How much time do you spend creating a guest posting strategy? Despite the bad press it has gotten lately, it’s still one of my favourite ways to expand my reach, build links, gain authority, and bring in specific types of traffic. It has to be done right, however.
The Good and Bad of Guest Posting
Guest posting has been a cheap and easy way to gain links for years. Spammers love it, and as a result, many people feel the value of the tactic has declined. At least in the traditional sense. If you buy a bunch of cheap content and sprinkle it around wherever you can get it published, it won’t have much value. You can’t just publish a ton of content and expect to get anywhere with it. If you plan wisely, however, this marketing technique comes with a wealth of benefits.Guest posts and quality content are a smart alternative to paid links. They come with more value than those stuffed in a sidebar, footer, or link page. You automatically drive qualified traffic your site and only require money if you have to hire someone to write the content for you. Also, if the site owner sells the domain, the content will likely stay live, but lists of links often disappear.
Find Authority Websites to Guest Post On
Social Media Today published 10 Places to Find Blogs to Guest Post On. And while this is a great list, you can find some fantastic guest posting opportunities using advanced search queries. Not sure how they work? Try these resources:
- Google Search Basics — Google’s Web Search Help
- Link Building Search Queries Collection — Search Engine Journal
- 21 Link Builders Share Advanced Link Building Queries — Search Engine Land
- Long List of Link Searches — SEOmoz
- Link Building Tools and Content-Based Link Opportunity Analysis — Ontolo
- Link Search Tool — Solo SEO
The Best Guest Posting Strategies Start With the Right Opportunities
To get the most from your guest posting strategy, you can’t just publish a few words and links on an authority site in a related industry. In fact, if you focus purely on link value, you’ll miss out on the real value of this technique. When choosing a place to guest post, you need to find sites that match your goals and your specific target audience. Each one should reveal the skills, strengths, and values of your business. They may even open the door to future opportunities.
Being a copywriter, you’d think I’d post mostly on copywriting websites. However, if you do a quick search, you’ll find I often publish on all types of websites including SEO, social media, internet marketing, and a variety of other niche sites. Why? While many copywriting websites have authority, they can’t offer me much else.
I rarely hire other copywriters. My clients don’t generally visit sites focused on copywriting, and it also restricts me to copywriting. I’d like to think I’m a great writer, but even copywriting involves much more than just using the correct spelling and grammar. To do my job, I need to understand SEO, social media, conversion optimization, branding, business strategies, marketing tactics, usability, behaviour analysis, and many other techniques. In short, my business won’t grow if I restrict myself to the copywriting niche.
Competition is another issue you need to consider. This doesn’t mean your competition disappears once you start looking outside your own niche. However, it does mean you’ll have to do something truly remarkable if you want to stand out.
A Few Tips About Writing Successful Guest Posts
When I guest post, I focus on helping others see the value of quality copywriting and the many other services that go with it. I focus on the real value of great content. I teach readers how to integrate content into their existing business and marketing strategies, how to create great content strategies, and how to use the technique to meet their goals.
This puts me in a unique position. Readers gain some immediate benefit from my guest post. And because they’ve already benefited from my services, they’re more likely to make contact with me and seek me out when they decide to put those tips, hints, and inspirations into action.
My business has gained a lot from my guest posting strategy, too. Of course, they come with the link juice, buzz, traffic, and a wider reach, but that’s not all. I’ve been nominated for prestigious awards, become a recommended resource for universities and governments, generated long-term clients, and received opportunities I couldn’t have gotten any other way. These benefits are worth far more than a $2,000 paid link, don’t you think?
For more information on choosing guest posting opportunities, have a look at Why Guest Posting and Blogging is a Slippery Slope from The Moz Blog.
(Image: monkeypuzzle, pshutterbug)