While there are a number of ways to hit the target number of links for your blog every month, the most effective and classy way is through guest blogging. It is the perfect opportunity to give value-packed content to your readers and in exchange, you can get a link or two for your blog. Believe you me, it is quite a fair exchange.
Naturally, finding the best guest blogging opportunities is the place to start for building links to your blog/website. Here is a quick step-by-step way to go about building links through guest blogging:
1. Build a blogging portfolio
Before you can approach blog owners and ask them to let you guest blog for them, you need to have something to show for yourself. Building a portfolio is a must to establish the quality of your work when you reach out to them. It will increase the chances of them saying yes to you.
If your company owns a blog, for example, make sure you have posted a good number of quality articles on it. You can use them as samples when you are reaching out to other websites.
What do I mean by quality? A detailed, well-researched, evidence-based, and insightful piece will make a quality post.
2. Research guest blogging opportunities
When you think you have enough blogging experience and enough number of posts to show, start looking for guest blogging opportunities.
Here are some points to remember:
- Make sure that the blogs you pick are of interest to your potential customers.
- Research a handful of keywords you want to be ranked for and check if any blogs/websites address these keywords.
- Keep a document with the list of potential guest post opportunities and track them continuously.
3. List out relevant topic ideas
It is important to have a good number of blog post ideas ready. That way when you reach out to the blog owner you will have some topic ideas right up your sleeve.
It is important to keep two things in mind while looking for topic ideas:
- The topic ideas should be relevant to the type of blogs you want to pitch to. For example, you can’t pitch a project management post idea to a sales blog.
- They should also be relevant to you or to your customers. If you write about topics in which your prospects will have no interest, you are wasting your effort.
4. Reach out to blog owners
In the document where you compiled the list of blogs you want to approach, maintain a column for the contact details of the blog owners. Reaching out is a pivotal point to securing the guest blogging opportunity.
Here are some tips you would do well to keep in mind:
- Write a well-crafted outreach email that is sure to get you a response.
- Be straight about the purpose of the email. Tell them that you want to guest blog on their website – don’t beat around the bush.
- If possible, reach out to them with a finished article. You will have a better shot at getting it published.
Remember that most blog owners are happy to get free content and will readily give you a link to your blog/website in exchange.
5. Optimize your guest post
First off, craft your guest post well. Include all the keywords you want to be ranked for but also ensure that they are relevant – don’t just dump them.
Start creating the content as soon you get a reply from the blog owner and submit the guest post to them in a timely fashion (preferably as a word document). Another important thing to remember is to make sure that the content is an original creation. Plagiarism is not taken lightly by blog owners or the search engines.
Now to the most important part: while writing the article, fish out 1-2 links to your blog or to your website and find a place to fit them in the article. Even better if you can make sure that you link to the keywords. But the key point to remember here is that you have to be subtle about it and not at all sound self-promotional. This is your perfect chance to design a traffic-driving inbound link.
Also, make sure you have a 2-sentence byline with a link to your website so that people who want to learn more about you will have a way to do so.
Ensure that you share all your guest posts on your social networks to maximize their impact.
6. Make sure to track your efforts and results
Invest in analytics to make sure you can track the visits, leads and SEO results from your guest posts. In addition to the link building value to SEO, you will also see other benefits as readers click on the links and visit your blog and website.
Keeping track of these results can help you adjust your strategy. For example, if you see that guest blogging on sales-focused websites isn’t bringing in much result, you can reduce your effort there and focus it elsewhere.
You can always buy links, but perfecting the art of guest blogging is the best way to create attractive inbound links. This is because guest blogging opportunities have many advantages besides link building; it can increase your reputation and boost your brand name, grow your blogging reach and social media exposure and more. Also, buying links and dumping them in random articles will look too self-promotional and will lack authenticity. Hence, it will fail to attract your readers – they can always sense click baits.
4 Blogging Lessons Learned in Bali
I have spent over a year collectively on the Island of the Gods.
Bali is a special place.
This popular island in Indonesia teaches you 4 clear blogging success lessons too.
Let’s dive in guys.
