“Guest blogging is done.” This statement made in 2014 by the-then-head of Google Web Spam Team, Matt Cutts, caused a lot of controversy at the time.
Was Google about to start penalizing those who engaged in the practice?
Could suddenly guest posting cause you more harm than good?
Was it better to ditch it as a marketing strategy?
Matt later clarified that the point he was making in his post had been largely missed. He was not referring to legitimate guest posts at all, but rather to the practice of spammy guest posts designed merely to create as many backlinks as possible.
But Isn’t Guest Blogging All About Links?
Ten years ago, perhaps, guest posting was used mainly to secure backlinks. Quality of content and value rarely were even in the conversation.
Back then, search engines were not as clever as they are today. The more links you had to your blog or site, the more credible your site appeared. It did not matter where the links were coming from.
Since then, the algorithms used to determine pagerank have changed a lot. Now it is not only the number of links that counts but the quality of the sites linking to you as well. Search engines have become better at sorting legitimate from spammy content and often come down hard on spammers.
Guest blogging today, according to Forbes, should be used as a tool to build credibility rather than backlinks. Blatantly promotional posts have lost their allure for readers. You still can stick to one or two links in the content, but use your bio as means to help people find your business.
What’s The Payoff For My Site Then?
There is a reason that 53% of marketers list the creation of content as their main priority for inbound marketing. While this statistic covers all content creation, it is still relevant here because guest blogging is a very effective inbound marketing strategy.
Great content, whether on your own blog or someone else’s, provides value for readers and that’s all that matters.
Get it right and readers will seek you out.
You will get more qualified traffic to your site. 59% of marketers believe that inbound marketing is the best for lead generation. By comparison, only 16% of marketers feel that outbound marketing results in solid leads
Need a little more convincing?
For 47% of buyers, it takes between three and five pieces of content to convince them to contact a sales rep. Guest blogging helps you meet that quota and reach a wider audience. Still feel like it is a waste of time?
Why Does Guest Posting Get Mixed Results Then?
Guest posting is only an effective strategy if you approach it properly. There are no shortcuts here – to be successful, you have to do thorough research and craft superb content.
How Do I Excel At Guest Posting?
According to Moz.com, you have to provide real value for the blog that you want to post on. That is why research is essential.
Basically, you should put at least as much effort in the guest posts as in the articles on your blog, even if there is no direct remuneration. An argument can be made that you should make the guest posts better than the average article on your site, as publishing on pages with high view count showcases your qualities – and shortcomings – like nothing else.
Give it your best shot and then some.
Here are some other tips to get you started.
Start With The Right Blogs
One post to a high traffic, reputable site will prove much more valuable than a bunch of posts on spammy sites. To really get the best benefit, though, you need to choose blogs whose audience are people in your target market. That way, you increase the chance to get targeted traffic that is more likely to convert.
Before you decide to reach out to any particular blog, do check the articles already on the site and see if your normal content would fit in with theirs. If it doesn’t, it wouldn’t make sense to either of you to try to post there.
Say, for example, you ran a beauty salon. Would you approach a site like Forbes to publish a piece on the latest trends in nail art? It would be completely out of place on the site and a waste of your time. Besides, it would never agree to publish it.
And even if it did, how much would it help you with prospective customers anyway? People who visit Forbes are looking for business tips, not beauty tips.
Ask yourself whether you would write a guest post if no links were allowed at all. If the answer is “No,” find a more suitable blog. Research the potential blogs worth approaching carefully and ask yourself the following:
- How reputable is the blog?
- Would my content be a good fit?
- Should I post even without any backlink to my site?
- Who is its target audience?
- How can I add value to its readers?
Once you have established that the blog is a good fit, you can move on to create content.
Creating Stellar Content
When creating your posts, you need to really up your game and create the best possible content.
If you would be too embarrassed to post it on your own site, rework it completely and create content that you can be proud of. Craft it and polish it to perfection so that it reveals the genuine beauty of your voice through genuinely valuable content for the readers.
Content should always:
- Be based on facts, not assumptions. Link to reputable sources to back up the claims that you make. That way, people reading the post can check the veracity of it themselves. It improves your credibility and establishes you as an expert in the field.
- Tailored for the blog. Look at its writing style and try to match it.
- Be unique. Don’t just rehash some old bit of content or topic that has been done to death. Look for a new angle to keep the post fresh.
- Be valuable and interesting to the readers through captivating storytelling.
- Be perfectly crafted. Go beyond simply checking for typos. Look at the structure of the content itself and that the writing flows well. Don’t try to bulk it out with unnecessary fillers.
- Scannable. The 43% of readers skim through posts. Break the content up into manageable bits of information. Avoid too many long-winded sentences and use headings within the text so that readers can quickly find the information they are most interested in.
- Be creative. You do not have to stick to written content. Consider providing other content forms like videos or infographics.
Guest posting is an excellent inbound marketing strategy as long as you are willing to put the effort. Create content that complements the target blog, adds value for its readers and that is crafted exquisitely.
If you are serious about your blog, you must allocate enough time and ideas for guest posting because it is a wonderful way to gain exposure and to share your ideas with a broader audience.
This is all or nothing here – commit to it 110% or move on to another technique.
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