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A Quick Start Guide to Getting the Most from Guest Posting

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We greatly value the work of guest bloggers on this blog as they have contributed some of the blog’s best content; however, it is important to manage the guest writers correctly for the benefit of both us and them.  Below are the top fifteen points to help you get the most out of guest blogging.

A guest blogger can be a highly useful asset, particularly since we have a small editorial team and need to produce large amounts of content.  The majority of the articles on this blog are written by the editorial team, but other content contributions come from elsewhere in the company and from guest bloggers.  

Using guest bloggers we are able to obtain various perspectives on digital issues from others who are ‘in the field’ from clients and agencies.  Furthermore, the guest blogger can become a ‘cheerleader’ for the blog promoting the content to their own networks. In short, the guest blogger can be valuable and significant for different blogs.

How Can I Get The Most From A Guest Blogger?

For a blog’s editor, the trick to getting the most from a guest blogger is to make the correct choices.  This is not always simple, but here is how I try to achieve this task:

1 – Ask For Ideas

If the blogger has a track record of blogging, this can be helpful because you can review the quality of his or her writing.  If not, then it is recommended that you request that the potential guest blogger submit ideas for articles they wish to write for your site.  This will also allow you to offer early feedback for the individual.

2 – Agree On Different Topics And Themes In Advance

One problem facing several bloggers working on a single site is that, while all people want to write about social media and content marketing, there are often gaps in the less ‘glamorous’ areas including affiliate marketing.  By agreeing on topics in advance, you will help the guest blogger locate their niche on your blog and assist in avoiding any duplicate content.

3 – Be Selective

Given the vast amount of guest blogging offers we receive, it is essential that we are selective.  In fact, the volume of submissions makes it more challenging to respond to all the requests and sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff.

I can now understand Bas van den Beld’s frustration regarding guest blogging and his decision deny future submissions for guest blogging positions.  While we do not want to stop accepting applicants, the number of low-quality requests for guest blogging is becoming annoying.

So, my advice in this situation is to only accept the guest posts that you know will be good and of interest to your target audience.  While you cannot tell if the content is good until the individual submits a post, do not be afraid to reject the post or request rewrites.

4 – Setting Standards

We are sent numerous articles regularly which are obviously written as a means of ticking the guest post box and not to submit an article of substance.  I have seen various posts that are 400 or 500 words, but only words of waffle with very little true content. This does not work and will portray the blogger in a poor light.

When discussing guest blogging it is important that you make it clear what the quality level is regarding content for the site.

5 – Setting Expectations

I have been referring writers to lists similar to this whereby we explain our guest blogging criteria; however, I am creating a new checklist as it is clear that certain people are not reading the original list.  

It is important that you make your blogging expectations clear from the beginning because this will allow people to make informed decisions as to whether they want to write for your site.  If you do have expectations marked out, it should include the type of content you want, the frequency of posting, etc. In our situation, we require insight and best practice tips from our guest bloggers, not infographics, interviews or news articles.

6 – Promoting The Use Of Pictures

Believe it or not, posts do look more appealing with screenshots and charts to demonstrate the points being made by guest bloggers.  The images break up the text and evidence shows that it is more likely that people will read on.  Getting guest bloggers to use pictures in these ways reduces the workload of the editor.

7 – Ensure They Know About Your Blog

While I do not expect all guest bloggers to be avid readers of our website when they begin contributing, it does help if they are familiar with the site’s content.  In fact, I would agree that the majority of our best guest bloggers have success because they understand the blog’s audience, the content, what works, and the gaps that need to be filled.  If a person arrives at your website by randomly searching for guest blogging opportunities, then it is likely that the content will be low-quality.

8 – Provide A Clear Style Guide

According to matthewwoodward.co.uk, style and formatting are highly significant to our blog and posts need to be informative, but also simple to read.  Taking these points into account, we have formed a blog style guide providing guest bloggers with content writing expectations, an example of how the posts should look, and which hateful marketing jargon they should avoid.  In fact, if I happen to see the terms ‘leverage’ or ‘paradigm’ in a guest post I can be certain that they have not read our style guide.

