May 16, 2013
Editor’s Note: Part 1 of Useful Tips About Guest Blog Posts was featured yesterday on SiteProNews.
As someone who is involved in blogging and all things related to it, you probably come across a lot of information from various sources. This would normally be a good thing, but the problem is that not all the information that comes your way is accurate or up-to-date. As with virtually everything related to the Web, there are a lot of misconceptions out there surrounding blogs and blogging.
There is also plenty of lesser-known bits of information that can affect the performance of your blog and your day-to-day activities as a blogger. I, therefore, thought it was a good idea to share some of these trade secrets in the hope of clearing up some confusion you may have.
Secret 20: Guest blog posts should use keywords in a relevant and unobtrusive manner
There was a time when pages of certain sites included a paragraph at the bottom filled with several keywords. Now known as “keyword stuffing,” this technique for attracting traffic has since been looked upon with disfavor by the online community. However, this does not mean that keywords are no longer important. While keyword stuffing may have fallen out of favor, it is still important to include the proper percentage of relevant keywords in your text. When someone searches for a specific term on Google, the number of times that particular keyword appears on your page is still a weighty factor.
Secret 21: Authorship is just important as the guest blog post
When Google first became the top search engine and everyone was focused on site performance, PageRank became the No. 1 priority for every marketer. While page ranking was, and still is, the input metric that affects ranking the most, Google personnel have explicitly and repeatedly stated that sites are ranked on hundreds of different metrics other than PageRank. Many site owners have, therefore, stopped caring so much about PR ranking. That being said, PageRank is still a relevant factor, and it shouldn’t be neglected, even as you focus on other equally important factors.
Secret 22: Check up on your competition to see where they are guest blog posting
This is one method that I have used when brainstorming or targeting sites that accept guest blog posts. This is a great way to get a feel for what’s out there and what works and what doesn’t. This could be accomplished several different ways, but my favorite tools for this purpose are Alexax.com reputation links. This list helpfully details all the links that your competitor site currently has set up.
Secret 23: You must have a solid foundation before attempting to guest blog post
SEO can be considered a form of marketing, and as such, most of your efforts will be made after the site is completed. That being said, there are steps that you should take even before your site goes live. For example, you should make sure you have a good layout, logical navigation, and all the important details such as meta tags, titles, and so on. All of these are part of SEO and should be done while you are building the site. Also, remember that search engines can find your site as soon as it goes live, so you will want your SEO ready for when Google first crawls it.
Secret 24: All guest blog posts are beneficial
Some people who buy bulk links or use automated methods to spam blog posts seem to think that Google will not be able to detect such “black-hat” techniques. While it is true that Google and other search engines may not discover these shady tactics right away, there is a bigger risk involved. Sites in which your links have been placed will eventually be found and removed from the index. In some cases, the actual algorithm may even be modified to make those backlinks irrelevant. When this happens, your ranking may plummet drastically.
Secret 25: Write a killer bio
The only claim to fame that you can expect out of most guest blog posts will come by way of your bio. This is your little bit of space to shine, so make it count. Of course, this can be somewhat difficult given the limited word counts and space provided for bios. But being able to come up with a solid call to action is vital to the success of any guest blog post. You should also make sure to link to content that is relevant to the post.
Secret 26: “More” isn’t necessarily “better” when it comes to guest blog posts
As mentioned previously, quality is one of the most important factors in successful guest blog posting. Sure it is a good thing to add guest blog posts on a regular basis, since it will help you expand your brand and increase your exposure to potential readers. However, just because you can churn out several posts in a short amount of time doesn’t mean that you should. It is important to keep in mind that Google prioritizes natural growth when determining ranking. You should, therefore, take the time to build slowly, and work toward a natural progression for your blog to get the best results.
Secret 27: Articles are the best type of content
Articles are considered the most effective vehicles for attracting traffic, whether they are written for your own site or for article marketing purposes. However, you should remember that your content will not be seen if no one knows it exists. Although the major search engines will probably crawl your site anyway, you still need to implement basic SEO techniques to increase traffic.
Secret 28: Google still likes guest blog posts
Because of how strict Google is with guest blog posts and how closely they monitor guest blogging practices, it is easy to get the impression that Google doesn’t like guest blog posts and would rather have them disappear entirely. This isn’t entirely true — Google personnel have said repeatedly there are right and wrong ways to post on guest blogs. Good guest blog posts help people find the relevant content they are looking for. On the other hand, guest blog posts written for spamming purposes or as part of a black hat strategy are likely to be frowned upon by Google.
