I was working with a client last night, and I suggested that a great way to get traffic and build buzz was to write for blogs… for free. My client was less-than-thrilled with that idea. She has a background in journalism and quickly told me that she has done her fair share of writing for free and wasn’t interested in doing it anymore.
I understood her reaction. Many of you are probably thinking the same thing… But hear me out. Read this post! Let me explain why you should be writing for free, how it will benefit you, and how to start doing it for maximum results!
As you know, the internet is made of content. If the world wide web were a house, each word you write is a brick. The internet needs content in order to provide information, the website and blog owners need content in order to get traffic and the person using the internet needs content in order to have something to look at on their computer screen. Obviously, we are all in desperate need of content. Without it, there would be no internet.
That’s where you come in. You are a content building machine. Your mission is to create a lot of content on numerous sites with each piece of content containing links that point back to your own site. This will create the following benefits:
- You will be viewed as an expert in your field. When someone Googles you, they’ll see that you have written a lot of information and that it’s been published in many places.
- You will get better search engine rankings. Google pays attention to incoming links; and when they see how many links are coming into your site, they’ll push up your site’s search engine rankings. The higher up you are listed on search results, the more free traffic you’ll receive from Google.
- You will be introducing your site to a whole slew of new people who otherwise may have never found your site.
Okay, that may sound great in theory, but let me explain this in a practical way…
Let’s say that you are a virtual assistant and you want to find more clients. If I were you, I would research some popular business blogs and I would ask the owner if I could write a post for them. The post would be somehow related to what I did… Some possible topics would be why a business owner should outsource, what can a VA help a business owner with, why hiring a VA will bring in more profits, etc. I would also end the article / post with a link to my own site with a call to action such as “To hire your own Virtual Assistant, click here….”
In addition to blogs, you can also submit to article directories, such as Ezine Articles and Lady Pens. These are places site owners go to find free articles to put on their blogs. Google indexes these articles, so your article will come up in search engine results even if no one puts it on their site. And remember, the more incoming links you have, the better! This is known as “article marketing,” by the way… (Note: The articles you write for article directories should not be given to a blog owner directly… A blog owner will want original content that is not published elsewhere.)
This works for all kinds of businesses. Let me give you some more examples: If you make and sell plush animals, research some popular Mommy Blogs and write posts on subjects such as why a handmade plush is a gift their child can cherish, how colorful plush animals can stimulate a toddler’s recognition of colors, how to use plush animals to stimulate creativity by making up stories about the animal, etc.
If you yourself are a blogger and want more content to your site, find some complementary blogs on your own blog’s topic. For example, let’s say you are a food blogger who writes about quick and easy cooking. Find blogs targeted to busy women, college students who may not have a lot of space to cook, or men who simply don’t have much cooking experience. Once you locate the blogs you would be most interested in writing for, create some blog posts that would appeal to that blog’s readers, and always incorporate your own blog at the end.
Okay, so now that you understand why you should be writing for free and the basic idea of how to go about it, let’s talk about how to do it in a way that will be most productive!
Use Keywords: You will greatly enhance your search engine results if you use keywords that people are looking for. Let’s go back to the example of the virtual assistant for a minute. Let’s say she specialized in working with real estate agents. By doing some research, she may find that “real estate VA,” “virtual assistants who help real estate agents,” and “real estate agents who use VAs” might be popular search phrases. (I did not research those – those are just examples!) For instructions on how to find and use keywords, read this post.
Target Your Audience: Find blogs that are targeted to who you want to do business with. Using the example of the plush animal maker… That person shoudn’t write articles for a blog devoted to mechanics. It doesn’t make sense! If the VA lives in Denver and wants to work exclusively with local clients, she should write for blogs based on that locale.
Be Choosey! There are a lot of blogs out there. But that doesn’t mean you should write for every one of them! Your goal is to have your article be read and to introduce your business to a new group of people. Focus on blogs that have an established audience. Do a Google search on the blog and the blog owner. How many listings come up? Look at the blog you’re thinnking of writing for… Is the content updated? Do readers leave a lot of comments? Also, you can check the site with Alexa, but keep in mind, not all people agree with Alexa’s data.
For More Information: My friend Nicole Dean went on a “blog world tour” last summer. She guest wrote for 15 blogs (one week at each blog), and the results were AMAZING. Her traffic increased A LOT and she didn’t pay a dime in advertising!
She put together a “how-to” manual of what she did, and that includes how to find blogs to write for, sample emails of how to approach the blog owners, tips for getting topic ideas, planning sheets, and more! You get all of that for only $17. I bought a copy and I was really impressed with how much info Nicole packed in to it, how easy it was to understand and simple to put the knowledge into action.
To purchase Nicole’s How To Blog World Tour, click here.