I write and publish guest blog posts because writing – like your startup – is for other people. It’s reaching new audiences. It’s sharing new experiences, practices and revelations with old friends and new friends… and even brands. It’s communication for the modern reader. Blogging is increasingly how many startups reach their next customer. In fact, 76% of professionals who used content curation saw an impact on reported business goals.
We’re in a “Video Killed the Radio Star” time because we can all be publishers now. The consumption of text has changed that much. Brands are publishers (check out this cool report by Huge Inc). Brands are still figuring out how to efficiently make their business efforts part media. With a little creativity and authenticity, anyone can put text in front of anyone else. Think about that.
Back then, You can put all the blame on the VCR. Today, you can put all the blame on the Internet from your the smartphone, and hear the playback from countless apps. It won’t seem so long ago. For the writer, the timeframe from submission to publication used to be months, or weeks, or for those few reporters out there, days. I was a newspaper reporter for long minute; early it became very clear, this is not how most read. Look at social media updates, I mean, you are the publisher of your life. Brands have that same freedom.
A startup can email their pitch for contributed articles, retweet the editor’s most recent blog, comment on publisher’s Facebook page – and what the heck – if no one cares about the guest blog post, startups can just publish it themselves. In fact a quality guest blog system is an inherent bullshit detector. It doesn’t mean you don’t have good advice to share, it just means the timing was off, or it was too self promotional, or the editor was having a bad day, or maybe it just wasn’t your best work. It happens. We all write shit sometimes. Shake it off.
Follow my 80/20 rule: 80% content about your top keywords, 20% content about your product or service. Lets be down to earth. And that starts with acknowledging, the issues are bigger than your business.
“Nobody cares about your products and services except you and the others in your organization,” writes David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules for Marketing and PR. “What your buyers do care about are themselves. And they care a great deal about solving their problems (and are always on the lookout for a company that can help them do so). The good news for smart marketers is that this knowledge has the potential to make you many times more successful.”
Why is this most common news the grandest news for your new startup? First of all, you’re probably broke. And free(-ish) impressions are your best friend. Secondly, it mandates that adding value, as opposed signing contracts, is the barrier to entry. Guest blogging makes it easier to get in the game. You must master the medium. And this medium is sharing valuable blog content. To learn more about why and how startups can use guest blogging to compete with bigger businesses, check out this presentation from the Scoop.it hosted meetup, “Bootstrapper’s Guide to Guest Blogging:”