Guest blogging often shows up in discussions about building traffic and relevant content on your website. But, it also gets glossed over as a legitimate effort, in part, because there always seems to be something newer and shinier. Think about the hype of native ads (and/or sponsored content).
Think also about how there always seems to be someone who finds a way to abuse a tool. Guest blogging is for some, considered what keywords were considered a couple years back: a slightly shady way to arrive at the top of the search. It’s true that there are people who abuse the idea of guest blogging by just trying to get a whole bunch of content on their site and link-backs to increase SEO. But, that doesn’t mean that guest blogging isn’t a relevant, valid tool for your content marketing strategy. You just need to do it right—and the key word here is relevant. You don’t need to stuff that word to see results (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Yes, guest blogging still delivers. Here are four tips that will help you make sure it does:
- Be Choosy. Whether you are inviting bloggers to post on your own site or seeking partner sites to post on, be discerning about who and where. Choose bloggers who demonstrate credibility and who are clear influencers (or potential influencers). Choose websites that are relevant to your target audience and niche topics.
- Think Dialogue and Community.Blogging isn’t just about demonstrating expertise and offering value (although that’s critical!) It’s also about starting a conversation and building relationships. That is as true on your own site as it is on a site you are guest blogging on. Think in those terms. Who are you trying to connect with and how? Ask questions, provide answers, be engaging.
- Scrutinize Your Content.You may be picking up a theme here: guest blogging must provide relevant, valuable content. So, take the time to make sure that is what you have. Watch how people interact with your content. Is there a social buzz around it? Are there fully formed comments (as opposed to empty spam-like responses)? What about your author rank? How’s that looking?
- Aim for the Bulls Eye.This is a general rule of blogging, but it is a good reminder: focus on one simple topic or question. Be as specific as possible because it’s easier to hit your target. Of course that requires you know what your target is . . .
What Does Success Look Like?
If you focus on these tips, guest blogging will certainly deliver; and not just in SEO:
- Greater quantities of higher content on your site (and less pressure to get there).
- Enhanced targeting.
- Heightened credibility.
- Increased networking opportunities.
- More and better quality traffic.
So, remember this little tool, it’s not one to lose in the shuffle.