No person is an island, and the same can be said for successful business bloggers. If you're looking for a way to improve your dental practice's organic rankings, build your practice, or increase your reputation as an expert in the dental community or small business practice area, guest blogging is an easy way to do it. Here are a few basics you need to know before jumping in.

What Is Guest Posting?

Just as it sounds, guest posting is offering your content on another website. Your guest posting can be paid or unpaid, and it may involve original work you wrote just for that site or work you adapted for the site from an original work previously posted elsewhere. Most sites that are open to guest bloggers have editorial standards, such as a minimum word count. They may also have an editorial calendar and give you a topic to write on, while others prefer you to pitch a topic.

If you're using guest posting to increase your organic rankings, do not provide a guest post that is identical to something you published elsewhere. Search engines do not appreciate duplicate content, and the sites where it's posted will be penalized for it.

Why Guest Post?

With guest blogging, a larger or varied audience is enjoying your content. It gives your message greater reach. Most sites will allow a guest blogger to include a short bio at the end, which you can use to link back to your site, bringing new interest to your practice's website.

The content promotes you as an expert, which positions you for additional opportunities such as continued article writing, podcasts, interviews, and speaking opportunities. It will also influence people looking for a new dentist, as people want to have access to the best and brightest.

Guest blogging is also an opportunity to build relationships with other bloggers and complementary businesses. For instance, you can create an ongoing column for a toothbrush company on oral hygiene best practices or take some other opportunity for cross-promotion.

How Do You Get Into It?

The first thing you need to do is research posting opportunities. Look for sites your intended audience has visited. For instance, if you want to grow your dental practice, you're targeting people who need dentists. If your goal is to become a thought leader for other dental practitioners, you want to target a site other dentists read.

Now that you know who you're targeting, look for popular sites that appeal to that demographic. You want them to have a good ranking, be of high quality, and accept guest bloggers. Next, read the content that's on the site, and decide whether your content would be a good fit. Pay attention to style, tone, and authority. Read any editorial guidelines listed. Contact the editor or fill out a contact form for more information on the guest posting process.

Guest blogging is an excellent way to expand your audience and personal brand, which in turn can help you grow your practice. Research websites that have good rankings and an audience that fits your goals behind guest posting, and you'll be happy with the results.

Image via Flickr by Anonymous Account