In a recent conversation, a good friend and a startup founder mentioned his concerns about guest posting.
He understands how beneficial the strategy could be for his company. But he fears that without openly mentioning the product, any article he places on another site will have little or no business impact.
And he’s right.
Which is exactly why he’s worried. He knows that most websites will not allow him to promote his product in a guest post.
Luckily, there is a way around it. Even two.
1-Use your product as an example to illustrate a solution
The most impactful guest posts teach another audience something useful.
After all, the site’s readers are people who might have never heard about your product or brand. Also, their reason for following the site is purely selfish. They’re there to get something valuable – knowledge, insights, and solutions to problems they have.
Any sales message may have little effect on them, perhaps except for alienating these people from your company for good.
But helpful information, particularly, if it relates to a relevant problem they have will certainly prick their ears up.
Which coincidentally offers an opportunity to tell them about your product without breaking the site’s editorial guidelines.
How, by using it to illustrate the solution you suggest.
Let me explain it further by example. Let’s pretend that your product helps teams improve how they manage projects. Which, in your audience’s terms, means preventing delays, over scheduling, and all the chaos that typically accompanies every project.
Your guest post, therefore, could teach them how to better schedule or plan team’s tasks to improve efficiency.
And in turn, feature your tool’s screenshots to show them exactly how to do it:
- Images of conflicting team member’s schedules
- Bottlenecks that will clearly delay a project
- Different screens that also show the opposite, illustrating the outcome of implementing your advice.
The added benefit of creating solution-based guest posts is that they also position your tool as the solution to the problem.
Of course, not every site’s reader will immediately jump at the opportunity to check your product. But the chances are that those who currently struggle with the problem your post targets, would.
2-Talk about your product through customer’s stories
This strategy uses a case study-based blog post to showcase how a particular company managed to overcome a common problem in the industry.
Since it’s entirely focusing on them, it does not put your product in the center.
At the same time, by outlining a solution to the problem – showing how someone like them managed to beat the challenge, it evokes curiosity and attracts them to the content.
Using a project management tool as an example again, such post could describe how an agency sped up project delivery by implementing more transparent scheduling in which team members see their colleagues’ workload.
Naturally, in a case of the company you’re describing, they overcame it with your product. But since that’s not the premise of the post, rather the actual process they used to do it, such article wouldn’t raise any concerns from a site you pitch it to.
At the same time, explanation of such process would have to include at least some mention of your product:
- Screenshots showing the implementation
- Stats or data proving that the solution has worked
And just like with the first strategy, the double benefit of writing a case study-based post is that it also positions your product as the best solution to overcome a specific challenge.