Troy Broussard: Hello and welcome back to Mike and Troy’s TopMarketingStrategies Podcast. This is Troy Broussard.
Mike Pereira: And I’m Mike Pereira.
Troy: Yeah, can’t get rid of him. He shows up every week. I try to do it, but here he goes. [laughs]
Mike: You wanted me to come online with you more, now you’re stuck with me. Like a growth.
Troy: [laughs] So today’s topic, we’re going to continue our thread on some of the top marketing strategies that are effective today. Last week, we talked about fresh content. This week, we’re going to dive into another type of content altogether: guest blog posting. This is something that has been around a long time. We’re going to talk about that. It’s certainly nothing new, but it’s very relevant today. Guest blog posting is really simply going out to other sites that are in your niche and contributing content to them. As we all know, creating content can become a chore, and a lot of authors and site owners will accept guest blog posts. If you can create quality and unique content that engages their audience, they’re happy to publish it for you and give you credit for it. So guest blog posting is simply that: going out, soliciting other places to write content to brand yourself and get your name out there. So, Mike, let’s talk about some of the benefits of guest blog posting.
Mike: Absolutely. One of the number one benefits of guest blog posting is traffic. A lot of people I know nowadays are doing guest blog posting and they automatically think links, andone of the biggest transitions for 2013 is really think traffic, not links. So guest blog posting, from what we have seen, brings you traffic. Now, they’re not all going to bring you traffic. You may put out 10 guest blog posts and 9 of them don’t really bring you much traffic at all. But one of them can make up for the other nine that didn’t work. We did one guest blog post specifically that still brings us traffic to this day. I think it’s been three months now or something and we still see traffic on our analytics coming from it daily. So the traffic from it is key, and it’s not just any traffic. It’s relevant traffic.
Troy: Now let’s be clear. You’re not going to be getting hoards of traffic from every blog post, it’s not like it’s going to bring you thousands and thousands of visitors. Now, it can if you hit it on a really good one and it goes viral. But in general, it’s going to be small amounts of traffic for each post. But the beauty of this is, it’s a common thread we talk about, and it goes back to our Depeche Mode. [laughs]
Mike: Depeche Mode. I knew we were going for Depeche Mode. We should probably change our themes song or something to Depeche Mode.
Troy: I think we ought to get Depeche Mode to pay us for the podcast here. [laughs]
Mike: Sponsored by Depeche Mode.
Troy: The song that we’re talking about is Everything Counts in Large Amounts, and the bottom line here is that we’re talking about diversifying your traffic. You can’t just go out there and hammer anchor text link and go after Google traffic and think that’s the only way that you’re going to promote your site. You have to get traffic from a lot of different sources. Guest blog posting can be a very effective way of getting your name out there and bring in some additional traffic. So we’ve talked about traffic and links, what are some other things, Mike?
Mike: Now, I don’t want to leave the traffic one yet. Like you said, we’re not going to get tons and hoards of traffic, but you can. And really, a lot of them can be home runs. So you’ve got to keep going out there and swinging the bat and eventually you will get that home run as long as you keep going at it. Then you just keep going, rinse and repeat.
Another benefit that segues from traffic is then the link. The ones that don’t give you traffic are going to give you a relevant back link to your site. While it may not bring you traffic that you see in your analytics, the relevant link you get from it may help your rankings and pick up traffic off of natural organic search just because you’ve got a great link.
Troy: Yeah, not only a great link, but it’s an authority link, it’s from a relevant site, and all of that helps establish your authority and relevance as well. If you’re posting content out on quality sites and you’re expanding your sphere of influence, it shows Google who you associate with. If you’re associating yourself and your brand with quality and authority sites that are out there, well then, that rubs off on you in some way, shape or form. I’m not going to say I understand the algorithm to tell you exactly how, but I can tell you that I know that there is a way algorithmically that you are benefitting from the fact that if you’re writing on CNN and the LA Times and those links are pointing back to you, then that certainly is going to be a benefit.
