The inbound marketing world was all atwitter back in 2014 when Matt Cutts – the former head of Google’s web spam team – made headlines with his post, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. With this sentence, “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done,” Cutts sent shockwaves through the blogging stratosphere. Cutts presented a compelling argument – guest blogging had devolved. Once an admirable practice, guest blogging had quickly attracted spammers who pushed forward a minimum quality of work stuffed with backlinks in order to improve their page’s ranking.
Fast-forward three years later to the present moment. What’s the status of guest blogging services now?
Guest bloggers and blogs that accept guest blogging are alive and well. In fact, 57% of business blogs’ outsourced blog posts originate from guest posts or nonpaid contributed posts. Sure, there are still plenty of spammy, low-quality guest blogs out there, but there are also just as many – if not more – incredibly well-written guest posts that benefit both the host blogging sites and the guest bloggers.
If Cutts’ scathing pronouncement still has you feeling hesitant, consider these three guest blogging benefits:
Widen Your Audience.
We believe you. You have great content. But if a high-quality blog lands on a website, and no one is around to hear it, does it even make a sound? You may be great at what you do, but if you don’t have an audience, so what? Guest blogging lets you speak directly to an already established audience. Consider it free advertising. This is great for businesses in the initial stages of inbound marketing that haven’t built up a devoted following of readers yet.
The first step is to find guest blogging sites that are an ideal match for your brand. When sifting through potential sites, ask yourself these questions:
- Are they within your market, and does their audience correspond with your buyer personas?
- Do they have an active online presence? Are they posting to their blog and social media accounts often? How engaged are their readers?
- Does their overall brand identity complement your own, or does it present conflicting viewpoints?
Bottom line: If you write a guest post for a B2C blog, but you’re a B2B business, you’re not going to attract the type of people who would be interested in your web content writing services. However, if you’re a fitness blog that specializes in weight training for women in their 20s and 30s, and you guest author for a nutrition and recipe blog or a women’s general wellness blog, chances are, they’re going to want to hear more from you.
Position Yourself As An Authority In Your Field.
Being a guest blogger presents a great opportunity to build brand identity and grow brand recognition. How do you want to be perceived in the public sphere? You can start influencing others’ perception of your brand by skillfully choosing what other brands you’re affiliated with.
When you guest author a post on a blog that’s well-known and widely respected, the positive associations boomerang back to you. You can quickly boost your “web cred” by affiliating with respected names in the industry. Want to be known as a brand that engages with readers? You can come across as approachable and communicative by responding to each posted comment with a thoughtful counter-remark or answer to their original question.
Just remember: you want to establish yourself as a thought leader, not a pushy sales rep. The guest posts that you author should seek to offer solutions to readers’ problems through well-researched, well-compiled information. Guest posts aren’t about overtly selling yourself. The guest posts that are most effective are educational and written with insight and expertise.
At this point you may be asking, “Ok, so should I save my very best work for my own blog or donate my best stuff to a guest blog?”
The answer? Both.
I’m guessing that you probably have pretty high standards for what gets posted on your own site. Your blog is a direct extension of your brand, after all. You should have the same standards for posting on another brand’s site – your author bio is still going to be at the bottom of the post, linking right back to you. This is your chance to win new readers. Are you going to accomplish that with subpar copy? Plus, the better your guest post is, the more potential offers you’ll get to write more guest posts – either for that same brand or new brands that were impressed with your writing skills.
Forge Mutually Beneficial Connections With Other Blog Writers.
You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. Or in the blogiverse, you write a guest post for me, and I’ll write a guest post for you. If you want to see real results from guest blogging, you’ll want to make it a regular occurrence. Writing a single guest post isn’t going to move the needle that much when it comes to your brand’s overall exposure, credibility and link referrals. But if you begin to guest blog frequently, who’s going to pick up the slack when it comes to maintaining your own blog schedule?
That’s where those handy connections come into play. If regular guest blogging is going to be folded into your already busy schedule, you should invite some of the talented writers you were able to network with to guest blog for your site in reciprocation. After all, almost 63% of people think blogs that have multiple authors are more credible. Expanding the number of voices in your blog strategy increases interest for your regular readers, brings in a new audience and helps you free up your schedule just a bit.
Struggling to perfect your latest guest blog post? Sometimes it helps to get an additional perspective. Send your rough draft to our team of bloggers and editors through our Tweak My Post program, and we’ll put the finishing touches on your work – completely free of charge – and then send the enhanced blog post back to you.
About Virtucom Group
Consistent business blogging yields results – more clicks, more subscribers and – ultimately – more conversions. Whether you’re writing an automotive blog, an accounting blog, a healthcare blog or a home renovation blog, blogging for business and content development are useful for any industry. Follow the content writers at the Virtucom Group blog as they share digital marketing tips and discuss website content writing services that can optimize your business blog.