When your blog becomes popular, one inevitable thing that happens is that you are going to get bombarded with offers from other people to guest post on your site.
In fact, even as I write this article right now, I just got an offer via email from someone who wanted to write for me and link it to back to some gambling site (keep this topic in mind because it’s going to become important as we move on).
Now if you’re unfamiliar with guest blog posting (I will call it GBP) in general, how it applies to SEO and so forth, don’t worry, I’m going to explain everything. The fact is that it be used as a powerful tool to improve your site’s SEO status, as well for the person posting on it, but it can also be devastating for your blog’s SEO status if you do it wrong.
How do you ensure you make it work out right? Well that’s what this article is going to answer, so me start by explaining the general idea:
What is guest blog posting (GBP)?
It’s basically when people who have websites of their own, go around other sites offering to write for them, but the catch is that they can a leave a link back to their site. It’s a form of backlinking and it can be an excellent strategy or it could be a horrible one (keep reading so you know the difference).
Let’s say you have a website that talks about dog treats. Someone who also runs a similar blog comes along, emails you or leave a comment saying they want to do a GBP on your site and leave a link back to their site. If this goes through, it’s an example of GBP and that is in essence what it is.
Why do people do this? Well, here are the benefits:
1) First and foremost, it carries SEO benefits if you do it right.
Let’s say you started a new blog on the same topic I did an example of above, dog treats. A good way to have that site pick up SEO points is to GBP on other sites with the same topic, especially if those other sites already have good traffic numbers and authority.
Doing so will send a portion of their traffic to your site, have them like your page, become a reader for you and this will raise your site’s value and have it grow it’s SEO status faster. As a result…
2) Faster rankings can occur.
Typically a new blog takes a long time to get high rankings. Writing articles for other people’s sites and leaving a link back to yours can cut down on that wait time by a lot. There’s some high end marketers in this industry who recommend this approach religiously. One example is Jon Morrow, who has/had a program on raising your SEO status fast via a similar method I’m talking about.
3) It’s basically a word of mouth marketing, which can lead to faster results everywhere.
Let’s say a big time marketer (let’s call him John) who runs a site on making money online has good relations with someone (let’s call him Bob) who runs a similar blog. John can recommend Bob’s site to his audience via Bob writing content on John’s site.
The audience which trusts John sees that John is recommending Bob’s site/content and thus travels over to Bob’s site and helps his site gain higher rankings faster.
4) If you let a good person write on your site, it can improve your site’s content.
Imagine you run out of content ideas or just need to add more value to your site. What better way to do it than have someone offer their great content on your page?
Let’s say I have case studies on making money online, but run out of ideas on what to write. I could let someone who has their own case studies in the same field post on my site, give my audience value, and help the person who posted that article get some fuel back to their page (traffic).
5) GBP leads to your site’s content base growing.
One of the pillars of good SEO results is content creation and growth and if you have other people do that on your site via this GBP approach, it’ll help your site attain more rankings without you actually having to do it. The only catch is, you just need to let the person who is writing on your site leave a link back to their page, but in most cases, the majority of readers who check out what that person wrote will still stay on your website, despite seeing the link point back to their site (you can limit how many times the person doing GBP on your site points a link back to theirs).
So yes, overall, GBP is GOOD for SEO…
And again, when it’s done right that is and the words “when it’s done right” are very important here because if it’s not done right, the following cons can happen:
1) If the person writing on your site, is using duplicate content, they are messing up your site’s SEO.
Unfortunately a lot of bloggers go around pitching their GBP services and use duplicate content when they write for you and on other blogs. When doing this, the person who lets this happen on their site now has duplicate content on it, and this can and will cause Google to punish that site.
I can tell you that every week, I get MULTIPLE emails from people offering to GBP for me and the emails they use are often pre written and copied and pasted, giving me doubt on whether I can trust them. I’m much more open to people who email me personally and write unique letters to try and get me to do business with them.
2) A lot of people don’t understand GBP and let anyone write on their site (big mistake).
Many people don’t understand the true value and rules of GBP, so when they eventually get bombarded with offers of people to write on their site (as I have said I experience a lot), they just let them in without screening if they’re legit or not.