9 – Speaking Directly With The Guest Blogger

I do not want to dismiss all the guest blogger submissions we receive via PR agencies, but I find it helps to have a direct conversation with the blogger before accepting their content. Using this conversation, you can be sure that your points have been put across and feedback can be passed on quickly. It also ensures that the guest posts are not written by a third-party. To learn more about other blogs that accept guest posts and how to get in touch with the owner of such sites, be sure to check out this list of sites.

10 – Avoiding Any Self-Promotion

While I indicate that there will not be self-promotion with guest blogging on our website, I still receive articles containing phrases such as ‘using our industry-leading solutions’.  These are similar to press releases and, while I understand it can be difficult to pass up opportunities to talk about your own work, blatant self-promotion should be avoided entirely.

11 – Do Not Spend Too Much Time On Bloggers

While you can provide expectations for content and offer feedback on the guest posts, if the blogger does not ‘get it’ you must not be afraid to cast him or her aside.  Why waste time working with these bloggers when you could be writing your own original content.

12 – Creating An Author Biography

The standard author biography can be used for guest bloggers and this ensures that no person can require ‘juicy’ anchor text or leading SEO phrases to describe themselves as content gurus.  Our standard biography allows a guest blogger to describe their job title, the company, and offer the readers some options on how to contact them once they finish reading the article.

13 – Ensure The Articles Are Exclusive

There are several reasons why the articles must be exclusive.  Firstly, you do not want to risk the chance of producing duplicate content and facing these issues with Google.  Secondly, you do not want to use the same post that has been placed on another person’s blog.

14 – Providing Constructive Feedback

You cannot expect a guest blogger to submit perfect posts the first time, and if they wish to improve they will appreciate your feedback.  Tell them why you have changed certain items in the post and what types of things can be done to improve the next post. It can take guest bloggers several posts to gain their stride, but once they have momentum it means consistent content and less work for the editor.

If you currently have a website, blog, or online brand, be sure to start implementing these simple steps into your guest posting efforts, and you will definitely start seeing better response rates, approvals, and SEO across the board.

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Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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4 Effective Tips for Boosting Reader Engagement on Your Blog

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If you want your blog to be successful and bring good profits, you need to ensure that your posts not only attract traffic but engage the readers. To do this you’ll need to experiment with content formats, open dialog with the audience, involve influencers, and above all, understand your audience’s exact wishes.

From online videos to content creation and social media, there seems to be an endless supply of new traffic out there and different ways to pull users back to your site. With all of this in focus and on the minds of bloggers everywhere, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to boost content engagement, using many of the preferred mentions we’ve already highlighted.

4 Ways to Boost Your Blog Content Engagement Rate Fast

Post videos

Even if you don’t run a vlog, you need to post an occasional video because that’s the ‘hottest’ type of content today. Check out an aggregation of video marketing statistics offered by Forbes to see why exactly your blog needs more video content. Note that social videos generate more shares.

Live video streaming is also greatly popular today, so be sure to launch an occasional Facebook Live session to share something interesting with your followers. Then post a recording of the stream on your blog so those who missed the airing will be able to enjoy it anyway.

Research your audience in great detail

To boost reader engagement on your blog you need to understand what motivates your targeted audience to actually get into your content. You’ll need to not only consider the analytics data that will show you which of your posts are most popular. You also need to search for information on your targeted audience, such as what kind of posts are generally more popular with them.

The more precise you are in developing targeted content, the higher the reader engagement rate will be. This means that if you seek to create a diverse readership base, you might need to consider launching several websites. In that case, you’ll need to use specialized software and a hosting service that allows you to run multiple blogs. This will make managing them easier, so you’ll be able to focus on creating several posts. Bear in mind that you might be able to apply the same basic content strategy to all your blogs, even if they differ in subjects.

