Categories: SEO

Guest Posting in 2020- A Beginners’ Guide

Guest posting; if you are familiar with this term, you would know how important it is to bring traffic to your site. In layman’s words, guest posting or guest blogging means writing content for another company’s blog and vice versa. What makes a ‘Post’ a ‘Guest Post’ is when it has been written to get featured on a fellow business’s site that has similar content as yours. 

If you are about to take your first step towards using the ‘Guest Post’ strategy for your website, you have reached the right place. In this post, you will get to know about all the aspects of guest posting and how you can get benefited from it.

Table of Contents

What is Guest Posting?

Guest posting also known as guest blogging is a marketing technique where you need to look for websites that can accept your blogs as guest posts; this technique mainly works for similar blogs and businesses. Writing something for your blog is considered as a ‘post’, however, the same content when posted on someone else’s site gets the name of ‘Guest post’. 

Can You Write a Guest Post?

Almost everyone who knows to write can write a guest post but that will not necessarily go viral. However, even if your post doesn’t have the capability to go viral, it must be at least informative, well-written and the content must have the ability to generate traffic. If you can write a post that talks about the topic, is well-written, relevant, and of standard length (anywhere between 500 and 1000), can be considered for the guest post by the site owner. If you don’t think you can create compelling content, hire someone professional in the field. 

Benefits of Guest Posting- Why is it Important?

Guest posting is one of the top strategies you can implement to give a boost to your traffic. “According to the ‘Content Marketing Institute’, guest blogging is an important part of marketing strategy as it offers offsite expert content”.

It is an important tool that brings a reputation to your business and creates a community in your field. You can get your blogs posted on popular sites that are relevant to your business and others will see you as an expert in your field. 

Let’s have a look at the top benefits of Guest Blogging:

1. Expand your Business and Get More Traffic

Guest posts carry a link to one of your content or sites and that means more targeted audience for your business and this traffic is more significant than the regular traffic that you get on your site. If you will have a look at the analytics, you would realize that referral traffic from relevant websites has a better average time spent and conversion.

Guest blogging follows a proactive approach to obtain referral traffic; hence it is important to build a guest blogging content strategy so it can guide you to the relevant products and services that will ultimately add to the awareness as well as the conversion.

2. Branding and Authority

Guest posting for your business is going to build authority and increase awareness for your brands. But it is not that convenient; you need to look for authority blogs in your niche and get your guest post published there. Just a few guest posts on high relevance sites can get you the desired recognition even if you are just a beginner in your industry. 

3. Backlinks

The most hyped thing about making a guest post is the backlinks you get, but things are no more the same in 2020. Have a look at the reply to a tweet by John Mu- Webmaster Trend Analyst at Google:

You can say that now Google wants guest posts to have nofollow links.

It is clear that guest blogging stands no longer effective for backlinks and if you go by what the Google spokesperson said, it would not be wrong to say that all the links in a guest post must be marked as ‘Nofollow’ or ‘rel=sponsored’.

As earlier, guest posting is no longer an effective way to get inbound links for your website. 

Getting Started with Guest Posting

Before you dive deep into guest posting, it is important to consider certain factors that will get you the desired results.

1. Be Aware of Your Goals

Every great thing starts with a goal; similarly to reap great fruits with guest blogging, you need to pen down your goals first. If you are not sure of your goal, you can consider any of the following:

  • You want to create more awareness of your product, service, or brand
  • You want more inbound links and improve SEO
  • You want to drive more traffic to your site or a specific page
  • You want to get recognized as an expert
  • Expand your social media reach

Having a clear goal in mind will make it easier for you to go ahead with your strategy and ensure that you are working in the right direction.

2. Look for Guest Posting Prospects

The next important step is to look for the sites that accept guest posts and is relevant to your niche or industry; so you have to make sure that the site you are looking for meets the following criteria:

  • The website has engaged readership i.e. their posts have been shared on their social media channels and have received comments as well.
  • The website has active social media channels that will ensure that your posts will be promoted.
  • The audience will be interested in your niche
  • You will get relevant audience for your blog

For instance, if you are selling clothes, you will need a fashion blog where people interested in the fashion industry are actively engaged. 

