Guest blogging is a three phase process. The first phase is your research and pitching. The second phase is creating and getting your guest posts published. The third and final phase is promoting your guest post, and it’s often overlooked.
Which is unfortunate, because the third phase is arguably the most important. Getting a post published is great, but getting that post to perform well means you’re much more likely to be invited back to contribute again. It’s part of how you convert a one-time opportunity into a recurring relationship.
With that in mind, here are fifteen different ways you can promote your guest posts after they’ve been published. If you even do half of these, you should be in a great position to build relationships and post more regularly.
1. Share on Social Media
This one is the bottom of the barrel, easiest option out there, and it’s something you should do as a matter of course. Chances are the editors of the site you contributed to will be watching for some social promotion. Share on Twitter, post via your Facebook Page, post a snappy image with the link on Instagram, pin the article on Pinterest, and so on. There are a lot of social networks to choose from, so use the ones you’re actively using yourself. Don’t go creating new accounts just for the social shares; your new account with zero followers doesn’t do much good.
2. Submit to Social Groups
Social groups are a little less visible than social shares, but they can still be valuable from a traffic standpoint. If you’ve dug into social media marketing before, you’ve likely joined a few Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, or tribes.
Make use of these groups to promote your new guest post. With luck, the stingy groups that filter promotional links will still allow something that isn’t on your own domain, though you always want to make sure you abide by the rules of the group you’re using.
3. Submit to Reddit
Reddit is weird. They have a lot of talk about not allowing promotional content, yet they have an ads system. They’re fairly aggressive in filtering bad non-ad promotional content, but if you make even the slightest effort to appear genuine, they’ll bend over backwards to promote your stuff. Some of their niche subs have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, so you can get a huge amount of audience exposure by posting in the right places.
There are two keys to successfully posting on Reddit. The first is to find the right subreddits. Look for subs that have a decent audience and a moderate amount of activity. The second is to write a post that appears genuine. You want to be organically recommending this article “someone” wrote, not blatantly promoting your own content.
4. Include in Your Mailing List
One of the easiest forms of marketing you can do is build a mailing list, so I’m assuming you already have one set up with a decent subscriber base. In your weekly or monthly newsletter, however often you actually send it out, add a link to your guest post. If you’ve published multiple guest posts since your last newsletter blast, go ahead and include all of them. It’s pretty easy to add a new section to a newsletter of “around the web” content you’ve written. You can pitch your stuff to an audience that has already expressed interest in it, and deliver it right to their inboxes.
5. Mention Influencers You Quoted
No piece of content on the modern web is made up from whole cloth. You are usually going to be referencing studies, quotes, or information from other sources along the way. If the site you’re writing for doesn’t allow links, you’ll want to go with quotes and citations. Regardless, you want to have some information with attribution for some number of influencers.
Whenever you mention those influencers, you’re given an opportunity to notify them of the mention. When your content goes live, send a message to those influencers. It can be as simple as a @mention on Twitter or as personal as a custom email sent directly to them. They might not share your post, but if even a couple of them answer or share the post, that’s a huge benefit.
6. Submit to Round-Up Posters
Just about every niche has a few bloggers who are well known for their round-up series. You know the ones; they publish something every week or every month with “the best content on the web this week/month” posts, primarily meant to link out to a variety of high quality pieces of content.
They’re fishing for backlinks and mentions, of course, but you can take advantage of them by submitting your content for their consideration. Since it’s personal attention they might not be getting otherwise, they’re likely to give you more attention in return, and add you to their list.
7. Add a Link to Upcoming Content
You’re not resting on your laurels, are you? Just because you’ve published a good guest post doesn’t mean you’re any less likely to be writing fresh content for your own blog. When you publish a new piece of content, add in a link to your guest post. You can do something as blatant as “Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I wrote a new piece on X over that Site Y, check it out!” at the top of your post. Or you can work it in organically in your new content so it doesn’t come across as so artificial. The link is the important part.
