Let’s be careful not to get confused about the marketing term known as guest blogging. A guest blog, literally, is a any blog you write, under your own name, for another blog.
That’s easy enough to understand, right? But take into account that there are different strategies on how to use guest blogging to increase your brand. If you want to increase sales, here are the six secrets that can really help you:
Join an affiliate network
If you are a travel blogger who has built up a solid, engaged audience, consider looking for an affiliate network. I first observed these during a research project where I noticed several big-name travel writers giving shout outs to each other.
Once accepted by an affiliate network in your blogging niche, you agree to link to/mention the people in your network, and they mention you. That’s it. Everyone in the network is required to give a certain number of mentions to their affiliates, and vice versa.
Always get a byline and a linkback
If you aren’t being paid for your work, you should at least get a link back to your website, and an author’s biography attached to your name. This way, anyone reading can find you and read or support your other work.
Be weary of guest blogging opportunities that don’t provide something in return; these are just companies looking for free content from unsuspecting writers.
Do not promote to your list unless it’s relevant to your list
Make sure that you are very careful about only promoting guest opportunities that are relevant to your audience. Otherwise, this will weaken their expert opinion of you (and you might create complacency by bombarding them with too much content.)
Give link love to get link love
You have to be willing to give away a shot of your Google juice by mentioning other businesses and their relevant blog posts on your blog. In exchange, hopefully you get a little link karma and someone links to your blog, too.
Only play with others who “get it”
I cannot stress enough that you never want to waste your time with new, greedy companies who aren’t going to offer a valuable service to you in return for your guest blogging.
If they don’t promote you, or your posts, but expect you to promote them, they don’t get it. Sometimes, when a guest post is paid, it’s actually a gimmick for the company to get you to promote them to your audience.
Now, do you think they’ll hire you again? Do you think there’s any long-term privilege to that $50 in your pocket? (Psst – the answer is not really!)
Be completely transparent about your intentions
If you were paid to write an article or paid to promote it to your people, you should tell them. A lot of travel writing can be bothersome for this very reason; the writers are given free stays or perks in exchange for writing positively about a hotel. (Trust me, it’s not a ‘beautiful gem nestled in the side of a mountain.’)
The true secret to guest blogging is simply that you need to use it as one strategy within your marketing plan to increase your brand awareness and get link backs to your website.
Follow our advice as part of that strategy and you’ll be on your way to increasing sales in no time at all.