What is guest blogging? Guest blogging, also known as “guest posting,” is the act of writing content for a business’s website. Generally, guest bloggers write for similar blogs within their industry in order to:
- Attract traffic back to their website
- Increase their brand credibility and awareness
- Boost their domain authority using external links to high-authority domains
- Build relationships with peers in their industry.
Almost always, guest blogging offers mutual benefits for both the guest blogger and the website hosting the guest content. In other words, guest blogging is a two-way street - so when you decide to hop on the guest blogging bandwagon, you should consider featuring posts by guest bloggers on your own website, too. Guest blogging is an effective tactic that helps your business’s inbound marketing efforts in more ways than one. Not only does it help you build authority as a thought leader within your industry, but also (and more importantly) it’s a powerful way to boost your website’s performance and get your content ranking on search engines like Google. Finding websites that accept guest blog authors can take a lot of time and energy. On top of that, you want to find the right opportunities to make sure it’s worth your while. So first let’s learn the right (and wrong) way to do it.
The Dos & Don’ts of Guest Blogging
Define your niche.
Make it a habit to write for websites relevant to your business’s industry. This is important for two reasons:
- It ensures you’ll reach a target audience that you want to get in front of;
- And building links from external websites to your site will be more valuable if they’re related.
Let’s assume your business sells financial planning services. In this case, writing for a fashion blog might not be the most effective approach. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t identify opportunities that exist outside your market. There’s definitely a way to get creative and find overlap between two semi-related niches.
For example, your financial planning company could write for a home improvement website by creating a post on “financial planning tips for your upcoming home renovation.”
Prioritise outreach to websites based on domain authority.
Websites with high domain authority will provide more value in regard to building inbound links. Do your research and make a list of websites you want to pitch with a guest blog idea and document their domain authority. This will help you better strategise your approach on who to reach out to first..
Plan, don’t roam
Considering the fact that you are going to spend quite a lot of time before the payback time, you will want to be able to measure how much guest blogging will cost you in terms of time and effort.
Make a guest blogging long-term strategy and break it into a few short-term ones. For example, in the first three months, you could aim to expand your audience by finding and reaching out to 30 relevant websites/blogs - and getting published at least once. Strategy means knowing your goals and identifying the means to achieve them. Don’t aim too high with your expectations because the process is probably going to be harder than you expect. You’ll be lucky if you manage to get one article published that first month. And you’ll have to burn the midnight oil many times for it! Create a spreadsheet where you will track and measure your progress. It will help you realize what works and what doesn’t.
Research, don’t shoot into empty space
Once you’ve got your strategy and goal in place, it’s time to make a list of websites where you’d like to contribute. Determine which ones are relevant to your niche and rather successful (collaborations are great, but rewards in terms of higher traffic and lead generation are even better). This list could contain two categories. One - websites which are a tiny bit better than yours in terms of traffic and engagement, but also those which are better performing than yours. The first ones would “hire” you (or rather, let you write for them) based on the fact that you’re probably ready to offer them the same thing in return. And two well there’s nothing you can offer them except for good content. Really good.
Don’t make use of those ready-made lists of blogs and websites that you can find on the internet. You need those websites to lend you their audience. That’s why you should find some blogs or online magazines which are relevant to your business.
Google’s Stance on Guest Posting
Will Google punish guest posting? Google may be cracking down on websites that are publishing guest posts. As there are several reports of unnatural outbound link penalties. An outbound link penalty is a manual action against a website. In this case the publisher relates that Google may have stopped PageRank from flowing from the website. Google has punished guest blogging sites in the past especially for irrelevant content or paid posts. But Google states that guest posting is fine if done properly and if offering the reader valuable content. Google has issued a warning to remind website owners about the dangers of publishing content on other sites for the purpose of building inbound links. The company doesn't frown on guest posts or syndicated posts in general, but lately there has been an increase in spammy links stuffed into these types of posts.
Want to push your businesses website and blog out there further? Get higher chances of getting discovered online by guest blogging. Get in contact with us today and let our team of experts take your digital marketing to the next level.