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guest blogging Archives - STRYDE

Thoughts On Guest Blogging & Building Brand Awareness/Credibility

By | Industry News | One Comment

I was out yesterday taking a long weekend with the family and came into the office this morning to this bad boy:

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/

After taking some time to digest the post and talking with colleagues, I started writing up an email to our clients updating them on the news and educating them on our plans going forward. About halfway through, I decided to throw this in a post and send it out to our clients and our list of newsletter subscribers. Enjoy…

Here we are again with another post from Matt Cutts (Head of Web Spam @ Google) about guest blogging. We’ve all seen this coming for some time now. Anytime an SEO gets a hold of a tactic that drives rankings for clients, they abuse the heck out of it and ruin it for everyone else. So when Matt talks about guest posting, what exactly is he talking about. Well, we believe he is talking about guest posts that look something like this:

http://blog.seniorlivingguide.com (they’ve actually taken the post down after this published)

As I look at this site, I immediately notice several things:

  • The site is full of posts that are for link building purposes only.
    • First post, generic content… anchor text link. Next post, generic content… anchor text link. Next post…
  • This site has nothing to do with automatic knives. Senior citizens don’t want to use automatic knives… I promise!!
  • Not a lot of social shares or people talking about this site.

We don’t believe it’s targeting guest posts that are on truly legitimate sites like http://www.backcountrysecrets.com/

There are several people who produce content for this site, it’s on topic, it gets shared, and it’s most likely screened and approved before going live. These are the types of opportunities that we seek on your behalf. They do take far more time to secure, but are worth it at the end of the day!

So what is our strategy going forward?

To be completely honest, we aren’t changing a whole lot. We’ve never engaged in low quality guest posting, so we’re not too concerned about the update. We will however, continue to rely on the following to build your brand awareness and credibility:

  • Link pruning!
    • If your site has received links from low quality guest posts from previous agencies or in-house employees who didn’t know better, we will be identifying those that are, in our opinion, “risky” and working to remove them.
  • On site content creation, optimization, and promotion.
    • In our opinion, nothing is more powerful than a blog with fantastic content on it. When combined with retargeting and social promotion efforts (paid and organic), we will reach influencers who will naturally share and link to your content.
    • If you don’t have a blog on your website, this needs to be priority #1 over the next four weeks.
  • True outreach & relationship building.
    • We’ve recently brought on a gal who will be managing all high profile blogger and journalist relationships for our clients. She will be responsible for performing outreach, pitching stories, and offering up resources to produce great editorial pieces… not “guest blog posts”.
  • Digital asset creation and promotion.
    • We will continue to produce whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, videos, and other digital assets that will be used to secure links and social shares.

Lastly, we’re holistic in everything we do for you. We don’t rely on one strategy to drive traffic, engagement, and conversions. It’s just too risky. We leverage many different traffic acquisitions strategies and you’re better off for it. Here’s to 2014 and continued growth and revenue!

 

Stryde’s Top Ten Posts of 2013

By | Blogging | No Comments

This past year has been a great first year for Stryde. We’ve provided numerous marketing posts throughout the year, and in case you missed any, here’s a list of our top 10 posts from 2013.

1. Ten Books Every Digital Marketer MUST Read

This early summer post offers 10 books that every digital marketer should read to help them better understand the digital marketing landscape and become the best asset they can to their team and company.

Click this link if you want to check this post out: http://www.stryde.com/ten-books-every-digital-marketer-must-read/

2. How To Use Google Keyword Tool & Google Trends For Keyword Research

This article goes over two great tools that are used to help you discover keyword opportunities and how to best use them for your business.

Click here if you want to read more about this topic: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-use-google-keyword-tool-google-trends-for-keyword-research/

3. The Ultimate List of SEO Tools

In this post, we go over SEO tools every digital marketer should know and use. We go over tools in three different areas: keyword research, SEO analysis and link building.

Follow this link if you want to learn more: http://www.stryde.com/the-ultimate-list-of-seo-tools/

4. Five Things You MUST Do To Have A Successful, Thriving Online Business

Learning the five components of running a successful and thriving online business that will help you stand out from your competitors is what you’ll find in this post.

