how to be a successful guest bloggerGuest blogging is one of the best ways to build quality backlinks to your blog, which can improve your search-engine ranking. Also, when you write for another blog, you are being introduced to a whole new audience of readers, which you can attract to become regular readers and subscribers of your blog. However, effective guest blogging requires more than just contacting a few blogs, asking to post, and throwing up some haphazard content with a link to your blog. If you want to make the most out of your guest blogging opportunity — both to become a successful guest blogger in the long term and to get quality traffic to your site — here are some steps you should follow:

Find Appropriate Blogs

If you write a blog about caring for dogs, you likely won’t have a high reader conversion rate if you guest post for a blog on car repairs. To ensure that you are targeting the right audience, perform keyword research to find appropriate and relevant blogs. Also, look for blogs that have a steady flow of traffic to make sure that you are maximizing your efforts. Alexa, Technorati, and Google PageRank are some good tools for researching and choosing appropriate blogs with quality traffic.

Make Contact

Before you start contacting blog owners, be sure that you have some quality posts ready to pitch. Simply saying “I would like to guest post for your blog”, and waiting for an idea, may not land you a writing opportunity. Instead, treat each point of contact as an opportunity to sell yourself and your blog. Be sure that you include information about your blog, your writing experience, your areas of expertise and some topics for potential guest blog posts (including catchy headlines). Highlight how the blog owner would benefit from having you as a guest, as well, perhaps including information about your traffic base, how you will promote the post or your unique expertise.

Write a Quality Post

Once you have the go-ahead to write a guest post, start your research and planning as if you were writing a post for your own blog. Your guest post is an opportunity to connect with new readers, and if your post is poor quality, readers will likely think that your blog is of poor quality as well. They will have little incentive to visit your blog. Write a quality post with a unique angle, and be sure that you have optimized your posts with appropriate keywords (both for your blog and for your guest blog). Optimizing your posts will increase their visibility, helping you and the blog owner.

Optimize Your Byline

Your post is a way to highlight your expertise and the quality of content that can be found on your blog, but your byline is a way to let readers know a little something about you and to tell them why they should visit your blog. Be sure to include a photo of yourself (or an avatar), relevant information about your blog and your expertise, and a link to your blog. Use anchor text or other keywords in your byline as well.

Promote Your Post

When you submit your guest post, you are not yet finished. Once your post is published, you should promote your post by linking to it on your own blog, as well as any social-networking sites you are on. Not only will this encourage readers to visit the guest blog, thereby establishing a good relationship with the partner blogger, but it will also encourage more buzz around the post, helping to boost search-engine ranking. Be sure to also reply to all comments about your post in your efforts to promote it and build up more buzz.

Guest posting is a valuable marketing tool for any blogger, but it requires research and diligence to get the maximum benefit. Following these tips can help you to become a successful guest blogger and to encourage quality traffic back to your site. What other tips do you have for successful guest blogging? Share your ideas in the comments!