Guest blogging is publishing your content on other blogs or websites. It is one of the most common and age-old practices in the blogging industry and the world of digital marketing. As in some cases, you can place a link back to your own blog or website; it may work perfectly as an SEO tool.
In recent times, the power of professional blogging and subsequently guest blogging has drastically changed. In fact, over the years the total concept of blogging has seen some major changes. Guest blogging definitely does not remain the same, but it still has some benefits in a different way. Earlier, blogging was primarily nothing more than a communication tool. It observed the translation from being an online journal to a more respectable means of communication. It always has a target audience and considered as a broad scale communication platform to reach the audience.
Benefits of blogging
Blogging has some key benefits such as the ability to build a target audience through subscription and the option of the audience to communicate back to the author through the comment section. These are two great features of blogging and the successful professional bloggers exploited these features effectively. Successful blogs always have a huge subscription base that interacts with the blogger through comments on the blog post even minutes after it got published.
These two features are the primary reasons that enabled good bloggers to become professional by successful monetization of their blogs. This is because they knew that after submission of a post a certain number of audiences will view the post as already proven by the engagement they already caused. The bloggers then add banner ads and affiliate links on their blog pages since they can realistically rely on the two things: the number of visitors to their blog and the readers will support them. They also made their own products for sale such as e-courses, webinars, and e-books among their audience.
The emergence of guest blogging
This is the time guest blogging was considered one of the most efficient ways of personalized audience building to sell your own products. It is like borrowing the audience from a large already established blog for a day at least through the guest blog post and then hoping that a portion of those audiences will revisit your blog in the future for your content. So, it will basically help you build your own audience. This also creates an instant rise, though momentarily in page visitors thereby boosting product sales, ad revenues and a rush for your own content.
Guest blogging can be considered as more of an SEO optimization strategy instead of a strategy to market your contents. Although, all the above-mentioned factors still exist technically the power and methods of professional blogging and subsequently guest blogging has drastically altered in the recent times. Although guest blogging is not considered illegal as per Google guidelines, it is its misuse that is concerning.
The reasons behind the change in blogging strategy
There are different reasons behind this shift in block strategy around the world. However, there are some key factors that remained common and played a significant role. These are as follows:
The influence of social media
In the last few years, there is a tremendous increase in the use of social network sites that shifted the means of accessing information and their online sharing. Currently, the netizens spend over 28% of their time on the internet on social media. This change in the internet landscape has both a positive and negative aspect from the professional bloggers’ viewpoint. This offered a great inexpensive opportunity for the bloggers to expand and distribute their content. But at the same time, this brings the challenge of building new audiences on different social media sites instead of focusing only on one (previously you have to focus only on building an audience for your blog).
Evolution of SEO
Over the last few years, there is a lot of changes in SEO that created a mixed experience for the bloggers. SEO has evolved in a new way with no more Meta tagging. You also cannot go away by spamming your own blog with specific keywords (often irrelevant to the content of the blog post. Such changes have benefited in the sense that the pro-bloggers have to focus more on quality content instead of manipulating the post to earn more money. The traffic generation rule was also rewritten several times that also destroyed the popularity and potential of many individual blogs.
The emergence of RSS Feeds
These days you will not care much about RSS readers or RSS feeds. However, these were some of the most important and disruptive technology that evolved alongside professional blogging. This technology actually allowed the blog audiences to read their favorite blog’s content without actually visiting the actual blog. The RSS feeds provide the readers with a bunch of new contents of their favorite blog or website and the readers can then click on the content they want to read. This had a tremendous negative effect on Blogger (one of the oldest blogging platforms). The engagement and consequently the revenue for bloggers using the “Blogger” platform have declined sharply after the popularity of RSS feeds.
All the above reasons are responsible for professional bloggers to introduce new strategies to continue to be relevant and earn similar revenue. So, the overall blogging scenario has changed dramatically in the last few years that changed the importance and utility of guest blogging as well.
Guest Blogging: Still a Viable Option?
Guest blogging still remained as one of the most essential parts of the blogging industry. But it does not run on the same principle as it used to be 5 – 7 years ago. Over the last few years, Google has given a strong message against healthy practices to manipulate SEO. But still, guest blogging continued to be a popular technique to build links and shown proven results. The things you need to consider is whether you can still rely on guest blogging as an effective means for SEO.