Click on this link to find out more: http://www.stryde.com/four-things-you-must-have-to-have-a-successful-thriving-online-business/

5. Five Ways To Tell Google What Your Website Is About

Here you’ll be told about five different elements that help your website make a strong case to the search engines that it’s relevant for specific keywords. These elements will also help you rank higher and generate more traffic to your website.

Click here to read this whole article: http://www.stryde.com/five-ways-to-tell-google-what-your-website-is-about/

6. How To Effectively Perform Link Prospecting & Outreach via BuzzStream

BuzzStream is a great platform for digital marketers looking to generate good quality links and outreach and is a way to build on relationships you make out of those. We offer a list of resources to help you learn about this tool and how to properly use it.

Check out this post by clicking on this link: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-effecitvely-perform-link-prospecting-outreach-via-buzzstream/

7. Understanding The Different Types of Anchor Text & How To Use Them

In this post we define what anchor text is, give you four types of anchor text and tell how to use them.

Click this link if you’re interested in learning more about this topic: http://www.stryde.com/understanding-different-types-anchor-text-use/

8. 25 Online Marketing Tools We’re Thankful For This Year

This was a Thanksgiving post where we listed 25 online marketing tools that we are thankful for and that we at Stryde use on a daily basis to help with our job and our clients.

If you want to know more, click this link: http://www.stryde.com/online-marketing-tools-thankful-year/

9. Guest Blogging As We Know It Is Dying! Evolve or Move On!

In this post the current guest blogging strategies being used are discussed and why they’re making guest blogging a less effective tactic. We then list and discuss six future guest blogging strategies that are sure to make you successful.

If you’re interested in this topic, click on this link to read the piece: http://www.stryde.com/guest-blogging-as-we-know-it-is-dying-evolve-or-move-on/

10. How To Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio

This piece teaches you how to better protect yourself from algorithm updates and about five types of links that should be considered when wanting to diversify your link portfolio.

Click on this link to read this entire article: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-diversify-your-backlink-portfolio/

We’re really looking forward to 2014 and continuing to add value to the online marketing community through our blog.

Google’s Matt Cutts on Guest Blogging as Spam

By | Blogging | 2 Comments


The trendiness of guest blogging is catching on and with it, arises a few questions and concerns with regards to spam. Users are wondering about the effects of guest blogging, how it might be considered spam, and whether Google will consequently penalize guest blogging sites. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, clears up some of the skepticism and provides his own insight on the proper way to use guest blogging.

What about Guest Blogging?

For many bloggers, guest blogging is a tactful method to direct traffic to their site by posting on other blogs that link readers back to their site, in turn, increasing its’ search engine rankings. While this method has the potential to turn out high results, guest blogging can be considered spam if not executed tactfully. Matt explains that Google recognizes the significant difference between high vs low quality blogging and offers the following recommendations for bloggers to promote quality content:

Don’t make it your only method. When done correctly, guest blogging may help increase traffic and ratings, but use this tactic in moderation. Over using isn’t the best way to build your site’s reputation.

Don’t email blast. Mass emails, offering to guest blog seem impersonal and ingenuine and are more likely to be be picked up as spam.

Don’t reuse. Posting the same article on two different blogs or even spinning an article to post on multiple blogs isn’t producing original work.

Don’t abuse. Be sure that you are writing content that is relevant to the blog on which you are posting and not just a dropping a laundry list of keywords in the anchor text.

Do create organic work that will “earn links on the basis of merit” and credibility. The most successful guest bloggers are those who produce original work and rely on their expertise on the subject, rather than an overload of keywords, to direct traffic and boost ratings.

Ten Things SMBs Can Do To Better Market Their Businesses (On The Cheap)

By | Small Business Marketing | No Comments

For those who don’t know, I am a fairly active advisor over on the American Express Open Forum and one of the questions I see more often than any others are… “how do I market my small business that does [insert industry here] without spending thousands of dollars per month?”. The answer will typically vary based on the industry the individual is in, but there are many things that can be done for all businesses to help generate online awareness and help grow their companies.

