Whenever you're planning your content strategy, you have a lot of options in terms of where you can place your content. You can publish content to your own blog or upon other blogs as either guest posts or sponsored posts. The question is, how do you determine which sites are best for what types of content? In this post, we're going to simplify the process by showing you how to choose the best places to publish your content.
Content for Your Blog
Before you start publishing content elsewhere, you need the content on your blog to be awesome. Period. Some people (businesses and bloggers alike) tend to think they should submit their best content for others, and need little to no content for their own site. This is not the way to go, however.
Typically what happens after you are featured as a guest blogger on other sites, people want to read more of your content, so they come to your blog to find it. If you have no great content, that's like leading them to a dead end. On the other hand, if they find more great content, then they'll be more likely to subscribe to your blog and connect with you to get even more content. This should be the goal.
A great schedule to go with, if you're concerned about being able to publish high quality content between your blog and others is this. Create a really amazing post for your blog right before a few of your guest posts are published on other sites, that way the audiences from the other blogs will have something good to chew on when they visit yours. Make sure that really amazing post is conversion focused to get your new audience to subscribe, sign up for a free trial, make a purchase, or submit a lead form to get the maximum benefit.
Content for Guest Posts
The content you submit for guest posts needs to be just as awesome, if not moreso, than the content you publish on your own blog. The larger the site, the more you need to step it up to meet the expectations of the target blog's audience.
When qualifying sites to include in your guest posting campaign, the main things you should be looking for are relevance and active readership. If the blog has nothing to do with your industry, and if the blog doesn't have an audience, there's little to no point to publishing content upon it.
Blogs that are likely to generate traffic back to your business will have an engaged audience that shares posts from the blog on social media and who participate in the comments. If you can't find evidence of either type of engagement happening, then it may not be the right blog for you.
If you're still guest blogging for links, you really shouldn't be. The best links are not going to come from sites with a PR 5 and no engagement - they're going to come from sites that have an active, engaged audience that are creating social signals for the blog. Of course, the links the blog gets are important too. One thing that will separate a high quality blog from essentially a content mill is the number of internal links the blog is receiving to its posts. You can use CognitiveSEO to get a quick visual on the blogs you are consider contributing to.
The more links you see towards posts, the more likelihood your post will get links too!
Content for Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are essentially advertisements for your business placed on a blog in the shape of a blog post. Whenever you are looking for blogs to publish sponsored posts upon, you will want to do some in-depth research into them to make sure you are going to get a return on your investment. Some specific things to determine include the following.
- Are readers of this blog likely to buy your product or service? If the answer is yes, continue to the next question. If the answer is no, ask yourself if getting a sponsored post on this blog will be good for your reputation. Will saying "Our business was featured on XYZ blog" is going to impress your customer base. For example, a SEO tool getting featured on Search Engine Land would be powerful.
- How do sponsored posts work on this blog? Do you supply the content and it gets edited for the audience, or does the blog take the time to review your product or service and create unique content?
- What kind of response have sponsored posts in the past received? Do they get a lot of engagement (social sharing, comments, etc.)? And when it comes to the comments, are they generally positive or negative towards sponsored posts?
- Can you reach out to the businesses in recent sponsored posts (preferably ones similar to yours) and ask them what type of results they saw from that particular blog? You might get a behind-the-scenes response letting you know whether or not it will be worth it.
Once you have answered these questions, you will be able to decide which blogs to choose for sponsored post placement. If possible, organized a spreadsheet with each blog that you review, answering the above questions and including the price for a sponsored post. In the end, you should be able to easily choose which ones to start with in your sponsored post campaign.