There are moments in life when you can feel stuck. You are in a job you don’t enjoy, with little potential for professional advancement. It’s a horrible feeling. If those words resonate with you, then pay attention. This guide will show you how to use guest posts to generate opportunities for professional advancement and new career opportunities.
This isn’t an article written to hit some target keywords. Rather, I want to share my experiences. I want to show you how, by working hard, you can reach and even exceed your career goals.
The Three Levers Of Career Advancement
There are a lot of amazingly talented people in the world. Unfortunately, there are only a limited amount of job opportunities that will reward these amazingly talented people with the lifestyle they desire. To achieve your goals, you need to advance down your career funnel.
Only a small portion of the people who enter the top of the funnel can advance. To advance down the career funnel, you will generally need to do one of the following:
- Work hard and show the value you bring to the company. This will mostly impress an internal audience (people at your company)
- Expand your professional network through LinkedIn and events. This will help you become aware of career opportunities at other companies.
- Establish yourself as an expert in your niche (people at your company and others will increasingly become aware of what you’re up to)
Of course, you should always work hard. So, I’m assuming you’ve got that covered.
Your network will play an important role in the career opportunities you’re presented. There are plenty of great guides that cover how to do online or offline networking. I suggest you read some of those guides and apply those lessons to your life.
In this article, I will focus on that third lever; establish yourself as an expert.
How to Use Guest Posts to Establish Your Expertise
Guest posting is just one of the many ways that you can establish yourself as an expert. I’m covering it in this article because it happens to be my preferred channel. I understand how to do it and can share tips based on real-life experience. Before I jump into how to use guest posts to create career opportunities, I want to quickly touch on the theory of fame.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that experts’ predictions are no better than the average person. That’s probably because most experts are normal people who have mastered the art of self-promotion.
When you share your expertise with the world, two things happen: more people become aware of you, and businesses come to you to offer opportunities. These two things also feed into one another, and over time this can have a snowball effect.
Here’s how it looks:
That can mean you go from writing guest posts to appearing in expert roundups in the online space.
Both roundups and guest posts are a kind of social proof, showing prospective people interested in digital marketing that I know what I’m talking about. Once you start guest posting for authoritative sites, you jumpstart that never-ending cycle of reputation enhancement and career growth.
Whether you own a business that you’re looking to grow or after your next dream job opportunity, a guest posting strategy can help you. Now, I want to show you how to run your guest post campaigns.
How to Use Guest Posts to Land Job Opportunities
Before you start writing guest posts, you must determine your goal. Are you a freelance graphic designer eyeing a coveted post in an agency, a copywriter looking for your next big client, or an architect going after a senior job in a top firm? Before you can get anywhere, you need to know where you want to go.
Write down that big goal and any other smaller you might have. Perhaps you want potential employers to see your LinkedIn profile so they can see your work, prospective clients to reach out for a consultation, or to boost your website’s SEO. Whatever they are, write them down.
You also need to understand your niche, which will be determined by your career goals. Remember, the aim is to build your expertise through your guest posts, opening the door to career opportunities.
So if you want to be a graphic designer, you would have to write about design. If you’re a marketer, your best bet would be to write about marketing topics. And so on.
Shortlist Relevant Sites to Target
Guest posting means writing for other websites. The site you write for must be industry-relevant. So if you’re a graphic designer, make sure your target sites are related to design or adjacent topics.
Secondly, you need to determine your target audience.
There are generally two potential groups to target. You have publications that your peers read, and then you have publications customers read. These publications are often the same, but not always. To come up with a list of publications for your peers, the best thing to do is ask your colleagues what industry publications they read.
Here’s how to find websites to target.
First, think of an authority website in your niche. It would help if you used a tool like Ahrefs to review the links linked to that site. If you pay for the tool’s premium version, you can export a complete list of referring domains.
Download the list and filter it based on relevancy. Are the sites relevant to your niche? If not, remove them from consideration. You should also remove any sites that aren’t suitable for guest posting (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Wikipedia).
Next, remove any with a DR of below 50.
