Written by Gina Horkey on February 23, 2016.
Want to know my secret to success?
Learn from others further along the path than you.
It’s that simple.
I wouldn’t have gotten half as far without the help and support from others, like Tom, who have given me advice and guidance along the way.
I now have a whole slew of internet peers that help me and vice versa. It’s very much give and take and in some sense, it’s always been.
Today I want to share with you four ways that building strategic relationships helped to make my business successful and why you should be networking your little heart out. In a nutshell, you’ll get much further with people then you will on your own! Let’s dive in.
Written by Gina Horkey on November 10, 2015.
Why would someone give up their hard won platform to someone else?
What if they screw it up?
What if people stop reading my blog because of what someone else wrote?
These are real questions and valid concerns. Extending your platform to others doesn’t come without risk. But many people, myself and Tom included, are doing it every day.
I would argue that there are more reasons to do it than not. You’ll gain far more by opening up your blog, website or social media accounts to others than you’ll risk losing. Today, I’m going to share with you four reasons why I think you should extend your platform to other writers, bloggers and webpreneurs.
The following is part of an ongoing series, The One Hour Authority Site Project. If you’d like to read more about it then click here!
Back in January I revealed my authority site’s plans for organic search engine optimization. Since then I have commented on related sites, had a few articles published on article marketing sites and have also created a couple of unique web 2.0 properties.
My work to date has had no discernable effect so far. While I don’t necessarily think this is an issue with the strategy — I’ve hardly been doing the process intensively enough to draw solid conclusions — my mind has been drawn to the efficiency of my efforts.
I have come to the conclusion that I could get better results in the same amount of time with an adjusted approach. In this post I am going to reveal the content marketing strategy for my authority site that I will be proceeding with immediately.
The Evolution of My Authority Site
For those of you who are new to the One Hour Authority Site Project, the overall aim is simple: to attract a consistent flow of traffic to an authority site with as little upfront and ongoing effort as possible. In effect I want to create passive traffic streams — quite different to the blogging medium, which requires ongoing input.
My approach to this project has been relaxed to date as I have used it as an experiment of sorts. First I wanted to see if I could rank pages in Google by targeting extremely low competition keywords using a brand new site with no backlinks. The answer was a resounding no. Stage two was to implement a conservative link building strategy based upon article marketing and web 2.0 sites, which is what I have been doing for the past few weeks. As I have already said, this strategy has had no discernable impact to date.
Stage three is “blog conversion.” This stage requires a lot of effort, including a complete redesign of the site and an ongoing commitment through social media and content production. As far as I am concerned, once you start blogging you can’t go back — the moment you cross that threshold, you are making a commitment to stick with the site. As I said in my post on the three stages of my authority site’s development:
…once you have a blog on the go, people will take note if you don’t post for a month. The same issue does not really arise when I’m still in stage 1 or 2.
I really don’t want to move to stage three unless it is absolutely necessary, as the whole idea of the project is to not have to commit too fully.
Finding a Compromise
In the past few days I think I have formulated a compromise in which I can get many of the benefits of committing to a blog format without actually diving in at the deep end. Most importantly, it will not require the establishment of social media profiles or involve a complete redesign.
My strategy is based upon a concentrated burst of activity followed by a period of observation in which I can gauge the results of my effort. Based upon those results I can then decide what to do next. The desired aim, quite simply, is to establish a base of consistent referrals via search engines and relevant websites.
There are seven steps to my strategy which I go through below.
Step 1: Tweak the Site’s Design
My site’s design is functional and intuitive. If you read the post on my site’s search engine optimized setup then you will know that it is a lightly modified version of the default WordPress Twenty Eleven theme. It is clean and simple, albeit not particularly eye-catching. In short — it’ll do for now.
However, I have decided to make one key change by adding a sidebar to the single post page. This means that people will be able to sign up to my email list and select categories from any post page.
I certainly could spend a lot more time working on the design, but in keeping with the theory of using my time efficiently, my logic is to start attracting the traffic first then react if engagement metrics are poor.
Step 2: Add “Bloggy” Content
As you will know if you read my post on my site’s search engine optimized content, my focus is on writing high-quality articles that are not overly optimized for search engines. In short, I want people to read and enjoy them.
However, the site is lacking a personal touch — you don’t really see any of “me” in it. As you will understand when you read through the rest of my strategy, this won’t work to my benefit. My site’s content needs to have a bit of personality — especially when you take into account the rather stark design.
Therefore, over the next few weeks I will be creating more “bloggy” content — stories, case studies and a biography of sorts as well. In doing this people who might consider linking to my site will see a much more “human” presence and theoretically be more inclined to send traffic my way.
Step 3: Build a List of Target Blogs
While creating my “bloggy” content I can start work on a list of blogs that I would like to attract links from. These will be blogs that are either directly or indirectly related to my niche. Each one will need to be active and regularly updated. Size won’t be so much of a concern as a healthy variety of links will certainly do no harm.
I’ll find these blogs in the good old-fashioned way: Google. I’ll start with simple search queries like “[my niche] blogs”, “best [my niche] blogs,” and so on. I’ll also search for related keywords from sites that Google would see as contextually related to my own.
Ideally I’ll have a list of at least ten top quality relevant blogs before I move onto the next step.
