Several months ago, Google warned that guest blogging shouldn’t be used solely for link building because it had become a spammy practice. After much debate Matt Cutts, of Google, clarified that guest blogging, when used properly, is an acceptable link building and internet marketing strategy.
When you use it the right way, guest blogging can help you solidify your online brand, reach new audiences, earn higher search rankings and drive traffic to your website. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure your strategy will benefit your business.
Start with Top-Notch Content
It all starts with high quality content. When you use content that is well written and includes strategic messaging, your posts will be more likely to be published and help you reach your goals. This kind of content tells publishers and readers that you are a trustworthy brand and an expert in your area. Great content is absolutely essential to a guest blogging strategy that works.
Form Long-term Relationships
Guest blogging is about more than just publishing a post and then moving on. It’s about building relationships with bloggers and publishers that will benefit both parties. Keep in touch with people you work with and if you can, be willing to publish posts from them too.
When you form relationships with people you open up opportunities to post more content on a site, be invited to post on other sites owned by a blogger, get recommendations and benefit from word of mouth among site owners and get more exposure. As you make friends with the people you work with, they will be more willing to help your cause and could even become an advocate, helping you publicise your content.
Blog for Yourself and the Publisher
Effective guest blog posts are written with two purposes. First, they need to be designed to help you reach your search engine optimisation, brand awareness, sales and other goals. But, they also need to be written in a way that provides value to the publisher’s audience.
When you do this, both you and the publisher will benefit. Your posts will be more likely to get published and you will see a bigger impact from your efforts. Publishers will benefit from a satisfied and growing audience.
Provide Unique Value
Your guest blog posts can help you position yourself as an industry authority and help you gain more readers, social media followers and even customers. To do this, you need to make sure each of your posts offers value in a way other peoples’ content doesn’t. Write unique posts, offer a fresh perspective and publish original and new ideas. This way, as people discover your content they will be more likely to visit your website, subscribe to your blog and connect with you on social media.
Of course, adding links to your guest posts will help you rank your pages and drive traffic to your website. To use this to its fullest potential, you need to choose your anchor text and links carefully. Tie your guest blogging plans into your SEO strategy so they can work together and bring bigger benefits.
Also think about the post’s audience and where you want to direct people. For example, if the people reading a blog post are potential customers, you may want to link to one of your product pages.
Most bloggers and publishers have guidelines regarding how many links you can include, so find out what those are and be sure to follow them.
Guest blogging is alive and well and when you approach it with the right strategy, it can bring big benefits to your business. If you aren’t already using guest blogging, consider putting together a plan to add it to your SEO, content marketing and online branding campaigns this year.