Guest posting is one of the last “old SEO” techniques that can—when used correctly—work.
It’s great news, because it means there’s an aspect of SEO that’s still in our control. And it’s not only good for SEO, it can be absolutely fantastic for your business as well.
But, once again, you have to do it right!
Now, there are two ways to look at guest posting. The first is guest posting on other blogs to promote your website/blog/business, and the other is accepting guest posts to get a continual stream of fresh content on your website.
In today’s article, we’ll be talking about each. We’ll be talking about what people usually do, and why it might not be the best idea if you’re looking to grow your business.
Posting on Other Blogs
Let’s make one thing clear real quick – guest posting isn’t just about links. If you want links, spam a bunch of articles to article directories and see how that does for you.
The days of building bulk links are over. So if you think you can simply change the medium (from article directories to guest posts) and get better results, I’m sorry to tell you are mistaken!
Here’s a secret: virtually every website that produces content can gain huge benefits from high-quality guest posts.
When most people use guest posts for SEO purposes, they specifically look for websites that blatantly say they accept guest posts. This is so they can easily get a post submitted and get nice link from doing so.
But when we remember that it’s not all about the links, suddenly this strategy no longer makes sense. We’ll talk about this a bit more in the next section, but if a website uses guest posts as its sole source of content, it’s not going to be a site that people enjoy reading. Therefore, what’s the point of having a guest post on that site?
Go back to that secret I let you in on above. This means that you can—theoretically—guest post on ANY website. No matter how big, what niche, how much authority it has, etc.
So instead of looking for the low hanging fruit, why not find a website that will really benefit you if you had some published content on it?
Remember in the old days of SEO, when people compared backlinks by pagerank? A PR1 link was worth 1,000 PR0 links (or something like that). And then a PR2 link was worth 1,000 PR1 links, and so on and so forth. It was an exponential scale.
Now think of that idea from the frame of the amount of value you gain from a guest post. A basic blog that accepts guest posts is a PR0. And a massive authority site in your niche that will, if pitched correctly, accept a guest post is a PR5. Or higher.
You gain exponentially more value by shooting for the stars with guest posts.
But there is a catch. In order to be accepted to these ultra high-quality sites, you really need to offer some GREAT content. The best content possible. Because these sites are already posting the best content out there – that’s why they’re the authority! In order to get a post on one of these sites, you have to match and go beyond the quality they’re already offering.
If you’d like to learn how to write that type of content, scroll down to where it says “if you liked this article, you may also enjoy” and check out some of those articles!
Accepting Guest Posts
Straight and to the point here – if you want to accept guest posts for your blog, realize that you need to set the standard right away. If you accept any and every guest post, there is virtually no chance you’ll build a following. Because people don’t care about the smattering of topics random guest posters will post about, and these posters are only looking for links in the first place.
Instead, establish yourself as an authority in your niche, and only accept a guest post if it’s absolute TOP QUALITY and is hugely valuable to your audience. If you do this, over time, you’ll get more and more guest posting requests… but they’ll be a LOT higher quality than if you had simply opened the doors to posts right off the bat.
These Are Tough Times For Link-Building SEO’s
Just when we thought we had SEO figured out, Google came along and released major algorithm update after major algorithm update. Now, SEO’s are still reeling from the “Panda Update.”
For a significant period of time, the SEO process was simple: do keyword research, create keyword driven content, build backlinks to that content. To build backlinks, we’d create additional keyword driven content, post it to article directories or Web 2.0 properties and link back to our websites. We got free easy links and the article directories got free content. It was win-win.
Unless You Were Google
Because it was so easy to get articles published on article directories, and because article directories had so much authority built up, top 10 results on Google were flooded with “fluff” articles – articles that didn’t really deliver any value to the people reading them.
Since Google’s business relies on people finding the information they’re looking for, something had to be done. In an “us or them” situation, Google had no problem eliminating the vast majority of authority article directories did. Additionally, Google reduced the “link juice” from the most common sources of backlinks (forum posts, blog comments, article directories, etc).
In One Fell Swoop, Google Changed the Way SEO Would Be Done Forever – Backlinks and Blogging
But, believe it or not, there are still people building backlinks using these methods. There are still people spamming forums with signature links. There are still people posting articles to directories for a “quick link.”
The game’s changed. Sure you can still use these methods. You might even get a few links out of it. But those links won’t help your website much – in fact in most cases, they actually harm your website.
Google’s now at the point where they’re advanced enough to determine how much value your website provides. So even if you have thousands of links pointing at your website, if your website doesn’t provide value to its users, your chances of ranking are severely diminished.
Is backlinking dead? Absolutely not. Although the amount of authority Google gives links will probably continue to go down (mainly due to social votes making their SEO debut), there will always be “authority sites” on the internet.
And links from these authority sites will always mean something to Google. Let’s face it: if you get a link from the New York Times, Google’s going to count it – even if they usually give social media “likes” and “tweets” more link authority.
So for SEO’s who are looking to build links, it’s still very possible. However, it must be approached in a different fashion
The Guest Post for Backlinks?
Of all the popular link building methods, the guest post may be the last one still capable of increasing your rankings. Not only that, though – the guest post can help you “borrow” traffic and credibility from massive authority sites on the web.
With a guest post, you give a particular authority website free content. In exchange, they link back to your website. Not just any link – a link imbedded in relevant content. It doesn’t get much better than that.
So how’s it done? Fortunately, the process is fairly straightforward.
Let’s say I have a website on “guitar strings” and wanted to rank on page #1 of Google. Now, I could either flood my website with thousands of blog comment links and article directory links, or I could do things the right way.
I could find the major players in the “guitar” and “music” niches. Then, I’d craft unique high-quality posts and submit them to the websites. If the websites accepted the content, I get a link. Along with that link, if people enjoy the article (and they will if it’s high-quality), they’ll click on your link and visit your website.
So you’re not just getting SEO authority. You’re also getting traffic from the authority website you wrote the guest post for!
Lastly, on your website, you can post “as featured on” badges that link to your posts on authority websites. This way, people who have never heard of you before can see that you’re linked to reputable sources.
Want More SEO Tips?
As you can probably tell, the guest post is an incredible way to build a backlink. Yes, it takes a bit more time than setting your SEO bot to spam thousands of forums. But unlike that method, these links actually mean something. On top of that, you get a lot more additional “perks” for writing a guest post anyway.
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