The differences in those strategies and individual posts will be dictated by the data you get from a detailed study of targeted audiences.

Get more influential persons involved

Influencers of any kind can help you boost reader engagement on your blog because if they promote your content, their loyal readers will want to read it themselves. You can also generate more traffic and engagement by mentioning various celebrities and popular bloggers.

A perfect example of this can be seen in one of our expert roundup posts, where 73 different online marketers and bloggers took the time to share their expertise on social media.  The benefit here wasn’t also just for our site. Each of the experts got a lot of exposure out of this, and the audience loved the content as well.

However, you’ll need to be careful if you choose to use mentions. For celebrities, you should research laws and regulations surrounding the issue. You need to be 100% sure that you won’t be sued for mentioning someone’s name or other information in your post. When you mention bloggers, you’ll need to consider those rules too as well as give them a heads up about doing this.

Having various opinion influencers popular with your target audience is a great boost to your blog and personal brand. This will also increase your reach as you’ll get an indirect contact with the influencer’s audience.

However, attracting influencers is a big challenge, especially for a blogger. You can use the tips from Neil Patel, a true marketing guru. Think carefully about how to adapt them to your situation.

Post engaging graphics

Much like with videos, you should post relevant graphics to boost reader engagement because this type of content is popular and shareable. Infographics are particularly effective for this, so be sure to create some. It will be best if your infographics have some original data on relevant topics. But, even simple step-by-step instructions can generate decent shares and likes.

Your every post should contain several images by default as they promote reader engagement and memorization. Be sure to add .GIFs as well, because these graphics are in trend now.

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Best Search Engine Marketing and SEO Practices to Follow in 2018

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Marketing often requires four basic factors: first, there should be people with unsatisfied needs; second, these people should have the desire to be satisfied; third, there should be opportunities for communication; and fourth, there should be an exchange of goods or services. A businessman with keen acumen for business opportunities would readily recognize these unsatisfied needs, build opportunities for communication with these people, and relay the service or product that could satisfy their needs. The important thing is that the prospective businessman is able to reach his target audience via good marketing strategies and tactics.

Understanding Search Engine Marketing

Marketing strategies have greatly changed since the introduction of the World Wide Web. As the Internet expands, it also provides good avenues for new marketing strategies and tactics. It also engenders new buying behavior among consumers, as contemporary consumers first search online for a product or service that they need before purchasing it. On the other hand, business owners are now required to create their own websites to be relevant online.

As highlighted in this article, writing for humans is always going to be the example to follow. It also means keeping the following SEO guidelines in mind when creating content:

  • Keep it unique. Avoid duplicating content that’s already out there. Ask yourself: what can I add to this ongoing conversation?
  • Do more research than competitor sites have done.
  • Consider all options: infographics, videos, podcasts, an interview, a step-by-step guide or even a new tool or template. 
  • Remember that longer content gets more links. If your page is supported by high-quality links, it will move up in the ranks. Although Google has stated that even a few sentences can rank, in general, you’re better off creating content that is at least 300 words or more.

One form of effective online marketing is search engine marketing. It involves website promotion aimed at increasing the visibility of your business site online. It is also designed to make your site rank higher on the search engine page results (SERP). However, this marketing form is wrought primarily through paid advertisement.

In 2007, for example, advertisers in the U.S. had spent 24.6 billion dollars on this type of marketing. Google, on the other hand, leads the pack of search engines that profited from search engine marketing. Furthermore, in the second quarter of 2015, Google got a sizeable 73.7% share of profits from search engine marketing as compared to 26.3% of Yahoo/Bing. Based on these data, search engine marketing appears to be a very profitable business that rakes billions of dollars of profit for search engines.

Social Media Marketing

Your online marketing strategies and tactics would never be complete without tapping into social media. Services like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Baidu Tieba, and LinkedIn have also been used for marketing. LinkedIn, for example, as an employment-oriented service can be used to promote your services and get more mileage for your online marketing efforts, but keep in mind that it is primarily used to establish professional networks.

