For a while, bloggers and writers alike stopped using the practice of guest posting. The technique picked up an infamous reputation, because it became abused by spammers and click-bait writers. But guest posting is back and better than ever, and is actually a very useful technique for those wanting to boost their ratings and appear higher up in the search engines.
What is Guest Posting?
One of the things search engines take into account nowadays when ranking sites is the links that direct traffic to the site. This is similar to academic papers, in that a paper references by many other scholars is usually considered a better paper, because it has made more of an impact on the community.
Here’s how it works: a blogger will offer to write content for other similar blogs in their industry, as a guest blogger. In return, the blog posts a link to their own blog, providing them with an opportunity to promote their own brand.
The aims of guest blogging are threefold. Generally, bloggers want to build up their reputation as a well-known name in the industry, direct traffic to their site, and build a network of backlinks to their blog.
Using Guest Posting to Build a Rep
There are several guidelines to follow when using guest blogging in order to achieve the maximum result. These will be explored below.
First of all, the link should always be of some value. When writing a guest post, it should always still be of valuable content. Some people abuse the guest posting system by writing very short, vague posts, or even those that could be considered spam. Clearly, these posts were written with the sole purpose of getting a link, and add nothing of value to the community whatsoever. Any links included on the site should definitely be high-quality and worth clicking for the readers – this is the most effective way to optimize search engine results.
Any links included in your blog posts should also be completely relevant to the content being published. The reader should be able to gain more by clicking on the link. So, the links should not only lead to high-quality work, but also pieces that will further what they are reading and give them a good reading experience.
Another thing to bear in mind is that you should only write guest posts on a site you’d be willing to write for without anything in return. Links should not be a primary marketing strategy, nor should they be your sole goal in writing guest posts. A few years ago, the crash of guest posting came about due to this very thing: many bloggers saw their demise thanks to a link-hungry attitude that encouraged them to make too many guest posts. Quite obviously, their content began to suffer because of it. Don’t make the same mistake, and ensure that any work you complete can still be high-quality and avoid sounding ‘spammy.’ Other than links to your site, guest blogging can help you to position yourself in front of a new audience and sound like more of an expert in your chosen field. Therefore, links are not the only advantage of guest posting, and should not be the be-all and end-all of your posts.
Additionally, guest posts should not only link back to your own site. It can be tempting to stuff in a lot of backlinks to encourage visitors to your blog, but it is also important to include links to other sources and high-quality sites. The blog owner (and perhaps worse, the readers) will realise that you have only written the piece for the links if you cram in too many backlinks. This is a dangerous strategy, because it has the opposite effect of good guest posting in that it ruins your reputation. Good luck getting asked to guest post again! A general rule is to never link to your own site more than 2-3 times on a long article. In fact, it’s even best to include a few internal links as well, just to please the blog host.
Finally, don’t forget to include a link to your site in your author bio. These links do not usually generate the most traffic, but they are undoubtedly a source of traffic to your site and therefore are still important. People clicking the link to your site will definitely increase search engine ratings thanks to the increase in site traffic.
Finding Guest Posting Opportunities
When trying to find an opportunity to guest post, the main thing to consider is finding a site relevant to your field. The blog you are wanting to post on should not only be centered around the same niche, but also have an engaged readership and an active blog owner.
A good way to find blogs on which to guest post is to do a keyword search in google. For better results, search for the keyword followed by “guest post,” or something along those lines to find a blog that will allow you to write a post for them.
If you are aware of well-known guest bloggers in your industry, try searching for their articles and reach out to the same sites.
Once you have found a site you want to write for and reached out to the owner, it is essential to get to know the blog and its content. Research will unveil what posts do the best and what the blog owner is looking for, increasing the likelihood of a successful pitch and an overall successful post.
Guest posting is far from dead, but it is also not the primary marketing strategy you should be using. Still, it is very useful for writers looking to boost their ratings. Just make sure you avoid those ever-dangerous practices such as keyword stuffing, and guest blogging might just earn you the site traffic you need to become a blogging sensation. Now you know some of the basics, get to guest blogging!
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