Pretty much all bloggers are familiar with the practice of guest blogging. Posting an article on someone else’s blog has unquestionable benefits for both parties. The hosting blogger gets a short break and some fresh content for their site. The guest blogger gets exposure to a new audience and a link back to their site.
With the rise of SEO and link building, guest blogging has mutated from a way to get links rather than a way to build relationships. Blog owners are getting bombarded with guest posting requests and low-quality, irrelevant posts. This has brought the entire practice of guest blogging into question. Is guest blogging going to stay an effective practice to get traffic? Is it worth spending time on?
The answer is yes, if you are doing it correctly and for the right reasons. If you want great links to your blog, then guest posting is certainly a great way to get them, but you have to look in the right places.
Guest Posting Goals
The goal in guest posting should be to attract new readers to your blog. Yes, you are doing it for a link, but that link represents people who can click on it and become new followers. You are guest posting to build relationships and share your knowledge with new people. By doing this, search engine benefits will follow.
Your goal should not be to get as many links as possible so that you can raise your search engine rankings. If it is, you will end up placing irrelevant content on irrelevant sites and not reap many of the potential benefits of guest posting.
This means that in your guest posting quest, you should definitely seek quality over quantity. Your target should be quality sites with a readership similar to your own. The people reading this blog should be people who would enjoy yours. This way, you can write content that is relevant to both the blog you are writing for and your own.
Quantity Doesn’t Ensure Quality
When promoting businesses, websites, and blogs, there is a tendency to get caught up in the numbers. We set arbitrary goals so that we can measure our progress. The benefits of guest posting cannot be measured by the number of posts, though. Not all posts are created equal. The great posts that will bring tangible benefits to your blog are a lot of work. You can’t just buy a package of 100 links for $15 and expect to gain readers. The links you want take time and effort. 5 really great links will beat out 100 or 1000 randomly placed links and posts that no one will ever see.
Right about now, you’re probably thinking that for guest posting to count for anything, it takes a lot of work. This is true. That is another reason you should focus on quality rather than quantity. If you’re creating content for your own blog as well as other people, you’re not going to have time for mass amounts of posts. Focusing on getting a couple great ones rather than “as many as possible” will not only yield the best results, but save you a lot of stress.
The other benefit of putting the extra effort into your guest posts is that you will be creating content that you are proud of and will reflect positively on your blog. As you continue to build your link portfolio, you’ll have more quality posts to link to as examples of your work. This will make it easier to obtain more quality links, because you will have a history of providing quality content.
Of course, you can’t forget the relationship benefits of quality guest blogging. After all, that is your true goal. You could easily get an article on a general site that exists only as a place for content and has few readers and little moderation. By shooting for a site with a blogger who cares about their content, you ensure that people are reading and appreciating your content. You are also building relationships that may be useful in the future.
Bloggers are a community, and when it comes to projects that involve multiple people and sites, they tend to think of people they’ve worked with in the past. Your guest post today may get you an invitation to a cross-blog contest or a niche-related conference. Maybe it will get you other guest post opportunities. At the very least, it will put your name in people’s heads where it wasn’t before.
So go ahead and put some time into guest posting. The search for blogs related to yours will help you become more involved in your blogging community. You may get topic ideas, find new favorite reads, and get a better grasp of who your audience is and what they want to read. When getting started, you may find a challenge of a circular nature. Guest blogging builds relationships, but you also need relationships in order to get guest blogging opportunities. Here is an SEO blog post about how to build relationships to guest blog effectively.
About the author:
Jeriann Watkins is a writer living in Boise, Idaho. She enjoys writing about many subjects, including white-hat SEO and new advances in internet technology. She currently works for Page One Power, a relevancy first link building focused company.