If you are new to blogging, your main aim may be to just gain links fast and build traffic to your blog. Or, you may be posting at a vehemently fast rate in order to turn your blog into a vast reservoir of quality articles.
In this post, I would like to ask you to stop doing that for a moment.
First ask yourself, what’s your aim in getting more traffic? Is it to sell an e-book, or make cash via affiliate marketing and/or advertisements?
Well, for any of those functions including any other means to make money via blogging, what you need the most is trust.
This trust should come from your customers.
After all, why should anyone buy a product recommended by you, if they don’t trust you? And for that very reason, you need brand awareness, that is you need to brand yourself as an authority in your niche.
There are several ways to go about doing that but the easiest and the most effective way of doing that is getting your name on several top publications.
Yeah, you guessed right. I am talking about guest blogging. Writing for numerous publications is the fastest and the best way of increasing your exposure to the online community.
So, how do you start guest posting?
The Beginner’s Guide to Branding
You may have noticed that in this article, the title could have been “Why and how to guest post”, but it isn’t. You will soon see the reason why, but before that let’s get going.
If you are new to the blogosphere, then before you start guest posting, it is better you jot down a few posts on your blog. After that, it becomes much easier to pitch sites and get a successful reply in terms of sending your contributions.
Do not send low-quality articles or spinned articles to these websites as then you stand the chance of having your article rejected. Or, even if it gets published, it may work adversely in your aim to brand yourself.
Getting do-follow links are of course important and guest posting is a great way to build links and hone your SEO game. But, they shouldn’t be your only objective. Even if a website does not permit do-follow links, you should, by all means, contribute to it, if it has got a low Alexa rank.
After you land a few guest posts, it only becomes easier. If site-owners trust you, they begin to publish your articles without even seeing them. And, you can cite your guest posts to land upon even more guest posts.
The Advanced Guide to Branding
Now that you have built a small online reputation, what could be next?
Well, now it is time to exploit the very famous HARO, acronym for Help A Reporter Out.
This is a service which connects reporters with people looking to get some backlinks, exposure or media love. All you have to do is just sign up and it will send you queries asked by journalists, bloggers of reputed media outlets.
You stand the chance of sending them pitches to their queries and if they like it, they may include it in their articles. For someone to get a backlink from sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur magazine, it can be nerve-rackingly difficult; fortunately, HARO makes it very easy!
There are quite a few guides as to how you can rock HARO. This is in fact, a technique recommended by famed SEO expert Brian Dean.
The Expert Guide to Branding
Now that you (hopefully) have landed a few guest posts and regularly try to receive exposure by pitching via HARO, we may jump onto the next step, which is getting on the radar of top-notch bloggers.
The best way to do it is actually a three-stepped process –
- Regularly comment on their blog posts.
- Mention them in your tweets and like and comment their tweets.
- Create an expert-roundup and ask them for their opinions.
Let’s elaborate these steps.
Who doesn’t like to see a large number of comments in their blog posts? It creates a discussion and brings recurring traffic to the post.
But, there are certain ways to do it. Putting backlinks into the blog post is downright spammy. Never do it.
Commenting stuff like “Great post”, “Amazing article” etc are very irritating.
But, writing something thoughtful and expressing your opinion on the article is something that bloggers love.
Put in some thoughtful comments and engage them on Twitter because Twitter is like the hangout place for all bloggers!
Mention them in a tweet. Like their tweets. Share their tweets.
Don’t do it all in one day because then you come across as spammy but when you do it in intervals weekly, the blogger does take notice.
And that’s when you ask him the question you have been waiting for!
You create an expert roundup and ask him for his opinion for your upcoming article. When the article goes live, inform him and ask him to share. When he shares the article, you will get an amazing exposure in front of all his audience.
And that will make you an authority in your niche!
Have any questions? Put it down in the comments or connect with me on Twitter.