Guest blogging and the benefits to a small business website
Last month this blog featured its first guest post and it got me thinking about the benefits of having a guest contributor on your small business blog. There are a lot of articles, blog posts and content out there extolling the benefits of guest blogging for the blogger:
- Building relationships with a wider audience
- Gaining status as an expert in your field
- Driving traffic back to your own blog or website with links
These are all valuable reasons for writing and getting your own content featured elsewhere. But as a time-poor small business owner I thought I’d write about the benefits from the other side.
The benefits of featuring guest content on my own blog
1 Featuring a guest blogger saves time
This was probably the greatest appeal for me.
I have a self-imposed schedule of a minimum of one 2,000 word, or thereabouts, blog post a month. I don’t think this one is going to make it. This coincides with a mailing that I send on the first of each month although at the time of writing that mailing is likely to be a little late this month!
It takes me roughly three hours to research and write each post initially. There is then time put aside to proof read and edit, source a suitable image and publish the post.
I can do a lot of work on a client website in three hours not to mention the numerous other ways to spend time working on my business. Sometimes, finding that three hours is a challenge.
Having someone else create the blog post for me gave me back some valuable time.
2 You can share the opinion of an expert
Last month’s guest post was about protecting your online brand identity. This is something that all my small business customers and readers should be concerned about. Although this is a topic I am aware of I’m not an expert and having a post written by someone who is and who represents a business that provides a service recovering a damaged online reputation, adds greater weight to the message.
Of course, there is a lot of information out there about the subject and I could have done the research and written the post myself, but it is not a core offering of my business, although of interest to my readers. Had I done that I would just have been collating the ideas and opinions of others.
Having a blog post written by an expert gives the message more credibility.
3 Demonstrate your own position within your sector
As a small business owner or freelancer, you probably spend a lot of time working in isolation. It’s important to keep yourself up to date and informed about what else is going on in related areas of your sector. More importantly, it’s also very important that you reassure your readers and customers that you are in touch with what’s new and that you are current and up to date.
Featuring a guest blogger demonstrates to your readers and potential customers that you are active within your wider market and keeping in touch with current thinking. It also demonstrates that you have connections and contacts to call on should you need additional advice.
A guest blog contribution enables you to demonstrate the added value that you can bring with your own business offering by showing that you have relationships with other experts in your sector.
4 Build trust for your own business offerings
This one is loosely related to the previous point.
By openly welcoming the opinion of an expert and someone who is better informed than you on a specific subject you are adding weight to the topics that you do write about. Your readers will see that you are not the author of all the posts on your blog and that you’ve elected to use the voice of someone who is an expert in their chosen field, rather than trying to give the impression that you know everything about everything. In a roundabout way it will add credibility and gain trust from your readers and customers.
Write with confidence about what you know, but don’t be afraid to publish expert advice from a guest blogger.
5 Adding well written content to your blog will improve SEO
Adding fresh, well written content to your website or blog is currently one of the best ways to help with search engine optimisation. The more the better. So having a guest contributor can only boost the volume of content.
Overused but … ‘content is king’.
Encourage guests posts
It can only enhance the performance of your blog and the reader experience, plus it can ease some of the time pressures for you as a stretched small business owner:
- It saves you time
- It allows you to present the opinion of an expert on a related topic
- It helps to define your position within your sector
- It builds trust among your readers and customers
- It improves the SEO of your blog or website
So, if you’re approached by someone who would like to guest post on your blog … do it. You will ultimately retain control of your blog content and as part of your agreement with any guest blogger you should be able to edit content so that it is a good fit for your blog. You’ve got a lot to gain from collaborating with another expert in your field and by helping them, you may well open future opportunities for publishing of your own content as a guest blogger.