Sink or Swim in the Blogosphere: 3 Steps to Effective Guest Blogging

In today’s world, the internet is accessible virtually anywhere. Millions of people seek the web for information and entertainment; and topics and audiences vary drastically from one site to the next. The web has become a limitless data jungle— which can either be a blogger’s dream or worst nightmare.

Instead of staying unknown in a realm of obscurity, these three steps can help jumpstart your blogging career:

1. Target Beneficial Blog Sites

There are millions of sites out on the web. Some offer true entertainment value and information, but others seem to just take up room in net space. A tip of advice: be careful where you post!

Make sure your work gets seen by good quality blogs— that’s where your potential readers go, and those are the sites that won’t get crushed the next time Google launches another algorithm update (like the previous Penguin 2.0).

A guest blogger is half investigative reporter and half creative writer. Do the legwork! Poke around prospective sites and get a feel for each one by browsing their previous guest posts. Many sites will have specific topics that they are looking for and accepting.

Look to see if the webmaster has included guest posting guidelines— it is crucial to follow their instructions, even throughout the writing process. Some sites may require content to be formatted in HTML; they may or may not accept affiliate links; and they could have specific image guidelines, etc.

As you sit down to begin a new piece, keep in mind that writing styles greatly differ from one person to the next. Some prefer to write short, to the point sentences (like Ernest Hemingway); others (like William Faulkner) use long, descriptive sentences.

Just remember to watch your tone; blogging is typically more casual and conversational-sounding. Write what comes naturally; there’s always time to polish it up later.

But remember, finding a good potential site to contribute to, is the first step for good, effective blogging; the actual writing part comes second.

2. Write with Purpose

Attracting a reader base won’t just happen at the press of the “publish” button. Guest blogging is a practiced art, full of trial and error. It’s a difficult industry to break into, but if done right, the sky’s the limit.

Before starting a new post, have a target audience in mind. You will have to be able to reach and spark the interest of your readers; otherwise your work will continue to bounce between webmasters— lost among the other articles that won’t get published.

Always ask yourself these basic questions:

  • “Who am I addressing?”
  • “What information will serve this group best?”
  • “What can I offer that hasn’t been previously said before?”
  • “What would I like to achieve from this?”

Blogging serves a direct purpose, so in order to reach the masses, have a strategy.

3. Use a Google+ Profile to Maximize your Online Exposure

Several years ago, no one thought that a Google+ profile would amount to much. We had more engaging interactive social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Skip forward to today, and Google+ has become the second most active social media network— trailing right behind Facebook.

It has become an essential component of fueling a blogger’s future forwards. Want to be seen? Have a Google+ profile and receive Google Authorship on your posts.

Google+ is the intricate solution for Google to monitor who is who on the internet— while at the same time, allowing bloggers to create an identity for themselves. Use Google+ as your own personal PR system— that can spread your name and reputation from site to site, niche to niche.

While guest blogging, always keep the main goal in mind: to spread high-quality content, across reputable sites. Don’t fall into the ‘no man’s land’ of blogging like many others. Engage your audience by delivering unique perspectives on the issues they care about. Blogging will have extraordinary benefits, if these three basic steps are used.

Guest contributor Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for ADT home alarm systems . She is a published journalist & blogger, who received degrees from Forsyth Tech, one of the Tech Schools in North Carolina , and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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