Since Mequoda launched eight years ago, our belief that free is what sells hasn’t changed.
In fact, our entire system and those of our clients are based around the Long Tail strategy, which we’ve developed into a system that focuses on giving away valuable content in order to gain the trust of future buyers.
When Chris Anderson wrote The Long Tail so many years ago, he already knew what was to come in the online publishing world:
“There will always remain a division of labor between professionals and amateurs. But it may be more difficult to tell the two groups apart in the future.”
Precisely. Do people trust the New York Times more than The Huffington Post, simply because it’s in print? I’m going to go out on a limb and say not anymore, considering that Huffington Post has 40% more unique visitors per month.
Wait did I just call The Huffington Post a bunch of amateurs? This just proves Anderson’s point even more. Now we wouldn’t call them amateurs, but five years ago we would have. Or rather, consumers would have considered the New York Times to be more trustworthy. Nowadays, the line of credibility between a print and online publication is very thin, practically translucent.
With that said, and as our online competition grows larger, we need to do a little more adoption to the blogger way of thinking. Many of the biggest digitally-grown publications frequently call for guest bloggers. These bloggers are sometimes other professionals or bloggers, and sometimes they’re simply normal people, experts in their own minds.
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Since our biggest drive is to create valuable content for free that will eventually drive people back to purchase from us, it’s important to keep coming up with lots of content. Unfortunately, your current editorial staff only has so many brains and only ten typing fingers. Reaching out to people to guest post can not only increase your content delivery schedule, but bring in new perspectives, experience, and even a new audience.
Here are some tips to get that ball rolling:
Contact bloggers in your niche:
Many bloggers post their email address on their website, but sometimes it can be difficult to find email addresses of bloggers you want to contact. However, companies and bloggers typically promote social media accounts outright, so try getting in touch with them that way too.
Check out your inbound links:
See who’s been linking to your articles. If there are others in your niche who have their own blogs and are already linking to you, you may have an easier time connecting with them and asking them if they’re interested in a guest post.
Set up a template for guest blog posts:
In order to show potential bloggers what you’ll be offering them in terms of credentials and possible back-links on their website, be sure to come up with a live or offline example of what their blog post, byline and bio will look like when their post is published.
Ask your subscribers:
A great idea is to hold an open call for entries, or better, a contest. Ask your current loyal subscribers to participate and submit their stories on a different topic every month.
Check out Blogger Linkup for people looking to write guest posts:
Blogger LinkUp is a daily newsletter that connects bloggers with other bloggers who are either looking for guest posts, or who are willing to write guest posts. The email provides contact information for every potential guest blogger which gives you direct access to building a relationship. Most of the bloggers on this list are willing to write in exchange for a link back to their blog and don’t require payment.
Adding a plethora of guest posts will not only diversify your content, but it will add unlimited dimensions to the perspective you have on your own topic. More importantly, guest posts will continually feed the well of knowledge that is your website.