Mike: Absolutely. That is another benefit: authority by association. Like Troy says, we can’t prove for a fact that there’s something algorithmically out there adding that, but it does. It’s going to count that link toward you, it’s going to count that link as a relevant link, and it’s going to help you a lot in your rankings by being authoritative by association.
Troy: So when we play on that a little bit, obviously, there’s the branding and exposure, which is something that we take for granted, but it’s really important today. We’re trying to build a multichannel presence out there and not just be in one single environment. The more you can get your name out there into various spheres of influence and different circles, clearly, that’s going to have a benefit in marketing and branding your name, site and reputation online.
Mike: Absolutely. That goes to the big brands that sponsor golf outings or tennis tournaments and things to that effect. They’re not necessarily going to get an ROI specifically from sponsoring a golf tournament, but they’re going to get the branding and put their name out there. Now, if you’re actually writing authoritative good quality posts for sites that are within the same relevant niche and somebody goes to site A and sees your writing there, then goes to site B and C and keep seeing your name out there writing, they’re going to automatically put you at the same level as these other sites that they’re visiting. And they’re going to become a subscriber to your site and associate you as being authoritative by association, which goes back to the other point.
Troy: Either that or a stalker, one of the two. [laughs]
Mike: [laughs] One of the two.
Troy: So let’s transition on that segue over into guest posting and getting guest posts in the first place. Because I know that this is something that a lot of people always…
Mike: Wait! Wait, wait, wait! We got one more benefit we didn’t cover, Troy. I know you’re dying to move on, but another benefit is actually relationship-building. When you’re out there putting guest posts on other sites, you’re making content with these site owners, site editors, people from other sites that are within your niche and relevant to your niche. And as you build these relationships, they can bring up tons of opportunities. Not only are you getting a guest post, you may actually build a quality relationship with somebody within your niche that may wind up JV-ing for you, or you may wind up promoting a product of theirs, or they may promote your product, or maybe you guys just meet up somewhere. But one way or another, relationship-building is always a good thing, especially with somebody within your niche.
Troy: Yeah, and there’s something you’ve got to keep in mind here. When it comes to blogging, it’s just human nature. We love to see people talking about our content. So when somebody interacts with us, or when they reach out to us or any of that, it’s human nature. It’s going to start to form some type of relationship. You’re going to stand out. So when you’re reaching out to people and say, “Hey, I want to write a post for your site,” that’s a form of complement. It’s a form of complement to their site that it’s something quality that you want to contribute to. That just opens doors to a lot of possibilities. So don’t underestimate the relationship-building side. We’ve created some JV relationships, we’ve found all kinds of neat stuff that have happened just from that approach.
Can I move on now? Are you permitting me now? [laughs]
Mike: [laughs] Now, you may move on, Troy.
Troy: So now we’re moving on to how to get guest posts in the first place. This is something that a lot of people really struggle with. It’s kind of funny, because the reality is, it’s like anything else. The first few times you do it, it can be difficult, but after you get in the roll of it, it actually starts to build and the effect just snowballs from there. Because once you’ve gotten a couple of guest blog posts, it’s really not hard to get a lot of others by just leveraging your name and saying, “Hey, I’ve contributed here, here, here and here. How do I get onto yours?”
Mike: And, this goes back to my point of interruption, by building those relationships – you like how I segued that one? – they can actually assist you in possibly getting guest posts on other sites that they have relationships with.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. The blogging community is a close-knit community, and what you’re going to find out as you get into it more and more is it’s a community of syndicates. [laughs]
Troy: So when you get in with one blogger, you’re generally getting yourself into a sphere of influence, and if you just work the relationships right, you’re likely to get that blogger to recommend you to half a dozen other bloggers that he or she interacts with quite a bit. So definitely work that angle.
But let’s go back to getting that first blog post. Getting that first blog post or guest post syndicated out there. It can be a little intimidating, the first, so what’s the trick?
