As with any other business, foot traffic and revenue are key factors that keep it alive. Undeniably, getting visitors to visit and interact on a website is very important to acquire leads and potential sales. There are many ways to increase page visits and traffic to a website – one that’s already proven is guest blogging.
To know if guest blogging will benefit a company or a brand, it’s best to ask why it is needed in the first place. In our case, our team has defined two main purpose of guest blogging efforts: guest blogging for link-building, and guest blogging for brand establishment. Essentially, both of them come hand-in-hand, and both of them have substantial benefits and flaws.
In determining a compelling reason to come up with guest blogging tactics, we must identify first the different perspectives SEO’s and bloggers have when writing for other sites. An SEO practitioner may want to write for a high ranking website to acquire quality links, while a blogger will write for websites with high authority to become more popular in their niche.
In practice, guest blogging works the same way as how feature articles are published in magazines, only easier. It’s either an editor looks for a credible author for a topic, or a writer looks for the right magazine to publish their article on to. Since it is web-based, guest blogging is easy to accomplish – in fact it’s so easy that it’s been used and abused for link building purposes.
Which is why 2013 saw the start of the downfall of guest blogging as a means of link building. Once a dignified practice for writers and bloggers, it’s been highly exploited for fishing high quality links. In some cases, there are bloggers and blog sites willing to pay for specific articles or links in the article they will post. Then came 2014, where a statement by Google’s Matt Cutts said that guest blogging for link building purposes must be stopped, to a point that Google has to “put a fork in it”. Because it just became too spammy.
This led Google to implement strict measures and algorithmic updates that pulled on sketchy guest bloggers and blogging sites. Aside from Google’s existing capabilities to find thin, duplicate, and sub-standard content, there are other factors that enabled the search giant to identify guest blog posts made solely for linking. This tainted the stature of guest blogging as we know it.
However, Google is also quick to assure that good guest blogging practices – those which contribute original and solid content – will not be harmed. This is because blogging on other websites of the same niche builds strong credibility and authority. Provided that articles appear in reputable websites with influential writers, expect to get an increase in your following.
“I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging” – Matt Cutts, Google
While we may have thoughts about using guest blogging to acquire links, it can be a good idea to use guest blogging as a tactic for brand identity maintenance and establishment for start-ups and reputable brands alike. Here are simple steps in kick-starting a brand establishment guest blogging tactic:
Knock-down identity issues
Most start-ups fail from the very start because they miss out on a single detail—identity. One of the most common brand problems is not knowing what your brand is. Your brand shouldn’t just be a name and a logo: it should embody your purpose, fulfill your promise, and be your employee’s source of faith in their career.
Create a message
After setting a definition for your brand, try to come up with a message you want your brand to deliver. As with any advertising campaign, being consistent with what you’re saying is essential in creating an impact. It should be relevant, bold, unique, and engaging.
Afterschool.ae, Creating Tomorrow’s Superstars – Coming up with a single-minded proposition for your brand is a great way to harmonize all content and advertising efforts.
Find your audience
Now that you have something to say, it’s time to look for people who will listen. Doing this can be quite tricky, but there are a number of tools which can help you look for factors that will point to your target audience. Among those factors are the people’s age bracket, common interest, and the time of need.
Look for the right blog sites
After pin-pointing your target audience, it’s time to list down blog sites that they frequent. Optimizing search queries in Google should give you a bunch of guest blog search results. So before sending an e-mail to all of them, make sure they’re worth your time. Consider a blog’s page ranking and domain authority, among other factors, in qualifying blogs for your outreach effort. It also pays to be thorough and look deeper into a website’s history and content or a blogger’s profile. A website might not have compelling stats on their page ranking and domain authority, but they might have a large social media following, which you can also consider.
Pitch with kindness
Before talking to a website’s contact personnel for guest blogging, make sure that you have observed their blog. You have to know what range of topics their blog talks about and how liberal or conservative their posts are. Your article should stay within their topic ranges, while talking about the message you want to convey.
Connect and thank
After writing the article and sending it to the contact person, don’t forget to give thanks as well as to follow them with your social media accounts. This reinforces your ties that can be beneficial in the future.
“being a Spammy McSpammer only caring about links, and not caring about real content, community building, branding, and all those other great benefits… is dead.” – Jen Lopez, MOZ
So it’s true: writing for blogs solely to acquire links has started to decay in its final resting place. Sure, blogging for fun or for link sourcing would still give your site some traffic and do-follow links, but expanding your brand’s awareness reach while getting the right people to visit your website altogether, is the perfect result of guest blogging.