While it is not a new SEO technique, guest posting is becoming more and more popular as an effective way to build quality links back to your website. This is especially true now since article marketing on non-industry specific sites like Ezine Articles, Go Articles and others continue to become less and less effective due to past Google algorithm updates.
In this article we will define guest posting, talk about its benefits and give you the information you will need to start guest posting yourself.
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting is when you post a blog on someone else’s website for the purposes of adding quality content to that person’s site while gaining valuable backlinks in return.
What are the Benefits of Guest Posting?
The main benefit of guest posting on another blog is gaining links back to your website. Links are still the most important factor in how your website ranks in the search engines. You also are increasing your business’ Internet presence by adding quality content to the Web.
Another benefit of posting on popular blogs is that you can increase the number of visitors that visit your site through the links in your posts. Guest posting also increases the value of the website you are contributing to. By adding quality content to another site, you can help increase its authority and Page Rank which makes the links that you have coming from that site even more valuable to you.
Obviously, if you were to allow guest posting on your own blog, the same benefit of increased authority and Page Rank would apply to your own site as well.
The most valuable links will come from blogs that are closely related to your own industry. For example, I own an Internet marketing company. Now, while another Internet marketing company may not let me post on their blog for obvious reasons, I could probably find a web design company that doesn’t offer my services that would allow me to post on their blog about topics such as SEO, SEM and social media. I may also be able to find a traditional marketing company that would allow me to post about Internet marketing on its site.
By working together each company can experience a benefit from guest posting.
Are there any Downsides to Guest Posting?
Not if you do it right. You want to make sure that you are posting on quality sites. You can define a quality site by its content and how often they post on it and not by its Page Rank. Page Rank is important, but you will have trouble finding sites with a PR of seven or eight that are going to allow you to guest post. Most sites with that much authority are going to have strict guidelines if they even allow guest posting in the first place. If your website is new and has a low Page Rank of its own, then guest posting on a site with a one or two Page Rank is a benefit to your site. If you have a site with a Page Rank of three or four then posting on a site with a Rank of two to three or four to five is going to help you. In fact, I am one that considers a link a link regardless of where it comes from as long as it’s not a spam or porn site and the content is of high quality. Over time, if I and others continue to add quality content to a site through guest posting, that site will most likely increase in authority and Page Rank and my links will become more valuable. You also want to lead links back to your posts on these other sites using social media and websites like Delicious and Reddit (do not lead links from your own site to your guest posts (see reciprocal linking explanation in the next paragraph). Building links to your posts on those sites will help increase the value of your links as well.
Try to avoid, if possible, reciprocal guest posting. If someone came to me and asked to guest post on my site I wouldn’t ask to post on their site in return. The reason is reciprocal links. Their value is minimal at best. While a reciprocal link is better than no link at all, you would be better served spending your time posting on sites whose owners are not posting on yours as well.
The Golden Rule of Guest Posting
The Golden Rule of guest posting is… “Never post the same blog on your own site that you have posted on someone else’s.” Duplicate content can kill a website. Using Google authorship code can protect your website from duplicate content penalties when you are submitting non-exclusive articles to quality sites like SiteProNews.com or SEO-News.com, but on a blog whose owner has incorporated their own Google authorship code you may end up with a problem. It is best to only submit original content to other sites on which you are guest posting. If you discover someone you made an arrangement to guest post with is posting duplicate content, immediately ask them to delete the posts off their website. If they refuse then delete their posts off of yours.
How Do I Go About Guest Posting?
Getting started as a guest poster is as easy as asking. It never hurts to ask.
Find some websites in your industry that have a blog and ask them if you can guest post on it. If your business has a physical location, then try to find other businesses in your local area to ask. This can help with your ranking for local searches. If they are unfamiliar with the concept then explain the benefits to them. Most reasonable people who understand the importance of Internet marketing will be more than happy to allow you to post on their website. They may want to see a sample of your writing, but that is expected. You should also check out their site for quality of content and blog posting frequency before you approach them. Choose a site that has new posts at least once a month. This is because a blog with regular content additions will most likely have a higher Page Rank, more authority and more traffic than a stagnant site. If you plan to post multiple times a month on your own, then a site with minimal posting activity may be all right to use as well.
You can also join guest posting sites and search for blogs to guest post on. You may find valuable partners to work with. However, some of these sites claim that they will submit your guest posts to hundreds of high Page Rank blogs for you. Be skeptical. There are so many scam companies out there, it is better to be safe than sorry. Google “guest posting sites” to find these resources.
The best way to guest post is to both post on other people’s sites and let others post on yours. That way you receive both benefits of guest posting.
If you would like to meet people with whom you can form a guest post arrangement, leave a comment below with your business industry and website/blog address so you can be contacted. I would be more than happy to guest post on sites that are related to my industry, as well as allow people to guest post on mine. Just contact me.
Joseph Piracci is an Internet marketing expert with seven years of experience in SEO, SEM, social media marketing and e-commerce management. Contact his Buffalo, NY Internet marketing company, Predominant Domains, for more information.