Mike: It can be. The trick is to find plenty of sites out there that will have a link that says do you want to guest post here and you just click on that and follow the instructions. It may be a good place to start I would think because it would be the easiest form for you to go. I could think of other sites within our niche have a link that says “Want to guest post here?” and they’ll have their full instructions that tell you what to do…
Troy: So the first part is follow the instructions. [laughs]
Mike: Follow the instructions. That’s difficult for people like me. Troy will tell you, I’m the kind of person who’ll just go out there and do things and hammer my head against stuff and complain that something’s not working. And Troy will ask me “did you read the instructions?” and I’ll say “No”.
Troy: Yeah, the thing of it is, you’ve got to get in with people, and in order to do that, if they’ve taken the time to write out a set of instructions of how they want you to follow their guest posting guidelines, you need to do that. Some bloggers are very specific and will give you very specific guidelines, and others will leave it up to free form. If they leave it free form for you, here’s the thing. They’re seeing a lot of requests coming in. You want to maximize your opportunity, so don’t send them an email saying, “hey, can I write a guest blog post for you?” That’s a wasted email.
Instead, identify with them and provide that guest blog post in that first email. So if they don’t take you up on it in a few weeks and nothing’s happened or whatever, you can always go out there and use that somewhere else. But if you provide that information to them right off the bat, then you’re not wasting their time. They can read that information, they can see what quality you’re providing up front, and make a determination. You’re giving them all the information they need to make that decision.
Another thing I like to do is put yourself in their shoes. If you’re writing content for another site, think of what you would want on your site. One of the things I always try to do when I write guest blog posts is look for other articles that are related on their site and include links out to them so that I can build their cross-linking on their own site and keep the user engagement up on their site. So, I’m looking out for them in that situation.
Mike: Right. And you’re also showing them you are an active reader of their site and are aware of the other content on their site and trying to be helpful to them. You’re not just going out there looking for an opportunity to take some of their subscribers. You’re actually sending people out within their site as well, which is great for building credibility.
Troy: And clearly, you do have to spend some time researching before you submit to them. You need to make sure you’re submitting a topic that resonates, not only with your authority and something you’re comfortable writing about, but also their niche, audience and readership. And it’s not a topic that’s already been covered on your site, or if it has been covered, that you’re providing a new fresh angle and perspective. So make sure and spend that time to do that because otherwise, you’re just wasting their time.
Mike: Agreed. You want to add value.
Troy: One other trick that I like to do when you’re trying to get some of those first guest posts is stand out. You need to stand out from everybody else that’s submitting stuff. So if you have anything that you can leverage in your history, backstory, or information about you, then include that. If you’ve got a recording of you speaking onstage at a recent event, then put a little link to that and kind of name-drop it. Do anything that you can from your history and experience to stand out from the crowd.
Another way you can do that is instead of just sending them an email for the introduction, you can send them the content in the email, but you can also send a link to a one-minute video of you saying hi, that you’ve been a follower and what you can provide, etc.
Mike: Yeah, and Troy’s really great at doing those videos. He sends me videos just to tell me to check my email. [laughs]
Troy: It doesn’t work. [laughs]
Mike: I’ve seen firsthand how he creates these videos and sends them out to JV partners or guest blog posting partners and stuff, and gets a very good reaction out of people and actually gets people to open up and watch it, which is pretty great.
Troy: Yeah, it’s all just about standing out and being different. And lastly, I give a shout-out to my friend, Dean Hunt and one of the things he talks about, whenever you reach out to anybody, make your communication all about them. Don’t make it about you.
So many people write to somebody and say I can do this, I can do that, I can do the other. But instead, if you reach out and say “I really like your blog. I really like the way you connect with your users in this area.” and you make it about them and what they’re doing, then you’ve got a lot better chance of getting in tight with them. The fact of the matter is, we all like to hear some complementary…
Mike: Yeah, a little ego stroking, right?
Troy: A little ego stroking goes a long way.
