When marketers learned how to leverage on guest blogging as a way to promote their own blogs and websites, it somehow morphed into something most would consider spammy. Instead of being a mutually beneficial way to market brands and offer valuable content, it became nothing more than a vehicle for aggressive promotional efforts.

However, I believe this should be put into context. Guest blogging, when used solely as a link building technique is no longer effective. Search engine algorithms are quick to pick up on these little tricks that try to circumvent rules that demand quality from our articles. On the other hand, guest blogging, when it’s meant to inform, educate, and provide relevant information to its audience is just as effective as ever.

It’s all hinged on your ability to write guest posts the right way. Here’s a brief guide on how you can do just that.

1. Don’t get in over your head—start small

Here’s the thing to keep in mind when it comes to guest posting—when your content is well-researched and well-written, guest blogging is a marketing technique that can benefit everyone involved. To that end, if you’re a relatively unknown entity and want to contribute material to a major, high-traffic online site, you’re very likely to get ignored.

I recommend that you start by reaching out to smaller but highly-targeted blogs in your niche. They may have a smaller readership, but you’ll be reaching high-quality leads that already have an interest in your field or industry. Once you gain a steady stream of publishing credits from these smaller sites, you can slowly work your way towards bigger, more prominent publications.

2. Perfect your pitch

A big part of getting your post published on a relevant site is based on your ability to pitch. While there’s no cut and dried way to approach this, there are a few guidelines that you can consider. For example—you can start by making sure that you make a connection and approach them in a friendly, personable way. Address them by their first names in your email. Do your homework and learn about their site’s objectives and tailor your pitch to meet their needs.

3. Establish credibility and offer social proof

Nobody likes a showoff. However, if there was ever an opportunity for you to present your accomplishments and credibility, this would be it. Editors need to know if you’ve had previous guest posting experience. They want to know if you have a sizable audience that you can bring to their site.

They want to know as much about you as you do about them. Make it easier for them find references that let your accomplishments shine. Provide links to previous guest posts you’ve done, to all your social media platforms, and link back to your website.

4. Be explicit about what you bring to the table

As I mentioned, guest posting has to be mutually beneficial. You have to make a specific and pointed connection on how your post can benefit their website as well. Is your product or service related to something that their readers want? Is your post going to address a question that their audience wants answers to? Detail how and why you can address this for them in your post.

5. Pay attention to relevance and quality

This almost goes without saying, but let me end with this to really drive the point home: don’t let the quality and relevance of your post be an afterthought. Your primary reason for writing a guest post is still about providing great, readable, and shareable content for a new audience. Its ability to boost your profile and increase brand awareness is just a great by-product of your efforts.

Guest blogging is an effective strategy that should definitely be added to your digital marketing efforts. So, make sure you approach it with these guidelines in mind. If you need more help, reach out to me at Leadspanda and we can figure out how we can approach your guest blogging efforts for better results.