In the past we’ve written fairly extensively about how crucial good link building is to an SEO campaign. Links on the internet point back to your website, showing Google that it can trust your site and the content on it. The higher the trust, generally the higher the ranking. One of the highest quality links you can get is through a guest post on a high quality website. That’s the real value in guest posting, you get a backlink. In fact, it’s one of the more popular ways to get a backlink for your website.
Guest posting has a long and storied history in the world of SEO. A well-placed guest post on a high quality website can do wonders for your own website. It helps from an audience perspective. And it helps a lot with the Google algorithm. But essentially, it works as a solid recommendation from one website to another. It points the bots and other people to your site. And it establishes you as an industry leader, boosting your credibility.
What is guest posting?
It’s fairly self explanatory. It’s you writing an expert article and having it post on another website or blog. Guest posting expands your audience. Blogs have a very distinct and very loyal group of readers and followers. By guest posting, essentially you’re exposing your brand to this new audience. Plus you get a backlink to your website. It’s a win-win!
Guest posting also allows you to network and connect with other bloggers, content creators, and experts in your own field. Networking and connections are always a good idea and can end up helping your business later down the line.
Why does guest posting matter?
As I mentioned, the SEO value of guest posting is that you get a backlink to your website. Preferably, a high-quality link from a high-value site that will build your website’s trust with search engines like Google. Link building is one of the fundamental building blocks of an SEO campaign. Essentially links show the Google algorithm that your site is popular. It helps to boost your website’s reputation.
Links on other sites work as a digital currency that shows Google you know what you’re talking about. So by writing about your expertise, your passion, your industry, essentially your business, but on a guest blog works for multiple purposes. It helps you show that expertise elsewhere, and it give you a digital vote of confidence with a link.
Beyond the SEO value, guest posting can build your brand. It’s exposing it to an entirely new audience and group of people. This can drive more people back to your brand that you wouldn’t have otherwise. And if you become a regular contributor to another blog, that exposure increases exponentially.
Is there a downside to guest posting?
Finding another blog or site that will guest post your content can be a lot of work. And even though you’re exposed to the other site’s visitors, it might not bring the kind of traffic back to your own site that you would like. And did I mention that it’s a lot of work?
You need to have a tough skin if you want to develop a strong guest posting game. You need to submit an article or a pitch to lots of different websites and be prepared for rejection or no response at all.
Another downside is that you might not get the kind of traffic you want. Unfortunately, not every post will do well. That’s true for your own website or someone else’s. It’s a risk you need to take with every piece of content you ever create. It’s a lot of work to put in if you don’t actually get the views. But it’s a risk you need to take if you want to grow your website, and your SEO.
How to find a good place to guest post
Flex those student skills, because you’re going to need to start doing some research. You need to look for blogs in your same industry or area of expertise. Then also look for terms like “write for us”, “guest post”, “submit an article”, “contribute”, “guest author”. Or other terms in that same vein.
Some blogs and websites have intake forms. Other times you need to research and look for a specific person’s email address. Often it’s someone on the marketing team or a digital marketing specialist. They often control the content calendar and decide what to post on the website. You need to keep your pitch short, and to the point. There’s a good chance that if it’s a high quality blog, these content heads get a lot of pitches and they can see through the fake.
You don’t just want to pitch anywhere. Make sure the other site is high quality, otherwise the backlink won’t matter because it doesn’t give you any credit. You need to make sure the other site is relevant to you and your industry.
Speaking from experience, most website editors want to review a fully-developed and well-thought out article rather than just a pitch about what you could write. And even if they do accept your pitch, that doesn’t mean necessarily that they’ll publish your article down the line. You’re more likely to have a guest article submission accepted if you submit an actual article that you’ve written. Avoid the temptation to submit to more than one website. If more than one site publishes it, then you’re in a bind. Wait until you hear back from a site or enough time has passed that you don’t think you’ll get a response, then try somewhere else.