8. Send to a Warm Contacts List
What is a “warm” contacts list? Think about all of the people you have communicated with throughout your industry. You can divide these into warm and cold contacts. Cold contacts are the ones who, if you emailed them, may or may not respond. Warm contacts are the ones you’ve build up some level of relationship with and who are more likely to respond to your messages. Build this list of warm contacts and, when you publish a new guest post, send the link to them.
Personally, I prefer to segment my list a bit more. Rather than just a list of warm contacts, I make a specific list out of those warm contacts, consisting solely of people I think would actually be interested. It helps prevent driving away warm contacts who wouldn’t be interested in some fringe content.
9. Create Spinoff Content
Your guest post should be top-tier content, flagship content representing who you are and what you’re doing, but it should also be limited in scope. You can’t produce a 10,000-word masterwork for a site that publishes 800-word pieces. There’s a lot you need to leave out, and that means opportunities.
Scour your guest post for opportunities to expand on the content, then produce that content. You can publish your expanded content with links back to the guest post as the source. You may also be able to publish some of these expanded pieces as guest posts in other locations, further widening the net.
10. Add Links in Old Evergreen Content
Every blog likely has a selection of old content that still gets some decent amount of traffic. Those posts can be “updated” with a link to your new guest post, assuming the topics are relevant.
This way you capture not only your current, modern reader base, but your residual traffic as well.
11. Submit to Content Aggregators
Content aggregators are tricky to use properly. There are thousands of them out there, and a lot of them are pretty shady. They serve as link aggregators, but they’re mostly just used to build links to PBN sites or to very low quality content. You don’t want to be submitting your high-tier flagship content to these kinds of aggregators.
Find aggregators that have moderately high standards and moderation, and that are not pay to play. You may notice I’ve avoided mentioning any strategies that involve paying money to get extra promotion. You can always pay for a promoted post on Facebook or Twitter, or even pay for PPC ads directly to your guest post, but those strategies are likely to have a limited amount of returns for you. It’s generally better to focus your money on yourself and your energy on them.
12. Add the Link to Your Email Signature
Your email signature is seen by a lot of people every day, though precisely how many depends on how active you are in email communications. Adding a link to your most recent guest post to your email signature can give it quite a bit of promotion. While this promotion is largely invisible, you can at least make it part of your routine.
In order to prevent letting such a link linger too long, I like to keep a section in my signature for a recent post and rotate it out every 2-3 weeks. This can give a single post a decent amount of promotion, while still keeping the content fresh. Truly flagship content, the big stuff you’ll push for years, can have its own section.
13. Edit the Link into Your Author Bio
Usually you’ll have an author bio box at the end of your blog posts, and there’s no reason not to use it. I’m not telling you to use your one precious link in your guest posts for promoting other guest posts, but you can use your link in your own content for that purpose.
I’ll be honest here, there are much better places for the link, and your own fans aren’t likely to be reading your author bio blurb very often. Including the link here is mostly just to give it a bit of extra exposure and extra backlinks when you can’t fit them into the main text of your post. It’s up to you if you want to implement this one, to be honest.
14. Use the Link in Future Pitches
Depending on the quality of the site you wrote for, you can use the link to that post in pitches for future guest posts.
One of the key elements to a successful guest post pitch is including a few links to past work you’ve created. When you’re first starting out, that’s usually blog posts on your own website, and you should always include a few links to your own website regardless. However, once you’ve been published on a few high-tier domains, you can use those links to share as well. Even just saying “here’s my work for Inc, for VentureBeat, and for HuffPo” can be enough to get someone to accept a pitch they might have been on the fence seeing, because if you’re writing for those sites, you must be producing high quality content.
15. Don’t Stop After a Day
This last step is the key. Your promotion for your guest posts needs to last for a while, probably several weeks. It can last even longer if you’re promoting a high quality piece on a high quality site.
Exactly how long you promote a piece can vary. I’ve had pieces I’ve promoted for about a week, and I’ve had others that I keep sending traffic to on an ongoing basis for over a month. The more I want the post to succeed, the more effort I put into it. Some of these sites are extremely powerful in terms of links and exposure, and getting the invite to write something else can be a very good benefit in exchange for a lot of mostly-free organic promotion.