How my guest blog post landed a feature spot on Yahoo! front page and 5 things that you can learn from my experience.
Last week I received an email from Anne Krueger, the Editorial Director at Sharecare, letting me know that my Sharecare guest post Empathy: The Secret Sauce To A Happy Marriage was being featured on Yahoo front page in the #1 slot!
By the end of last week my article was featured again on Yahoo! front page as "Popular This Week." As of today, the article has had 6.8K Facebook shares and 468 retweets on Twitter. Yes, I am basking in the glow of guest post heaven.
So, how did this happen? Last Dec. Sharecare (an interactive social media health Q & A platform founded by Dr. Oz, WebMD's founder Jeff Arnold, and Discovery Communications) named me the #1 online influencer making a difference for depression online. They determine the online influencers by calculating influence "including disease-area relevance and online syndication, presence and reach" throughout the past year and "across multiple online channels, including Twitter, blogs, forums, mainstream news and video." (Sharecare)
At the time I was blogging regularly on JulieHanks.com, WasatchFamilyTherapy.com, PsychCentral.com, also contributing to local NBC affiliate KSL.com, regularly going news interviews, and actively sharing content on several social media platforms.
After being named the top depression influencer I got acquainted with some of the folks at Sharecare, including their always delightful and witty Sharecare editorial director Anne Kreuger. I asked Anne if I could start submitting guest blog posts on mental health and relationship topics that might helpful to their readers. Anne has generously published several of my articles on Sharecare's main blog, one of which ended up on Yahoo last week.
What can you learn from my accidental trip to guest blog heaven? Here are 5 things I did right that landed me on Yahoo! front page last week -- my guest blog heaven.
Tip #1 Publish killer content on your own website
Create great content on your own website to prove to "big shots" that you can deliver a good guest post for their readers. Post new content at least once a week on your own blog about your specialty areas and topics of interest to your ideal clients.
Tips #2 Tweet, post, like, & share every day
Share your blog content and other relevant articles on multiple social media channels to build your social media following and reputation as an expert. I share my articles, Q&A's, and website links daily on Twitter, Facebook profile, Facebook pages, Youtube, iTunes podcast, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, Ning, and LinkedIn.
I've learned that social media sharing is more than just broadcasting information into cyberspace. It's about having meaningful conversations online. I ask questions, respond, and genuinely care about making a difference for good in their lives of anyone who follows me online. Follower engagement (comments, shares, retweets) was a big factor in getting recognized by Sharecare. It still blows my mind.
Tip #3 Create win-win relationships
Consider how you can provide value to the site that you're pitching to, not just how they can provide exposure for you and your practice. Do your research on the website's readership before you pitch a guest post so you can provide something worthwhile to their readers. Nurture those relationships as you would other important professional relationships through an occasional email, tweet or phone call.
Tip #4 Pitch BIG
When you pitch a guest blog post to another site make sure they are A LOT bigger than your own website. Target high traffic sites and appeal to your ideal clients, particularly in your geographic area. You can find out how the site ranks by searching Alexa.com. Remember, that on Alexa a lower score mean a higher traffic and the more desirable it will be to guest post there. You provide excellent content for them and they provide you with additional visibility and visits to your practice website.
Tip #5 Promote the heck out of your guest post
When you land a guest blog on a big website share it everywhere -- social media, newsletters, websites, email, and press releases. By directing more traffic to the site that publishes your guest post you demonstrate your value and your influence. This increases the likelihood that you will able to continue to guest posting for them, which helps drive traffic to your website.
Did being featured on Yahoo front page directly impact my practice last week? No. We haven't had thousands of phone call for new clients this week at Wasatch Family Therapy. Though this blog post had thousands, maybe millions of hits, it hasn't, and won't translate immediately into growth of my practice. What it does do is add credibility to me as an expert, add more value to my article, and demonstrate that my guest blogs appeals to a wide audience. All of those things are valuable exposure that will help open up additional opportunities over time.
Now, here's what I did wrong. There's NO LINK to my website on the Yahoo article. When this article posted on Sharecare it was accompanied by my author bio which linked to my websites. So, from now on I'm going to request a link at the end of each guest blog article in the text area, and not in a separate author bio. I guess something had to bring me back to earth.