What is guest posting? Should I guest post on other people’s blogs? Should I let other people guest post on my blog?
Not to worry – these questions are pretty common if you’re new to the content marketing world.
If you’re anything like me, you probably receive dozens of emails daily from strangers asking if they can guest post on your blog.
“I can provide valuable content for your readers,” they’ll say, or “your audience will find the link back to our website useful.”
Let’s be real for a second. People guest posting on your blog is one thing, but guest posting on other people’s websites is something else entirely.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about whether guest posting is something you should or shouldn’t do as a business practice – and I think it’s about time I offered my twopence.
What is Guest Posting?
First thing’s first, what in the name of Lucifer is guest posting? Is it really as intriguing as it sounds?
For those of you who don’t know, guest posting is the most popular method of obtaining backlinks to your blog. It involves producing a blog post or article for another website in your niche as a way of showcasing your authority and expertise.
Somewhere within the article, you would then insert a hyperlink that lands somewhere on your blog, whether this is a specific blog post or just the homepage, to drive traffic back to a particular page.
Sounds simple, right?
Benefits of Guest Posting
Why guest post though? Why write for free when you’ve got a ton of paid blogging work to be getting on with? Isn’t it just a waste of time?
I hear you, but bear with me – there are many SEO specialists out there who would say that guest posting is a powerful link-building technique which guarantees results.
It Boosts Your Seo Score
Let’s pretend that you’re the Google algorithm for a minute. (Stay with me here.)
Oh, hey, check you out – you’re the Google algorithm. You’re doing your thing, scouring the World Wide Web and matching search engine users to relevant content, when you keep seeing the same blog link pop up on high-authority websites. Some of these websites have a super high Domain Authority (DA) score, therefore, the blog that they’re all linking to must also be kind of credible, right?
Hence, as the Google algorithm, you’re more likely to give this blog what’s called “link juice” if every Tom, Dick and Harry is linking to it (British expression). This will then inevitably boost said blog’s ranking on your SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) – and that’s how it’s done, folks.
*Takes a bow*
It Drives Clicks and Conversions
While we’re at it, if your blog’s SERP ranking improves significantly because of guest posting, then you’re naturally going to receive more organic traffic.
And do you know what this leads to? That’s right, an increased number of clicks across your blog – and maybe even an increased number of conversions (i.e. subscribers to your email list or digital product sales). Squee!
It Builds Blog Recognition
Whether you’re a new or established blogger, guest posting also helps to get the word out about your blog and creates a buzz around it across the whole blogosphere.
It helps you communicate with influential figures in the industry and puts your blog on the map so-to-speak, which could then lead to endless opportunities. *Daydreams*
Consider it a form of networking, if you will, but in the online space.
It Helps You Gain New Readers
If you use your guest post to educate your target audience and provide real value, then you can successfully showcase your expertise in your niche.
And, as an expert and thought leader in your niche, people are more likely going to want to follow you and hear what you have to say. Right?
Essentially, it’s all about gaining new readers of your blog by using strategically placed guest posts to build trust with your target audience.
It Grows Your Online Tribe
If you use guest posting as a form of online networking, this can ultimately lead to new fans and followers on social media in addition to new blog readers.
I mean, think about it: you guest post on a blog, the blog owner shares the link to the post on Twitter and then BOOM. All of a sudden, you find yourself with 25 extra followers. (Hey, every little helps – right?)
If you pick the right platforms to guest post on, you can undoubtedly reach your target audience and boost your blog readership as a result. And that’s what I call a win-win situation.
Guest Posting Process
If like me, you think that guest posting can be quite useful – there’s nothing stopping you from trying it out yourself. I mean, it’s relatively straightforward to find a blog to guest post on.
Personally, what I’ve done in the past is typed [my niche] + [guest post] into good old Google and a bunch of stuff has come up.
Once you see a relevant opportunity, visit the website and find their guest posting requirements, which usually consist of the following:
- Length in terms of word count
- Number of images
- Bio length
- Specifics when it comes to links you can include (for example, 1x backlink and 1x social media link)
Then simply reach out to them via email or contact form.
That said, it’s important not to just go for the first opportunity you come across.
Guest Posting Guidelines
There are some guest posting guidelines you should follow to avoid wasting your time with irrelevant websites or coming across as spammy in Google’s eyes.
The website you guest post on needs to have the following specific qualities.
- Relevant Content: It goes without saying that there’s no point posting on a website about dogs if your blog focuses on cats. Know what I mean? Always make sure it’s a mutual collaboration – i.e. the blog owner gets fresh content and you reach your desired audience.
- High-Quality Content: This ties in with your blog’s desired positioning as an authority figure. If the website has low quality, poorly-written content, or accepts guest posts from everybody under the sun on all sorts of topics, it reflects badly on all involved.
- A Good Amount of Traffic: There’s no point putting hours of hard work, blood, sweat and tears into a guest post if only a handful of people are going to read it. Merely use a tool like SEMrush to find web traffic statistics and get as many eyeballs on your content as possible.
- A Good Level of Engagement: The blog in question doesn’t need to have a ton of comments on each post, but if it gets a good reaction across the board (including social media) then this is a good sign. The aim is to reach a loyal audience that will actively engage with your content.
- A Straightforward Editorial Process: As I said before, guest posting is a mutual collaboration. Sometimes it’s quite common for blogs to make small editorial tweaks to your content, but you should have creative control when it comes to the actual copy. If a fellow blogger seems super difficult to work with and asking you to make lots of unreasonable changes, then I personally wouldn’t go there.
Sure, you’ve got to be prepared that the blog owner could adapt or remove your content in the future without your content. However, if you choose a well-thought-of, authoritative blog in your niche to guest post on in the first place, you can trust that your content is safe and will be looked after now and forever.
*Double thumbs up*
Why You Should Submit a Guest Post or Two
Whether you’re looking to boost your blog’s SEO score or simply get your name out there, guest posting can have tremendous benefits if you do it right.
That said, don’t just do it for the sake of doing it. Use a guest post to offer value to your target reader, demonstrate your expertise in your niche and be creative and original. However tempting it may be, don’t just copy and paste one of the current posts on your blog and ram a link in there. Why? Well, you can get penalised by Google for hosting duplicate content.
And always remember the “quality over quantity” rule when it comes to guest posting. Blogging on a high-quality website with a high DA beats blogging on many low-quality websites with low DA scores any day of the week.
Happy guest posting, guys!
Have you guest posted on blogs before? Did you find it beneficial? Let me know in the comments!