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Guest blogging should be a staple of any online marketing plan, since it allows you to instantly attract new readers and build credibility for your ideas.

But, not all guest blogging opportunities are equal, and there are a lot of things you can do that go beyond simply putting together a few hundred words and looking for a place to send them.

With that in mind, here are a dozen powerful guest blogging tips you can use to increase your marketing reach instantly:

1. Form relationships, not just target lists.

It's not a bad idea to get to know blog owners before you contact them about a guest submission. This makes things more natural, and also paves the way for multiple guest posts, rather than single submissions.

2. Read a blog before you submit to it.

It goes without saying that you should be familiar with key topics and themes, as well as whether the blog tends towards long or short articles, or a particular style. The more you know about the blog and its readers, the easier it will be for you to submit a good guest post.

3. Only choose blogs you want to be associated with.

This is common sense, but it bears mentioning. Just because a blog has lots of readers, or a higher page rank than your site, doesn't necessarily mean that you want your words and ideas appearing there.

4. Remember the three important benefits of guest blogging.

When you write guest blog posts, you should be looking for exposure to the right audience, links back to your own website, and the credibility that comes from being published in the right online circles.

5. Keep to a regular guest blogging schedule.

Just like any other form of blogging, consistency is very important. Stick to a maintainable schedule, like one guest post per week, if you want to make the biggest possible impact.

6. Track your submissions.

Once you start blogging regularly, you might find it difficult to keep track of which posts and ideas you sent to particular blogs. This is where editorial spreadsheets, or some manuscript-tracking software, can be extraordinarily helpful in staying organized.

7. Take feedback from blog owners and readers.

Sometimes, blog owners will reject the post you submitted, but ask for something different in the future. If you can accommodate them, that's a good way to keep the relationship and conversation moving forward.

8. Be persistent, but not annoying.

If a blog doesn't like your first couple of submissions, try sending them elsewhere, but don't forget about the original contact. The best marketing opportunities are worth working and waiting for.

9. Check and engage with the comments on your guest blog submissions.

Just as you want to listen to the feedback offered by blog owners or editors, you should also pay attention to the comments provided by actual readers. Engagement makes your blogging sharper, and helps you to see the potential for future posts.

10. Send articles that make you stand out.

It's unfortunate that things like proper grammar and proofreading can make you stand out from the crowd, but paying attention to those details is a good starting point. Sending posts with humor, statistics, and other support also makes you more memorable and credible.

11. Pay attention to resource box guidelines.

Lots of blogs have very tight rules about what kinds of anchor text you can use, photos you can provide, or length you can take up for your bio. Your goal should be to stay within these guidelines while maximizing the marketing value of your post.

12. Remember to feed your own blog regularly, too.

Guest blogging can be a lot of fun, and can actually pay off pretty quickly in terms of marketing impact. Even so, don't get so focused on it that you neglect your own blog, which is important to your long-term online marketing success.

Being a good guest blogger is a great way to "borrow" readership from someone else, and to find new audiences for what you really want to say. Armed with these dozen tried-and-tested tips, you should be able to make the process easier and more effective before you even sit down at your keyboard.

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