“Guest posting” is writing for someone else’s blog. It’s a good way to connect with a new audience and a good strategy for enhancing your own online influence. Bloggers need good content, and it’s often difficult to come up with three original blog posts – or even one – week after week. Becoming a “guest” blogger identifies you as an authority, gets your post shared on social media, and draws new readers to your own blog and website.

Of course, you offer guest posts to other bloggers on only one condition: the host blogger must include a link to your own blog or website. These backlinks will be identified by search engines, and all of your content will become easier for readers to find. But probably the best aspect of guest posting is that you’re being introduced to an already-existing community and sharing your message with it. If you provide real value to this community, it soon translates into more readers, fans, and followers. On the other hand, if all you’re doing is selling, you’ll drive away potential customers, and you probably will not be asked to guest-post much in the future. Add value, serve others, and have patience; before long, your work will begin to pay off. When your guest post appears online, link to it from your own blog and website, and share that link on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else that’s appropriate.

What about asking others to guest-post on your own blog? Do it! Relationships with other bloggers obviously need to be reciprocal, and introducing your own guest posters gives your audience new advice and information. Be judicious; make sure that anyone you invite genuinely has something valuable to offer. Your readers will appreciate your willingness to “get out of the way” on their behalf.

One last benefit; except for the time it takes to write the text, guest posting is free. Talk to other bloggers and start looking for guest posting opportunities; many bloggers will be more than happy to take a week off and offer their readers a fresh perspective. It’s a first-rate strategy for extending your reach and enhancing your reputation online.