Besides sharing your industry expertise on your own website, submitting guest blog posts and articles to other respected websites can boost awareness of your business and you as a professional in your field.

Guest blogging is a content marketing tactic that delivers several powerful benefits whether you’re launching a startup or trying to grow your existing business.

Here are some ways guest blogging can help a business:

• Increases your credibility.

When you’re published on blogs that are well known and respected in your industry or niche, you can more easily earn trust and customer confidence.

• Expands your exposure to your target audience.

By getting published in popular blogs that your target customers read faithfully, you stand to reach hundreds – maybe thousands – more potential customers than you would without making the effort.

• Drives traffic to your website.

Nearly all blogs that accept posts from external contributors allow you to include a brief bio at the end of your article with a link back to your own business’s website.

• Introduces new connections.

By sharing your contact information (email address, website URL, phone number, and social media accounts) in your bio, you stand to gain new connections who want to learn more about your products and services.

Here are some tips for doing it right:

• Realize that guest blogging requires time for brainstorming topic ideas, reaching out to websites to pitch those ideas, and for writing your articles.

It might also cost you money if you’re not a strong writer and you need to outsource some of the work to an agency or freelance professional. Because of the time and the potential monetary investments, you’ll want to heed some best practices so you can get the most from your efforts.

• Select high-quality outlets.

Find reputable websites that target your niche and that are known for publishing quality content. Also consider the number of subscribers they have. The more people who receive the blog’s posts by email or via an RSS feed, the more potential readers you’ll have looking at your guest posts.

• Consider the site’s contribution guidelines.

Find out in advance what word count they require, topics the editors prefer, tone they want to project, and the other specifics they want contributors to abide by. If you won’t be able to meet their requirements, you shouldn’t waste your time or theirs by pitching ideas to them.

• Prepare a well-defined pitch.

When proposing topics, think them through and write a proposed title and abstract that will capture the editorial team’s attention and give them a good sense of what you’ll include in your guest post.

If the editors accept your pitch, follow through on what you promised.

• Don’t pull a “bait and switch” by sending an article that strays from the abstract you presented them.

• Be on time.

If the editors give you a deadline, meet it (or submit your post early). If you miss your deadline, you may ruin your chances of again being considered as a contributor.

As you’re working on your content marketing strategy, reach out to your local chapter of SCORE to talk with one of our small business mentors for guidance and feedback. You can also find a lot of helpful articles, webinars, and other resources that provide helpful marketing information.

Call the local branch at 925-6100 to request SCORE help with your business.