Let’s look at why guest blogging is effective and why new entrepreneurs especially should tap into its power.
The world of content marketing is intimately tied to trends in Web technology, which are directly influenced by Google’s often arbitrary and contradictory pronouncements.
A Google webmaster declares something dead, and the entire Internet community starts scrambling for answers, running around like headless chickens.
Whether it’s the updates to the search algorithm, or the factors taken into consideration when ranking websites, businesses are not entirely wrong if they feel themselves to be in the dark about Google rankings.
We aren’t saying Google is in the wrong. After all, its goal is to provide the best possible and relevant search results to the end user – the consumer. Businesses just need to learn to play along nicely!
One such statement that sent the digital marketing community into a tizzy was Matt Cutts’s declaration that guest posting for SEO is dead.
That was more than a year ago, and yet, guest blogging seems to continue to be one of the most trusted ways of doing so, simply because it works. We at Imaginovation know this only too well because we have benefited from it immensely over the past couple of years. It has significantly contributed to our rise in Google SERPs for our chosen keywords.
It gives your brand credible exposure
You think getting published on Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, or Fast Company won’t serve as a tremendous boost to your online profile? What about Search Engine Journal, Kissmetrics, or HubSpot?
These are among the biggest and the most authoritative websites to be featured on within their respective fields. They boast of a long roster of extremely knowledgeable and experienced writers who also write guest posts on a regular basis.
For new business owners, it is extremely beneficial to post on popular community blogs, websites, magazines, etc., as it gives you the seal of approval, so to speak. Your brand ultimately benefits from your online presence.
It helps establish voice and authority
It’s not just about getting your name out there. When you write for credible sources, your own credibility soars. When people encounter your name or that of your business on a reputable website, they are not going to doubt your authenticity.
This is extremely helpful on the Web because good word travels fast here and can create an almost instant impact.
A new entrepreneur should seek out the opportunities to guest blog since it gives you two clear benefits:
- It provides a reputable platform along with access to a vast and loyal readership
- It allows you to directly address the needs of your target audience
Sharing expertise is a great way for new business owners to differentiate themselves from competitors in a crowded market space. If you do it in a sincere and helpful manner, you can find yourself with enhanced online credibility as well as an increased number of prospects.
It helps with SEO
Despite statements to the contrary, guest blogging is a proven and effective way of gaining quality backlinks to your website.
Guest posts on third-party platforms are often accompanied by a short bio and/or a link to either the author’s own website or their Twitter profile. Either is fine, since even a social media profile will ultimately lead interested readers to the owner’s website. That’s one way of driving relevant traffic to your website.
If a blog consents to let you include a link back to the website from within the content itself, you are in greater luck! It’s not difficult to see how this association would enhance the ranking of your business since the quality of backlinks is certainly a big factor in Google’s ranking system. However, with big blogs this is getting increasingly rare, and also a backlink should not be your primary motivation when you seek guest blogging opportunities.
Best practices guest posts
While the concept of guest posting sounds great, it can also backfire or prove to be a waste of time if done incorrectly.
Establish clear criteria for potential guest posting sites. Do not engage in any behavior that could remotely be considered “spammy.” We find that good intentions are the best place to start. Here are a few more best practices for guest posts:
- Once you have decided on the target audience, create a list of topics that you feel most qualified to address and which would be well-received by the people you plan to reach.
- Follow up with a list of the most important/influential websites your audience visits, or which happen to be the most influential in your niche.
- Craft a personalized email to the editor or owner of the website. This is important. Sending out mass emails addressed “Dear sir/ma’am/webmaster” reek of laziness, unprofessionalism, insincerity, and a lack of research. Those who own blogs do so out of the love for their fields of interest. A blog thrives on the principles of a strong-knit community and a genuine desire to help. While new businesses often look for shortcuts, this is poor practice and can hurt your business rather than help it.
- Some blogs may charge people for guest posting, while others may welcome them based on merit. It is up to you whether you want to pay for it, but whatever the decision, keep things professional and genuine.
When it comes to guest blogging, the approach of a business owner should be inspired by the desire to address the concerns of a particular set of people, whom they feel fit to help based on their unique background and expertise.
Guest blogging is an easy and cost-effective way for startup owners to make themselves known and gain a new audience. You are, above all, required to harness your expertise, which also happens to be what you are selling, with a view to genuinely help people.
Have you tried guest blogging? How did it go and what did you gain out of it? If you were to advise someone regarding guest blogging, what would you say? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about your experiences.