Your personal brand relies on many factors, but digital presence is probably the biggest.

But sometimes, you can be so busy running a business that you simply don’t have time to handle the traditional aspects of personal branding (speaking engagements, for example).

Content marketing is quickly becoming one of the biggest digital branding outlets, and the effects it has on SEO are invaluable to your strategy. Guest blogging is a valuable and effective tool for the person who is in the starter stages of establishing a brand but just doesn’t have the time to delve too deep into it.

Reaching out to online industry magazines and blogs can expand your audience base, increase your SEO ranking, and establish credibility in your personal brand. Here are three ways you can boost your brand with guest blogging:

1. Expand your audience

Sarah has just started her journey into personal branding. She created her social media pages and started a blog but hasn’t had much success attracting followers. In an attempt to save her brand from sure destruction, Sarah reaches out to a well-known blog that many in her industry go to for advice and information.

She pitches the site her content idea with a little preview of how it will look. The moderators accept it, and Sarah writes the rest of the post. On the date of publication, her post proves to be a monster success, becoming the site’s top post of the day.

Sarah’s success brought forth a multitude of relevant and engaging followers on social media, and the traffic to her blog nearly tripled. The site asked her to stay on as a regular contributor, and by doing so, she was able to build and maintain the following on her personal blog.

Sarah’s story isn’t unique. People from all sorts of industries often launch their personal brands by building a following guest writing for other sites. Regularly pushing out content that links back to your own blog will attract and sustain a broader, but more targeted, audience to your site.

You might not get a viral post on your first time like Sarah, but if you frequently write interesting, quality content for guest sites and promote it throughout your social media pages, your following will continue to grow and flourish.

2. Boost your SEO rank

Sarah’s friend, John, is also interested in guest blogging to build his personal brand, and he recently pitched an idea that got accepted by a very well-known online industry magazine. When the post gets published, it does extremely well, but John doesn’t notice any significant changes in the growth of his brand.

Perplexed, John asks Sarah what the problem could be. She takes a look at the post and realizes he didn’t include any backlinks to his site. When she Googled John’s name, his results didn’t come up until the second page.

Sarah attributed this fact to the lack of backlinks in John’s content and suggested he implement backlinking tactics in his next post. John agrees, and in his future posts links to his website, blog, and social media pages when applicable. As a result, his search ranking dramatically increased, bumping him up from the second page to the first in a matter of days. This, in turn, increased his following.

SEO (search engine optimization) is a crucial part of building your personal brand, and guest blogging a great way to aid in its success. By backlinking to your own blog and website in guest posts, search engine crawlers will find them, detect that the website your content is on is credible and relevant to the sites you’re linking to, and bump you up in the search results for specific keywords that you target.

The more posts that get published with links back to your blog or site, the more you’ll show up in search results, and the more you’ll increase awareness in your personal brand.

3. Build credibility

Shelby has been trying to build her personal brand for a few months now. She excels in her industry and always posts new and unique takes on important topics in her blog. Puzzled as to why she’s not getting more attention, she asks her friend John what the problem could be.

John takes a look and agrees that the content she puts out is incredible, but because Shelby is so unknown in the industry, her target audience just doesn’t know how to find her. John suggests Shelby take one of her more interesting pieces, include some backlinks, and send it out to well-known industry sites as a guest post.

After a little persistence and determination, Shelby’s post gets accepted on a huge site. Because of her unique perspectives and persuasive opinions, she immediately becomes a popular contributor to the site. Shelby soon builds a base of trusting fans on her own site, and they regularly visit her blog for the latest industry information and advice.

You can’t get anywhere in your personal brand if you don’t establish credibility in your industry. People want to know you’re the real deal before they take the advice and information you post seriously.

Guest blogging not only helps you establish that credibility in your audience’s eye and builds a following for your personal brand, but also it eventually will spread to the point where other people will want to submit their own work to launch their own brands.