Joel Widmer, a digital marketing and social media expert, has spent a lot of time refining the art of guest blogging. As a result, he has created a company that has become a traffic and lead-generation magnet, pulling in new leads and customers daily into his business.
In this interview, Joel shares how he started guest blogging and how he is using his expertise to help other businesses share similar results using this underutilized marketing method.
1. How did you start helping businesses with content marketing?
It was actually kind of an evolution from focusing primarily on social media for a few years. The more I worked with clients on social media, the more I found that people really didn’t need social. They needed the step before that—the foundation—which is content. You can have the greatest social media in the world, but if you don’t have anything for people to come back to on your website, you’ve completely missed the opportunity to continue nurturing your leads online.
2. Why do you think it is important for small businesses to have a solid content-marketing strategy?
I think it’s important to have a solid content-marketing strategy if you want to generate leads online or if visiting your website or doing research on your business is a part of the sales funnel for your prospects. That pretty much covers all companies, because consumers, on average, visit over five sources online before purchasing!
Advertising is about telling people you’re the best, but content marketing is about showing that you are the best—through helpful, relevant, and interesting content. It can be a video, an article, a guest post, or an interview like this one. Good content marketing makes the customer feel like they would if they were face-to-face with you, like it was written just for them.
3. You created a course called the “Guest Blogging Blueprint”. What are some ways this course will help a small business owner to obtain new leads and potential customers for their business?
We all know that people do business and buy from companies they know, like, and trust. What I love about guest blogging is that it builds instant credibility when you have a blog post featured on influential blogs in your industry. People see you featured on these blogs when they Google your name or your company, giving you instant credibility. You’re also able to show your personality through these posts, which gives your prospects a chance to get to know you and like you.
And of course, guest blogging on high-quality sites will also get you excellent backlinks to your website, which will, in turn, increase your search ranking in Google.
One of the things I always try to encourage my clients to do is to tell the reader what to do next at the end of each guest post. You should always have a call-to-action along with your bio at the end of a guest post. It could be a link to a similar article on your website so you can convince people to visit, it could be a free downloadable resource, or it could be a simple question to learn more about the audience and their needs.
4. What are some points of resistance you might hear from a business owner about blogging? Some feel blogging is a waste of time, or they don’t see the ROI. What do you usually tell these business owners?
I usually tell them they are right! (Haha) But seriously, think about it: if you go in with the mindset that it will be a complete waste of time, it’s going to turn out exactly that way for you.
I always make sure that their site is set up to convert guest blogging traffic first. For example, if they have a terrible website and they’re trying to get leads or build their email list from guest blogging, people are going to come back to a bad website and leave as quickly as they can.
If you’re sure you don’t have time to write a few posts, think of it this way:
Say you go to a networking meeting where you spend two hours there and maybe a half-hour back and forth. You spent three hours on a one-time event that may or may not help you. Compare this to spending three hours writing just two evergreen blog posts that help you generate leads for months. I’d rather leverage my time by creating assets that will help generate leads long after I’m finished creating them.
5. Can you give us a brief case study of a student of yours who has taken and implemented your course and was able to achieve a desired result?
Definitely! I’ll give you two quick examples!
One of my students was on a marketing team for a first-time author launching their book. By following my course, they were able to be featured on thirty-six different blogs in the author’s industry. These blogs were some of the leaders in the marketing and leadership niches. Their website traffic went from 300 people a month to over 3,000 people a month, and they keep getting invited back to guest post for bigger blogs, and their email list has grown exponentially. And this was all in just four months!
Another student didn’t have a team; they were a one-man consulting business and wanted to build their brand and credibility online. In just a few weeks, they had over a dozen guest posts on small- and medium-sized blogs with great reputations. But the crazy thing was that those guest posts led to an interview on one of the biggest podcasts in this student’s niche AND an invitation to write for an international site with over half a million readers. He reached out to me and couldn’t believe it! He’s now being given more speaking gigs (which was his goal) and guest blogging opportunities than ever.
6. For people who are on the fence about guest blogging, what are some other benefits that your course offers that they can take advantage of?
When most people create a course, they pack in as much content as they possibly can. But, what happens is, it takes weeks to go through the content—and most people never go through it completely—because most of it doesn’t apply or is just irrelevant. The approach that I take on all my courses is to start with a lot of content but relentlessly trim it down to only the absolute most-important content. My course only takes a week to go through, spending less than an hour a day.
Something else you receive from this that I don’t see in other courses is that I provide the exact templates you can start with for pitching guest posts and following up with the bloggers. I also help you figure out what to write about and exactly how to find these guest bloggers with specific search techniques in Google.
And the last benefit that my students love is that I answer any question they have personally and usually with a screencast video made just for them. Whether they need help finding guest bloggers or have a question about their target audience or what to write about, they know they can just shoot me a question, and I am more than happy to answer it.
I like to thank Joel for allowing me to interview him. If you are interested in guest blogging and want to know more about Joel’s Guest Blogging Blueprint course, you can learn more about it here!