If you can create engaging content, you can build a thriving freelance or solopreneur business. And not only does becoming an engaging writer make it easier to get clients and sell stuff, it also helps you:
- build your authority,
- connect with your core audience, and
- share your expertise.
When I first ventured into the online world, I immediately knew I wanted to be a writer. But creating engaging content is not an easy task — especially when you’ve never written anything online before.
Unfortunately, I had almost zero confidence in my writing skills.
I was paralyzed by the fear of other people's judgment, about not being good enough, about not having anything interesting to say, and about not being to handle the work (even if I did finally manage to get started).
Ultimately, I was scared to fail. And that fear led me to some severe procrastination.
So how do you get started when you have no confidence in your writing skills?
Smart strategy makes it easier to start writing
My first thought for getting started with writing was to start my own blog. It seemed like a great way to practice and develop my skills.
Problem was, when I thought about writing my own blog, it was always in the back of my mind that I would be wasting my time. Mainly because I knew there would be very little traffic and it would take forever to achieve any significant results.
You see, I didn’t just want to develop my writing skills, I wanted to use my writing to grow my business. I wanted it to help me gain more traffic to my site and build my email list. And I didn’t see how writing for a blog that no-one would read would get me any closer to those goals.
The crippling doubt led me to procrastinate even more, and I continued to put off getting started with blogging.
That is until I decided to pursue guest blogging.
What is guest blogging and how does it work?
Guest blogging is a content marketing strategy designed to leverage the high traffic of popular websites to boost the traffic to your own site. Here’s a quick rundown of what it involves:
- You pitch your blog post ideas to a popular website that attracts the same audience you want to target
- You craft a relevant, engaging piece of content in the hopes it will get accepted and published on that site
- You urge readers to visit a landing page on your own website using an Author Bio (or byline) at the end of your post
- You capture new visitors with an irresistible lead magnet and turn them into subscribers, with the ultimate goal of turning them into clients or customers
It's free and works incredibly well for content creators who want to build their online audience. As soon as I realized I could get more eyes on my work by writing for well-established sites, I knew it was the content strategy for me.
It was just a matter of figuring out how to do it — and do it well.
How to get started with guest blogging
Guest blogging is remarkably effective. It helps you develop your writing skills, get more traffic to your website, grow your email list and attract more potential clients and customers, all in one hit.
But to have any success with it you need to be able to do it right, which means you have to:
- Learn to write content that is worthy of the sites you want to write for
- Know how to pitch your ideas effectively and to the right people
- Have a strategy for converting the traffic you send to your site, into subscribers to your list
And to do all of these things, I recommend seeking some guidance from someones who has done it before rather than winging it. It will help you get you started and give you an idea of how the entire process works.
If you want to get started with guest blogging then I recommend taking the Guest Blogging course by Jon Morrow.
This online program is excellent. It provides step-by-step guidance for:
- How to find your ideal audience
- How to locate your target blogs
- How to craft killer headlines
- How to pitch irresistible content ideas
- How to write popular posts; and
- How to get the most from every post
Aside from the core content — you also get:
- Access to the Big Black Book (an incredibly valuable resource for finding blogs and editors to contact in your niche)
- The option to attend fortnightly coaching calls to discuss any challenges you might have; and
- Access to pitching templates, the student workbook, and past student case studies.
After taking the Guest Blogging course, I was able to make some huge leaps in my business and achieve goals that previously, I would never have thought possible. It's also one of the many courses I've taken that I've actually completed.
Here are a few things that happened after I finished the course (and will happen for you).
Five ways the Guest Blogging course can skyrocket your writing skills and help build your business faster
1. You’ll discover how to write and create popular posts from an expert
We’ve already discussed how writing well can make you more money online. And receiving first-hand lessons from someone who has built an incredibly successful business from blogging — is invaluable when you're starting out.
Choosing to learn from Jon Morrow was one of the best decisions I ever made. He is a phenomenal teacher and an exceptional content creator. He breaks down the entire writing process and makes every step feel doable.
He also doesn't coddle his students. He makes it perfectly clear where you're likely to fail. And how you can conquer the many mental traps that most new writers fall into.
2. It will help you boost your confidence and provide a method for achieving the results you want
Writing is a process. And when that process is broken down into well-structured lessons, it's much easier to practice your skills, develop your voice and discover the art of creating popular content.
When you have a simple process to follow, it makes getting started (and following through to the end) that much easier.
Not only can each lesson of Jon's course help you gain more confidence in your skills as a writer, but you’ll learn how to navigate the tricky (often overlooked) parts like pitching and creating a strategy that turns your readers into engaged subscribers.
3. It will help you navigate the pitching process so you can get published
Learning to write is one thing, but actually pitching your ideas is a whole other ball game.
One of the things Jon mentions in the course is that most people give up when it comes time to pitch. Either they chicken out completely or fail to follow up with their contacts. This is why he dedicates an entire module to pitching your ideas in a way that will get you a yes more often than a no.
I'll admit, the first time I went through the course I stopped at the pitching point. It’s scary to send people your ideas (especially when you have a fear of rejection). But with the helpful guidance of Jon and the course community, I was able to get over it and just pull the trigger.
And just so you know — my first pitch was awkward, and it got rejected. But after that, I didn't fear the rejection as much, and it made it easier to try again.
4. It gives you the tools and platform to gain more traffic and more subscribers
Guest blogging was the first marketing strategy that yielded positive results for my business.
It worked remarkably better than social media ever did, and I gained ten times the amount of subscribers from one post than I had ever gotten from using Instagram or Facebook. Plus it's free.
With guest blogging, you get to use someone else's platform to drive traffic to your site and help you build your own audience. And you can do it a non-sleazy way because all you’re doing is providing value and sharing your expertise through your writing.
Jon's course not only helps you to write, it turns your writing into a results-driven marketing strategy.
5. It allows you to build new relationships and make connections with your mentors
If it weren’t for guest blogging, I would never have started working with Brian Clark here at Unemployable. Through the Guest Blogging course, I gained the confidence to approach my most influential business mentor and ask to write for him.
And while it was intimidating (especially given that Brian is the founder of Copyblogger, and who Jon mentored under!), I knew that with my newly developed skills and knowledge, my ideas were likely to be well-received and my content would be better crafted than most. And they were.
After writing a few guest posts for Brian over at Further, I gradually built a relationship with him and proved I could follow through on my work. That ended up being the entry point for working with him on a regular basis, which evolved into a gig at Copyblogger!
Is guest blogging for you?
If you been thinking about starting a blog or trying to find a way to get more people on your email list, then I would urge you to consider guest blogging as a content strategy.
- It provides you with online assets (blog posts that you can share forever)
- It builds your authority and showcases your expertise to an audience you wouldn't normally have access to
- And when done right — it can gain you more traffic, more subscribers and more clients.
And even though guest blogging itself is free, I would seriously consider spending the cash on the Guest Blogging course. It was one of the best investments I have ever made for my career, and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve some of my biggest goals without the excellent guidance from Jon and his team.
This link will take you through to a video that will give you all the information you need to decide on the Guest Blogging course for yourself.
Also, if you want to discover how to get started writing amazing blog posts before investing in the course, check out the Headline Hacks cheat sheet and his viral blog post guide. These are some of the most valuable free resources I have ever downloaded, and I still use them for my writing to this day.
To sum up, if you’ve been hemming and hawing about writing more, or are stuck for ideas when it comes to bringing in more leads and clients to your business, then guest blogging is an excellent marketing strategy to consider.
And if you do get around to publishing a post — share it with me over on Twitter, I would love to check it out.