In today’s post, I will be outlining ten things that any small business can do to better market their business and do it inexpensively.

Blog Like Crazy

One of the easiest ways to better market your business, and probably my favorite is to blog like crazy! Every day if possible!

Small businesses should keep a list of the most common questions asked by their prospects and customers and work diligrently to create content for their blog that speaks to those questions. If you don’t have a lot of customers, you can also monitor the best blogs in your space by using Feedly and working to create similar content that seems to get shared socially and that individuals engage with.

One thing to keep in mind is that quality is more important that quantity, so if you don’t have time to post every day, don’t. Post a few times per week, but make it awesome!

Google+ Local Page

Many small businesses are local businesses trying to attract customers within a geographic location. If this is you, you should setup and optimize your Google+ Local Page so that it become relevant for the products or services you offer and your geographic location.

Here’s a great guide to setting up and optimizing your Google+ local page.

Citation Building

After setting up your Google+ Local Page, you will want to setup other map/business directory listings. These are referred to as citations. Citations always contain your business name, address, and phone number, also referred to as NAP.

Citations help solidify in the eyes of the search engines that your business is legitimate and deserves to show up high for localized search queries. One of the best places to start is by running your business name and zip code through GetListed.org.

Help A Non-Profit

One unique way to help market your business is by helping a non-profit organization, or several organizations. If your business chooses to engage in such a practice, you need to make sure you are doing it for the right reason. Just to get publicity, brand awareness, and links to your site is an awful reason to help a non-profit. If you do it for the right reason, the non-profits will talk about you and you will get the publicity you deserve.

Write A Guest Post

Not only should you be blogging like crazy on your own site, but you should put forth some effort to contribute to other high visibility blogs in your industry. The purpose of writing a guest post is two fold, one to help get your name out there as a thought leader. A good guest post will will drive traffic back to your website and will often times bring potential customers. To vet the sites you want to post on, I like to look at social activity on their posts, if their readers leave good comments, do they have a decent number of RSS subscribers, do they have an email newsletter, do they have a following on Facebook, etc. If not, I’d probably look elsewhere. Here’s a good post on guest posting.

Shoot & Publish A Video

Gone are the days of needing expensive video cameras and video editing software to produce a video that drives interest for your business. Most individuals are packing a far better video camera in their pockets that most households could afford just fifteen years ago.

Bust out that smartphone and snap videos of your products or services in action. Take video of your clients providing testimonials and so forth. You’ll then take this video content and publish it to YouTube and other platforms like Vimeo.

Give Products or Services Away

I don’t think I have to tell you that people love free stuff. They especially love free stuff that’s valuable or extremely relevant to them. One of the quickest ways to generate visibility for your business is to give away your products or services. When you do this, tell everyone you know and ask them to spread the word. You can also run a contest on Facebook using a services like Rafflecopter to help you organize and execute your contest.

Guest Lecture

Guest lecturing is another fantastic way to promote your business. Every college and university professor would love for a seasoned professional in their vertical to prepare a lecture and relieve them from their daily duties. I have guest lectured dozens of times at local universities here in Utah on marketing and business topics. Each time I have, I have generated leads for new clients and I’ve even found some great employees from it.

Build Out Social Profiles

You can and SHOULD build out the four big social profiles, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, brand them to look and feel like your business, and participate on a regular basis. When you are participating make sure to tag your content with relevant hashtags to ensure your messages get in front of your target audience.

Become THE Thought Leader In Forums

Lastly (for this post), you should identify 2-3 forums in your space and participate on a daily basis. Set aside 20 minutes each morning to go in and answer questions that you are capable of providing an amazingly helpful response. After several months of doing this, you will start to be known as the industry expert that everyone can go to for answers to their questions. Another awesome thing about forum participation is that you can see what questions are being asked most often (kind of like questions asked by your prospects and customers above) and create content for your blog that answers their questions.

If you’re quick about it, you can head back to the forum and add links to your new content on your site and bring those potential customers to your front door!