As a result a lot of bad people start writing on the good blog and mess it up.
3) Some people maliciously utilize GBP to send over viruses and malware.
There’s people that actually get paid to spread these bad things around sites so when people who don’t know how to screen them, let them write and link on their blog, they put their content up there, link it to malicious sites, Google spots this and punishes the good person who let the bad ones in.
4) Not many bloggers are going to let you GBP on their site (they just won’t trust you).
For example, I’m very strict about these things. In fact, there was a period when I didn’t even let me closest friends who also run good blogs, who know the good ways to do it, to do it on my website. Today, I would let them do it, but in 99% of cases, if a random person approached me and offered their services, I’d tell them no or just ignore them, simply because I understand the risks of letting random people write on my site and don’t want to jeopardize my site’s status.
You may find that this is also the case for you when your blog becomes popular and/or if you go out and seek to write on other people’s sites. You first need to gain trust from the people you wish to do GBP with and once they understand that you know the rules, can offer them good value and it’s a win-win, they’ll let you do it but that can take a long time.
How to engage in guest blogging correctly:
Obviously there’s a lot of “land mines” out there when it comes to GBP. While it carries a lot of SEO benefits, you need to know that:
A) If you’re practicing it, you need to have a good reputation established with the people you wish to write for. Like I said, they need to know you’re legit, and that you won’t write malicious stuff, and that you won’t post garbage content, ect…
B) Just as well, if you’re the person whose letting someone into your site to write and point a link back to their site, you need to know they are legit too, via the same things I just mentioned.
So here’s 7 things I suggest you use if you’re considering guest posting:
1) Only engage with people who will write content whose subject is similar to your site’s content.
If I have a site on making money online, I will only engage with people who have sites with similar topics and can offer me good value with their content.
- If I have a site on topic A, I’ll only let legit people who have similar sites, write on mine.
- If I have a site on topic B, again, I’ll only let people with blogs on topic B write on mine.
2) Never let someone you don’t know do a GBP on your site.
Unless you know them, know they are legit, they are just a stranger and that carries massive risk that they aren’t legit, so I wouldn’t take the risk.
3) Establish trust with the person you wish to guest post for and/or if you’re posting, they need to know you’re legit.
Talk to them, leave them comments on the site, establish a relationship, let them know about your site, share ideas, gain their trust basically and then offer the GBP service.
4) Know GBP rules (in terms of SEO).
Know that you can’t use duplicate content. Know that you can’t post malicious links, ect…
5) Know that the guest poster you’re dealing with is linking back to a high quality site.
Again, you should first know the person who you’re considering to let post their stuff on your blog. Read their site, see that they are writing high quality content and not writing garbage. If they write good stuff, and you guys have trust established, then you know that letting them write on your site will = quality content.
6) Know that the guest poster is linking to a site that has related content to yours.
This is actually a repeat of the first tip, but let me give you an example of what NOT to do:
Remember I asked you guys to remember the person who offered to guest post on my site and link it back to their gambling site?
Yeah well, this is an example of something I would never allow to happen. Not only do I not know them, but they are linking to a site which has no relation to my site’s content. Further more, gambling sites stereotypical have bad content on them and/or malware, more reasons for me to not act on this “offer”.
7) If you’re the one who is posting the guest blog on a person’s site, find the big players.
This is something I talked about earlier when I referenced Jon Morrow. He recommended this approach as do others like Brian Dean from SEO That Works.
It doesn’t pay to go around and find random sites, even if they talk about your topic. You want to find the authority ones, where the traffic is huge, the person who owns it has prestige and you know that if they let you post, that you’re going to get a lot of link juice and traffic from it.
While finding the big dogs is easy (just find the most active, popular sites on your niche topic), letting those people trust you is what will take time. While many of those big dogs are open to guest posting, you can bet they are on guard and don’t let just anyone write on their blog. So use the tips I suggested for trust, let them know you are a legit person who can bring value to their site, and it has to take time to get to that point, but it definitely pays once you reach that point and have their trust.
