*This post has been updated to reflect the most current trends in the blogging industry.
Guest blogging is a well-established practice that has been helping websites increase their conversion rates for years now. However, some of the rules have changed over time. With many of these changes coming from Google search algorithms, such as PageRank, it’s important to know all the facts about guest blogging. We can provide some compelling reasons, along with some simple guidelines, to make sure your guest blog gets seen in searches and remains relevant.
So what is guest blogging? Pretty much just what it sounds like … you write a blog post as a guest or subject matter expert for someone else’s blog or website.
Guest blogging has a great many advantages for an author:
- It allows you to establish authority. Having your blog posts appear on other websites helps your potential audience start to view you as an authority in your field. This, in turn, inspires brand confidence, as you are now a trusted name in the industry.
- Guest blogging improves your branding, overall. The more authority you have and the more users who read your articles, the bigger following you will garner. Building a following who trusts you is a process, but one that can happen quickly for your brand if you do the work. When you do, Google’s bots pay more attention to you.
- External links (backlinks). Driving external links from topically relevant websites can really boost your SEO campaigns and rankings, particularly with creative anchor text for links. Gone are the days of anchor texts being key-word heavy. Nowadays, successful backlinks provide yet another creative way for authors to reach out to potential customers.
How do you secure the right space as a guest blogger? While there are a few things to remember when looking to become a guest blogger, perhaps the biggest is selecting the right blog for you and your brand.
Choose Blogs That Are Topical and of the Highest Quality
There are many websites or groups that offer guest blogging services or have platforms that put the blog owner and guest blogger in the “same room” to create the relationship. Creating that relationship is key to being able to successfully syndicate your content via different blogs. One site that has a lot of current listings for professional guest bloggers is UpWork. There are also many tips and tricks available out there for both guest bloggers looking for blogs and vice versa.
SEO consultant and guest blogging guru at SeoSmarty, Ann Smarty, made her name and reputation with her expertise in the guest blogging industry. She proves to be a treasure trove of information on a variety of topics pertaining to guest blogging, including secret guest blogging, link building tips, infographics, and article statistics. As a veteran in the field, she’s a big proponent of the practice, especially for boosting both your traffic and your conversion rates. You can get some more of Smarty’s insights here.
Once you have secured a relevant target blog/website and created a relationship with the blog owner, it’s time to provide the content!
Make Sure Your Content Is Relevant and Useful to Readers
Another important thing to remember when doing guest blogging is that most readers visit blogs for the purpose of finding information. Whether your blog posts are geared towards the tech industry or towards celebrity gossip, make certain that what you write about is something people will want to read. The primary function of a guest blogger is to provide readers with useful information from an expert or authority on the matter, whatever that may be. The more useful and relevant your content is, the more success you will achieve with readers. This frequently leads to even more prestigious opportunities for guest bloggers, more page views, and better conversion rates.
From guest-blogging expert and founder of S2-Groupe, Selena Soo:
“What’s the fastest way to get your guest post to stand out? Providing useful content is not enough (anyone can do that) — it’s about connecting with people on a deeply emotional level. Write something that gets people to stop, think about things differently, and even alters the course of their day. One way you can do that is by being vulnerable. Two of my most popular articles were the ones I was most afraid to publish… Sharing your struggles humanizes you and allows people to relate to you on a deeper level. ”
The more you guest post, the more you are asked to guest post, and the more branding and exposure you and your website are able to generate in the process. Guest blogging really is a win-win situation, most of the time. It can even help a little-known author rise to a position of authority in their industry and build a dedicated following.
Overall, the quality of the blogs you produce is also of utmost importance, since, besides your readership, your Google rankings will depend upon it. Even including low-quality links in your blog will bring your Google ratings down, so be sure to avoid those.
Aside from being good for the reader, in other words, high quality blog content is also good for the search engine. New and innovative content means that your blog posts rank higher and reach a wider audience.
Another thing to consider after securing a guest blogging position and creating your content is the “link juice” – a term to describe how certain links can pass authority or value to each other, increasing their potential to land on the SERPs
Backlinks Aren’t as Simple as They Used to Be
One of the most common ways for guest posts to be displayed on blogs is with a bio on the author. This is, in part, done to establish the author’s authority. It’s also a useful spot to include your own relevant links, which will only increase your traffic. Many blog owners choose to restrict the number of links you’re allowed to include in the body of your text, perhaps for obvious reasons. However, guest bloggers who retain authority in their field can ask for several, depending on the length of their post.
While it used to be the case that high keyword content meant higher success for backlinks, it is important to note that this is no longer the case. Innovative and useful backlinks (with low keyword content) are now seeing much higher success, owing to the new standards imposed by the search engines.
The links should still be contextual and clickable within the content section of your article but should be novel and avoid over-use of keywords. The content linked to should also be reputable in content and traffic rates.
One more step involved in your guest blogging experience, after posting and embedding the right links, is that you can track the fruits of your labor.
See How Guest Blogging Is Working for You
Although most guest blogging is done for links and link juice for the benefit of own sites, perhaps the biggest bonus of them all is the increased traffic you’ll inevitably see. If you follow our simple guidelines, do your research, and are able to provide top-notch content, guest blogging is nearly guaranteed to increase unique traffic, brand recognition, and higher conversion rates for your site. It’s a great addition to the list of SEO services you can use to grow traffic to your website.
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