Secret 29: Guest blog posts can be used on more than just blogs
When guest blog posting, it would be beneficial to think creatively and “outside the box.” I understand that the term is guest BLOG post, but you can always benefit from stepping out of your comfort zone. Why not try submitting an article for an e-mail newsletter, or coming up with content for a Facebook post? As crazy as it may sound, you may also want to submit articles to a magazine. There is a big, wide world outside the fairly limited blogosphere, and there are always outlets for putting out quality content.
Secret 30: It’s OK to get paid for a guest blog post
There is certainly nothing wrong with getting paid for high quality content, and it is no different in the world of the guest blog post. Getting paid —or not getting paid —will not have any significant effect on how your content will be perceived, either by Google, the host of the blog, or the blog’s readers. In fact, guest blog posting can open up a nice, new revenue stream for you once you become really good at it and have built up a nice portfolio.
Secret 31: Look for guest blog posts that allow you to have links within the post
Far too often, people limit themselves to having a link only in the bio section of the post. This is admittedly standard practice, and it works well for the most part. However, don’t discount the possibility of posting a link right in the body of the article. This technique is especially effective when tied in with a relevant keyword. As always however, it is important to keep structure, flow and relevance in mind, and not post a link wherever you want just because you can.
Secret 32: Don’t plan on getting published right away
One thing that you will soon realize about guest blog posting is that most established bloggers are on what is called a “blog schedule” or “blog calendar.” This means that even if your post is accepted, it will probably be a couple of weeks before you see it online. Keep this in mind when planning your bio links and your own blog schedule. While you should be prepared for your blog to be published at a moment’s notice, it is seldom that a blog post will be published right away.
Secret 33: Look for favorable opportunities
Be aware of blog schedules and plan for them. Sometimes you may come across posts on social media networks or on the blog itself that the owner will be attending a conference, going on vacation, or is just not feeling well. You don’t necessarily want to take advantage of the situation, but you may be able to use such opportunities to offer your services as a guest blogger. This might just bring about a “win-win” situation in which the blog’s host won’t have to worry about content for a while and you gain the benefit of an outlet for your own content
Secret 34: Come up with your best elevator pitch
One other important thing to realize when pitching your blog post is that you will often have to deal with the limited time available to a busy blogger or content manager. Before you submit your post, therefore, you should make sure that it is short, sweet, and, more importantly, to the point. It also wouldn’t hurt to be creative and to throw in a nice pitch with a couple of quality examples for good measure.
Secret 35: Be true to yourself, while keeping the requirements of the guest post in mind
Just because you are blog posting doesn’t mean that you have to change who you are or modify your writing style. Although you should be flexible in your approach and try your best to accommodate the requirements of the particular blog, your personality doesn’t necessarily have to take a back seat. Focus on quality, consider the needs of your target audience, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
Secret 36: Make sure you are ready to guest blog
Just about everyone you will submit content to will ask you for one or more of these things: your bio, a picture of yourself, any social media links you may have — including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ — and an avatar picture. It is, therefore. a good idea to get all of these things together long before you will need them. Don’t forget to come up with an “about me” page either. Some blog owners may want to know more about you before they consider posting your content.
Secret 37: SEO is not dead
Just as there are people who automatically assume that SEO is evil because of a few bad apples, there are those who simply assume that SEO is dead. Although this way of thinking can be damaging to any online marketer, it is also easy enough to prove it false. A quick look at how large brands advertise should show you that SEO is alive and well, and that it is still widely used. To this day, companies spend millions of dollars tweaking their sites and launching online advertising campaigns primarily for SEO purposes. Don’t listen to the naysayers: SEO is far from dead and will probably remain on the scene for as long as there are search engines.
So there you go; that’s all 37 tips. But just because I like to over-deliver, here is a bonus tip just for my readers.
Secret 38: Think strategically when running your guest blogs
This should be helpful for increasing your chances of landing a guest blog post: when you write your next post, add a links to the blog that you want to guest in. When you then make a pitch for a guest blog spot, show the potential host your post with their link in it. This should give the host added incentive to take you on as a guest blogger.
Mikhail Tuknov is a president of Infatex.com, a full service Internet marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) company offering results-driven services and exceptional customer support.