Start Up Marketing: The SEO of Guest Blogging
Over the past few years I've been lucky enough to guest blog around the web, on a variety of subjects related to design, seo and marketing. Last year I opened the doors to let my child out to play and offered the chance to guest post on SEOAndy. From my experience of writing and being written for I wanted to talk about why and how you should guest post. This is a topic of great value to start up businesses, as well as existing businesses who are looking to gain drive more traffic to their website.
Before I go rambling on, the first thing to say is that it is not easy to start guest blogging. You can ask many times and be told no, it could be lack of experience on your part , it could be the blog owner doesn't "do" guest posts or it could be something else. If you struggle pull out you contacts, or social media friends, and ask for a favour ... this is generally how most guest authors will start and its usually a great start as you are less likely to be told where to go if you have a few typo's ... been there and have that t-shirt.
Why Guest Blog?
The reason to guest blog is simple. Guest Blogging is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site, and thereof sales. Guest blogging is an awesome way of building your brand and getting your work in front of people (potential customers) who may have never seen your work before, and if they have making them remember you - the pin-prick advertising effect. Guest blogging is a useful way to earn links back to your website from trusted and "traffic busy" blogs and websites - this will increase traffic to your site and potentially increase your search rankings.
Advice for Guest Blogging
Find Relevant Audiences - Guest blogging takes time and effort, each blog you write should be unique and of it's own merit. So it would be annoying if you were to get nothing for your efforts, but that is what will happen if you post it to a blog which is not relevant to your industry (or more so niche market), the post would become useless. This idea of content being useless is why a Google Update in 2011 (panda) downgraded search rankings of some article websites which did not add value to a market. So, spend time reading what is on a potential host blog, talk to them about what they are doing and wanting and ensure they have an audience who will be receptive to your blog.
Pitch Perfect - Pitching you idea for a guest blog isn't going to be easy, it takes practice to get it right and if you send out generic e-mails you will get NO slammed in your face. Be personal and give the blog host options. Try for a far more nicer approach than just wanting a "yes" back from the host, ask them is there anything in specific you should write about or what their rules are on length and images. If you are lucky this will already be on the website, but by asking you show some real interest in their business. If you can in giving them choices give some blog titles and if possible an idea of what you want to cover in such a guest post.
Keep Content Tight - One of the mantra's of this website is to explain why and show that CONTENT IS KING. In guest posting this is no different, if you blog something of no value, your link within will be worthless, it will be worthless to the blog host and you are likely to get an editorial shrug of "try again". Remember to write good content of real value, don't go over the same stuff in 25 blog posts across 25 sites on the same day and expect to get any value from them - you just won't. Write on unique piece and post it to one trust blog, even once a month and you will see rewards. Keep your content tight, remember to check spellings and dress up well for your date with a guest post.
Make it Social - One of the most annoying things one of my guest bloggers did was not to post on social media about their guest post. Do not bite the hand that feeds you! You are posting for free (usually) so swings and round abouts, if you guest post let people know ... you've got a link or two and it will help you so get them some traffic too ... remember the cycle of life. Oh and if you look a gift horse in the mouth expect a kick up the arse! All I am saying here is be nice, tweet and +1 your post, advertise it and make the most of it. Caring is Sharing ;)
Image Source: andykinsey.co.uk