The marketing winds have shifted people . . . if you’re a freelance writer and online marketer looking to broaden your reach and get more website traffic, an effective strategy to use is article marketing.
I’ve been doing article marketing for a while and as with most marketing strategies, the inevitable happens, the wind shifts. For those who don’t know what article marketing is, it involves posting content to your website on a regular basis, submitting to article directories and being a guest on quality blogging sites.
It’s considered organic inbound marketing (bringing free traffic to your site through writing optimized content).
The shift I mentioned is that now the ‘marketing power’ is heading more toward guest blogging on heavy-hitting blog sites. The reason for this may be the over saturation of article directories and the new ‘social’ optimization element of content for better search engine ranking.
Whatever the reasons, as freelance writers we know the deal; we’ve got to go with the flow.
Guest posting on a quality site in your niche does at least four things:
- It affords you a wider audience for your freelance writing and often this leads to clicks back to your site, meaning more targeted traffic. Think of it as visiting another neighborhood and getting to know those people. Hopefully, they’ll like you and stop on by.
- It allows you to further establish your expert status. Being accepted by quality websites is kind of like a seal of approval.
- It provides the host site with fresh content. Bloggers are always looking for valuable and quality content. And, since you’re looking to widen your marketing boundaries, it’s a win-win situation.
- The host site will get additional traffic from your promotion efforts and will be appreciative of those efforts.
Keep in mind that when posting to your own website or guest blogging, quality and optimized content is what counts. Your content needs to be useable and shareable.
Okay, now on to the tips.
12 Tips to Writing and Submitting a Guest Article to Blogging Sites (as part of your freelance writing marketing strategy)
After you’ve written a great guest article and found a blog that gets good traffic and accepts guest posts, don’t forget to make use of these 12 tips …
1. Check the host blogging site’s guidelines. This is essential to effective guest blogging and is actually a pet peeve of mine. Just about every guest post I receive, I know the author didn’t read the guidelines. And, I go the extra step and send the guidelines page link when they query me!
If I do accept the post anyway, I certainly won’t accept a second guest post from that author. Ignoring guidelines is not the way to start a potentially productive and mutually beneficial relationship.
In addition, be receptive to editing suggestions from the site owner.
2. Send a polite and professional email requesting a guest spot. From my experience as a blog site owner who accepts guest posts, most authors don’t know proper submission querying etiquette or don’t bother to use it. You might start your query with:
Hi, My name is Your Name and I’m a fan of your Name of Website blog. I’d love to submit . . .
It’s important to mention the name of the website you want to guest post on. I have three sites I accept guest posts on and it’s annoying when I have to email the querying author back and ask which site he’s querying about.
3. Provide a brief, effective bio with a link to your site or landing page. The link may be lost in the posting process, so don’t embed it. Make the bio effective – it will be the copy that will help motivate the reader to click on the link you provide.
4. Provide a headshot, if you want it posted with your article.
5. Provide relevant tags for your host to use, she’ll appreciate it. I allow guest posts on three of my websites and in the guest posting guidelines it states to provide at least three relevant tags.
6. Edit your content before sending it off. As a freelance writer this shouldn’t need to be mentioned, but better safe than sorry.
7. Ask if the host would like you to send a relevant freelance writing image for the post. If you do send an image to be used with the post, BE SURE it’s copyright free.
To be honest, I don’t accept images from guest authors, it’s not worth the potential copyright infringement problems and cost. I quickly and easily create my own ‘unique to the content’ images. If you’d like to find out how to make your own images, visit: http://www.karencioffi.com/online-marketing-ebooks/write-that-ebook-and-design-your-own-cover/
8. Once your post is published, promote it. Share it to Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and any other sites you might post to. You should also promote it to the niche groups you belong to.
This is what will give your guest post marketing juice and is a strategy I use for all my articles and guest posts. The more traffic and conversation you bring to the table, the more valuable you’ll be to the hosting site, and the more likely you’ll be asked back.
9. Stop by throughout the day to respond to any comments. This tip is a must to do. I click on the ‘follow’ or ‘subscribe’ to the comments to make sure I don’t miss any on my guest posts. This helps the traffic and conversation keep flowing.
10. Send the blog owner a ‘thank you’ email. You might also ask if you can submit another article at a later date.
11. Stop by periodically for the next week to see if there are any other comments you might have missed. If the site is popular, there will certainly be stragglers who stop by and comment.
12. This is the most important tip: be professional and courteous. These qualities go a long way in building relationships.
There you have it, 12 tips to enhance your freelance writing guest blogging experience and success.
How About You?
What article marketing strategies do you use? Are you interested in guest blogging?
About the Author: Karen Cioffi is a freelance writer and online platform marketing instructor with WOW Women on Writing! She helps authors and freelance writers create and optimize their online platform, including their website. Need help with your platform? Take Ms. Cioffi’s six week in-depth ecourse, Create and Build Your Author/Writer Online Platform.
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