I was recently talking to a client that offers virtual legal services. She’s established a niche for herself, but her industry is so new, she has trouble finding clients.
I told her that her challenge was educating the marketplace. Sure, she offers legal services at a fraction of what the big boys charge, but if her audience doesn’t know that her company exists, she doesn’t stand to take some of that market share.
I told her she could find new customers by guest blogging on sites that cater to her audience as a solution.
Why Guest Blogging Works
I’ve been guest blogging for my own marketing company for years, and I use it as a way to show off my services (blog writing) and get introduced to new audiences. I’d say at least 30% of my leads come from people who have read my writing around the Web.
But I’ve also seen success in using guest blogging to educate an audience. I’m currently working with two different employee scheduling software companies, and they have the same issue that my lawyer client does: people simply aren’t aware that their solution exists. To that end, we’ve created a strategy of writing articles for niche publications. We’ve gotten posts and articles published in restaurant magazines, pet retail blogs, and small business sites. We’re providing content that fits the following formula:
Identify the Problem + Introduce the Solution + Explain the Benefits = Branding
This formula can work for you, too. Maybe you’re in an industry with dozens of competitors. In that case, guest blogging can serve to help you stand out. Write about your perspective on your industry and how you try to help customers. Or maybe you’re like the clients I introduced you to, and are in a relatively new and quiet field, and struggle to let people know what you do. Guest blogging can help you educate your target audience and introduce them to your company.
What Guest Blogging Isn’t
Guest blogging isn’t promotional. It’s not about saying how great your brand is, or even mentioning your brand in the post. It’s about talking about the solution you provide in general. People are smart. They’ll see your author bio and click the link to your site.
Guest blogging isn’t copycat. Everyone and their mother has already written about how to write a blog post. Write about how to develop a blogging strategy for the aerospace industry. Or whatever. Be different from all the other content out there.
Guest blogging isn’t meant to instantly generate sales. It does serve to get your name and web link in more places online, which helps brand you. When people continually see your name on different sites, they’ll register that they’ve seen you before.
Guest blogging can help you build relationships with people who read other blogs. They can breadcrumb back to your site and your blog, and fall into your sales funnel.
Editor’s note: This was written by Susan Payton for AllBusiness.