Guest Post Do’s and Don’ts

  In Content Marketing, Link Building

The right way to Guest Post

Don’t believe the hype, using a guest post to acquire inbound links is still a viable SEO technique. Guest posts may be used to reach new audiences, boost your online brand, and enhance your authority online. Links are still part of the equation, but guest posting has come a long way since the days of keyword-stuffing black hat techniques made it seem like a dubious method of SEO.

A few years ago, unethical marketers exploited guest posting to build links back to their websites. These guest posts were of poor quality, often “respun” content that made little sense to readers. Such posts will get your site penalized faster than you can say “article spinner.”

We’re not talking about that kind of guest post. Today’s guest post is a far cry from those respun monstrosities dumped en masse online.

Instead, guest posts today offer value to the readers of a website or a blog through original content, intriguing ideas, and well-written copy. They may include a link in the bio section but they aren’t filled with links leading to dubious products. They’re a great way to enhance your online reputation in a positive, effective way.

The Benefits of Guest Posts

Most people use guest posts to boost their own site’s authority and traffic. When you submit a guest post, most sites allow space for your bio and photo. That’s where you can include a link back to your website. This link is like a big, glowing arrow leading the search engines straight to your site and pointing to your site as an authority. That’s especially true if the site publishing your guest post is an authoritative, well-regarded website, like a news site or a high-traffic blog or website.

Another benefit of guest posts is building your own online authority. Google Authorship links content to authors online, and with guest posts, your name becomes associated with other quality websites. If you choose your targets wisely, you can add a great deal of authority to your online image thanks to guest posts.

When all “online roads” lead back to your website, potential customers reading your article can follow the links back to your site and contact if they are interested in your services. It’s like free advertising that works 24/7 as long as the article is online. Few other online marketing tactics offer so many advantages.

The Guest Post Process

Creating guest posts takes time, but the process is fairly straightforward. You can do it yourself, but many businesses hire someone to do both the research and writing for them.

Start by identifying your best customers from your existing customer data. Develop a profile or a brief description of who they are, including gender, age, income status and other details.

 

Next, find websites and blogs that reach that target audience. Look for blogging groups on Facebook that appeal to your audience, or find directory-type sites that list many blogs by niche. Trade groups for consumer industries often include lists of blogs or websites for specific industries.

Review each website or blog to make sure it’s appropriate for your audience. Look for guest post policies on the website. These may be listed on the About page. Send a query to the webmaster or contact person listed before sending in your pitch or article

 

Once accepted, adhere to the site’s policies regarding copy length, tone, style and information you may include. Submit your original work by the deadline and thank you the webmaster. Be sure to share the links to the post when it appears on the site’s social media feed. Sites usually appreciate the extra social shares.

Do’s and Don’ts of Guest Posts

We mentioned earlier the concept of article spinning, or using an automated program to use one article multiple times by swapping out words for their synonyms. That’s one glaring DON’T when talking about guest posts. Not only do they no longer work, but they produce junky content that people can’t read. Website owners don’t want that cluttering up their site, and you certainly don’t want your introduction to potential new customers to be such content. Avoid these at all costs.

 

There are many do’s and don’ts of guest posts. Fortunately, most are common sense if you know the general ways in which search engines seek and index content.

When working your way through the guest post process, DO…

  • Target specific websites and blogs that reach your desired audience. It’s better to guest post on smaller number of websites that are perfect for your market than to reach a broad audience that’s lukewarm about what you do.
  • Look for traffic numbers and authority rank for the sites that will host your guest article. Many site owners provide these to entice people to share guest posts. You can find them on your own by plugging the URL into tools such as SEO Review Tools and Alexa. The better the site’s authority, the better the link quality for your SEO purposes.
  • Write a thoughtful article that is on-topic for the subject approved by the blog owner.
  • Submit the article by the deadline. Late submissions can hurt your chances for future submissions to the same website.
  • Thank the webmaster or site owner for hosting your content.
  • Share the link across your social media sites once it is published.

Along with the do’s, there are DON’TS. Do not…

  • Reuse the same article across multiple websites. This hurts a site’s page rank if it gets flagged as duplicate content.
  • Spin or simply revise the exact same piece, even if you wrote it. This may also count as duplicate content.
  • Send a mass email out to random sites or blogs in the hopes that you’ll land at least one guest spot. It wastes your time and a site owner’s time.
  • Use guest posts as your only SEO or link-building technique. You should use many different techniques to build your page rank and improve your online marketing.

Guest posts can lead to great things if you approach guest posting like any other internet marketing tactic. Do your research, take your time, focus on the customer’s needs and you’ll produce stellar results.

 

mike@marccx.com
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.
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