If you follow trends in search engine optimization (enhancing your website’s rankings in search engines like Google), one of the hottest trends lately involves submitting guest blog posts. If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, don’t feel too bad. Of the various blog niches, it’s most popular among the typical marketing, SEO, ‘make money online’ crowd and not as well-known for health and fitness bloggers.
In short, guest blogging is a great way to build relevant authoritative links for your website, increase your blog’s traffic, and to expand your readership. It can also be a great way to build your online presence and brand.
A win-win scenario – In many ways, guest blogging creates a near-perfect win-win scenario. For publishers, they get access to free, quality content, written from a unique perspective. For guest bloggers, they benefit by enhancing their online exposure and reputation.
Sample content from guest submission
Notice anything wrong with the above content?
Guest Blogging Mistakes
One of the most common mistakes that I’ve experienced is that people confuse guest blogging with article marketing. Article marketing was a popular trend two or three years ago. Basically, you could recycle your old blog posts by submitting them to sites like Buzzle, Ezinearticles, and others. It used to be a decent way to build backlinks for your website.
Why Article Marketing Is Dead?
Google’s algorithm is getting increasingly complex. The basic premise is to increase the relevance of sites that rank well and to combat spam. Duplicate content is considered spam and Google no longer passes PageRank from duplicate content.
In other words, one of the common questions that we get asked here for the guest blog posts that we accept, is “I’ve got some great articles on my site, you can publish some of those if you like.” The problem in this case is that duplicate content gets flagged by Google and won’t rank well at all in search engines.
Yes, there are some sites that generate massive amounts of traffic that entirely composed of duplicate content such as Zimbio, Facebook Networked Blogs, Wellsphere, Feed Aggregators, and others. Google does seem to make some exceptions, but if your blog is filled with a substantial amount of duplicate content, it will get flagged as spam. Consequently, it won’t generate very much search engine traffic.
What’s Wrong with Cross-Posting Articles?
Cross-posting of content involves publishing your article on multiple sites, typically your own blog as well as the blog that you write a guest post for. In this case, whichever site is credited with publishing the article first based on publishing time, how frequently the site is crawled by search engines, and other factors will rank substantially better. Cross-posting is just one way to create duplicate content.
Why Is Duplicate Content Considered Spam?
Think of it this way, there are so-called scraper sites that take content from other blogs and republish the content on their own site. If duplicate content was okay, you could create a high traffic blog simply by republishing articles from article marketing sites or by scraping content from other blogs. No fuss, no muss.
In a nutshell, if you’re hoping to recycle your articles for guest posting it’s a very bad idea. Most sites that accept guest posts will check the content with Copyscape to start with. Even if your article does slip by, it won’t benefit you from an SEO perspective since the article will be flagged as spam. Once the owner of the blog finds out, they’ll be unhappy to say the least.
Part of creating a successful blog is building relationships and you probably won’t make too many friends by cross-posting, or submitting duplicate content.
Guest Posting Arbitrage
If you’ve considered using guest posting to improve your blog’s traffic, one of the first problems that you’ll notice is that it cuts into your own time to write for your blog. To solve this problem, one thing that many bloggers do in other niches is that they operate under, for lack of a better term, the guest blogging arbitrage principle. What does this mean? Basically, you write compelling content for blogs that are more popular and authoritative than your own. In turn, you then accept blog post submissions from other sites at the same time.
Tips for Guest Posting on Blogs:
Needless to say, you’ll want to use some of your best, most compelling content when you submit your articles to high-authority blogs. To start with, the article will get more exposure than it would on your own blog. As well, blogs that have built up authority tend to have discerning tastes when it comes to accepting posts.
Killer titles which are “Digg” worthy can also help get your post accepted. It’s also often advised that you included a link in your article to another post from the blog that you’re submitting your article too. The guest blogger will appreciate the gesture.
Start small and move up – You’ll probably want to get your feet wet with guest posting to start off with. For high-profile A-list blogs, like Darren Rowse’s Problogger, you probably won’t be accepted until you’ve already established your brand.
Images - Higher profile blogs are often conscious of using images which violate copyright laws. For some high-profile blogs, you may want to consider purchasing an image to include with your submission or else finding a creative license picture.
Backlinks – Make sure you carefully read the guidelines for guest posts on the blog that you’re submitting your article to. Some will allow either one or two dofollow backlinks within the article content.
Article style - It’s always a good idea to get a flavor for how other articles on the site are typically written and formatted. Many SEO savvy bloggers will want you to add appropriate H2 headings within your post. Most sites appreciate you submitting your post in HTML format too so that it’s easier for them to publish.
Well, I hope that provides you with some useful tips for increasing your online presence by writing guest blog posts. Writing for other blogs can be a great way to expand your network.