6 Tips For Finding Quality Guest Blogging Gigs

Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to gain exposure in front of huge new audiences. By writing high-quality posts that are published on respected websites and blogs that attract thousands of readers, you can earn the type of high-authority inbound links that Google respects.

It’s also a great way to make a name for yourself. As folks start to see your name appear on more and more authority blogs in your niche, they come to see you as an expert.

The challenge is that there are hundreds of thousands of blogs. Where do you start? Which blogs offer the best opportunities for what you’re trying to accomplish? We’ll help you to figure this puzzle out below. Read on for 6 smart tips for identifying guest blogging gigs that give you the most bang for your buck.

#1. Identify The Blog’s PageRank

PageRank represents how important Google thinks a page is. (It is also an indication of a domain’s authority.) A page’sRank is influenced by the PageRank of the pages and sites that link to it. If a blog is a PR0, that’s a sign Google doesn’t think much of it. If it’s a PR7, a guest post can deliver a valuable link to your site.

When looking through potential guest blogging opportunities, focus on blogs that have a higher PageRank. It’s a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

#2. Check For Social Media Participation

Look for blogs that are active in social media channels. Each post should have buttons that allow people to like, pin, tweet, or share it. In addition, the blog itself should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.

Not only will your guest post have a better chance of getting traction in social media, but it’s an indication that the blog owner considers audience engagement important. And that’s more likely to generate a loyal readership.

#3. Organize Your Target Blogs

Once you add ongoing guest blogging to your marketing toolbox, you’ll find that organization is critical. It’s impossible to remember the blogs you want to write for, their respective author guidelines, and when you should follow up with each blog’s editorial team.

A spreadsheet is ideal for keeping details organized. You can list blog URLs, owners’ names, their contact information, and PageRank. Depending on how deep you want to go, you can also list whether the blogs have email newsletters, the average number of comments that come in per post, and the posting frequency.

Bottom line: stay organized. It will make your life easier.

#4. Prioritize Blogs With Flexible Bio Guidelines

Some blogs won’t let you link to your site from your post. Instead, they give you a separate author’s page.

Some blogs will only allow you to include a single link in a bio box that follows your post. Others allow several links, including one or two in the actual body copy.

Some blogs encourage you to link to your social media accounts, such as Google+ and Twitter, rather than your business website.

Some blogs use nofollow links while others do not.

The most important thing to remember is that there are no standards. Every blog is different. Prioritize those that offer the most value by letting you place in-post and end-of-post links. (By the way, these are great details to include in your spreadsheet!)

#5. Look For Active Blogs

Blogs that lack activity usually lack readership. And if they lack readership, they’re probably not that important in Google’s eyes. I recommend taking a pass. Forget about them.

Focus on blogs that are updated on a regular basis. They don’t need to be updated daily or even weekly. They just need to show signs of life. If a blog has been abandoned by its owner, treat it the same way.

#6. Find Blogs That Publish A Lot Of Content

Other factors being equal, blogs that are heavy on content will have more authority in their space than blogs that are light. Google loves content. And recent data shows it has a hankering for deep content, the type that goes into detail.

Not every guest blogging opportunity is a good one. If you can learn to identify the good from the bad, you’ll be able to maximize the return on your time. And time is your most limited resource!

Your Turn!

What steps do you currently take to find promising guest blogging gigs? Have you started guest blogging as a regular part of your marketing? Share your experiences with us by leaving a comment!

photo credit: DESN211 – 2016 March 15 via photopin (license)

7 Smart Ways To Promote Your Press Release

As a marketer, you already know that press releases are a powerful tool for reaching your audience. They give you a way to deliver a continuous stream of useful, newsworthy content that positions you as an authority, and brings people to your site. Once people are on your site, you can promote your products as the solution to whatever problems they face.

The question on a lot of marketers’ minds is how to make sure the right people see their press releases. After all, even the most flawlessly-formatted, persuasively-written press release will do little good if no one reads it. In today’s post, we’ll give you seven ways to solve this problem. You’ll learn how to promote your press releases so they are seen, read, and shared by your target audience.

#1. Use An Online Press Release Distribution Service

This should be your first step. Using a high-quality press release distribution service gives your press release quick visibility on the search engines. But a word of caution: make sure the platform you use has search engine optimization features built in. Optimized titles, meta tags, headlines, and summaries, along with live anchored links, make it more likely that Google will display your press release for searches on your main keywords.

As an added benefit, your news release will start to age in the search engines’ indexes while you devote time to other promotional tactics.

#2. Send Your News Release To Targeted Media Sources

Just because you can submit your press release to thousands of websites with the click of a button doesn’t mean you should ignore the personal touch. With some tactful publicity marketing, you can land thousands of dollars in what would be paid ad space, for free. Compile a short list of media outlets that tend to publish press releases from companies in your niche. Introduce yourself, and ask for permission to send occasional press releases that match the content on their sites. These editors can put your news releases in front of a very targeted audience.

