Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a tricky beast. Some people see it as the Holy Grail and a ticket to increased traffic and more sales and so they utilize some SEO tactics that they think will be useful. But there are two types of SEO that you can employ when you become an affiliate marketer, and one will give you more success than the other.
Black Hat SEO is a way of essentially tricking search engines to put you higher up in the results. It’s relatively forced and most people consider the tactics shady because they focus on getting results quickly rather than cultivating lasting results. Some Black Hat SEO tactics involve spamming the contents section of other sites, using hidden code, and stuffing keywords into content to the point that it comes off as unnatural.
White Hat SEO, on the other hand, utilizes tips and tricks to make Google (and other search engines) like you in a more organic way. The result is a human audience that will discover your content, enjoy it, and hopefully share—which then boosts your search engine rankings even more. White Hat SEO involves renaming your images to include your keywords, linking to your previous relevant content, and guest posting.
When it comes to guest posting, it can feel rather intimidating at first. Becoming an affiliate marketer and running your own business is hard enough, but now you’re also considering writing content for another site! It’s a good idea to try it out a few times, though, because by writing guest posts on other websites or blogs:
- You will legitimize yourself in your field. Anyone can start their own website these days, but not everyone gets approved to post on other related websites. When people can find articles of yours on other outlets, you appear to be more of an authority in your field.
- You get your name out there. Whether or not you’re struggling to grow your audience, a guest post can allow even more people to discover you. It’s important as a business owner to be thinking of the future and considering how you want to grow, and increasing your audience numbers is key.
- You’ll improve your SEO. When search engines notice that you also have content on other sites that fit into your niche, your rankings will improve. This means that results for your site will get pushed near the top and hopefully to the front page!
So guest posts are great, obviously, and can really up your game as a business owner, but how in the world do you actually land those guest posts? Sure, you could wait until you’re big enough that people are contacting you, but starting now can make a big difference in the way that others view you in your niche and it can affect your growth. Don’t put it off; instead, start pitching now to get some guest posts up on other reputable sites.
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Know Who You’re Pitching To
The worst thing you could do is draft up a generic cover letter and blast it off into the universe to hundreds of business owners. In the case of guest posts, go for quality rather than quantity. Spend a little bit of time understanding their business and how they operate, and make notes to remember what it is that excites you about their work. Remember that not every website in the world will work well with your affiliate marketing business, and you should only pitch to those that truly interest you.
Additionally, know the person you’re writing to. Nobody wants to look at an email that has a generic “To whom it may concern” at the top. Know the person’s name, but also learn a bit about their history and their professional experience as well. It will make you more informed when you discuss posts with them.
Create A Media Kit
A media kit is a document that lists out important information about your site, your audience, and your stats. For people who are just starting out, this can be frustrating since you might not have the traffic or following to attract a lot of offers. That’s okay—it really is better to have something rather than nothing.
Your media kit should list a bit of information about you, your monthly visitors and pageviews, how many people follow you on social media, and information about your audience (such as age, geographic location, etc.). A one-pager is fine, but the main thing is to try and make it visual-friendly. Instead of writing out all of this information in an email to someone, present it in a way that is visually interesting and engaging. Include graphics, images, and screenshots to get your point across; basically, you want to show rather than tell.
By far, having a media kit makes it easier to pitch for guest posts. It will make you look incredibly professional and it will basically do the talking for you. Even if your stats aren’t very high, you’ll have more potential to impress people when you send over a 1-page PDF that outlines your info rather than try to explain yourself in a few paragraphs.
Keep Your Cover Letter Concise
Nothing will guarantee that your cover letter gets ignored more than something that is too wordy. As a business owner yourself, you should understand how stressful and busy running a website is—so keep things simple. Introduce yourself, your site/business, what you’d like to write about, and why you think you’re a good fit for their business.
This person likely doesn’t know who you are at all, so ensure that they get the chance to know you a bit. But more importantly, communicate why you would be a great person to post on their site. Explain why it is that you’re excited to work with them and what you bring to the table—it will make them feel like you’re truly interested in contributing rather than just trying to steal a bit of their spotlight.
Determine Your Worth
Should you charge for guest posts? It depends. For those just getting started as an affiliate marketer, it would be a stretch to charge money for a guest post. But if you are more established, have the stats to prove it, and are confident that you can create a decent return on investment for this other business, it’s certainly something to consider.
Every situation will be different, and if you’ve recently reached the point where you plan to charge for guest posts, then consider the time you’ll be putting into the work. And if you’re really struggling to come up with a fair number, ask the business what their budget is. This can sometimes give you a good idea of a fair number to propose. Not everyone will be able to pay you what you’re worth, and that’s okay. Remember you don’t have to accept any guest post offers you don’t want to take! The most important thing is to go with the ones that feel right and that you’re excited about.