In the Internet marketing world of today, conflicting opinions surround the concept of guest posting. Some Internet marketers swear by it. Others are of the opinion that there are far better approaches to search engine optimization and don’t consider guest posting as a good use of their time.
In truth, like most Internet marketing strategies, guest posting is just an approach, a tactic. Whether it will work to benefit your overall marketing strategy is going to depend on whether it is done right, that is, at the right time and using the right methodology.
Guest posting – A definition
By definition, guest posting is the networking practice of accepting posts by other people including contemporary bloggers on your website. It benefits both parties in the following ways:
The one who submits an article to a blog: He gets a relevant backlink, and siphons some of the traffic to his website.
The one who accepts guest posts on his blog: He gets high quality content that provides value to his readers (who then come for more!).
In this article, we will talk about the latter.
Guest posting – The dos and don’ts
Accepting guest posts on your blog (if you want it to be beneficial for you) is much more than copying, pasting and pressing the “Publish” button. Once you open your website to guest posting, you will be receiving dozens of requests and articles a week. Publishing all of them might do more harm than good for your business. Instead, what you will need to do is to sift through the content and requests you receive. Ask yourself: Is he a real expert? Is the article providing real value? Is the content providing a real solution to a problem my target audience has?
If you answer “No” to most of these questions when reviewing an article, the article should probably go straight to the trash.
Have a good piece of content? Go ahead and make it a guest post!
A few pointers
1. Set the rules upfront
If you choose to include guest blogging as part of your SEO strategy, note that just because you decide to accept guest posts on your blog does not mean that you should accept each and every submission that comes your way. This is your website we are talking about and the rules should be yours. This includes deciding how many guest posts you want to allow on your blog each month and setting the rules in terms of the structure of the posts. For example, as a webmaster, it is perfectly okay for you to specify in advance how long you want the guest posts to be and in what format you would like the posts. Remember that your priority is to always provide quality information for your readers.
2. Optimize your website for guest posting
If you are going to be accepting guest posts then you need to get the word out there. One of the best ways to do this is to create a separate page on your website for the benefit of potential authors explaining the rules and terms for posting on your website. The main reason why you want to do this is that many webmasters search for guest blogging opportunities and they usually do this in the same way that real people look for things online: Using keywords and keyword phrases.
When it comes to guest blogging, it is also possible to work in collaboration with a contemporary blogger in your niche. The widely used approach to this method of guest posting is to pair up with someone and exchange posts. As an online marketer, this increases your visibility over the web and at the same time, you are building useful connections.
The pros of guest blogging
When you run a blog for the purpose of marketing a particular product or a brand, at times, it can become a tat bit challenging to find fresh content all the time. This makes providing value on your blog more and more difficult. Accepting guest posts offers 3 major benefits:
1. Guest blogging reduces your workload
When you open your website to guest posting, each time you choose to publish a guest article on your blog, it’s basically one article less for you to write. For busy website owners, this can offer a great perk and a break from the usual “write-edit-publish” routine that you probably have if you run a successful blog.
2. Get quality content addressing aspects of your niche outside your expertise
When you own a blog, even if you are smart and you are an established authority figure in your niche, chances are, you are not an expert in absolutely all aspects of your chosen niche. As a result, even if you run a successful blog offering value to your readers, your website may be lacking content in some key subject areas. If you want to fill these gaps, basically there are two things you can do: You can either research and write articles on these topics which will require a pretty significant amount of time or you can request a guest post from other site owners with more experience than you have in some areas.
3. Guest blogging increases your perceived authority
Guest posts on your website provide you with a certain amount of industry cachet. This is because when visitors come across your website and stumble on the guest posts there, immediately, to them, you are someone with strong industry connections and an authority figure in your field.
The cons of guest blogging
While accepting guest articles can help website owners increase their perceived authority, too many guest posts can sometimes prevent readers from building a meaningful relationship with your brand. This is because guest posts dilute the message you want to send. Also note that guest articles come with a caveat: you will need to allow the original author to link back to his or her own website. This may divert visitors away from your own sales funnels.