You then need to sift through the remaining list and remove any sites that are not relevant. Part of this process will be a manual check. Simply going to a website, and looking around, should be enough to determine if it is the type of site where you’d like to appear.
In addition to filtering your list for relevance, you should also consider visitor numbers. I generally try to write for sites that have a minimum of 10,000 unique visitors a month. The more visitors a site has, the more people are likely to read your content. It’s a pretty simple correlation.
You have access to traffic stats from the list you export on a tool like Ahrefs.
You can repeat this process as many times as necessary with different authority sites in your niche.
Once you’ve got your shortlist, you’ll need to find the editor’s contact details at the site. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. My favorite method is to connect with a site editor through LinkedIn. The process is straightforward.
Just search for the company on LinkedIn, and then do a company search for the position of editor.
When a person accepts your connection request, just send over a message asking about their guest post policy. It’s pretty straight forward.
There will be instances where people don’t accept your connection request. It might even be the case that you can’t find the company on LinkedIn.
If either option occurs, the best alternative is email.
Try to find the contact details for the site editor on their website. If this fails, use an email ID finder to get their details. Both of these services offer 50 free searches, which is more than enough to start a guest posting campaign.
When you send your guest post email, be polite and friendly, but concise. Tell them who you are, your expertise, what you’re asking for, and what you can do for them.
Below is an example email outreach template:
Hope you’re having a good day. My name is NAME. For the last X years, I’ve been working in the NICHE. I’ve got a couple of article ideas based on my expertise in NICHE that I think would be of interest to your audience. Are you accepting guest posts, and what would be the best way to proceed with this inquiry if you do?
If they come back with a positive response, you can pitch relevant topic ideas. Don’t forget to make sure the site hasn’t covered your idea already!
Write Your Guest Post
Once one of your shortlisted websites approves your proposed topics, it’s time to write!
Remember that your guest post will be published with your name attached and that you have specific goals. Therefore, make an effort to ensure the piece is as good as it can be.
Draw up an outline before you start to ensure the post is on-topic and well structured. Conduct in-depth research, including statistics and graphs when necessary, and always cite your sources. And ensure your piece is free from grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and plagiarism.
Here are a few more top tips for writing great content:
- Always write to express, not to impress. Convey your ideas in the most straightforward manner possible, using accessible language and not jargon.
- Vary your sentence length. This keeps the reader engaged and prevents the piece from becoming monotonous and boring.
- Follow the website’s style guide if it has one.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you turn in a poorly-written piece, that’s what the website editor will remember you for. Your piece might be rejected, and you could even be blacklisted. Even worse, website editors in the same niche talk to each other, so you can expect word to get around.
Before you start writing, refer back to that list of goals we made earlier. You need to know what to include in your guest post to achieve those goals.
If you want to show off your expertise, you need to make sure you’ve covered all the relevant points on that topic? Are you trying to improve your SEO? Ensure you’ve included relevant backlinks (but no more than one or two per piece.)? Do you want headhunters and potential employers to find you on LinkedIn? Make sure you link to your profile in your author bio? And so on.
Linkback to a Suitable Landing Page
Your job doesn’t end once you’ve written your guest post. Before you submit it to the editor, make sure the links you include – whether in the post copy or your author bio – direct people to a suitable landing page.
The landing page is designed to generate leads. Notice how I utilize social proof. Further down the page, I share examples of the sites where I’ve been published. It ends with a Call To Action. You could create something similar very easily.
It’s easy to create this kind of page with a landing page builder. The purpose of a landing page such as this is to highlight your skillset.
One final tip, if you don’t already have a website, consider buying your name. This site could serve as your online CV. You’ll find many examples of marketers who have used this approach to build out their personal brand.
Guest posting can be time-consuming, but if you do it right it has substantial benefits. Apart from driving traffic to your site and improving your SEO, it can also help you generate new job opportunities and develop your career.
If you follow the steps I’ve laid out for you, you should be able to develop your strategy and start reaping the benefits. If you devote time and effort to writing great guest content for authority sites, you’ll soon be one step closer to achieving your professional goals.