A single good guest post can drive thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of new visitors to your website. It can also dramatically boost your position in the search engines. But guest posting can be a double-edged sword: do it wrong and it can get you penalized by Google instead. So, what is the right way and what is the wrong way? How can you best leverage this strategy for your website? Let’s take a look.
The Wrong Way to Do Guest Blogging
Guest blogging has a long and colorful history with Google. When guest blogging first came on the marketing scene, it was a relatively unknown tactic. Then, webmasters realized they could get a lot of backlinks by guest posting. Soon, this tactic started becoming abused. Webmasters would pay £2 for poorly written articles to be published on brand new blogs. The new blog owner would publish the poor article in good faith, not realising how poor the quality was, and the webmaster would continue abusing the system. Sometimes they would offer a small fee to the website owner for publishing the post. The thing they all had in common? They demanded do-follow links. This expanded to the point where Google started taking action against those who did this.
Google started punishing low quality blogs, as well as the webmasters who used them for SEO. Then Google penalized MyBlogGuest.com, the largest guest blog exchange platform at the time.
So, does that mean guest blogging is a bad strategy? That Google doesn’t like guest bloggers? Absolutely not. Google doesn’t like low quality guest posts. Guest writers who write high quality content for high quality websites can still do very well. As proof, one just has to look at Huffington Post. Its website is written by virtually 100% guest posters – and it’s one of the highest trafficked websites in the world.
As, as a rule of thumb, avoid writing for low quality sites. Avoid writing for brand new blogs, give them time to grow into their authority. Avoid writing for sites with spammy links. Avoid buying space on blogs. Avoid DA0 blogs. Of course, there are exceptions. Use your best judgment of a site’s quality. If a site is high quality, even if it seems to have a DA0, go for it. Just make sure you’re writing for sites that you personally want to be associated with.
The Right Way to Do Guest Posting
So how do you get blog owners to agree to let you write for them?
Start by having a high quality website yourself. Invest some time (and money) into design. Have at least 5-10 content-packed articles on your site. When a site owner comes to check you out, they should like what you’re doing.
Once your site is setup, reach out to bloggers in your space. Personalize your messages. Let them know how you found them, why you like them and why you think you two could be a good match. It often helps if you can suggest 3-5 topics for them to choose from.
It’s generally most effective to reach out to B and C list bloggers. A-list bloggers are often so busy they can’t respond. But B and C list bloggers are much more receptive and and are often happy to publish the free content.This is a fantastic way to get big exposure quickly – all without spending a penny
Pros & Cons of Guest Blogging for Website Traffic
Generate a list of 15-20 high-quality websites that you’d like to guest blog on. Make notes of how you found them, why you like them and 3-5 complimentary topics you could write about for their blog. Then contact each website owner to see if they’re interested.
You may only get a few takers the first time, but keep going and you’ll start to see an interest in what you are offering.