So there you go, ten ways to market your business, without spending a lot of money. Obviously, this isn’t an extensive list, but a list that I use on a regular basis to better market Stryde and many of our clients.

How To Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio For Better SEO

By | SEO | One Comment

diversified link portfolioLast week I was consulting with a small business here in Salt Lake and the business owner asked me what it meant to diversify a link portfolio and how one might go about it.

This is an excellent question and one that many business owners are probably asking themselves, especially after the roll out of Penguin 2.0 early last week.

The problem with SEO is that marketers have always tried to game the system and build certain types of links that deliver big results with the least amount of work. When I first got started with SEO, you could build thousands of directory links and rank in the top three positions in the SERPs within a few weeks. A few years later, it was article marketing websites, and a few years after that, it was blog networks like LinkVana, BuildMyRank, and SEOLinkVine.

What this has led to was a lot of websites building a few different types of links for a very long time and when the algorithm updates discount or ignore those links altogether, those sites are in a world of hurt. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been right there in the thick of it and have had my share of sites go through these same issues (this is not a holier than thou post), what I can tell you is, going through this has caused me to be a smarter marketer, especially when it comes to diversifying my backlinks and my marketing strategies altogether (SEO, Social, PPC, Email, Etc.).

In today’s post I want to talk about how to better protect yourself from future algorithm updates and five types of links you should consider acquiring when trying to diversify your link portfolio.

Content Driven Links

I wanted to start out by talking about links driven by high quality content that’s interesting and share worthy. One of the easiest ways to future proof your website from algorithm updates, but hardest to execute, is to create the kind of content your target audience is in dire need of and get them to share and link to it. This can be done by creating infographics, ebooks, white papers, checklists, and other items of great value. It can also be done by becoming a thought leader and blogging (freely giving away your knowledge and expertise) on a regular basis.

Creating this kind of content generates the signals the search engines are looking for and are really hard to replicate by the competition. There will always be a group of individuals who link to and share your content that won’t for your competition.

Local Links

I am always amazed by the number of companies I consult with that have never though to get links from websites in their region. Chances are, there are chambers and other organizations you belong to that you can get a link from. There are also good chances that there are different events that you can sponsor or charities you can donate to that will get you a link. I love Wil Reynolds idea of creating scholarships (you should do this for local Universities) and use that for generate links for your business.

Some other ideas to help you generate links from websites in your region is to comment on local blogs, guest blog on local, niche blogs, and provide testimonials to local businesses that you love. You can read more about these in this post by Matt Green over on the Moz blog.

Business Profiles

One high impact link strategy that many businesses overlook is setting up your business in all of the major business directories online. Most marketers do this to help with their maps optimization, you know, citation building and aligning your name, address, and phone number, but forget that these trusted directories also provide links back to your website.

I like to start with some of the bigger, more trusted sites, like those found on GetListed.org. These include Best of The Web, City Search, Four Square, Hot Frog, Super Pages, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Here.com. I’ll tell you what, if Moz recommends these sites, you should have profiles on them… TODAY!

Partners & Vendors

Another way to get some awesome links that help to round out your link portfolio is to leverage any partnerships or vendors for links. A lot of companies are scared to even ask because they are afraid it is going to damage their relationship with them. I’m here to tell you, it’s not! In fact, it often times strengthens the relationship. If you are willing, you might also add a link to them on your website. Yes, this is a reciprocal link, but in this particular situation, it is perfectly normal to link back and forth and you won’t be penalized for it. So don’t even go there in the comments 🙂

Guest Blogging

Lastly, and I saved this one for last because it is a tactic that is severely abused, is to do some guest blogging. To do guest blogging the right way, you will want to identify a handful of high quality, high visibility blogs in your niche and build a relationship with the blog owners. After becoming friends, you should work to get some of your best content published on their websites. These links will stand the test of time, low quality, “anyone can get them” guest posts will not. So be smart about it.

There are lots of other fantastic ways to build links that will help diversify your link portfolio, however, I’d start with these. If you’d like to chat about other link strategies not listed here, please do so in the comments section below.

Guest Blogging As We Know It Is Dying! Evolve or Move On!

