After a few weeks of starting your online business, you realize that guest blogging is the next big content marketing strategy. So, you jump right at it. You place your feet in a churning bowl of water and then go on a 7 day writing boot camp. With up to 50 guest posts in your arsenal, you start submitting them to bloggers who, lucky for you, actually accept them.
Then you wait….and wait some more.
Yes you get traffic, but only 5% actually become subscribers. After 3 months, 3% of these subscribers eventually unsubscribe after realizing that your business wasn’t for them. To make things worse, only 0.5% actually buy your product. They try it for a few weeks and then ask for a refund.
How bad can it get?
In my opinion, you didn’t do anything wrong by writing tens of guest posts for your business. But what went wrong was your strategy.
In any business, you only get results when your input and process are intact. In this case, your process wasn’t. Here are 5 tweaks you can make to ensure you get the best results from your guest blogging efforts.
# 1. Redefine your one customer so your content becomes targeted
Every business has a customer. But the question is, “how well do you know yours?”
Regardless of the marketing strategy you use, if your banner ads, PPC campaigns or guest posts aren’t targeted at your one customer, then you’ll get pathetic results.
Knowing the geographical and psycho-graphical details of your customers will go a long way in helping you craft content that converts just the way you want. You probably think you already know who your ideal customer is, but does this customer of yours have a specific age, a name, a hobby, a business or favorite kind of movie? If you still don’t have these details, then stop writing any more content.
There’s no point developing a product for people who don’t exist. So take a break, develop a detailed one customer profile and then get to work writing content.
# 2. Write for targeted blogs to streamline your strategy
You can’t write for targeted blogs if you don’t have a reason for guest posting. Before writing any more guest posts, you need to determine whether you want just backlinks, traffic or new subscribers. If it’s just backlinks, then writing for just any blog with good search engine rankings would work out fine.
However, if your reason is for new subscribers, then you really need to step up your game. Your fist step would be to find blogs whose readers have the traits of your ideal customer. Not just any blog, but A-list blogs with “colonies” of readers, waiting to obey your every wish (which will include, “sign up on my list”).
The key here is not to just find blogs with lots of readers, but blogs with lots of readers who can become potential customers for your business. You need an audience that is ready to pay for whatever you have to offer.
Regardless of your niche, Technorati and Alltop are good resources for getting such blogs. They both contain hundreds of A-list blogs in various niches that are willing to accept your content (not crappy content by the way).
# 3. Write compelling content that improves your conversion rates
Finding targeted blogs isn’t the end. Your guest post needs to perform a specific task which is – convert traffic into subscribers or buyers. With this in mind, writing just any kind of content will give you any kind of subscriber who’ll not spend a dime in purchasing your products.
Your focus should be to write compelling content:-
- Compelling content has to be fascinating,
- must talk directly to your target audience,
- outline a problem and must provide a solution.
- Most importantly, it must prove that you can help them with whatever problem they have.
If the content you create lacks any of these 5 ingredients, don’t expect ground breaking conversions. If you realize that “engraving” these ingredients into your guest posts is like writing a PhD thesis, then get help. It can’t be simpler than that.
# 4. Streamline your call to action in a way that makes readers click
On most blogs, the call to action is always in the brief author bio at the end of the post. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs fill this spot with their qualifications and unrelated products descriptions.
As a reader, I really don’t care whether you’re the CEO of your internet business or whether your book has sold millions of copies. All I’m concerned about after reading your article is, “how can you help me achieve this solution?” This is the question you should answer your call to action.
So, how do you do this? Simple!
You can offer a free eBook or webinar and ensure you let them know that it directly solves the problem outlined in the article (they can’t read your mind). Or, you could otherwise refer them to a free resource post on your blog that moves them a step closer towards the solution they want. Just ensure that whatever you’re referring them to is packed with unquestionable value.
Another point to take note of is that ensure your Call to Action is directly related to the title and subject of that post. You can check my author bio and Call to Action to know what I mean.
# 5. Track your strategy to find what works
It’s totally impossible to know that something doesn’t work if you don’t test it out.
Tracking the results from your guest blogging campaign does just one thing- it helps remove the guess work. You’ll get to know just how well your guest posts are doing.
During the whole tracking process, you’ll realize that some posts worked better than others. Find out what exactly you did in these posts that made them convert. Then implement your discovery in subsequent posts that you write. It’s a simple rinse and repeat process.
The best way to know the effectiveness of your guest posts is to know how viral each one went:-
- Compare the social share counts,
- the number of comments,
- the kinds of comments (negative and positive feedback alike)
- as well as the traffic back to your Squeeze Page or blog.
- Also look out for blogs that made a pingback to that specific guest post.
How would you like to write lots of guest posts, create lots of products and then get bankrupt in the process? I don’t think you want that. But it happens, especially to entrepreneurs who don’t focus on making their guest blogging campaign effective.
Nothing feels better than having a decent number of new subscribers who buy your products at even the highest price possible. But first, you’ve got to pass your guest blogging strategy through the five checkpoints in this post. You’ll be better off for it.
What guest blogging methods have you used lately that seem to give you results? I’d love to know.
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