Just take a look at the screenshot below and how LinkedIn can provide such great information for anyone looking for earnings and jobs reports within any specific niche market. Not only will these same results rank and appear within the search results, they are also heavily shared through social media as well.

Search Engine Optimization

Aside from search engine marketing which makes use of paid advertising, you can also make use of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is another way of expanding the online visibility of your site without necessarily paying for online advertisements. Search engines have organic or natural page results, known as SERP, and you can influence these organic results through SEO.

Not many, however, are experts in SEO. Hence, if you are a businessman who doesn’t have the know-how on SEO, you should visit BestSEOCompanies.com and search for the expert that fits your needs. If you want a reliable and trustworthy SEO specialist, this website can really help you with its list of the top 50 SEO services that you can immediately hire.

Business websites that are ranking high in the SERP usually gets two-pronged benefits. First, if your site ranks high in the SERP, chances are casual searchers will click on your website, and you can turn them immediately into actual clients. Additionally, if you get more clicks and visits from casual searchers, the search engine will further rank your website higher.

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What Is the Chief Benefit of Going the Extra Blogging Mile?

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10:15 PM on a Sunday night.

After waking at 7 AM I did an hour of yoga.

I followed up with 4 hours of blogging work.

Toss in another 4 hours of blogging work plus a 1 hour walk and some R and R, and where I am late on a Sunday night. Going the extra blogging mile.

I love blogging. Working late on a Sunday does not feel like going the extra mile because blogging feels fun to me. But putting in a bit more effort when I feel tired helps me to help more people. Going the extra blogging mile also makes me memorable in the eyes of readers.

I know other bloggers who go the extra mile.

My friend Ronald at Web SEO Marketers runs a first rate blog.

Beyond his super content though, he goes the extra blogging mile in the relationship-building department.

A few moments ago I saw this update in my stream when I logged in to Facebook:

Buying the paperback version of my blogging eBook would have been awesome in and of itself. But Ronald snapped a selfie holding the paperback, noted how he just received my book in the email and tagged me to let me know he bought my book and he’d see me in paradise.

Brilliant!

He perfectly embodies how you go the extra mile relationship building wise. Compassionate, heart-centered bloggers think of how they can help folks out. Generous folks always stick out in your mind because we resonate with people who are kind, helpful and genuine in all they do.

Being Memorable Helps Expand Your Presence

I noted Ronald’s rocking blog in this post because he is a skilled blogger, because he shouted out buying my book on Facebook and because both factors make him memorable. I could not fall asleep until I wrote this post and shouted him out because it feels fun to spread the love and to help you guys understand the chief benefit of going the extra blogging mile; people will remember you.

If people remember you they will feature you, interview you, invite you to guest post on their blog, or they will hire you or buy your stuff. As your features, interviews and guest posts increase you will appear to be all over the place in your niche, growing your business slowly and steadily until your generosity and willingness to go above and beyond results in exponential growth of your online presence.

Alonzo Pichardo embodies this type of massive growth over the long haul by going the extra mile.

Check out his Instagram account.

His follower growth and overall engagement levels are staggering, with 55,000 followers receiving Alonzo’s update on the platform.

Alonzo continues to get so many followers because he gave so much of his time, skills and expertise over the past decade. He did not attract 55,000 followers after a week of going the extra blogging mile. He generously served folks for a decade and continues to help folks even if doing so takes him late into the night, becoming more memorable to more folks around the world.

Be Patient

Be patient and persistent in creating value and building bonds. Good things take time.

You may not make a penny through your blog for 6 months after doing the right things with the right energy but you will succeed over the long haul. Every kind act is rewarded over time.

Keep helping people. Focus on the process, not on outcomes. Stay up late to write the guest post, linking in to your blogging buddies to increase their exposure. After you purchase a book, take a selfie and tag the author on social media. Think of how you can impact humanity in a generous, significant way, one friendship and one generous act at a time.

Go the extra blogging mile.

Accelerate your blogging success over the long haul.

 

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