My final thoughts and advice on GBP:
Whether you are the one GBP, or the one letting someone GBP for you, my advice is to focus on your own site and let it grow to the point that it attracts people to it.
-You will attract a lot of traffic through good SEO methods.
-As a result, some of that traffic will be people who offer you their GBP services.
-And by knowing the “rules” to good guest posting, you will be able to make the decision on who you wish to let write on your site.
-Furthermore, if you have an authority blog established, should YOU wish to post on other people’s authority sites, they will look at your resume (your site) and see if you are legit and if you have a good site running, they will be more open to letting you post on theirs.
So overall, the bottom line here is that you should focus on your own individual blog and let it grow, and with that growth you will have all the opportunities and benefits of GBP at your disposal (but never forget how to avoid the negative kind!).
8 thoughts on “What is Guest Blog Posting? 7 Ways to Make it Work For SEO.”
Thanks for the great post on guest posing Vitaliy. I really enjoyed reading it and I feel I have a good grasp on what guest posting is and the common pitfalls to watch out for.
What is the best way to show that you’re ‘legit’ to a website you’d like to guest post for? Is it just by having a reputable site yourself and showing them that or is there more involved?
Thanks for your insight!
I’d start by commenting on the persons website you’re interested in guest posting for. People who offer truly great comments on websites are rare and believe me a good marketer and website owner will take notice of this. After 2 or 3 good comments, mention that you also have a blog and do guest posting, offer it up as a maybe, let them choose, but they’ll be more open to it once they see you post valuable content and that will naturally make them more open to working with you.
Guest posting is something that I have always wanted to do. I have been hesitant because I didn’t know if it was worth the time and effort at this point in my journey. One thing that really surprised me about guest posting is that people will leave viruses on other websites.
If you think about it, guest posting, leaving comments, and content syndication are a big part of what content marketing is about. Unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage, but people shouldn’t let that deter them from reaching out.
Thanks for the informative article!
No problem! I have to comment on the viruses part. When you accept to have someone guest post on your site, they’ll send you an email with the content and link for you to approve, then you’ll copy and paste it in your article. You can always see if this email sent has any viruses. Usually this won’t be the case.
The other thing you can do is check to see if the person whose writing for your site is linking to one which has malware or content that is not suitable to send your traffic to. Either way, you are in control here and can decide on whether to approve it or not.
And if you’re the one guest posting, then as long as you’re legit, you shouldn’t have problems, the only difficulty is finding a person who would let you guest post with them, but I already explained how to get around that.
I wonder if there are any free legit sites that you can check if the guest bloggers content is duplicated or original content. My first guest blogger was a competitor. She was trying to back link to her site where she offered the same services I did, which if you’re taking in guest bloggers, you want people to talk about similar things that are relevant, but preferably NOT link to direct competitors, she was basically writing an article to gain my clientele. I never thought about trying to guest blog for others. But I will consider it now for SEO purposes.
Well there are malicious guest bloggers out there, but I’m not sure if this is the case here. it is common for them to link back to their site and for that site to have similar content and competing recommendations. You just have to examine if the person guest blogging is providing you with unique, high quality content that your audience benefits from and then decide that.
On the question of whether the content is duplicated, you can check it on Google. I actually did a post regarding comment spam recently and how I check if it’s legit or not. Here it is, you can apply the same idea to checking out if a guest blogger’s post is legit (look up the part where I talk about Google).
Would you suggest having a link or page on a website about guest posting and writing on a website, or does that open it up to receive spam? Mainly to let people know you accept guest posts, or is it better to just focus on website growth which you mentioned at the end of your post and let them come naturally with that?
I’d probably go with the section option Vaughn, but the first won’t really be a big deal either. It will definitely invite bad people who you probably won’t want to do guest posting business with, but you can always opt to mark their messages as spam. Either way, my general advice is to seek out people who are big in your niche topic and have reputable websites and/or friends who also have that same kind of reputation and you can trust to guest post on your site.
For example, I have numerous friends in the online marketing business who all have their own successful sites. We all learned our stuff from the same program. I know that if they ever approached me with an offer to guest post, I’d likely take it, vs some stranger who offers to guest post on my site whom I don’t know anything about.