Do you have a guest blogging strategy as part of your content marketing plan?
During the past year, there have been plenty of theories about the decline in impact of guest blogging, however the tactic still remains one of the most effective ways to promote yourself and your business. Issues stemmed from bad practice and a lot of misuse, as the huge SEO benefit of guest blogs has meant that people were overly using the technique. For that reason, Google has voiced their concerns on more than one occasion to make it clear on what they consider to be good practice.
Google’s warning in 2017 did not mention anything about stopping writing guest posts altogether. Indeed, you can benefit significantly from publishing high-quality content that reaches out to readers, not just search engines.
Remember, it is just as important that guest blogging is just one way to build links, and creating great blogs ultimately depends on the quality of your content.
The main objective
The most important thing to remember when you are writing guest content for other sites is that you are doing it for more than a link – you are aiming to educate and add value to your target audience. A link back and any clicks from the blog to your site should be secondary.
Choose relevant and trustworthy sites
Target credible websites that have a lot of of well-written content already published. Check the backlink profile of the site and make sure the site is on a similar topic or industry to your business. Also make sure the site has content curated by humans – if a website allows anyone to upload content with no moderation, then avoid it. You need to ensure that the quality of content is carefully reviewed. Check for email subscriber and social follower numbers. Most site owners publish these if they’re big enough, and it’ll give you an idea of the size of the potential audience you could reach.
Look at the other content
Next, look at the posts themselves. See if the content published is a match for the topics you want to write about. Don’t worry if comment numbers are low; that’s true of many sites these days. And even if the number of social shares isn’t impressive, a site that reaches your ideal target audience can still help you meet your goals. Also check the author bios at the end of guest posts, to make sure you’ll be able to get appropriate credit and send readers back to your site
Don’t abuse anchor text
It is important to maintain a natural text profile so avoid using exact match anchor text. Don’t overuse anchor text – the clickable text in a hyperlink. SEO best practices dictate that anchor text be relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text. Anchor text still has an influence on rankings but just be careful with its use.
Keep your audience in mind
The golden rule of guest posting, write for people and not for search engine bots! Once you have a good understanding of your target site, and what matters to the site owner, it’s time to find a topic to pitch. Try responding to what’s on the site already or providing additional information on a popular topic. Creating something new on a topic that’s likely to be popular with the audience is a good route to go.
Buzzsumo is a great tool to use when you are ready to narrow your choice of topic. It can help you find content that’s already popular on the site you’re planning to pitch and it stops you from annoying the site owner by pitching an idea they have already published.
So, try and use guest blogging as one aspect of your link building strategy – the best piece of advice you can take from this is don’t rely solely on guest posting to build links. This is just one link building tactic and there are countless link building techniques that can be part of your campaign.