MARCH 17, 2023

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs.

5 things to do

Jon Morrow got 13K subscribers before he even launched his website SmartBlogger, now one of the world’s largest sites for web writers and content entrepreneurs.

Adam Enfroy grew his website’s traffic to over 300K and started making $61K a month from his blog. Danny Iny got up to 23K monthly page views for his website Mirasee.

And they all did it by publishing content on others’ high-quality sites. Guest blogging (or any form of content creation) can be a great no-cost tool to start or grow an audience. Here’s how:

1. Create a guest strategy: Who do you want to reach? Why will it help your business? Where would you publish your guest content to reach your target audience? When will the strategy be implemented? How many guest contributions might you need to reach your goal?

2. Make a pitch list: Now that you know your goals, make a spreadsheet to track your outreach. Look for sites and creators in your niche who may have the audience you’re targeting. Also, search for places where your expertise or perspective may be missing. Evaluate their site’s quality – a domain authority can be helpful to do that – to ensure they have active followers and are recognized well by search engines.

3. Deliver the pitch: Customize your outreach based on each potential guest outlet. Read through their guidelines. Look at what they’ve already posted about and what topics might be of interest to their audience.

Make your pitch concise. Introduce yourself, tell why you want to write for them, and what topic(s) you have in mind. Also, do your best to specify what value your topic(s) will bring to their audience.

4. Create the accepted guest content: Research the topic in more detail and craft the outline citing your references. Then, write, proofread/edit, and identify the visual elements of your guest content before sending. Include your author bio with a backlink to your website and your headshot. And be ready to revise the draft if requested. (The easier you make it for the publishing site, the more likely they’ll be eager to get pitches and content from you again.)

5. Analyze the results: Once you’ve had at least five of your best articles published on top-notch websites in your niche, wait for a couple of months to see if the game’s worth it. Among the metrics to consider – referral traffic, number of comments and social shares, new website visitors overall, new subscribers, etc.

– Lesley Vos

Resource: How Guest Blogging Can Help Your Content Business

Want to guest blog for The Tilt? Here are the guidelines. Have a question? Ask Ann.

5 things from the tilt

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5 things to know

  • Dual work: Eight in 10 surveyed by Resume Builder had more than one job in the last year. An electrician and the creator of Electrician Apprentice HQ says it requires a daily to-do list, prioritizing the most important activities, and using downtime for mundane activities. (Employee Benefit News)
    Tilt Take: Our own research shows many content entrepreneurs balance their business with other jobs. It can be done, but it does require a deliberate approach to each day.
  • ICYMI: Flat ad rates often are the best bet for newsletters with small audiences at the start. Increase what you charge by offering added benefits: resend to unopened, social promotion, sponsorship mention in blog articles. (Growth Currency)
    Tilt Take: Price ads based not just on the advertiser’s initial reach but on how well you can propel their participation further.
  • No say: Operating a creator business doesn’t mean freedom in your creative output – 86% surveyed say they don’t have control over their content because they’re at the mercy of social media and search algorithms. (Mastercard)
    Tilt Take: Frankly, as long as you have an audience (which is what you want to have), you never have control of creating just what you want to create (that’s called a hobby).
Tech and Tools
  • Ticking closer: The US may ban TikTok unless its Chinese owners spin off their shares of the platform. The Biden administration says it’s concerned about China using US users’ personal information in their intelligence activities. (CNN)
    Tilt Take: We expect something will happen given the growing interest in this area, but who knows what?! YouTube Shorts, anyone?
And Finally
  • Back to basics: Marketers used to be the primary creators of content in the form of advertising, but now it’s influencer creators who build that trust and word of mouth. That’s why brand content needs to be well integrated. (afaqs)
    Tilt Take: It can be tempting to take any deal that involves money, but that can backfire in the long (and probably short) run as your audience isn’t interested in a shill.

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the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Pam Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Leslie Vos.