I run a fairly successful dog walking business that I have gradually built up over the past few years. But rather than handing out leaflets and knocking on doors, I’ve always marketed my business exclusively online.
Although I’ve invested heavily in advertising campaigns on websites like Facebook and Gumtree to attract new customers, the various guest posts and articles that I have written over the years have helped to drive a consistent stream of visitors to my website better than any advertising campaign ever could.
But what am I writing about? Well, a variety of topics generally. I’ll write about anything that people will let me write about (within reason). But I always make sure that I relate it back to me and my dogs, otherwise it’s essentially worthless.
Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy writing for fun. And if someone allows me to write something for their website, I always take the time to try and produce a quality piece of content. But ultimately, I don’t write these guest posts just for enjoyment. I’m writing to promote myself and my business, and if the webmaster doesn’t feel comfortable letting me do so, I simply won’t pursue the offer.
I’m sure all of this selfish talk is really making me seem like a great gal. But trust me, I’ve been doing this for a while. And on more than one occasion I’ve had webmasters delete any mention of my company from the articles that I’ve written for their websites. In my opinion, this is the real selfish behaviour. If someone is taking the time to add a quality piece of content to your website, the least you can do is include a link or a small bio.
Once you start accepting that you can write about anything as long as you can relate it back to your business, you’ll be amazed at the kinds of articles you can end up writing. I often find myself writing articles about food, business, travel and health; all of which I relate back to my dog walking business, without being overly promotional.
If you’re writing guest posts and trying to connect with influencers in your industry, you are absolutely doing the right thing. This is easily the best way to build an audience and promote your business online without paying for expensive advertising campaigns. But if you feel embarrassed or nervous to mention your own business, don’t be - as long as you’re providing quality content, you have every right to promote yourself. Just don’t expect payment for your posts too!