I was so excited the first time I had a guest post go up.
I could see it – the article would go up, people would read it, our work would be lauded, and voila – we would be swept up in the glitterati and the business would boom.
The post went up, three people commented saying this was cool, and then… crickets
After that humbling experience, I set out to reverse engineer what made other posts successful, and how I too could do the same.
NOTE: For this article, I am going to assume you are guest posting on a reputable site.
What guest posts really are
On the basic level, a guest post is an exchange:
You provide the publication with valuable and interesting content with a unique perspective.
The publication provides you an audience and the social proof of having your name attached to that organization.
Don’t underestimate how much social proof can matter.
There is an entire cottage industry of people charging thousands of dollars to write about you on Forbes or Entrepreneur or Inc or other established brands – it makes you look good!
(We can get into this later, but the easiest way to spot someone like that? They own a PR company and only write about their clients… without disclosing the relationship. Ulysses has written a bit on how he fell into this.)
But as I learned, taking a naive approach of “okay I’ve written something, people will flock to it because it’s on X site” is doing it half-assed.
Instead, you need to be strategic and leverage the brand to get greater exposure.