Guest blogging is an excellent way of building up your reputation in your industry. By writing high quality, thought-provoking content and sharing it on blogs with a different readership from your own, you can expand your audience, add links back to your website, attract visitors and increase your social media shares. Lately guest blogging has had something of a bad rap, however, and the future looks decidedly risky right now, thanks mainly to unscrupulous bloggers who post inferior material on spammy sites purely for the purpose of link-farming. So, should you bother to go on writing guest posts and if so, what are the important things to consider? Here’s our take on the matter:
Watch Where You Post
As an aspiring guest blogger, it’s essential for you to identify high-quality blogs in your niche and build a strong relationship with their owners before pitching them your blog suggestion. Make sure you choose blogs with a good page rank that offer well-written content of their own. After all, you wouldn’t want to be associated with a business partner who used less-than-ethical business practices, would you? So choose your blogging partner carefully, because his reputation will rub off on you. Remember, while you are getting exposure and generating new leads the blog owner is getting free content, so don’t give it away to anyone who doesn’t warrant it.
Produce Quality Content
Just as in legal proceedings, intent is everything. Guest bloggers who genuinely want to deliver information of value to their customers have the right intentions; link farmers don’t, and Google knows the difference. Produce quality content for the guest posts you write. Check your posts for duplication using a plagiarism checker such as Copyscape. If the results turn up a match for more than 5 consecutive words, rewrite that section. You might not intend to plagiarize, but Google won’t know that and could downgrade the site your content lands on. Quality material will stand up to the harshest scrutiny, if your intentions for posting it are good and you follow best practices.
Link-building is one of the major benefits of guest blogging, because you can include “do follow” links in your content that lead readers back to your own website—and your services. Guest blogging purely for the sake of developing backlinks is no longer acceptable to Google, and you’ll quickly be penalized if you try to cram a gazillion links into each post. Focus on including links to authoritative external sources besides your own site, so it doesn’t look as if all you’re trying to do is “steal” traffic. Add the links using carefully thought-out anchor text that’s relevant to the link you’re directing users to.
Use Keywords Carefully
Get up to speed on SEO practices and the use of keywords and tags. Google’s latest Penguin update gave keyword stuffing the death sentence along with article spinning. Now, a keyword density of anything more than 0.5% (or 1.0% in a post of 600 words or longer) is considered overkill. Use your keywords judiciously and always make them relevant to the information in the section where they appear, or you’ll be lowering the quality of the blog where the content appears. At the same time, you lower the quality of the links to your website from the guest blog, so it really doesn’t serve anyone’s interest to overdo the use of keywords.
In guest blogging, the future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades! That’s what we think, anyway, but it applies only if you do things right, and do the right things.
*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net