an immediate takeaway. The better your content is, the more likely it is that they’ll visit your website next.
Offer a Unique Perspective
The difference between a run-of-the-mill blog post and a worthwhile guest blog post is thought leadership. What experiences have you had that have shaped your perspective on your industry? What innovative approaches are you taking in your business? Now’s the time to share your own take on your niche.
Submit ONLY Unique Content
No publication wants regurgitated, copy-pasted content that you’ve already submitted to another website. Even if you’re writing on the same topic for multiple sites, your content needs to be 100% unique.
And, don’t republish the same content on your website, either.
Build Your Reputation, Build Your Business
Guest posting is an incredibly powerful tool if you harness the power of it the right way. With guest posting, you can develop your personal brand, establish yourself as a niche authority, improve your SEO, and build your portfolio even further.
And hey, you never know who’s reading. Your next big client could be on the other side of your next guest post.