Blogging is one of the most accessible and cost-effective ways to naturally boost your website’s visibility online, but few hearing professionals take the time to maximize their blogging potential. We know that businesses that blog gain at least 67% more leads to their websites than those that don’t, so there’s little debate about the value blogging can offer your website.
But the truth is, blogging alone is usually not enough. To get a worthwhile increase in traffic to your website by potential patients, you need to leverage your writing. And guest blogging—posting your blog on someone else’s website—is an excellent (and free) way to do just that.
Guest blogging carries a short, but significant list of benefits. The intensity of these benefits increase in proportion to the popularity (or “quality,” measured by several factors by search engines) of the website your post is published on. In short, you can expect guest blogging to help you in the following ways:
Increase your own website’s visibility.
Unless otherwise noted, every guest blog you post online will be followed by a brief writer’s biography where you get to include a link back to your own webpage, another related article you wrote, or anywhere else you deem useful. It’s this link that is the treasured gem for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. These links, or linkbacks as they’re called, are a critical factor in the algorithms search engines like Google use when ranking your web pages in search results. The more linkbacks you have from other, quality websites, the higher your own web pages will rank.
Gain secondary traffic to your website.
Beyond boosting your overall SEO for online searches, it’s important to realize that many people will also click over to your webpage (or wherever the link in your author bio directs them) simply after reading your article. This lets you ride on the popularity (and high ranking) of your hosting website, as well as gain any extra attention from promotions that website might do on their own social networks. In other words, guest posting on the right website can significantly increase the number of avenues that new readers encounter your article, and in turn, learn about you and your services.
Establish authority in your field.
As a hearing professional, you have a lot of knowledge to offer. Your readership, on your website and in guest postings, will mainly be those who have an interest in hearing health and the problems and solutions associated with it. In the same way, you guide your patients with your experience and training, you can offer a similar level of value to people across the globe through your blogs. Writing on your own blog certainly helps to display the breadth of knowledge you have to share, but getting selected to post your content on a well-known or respected website takes things a few steps further. It highlights you as a hearing professional worth listening to; an expert with something to offer those in need. While less tangible and harder to measure, establishing a reputation as a trustworthy source for hearing healthcare information can have far-reaching benefits for attracting new patients locally, and getting more guest posting opportunities worldwide.
Now you can see why so many bloggers pursue guest posting as a means of boosting their online presence. But you might be wondering how to go about it. The truth is, guest posting isn’t as easy as it might seem. The competition is thicker than ever and the amount of content online is nearly unfathomable. To stand out enough to be selected to guest blog for a worthwhile website, it’s wise to take note of a few key tips before you get started:
Select your target host sites first.
You might have a topic you can’t wait to write about because you know that readers online will gobble it up and you expect it to be sure win for a guest post submission. Many guest bloggers go this route—writing great content first and then submitting it widely to discover what website will “bite.” In time, this approach might work well for you, too, but in the beginning, we recommend reversing the order of those steps for maximum opportunity. Once you’ve established a few guest posting relationships with different websites, you’ll likely have a good sense of the type and style of content to produce to keep those channels open and satisfied. Until then, research as much as you can upfront to save yourself time and frustration later.
By researching and selecting the ideal websites for your guest post, you give yourself the option of tailoring the content to each website’s style and readership. This alone will greatly increase your odds of standing out. Many websites have very specific guidelines for contributing writers, and knowing these in advance can save you time and energy.
It’s also not uncommon for very popular websites to refuse to accept anything other than an article proposal instead of a finished article, so researching your options beforehand can help you tailor the most successful approach to landing your first guest post. If you’re not sure if a website you like accepts guest posts or not (after thoroughly searching their entire site), send a brief email to an editor or their general contact email to find out. Avoid pitching yourself in that initial email, and wait to get a sense of what they’re looking for in their reply.
Write impeccable content.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth noting that you should expect to spend much more time crafting a guest post than you would a typical blog for your own website—at least in the beginning. You want your guest blog to gain as much traction online as possible, so spend time thoroughly researching the best keywords to include in your article (we dive more into keyword research here). Avoid trying to “stuff” keywords in as much as possible, and instead craft your article to naturally explore each related topic to be sure you can integrate those keywords seamlessly throughout. This also helps your article become more comprehensive and authoritative—two qualities that help online articles stay relevant (and popular) in the long-term.
Maximize your benefit.
Many guest bloggers miss an important opportunity when posting on external websites: they don’t build relationships with their readers. This might seem hard to do with readers on a website other than your own, but remember that as a guest poster, you often have two direct ways to connect with your article’s audience—through your link and through the comments.
The link you put in your author bio is important. Incredibly important. Sending readers to your website’s homepage or some related article you’ve written might mean that they learn more about the topic, and potential about you if they look around, but it’s a huge lost opportunity to connect. Consider that those who are interested enough in your article are likely the exact people who would be interested in your services. Your link should connect you to them more directly, by way of directing them to a page where they can sign up for your email newsletter (ideally in exchange for a helpful piece of content, like an ebook or guide of some sort).
Getting people to join your email list lets you continue to nurture your connection and keep your content in front of them going forward. If not local, these readers would at least become regular consumers of your content—clicking on it and possibly even sharing it— helping to boost your overall visibility online.
Most blogs have a comment section below the article, as this can help boost SEO for the article and keep people connected to the website and its writers. You’ll want to pay attention to the comments section below any article that you guest blog, for the same reasons you should stay connected to the comments on your own website, as it’s an effective way to further establish your authority on the topic, display your willingness to help to readers, and even gain helpful information for future articles. For instance, if several readers end up asking about the same related topic after reading your article, you might consider diving into that topic in more detail for a follow-up post (which host websites tend to love if the first article did well). As you work to build an online presence for yourself and your practice, the more interaction you can have with readers online, the better.
If you’re making time to write on your own website’s blog, you ought to consider penning one of those articles for an external website as well. As a hearing professional, your training and experience alone will help in asserting you as an expert on hearing health. Writing blogs to support that reputation is an excellent way to leverage your digital marketing strategy in a cost-effective way. Having your articles present on different websites online will also have long-term benefits, as content rarely ever “expires” on the Internet, and can gain attention increasingly over time.
Guest posting or not, sharing valuable content online is invaluable to any digital marketing strategy. And there’s no better time than now to capitalize on the immense opportunity of online marketing. In your mission to help people with their hearing health, gaining attention through your articles online can be an incredibly fast way to widen your reach and achieve your goals.