Step 4: Comment on the Top 10 Blogs in My List
This is the first step on getting on the radar of the bloggers that I plan to network with in the coming weeks. By leaving comments they’re not only more likely to recognize my name in the future and possibly even check out my site, I’ll get a free backlink to my site. Even if the link is no-follow, it does no harm in terms of diversity.
Each comment I leave will be thoughtful and insightful and I’ll comment with my name — not a keyword-loaded pseudonym.
Step 5: Guest Post on Each Blog
Once I have got my foot in the door, so to speak, my next step will be to submit guest posts to each of the blogs. I’ll do this even on blogs that don’t typically accept guest posts, as I can always re-use the article elsewhere if it isn’t accepted first time around.
I’ll take my usual approach of going straight in with a completed article rather than pitching something, in the hope that they will be more inclined to accept on the basis that I have already done the work.
Each guest post will result in a link back to an authoritative and contextually relevant my site. I’ll be careful to vary the anchor text accordingly and not always link back to my home page.
Once I have had around ten guest posts published I should have established a decent relationship with a number of bloggers. I will seek to capitalize on this by publishing an infographic on my site and asking my new friends to share it and link to it from their own site. I hope that this will result in a number of fresh links and nice social signals (despite me having no social media presence).
The key will be to create something that is compelling and informative. I will probably spend a bit of money on getting a really nice design (something that I am terrible at).
What I Plan to Achieve
I estimate that the whole strategy will take me in the region of 20 hours over the next 4-6 weeks — a time commitment I can stomach for what is a highly speculative project. My hope is that the links from the guest posts, social sharing and so on will be enough to give my site a big of a kick up the backside in terms of Google rankings. At the moment my rankings are terrible:
To be honest I am amazed that my rankings are so low despite the fact that my site has so few backlinks because the keywords I am targeting are extremely uncompetitive. Here’s an example (screenshot from Market Samurai):
I can’t help but think that with a few contextually relevant links to the homepage and other pages on the site that Google will sit up, take note and start moving me up the rankings. Whether or not this happens of course remains to be seen.
I’d love to know what you think about my adjusted approach and would especially like to read comments and criticisms — please let me know what you think in the comments section!
The post has brought in approximately 250 visitors and 60 new email subscribers. In 24 hours. Who knows how much the post will ultimately contribute to my blog in new subscribers – all I do know is that it will have been well worth it.
What blows me away about this is how stupid I have been to not better leverage guest posting already. Whilst it is something I have done before (and written about extensively), I’ve never really committed myself to guest posting wholeheartedly.
But that’s all going to change over the coming weeks, and I have no doubt that it will have a huge impact on the popularity of my blog.
Want to learn the process?
Introducing Danny Iny
You may have heard of Danny. He is the guy behind the Firepole Marketing blog, and a guest posting expert. I think someone who has had over 80 guest posts published is worthy of that title.
Me and subscribers to my email list were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Danny yesterday and learn his system for writing stellar guest posts in a quick and efficient manner. This guy pops out 1,200 – 1,600 word posts in 60 – 90 minutes, and when published on sites all around the blogosphere, they pump in a ton of traffic and subscribers to Firepole Marketing.
Danny was giving this information away for free. Whilst he does ultimately have his Write Like Freddy course to sell, I was gobsmacked at how much training he simply gave away in yesterday’s webinar.
If you want to bring in more traffic and subscribers, you should watch the following video.
More Traffic and Subscribers via Fast, Easy Writing
Danny made a great point during the webinar – that learning is easy. It’s the taking part bit after the learning that makes all the difference. So now that you’ve watched the video, you have an opportunity to put Danny’s method into practice.
If you follow the system correctly, more traffic and subscribers is pretty much guaranteed. If you slow down your own blog’s posting schedule and make up the difference with guest posts, it doesn’t even have to take any more time. It’s all down to you.
Are You Going To Take Action?
I didn’t put this video up on a whim, or simply because it was easy “filler” material. I put it up because I believe that Danny is teaching a system that works. The results from my Smart Passive Income guest post are testament to that.
So if you want to grow your blog, you now have a choice – to take action with a proven system, or continue what you are doing. What is your choice going to be? Let me know in the comments section!
Attract waves of traffic to your blog with guest posting.
I’m just going to come straight out and say it — guest blogging is awesome. If you have any interest at all in growing your blog you should be guest posting. If you are simply sitting back and waiting for traffic to flood to your blog, you will not get very far.
It takes a whole lot of hard work to achieve that “critical mass” where traffic starts to find you — rather than the other way around — and guest blogging is the quickest way to get there. And you can make the journey a whole lot easier by following an effective guest blogging strategy. I just so happen to have compiled such a strategy in a guide that I am making available to you today.
The advice in my guide is based upon my own personal experience along with the observation of some of the best guest posters out there, such as Danny Iny, Onibalusi Bamidele, and Greg Ciotti. The advice in my guide is the product of a lot of hard work and trial and error.
My guide to successful guest posting covers the following key areas:
What Is Guest Blogging?
Why Should You Guest Blog?
How To Find Guest Blog Opportunities
How To Get Your Guest Blogs Approved
Guest Blogging For SEO
Writing Guest Blogs That Convert
The Most Important Part of Guest Blogging
So what are you waiting for? You’re just a few clicks away from having the key to building a successful blog in your hands!
Update 11th February 2013: this guide is no longer available directly from Leaving Work Behind. You can however pick it up from Amazon for just a few bucks. Enjoy!