Here are some methods to look for relevant guest post opportunities:

Google

Just like you google everything, search for guest post opportunities in the same way. Some keywords that may help:

  1. submit a guest post
  2. “guest post”
  3. “guest post by”
  4. “accepting guest posts”
  5. “guest post guidelines”

Searching for the relevant keywords may help you reach a site’s guest post guidelines page or submission page as you can see in the illustration above.

Analysis of Competitor Backlinks

Have you ever analyzed the backlinks of your competitor? Doing so will show you their backlinks that have been obtained from the guest posts that they have done. Now, if you want to the site for which your competitor has submitted a guest post, typing domain.com -domain.com “guest post” (replacing domain.com with your competitor’s domain) in Google Search will help. 

Social Media

It is a common trend to share the guest post on the website’s social media channels and the largest used one is Twitter. You can search for ‘guest post’ on Twitter and hopefully, you will find some of the relevant blogs that are accepting guest posts.

Using all the ways you can get some great guest blogging opportunities for yourself. 

3. Write the Guest Post

Once you have identified the blog for which you want to write, it is the time to start writing. But before that make sure you know how to write a guest post and you have thoroughly checked the site’s guidelines; check what categories they have and what sort of content they are expecting, as well as the length of the content. Make sure you aren’t writing what is already written and your post is new and unique. Get an overview of the blog owner’s writing style as that will bring you closer to getting your first guest post published. 

Don’t get disheartened if your post gets rejected, you can submit it somewhere else. Some quick tips for you:

  • Be unique
  • Provide high-quality links
  • Offer value in your content
  • Make sure your post content will be of interest to the blog’s audience

4. Pitch for Your Guest Post

If you have managed to reach out to the guest post guidelines of the blog, consider yourself lucky as now you don’t have to stress about the blog owner’s contact details. The only thing left is to write them an email and submit your guest post in MS-Word format. You must add your name, email address, blog address, Twitter ID, and Facebook ID in your signature.

You can even consider the following template: 

5. Enjoy the Exposure

Now is the time to reap the fruits of the efforts you have put in. See your blog’s traffic growing and getting more subscribers but everything will depend on the content and quality of your blog. Make sure you are able to engage new audiences by presenting the best of your work. Also, don’t shy away from promoting your post on social media accounts like Twitter or Facebook 

How Many Guest Posts are Fine?

There is no fixed number for how many guest posts you must submit. You can submit one, two, or several depending on the exposure you are getting and how much time you can spend on writing guest posts.

The best you can do is to have a constant guest blogging strategy in place and make sure you find those blogs that can get you great traffic. This way you can quickly get more followers for your blogs and witness an increase in authority. 

Also, it would be a better idea to select different blogs for guest posting rather than posting on the same over and over again if you want to increase links. 

How Many Links Should You Add?

Adding links is directly proportional to their relevance. Just insert the right number of links and make sure they are relevant and helpful, their number would not matter then. Ask yourself, will this link improve the content? If yes, only then add it or else skip it. Give quality priority over quantity or else go by this simple rule- one link for every 500 words

Too many links can make your post look spam even if you have given the best of you. Write it for the readers and not just for the sake of getting links.

The Exploitation of Guest Posting

Back in 2013, Google’s Matt Cutts posted a video about how guest posting is turning into a spam activity and what are the things one should avoid to do. The crux of his video is right here:

  • Guest blogging should not be your only link building strategy
  • Sending thousands of emails offering guest blog submissions is a big NO-NO.
  • Using the same guest post on two different sites should not be a part of your strategy
  • Similarly, taking one article and spinning it many times is also not appreciable.

Here is the video:

The Evolution of Paid Guest Posts

If you will closely examine, you will find there is an entire industry that runs the business of paid guest posts. You will find several guest post service providers that are ready to buy your guest posts, single as well as in bulk. You may find it difficult now to find websites that run their guest post service for free. Also, Blogger outreach known as blogger relations is one such service that can help you generate genuine, authentic content to promote your product and brand. 

Talking about paid guest post service that is not going to help you as Google uses stylometry to find out sites that are selling links in guest posts. So if you are guest posting for SEO purposes, never think of spending money to do that as such links won’t count because of Google’s Penguin updates and your link will not pass authority and no one will tell you about this. 

Google wants blog owners to tag the links in the guest posts with ‘NOFOLLOW’. But will the bloggers actually follow the ‘Nofollow’ thing to outbound links? That would be interesting to witness as this will remove the sole purpose of doing guest posts. Most of the people are guest blogging to get the links and not to contribute something useful.

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