5 steps to writing guest blog posts

When you share expertise on a third-party blog, you generate new followers and opportunities. These tips will help you pitch and place your post.

Every brand journalist needs several tools in their content creation toolbox. One should be guest blogs. The definition of guest blogging is to publish content on a third-party website or blog. Whether you’re a physician with medical expertise about diabetes or a CEO, this tactic gets you in front of your target audience as a thought leader.

Use the following steps to turn into a guest blogging pro.

1. Know your expertise.

Before you ask a blog owner or manager if they are interested in your content, know your material. Understand the topics in which you have expertise. Then create content on your proficiency for your own website and channels as proof of your knowledge.

2. Target your ideal sites.

Identify the websites and blogs where you want to be featured. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the purpose of my content?

  • Who is the audience I want to reach?

  • Where are my competitors writing?

Once you pinpoint your targets, then pitch yourself, your expertise and your content. For the most effective guest blog, create content that accomplishes what you want to write about and what the blog owner wants.

FREE guide: How to Be a Brand Journalist—Tell compelling stories and take your story directly to your audience

3. Understand the audience.

Always know your audience before you write content. This is even more important with a third-party blog because online audiences vary. After you identify the readers, choose the voice and style that best match the blog’s format. Before submitting your article, make sure it’s not too specific and narrow. If it isn’t too speciallized, the guest-blog gods may smile and your blog could syndicate. We love that!

4. Consider multimedia.

Visuals that add context and interest to any article draw readers. If multimedia fits the site you’re writing for, use it to make your post stand out. Before writing, determine the visual elements you need, which may include photos, videos, graphics or infographics. These make your content more likely to get shared.

5. Be a link lover.

One of the most valuable advantages of guest blogging is the chance to link. When there’s a link from the third party site back to your website, your guest blog has hit a home run. Also, if your blog is published on another website, include a few hyperlinks to enhance your SEO. Hyperlinking two-to-four phrases that lead back to your pages will bring more readers and credibility to your website. It will also get a higher SEO ranking for the terms that are linked.

Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards . Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.

This article was created in partnership with MediaSource.

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