October 10, 2011
Add Guest Blogging to Your Article Marketing Strategy and Watch Your Traffic Soar – A SPN Exclusive Article
There’s been a lot of talk lately that article marketing has gone the way of the Do-Do bird, especially since the Google Panda update. As I see it though, the value of article marketing hasn’t diminished at all, the process itself has just evolved. Add guest blogging to your article marketing strategy and bring it back to life.
Most webmasters don’t realize it but guest blogging is another type of article marketing, one which produces much better results if done properly. After all, what’s a blog post? It’s just another article, only it’s published on a blog. And what’s a blog? A blog is another place to publish said article – just like an article directory but with better quality traffic.
How Does Guest Blogging Help Your Traffic?
Submitting articles to online directories is fine if you’re only after the link juice. But directories are not destination websites. The only time someone reads your article when it’s posted on a directory is if they come across the link while conducting a search. That’s all well and good if you have the number one spot, but if there are other articles that outrank yours on the index, the chances of someone reading your article are reduced.
An established blog, on the other hand, is a destination website, which means there are people who visit that blog directly, and repeatedly, to see what new information has been posted. Your guest blog post will be seen by all of those regular visitors, whether they were searching for that information or not.
Essentially, when you publish an article on a directory, your traffic is hit-and-miss. If it’s a hot topic and/or you rank well, you’ll get readers. But when your guest post is published you have a ready made audience arriving every day, ready to read the latest news.
How To Make Guest Blogging A Vital Part Of Your Article Marketing Strategy
Obviously, since you’re not just haphazardly submitting dozens of articles, it takes a little more effort to include guest blogging in your article marketing strategy. Here are some tips to make it well worth your while:
Choose Carefully: It’s important to choose your blogs carefully or you’ll just be wasting your time. You certainly don’t want your guest blog posts to be published on any questionable blogs. But even more important, you want to choose blogs that attract relevant traffic.
For example, it wouldn’t make any sense for you to submit a guest post on dog training tips to a blog about SEO practices. First of all, they probably wouldn’t accept it. But even if they did, none of their followers would read your post because that’s not the kind of information they’re looking for.
While traffic numbers shouldn’t be your main concern, the quality of the traffic coming into that blog is important. Look for activity in the comments section but also take a look at the SEO that’s been done. Are they pulling in targeted traffic that will be beneficial for you or are they using Justin Bieber and Britney Spears to drag in readers from all corners of the Web?
Don’t Worry About Traffic: Comment activity is usually a good sign but quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality. A lot of blogs have lower traffic or activity levels but the traffic they do receive is highly targeted. Never underestimate the power of SEO.
Read the Blog: Now that you’ve narrowed your search, read the blog. Get a feel for the type of content they use, how they address their audience, and the type of information the audience is looking for. Is there a certain topic they talk about more than others, etc.
Read the Comments: Before I submit a guest blog post I always cruise the comments section. Sometimes you can pick up a really great idea from the regular readers of that blog. At the very least you’ll learn what they like to talk about.
Make Your Article Relevant: This is the hard part. Your first inclination will be to write an article just like you’d write for one of the directories, an article that gently leads people to click on your link. In some cases, that will be fine. But most bloggers won’t appreciate your self-promotion.
Concentrate instead on writing an article that showcases your expertise as it relates to that particular blog.
Write a Great Resource Box: Your resource box on your standard directory articles may seldom, if ever, be read. The reader arrived at your article looking for an answer to a specific question. If you answered it in your article, he’s satisfied and he’ll click away. If you didn’t answer it, he’s not satisfied, and he’ll click away in anger.
However, your resource box in your guest blog post will get a lot more attention, especially if you’ve written a good quality, informative, relevant post. Make sure you include these 4 things in your resource box:
1. Your name – Use your real name to establish credibility and authority
2. Your website URL – If you have the opportunity to include more than one link, make one of the URL and the other an anchor text link. Some readers still feel safer clicking on an actual URL.
3. Your USP – Tell the readers why they should click on your link. What is it that makes you special?
4. Your Call to Action – Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do. Click Here isn’t enough. You have to tell them what they’ll get if they do – Click Here to read my article about XYZ Now!
Think Outside the Box: There are thousands of guest blogging opportunities out there so it’s important to learn to think outside the box. It’s not necessary to look for blogs in your exact same niche. In fact, the whole point of guest blogging is to increase your visibility, so branching off into a related niche isn’t a bad idea.
For example, maybe you normally blog about vegetarian recipes and you come across someone looking for a guest blogger on their Baby Care blog. What a great opportunity for you to attract new parents who might be interested in a vegetarian diet for their babies. Write a guest blog post about homemade vegetarian baby food and you’ll attract a whole new audience.
Donna Anderson is a freelance writer specializing in SEO web content and article marketing techniques. Visit her blog at http://whitehatwriting.com for writing tips and article marketing advice and read her Squidoo lens to learn How to Write a Perfect Resource Box.