Guest posting is amongst the most underutilized marketing strategies. However, if used to its full potential, it can be one of the best ways to expand your brand’s reach.
But does guest blogging actually work?
Over the past few years, guest blogging has come under scrutiny because of the way marketers use it to generate low-quality backlinks. Some people see it as a spammy way to perform search engine optimization (SEO), therefore many marketers have given up entirely on this marketing strategy.
But guest blogging is still very much alive and can generate traffic, powerful backlinks to your website, as well as valuable brand awareness. Marketers and business owners can use guest blogging to reach a targeted audience.
Here are 7 steps you should follow to get your favourite sites to agree to have you contribute content that will build your authority in the fitness world:
1. Search For Blogs That Accept Guest Contributions
It can be quite challenging finding relevant sites to contribute to if you don’t know what you’re looking for. If you’re starting out, you’ll need to contact as many fitness sites as possible - it really is a numbers game at first.
To find relevant sites to pitch to, you will need to start by Googling relevant search queries. There are various search queries you can use to find guest posting opportunities. Here are some of the best ones to try:
- (Fitness) “guest blog"
- (Fitness) “write for us”
- (Fitness) “contribute”
- (Fitness) “submit post”
- (Fitness) “guest post opportunities”
Open a Google spreadsheet to keep track of the sites that accept guest posts. We're going to be adding to this list, so keep it open.
2. Follow the Lead of Industry Influencers
You need to find out where prolific bloggers in fitness contribute. Start with a Google search of the influencer’s name. Scroll through to see which sites they have contributed to. You can be specific and use the following searches:
- (Influencer name) author
- (Influencer name) guest post
- (Influencer name) guest
Visiting the social media profiles of bloggers in your industry is another strategy. High chances are that they have promoted their guest posts on social media.
The best social networking site for this strategy is Google+. When on the person’s profile, click on ‘About’, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and search for the ‘Contributor To’ section. You are likely to find that most bloggers have proudly included links to the blogs they contribute to.
Continue adding these blogs to your growing list. It’s also important to begin thinking about what your contribution could be, so make note of any blog guidelines like this one:
3. Dive Deeper with Guest Bloggers and Editors
Another way of finding out where influencers in fitness are guest blogging is to use a tool like Followerwonk. Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to the Search Bios section of Followerwonk
- Select Twitter bios. It will allow you to explore users who include significant industry related keywords in their bios.
- The search will not give you all the details you need, and you need to use the Followerwonk’s Social Authority filter.
- The results will show the most influential users first.
- You may not necessarily get the popular editors commenting on your blog, but you are likely to have comments from other bloggers in the fitness industry.
- Be on the lookout for the bloggers who comment on your blog, as they might be interested in receiving a pitch from a relevant guest poster.
- Add any potential targets to your spreadsheet list.
4. Pitch a Perfect Guest Blog Post
Now that you have a complete list of potential fitness blogs that might be interested in a contribution, it's time to create your pitch. It's crucial to remember that most publishers receive hundreds of guest blogging pitches so it's important that your pitch stands out.
This video can help give you some general information on pitching your guest blog post:
- The first step is to address the editor or blogger by name. It ensures that your pitch does not get deleted immediately. If you know the person directly responsible for guest posting, send the pitch to them.
- Your introduction needs to be personal and create a connection with them. If editors know that you’re familiar with their website, your chances of getting the guest post are high. Tell them something short and sweet that’s specific about their site.
- You need to focus on a certain niche. For example, within the general topic of “outdoor exercise", there are a million subtopics that you can use to try narrowing down the concept. Give the editors three topics to choose from. Remember to keep your proposed text exciting to hook the blog’s readers.
- Write an email with a captivating subject line, pitching your post idea. Your subject line could be the blog post title. Make sure your proposed topic is well detailed so the editor/owner can easily get the picture of what you want to get across but be careful not to begin writing the actual post. You can use about 80 to 100 words to describe your idea.
- Lastly, explain why you are qualified to write the blog post. It might include your past experiences in writing and blogging in addition to your skills/education as a health and fitness professional. If you have any examples of your blog posts or published work, share the links.
5. Write Your Amazing Guest Post
So, they accepted your pitch, splendid! Now it’s time to get to work and send them something amazing. But, before you begin, you need to address a few business details...
Make sure that you receive an assignment letter that solidifies the relationship. You want to be sure that expectations are clear for both parties. If they don’t provide it, ask for one. A good blog editor will provide an email or assignment letter to let you know in advance all the details regarding your future post.
Once you've sorted out all the business particulars, you can get started on your post. Remember to stay on point and engage the readers when you’re writing. Write short paragraphs, have multiple subheadings and include bullet points as this will make reading more enjoyable.
Here are four things to include in your guest post:
- Send a System - Systems that follow a logical order have higher acknowledged value than a set of random tips.
- Length Is Strength - The longer the article, the higher the perceived value.
- Custom Images, Screenshots & Flowcharts - These help your post stand out and shows that you are committed to delivering a quality product.
- Internal & External Links- Including links to other posts from with the blog you're submitting to is great for SEO. You'll also want to link out to other credible sources in the fitness industry, including your own blog if there is a natural fit (don't force this!)
6. Choose the Best Format for Sending a Guest Post
A Word document is a classic medium you can use to send your article for a few reasons:
- Universal usage - Other word processors open Word documents and can also save files as Word documents.
- Previews - This allows the editor to have a glimpse of the email making a quick decision on whether the article is spam or not.
- Word document is easy to copy and paste into WordPress - WordPress is the most common platform for blogging. It is optimized in such a way that when you copy everything in a Word file and paste it in the Visual editor, nothing groovy happens.
- Word is an attachment - Attachments show up individually in an email inbox, and this will draw in the editor. However, not everyone likes attachments as some see it as spam.
- Word is seen as professional - Most people have a subscription to Word and it still stands as the most recognized platform.
7. Return the Favour
Finally, it is vital to remember that guest blogging is a two-way street. If you want to be featured on as many other fitness blogs as possible, it's important that you consider offering the same chance to other fitness pros.
This way, not only are you getting backlinks and building your personal brand, but you're also expanding your network, which is invaluable to an online personal trainer.
Guest blogging can be an effective strategy for fitness professionals to gain new followers who will turn into paying clients over time. Although many people see it as time-consuming, the results overweigh the time input if you're in this business for the long-term, not just looking for quick wins.
In fact, 53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top marketing priority; this just shows how important it is, not only for your own blog, but for others that will host your content. So, start building that list of blog targets and begin contacting them this week.