Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, or marketer by trade, two of your core business goals are without a doubt increasing the size of your audience and driving more revenue for your company.
Like it or not, you have to market yourself, and it helps to understand exactly how you can be most effective in utilizing your time and resources as a marketer.
Today, marketers have a very diverse audience growth toolkit with a wide variety of options. All have varying degrees of success, and their own unique sets of pros and cons. If you subscribe to content marketing as I do, then you’re dealing with a lot of long-forms blog posts, infographics, case studies, and of course guest posting.
One of the biggest problems I face as a content marketer is how to allocate my time (which I write about frequently). There are so many productive ways for marketers and entrepreneur to spend time growing our audiences, that choosing the absolute most effective avenue can be a struggle.
This is where guest blog posting comes in. In the past couple of years, I’ve found guest posting to be one of the strongest drivers of both new audience and revenue for my online course business.
On the morning of August 18th, I published 10 Steps to Starting a Business While Working Full-Time on Inc, as a guest post through a contributing editor whom I’ve developed a good relationship with over the years. During the next 5 days, that post drove 630 new email subscribers through my online course waiting lists, content downloads, and blog subscribes widgets.
Here’s a screenshot of the Mixpanel event tracking on my website. The first column is how many page views (2,652) were driven directly from Inc, over the course of the 5 days after my post was published, and the second column is the number of new email subscribers from Inc (630), that I generated within that same time frame.
What’s even more important to note, than just the number of email subscribers I acquired, is the extremely high conversion rate (23.76%) for the new visitors that Inc was driving to my website.
I’ve been guest posting for reputable online publications and industry blogs for quite a while, but no single guest post had ever elicited that strong of a return on my email list building in such a short period of time. So, why was this post so particularly powerful?
In short, there was a very clear match for the content I had created for Inc’s audience, and what was being represented on the pages I was driving visitors back to on ryrob.com. There was high intent from the visitors that were clicking over to my website, and I was delivering on their expectations.
My guest post chronicled a brief overview of my 10 steps to starting a business while working, that I developed from my experiences starting 4 different businesses while fully employed or in school.
Within that post, I frequently linked back to a more in-depth version of each of those 10 steps, within the content that lives on my blog. Each person who was interested in learning more about a particular step in my process of launching a business while working was able to very quickly and easily get more actionable insights for free on my blog.
I also linked multiple times, directly to highly targeted landing pages for my online course, Starting a Business While Working, and the free downloadable PDF worksheets available on my blog.
Those who were clicking through to download my PDF worksheets were clicking on text links that promised very quick self-assessments that would point them in the right direction for how to get started with their business ideas. Here’s a screenshot of my landing page for the Entrepreneur’s Skill Assessment Worksheet that drove just under half of those new email subscribers from Inc.
This page is designed to do one thing, and one thing only: convince a visitor that exchanging their email address for this downloadable PDF will be worthwhile.
Check out these tips for conversion optimizing your landing pages.
You’ll see I reinforce at the top of the page, that this is a free download, and that you’ll be able to get instant access to it once you enter your email address. For social proof, I include the number of others who’ve downloaded this worksheet (5,934+ as of this week) and reinforce what they’ll learn from downloading this sheet. Finally, an image of the actual worksheet is visible, showing people exactly how close they are to picking this up.
By shortening my conversion funnel and sending traffic straight to this email opt-in page, rather than dumping them on my homepage and hoping they’ll magically sign up for my content, I’m significantly maximizing the mileage I get out of a guest post. By setting very clear expectations of what visitors get in exchange for entering their email address, I’m consistently able to achieve these high conversion rates across the board on all of my signup pages.
What’s even better about this guest post is that it took me about 30 minutes to put it together, great utilization of my time as a content marketer.
With this guest post on Inc, it was a shortened version of my 5,000-word post on the same topic, which lives back on my personal website. Because the post had done so well with my audience, and it was evident from the 600+ social shares displayed at the top of the article, my contact at Inc knew that it would go over well with their audience in a more shortened form where their visitors have much shorter attention spans.
I’m a huge proponent of repurposing my blog posts and getting as much out of them as possible. Once I publish an in-depth blog post (several thousands of words in length) on my website, I’ll start breaking down each section of that long post, and craft smaller, uniquely-written individual blog posts to seed out through my contributor networks.
This is a win-win because the publications and blogs I write for are still getting unique, high-quality
So, if you haven’t tried guest posting for your business yet, now is the time. Pick a strong piece of content you’ve already created, rewrite it with the same basic principles (or peel off one or two core points from it), and try pitching it to some contributing editors of publications where your audience spends time online. It’s well worth the time investment.