Guest blogging is a valuable tool for online marketing and SEO. It doesn’t just allow you to build quality links back to your website, it allows you to reach a new audience and tap into online communities related to your industry niche.
Despite this it is often under-valued and not used to it’s full potential, particularly in the Irish market where businesses often rely on outdated and ineffective link building methods.
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is when a blog owner features content written by somebody else on their blog. Usually this person will be an authority on a subject that is closely related to that of the blog. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties as the blog owner gets some quality new content for his site, and the guest blogger gets to reach out to another audience.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
The benefits do not stop there however. Guest blogging can be a very effective all-round online marketing strategy. Below is a list of some of the main reasons why we recommend guest blogging to our clients:
Referral Traffic – The most obvious reward of guest blogging is that you’ll send targeted referral traffic (traffic from links on other sites) directly to your site.
Link Building – Guest blogging allows you to include links from within an author bio and sometimes from within the post itself. These are contextual links from a page with a low number of outbound links (usually) where you can control the anchor text. These factors make these kind of links particularly beneficial for SEO.
Building Relationships – I already mentioned how guest blogging allows you to tap into a new audience. This lays the foundation for building relationships online with both your audience and other bloggers.
Where to Begin
A solid Guest Blogging strategy involves 3 key steps:
2. Building Relationships
3. Writing the Post
It’s important to find the right place to publish to your content. Ideally you want an authoritative site in your industry niche with a decent readership.
There are a number of different ways to go about sourcing candidates. The first is to use Google. Searches for terms such ‘guest blogging guidelines’, ‘guest author’ or ‘guest blog post’ combined with your industry niche may produce results.
Blog directories such as Technorati can also be a useful resource, as can Guest Blogging sites such as MyBlogGuest and BloggerLinkUp although I would say to always keep an eye on the quality of sites that you find there.
Tweak Your Biz is a great Irish guest blogging site for business that is a great place to start.
If you go through sites such as MyBlogGuest you’ll probably come to an arrangement with a blog owner fairly quickly as you’re both there for the same reason.
Often you will have to build up a relationship with a blogger in order for them to publish your content. There are a number of ways to do this including following their blog, connecting with them on various social networks, sharing their content, linking to their content and commenting on their blog.
By commenting on blog posts and helping with questions that readers have, you will establish a presence within the community and gain credibility with that audience.
This sounds like a lot of hard work but building relationships like this is hugely beneficial in itself for promoting your own website.
Writing the Post
There are a few key differences you need to keep in mind when creating content for another site. The most important consideration is audience. Even if you’re an experienced blogger and have a dedicated following of your own, writing for an other audience will be more challenging.
It is important to read through other blog posts before you start your own. Take a look at what topics are popular – what posts have the most comments and shares. This will give you an idea of what the audience is looking for and help you to choose a topic.
Take the time to write a good quality, informative article. Otherwise all the previous work that you’ve put in is likely to go to waste as your article won’t be published or it will be published on a low a quality site. Nobody is going to share or link to a poor quality article either. Put the same care and effort into a guest blog post as you would when writing a post for your own website.
We generally recommend that our clients incorporate guest blogging into their online marketing/SEO strategy if at all possible. We realise that often this is difficult as the resources are simply not available. If you take the time to write a few quality guest blog posts you will reap the rewards this entails.