Small Business Advice for Guest Posting

If you are a small business that has recently been mentioned in an article or online blog or similar, this post is for you. Or, if you have an upcoming opportunity to be mentioned, this post is also for you.

Getting mentioned in a local newspaper, blog or national publication is a great accomplishment. Thinking back to my first time getting mentioned, it was in the NY Post, I was so pumped-up that the energy from just being mentioned drove me for days.

Here is a quick checklist that will help you maximize the opportunity.

Pick Your words strategically

When a publisher contacts you, they often have a deadline to hit. So they leverage that “rush” mentality to get you to give them, what they need–ASAP. The excitement of being approached and being published in said publication often takes over, therefore, you promptly just word vomit to give the publisher what they need.  What you are missing here is that this is actually a sales tactic. It’s called leverage. They are leveraging time (deadline) and then often leverage other opportunities with similar companies to yours (fear of missing out) to create urgency. This leads to most people just giving in and settling for a quote or a paragraph often guided and then edited by said publisher to accomplish their goals.

The objective is to share content that works well with your brand, business etc. More importantly, and here is the key, submit content that not only answers the publisher inquiry but also provides keyword triggers that will help you deep link (I’ll explain that next) so that you get the most bang for your buck. So, think of your business mission statement. Or, if you do not have one, consider the product or service that you enjoy and profit from most.

Write the sentence/phrase/paragraph as a narrative, meaning share a story. For example;

We began by offering website development services, but soon realized that we could also offer real insight to help small business owners develop a complete digital marketing strategy.

This might seem trivial at first but follow me. When you deep-link you need to link correctly. It seems silly, but it really does create a circle of influence. From content-to-context to the rank of the website your link is placed on, all have a role to play. Getting this part done correctly will place a quality link back your website that will benefit your business, so take your time and apply some strategic thought to make sure this backlink has the ‘muscle’ it needs to work well.

Create a No-follow Link Back to the Article

The next step is to link back to the original article you were mentioned in. If you have been mentioned in more than one publication, or plan on getting mentioned again in the future, it might be a good idea to create a section on your website for Media Mentions. This can be done by simply creating a blog category and then assigning each new post to that specific category. When writing the post that will link back to the article, be sure to explain a little background information, such as how the publisher found you, why they felt you were a good fit and then provide some additional information on the topic that did not make it into the article. This is especially helpful when there are more than once sources being mentioned in the article as that can lead to short blurbs or quotes–and these types of mentions can be short, allowing for little room to expand on the topic you are being asked to speak about.

Once the post is created, include a small snippet at the bottom of the post with a link to read the full article. Next, place the link to the article at the end of the snippet. This is where the no-follow part comes in. You’ll want to apply what is known as a ‘no-follow’ HTML tag:

nofollow link HTML tag, which looks like this: <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a> The nofollow tag is basically a notice sign for search engines saying “don’t count this.

Applying this tag will reduce the amount of outbound links your website has. Outbound links can often weaken the overall search engine rank of a website by indicating that the content on the website is not as valuable as the links to which they point.

We will cover outbound links and backlinking strategies in another upcoming post.


Jason Murphy
Jason is a WordPress website developer and digital marketing consultant from Cleveland, Ohio. He's been blogging, building websites and designing digital marketing campaigns for small business owners since 2004.
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