In the early stages of a blog, one of the best ways to build credibility for your wedding business, attract couples and get exposure on social media is through featuring guest contributors. As a new blogger, you are a relative unknown. And, as you’ve probably figured out if you’ve been at it for a few months, building blog traffic, nurturing engaged subscribers, and obtaining powerful (if any) social shares are exceedingly difficult tasks. So how can you get your wedding blog off the ground?
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Best way to get your wedding Business off the ground:
By inviting established bloggers in the wedding business niche to write for your blog, you can “piggyback” on their success and start getting traffic, subscribers and social shares for your wedding blog. Consider …
- When wedding business bloggers contribute a post, they will be eager to share it with their readers and social communities. Some of these people — all of whom have an interest in wedding planning — will visit your blog, read the post — and from there, perhaps read other posts and/or visit your main website to check out your products or services.
- Guest contributions add enormous credibility to your efforts. A guest post from a respected blogger in the wedding business field is a public stamp of approval. People are more likely to read and share your content if they consider you a reputable, reliable source of information. And the fact is, if you attract great contributors, you are credible — it’s not a gimmick. And, because so much is riding on the success of a wedding, credibility and trust are major factors in determining whether your business will be selected.
Features on our blog include:
One of the most popular SEO strategies in blogging is to write guest posts on other blogs. This is good because, normally, host bloggers allow you to insert a link back to your blog in your guest post, and these relevant backlinks are a major ranking factor for Google.
Nevertheless, for a new blogger, putting emphasis on getting contributors to write on your blog gets better overall results — including a strong SEO bump. While inviting guest authors does not directly produce backlinks, it should do so indirectly because your guest authors are likely to link to your post on their blogs. In addition, when these guest authors share these posts on social media, the social mentions have some degree of influence on Google organic rankings of that content. This is one most important way to get your wedding blog off the ground.
Do’s and Don’ts for Getting Guest-Authored Posts
- Do target the right authors. If you are an engaged, active blogger, or have been in the wedding business for any length of time, you already know some of the most influential bloggers in your space. Look for more, by doing Google searches and noticing whose content these influential bloggers share on social media. Relevance is very important — if you have a wedding blog, a contribution from an HVAC blogger will confuse your readers and not get you anywhere with SEO.
- Do create a set of editorial guidelines for your wedding blog. Having guidelines helps guest contributors understand what and how to write — very helpful. Published guidelines also make you look serious and organized. Here are two examples, one that keeps it simple and one that is much more involved. You be the judge of the amount of detail needed.
- Do develop a “pitch,” a communication strategy for reaching out to bloggers and inviting them to contribute. An enormous amount has been written on how to do this for writing guest posts; most of the tips can be turned around to apply to attracting guest posts. Here is a good post with which to start your research.
- Don’t start by reaching out to the very top wedding bloggers. You’ll have a better chance of attracting them if you’ve established some momentum with guest contributors who are lesser known but still credible. Also, by “starting small,” you can fine-tune your pitch and address any procedural issues in your publishing process.
- Don’t engage in reciprocal link programs (offering to exchange backlinks with contributors). These programs, once quite popular, are now considered by Google to be linking schemes and can cause Google to overlook or even penalize your blog.
- Do focus on creating truly outstanding blog content of your own. When potential guest contributors are sizing you up, you can be sure they will read your posts with great interest. If they are impressed, there’s a chance they will contribute; if not … well, game over.
- Don’t be afraid to occasionally nudge guest contributors after they agree to write. Guest posts tend to fall to the bottom of the priority list, so a reminder or two may be necessary to turn the post from a commitment into a Word doc.
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Brad Shorr, a blogger since 2005, is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an SEO agency headquartered in Chicago.