If your niche is small and specialized, target media sources in the broader product segment to which your niche belongs. For example, if you sell software for MRI machines, get in touch with editors who deal with medical topics.

#3. Share Your Press Release On Facebook

If you’re not sharing your press releases on Facebook, you’re missing out on a large segment of your audience. You’re also missing out on the exposure that comes with sharing your content on the world’s largest social media site. Links get passed around millions of times each day on Facebook as members share them with their personal networks. A single PR can potentially be seen by tens of thousands of people within 24 hours.

As a side note, make sure the service you use to distribute your online news releases offers a Facebook sharing button for readers.

#4. Promote Your Headline On Twitter

Hundreds of millions of people, including editors and journalists, use Twitter to keep up with news and interact with brands. This means the site can be a powerful platform on which to share news about your business. Like Facebook, Twitter leverages word of mouth that spreads through individual networks. According to a study, press releases shared via Twitter are viewed at a higher percentage than those shared on Facebook or LinkedIn. Imagine: posting a link to your press release might result in ten of your followers sharing the link with their followers. Some of them may in turn share the link with their own followers. And on and on it goes.

Another side note: look for a Twitter sharing button on the PR distribution service you use.

#5. Send Your News Release To Bloggers

Some niches are covered by influential bloggers that attract large audiences. The consumer electronics space (think iPads, laptops, and HDTVs) is known for its army of prominent bloggers whose recommendations can drive millions of dollars in sales.

As you would with specific media sources, reach out to journalist bloggers covering your field. Establish a relationship, and ask them whether you can send an occasional news release that dovetails with their chosen topic. If they decide to publish your press release, it could drive substantial traffic to your site.

#6. Post Your Press Release To Your Blog

This is a no-brainer. Assuming your company has a blog (if it doesn’t, start one!) post your press releases to it. Doing so gives you an opportunity to interact with your readers about the content of your press releases. Instead of posting the entire press release to your site, post the title and the summary to your site, then provide a link where people can read the release in full on the online press release distribution site. This allows readers to see the press release in its full format, with embedded images, videos, links, iFrames, social sharing buttons, and other news features. Add a few lines at the beginning of your posts to provide context. Then, encourage discussion. You’ll find that your blog’s readers will feel more connected to your company.

#7. Build Links That Point To Your PR

Once you post a news release to your site (whether on a blog or static page), start building links to it. Use your primary and secondary keywords in the anchor text to inform Google about its subject matter. By doing this, you’ll gain visibility for your site when people search for your company name and keywords. It is one more path your prospects and customers can take to interact with you.

Keep in mind, when it comes to well-promoted online press releases, one thing often leads to another. For example, a journalist might stumble upon your press release on Facebook or Twitter, and request a quote for a story. Your quote may be seen by thousands of readers, many of whom might visit your site, blog, or social media accounts. This in turn can lead to other opportunities for exposure.

Your Turn!

A press release without promotion is like a billboard in the desert. If no one sees it, it won’t help you grow your business. What are some of the creative ways you have promoted your press releases in the past? Have they worked? If not, what would you do differently? Let us know in the comments!

25 Facebook Post Ideas for Company Pages

Smart marketers are using Facebook to connect to their customers in real time, but even the best of us struggle to come up with topics to post on our Facebook wall. A blank Facebook page is worse than no page at all, so don’t let yours look like tumbleweeds might come rolling across it at any time.

If you’re stumped for ideas, this second edition of SEO Copywriting Step-by-Step is for you. These ideas are only a few of the many ideas that our SEO copywriters use to highlight our client’s business. Get your team together and brainstorm how you can use each of these ideas on your own page. Within a single brainstorming session, you can jot down a month’s worth of posts to keep you engaged with your customers.

facebook-post-ideas

Tips and Information

One of the biggest reasons people will like your page is to learn about your business and how it can benefit them. Topics for these company-related posts could be:

  • Link to a new blog post, press release, video or article that you’ve produced — or one from a non-competing business. (Whenever you post a link to an article or other resource, be sure to intro the link with a bit of commentary sharing how and why it is relevant to your audience!)
  • Industry specific news or events (Subscribe to Google Alerts to be automatically emailed when new news is published around keywords of your choice).
  • A useful tip that others can use to save time, money, or improve the quality of their lives Keep it within your niche. For example, if you sell real estate, share a real estate buying tip. If you sell Indian spices, share a recipe.
  • Q & A with your most commonly asked questions — You’ve probably already got this written! Look through your email to find a question you were asked and post it and your response.

