Expanded Guest Post: How to 100x the effectiveness of your next guest post

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - August 15th, 2014

Last week I introduced you to the Expanded Guest Post.

We looked at a case study of how you can write one article for someone elses site and generate 500 new email subscribers to YOUR business.

Many of you have spent months screwing around on your blog and haven’t cracked 100 subscribers yet.

I know…I was one of you.

With the Expanded Guest Post (EGP) I routinely get 500 in one week.

In fact, I had an EGP go live last Friday that generated 323 new email subscribers in the first 3 days.

I promised to show you how to create an Expanded Guest Post and that’s exactly what you’ll learn today.

You need to start thinking about every article you write like being a new salesman for your company.

If constructed properly, it will consistently bring new leads and customers to your business.

I’m going to walk you through the exact step-by-step of how to create your first one.

Also, be sure to read all of the way through for a special behind the scenes training video.

Let’s jump into the details.

How to Create an Expanded Guest Post

There are 3 components to an Expanded Guest Post. I’m going to walk you through each of them and show you how to do it yourself.

You don’t need an existing email list or traffic. You can do this with nothing more than a landing page and good writing.

Follow along and copy my framework.

Step 1: Use the phrase “For Example”

Your first task in writing an EGP is to write an incredible “How To” article.. I’m talking “This is the most in depth article I’ve ever read on this topic!” kind of good.

Anyone can spew out a 500 word blog post entitled “5 Ways To Share Your Blog Posts On Facebook”

You have to be different.

You need to shock and awe your readers.

The best way I’ve found to do that is going deeper than everyone else. Give more details, more case studies and more actionable advice.

Sometimes you might find yourself stuck and feeling like it’s nearly impossible to go deeper in your post.

When you feel that urge, inject the phrase “For Example.”

This forces you to go deeper and provide real case studies of what your advice looks like in action.

For example…

(see what I just did there)

Here are two excerpts from my most recent guest post.

How to use “For Example” to take your blog posts deeper

Another example…

This makes your post stand out because it’s more relatable and actionable than anything else they’ve read.

Your reader can easily put themselves into the shoes of the characters you use in your examples and case studies.

Remember: The goal is to shock and awe your readers. Leave them dumbfounded.

You want these types of reactions to your post…

Here are a few examples of articles that fit this criteria:

Tip: I’ve found that the most effective EGP’s that I’ve written are “How To” articles. Don’t preach to them and don’t pontificate on a subject.

Teach an actionable skill.

Step 2: Create expectation and climax

Stop thinking of your guest blog post as a singular event and start thinking of it like the pilot episode of an 8 season TV show.

Your job is to hook the reader where they have no choice but to watch the next episode.

Have you ever thought about what makes us binge watch on Netflix?

My wife and I are in the middle of a 3 week long Dexter marathon. The weird thing is it’s not THAT great of a show.

It’s solid but I’d give it a B-.

So why have we spent an insane amount of hours watching it? Because of expectation and climax.

We HAVE to watch the next episode to see if Dexter actually kills Miguel Prado!

Surely he won’t kill his best friend…right!?

<click…watch next episode>

Dexter vs. Miguel

They suck you in and next thing you know you’ve spent 8 hours watching a TV show you don’t even like.

The writers of Dexter know this and they engineer each season to lead your from one episode to the next.

It’s a work of art.

Your blog post needs to be built the exact same way.

For example…

(see I’m doing it again)

In the same guest post mentioned before I did this by making reference to an incentive at the end of the post.

But I didn’t wait until the very end to tell them about it, I inserted it 1/3 of the way through the post. Thus building expectation.

Expectation being built (read the full post here)

However, you don’t have to use an incentive to build expectation.

In this example, expectation was built through curiosity.

Expectation being built (read the full post here)

I told the readers that I had 10 strategies in total but I was going to be sharing 3 of my best with them.

This sounds perfectly reasonable, after all sharing 10 strategies would take forever (or would it?).

This immediately creates a desire to know what the other 7 strategies are.

Why isn’t he telling us all 10?

Are the 3 he’s teaching us really the best?

I want them all!

Expectation built!

(Note: I’ve created a training video to show you how to do this. Be sure to check it out at the end of the post.)

Step 3: Provide a content upgrade

Up to this point you have:

  1. Shock and awe’d with a detailed article
  2. Engineered the article to build expectation
  3. Built up a climax that ends in the last paragraph

Now, it’s time to capitalize on all of that and extend the conversation to your blog.

We need to give the reader an opportunity to press the  “NEXT EPISODE” button.

How can you do that?

Like this…

Excerpt from Guest Post on Acuff.me

First, you tie up the central theme of the blog post.

Second, you transition from the central theme to the content upgrade.

Third, you introduce the content upgrade.

Lastly, provide a clear call to action.

If you’ve built expectation throughout the post, this should feel completely natural. This shouldn’t feel forced or fake at all.

Your call to action should be a natural extension of the guest post itself.

Think about the experience of watching a show on Netflix. At the end of each episode what do you want to do?

YOU WANT TO WATCH THE NEXT EPISODE!

Make it extremely easy for your reader to do that.

Let’s look at another example…

Guest Post on Leadpages.net

How Greg got 100x more subscribers with an Expanded Guest Post

Don’t think you can do it?

