Let's call this chapter "The importance of being visible"
You need guest blogging. And you know why? Because you (don’t need, but…) must be visible!
Let me start with a story, which leads me to the reason why I am writing this article.
I started my Design path more than 6 years ago. And in all this time I had the privilege to travel the world visiting some of the most important Design Events and meeting several Designers, famous and emerging.
I personally have a business background, so I am not a designer.
And what I immediately saw was a lack of business skills in many Designers I met. I am talking about marketing, PR and sales matters.
It was so evident to me that I felt very sorry whenever I met talented people, who could have conquered the world if they only could make a step further.
Most of the Designers I have talked with are simply great at what they do, but a few people know it. Their families and friends, mainly.
They focus all their attention on the creative process, which is perfect, but almost nothing on the second part: getting known.
The answers have always been the same: “I don’t have money for a good press office“; “I don’t know anything about marketing & PR“; “Yes, I know, but I am designer and can’t deal with this stuff“.
Let me be honest. This is bullshit.
Do you know who are the best designers? The most successful ones?
Exactly those that at one point put their face on stage, went out there and started to promote themselves. You need to sell yourself.
I want to share a “secret” with you…
Even the best product on earth needs to grab attention, otherwise it will remain a stunning masterpiece in your garage. Forever.
And I am sure you don’t want to end up like that. I know you want to conquer the scene. I know you want to be one of the best out there and leave your footprint in this world. Am I right?
Nowadays, it is very very easy to do it. You don’t need money, just a little bit of time and a clear strategy. Start to take advantage of the digital world!
Of course, you can’t be multitasking for a long period of time, otherwise you loose the control over your main objective, but…at least, learn how to do the few things that can push you further.
WHY YOU SHOULD DO GUEST BLOGGING
If you don’t have a PR/marketing partner, or you don’t want a partner, then guest blogging is the perfect way to start getting known. In any case, this is an activity that even your marketing ally should do (business partner, agency).
There are mainly 4 reasons why you should do it:
First of all, it is a way to establish yourself as an expert in what you do, in your field
Second, it is an indirect way to expose your website and products, people will want to know more about you, so will visit your page. So doing, you can build relationships with other pros in your field
It is free promotion! You don’t have to wait for your press releases to be taken into consideration. You are offering value which interests your interlocutors (magazines, blogs, others): content. If well written, or even produced (a video), it will be a pleasure for realities like mine to publish it.
When individuals comment, share, like or link to your blog it moves up in Google’s PageRank, which means it’s more likely to pop up when someone Google searches a relevant topic.
You don’t have to become a journalist or a full-time blogger, but for sure you can tell your story, show your your skills, describe your creative process, give advices to other designers, etc.
Think of your guest blog post as a valuable bit of information, not an advertisement!
You can definitely build authority in your industry through guest blogging.
BEFORE YOU START
There are a few things you need to do before you propose a guest post for a site you’ve just found.
- Get to know your target blog’s content (level and type of the audience, type of contents)
- Check other guest bloggers’ posts (are they doing well?)
- See who they are, read theri bios. This is important when you introduce yourself to the blog owner for your pitch
- Find out what articles do the best to ensure that your guest post gets accepted
- Become a familiar face in the blog community to increase your chances of getting accepted as a guest blogger
HOW TO SUBMIT A GREAT GUEST POST
The following are other good tips for making your guest post as awesome as possible.
It’s Not About You
The first thing to remember about a great guest post is that it is not about your business, your products, or your services. Guest posts should be valuable sources of information – not advertisements! Any information about your business and related items should be reserved for the author bio. Occasional mentions, stories, or examples are OK to illustrate a point, but the majority of the post should be focused on something other than your business.
Format posts like the ones on the site
Take a look at posts on your target blog. Do they use lots of headers, bolded text, images, quotes, or other special formatting? Make sure that your post has similar elements to match other posts on the site.
Include internal and source links
Show the blog owner that you know their content by including a few internal links back to some of their posts. The easiest way to do this is to do a Google search forsite:domain.com intitle:keyword. Also, if you mention any specific products, books, etc., be sure to link to those too (assuming it’s not self-promotional).
Include a call to action for comments
At the end of your amazing guest post, be sure to include a call to action for comments. The more discussion your post generates, the better!
HOW TO SUBMIT A GREAT BIO
Your guest post bio is one of the most relevant part of guest blogging, let’s say the only place where you should include self-promotion (links back to your website, blog, product, book, etc.).
You need to craft it based on your goals:
- Get good backlinks
- Get traffic back to your website (consider where you want that traffic to go)
- Increase followers to your social accounts (Add a line to the end of your bio that says “Follow me on (insert your top social network/link).”