Whether you’re new to blogging or a professional digital marketer, you probably already know or have an idea about guest blogging and its benefits. It is one of the most effective link-building techniques and helps networking with fellow bloggers and influencers, boosts recognition in the said market, and drives targeted traffic back to the guest blogger’s website. Guest blogging for SEO is one of the smartest methods to build authority in a niche when done patiently and consistently.
However, guest blogging for SEO is not what it used to be when the practice first hit the digital marketing sphere. Previously, low-quality and non-relevant content were often published on unrelated niche sites to gain spammy links. This kind of link population on the web did work once upon a time, but not anymore. In recent times, the increasing misuse of guest blogging for links has attracted scrutiny from Google, leading to major shifts in how SEO guest blogging should be approached.
It is a well-known fact that Google’s primary focus is improving users’ experience, and misuse of guest blogging methods interferes with it when done unethically. How? By pulling up websites on top that aren’t worth it or burying authority sites below the spammy, non-relevant websites. It is why Matt Cutts, the then head of Google’s Webspam team, announced in January 2014 that bloggers and marketers practicing guest blogging should refrain from doing it.
However, what he actually meant was to stop misusing it. So, if you’re engaging in guest blogging for SEO juice only without offering value to the host or the end-users or just focusing on quantity over quality, you would be greatly disappointed with the results in the long term.
Guest Posting Etiquette
This article will discuss guest posting etiquette to help you stay in Google and other search engines’ good books without losing relevance. These tips for guest bloggers can help you stay focused on what’s important and not get attracted to the guest blogging opportunities that look juicy but aren’t actually.
For example, one link from a guest post on Forbes, Huffington Post, or any other website with similar authority is more powerful than a hundred links from low-quality or irrelevant blogs.
Let’s delve deeper into some of the most important guest blogging tips you can’t afford to ignore.
1. Provide Value, Connect with The Audience
One of the common mistakes many guest bloggers do is to rewrite the first article they come across for their primary focus keyword and submit. So, if you’re offering services about weight loss, personal training, fat loss, and so on, don’t expect to rank when you submit a bland article with the title “5 Tips for Weight Loss.”
Be creative and do your homework as to what the readers are looking for. Look for questions they’re asking, and make an effort to answer those questions through your blog post. If you’re not offering value to the end-users when you create your content, you can’t get them to click on that hyperlink you think you smartly integrated with the content. Your content is your salesperson, so if it’s not going to impress, appeal, and engage, forget about getting traffic, leave alone leads or sales.
2. Maintain the Standards of Host's Blog
If your post doesn’t bring value to the end-users or the host, it only attracts negative publicity for you and the host. Your content should be meaningful and relevant to the host’s niche so that it blends well with the theme of the host’s blog. Don’t submit a post about digital marketing to a blog about kitten food.
In guest blogging for SEO, it is the thumb rule to submit your post to sites with the same or similar niche. It is also necessary to ensure the quality of the content, the value it offers, and the overall standard of the content is in tune with other articles on the host’s blog. Take a look around to get an idea, and ensure the post you submit is at par, if not better.
3. Promote, But Don't Overdo It!
Everyone is trying to sell something, and everyone is trying to make money. It is no secret, and modern consumers are well aware of it. When it comes to guest blogging for SEO, it is okay to promote a legitimate product or service that aligns with the host’s niche, but don’t overdo it.
If your post comes across as a sales pitch rather than a genuine appeal to check or try something out because of the value it offers, the target audience won’t be impressed and won’t engage in your call-to-action. In simple words, the content should be written to benefit users and not only you.
4. Formatting a Guest Blog Post
Formatting a post can be compared to packaging in the manufacturing industry or the operating system on your phone. It has to be pleasing to the eyes while being user-friendly. When it comes to guest posts, formatting is important as a reader would turn away from a block of content with no structure. Guest bloggers should take time to review the published posts on the host’s blog and see how they are formatted and structured.
If the formatting is done poorly, the guest post may be rejected by the host. The blog should be easy to navigate and must have a flow with a proper structure, including a catchy title, introduction, sub-headings, bulleted points (if necessary), and conclusion or summary. It helps readers find what they’re looking for without wandering around. It helps the host please the audience while the guest blogger benefits from generating traffic from it. So, don’t just write good content; present it well, too.
5. Propose a Tempting Idea
One of the most effective methods to get the blog hosts to approve your guest blogs is to propose your content idea first. Write a summary about the topic you want to write content on. It would be even better if you can send them a well-researched outline of the content, pick a topic that’s not covered by the host’s blog before, and blend well with the host’s niche while being relevant to your business.
6. Guest Post in Similar Niche Sites
As mentioned earlier, it can be called the thumb rule of guest posting. If you’re submitting a guest post about “how to learn guitar” on a website about “goat fencing,” the target audience won’t care to read your blog, and they won’t bother to click on your link. People on a website about goat fencing aren’t there to learn guitar, which is pretty much common sense.
You may get a few clicks here and there out of curiosity, but it doesn’t help the guest blogger or the host blog much. So, guest post in sites related to your niche, and you’ll get positive results sooner than later.
7. Offer a Freebie
Who doesn’t like a freebie? When you offer a freebie in your post, which can be a checklist, a free e-book, downloadable printouts, or anything else, all the stakeholders in the equation are benefitted. The readers get a freebie, the host is happy that the blog is offering value to the audience, and the guest blogger can generate leads through opt-in while bringing targeted traffic back to the money site. It’s a win-win situation for all!
8. Include a Bio & Call-To-Action
Another feature of good guest posting etiquette is to include a bio in your guest post submission. The bio must also contain a link to your call-to-action or freebie, as mentioned above. The placement of call-to-action plays an important role, and one link must be embedded in the content body while the other is added to the bio. It reminds the readers to get the freebie when concluding the article and enhances the click-through rate.
9. Promote the Guest Post on Social Media
While the host will do whatever he has to do with the guest post in terms of promotion, you must treat your guest post as you do your own blog posts. Promote it on various social media platforms, send the link to your email lists, and help the guest post gain some traction. Sometimes, all it takes is one simple share on social media for the post to go viral.
10. Be Responsive to Comments on Your Guest Post
As the guest post starts attracting traffic, readers sometimes leave comments. While the host may or may not answer all of them, the onus is on you to seize the opportunity and engage with the audience. Answer their questions, request their feedback, be polite towards criticism, and grateful for the appreciation you receive.
All it takes is just one big client to change your life, and you must treat every single comment as if it is from that client. Be responsive to comments to leave a lasting impression on the audience, boost audience engagement, and encourage social sharing. In the process, you’re building and adding to your own audience.
These are the few guest blogging tips to remember when you write or submit a guest post. Guest blogging for SEO is integral to link-building, and when you remember the above-mentioned guest posting etiquettes, you don’t leave much room for error. Take time to create content that readers would love, the host blog would benefit from, and compels the audience to search for its author – You!
If you would like to find blogs for guest posting, Ozark Web Design offers guest blogging opportunities with some unique additional features.
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