Take a look at this case study.

It’s not as hard as you think.

Greg runs the Podcast and blog Mobile Mixed. Recently he wrote two guest post.

This one: Everything You Need to Know to Run a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign

And this one:  A Step-by-Step System to Higher Productivity

The first post was on popular marketing blog, Convince and Convert.

According to Similarweb.com, Convince and Convert received 1.8 million page views in the month of July and according to Alexa they are the 1,240th most popular website in the United States.

The second post was on a much less popular blog, Productivityist. In the month of July they received 190,000 page views and are ranked the 114,287th most popular site in the United States.

It seems pretty obvious which site SHOULD have sent him more subscribers…right?

Convince and Convert has 10x the traffic. Should be a slam dunk.

Wrong!

Greg’s guest post on the Productivityist generated 100x more email subscribers.

Why?

He wrote an Expanded Guest Post for them but not for Convince and Convert.

Let’s take a closer look a the Convince and Convert article.

Guest post by Greg Hickman on Convince and Convert

This is a good article.

If quality of content was the only factor in effective guest posting, this article would have killed.

But it didn’t..

Guess how many new subscribers joined Greg’s list after reading?

Wait for it…..ZERO!

In this post Greg fell victim to two major issues

1. No call to action

2. His by-line (the only way for readers to find out more about him) was sandwiched between two MASSIVE CTA’s.

As a result Greg saw no traffic and no new subscribers after spending more than 6 hours writing the article.

How can he turn it into a post that generates 500 subscribers

Here are 3 tweaks Greg could make to significantly increase the number of subscribers from this post.

Tip #1: Create Expectation

In the opening paragraph of the article Greg does a decent job of building up desire.

He uses a few phrases that made me think, “Hmm..maybe I should be paying attention to mobile more than I am now

Phrase #1

Phrase #2

However, he then jumps straight into 10 points on mobile marketing.

Completely missing the opportunity to build expectation.

The lead in is very important.

Which one of these two lead ins would have intrigued you the most?

The one Greg used?

The one he used

Or a lead in specifically engineered to build expectation and climax?

“How would you like a 90% open rate on your messages? Today I’m going to show you 10 strategies to make that happen. Also, I have a special FREE bonus to help you even further. Make sure you read all the way to the end to get it.”

Tip #2: Link to your own articles

Several times throughout this post Greg linked out to relevant articles.

This is good.

However, be sure to use this opportunity to link to your own relevant articles as well.

If you’re spending 500 words to talk about a topic you’ve already written about on your own site, link to it.

For example…

In section 5 he covered the topic of getting permission before you start blasting people with a SMS marketing campaign.

Part 5: Permission

This would have been the perfect chance to link to Episode 67 of the Mobile Mixed podcast which talks about this exact topic.

Tip #3: Provide a content upgrade

This is the big one.

The expectation built in the lead in paragraph set the stage and built anticipation…the content upgrade is what converts your readers into subscribers.

For a full rundown on content upgrades read this: The Complete Guide to Content Upgrades

Greg offers a SMS Swipfe file for free on the right hand sidebar of his website.

It contains “200+ examples from businesses using SMS marketing everyday.”

Greg’s universal opt-in on his website

This would be the perfect content upgrade for this guest post.

1. It already exists (no making it from scratch)

2. It’s highly relevant to the article

3. The readers would be helped by it

This is how Greg closed his post:

Closing Paragraph

if you’ve used a similar lead in line to what I described in Tip #1, this closing paragraph will be the most read portion of the post.

You’ve told your reader to “Be sure to read to the end for a special bonus.”

Even if they only skim the rest of the post, they are going to look at that last paragraph.

That makes the last paragraph the climax of the entire article.

This is how I would re-write the final paragraph.

“And there you have it, the 10 key components to help you start your own SMS marketing campaign.

This is a lot to take in and implement. I’ve found that one of the biggest barriers to entry is writing the SMS campaigns.

So, I’ve packaged up my entire swipe file of over 200 SMS messages that you can steal and use to create your own campaigns.

It’s completely FREE, just click here and you can download them immediately.”

What do you think?

Would you click on that?

I would.

How many subscribers could Greg have generated with an Expanded Guest Post?

What would have happened if Greg would’ve used this framework to write his guest post?

Based on my experience and the estimated traffic numbers and Alexa ranking of the Convince and Convert blog, he would have seen 400 – 600 new subscribers with this strategy.

I asked this question last week, but I want you to really think about it.

Question: How would 500 new email subscribers change your business?

In the next few weeks we’re going to start looking at an examining that exact question.

Here’s a little something to whet your appetite though..

I ran across a case study of a guy named Samuel Hulick who had a list of 6,000 subscribers.

…the equivalent to 12 or so Expanded Guest Posts…

He wrote a book called “The Elements of Onboarding” and generated over $27,000 in sales in his first week of sales.

Think about that.

No Amazon.

No publishing deal.

Just an email list.

How to write your first Expanded Guest Post

So, that was a ton of information.

I’ve produced a free training video for you.

If you need a little more hand holding or just a first hand example of how I do it, I’ll take you behind the scenes and show you how I came up with the bonus for this post.

I’ll also show you my process for engineering expectation into the post in order to make sure my readers actually see the content upgrade.

For complete access to that training video, (click here )