1: Expect the Unexpected
During a house sit at a huge villa in Jimbaran I:
- faced down and helped slay a spitting cobra
- dealt with a chicken killing dog
- lost 2 of the pets (1 to cancer and 1 to likely thievery)
This list could go on forever. From this sit alone.
Bali is a fun, fascinating and sometimes wild place. Like most developing places; you never know what waits around the corner.
I am writing this guest post because the security certificate expired on my blog. I had no idea this would happen right now. Completely unexpected. But being a blogger for 10 years I know to expect the unexpected.
When my developer wakes up he addresses it and we move forward. Until then I am at peace with my blog being down. No worries. Part of the blogging game.
Expect the unexpected with your blog guys. It will happen.
2: Learn to Celebrate Everything
Balinese are an appreciative people who celebrate everything.
Staff at the villa in Jimbaran regularly took off for ceremonies, celebrating everything from cell phones, to papayas, to motorbikes.
Even cremation ceremonies are lavish, eye-popping celebrations of life and death.
Appreciate it all with your blog. Wins, losses, and all in between. Celebrating it all makes you appreciative of the internet lifestyle.
I celebrated big wins and tough losses because all these experiences made me I am the blogger I am today.
3: Step Away from the Herd to Be Heard and Seen
Kuta is a tourist trap. Ubud town center can be a bit too much.
But the rice fields well outside of Ubud and the Bukit region of the island are authentic, colorful, peaceful gems.
My wife Kelli and I stand out from many other bloggers because we tend to stay in more remote areas of the island. Even in the popular fishing village of Jimbaran we did a house sit in off the grid farm country and rented a place up in the hills, away from the heavily touristed bay. Our experiences are authentic; not many tourists in Kuta facing down spitting cobras.
Blog in your voice. Tell your story. Be genuine. Blog from the heart.
Step away from the blogging herd. All success lies well away from the herd of bloggers in your niche who tend to follow each other like blogging sheeple, blogging in 3rd person voice and never sharing authentic experiences.
4: The Best Experiences Happen Outside of Your Comfort Zone
We rented a villa in the rice fields outside of Ubud once.
We had to ride a motorbike 5 minutes into the rice fields to reach the villa.
Save 1 other human living on the other side of the compound no people existed for miles around.
The experience was amazing. Once in a lifetime deal. But we had to get used to snakes slithering inside of the house, using an open air bathroom as huge fruit bats flew over your head at 2 AM and roaches, mosquitoes and other insects regularly shacking up inside of the crib.
I would never trade in this amazingly fun, freeing and brilliant experience but of course I felt terrified at times. Definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
A bit before 10 PM on a Wednesday night I’d be comfortable in bed. But since my site is down for a bit now I nudge myself outside of my comfort zone to write this blog post. All part and parcel with being a full time blogger who renders generous service for his readers.
All of my biggest blogging wins occurred because I went the extra mile; even if doing so felt highly uncomfortable.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Your greatest blogging success occurs well outside of your comfort zone.
What blogging lessons have you learned recently?
Top 5 Most Competitive Niches for Bloggers
Finding the perfect niche is like a unicorn for many bloggers. The right mix of passion and competitiveness can be found in the most surprising places and isn’t always clear until you’re already well on your way. But the good news is that the harder you look, the closer you get — which is a cliche, but surprisingly true in this case. So before you give up on your dream of creating content about knitting dog pajamas or anthropomorphized helicopters, start by having a look at what niches are the most competitive at the moment.
Most blogs earn their money through affiliation. The good thing about affiliation is that it doesn’t require you to focus on one particular brand, unlike sponsorships. You’re free to place links in your content or not. And to write whatever you like about the brand in question. Money is earned through reader engagement, not through passive exposure.
Of course, the most coveted and stereotypical blogging dream niche is travel. Who would turn down reviewing hotels in the Caribbean or exciting jungle safaris? Only a few bloggers get to do this, however, but there are still a lot of sub-niches that are easy to get into and earn well in. Local guides and localized content is a great way to find perfect fits for valuable affiliation links and you can even make direct content advertising if you ask. The future is definitely localized.
Making content about gambling is often as much about search engine optimization as affiliation links. This has made reviews and guides extremely competitive, but creating content only for SEO purposes can be a little monotonous. More localized information in a specific niche like mobile gambling makes mobile-casino.ca a perfect example of how to stay competitive without losing quality.
