A Step by Step Guide to Guest Blogging

October 7, 2019 Phillip Long


guest blogging graphic
 

Guest blogging can be an effective way to build backlinks to your insurance website. But, knowing how to find companies willing to post something on their website that they didn’t write can be challenging. Even if the other website doesn’t link back to you, you are getting very cheap branding. It is a win-win for you.

I’ll take you through what steps to take when guest blogging and why you should do it.
 

Step 1: Research

The first thing you need to do is find websites that would provide value to you if they post one of your blogs. You shouldn’t guest blog on any website. Does it make sense to see auto insurance information on a blog about the latest super fruit? Nope!
 

Current Clients

If you write business insurance, you should go through your current clients and see who has a website. Then, go through that list and see what types of businesses they are to see if they might be a good fit. It’s always easier to get someone to agree to guest blogging if you have a prior relationship with them.

A few examples would be writing about renters insurance on an apartment website. Or, writing about homeowners insurance on a realtor’s website. Or, writing about auto insurance on a car dealership website. Those combinations all make sense.
 

Other Websites

If you don’t have a premade list to look at, you can use the same strategy above but look on Google. Let’s use the homeowner’s insurance example from above. You can use modifiers in your Google search query to quickly find websites that fit the bill.

  1. Go to www.google.com
  2. In the search bar, type in Apartment complex :city: “blog”. Put the city you want to search in place of the :city: text. If you include the quotations, Google will do a search for apartment complexes in that city that specifically mention the word blog on their website.
  3. Start copying and pasting these URLs to create a list of targets. They are all decent options to target for guest blogging.

 

Step 2: Outreach

Now that you have a list of targets, start reaching out to them. Your outreach should consist of a few parts…

  1. Introduction
  2. Why you are reaching out
  3. Proposed topics

There are generally three ways that you would reach out to someone.

Current Client

Reaching out to a current client will give you your best shot of getting a response. I like to frame this as you doing a service for them, not the opposite. Here is an email I might send a current client.

Hi John,

Hope everything is going well! At Phil’s Business Insurance, we are passionate about keeping everyone educated about the intricacies of insurance.

We are reaching out to our clients to offer a free, custom written blog, specifically for your website. We thought the following topics might be relevant.

  • 5 Things to Know About Home Insurance
  • Is Flood Insurance Part of Home Insurance?
  • How Much Home Insurance Coverage Do You Need For a New Home?

If this would be of interest do you, please reply and let me know.
 

Other Website - Email

Reaching out to someone you don’t know is always going to the most difficult to get a response. So don’t feel bad if the response rate is low.

Hi John,

Hope everything is going well! At Phil’s Business Insurance, we are passionate about keeping everyone educated about the intricacies of insurance.

We are reaching out to local realtors to offer a free, custom written blog, specifically for your website. We thought the following topics might be relevant.

  1. 5 Things to Know About Home Insurance
  2. Is Flood Insurance Part of Home Insurance?
  3. How Much Home Insurance Coverage Do You Need For a New Home?

If this would be of interest do you, please reply and let me know.
 

Other Website – Form

Some websites won’t list an email address on it. You’ll have to use a contact form on the website. You can use content from the email listed above, but  add it to the comments section of the form. Someone manages these forms. So you should have just as good a chance at getting a reply from a form as you would from sending the email above.

 

Step 3: Write The Blog

We are going to assume you got a few bites and need to write a few blogs now. Make sure you do what you say you will. Write on the topic the company chose. And make sure to write each blog from scratch, so it does provide value.

Don’t promote yourself too much in the content. It is okay to mention your agency name near the end. But your goal is to provide as much value as possible for the other website.

You might have noticed we didn’t ask for a backlink in the outreach up above. So…
 

Step 4: Backlink

Now that you have done all this work, you should try and get a link out of it. It’s best to ask after they post the blog. We don’t want the other company to think you only did all this work to try and get a link, even if they might already think that.

Once they reply and confirm they posted the blog for you, you could either reply right away, or wait a little while. But once you do, I would say something like this.

Hi John,

I hope the blog we provided has been useful for you! We wanted to touch base to see if you might be able to link to our website from the blog. You can just use www.mywebsite.com.

We appreciate the consideration.

Thanks!

 

In Conclusion

Guest blogging is one of several ways to try and get a backlink. It should be part of your regular backlink building efforts. The guest blog can provide more value to you than just the link, but that should be your end goal.

Some strategies work better for some companies, so review what is working and what isn’t. Come up with a revised plan, and redeploy until your guest blogging strategy works like a well-oiled machine.

 

 

About the Author

Phillip Long

Phillip Long serves as the primary contact point for all of ITC's search engine optimization clients. As the internet marketing product manager, he coaches and guides insurance agents throughout the SEO program, ensuring they progress smoothly. Phillip's specialties include conceptualizing marketing campaigns, SEO, and customer service. He has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas at Arlington with a focus in management and communication.

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