If you're a savvy blogger (like us) then you are most likely familiar with the term guest blogging: when a writer develops content for a blog that is not their own.
It's an opportunity to take your expertise and share it with others, as well as an opportunity to increase traffic to both parties’ blogs
Guest blogging is also a great way to establish yourself as an authority figure within your market and build relationships with other bloggers and experts within your field.
Since guest blogging should be a two-way street, when hopping on the bandwagon, you should also consider featuring posts developed by guest bloggers. Featuring guest posts will also expose your audience to a new perspective and fresh new content. We are all guilty of falling victim to a routine and getting tired of the same old stuff, so this will keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Likely, your goals with guest blogging are one or all of the following:
- Expose your blog to a completely new audience
- Establish yourself as a ‘thought leader’ in your field
- Develop relationships with other bloggers in your field
Before you get started, make sure you are clear about what you are looking to get out of the guest blogging experience. This will help you find businesses that you may be interested in blogging for and also give you an idea of some guest bloggers you would like invite to post on your business’s blog.
It’s no secret that there is a lot of spam surfacing the web. It’s your job to make sure you are not posting to these types of blogs or allowing them to publish on your blog.
Research is essential to guest blogging; with that in mind, focus on finding writers within your niche and your market. Also, be sure that your writers are coming from a respected business or background. You should also agree with what they are saying and have it align with your personas interests. Guest blogging is great but it can easily turn into a domino effect when the content doesn't align with your business, personas or your tone of voice.
Ask yourself a couple of questions before you get started:
- Do they have a slew of followers that are actively posting comments, sharing, etc?
- Do they have a Facebook page or Twitter account where they share their own blog posts regularly? These are all things to look for before offering to guest blog or vice-versa.
High-Quality Guest Blogging
Think of your guest blog post as a valuable bit of information, not an advertisement!
We are huge advocates for business blogging here at New Breed, but with that being said your blog should be used to educate your reader, not promote yourself. If the topic is relevant to something that you offer then we encourage you to feature it in your blog, but there is a huge difference between “selling” yourself and offering a solution to their problem.
When it comes to guest blogging, don’t let the fact that you are talking to a new audience deter you from the 'educational purpose' of business blogging. The goal is to establish yourself as an authority figure in your field, introduce your name to a new audience and build a relationship with other bloggers or businesses.
Besides the obvious need to create great content here are a few more tips to get you started:
- Your author bio or tagline is likely the only place in your post that is going to link back to you so make sure it is clear and concise.
- Consider including a relevant internal link back to one of their previous blog posts within your guest post. They’ll likely appreciate the research you have done and increased traffic for their blog.
- Conclude each post with a call to action for comments. Remember the more people to comment and share, the more popular your post becomes in a SEO search.
- Promote your guest blog post on your own social media networks and blog. This is a nice gesture that will also generate more traffic back to your guest and their business. It should be second nature for you to share your content and a good way to say “thank you” for publishing your guest post.
- Run Google Analytics to track how much traffic your guest post is generating. It’ll give you a broader idea of what readers want to hear about and see what is working for your business.
SEO, the Black Sheep of Guest Blogging
With all the buzz generating around the head of Google’s Webspam team, Matt Cutts recent blog post; many have questioned whether or not guest blogging will hurt or benefit their business. With the risk of 'spammy bloggers' who are looking to bribe blog owners into letting them put a bunch of links on your page for their own link-building and SEO ranking benefit; many marketers have opted against guest blogging.
Since we believe in the value of educating our readers through our blog here's what you need to know about SEO and blogging:
Blogging as a guest is a great way to increase your site rank in Google searches because of the links that exist back to your site from the blog you are appearing on. The way Google sees it; if other people are interested in your site it must be interesting. So when individuals comment, share, like or link to your blog it moves up in Google’s PageRank, which means it’s more likely to pop up when someone Google searches a relevant topic.
But Google PageRank is only an algorium, it can’t tell the difference between dynamic content and spam! So while cramming your guest blog posts with links and keywords will push you farther up in the ranking, it likely won’t generate any new traffic that has the potential to turn into a lead and it definitely won’t establish you as an authority in your field.
While blogging as a guest can be a potential risk, if you follow the tips we listed earlier in this post a 'spammy' post can be easily avoidable. To reel you back in to the benefit of guest blogging, Cutt's concluded his post with this: “there are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high quality guest bloggers out there.”
In order to keep your SEO presence up, and your business blog credible, follow our recommended steps and only associate your business blog and posts with well-respected marketers. And as always, keep your content remarkable and consistent!
[Image Source: ShutterStock].