Troy: Lastly, I want to talk about one more thing about guest posting, and that is it’s really an old school marketing tactic. So why has this really come back into vogue again? Mike?
Mike: I’m not sure it’s actually back in vogue, Troy. It’s always been around. I think it’s just out in the forefront. I really don’t know why it’s…
Troy: You know what, where just going to ask the viewers. [laughs]
Mike: Go to AskMikeAndTroy. [laughs]
Troy: No, seriously. I think one of the things that has made guest posting become popular again here today is that this transition in 2012 has been about the penalties and all of the things going on. One of the big impacts of that has been the transition from quantity to quality. Guest blog posts are a great way of getting quality links and traffic, because it’s not just any traffic, it’s very engaged traffic. Somebody that reads through your entire guest post and then clicks through to go back to your site – that’s a very engaged user. That is a very ideal user that you want to have on your site. So I think in this past year, as people have been really just browbeaten by the Penguin and the Panda and every other furry black and white critter that comes through Google’s zoo lately [laughs], the fact of the matter is, it’s a great way for getting some of that quality traffic and providing the right type of traffic and links back to your site.
Mike: To me, it goes back to marketing for the right reasons instead of just getting links. We’re out there marketing for exposure, for branding, for traffic, for all the reasons we’ve already discussed in this podcast, and a link is a by-product of it.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. That is it in a nutshell. That is really the whole point of what you should have learned in 2012. So many people were just out there doing link building for link building’s sake instead of focusing on marketing your site. Marketing your site is what you should be doing, and guest posts are a tremendously effective way of doing that.
Pick the Brain
Troy: This week’s Pick the Brain question comes from Paul in Aurora, Illinois. Paul said he’s heard a lot of negativity about Google this year with all the Penguin and Panda updates and a lot of people debating on the forums whether you should even use Google Analytics or not because they can see so much information about your site. He said he loves using Google Analytics and is wondering should he really switch to GetClicky or does it matter? Mike?
Mike: We actually experimented on this ourselves at the beginning of the year. We used Google Analytics on just about every one of our sites and then around the March time-frame, we removed it and went with GetClicky. While we do like the GetClicky stats, I’m still partial to the Google Analytics and we started migrating back to the Google Analytics for our websites.
Troy: Yeah and when Mike says we experimented, we did some tracking on both ways to see if it had any type of impact whatsoever, and we could never conclusively show there was any type of impact in traffic, different rankings or anything related to whether to use Google Analytics or not. While I know a lot of people are ticked off at Google over a lot of the changes this year and they may be moving away from Analytics for those reasons, from the practical standpoint of is it going to impact my rankings negatively to be using Analytics, there’s no evidence of that whatsoever. The fact of the matter is, Google sees all that information whether you’re using Google Analytics or not. They are assigning unique tracking codes to their visitors through their search, using secure search or HTTPS on their search now, and assigning unique IDs and tracking all that user behavior anyway. So whether or not you use Google analytics, GetClicky or any one of the third party analytics, trust me – Google’s seen all they want to see, regardless.
Mike: From that end, it’s not just analytics, it’s webmaster tools as well. They go hand in hand nowadays. You can actually pull the webmaster tools information into your Google Analytics. From what we’ve seen, you’re actually better off using both of them. There’s a lot more positives to using Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics versus any perceived negatives you may get from it. In our opinion, you should be using both of those.
Troy: Yes, so great question, Paul. Thanks for sending in your question to Mike and Troy’s Pick the Brain. For anybody else out there looking for a question and getting a straight scoop from Mike and I, make sure and go to AskMikeAndTroy.com and submit your question in, and perhaps we’ll feature you on one of our next podcast episodes.
Random Thought From Mike
Mike: My random thought for today is why is everyone in such a hurry? You hear from so many new people and they’re coming in and looking for such fast results, and really, starting any business, not just an online business, web business, internet marketing business, or any business takes time and patience. When you’re starting any SEO campaign, traffic campaign, website or anything at all, you need to give it time, you need to have patience. A lot of our websites that have made us a lot of money actually didn’t happen for a significant amount of time.
