Ten reasons to write for other people (or the benefits of guest blogging)

Writing for your blog is important. I’ve been neglecting mine recently, and it’s shown in the traffic I’ve been getting, and not getting. I’ve even used up my stock of ‘reserve’ blog posts thanks to a very busy period of work, followed by Life getting in the way. The cupboard was bare.

I’m always telling clients how important it is to publish blog posts regularly, so I’m a bit ashamed of this (even though I DO know work isn’t everything). So today I’m here to put things right.

Anyway, to get back to the point, writing for your blog is important.

BUT it can be equally valuable to write for other people’s blogs. This is known as guest blogging.

Here’s why it’s a good thing:

1. It gets your work in front of a new audience.

Having your post published, with your name, on someone else’s website means you get your writing in front of a whole bunch of new people. Different people. People who might, or might not, be interested in finding out more about you. That is a good thing.

2. You can build a relationship with the blog owner.

I first got to know the lovely Silvia del Corso when she got in touch to talk about guest blogging and we’ve stayed in touch since. It’s great to get to know other small businesses, not only because they might send clients your way, but because running your own business is tough at times so the more people you have around you, the more supported you’ll feel. And it works both ways, too.

3. It gives you a chance to talk about things you really care about, to a targeted audience that you might not have on your own site.

My blog is mainly about my business, but I do swerve off topic from time to time onto something that is important to me. That’s all very well and good, but I know that the people who follow my business are interested mainly in just that – my business, freelancing, copywriting. Sometimes you want to write something and get it in front of people you think it will help. That’s when it’s great to get a post published on an established site which is targeted at the people you’re looking for. This one got a big reaction late last year.

4. It gives you a practical way to support other small businesses.

I’ve already talked about the benefits of getting to know small businesses, but it’s worth repeating. Getting to know the small business community is hugely beneficial, and it’s pretty easy in these days of social media and online working. Contributing a guest post to someone else’s site is a great way of helping them out with their blog, saving them from writing a post one week and bringing a different voice and perspective to their audience. Check out this one I did for Jemima.

5. It’s a perfect opportunity to support your local community.

There will be all sorts going on in your local community that you could write about. From ‘what’s on’ guides for local parents, to charities who need some awareness raised, gigs at your local venue or heritage sites worth shouting about, the chances are you’ll find something you’re into. This is a way to practise your writing while also putting something back into the world on your doorstep (and helping other people to discover that world too).

6. It lets you demonstrate your knowledge about your subject area.

If you’re writing about something that’s relevant to your business, even if it’s not your ‘usual slant’ on it, you’re building a reputation and showing your experience. You’re proving to readers that you know your stuff.

7. It gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself to learn new things.

If you’re asked to write about something that’s not your usual bread and butter, that’s good too. That’s a chance to push yourself a little bit beyond your comfort zone, look at things differently, learn something new and do some research. And you never know, your new-found knowledge about swimming pool maintenance might just be the key that unlocks your next lucrative job.

This one is a sort-of-example here, and one that I had fun writing (which is why I’m shoe-horning it in slightly). Admittedly it wasn’t a totally unknown topic to me, but it wasn’t my usual copywriting talk either. And writing it made me realise how much I already knew (and what I needed to work on).

8. Small opportunities can lead to bigger ones.

This is true in every business. Once someone knows you and your work they’re more likely to work with you again (provided it’s gone well!). Writing a blog post for someone can lead to bigger opportunities like joint pitching to clients, referrals or larger projects. From small seeds grow mighty trees, or something like that.

9. Any opportunity to practise your writing is a good opportunity. The more you write, the better you get.

Practice makes perfect, right?

(Or at least better, if not perfect.)

10. And finally, if you’re lucky, you might get some valuable backlinks to your site.

Loads of articles about guest blogging would lead with this, but there are so many other benefits to guest blogging which I think are more valuable. If you’re writing guest posts JUST in the hope of getting links back to your site, I think you’re going wrong somewhere. It’s definitely worth a mention, but it shouldn’t be your focus.

So there you have it. Ten reasons to get guest blogging. Have you had success with guest posting yourself? Or are you keen to give it a go but need a hand with that, or with your own blog? If you want a helping hand along the way, get in touch for a free initial chat about how I can help.

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