So there you are running your business, coffee in hand, making plans, connections, and having regular a-ha moments about what you could do to get your business in front of the right customers. Then it dawns on you, your website doesn’t even grace the first few pages of Google for any of your biggest money-making terms!
Naturally you start to fret, stress, and ponder ways to fix this. After all, ranking on Google is one of the easiest ways to double your sales (or make any at all!), gain new life-long customers, and get the traffic flowing to your site.
So you start to consider your options…
Should you hire a SEO consultant that will charge you thousands every month, only to have them fill your head with hard-to-grasp technical jargon about Google’s algorithm? Or should you suck it up, fork out the cash, and buy your way onto page 1 of Google?
What if there was a way you could grace page 1 and make more money, without having to spend heaps on it?
Lucky for you, there is. It’s called guest blogging!
I know, it’s not as glamorous as Mashable spotlighting your product or Tim Ferriss tweeting out your link as his new favorite go-to life hack, but it is mad effective, and hot damn, it’s free!
Now why should you listen, care, or even adhere to a regular schedule of guest blogging?
Allow me to elaborate.
What the Heck is Guest Blogging?
Simply put, guest blogging is the process of writing high-quality, original content for another relevant website within your industry in the interest of garnering a link back to your site.
However, it’s not all about the links—although that is quite possibly the greatest benefit—it’s also about building your email list, social following, and making more sales.
So, how can you use guest blogging to do all of the above? Get your pen and paper ready (do people still use those?) because your brain is about to explode with ideas.
Sashay Your Way on to Page 1
Attaining that coveted page 1 presence is quite possibly the greatest benefit of guest blogging, in my opinion.
Because guest blogging is one of the most effective, and Google slap-proof ways of building high-quality, permanent links to your site. These are links you can use to rank for particular keywords on Google using targeted anchor text, directed either towards a certain page on your site, or your homepage.
All you have to do is identify which keywords are most profitable to your website and then work them into your anchor text within your bio.
Just do me a favor and use keywords that actually make sense and can seamlessly fit into an author bio. That means choosing a keyword such as “buy Samurai swords online” and not “Samurai swords online buy”.
You know, if your business is selling Samurai swords…and if it is, I want to know you.
From Links to List-Building
We have all heard it: “The money is in the list,” but how many of you ever thought you could use guest blogging to build your email list?
I’ll admit, when I first started guest posting for sites I was solely there for the link. I didn’t care if anyone clicked on it because my main focus was anchor text and quantity.
I was strictly there to rank and bank.
The thing is, I was missing out on a huge opportunity staring me right in the face, giving me the stank eye for outright ignoring it: My email list.
Once I finally wizened up to the fact that I could use those few sentences I was allotted within my bio to not only link to my site, but to tease my opt-in offer, I started looking for ways to lure in potential subscribers.
I started brainstorming a list of phrases I could use within my bio to encourage readers to click my link and sign up to my newsletter to claim their free gift. I got salacious, mysterious, and direct.
I also started testing out linking directly to a squeeze page where they would just see a sign up form that teased my free offer. At first I wondered how many sign ups this could possibly encourage. I mean, who would want to just be sent to an opt-in page?
After 14 sign ups off one post I knew I had stumbled onto yet another serious benefit of guest posting, and one that didn’t have me solely relying on Google.
With that being said, you will want to make sure your opt-in offer is worth signing up for and doesn’t just boast “free updates” because let’s face it, free updates are the least compelling reason to sign up to a newsletter, ever. So stop it. Right this minute.
From Subscribers to Sales
Now that we’ve determined you can use guest blogging to both dominate Google and build your email list, let’s talk money. And more specifically, you making it. Lots of it.
When it comes to guest blogging, your biggest advantage is that you get to choose which sites you want to pitch your ideas to. That means you should be aligning yourself with other websites (a.k.a. your competition!) that are in the exact same niche as you.
And that means that you can use your beloved author bio to drive direct traffic to a product review, services, sales page, or even a particular product’s page where customers can purchase it right then and there.
But before you even ask it, yes this is possible. Not only is it possible, but it happens all the time.
In fact, when we first started using guest blogging to promote our skincare site we would link directly to one of our product review pages.
Now this had a two-fold effect: Not only was I using a specific keyword in my anchor text (ultimately ranking higher in Google for that keyword and beating out my competition), but we were making direct sales through that review because I linked to a product that was highly relevant to the topic I had just written on.
Within one month we had gone from making 2 sales a month from that one site to over $1100.
Fast forward four months and we had our site generating over $5200 a month. One year later and we hit the five figure a month mark—strictly through strategic guest blogging.
Sure, it may not be a quick cash strategy, but guest blogging is one of those high-leverage tasks that not only helps you rank, but helps you bank…the big bucks.
If your website could use a little link love, a surge of subscribers, or a boost to your bottom line consider incorporating guest blogging into your weekly to-do list.
Trust me, your business will never be the same and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t started sooner.
Jill is a wanderluster and lifestyle business owner who is hell-bent on teaching others how to harness the potent power of guest posting in their online business to own the top spot on Google, create a list of loyal subscribers, and make more money than ever before. Sign up for her free video training series and learn how this strategy can work for any online business—whether you’re an e-commerce expert, a personal brand, or simply a Samui sword dealer.
Image credit: CC by Frontierofficial