Welcome to Day 9 of the 30 Day List Building Challenge! Day 8 looked at 9 great ways to drive traffic to your sign up forms. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at one of those tips: How to successfully use guest blogging to build your email list.
Guest Blogging to Grow Your Audience AND Your Email List
Yes, we talked about this a bit yesterday, but this important list building strategy definitely deserves a bit more attention. When done correctly, guest blogging can be a really great way to get in front of an audience someone else has already built in your niche.
The key to list building success with guest blogging is to make sure you share a link back to your dedicated opt-in page and invite readers to connect with you there with every guest post you write.
Several years ago, guest blogging fell out of favor with many bloggers after Google announced that they considered it a spammy technique. (It was being abused in the name of SEO (search engine optimization) by some bloggers).
As a result, a lot of bloggers backed away from guest blogging out of fear of being penalized for it.
That really wasn’t necessary. Yes, crappy, thin content written expressly to gain a link back to your site is never a good idea. But there is absolutley no harm in writing and sharing high-quality, original content that adds genuine value on someone else’s site.
Remember, your whole goal with writing guest blog posts is to get in front of someone else’s audience – so make sure you are sharing your BEST work with that brand new audience. It will help you connect with new people and will increase your odds of being invited back in the future.
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
First, make a list of 5-10 popular blogs in your niche. If you are just getting started or have a small audience, add some smaller, but active, sites to your list. It will be more challenging as a brand new blogger to get published on a high-profile site. It can be done, but you’ll want to start building your network with up-and-coming bloggers, too.
Once you have your list, reach out to the blog owners one at a time to see if they accept guest posts. (If you can get to know them on social media first, that will definitely help). If you need some help with this, swing by our free private Facebook group to connect with nearly 900 other food and lifestyle bloggers. Start a new thread to introduce yourself and let others know if you’d like to write guest blog posts and/or host quality guest posts on your site.
Success Tip: Review the content on the sites you’d like to write for and then write something that would be of interest to their readers in advance. Then, send the pre-written content to the blog owner when you reach out to them.
In general, you’ll get better results this way than asking if it’s ok to write a guest post and then going back and forth via email until you’ve settled on a topic. Just write it and send it their way with a brief note explaining that it is original content written specifically for their audience based on (refer to 1 or 2 posts you saw on their site).
Don’t Forget: Always include a link to your opt-in page either in your author bio at the end of the post or within the content itself if the hosting blogger will allow it.
You will REALLY stand out by showing you’ve actually spent some time on their site. Your goal here is to make it easy for them to just copy, paste, and publish your content.
At the end of your email to the blog owner, ask for a response one way or another. Mention that you’d like to publish the content elsewhere or on your own site if they would prefer not to use it.
Once you get a guest post published, share it via social media and with your own audience. The host blogger will be much more likely to invite you back for more guest posts in the future if they see you are helping drive traffic to their site, too.
Your Day 9 List Building Challenge:
Create a spreadsheet with at least 5-10 popular and/or up-and-coming active blogs in your niche. (Make sure the content on their site aligns nicely with the content you are sharing via your email newsletter and on your blog). Add the blog owners name and contact info (if you can find it). Follow/connect with them on social media, if you aren’t already.
Then, pick one blog from that list and review the content on their site. Challenge yourself to write one quality blog post (with a link to your dedicated opt-in page) and reach out to them with it using the tips described above.
Wash/rinse/repeat with the remaining blogs on your list.
As you go through this process, decide on a guest blogging schedule that works for you. It can be once a week, once a month, or whatever works with your schedule. Every new guest post you publish is one more “line in the water” as you work on growing your audience and your list.
That’s all I have for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with your Day 10 Challenge. Stay tuned! (Don’t forget to join the 30 Day List Building Challenge so you don’t miss any of our daily challenges!)
‘Til Next Time,
Trish ~ Chief Cook & Content Creator
Feed Your Blog!!
PS Don’t forget to check into our private Facebook group to ask questions and let us know how you are doing!