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How to craft an insightful and successful blog post

If you are new to the world of blogging, you may well be under the impression that guest-posting is an outdated and moribund practice. This is a false perception, and one that emerged in 2014 when Google’s Matt Cutts claimed that guest posting was no longer relied upon as a primary link-building tactic.

The clue is in the wording here, as while the process of building links through guest posting is no longer as effective as it was prior to 2014 the benefits of publishing content on reputable and relevant sites remain unchanged. From driving product pre-sales and establish yourself as a thought leader to simply sharing and opinion, there are as many reasons to blog and submit guest posts as there have ever been.

How to create an insightful (and ultimately successful) guest post

Even if we accept that guest posting can still offer value to bloggers, however, it is important that you adopt an informed and tailored approach to creating content, building your audience and linking back to a personal website or resource. After all, while there may be numerous types of content that can be published on a particular blog there is a pressing need to think strategically about the option that best suits your needs. So without further ado, here are three steps to creating an informative and wildly successful guest post that adds value to readers: -

Guest posts should drive readers to an opinion rather than a home page

One of the main reasons why corporate guest posting became spammy was because content was being created solely for the purpose of driving readers to a home or product landing page. Google’s algorithm changes have all but eradicated this process, however, forcing bloggers to raise their game and penalising those who use content as a crude vehicle for building homepage links. This even applies to personal of lifestyle bloggers who want to link back to their website through guest posting, so it is important to keep this in mind when crafting articles.

Above all else, you should ensure that your post is relevant to its intended target audience and designed to educate readers rather than simply direct them to a specific landing page. The inclusion of any outbound links to your personal blog or website should then become a secondary consideration, especially if you keen on promotion a brand new service or driving product pre-sales. Consider linking to an informative and relevant article on your blog, for example, using natural anchor text that leverages the existing content and enriches the reader experience.

Engage with readers and turn your blog post into a thought leadership piece

Over time, the cultivation of relevant and information-driven guest posts (as part of a wider curation strategy) will help you to publish regularly on a host of reputable blog sites while also triggering an emotive response from readers. This is just a small part of the process to creating successful guest posts, however, especially if you are to leverage individual pieces of content and drive organic traffic to your own website. The best way to achieve this is to adopt a proactive approach to moderating comments on your posts and responding in detail, whether readers are asking questions or sharing their own opinions.

By engaging readers in conversation concerning the topics covered in your guest posts, you can effectively use your content to establish thought leadership within a specific field and forge initial relationships with readers. By also integrating subtle (and unforced) references to your personal brand or blog, you can gradually build a motivated audience based on trust, knowledge and open communication.

Do not be afraid to use this audience as inspiration for additional posts in the future, either, especially if you have an opportunity to craft content that directly answers specific reader queries.

Share published content across an integrated social media platform

On a final note, you should strive to understand the technical components of creating a guest post and distributing it online. It is estimated that guest posts in excess of 1,500 words generate up to 68.1% more tweets than those that are shorter in length, so you should strive to create longer and more detailed content where possible (so long as it suits the topic and the guidelines published by the destination site).

Make no mistake; however, it is the technical element of sharing your published posts that remains the most important. This ensures that you work is read by a large and targeted audience, and you should start by sharing individual posts across an integrated social media platform. This should include staple sites such as Facebook and Twitter, alongside secondary, optional resources like Linkedin, Pinterest and YouTube (depending on the underlying nature of the post).

It is also important to clearly define and introduce published guest posts to your audience when sharing content, especially on micro-blogging sites such as Twitter. With this in mind, be sure to avoid overly concise and generic introductions and instead use the text as an opportunity to sell your main feature of your content and offer an incentive for readers to click!