If you are still unaware of guest blogging and its effect on the content industry, then let us discuss some of its backgrounds. The former head of webspam from Google Matt Cutts announced in 2014 that guest blogging does exist. This bold statement shook the whole blogging world. In 2017 Google issued another warning against the abusive use of guest blogging in link building. This changed the perspective of blogging from a content creating platform (for selling the content to a targeted audience) to a central content hub (where content is created) to archive the contents and provide feeds for different popular distribution channels (the audience will use these channels to consume content rather coming to their favorite blog directly).
So, both blogs and social media will exist simultaneously through passive collaboration. But without social media, the existence of blogs in current web space is insignificant and has no purpose. In short, you will place your best content on your blog and will use email and social media (along with other possible means) to share your content with your targeted audience. Write blog posts remain as one of the most influential and effective content marketing tools. It will continue to be the part of all inbound marketing strategy.
Companies and individuals can use blog posts to market their content in a classy manner, avoiding being over sales oriented while keeping the prospect of getting the updates and information about the company open. Blogs also allow the companies or individuals to reap out the advantages of most advanced and up-to-date SEO strategies, thereby attracting organic traffic interested in their products or services. This is why guest blogging still exists as a possible and viable SEO tactic.
You will continue to benefit from the guest post if you are looking at it as an attractive way to introduce your ideas or yourself (it may be a company as well) to the new audience. But refrain from using guest blogging as an instant traffic explosion tool to boost your revenue. This will ruin the hard work you had put in setting up the blog and popularizing it.
Guest post is still promoted and accepted by over thousands of top quality blogs across the world. Submitting a high-quality guest post to good blogs provide quality content to the readers. It offers real value for the time the readers spending over your content and matches their expectations. If properly executed guest blogging can become a wonderful tool to boost your efforts on inbound marketing and offer your blog theme a better edge.
How to carry out ethical guest blogging in current circumstances?
Now that you understand the importance of guest blogging, which still remained relevant in the content market, it is important to know its ethical use. Whenever you are creating some content for a website or blog, consider keeping it valuable as content rather than just a link back to your own website. When your guest post adds value and educates readers it successfully serves its purpose. This should be your primary focus of guest posting. The link back to your own website should be secondary. This is considered as the ethical approach of guest blogging within the guidelines suggested by Google. If you are looking to write guest blog posts to help build an audience for your own blog, then follow these tips to keep your approach ethically correct.
Only consider relevant and trustworthy websites for guest blogging
Consider writing a guest post for blogs or websites already having good quality content on them. It is of no use writing a guest post on low-quality blogs and websites having limited traffic. There are many tools available on the internet to check the authenticity and quality of the website you have chosen to write a guest post for. Moreover, try to write for a website having topics focusing on areas on which you have good control or related to your industry/blog content. This is to ensure that your content will get circulated to the right audience.
Submit a guest post to websites that do content moderation
It is better to submit your guest posts to websites where there is a human moderator to curate your post. This is a sign of a trustable and authentic website. A good website will never allow guest post moderating it first to ensure content quality. If the website is allowing guest post without any form of checking then it cannot be an authentic site with good content and a link back from such websites can ultimately harm your blog reputation. Also, make sure whether contact details are clearly written on the website. This is a good indication of an authentic website.
Avoid abusing the anchor text
It is good to avoid the keywords which are exactly matching of your anchor text for each of the links you are getting from the guest blog. The anchor text will definitely influence blog rankings directly, but it is important to keep it natural. The anchor text profile coming from external links should be varied.
Do not stuff your post with keywords
While writing the guest posts keep your readers in mind and do not staff the post with keywords. Let the keywords come naturally on your post and there is no need to overuse it. Otherwise, Google will see your post as unnatural, specifically written to bypass their guidelines.
Avoid reproducing the same content on different websites
Another wrong practice of guest bloggers is to give the same blog post on different websites after doing minor changes or changing portion of the article. This is known as the article spinning and is considered as a highly malicious practice. Write original content for every guest blog post.
In short, guest blogging is a good SEO tool within the guidelines provided by Google. You just need to focus on publishing good relevant content on blogs and websites of high quality. Also, use cautions while using keywords. Following these rules will boost your rankings on search engines and increase traffic to your website. However, never rely solely on guest blogging for link building. Use other techniques to improve your SEO and building links along with healthy guest blogging.