Guest blogging has taken the online marketing industry by storm over the last 12-18 months. Since many of the article directories were devalued (not all, but most), SEOs have relied to guest blogging to scale their link building efforts for their own web properties or for their clients.
For those who don’t know the term, guest blogging is putting together a blog post that will be posted on an external blog for the purpose of generating a link back to your website. Again, links are fuel your search engine optimization campaigns. There are right and wrong ways to do guest blogging and today, we are going to talk about both and why it is vital to use caution when executing this link tactic.
Guest Blogging Best Practices
When guest blogging it is important to remember that you need to be generating and publishing as high or higher quality content than you are publishing on your own blog. If you are writing and publishing crap content, one, the search engines will be able to see it, and two, anyone who comes across it will get a negative impression of your website. Not good!
It is also important to take the content you are creating and submit it to the highest quality of sites that are relevant to yours. When I am guest blogging, I am not only aiming to get links out of the effort, but drive qualified referral traffic to my or my clients website. Because of this, I monitor referral traffic like a hawk in my analytics and report on it every month to my clients. I’m gonna be selfish here and take credit for any leads or sales generated from my guest blogging efforts and you should be too!
Lastly, it is vital that you create a relationship with the blog owner. This isn’t a slam, bam, thank you mam, kind of strategy. If you get qualified traffic from these sites, you are going to want to continue to post, maybe even provide a monthly column if the owner will allow you to do so. Relationships are crucial when it comes to link building in 2012 and beyond.
Guest Blogging Pitfalls
I would imagine that this section will probably be quite short mostly because you can take everything I said above and do the opposite. It is far too easy to get caught up in the number of links game and be tempted to write crap content or even play with an article spinner. DON’T DO IT!!! It might also be tempting to submit your content to sites that are low quality or not relevant to yours just to get a link. DON’T DO IT!!! It might also be tempting to submit your content to blog networks and article networks to scale your efforts. DON’T DO IT!!!
I’m gonna leave you with this video from Matt Cutts (head of web spam for Google) where he talks about spammy guest blogging. This about sums it all up. Enjoy!