Getting Personal About Your Business

Customers love to work with people! Instead of staying nameless on your Facebook page, make it personal. Let your customers know there’s a real person behind each and every post and you’ll see that customers are more likely to interact on your page. If you’re not sure what to include, here are just a few ideas:

  • Photos from company events — trade shows, retreats, team building exercises, open houses, etc.
  • Employee milestones and celebrations — if Joe in marketing just earned is Distinguished Toastmasters status, share his success!
  • Introduce new hires with a photo and a little background info.
  • Give some backstory behind how some of your products or services were thought-up or created.
  • Get excited about awards your company has won or mentions in the media or on other websites and blogs.
  • Share info about any non-profits, charities, or community events your company supports or volunteers for.

Highlight Your Customers Or Fans

Just like they love to learn personal details about businesses, customers love to talk about themselves! Asking questions can be a great way to encourage participation, but it’s not the only way.

  • Post a customer success story — and even though they had success with your product or service, make your customer the hero!
  • Pick a “Fan of the Month” and shine the spotlight on them with a bio that showcases him or her.
  • Share an excerpt from a customer email that made you smile (keep details confidential).

Contests and Giveaways

Everyone loves a contest and there’s no better way to get fans to flock to your Facebook page. Contests don’t have to run you a lot of money though. You can do a quick one-day contest that rewards a winner with a free or discounted product or service. Some ideas for contests include:

  • Share a link to a product page and ask people to comment with their favorite feature.
  • Post a brainteaser or riddle and ask people to email with the answer and comment with how long it took them to figure it out.
  • Post a link to a new blog post/video/article and ask people to comment with one thing they learned.

Get Interactive

It’s human nature that people like to hear what others think. Use the following tactics to get the conversation flowing on your wall:

  • Create a multiple-choice survey — ask something casual like “How are you doing at sticking to your New Year’s goals?” or more personal about your specific products and services “What’s your favorite feature of our new widget?” We suggest leaving the ” Allow anyone to add options” choice checked so that people can respond with their own answers instead of only selecting from the ones you created.
  • Ask a fill in the blank question — it could be something conversation such as “It drives me crazy when my kids _____.” Or it could be business related such as “One feature that I wish xyz widget had is _____.”
  • Ask fans to share their Twitter handle so that other like-minded fans in the community can follow them.
  • Do a “Let’s get to know each other” post where you ask fans to share a link to their website and write a 1-sentence pitch for their business.
  • Ask people to share their favorite thing about your service or products.
  • Invite customers to post their QR codes.
  • Ask fans to share a favorite quote or song lyric that represents what they stand for.
  • Invite fans to share their favorite photos of them interacting with your business.
  • Play a trivia game where fans answer and then post their own question for another person to answer. Here’s a fun example of a Facebook trivia game we created that people seemed to really enjoy.

General Tips for More Effective Facebooking

(That’s right… I just made Facebook a verb…)

  • Respond to customers if they ask questions, whether in the comments or in a new post
  • Visit and comment on posts on other pages, not just your own
  • When you mention people or Pages in your posts, start typing their name with the “@” sign in order to turn the name into a linked mention. The post then appears on their page or profile as well depending on how they have their settings configured. (Note: In order for a page to link to a page, your page needs to have “liked” that page. In order for you to link to a person, that person has to have already “liked” your page.
  • For more ideas, visit “Business Pages How To” on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/fbpages.

Your Turn!

What are some of the Facebook marketing strategies that you’ve tried with success? What types of posts do your favorite companies employ successfully? If you have ideas for the next SEO Copywriting Step-by-Step mini-class, we’d love to hear them!

4 Effective Ways To Gain Media Visibility

Would gaining media visibility improve your sales? The answer is most likely a resounding yes! In this post I’ll show you 4 simple things that people I know are using to gain more media visibility. The best part is that each of these things could easily be tackled over the weekend, yet the results could bring you the exposure you need to grow your business for years to come.

Create a Video Reel

Television and radio media reps want to know that you’ll look and sound great on the air – and that you know your industry. To showcase these, online reputation management specialist Kent Campbell created a video reel and published it on YouTube. The guy is well spoken, funny, sharp and has a great voice. But who would know if they only “read” his content online? Kent set up an interview where he answered some of the most commonly asked questions about online reputation management. The result – an offer to appear on television from a major network.

If video is your bag, you’ll want to learn all you can about video marketing from Gary Vaynerchuk – this guy’s a rockstar!

Show (Not Just Tell) Your Expertise Online

Chris Hanisco, founder of The Dippy Chick, has been approached by several media networks. How did they find her? Through her active participation in the Start Up Nation online forum. Chris wasn’t trying to bait the media – she was just doing what she loves to do – helping other entrepreneurs solve their problems. However, when a major network browsed around Start Up Nation in search of mom entrepreneurs, Chris’s name, face, and obvious level of expertise was prevalent throughout the community.

