How to Become a Guest Blogger May 6, 2016 tmcclaryBlog Posts No Comments One way to build awareness of your public library is to share your knowledge and expertise with a wider audience. Guest blogging is an effective way to extend your reach while also driving traffic back to your blog. In the past, creating such inbound links to your blog was a sound search engine optimization strategy. The number of inbound links from high-ranking sites had been a key factor in establishing a website’s authority. However, back in 2014, Google indicated it would penalize guest blogging, leading many SEO experts to decry the death of guest blogging. While it is true there can be a penalty for guest blogging, done wisely, it is still a sound strategy. What’s more, it can expose your ideas to a wider audience than you’d be able to get on your own. So for establishing a thought-leadership position, a guest blogging strategy can be a wise approach. But how can you become a guest blogger on other websites? Focus on expertise and passion. Many public librarians share their expertise about library programming, library marketing and library advocacy. You can add your expertise to the conversation about these topics or choose to establish a voice in another area: perhaps as an expert in local or regional history or as a children’s librarian. Whatever topic you choose, you must be passionate about it. Target like-minded websites and publications. What are you reading to learn more about your passion? Chances are, many of these sites are hungry for content and willing to take submissions, even if you are just getting started. Approach traditional media. All print publications, even your local newspapers and regional magazines, have sister online publications that need to be updated continuously. Publications that rarely take submissions in print are often open to accepting online contributions. Reach out to local bloggers. Whether they write for love or money, local blogs with small but loyal followings often welcome guest bloggers. Just as the professional publications do, these sites need a steady stream of engaging content to keep visitors coming back. Take a chance on national publications. Some news sites, such as Forbes and Huffington Post, are very receptive to volunteer contributors. On Forbes, fill out this form to be considered. Likewise, you can pitch a blog post idea to the Huffington Post using this form. Both publications are looking for posts written from a personal point of view. In addition, having experience as a blogger and a presence on social media will help you considerably. As a regular guest blogger to either of these news sites, you are likely to see your website traffic increase considerably. It’s not unusual to add several hundred people to your email list or see traffic jump by 5,000 or more. Despite the changes in Google, guest blogging can be a good marketing strategy. With just a few guest posts a year, you can establish credibility, brand awareness and thought-leadership.