You already know how important blogging is to your personal brand, and you might be doing quite a bit of it on your personal blog to gain traction in your field.

Another important tactic to strengthen your personal brand is guest blogging. Offering your expertise on other’s blogs can help you reach new audiences and grow your brand exponentially.

Be our guest

How do you get started if you’ve never guest blogged before? Here are a few steps to follow:

Search for blogs you would like to reach out to. Use tools like Technorati and Alltop to find blogs within your niche and that write on topics where your expertise would be welcome. Set up Google Alerts with words and phrases related to your niche and look to Twitter to find interesting blogs.

Get familiar with the blog and its content. Subscribe to the blog and read through its content daily. Do this long enough to get a sense of the type of posts published, how often new content is created, the structure of each post and the topics of interest to their audience.

Look for guest posting guidelines or patterns. Some blogs have clear guidelines for submitting a guest post; others don’t. If they do, read through the guidelines and make sure your post for submission adheres to each of them (word count/length, title, byline, etc.). If they don’t have set guidelines, look through the published content to determine if they accept pieces from guest writers, how often and what the topics were.

Build a relationship before reaching out. Many popular bloggers read their blog comments and look at their Twitter mentions to see what their audience thinks of their content. If you become a valuable member of their blogging community by sharing their content, commenting on posts and adding value, they’ll likely notice. This makes it easier when you reach out with a guest post because they’ll recognize your name.

Choose a great topic that hasn’t been covered. Your topic needs to be an interesting one to both the blogger and their audience in order to be accepted. It also needs to relate to the overall theme or niche of the site. But it’s important to look through previous posts — before choosing a topic — so you don’t pick something that has been done before. It can also be beneficial to look at the most popular posts and choose a subtopic related to one of those.

Contact the individual. Ultimately, once you’ve gotten a good sense of the blog and what you could offer up for content, you’ll want to reach out to the blogger or editor to share your idea. Tell them you’ve done your research and relay why your topic is relevant to their audience. You may even want to have your post (or an outline of it) written out beforehand, depending upon the outlet.