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October 12, 2012

Guest Blogging: Spam or Solid Marketing?

If I told you there was a way to get other webmasters to post your link on their sites for free, would you say I was a spammer or a smart Internet marketer?

Sadly, either answer can be correct these days.

There are many types of obvious spam lurking on the Web, such as badly-spun blog articles and comments, most of the e-mails in your junk folder and articles that are poorly-disguised sales copy rather than informative content.

So, where does guest blogging fall on the spam-o-meter? That depends upon how you use it.

Make no mistake, guest blogging can be an incredibly powerful way to gain exposure for your business.
When authoritative websites in your niche publish your thoughtful and insightful guest posts, you can show a brand new group of people just how knowledgeable you are – and give them a link to click at the bottom, so they can find out all about you.

The important words here are “thoughtful,” “insightful” and “knowledgeable.” If your guest posts don’t offer those traits, you’re really no better than the spammers who are filling up your junk folder.

After all, if you’re not providing valuable information and expertise, how is your guest post helping anyone? Even if the blog owner agrees to publish it, it’s a waste of space. People aren’t going to learn anything from it, and they’re certainly not going to be impressed by it.

They will see right through you – that you aren’t working in their best interest. Readers know when you simply slapped some words together without the benefit of research or thought, simply to attach your link at the bottom.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, search engines will also see your efforts for what they are.

Google is especially interested in quality content these days. Why do you think so many websites have been Panda-ed?. They’re trying to get a Google rank without putting in the work. In today’s SEO, that just doesn’t cut it.

So, how do you make sure your guest blogs are considered smart marketing instead of spam? Put yourself in the minds of the readers.

Would you want to read the same old re-hashed gibberish over and over again? Of course not. Instead, you want to read something that’s legitimately going to answer your questions and solve your problems. You want to read something that’s chock full of facts – not a piece of fluff that’s only purpose is to set up a link.

You also want to read articles that are relevant to you right now. It really doesn’t matter how things were done years ago (or even months ago, in some niches). All that matters is the here and now. You need to know what kind of developments and advancements are changing the game – no matter what “the game” is!

And, of course, you’re going to want to read something that’s interesting. All of the important facts and figures in the world won’t keep your attention all by themselves.

OK, now put your writer’s hat back on. How do you actually create guest posts that do all of that?

You have to start by being on the pulse of your industry. Keep tabs on big and small changes that can affect your readers. Then, when something does change, research it. Find out exactly what it means.

After that, take your research and make it interesting. You’ll only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention, so choose your words carefully.

And, finally, don’t assume you can pay a cheap writer to do all of this for you. If there’s anything you should know by now, it’s that cutting corners and success don’t mix.

Manish Pandey is an internet marketing consultant. He helps business owners to successfully build strategies for their internet business. He recently started guest blogging opportunity on his blog where you can submit your knowledgeable, thoughtful and insightful articles.