An About Page with a Human Interest Angle

Interviewers are always interested in tying in a personal interest story to their pieces – that’s what makes a story interesting! When the media scouts followed the links from Start Up Nation back to Chris’s ‘About’ page, they learned about the fascinating story behind her business. People want to interview people – not companies. Yet it’s amazing how many company’s ‘About’ pages don’t even include the names of the people behind the business, let alone photos or compelling stories. Your ‘About’ page isn’t just for the media – in my opinion, a compelling ‘About’ page can be one of your most persuasive sales pages.

Publish an Online Press Room

A journalist often knows what type of industry expert they need to interview to enhance a particular story. They will often search the ‘About’ pages of various websites in search of an expert to interivew. Why not take things a step further by creating an online press room with everything that a journalist would need? Your online newsroom might include things such as:

  • Executive bios
  • Headshots of key people
  • A history of the company
  • Quotes from the company founders
  • News story angles
  • Frequently asked questions (from the POV of the media)
  • Your most recent press releases

For a daily dose of smart publicity ideas, check out Annie Jenkins. Her regular emails always get my brain turning with new publicity ideas.

Be The Industry Expert and Earn Rockstar Status in Your Niche

Who doesn’t want to achieve rockstar celebrity status? Just because you’re in the mortgage industry or the title insurance business doesn’t mean that you can’t be a celebrity in your industry. After all, popularity and success go hand in hand. To become really successful means being well-known in your circle.Becoming the industry expert is something that’s taken, not given.

With persistence and confidence you can claim your spot as the expert in your industry. Your goal should be to get people to contact you when they have a question in your area of expertise. In order to do that, you need to get your name out there, define your niche, and establish your worth.

Radio Interviews

Hundreds of radio shows seek knowledgeable and interesting guests to satisfy their listening audiences. With the onset of satellite radio, internet radio and podcasting, the number of hosts seeking guests grows daily. You need not be a celebrity to secure a radio interview. Plenty of opportunities exist for individuals with knowledge in specialized areas.

Pitching yourself for radio is simple when you have a plan. Before you pick up the phone, make a list of all of examples that qualify you as an expert in your industry. Reference titles of articles and books that you’ve authored, names of awards that you have won, and testimonials from satisfied clients and reputable associations. Design a short pitch for yourself using some of the things you listed.

When you call the radio show, start by introducing yourself immediately. After your introduction, present a solid reason why the person at the other end of the phone should continue to listen by speaking in terms of how your knowledge can benefit their show.

Consider the goal of your first phone call to a radio station to introduce yourself and gain the producer’s contact information. You may not book a show with your first phone call, but you can now send your press kit to the show’s producer and place yourself on their radar for the next time they cover a topic in your arena.

Resources:
Podcasting News.com: A directory of Podcasts
Live 365.com: A directory of internet radio station
Radio-Locator.com: A directory of every radio station on the planet.

Press Releases

A press release is an informative document written to alert the media of a timely event about your company. Your event doesn’t need to be a showstopper — thousands of press releases are written every day on topics such as a company name change or the introduction of a new product.

A press release, however, does need to be written to appeal to a general audience. The more unique the topic, the more likely your release is to get noticed. Newspaper and magazine editors depend on content for the success of their publications and often simply repackage well-written press releases as articles or blurbs.

Try adding a unique spin to the topic and devising a way to involve the public. For example, if your restaurant has introduced a new sandwich, develop a contest for the community to name the sandwich. While you’ve managed to alert the public of the sandwich’s peppery corned beef, savory mushroom sauce, and plump focaccia bread, the public gets a chance to win a free meal, and have their name credited on the menu.

Build your own list of newspaper and television contact names and fax numbers or hire a professional public relations company to distribute your article to the a large number of media outlets. Don’t gloss over small local papers as a recipient for your press releases. These are often a great place to begin building your publication portfolio.

Resources:
Online PR Media Free and paid press release distribution with lots of exposure
PR Zoom Free PR distribution site

Distribute Free Content

Tens of thousands of website owners face the daunting challenge of stocking their websites with the fresh, informational content their visitors seek. To meet this growing need, numerous free content sites have emerged, offering publishing rights to thousands of articles on a variety of topics. In exchange for the article’s publishing rights, the author has a chance to promote themselves with a short bio and link to their website at the conclusion of the article.

Resources:
eZine Articles – Serving 110,229 Quality eZine Articles Written By 16,687 Expert Authors
Find Articles.com – Search millions of articles from leading academic, industry and general interest publications.

Be sure to include mentions and links to all of your articles, radio interviews, and press releases on your website and in the literature you use to attract new clients. This type of credibility goes a long, long way in terms of building trust and customer confidence. Before long, you won’t just be establishing yourself as an industry expert, you’ll be the expert!