Health & Fitness
For ethically minded bloggers, this niche can be a minefield. Health and fitness bloggers can benefit from having a blog of their own in many ways — such as keeping themselves healthy and fit, while also inspiring others in the process. This niche market is also filled with misinformation, dangerous recommendations and straight up lies. Are you the one to finally inform readers about the one true way to stay healthy or get fit? Joking aside, whether you’re a zealot or a skeptic, there are affiliation networks for you. Just include a source or two, please.
Including this niche might be cheating. It can cover so much — but that doesn’t mean that your blog should. Specialised content that you’re both passionate and informed about can be very valuable for direct ads. Everyone has some kind of lifestyle niche they’re focused on, whether it be simple admin improvement or urban hiking. Find out if readers are interested in the topic, either directly or related, before you go all in, though.
With how competitive blogging is, blogs that explain how to succeed are more popular than ever. You’re reading one right now and you could write your own very easily. You don’t have to be the best or the most insightful to write an inspiring blog about blogging — it’s more useful than you think to write down what works and what doesn’t in your own humble experience. You can be an expert in learning.
Have you noticed any commonalities yet? If you look hard enough in any niche, you’ll learn enough to create content with a fresh and exciting take. And that’s the current trend for being competitive: Being both subjective and informed; localized and aware of international trends.
Do You Really Know Your Readers?
See the featured image up top guys?
I know readers dig my eBook. Said readers dig my paperback too.
Enter this featured image. I use similar images frequently on Blogging From Paradise. Smart way to appeal to my audience.
But during lean years I did not know my readers because I:
- did not listen to my readers
- did not ask my readers questions
- did not spot my reader’s pain points
- did not read my reader’s comments carefully
- did not spot patterns among my readers
Eventually I woke up. Easy to see this now. But back in the day I had a hellish time owning the fact that I did not know my readers.
Reader Red Flags
You do not know your readers if:
- traffic stalls or disappears
- blogging profits stall or disappear
- engagement dies on your blog
- nobody seems to reach out to you on social media
These are a few red flags guys. Own the flags. Honestly. Owning your mistakes is one quick way to turn things around, to free yourself of this common blogging error.
Do You Know Your Readers?
I mean; do you really know your blog readers? Be genuine before you answer the question.
I know my readers incredibly well now because every blog post, video or podcast I create meets their needs. No guess work, no writing and publishing because I want to write and publish a post and certainly no off topic posting here, on Blogging From Paradise or any place where I guest post.
The other day one of my blogging buddies endorsed my paperback with a YouTube review. In addition to feeling grateful I tuned into one other idea; his endorsement, emails from other book customers and smiling selfies from other book customers alerted me to the fact that my readers are beginning to buy my paperback too, in addition to my eBook. I published a post linking to my paperback and explaining how my book solves pressing blogging problems after spotting this pattern.
I know my readers better and better each passing day because I listen to my readers more closely each passing day. As everything expands with my blogging campaign I find it easier and easier to help folks, to come up with blog post ideas and to know my content hits the mark because blogging with my readers in mind has been the simplest way to connect with these folks.
Your blog is for you and your readers. Never forget this fact. Never forget that if you write just for yourself you are publishing a cyber diary. No need for anyone to read a blog if the blog does not solve their problems.
Knowing your readers genuinely requires you to be:
Listen to the latest podcast interview I did with Alonzo Pichardo on his Sound Cloud channel:
He has invited me to chat on his highly popular channel – with over 300,000 listens between only 8 episodes.
Alonzo is a master at spotting the most pressing issues of his audience. My readers also suffer from problems related to these topics. Naturally, as he shares and builds his impressive tribe and as I build my tribe, we have well over a quarter of a million listens between only 8 podcast episodes.
If you get to really know your readers and patiently hit the mark with your content, over years, 10 listens becomes 100 listens, then 100 becomes 1000, then 1000 becomes 10,000 listens, then 10,000 becomes 100,000 listens, and upward from there.
Develop an intimate bond with your readers guys. Poll them. Email them, asking how you can help them.
Much of your blogging success rests on knowing clearly what your reader wants so you can serve it up to them.
Listen. Ask. Observe.
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