What is Guest Posting?
For those of you who are not quite familiar with content marketing, blogging and SEO, Guest Posting is an act of writing and publishing a blog post or an article on someone else’s blog or website. Your work may or may not be compensated financially. This purely depends on whether the website/blog offers a financial incentive for your contributions.
There is a little difference between guest posting & being a contributor. Guest posting is more for those who are looking to contribute a one-off post, whereas being a contributor may require some degree of commitment (e.g. producing 2-3 posts per month).
Whatever you prefer to call this process, ensuring that your posts are published only on reliable, quality and reputable websites is an absolute necessity if you wish to reap the rewards of guest blogging.
Read Guest Blogging Blog – Guest Blogging: The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Guest Blogging
Benefits of Guest Posting/Contributing
It would have been a crime to write this post and not to mention the main benefits of guest blogging. At the end of the day, you aren’t writing articles for 3rd party websites just because you have the time to do so.
Although you may want to sound like a philanthropist when pitching articles, deep down in your soul, you are expecting something in return, whether it’s some nice referral traffic or a boost in your brand’s exposure.
Here are the main benefits of guest blogging for other websites:
- Reach a wider audience: Contributing your work to external websites would mean that more people will see your work. Imagine this, if you get your article published on Forbes, 10s or even 100s of thousands of people would read your article, and if the subject is directly correlated with what you do, people will come back for more (often directly to your website).
- Generate quality referral traffic: Quality posts that get seen and read by 1000s of people are likely to generate a ton of quality, targeted referral traffic. You know where this can lead to. Yes, more exposure and more sales.
- Build long-lasting relationship: If you’re not one of those people who guest post just for links, you are likely to publish multiple articles on a single blog. This, in return, will tighten up the relationship with the owner of the blog and may lead to further partnerships.
- Become an influencer: Being featured in authoritative websites and blogs would make you an influencer in the eyes of your potential audience. People would look up to you as an expert in your niche, and will often cite your words as the words of “The Almighty”.
- Build up your social media presence: Wondering how to build up your social following? Guest posting is the way to go. For instance, when someone shares your article, you would often get tagged and mentioned.
- Increase the authority of your website: People are more likely to trust and buy from the brand that has a powerful web presence. If your product gets a decent review from The Next Web, would people have more confidence in purchasing that product of you? Sure thing.
- Become more confident: Imagine getting featured in Forbes, Wired, Inc and Entrepreneur? That would definitely tell you something about the quality of your writing and your expertise.
- Increase exposure & brand awareness: Similarly to increasing authority of your website, guest blogging can expose your brand to a much broader audience.
- Inbound links (backlinks): Should we really explain this point? Okay, you can also get a quality, powerful backlink from your profile bio. The vast majority of sites will allow you to add a link or two in your byline, which usually appears at the bottom of every post.
- Build an email list: An influx of referral traffic to your website can lead to a growth of your mailing list. If, and only if you can convert that traffic to your regular subscribers.
- Money, money, money: Some people manage to build an entire business of contributing articles. We’ve gotten several monthly paying clients just from publishing quality articles on The Next Web, Sitepoint and Lifehack. Yes, we’ve worked our socks off to get there, but it all pays off.
The Dos and Don’ts of Guest Blogging
Although there are numerous benefits of contributing content and being a guest blogger, you should plan your journey carefully when deciding to utilise this strategy. All great things come with pitfalls.
Let us go over the dos and don’ts of guest blogging.
- Do read the guidelines: Different blogs have different requirements for contributors and guest bloggers. Some may only accept posts that are less than 600 words; others may only accept articles if you are a known individual in your niche. Hence, always check the guidelines on a case-by-case basis.
- Do create exceptional content: No reputable blog would accept a poorly written post, especially from a guest blogger. Do your background work, support your claims, provide arguments, check your grammar and spelling mistakes. No one is perfect, but if your article is terrible, it will not get featured. Simple as that.
- Do show your expertise & experience: Ideally, you would only want to blog on subjects that you have an in-depth knowledge of. So, if you know your niche well enough and have sufficient knowledge of the topic – show it!
- Do write for the audience: Don’t go wild with SEO jargon if you are writing for a small business blog. The audience would not understand a word. Instead, tailor your content for the audience of that blog.
- Do create original content: Only write unique content that has never been published on other websites/blogs (even your own). If your post is accepted, you should still avoid republishing that piece.
- Do find out what works best: Identify what type of content does best on that blog. Is it top-10 lists or in-depth guides? You can evaluate that by the number of shares and comments a post has gained.
- Do craft a perfect byline: In order to present yourself in an appealing way, you need to write a decent profile bio. Do include your notable achievements and previous contributions.
- Don’t be spammy: Don’t send mass emails to 100s of blogs at the same time asking for guest posting opportunities.
- Don’t spin articles: Spun articles are so damn easy to spot. They are terrible and don’t read well.
- Don’t use the same article: Avoid posting the same article over and over again. If you are serious about quality guest blogging, you should only post a single piece on a single website.
- Don’t make guest blogging your only link-building strategy: The primary reason why Matt Cutts has declared the death of guest blogging is due to it being treated as a go-to place for easy links.
- Don’t post on spammy and low-quality websites: You would want to avoid spammy websites at all cost. Not only they can damage your reputation as a writer, but also get your website in trouble with Google.
- Don’t stuff your article with links: Editors are picky. It will take them no more than a minute to identify a self-promotional link. Unless it’s necessary to include a link (perhaps you are citing someone), don’t stuff them in. If you wish to have a link back to your website – use the byline.
- Don’t accept poor guest posts (for blog owners): If you don’t want to look sketchy – don’t be sketchy! Only accept quality guest articles that can potentially bring value to your readers.