One of our websites that we’ve created, the one that we’ve talked about that sold for 6 figures, actually went over a year before we even started making some money. We aged it and kind of had it sitting off to the sidelines and then it started making a little bit of money, then we started putting more effort into it. But sometimes, things just come along and they just take some time. We age our websites, age our business, and when we’re trying anything new as far as trying to get traffic to our site, or any new SEO techniques or pay-traffic funnels. You have to give them a fair chance and amount of time.
Troy: Yeah, I think it’s important just to understand that you’re building a business here, and whether it’s just one website or a whole bunch of different niches that you’re going into, regardless, it’s a new business venture. That website is a new business venture, and Google’s going to see it as a new business venture as well. What I mean by that is if you immediately open your doors at a brand new brick and mortar business, you don’t expect to just have the floodgates open up with traffic rolling in. It takes a while for your name to get out there for people to get recognition and build trust and stop by and check it out, and it’s the same way when you put up a site online.
Mike, you talk about aging. That’s a term that we’ve used a lot. When we put out a new venture, we fully anticipate that it’s in the proof of concept stage the first six months. We really aren’t sure if it’s going to work or not. We’ll do a lot of research of course on the niche, the traffic, the potential for the long tail traffic and all that type of stuff, but you still don’t really know that it’s going to resonate well with the crowd or that it’s going to convert well until you put it out there and start to see that unfold. I think that having that mindset of just not being in such a rush, come up with a real idea, but then put some real marketing behind it and let the momentum build over time is definitely important.
Random Thought From Troy
Troy: My random though of the day today is get it done, then get it right. Now, this is not something original. I’m surely not the first person to think this up. In fact, there’s a really good book out there called Ready, Fire, Aim that really talks about this entire concept.
The notion is simple. It’s about taking action and defining your goals and objectives in a way that you get them done quickly. Today’s marketplace is really all about speed and time to completion. Gone are the days where the big fish are eating up the little fish. Today, it’s really about the fast fish swimming beyond the slow fish.
So what I want to encourage you to do is look at how you can focus your projects to get them done quicker. Cut out some of the enormous requirements that you may have in there and break it out into a phase 2 or phase 3. There’s a really good philosophy out there, and I don’t remember who I learned this from but I saw online, about a 30 day project. That’s something that is a great way of defining your projects to limit them on time and the time be the driving force for your project.
You have to cut out features in order to get it done in 30 days, then that’s what you do. And you never take a project beyond 30 days from completion. Start to finish. 30 days. Done. Focus on getting it done and not getting it right.
When I think of this whole topic, I think of growing up and my dad raking leaves. The leaves are going to keep falling, and he’d be out there just raking leaves, and instead of just getting 80% of them and getting it done in a couple of hours, he would sit there and rake until there was no more dirt in a certain spot. He had to get every last leaf! I looked at that as a kid and I said what in the hell is the logic of this perfectionism of getting every single leaf? It’s just going to drop more in a day. And I would come out here tomorrow, and it would look like he never even raked anything.
I know it’s a crazy analogy, but it’s really on topic, and that happens in our business as well. We get so caught up in doing things perfectly that we get nothing done. And we’ve heard the term or cliché Analysis-Paralysis, but it’s really true. You cannot paralyze your business. One of the keys to working online and generating money online as an entrepreneur from your home and being independent is that you don’t have a boss, but one of the problems with that is you don’t have a boss. You don’t have anybody telling you to get it done. That’s what I’m doing today. Get it done. Get it right later. You can always make corrections, enhancements and refinements as you go, but just focus on getting it done first.
Well thanks again for joining us for another episode of Mike and Troy’s TopMarketingStrategies Podcast. If you’re looking for more marketing assistance and training from Mike and Troy, check out our Insider’s Club on TopMarketingStrategies.com and we’ve got you covered. But for now, this is Troy Broussard in Orlando, Florida, and that’s a wrap.