So you’ve launched your new coaching business, and you can’t wait to get started! You’ve put together a spiffy web site, brochure and business card and shared them with all your contacts. It got you a few leads, and that’s great, but how do you grow your audience and develop your mailing list?

The internet is a big place, and you can’t just sit around waiting for people to find you. Instead, it’s best to look for ways to make yourself visible to people who are looking for the types of services that you provide.

Becoming a guest blogger is an easy way to grow your online reach and introduce yourself to potential clients. It’s also a good way to boost your visibility on internet searches, putting your business in front of prospective clients who would not normally cross your path. Unlike web ads or search engine optimization, becoming a guest blogger has the added benefit of implied trust. When you publish a post on another person or organization’s web site, that web site’s loyal audience will see it as an endorsement of you and your business. Bingo: Instant relationship!

So how do you get started as a guest blogger?

Here are a few tips that will set you in the right direction.

Look for websites that already are attracting your ideal audience
If you are seeking clients in Bangor, Maine, it might not make sense for you to become a guest blogger on a site based in Phoenix, Arizona. If you want to build your leadership training client base, online support communities might not be the right place to begin.

Instead, go to where your prospective clients are: If you’re a life coach looking to expand your practice to teenagers, look for blogs for parents of teens (or teens, themselves). If you want to break into a nearby market, look for popular bloggers in that location. Finding the right fit will be important for you and for your host site, which brings us to our second tip:

Offer value to your host and their audience

It’s not exactly a state secret that guest bloggers want to get their name out there — no one will fault you for that. But blog hosts will feel used if you throw together a blog post that doesn’t add real value to their web site and to their audience. Thinly veiled marketing gimmicks will be obvious to readers, and can damage the credibility of both you and your host. You don’t have to give away the store, but you should offer information and thought pieces that are both valuable in themselves, and also entice readers to want to learn more.

Make a lasting connection

The ultimate goal of guest blogging, of course, is to bring readers back to your web site and into your database. To do this, end your guest post with a url that directs readers to an opt in page with an enticing freebie. Your free gift could be anything from a free e-book, video, podcast or a webinar. Maybe it’s a list for updates about free events or a special offer – whatever it is, you will build trust when you deliver relevant information to your ideal clients. Emails are a precious commodity, reward your visitors well for their trust in you. You’ll be the winner in the end.

Return the favor

Finally, remember the golden rule and invite your hosts to write a post for your web site, too. It will keep your site fresh, attract more visitors (and potential clients) and build your professional network. It’s a big world out there, and the more you can grow your network at every level, the better.

Is it time to take your business back to school? In the business of change, there are two types of change. The change you create for others and the change you create for yourself.  Learn more on how to generate more clients & cash with your online presence.

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