By | SEO | 8 Comments

guest blogging tips

There… I said it… Guest blogging as we know it is dying a slow and painful death and digital marketers either aren’t happy about it, or don’t see it coming yet (which is sad).

This post is probably going to upset some people, however, it needs to be said and marketers either need to make adjustments to their current strategies or move on to other link acquisition strategies and tactics that are sustainable.

So, what do I mean by guest blogging as we know it? Let me explain.

Current Guest Blogging Strategies

The problem with SEO is that it’s a long term strategy and companies engaging in SEO are looking for the best way to scale their efforts without spending a fortune doing so. In the past, this has led to businesses and agencies building thousands of directory links and articles, which eventually were targeted and devalued by the search engines. Well, the same goes for guest blogging.

Over the last few years, companies and agencies have worked extremely hard to scale these efforts, but while doing so have cut corners and made it a less effective tactic for the rest of us. It’s gotten so scalable and borderline commoditized, that there are several companies who’ve popped up over the last year or so who only do quick and dirty guest blogging fulfillment for businesses and agencies. Not good… not good at all.

So, what kind of corners are being cut that make guest blogging a less effective tactic? Here’s a few:

  • Writing generic, garbage content that helps no one.
  • Posting generic, garbage content on sites that are full of other generic, garbage content.
  • Writing non formatted, four paragraph, four hundred word posts that look exactly the same as all other guest posts you’ve written.
  • Adding no links in the post except two back to your or your clients site in the author bio.
  • Adding no imagery or videos.
  • Taking any opportunity you dig up through the [“insert your topic here” intitle:write for us] advanced search query.
  • Not taking the time to proof read your generic, garbage content.
  • Not taking the time to promote it socially.
  • And the list can go on and on 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, even though these tactics are pure garbage, they do still help improve rankings in the search engines (today), however, they will not bring sustainable results and when the next major algorithm update rolls out, it will be all for naught.

So what should you be doing different? Let’s talk about that next.

Future Guest Blogging Strategies

As I don’t have a keen ability to see into the future like some self proclaimed “digital marketing gurus”, I’ve been doing this long enough that I can make some fairly reasonable predictions on how to salvage this tactic and squeeze as much value out of them as possible. There are six specific areas of focus that I’d like to call your attention to.

First, don’t take any guest blogging opportunity you drum up through advanced search queries or through communities like MyBlogGuest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ann and she has a ton of great opportunities in there, but there’s also a lot of crap, so be careful. Be selective and seek out opportunities to publish posts on the best blogs you can find. The best opportunities and the most powerful links will come from the sites that don’t actively allow guest bloggers to post. If you invest the time and build a quality relationship, you can get them, but you have to be patient and persistent. Remember, one link from a site like this is far more valuable then a dozen links from crappy blogs.

Second, when you have some decent opportunities, write your very best content for them. You owe it to them for allowing you to post on their site. Don’t just horde all of your best content for your own blog, give it away as well. I promise, you’ll thank me later!

Third, when writing your content make sure to do your research and work in some internal links from the blog you are posting on. This shows the blog owner that you truly care about their blog, their readers, and your quality. You should also work in external links to relevant resources besides your or your clients website. Trust me, two links in an author bio is a dead giveaway of a crappy post only being used to “take” from someone else. Give as much as you take!

Fourth, format your post by adding heading tags, bullets, and add images and video where it makes sense. I will also recommend taking some time to design custom graphics for these posts. You don’t have to spend hours designing them, but I can promise that a little effort goes a long way with both the site owner and their readers.

Fifth, put your stamp of approval on your post by associating your name and your face with your blog posts by adding authorship markup.

Sixth, remember three paragraphs ago when I said give as much as you take? After you get your content posted, make sure you take sufficient time to promote it socially. You should do this from both your personal account and your company account. If you are too embarrassed to share because of the content or the site it is found on, it’s probably not worth your time to post there.

So there you have it, the future of guest blogging. What do you think? Spot on? Way out in left field? I’d love your comments and feedback, so please share them below.

Image credit: Social Media Revolver