If your blog is designed to grow your business, then first you need to grow your audience. The more people who read your blog, the more likely you will see returns on that investment. One way to grow your audience is to write guest blogs on popular websites.

When you are writing a blog for your small business, it can sometimes seem like you are shouting into a void. You may wonder, who reads this stuff anyway? And that can make it hard to keep writing week after week.

One way to overcome that is to grow your audience. “Great,” you say, “How do I do that?” You need to go where the people are and then entice them to come to you.

There are thousands of websites out there, covering everything from gardening to grandparenting, politics to pottery. And they all need content. Some of the most popular social media websites are actively looking for guest bloggers who can add value to their readers and advertisers. By being smart about where and what you write, you can take advantage of these websites to help grow readership on your own.

Choose Your Guest Posts Wisely

Since there are so many websites looking for content, you need to be smart about where you send your writing. Start by identifying your target market. Who are you trying to reach? Then do your research. Find websites where those people are engaged – you can tell because they will leave comments. Once you find where your people are, you will know where to send your guest posts.

Write to the Site’s Strengths

Now that you know where to write a guest post, the next question is what to write. Take your time to read several of the posts on your target site. Don’t just rely on the About page, do your homework to see what kind of posts they generally accept. While you are at it, pay attention to article length and formatting trends. Does the website use a lot of subheadings or bullets? Do they like memes or gifs? By doing a careful survey, you will start to get a feel for the site’s strengths. By writing to them, your guest post will be more likely accepted.

Give Their Readers Something to Think About

Choose a topic that connects with the website’s readers, and also gives a unique value that it may otherwise be missing. If you are a family law attorney writing a guest post for a parenting website, you may choose a topic about surviving divorce or how to be a better co-parent. Use your particular expertise to give the readers a new perspective on the same topic.

Bring Readers Back to You

Ultimately, you don’t just want readers on that guest post. You want them to find you on your business website. So make it easy for them to come back with you. Link to related articles or webpages on your site. Provide a short biography paragraph that explains what you do. And give readers an easy way to contact you. That way you won’t just be another guest blogger. You will become someone they go to for answers, interest, and eventually help.

Guest blogging is a great way to grow readership on your own website. By being strategic about where you write, what you write, and how you bring readers back to you, you will be able to expand your reach and increase the ROI of your writing.

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Lisa Schmidt is a writer with Legal Linguist. She writes blogs and web content for lawyers and small businesses. If you need help building your online presence, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.