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The Ultimate Guest Blogger’s Guide for 2013

January 24, 2013

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Let’s start with some perspective: Guest blogging works, if you know how to do it.

Like any marketing tactic, guest blogging is but one choice among many. Will it provide your business the kind of results you need to meet your own particular objectives? That’s a complex question to answer, and no less worth your consideration than whether tactics like PPC, display ads, press releases, email campaigns, affiliate programs, or any other marketing choices will help your business.

Each tactic requires certain steps to be taken and best practices to be followed in order to bear fruit. You can’t fake guest blogging any more than you can fake-grow a plant. Think about it like this: A farmer can’t take serious shortcuts, ignoring the biological requirements of her crops, then proclaim that farming “doesn’t work.”

The fact is, guest blogging can be an extraordinarily powerful tool for sending search engines (and prospects) signals about your credibility, relevance, and value, if you are willing to recognize what the process requires, rather than trying to shortcut it.

Luckily, guest blogging isn’t complicated. It really only requires two things:

  1. Effective outreach to build relationships
  2. High-quality content that site owners want to publish

Sounds simple enough, and in many respects it is. However, most content marketers and SEOs admit to doing less of it than they’d prefer. Why? Because simple isn’t the same as easy.

The Guest Blogging Landscape

Guest blogging has seen significant growth over the past few years, partly due to changes in SEO, and partly causing them, too. The trend of sharing original articles on other relevant websites is likely to continue, because it’s a solid, cost-effective way to market with content.

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While Google Trends can’t tell us how many guest posts are published on a regular basis, it can tell us a lot about searcher intent, and it seems like more and more people intend to guest blog or to host them. We also know that it fights right into the middle of content strategy in general, and most B2B marketers, at least, intend to produce more content in 2013, specifically on blogs and “articles on other websites.”

But it takes more than brute-force effort to yield results in guest blogging. It takes insight.

Guest Blogging is Not Article Submission

When done properly, guest blogging is white hat SEO at it’s finest. When done poorly, it’s inefficient spam. Once upon a time, article directories made sense as an SEO tactic, until clumsy link builders turned them into a wasteland, filled with “keyword content,” not articles people actually wanted to read.

As a pure link building tactic used to replace a host of other unsavory methods, many still approach guest blogging with amateurish abandon—spamming blogs with lousy article pitches, writing content no one wants to read, and including irrelevant links to thin websites. Such uncouth behavior leaves a bad taste in the mouths of host blogs and would-be guest bloggers alike, leading some to declare it ineffective.

If you can’t figure out how to add value to the sites you pitch with content, don’t even start. Dumbing down your output for the sake of scaling up productivity is a false dichotomy, and it doesn’t work.

Beware of the BINOs

When you’re trying to crack into a specific niche, it can be hard to find places to guest post, especially when you’re an SEO and you’re guest blogging for image017clients. While any good blogger is going to exercise editorial discretion over guest posts, some bloggers simply do not.

We call these “blogs in name only” because they are not actually blogs at all—they’re just another version of article directories. How to know you found a BINO:

  • “Submit a Guest Post” is prominent on the home page
  • Most articles are submitted by different people
  • Articles span a wide array of topics
  • Articles show generally poor grammar, readability and depth
  • Outbound links are excessive and unrelated to the content
  • Little or no social sharing or comments

Keep in mind, not everyone runs a stellar blog, and it’s entirely possible that you’re just looking at a bad (or new) blog, not one that’s designed to game search algorithms. And some reputable blogs are built on guest post contributions across a wide array of content (e.g., business2community.com). That being said, if the site exhibits three or more of the above characteristics, it’s probably a BINO, and your content doesn’t belong there.

SEO is Growing Up

Google has caused a great deal of turmoil over the last two years, forcing SEO to grow up fast. The aftermath of Google’s updates has taught us that all internet marketing strategies must diversify beyond SEO, because Google doesn’t owe you a living. But it’s not just that you shouldn’t subject your business to the whims of search engine algorithm updates (or mistakes, or competitor antics). It’s also because SEO is becoming more about doing things that aren’t solely about SEO. Guest blogging gets you those things.

By publishing worthwhile content on a variety of other sites, you can construct a durable online footprint that is trustworthy, authoritative and relevant to actual people. Good SEO is about adding value. When Matt Cutts says it, I suggest you listen:

By doing things that help build your own reputation, you are focusing on the right types of activity. Those are the signals we want to find and value the most anyway.

Reference:-http://www.searchenginejournal.com/the-ultimate-guest-bloggers-guide-for-2013/57457/

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