One of the most underrated ways to grow your email list is through guest posts. While yes, there are quite a few people writing for other blogs, they’re missing key components to help them actually take that content and grow their list. The fact of the matter is, it’s not enough to pick a random blog, write any ol’ post, and expect the host’s audience to click over to your site and follow you like crazy! I hate to be brutally honest, but it just doesn’t work like that.
Instead, there are several things you want to consider – not just for your post, but when you’re picking the bloggers that you’re pitching to. Today, I have 3 tips on how you can use guest blog posts to really grow your list!
Find bloggers with a complementary audience
There are a lot of people out there who are going to tell you to just go after the top influencers – aka the people with the biggest following. That may seem like the best decision if you want to get tons of eyes on your post and signing up for your email list. However, just like you don’t need a thousand people on your email list to make sales, you don’t have to have tens of thousands of Twitter followers to have an engaged audience. In fact, someone may have tons of followers on social media but little to no interaction on their blog posts.
Instead of getting hung up with the top influencers, take a look at your Twitter feed and see if you can find people that you’re already interacting with that have a complementary audience. The most important thing here is that you find someone that’s not necessarily talking about the same exact topics as you but that has content your post would easily fit in with. Think about it like this: If blogger X is writing about running an Etsy shop and blogger Y talks about branding, then the second blogger could realistically write a post about why branding is so important when it comes to your Etsy shop and making sales for the first blog!
Write truly valuable posts with actionable content
The key to getting their audience interested in wanting more from you is to provide truly helpful content. You can’t do that through brief posts or by writing on something that the audience then wonders, “Okay, well now what do I do?” Instead of writing a 500-600 word blog post with basic concepts, make sure that you’re writing a valuable post that the audience can learn something from.
Look, I believe in the value behind giving as much as I reasonably can away. I used to write a lot of those skimming-the-topic posts for my own blog, and I’ve read a lot of them over the course of my blogging journey as well. I’m not going to lie to you, those kinds of posts most of the time leave me feeling more confused or up in the air about a decision than not having even read the post. It’s like I feel that I have to invest time to actually learn anything. It’s not helpful, and those kinds of posts aren’t going to get people interested in clicking over to sign up for your email list or even just clicking over to your site.
Instead of just barely touching on the topic for the audience of your blog post, really get into it. Show them that you truly care about helping them. Give them actionable steps that they can take back to their own blogs, businesses, or lives and start to try out some of those things that you wrote about in your guest post. That is the kind of content that’s going to get a different audience interested in hearing more of what you have to share.
Include bonus content in the form of a content upgrade
The key to using guest posts to grow your email list is to make sure you’re including some sort of bonus content in the form of a content upgrade! It’s great to write a post for someone else’s blog and get in front of a different audience; however, consider what the likelihood is that they’ll not only visit your blog after reading the post, but then also sign up for your email list? Let’s be honest, it’s just probably not going to happen that way.
When you’re working on your content upgrade, you want to make sure that it’s just as helpful as your blog post is. I love to create a full workbook for my content upgrades if I can and include bonus material to help it be that much more helpful. When you’re working on yours, try to take the content from your blog post a little further. For example, you can always include a short workbook or some sort of checklist, but can you add a few extra points that you didn’t include in your post in the upgrade? Whatever it is, you want your bonus material to be something that helps them take your content and move forward!
The last thing I would say when you’re doing content upgrades for guest posts is to make it as easy as possible for your host blogger to implement. Yes, most of us are using LeadPages and all sorts of extra things on our blogs now, but be mindful if you’re working with someone who doesn’t have anything like that on their blog. While you’re creating the box or button, it’s also beneficial to keep in mind their blog branding as well as your own. If someone had bright red as their branding and wanting to include a content upgrade with a guest post on my blog, I would expect them to keep in mind my own brand colors as much as theirs when they’re styling their box / button!
At the end of the day, my biggest recommendation for those looking to grow their list through guest posts is to be open and human about it. If you want to write for someone, be honest with them about it. Don’t be sneaky and try to get them to like you just so you can pitch to them. That not only seems crazy, it is. The other recommendation I’d have is to just get out there and do it. You never know what someone may say to you, and I can guarantee more people will happily accept your pitch than you may realize!