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Establish yourself as an expert through guest posts
Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists. This article originally appeared at SEOmoz and is republished with permission.
By Moosa Hemani
Guest blogging is riding high right now and the whole Internet Marketing sphere is buzzing with talk about it. Some people consider guest blogging to be a powerful tactic, while others disparage the idea, saying that guest blogging is misunderstood and people are misusing it.
Who’s right? I recently did a cartoon post on my blog discussing how guest blogging is powerful and how it is misused by many who have failed to understand the scope of awesomeness in this practice.
Guest blogging is, indeed, one of the powerful ways of building strong, high-quality relationships that may help you in multiple ways, including developing business opportunities and professional connections, setting brand value and, of course, acquisition of link juice.
But there are many people in the industry who aren’t grasping the real worth of guest blogging. They tend to view it as just another link building tactic. Because of this, they continue to build low quality content for submission to blogs that accept guest posting. Sadly, I estimate that one out of 10 blogs actually publishes this junk, polluting the Web with garbage.
Discussion about guest blogging as a relationship development tool vs. guest blogging as yet another vehicle for mere linkbuilding is all over the Web. What makes this post different from others is that I will provide case studies and success stories to back my opinion of the real potentials of this practice.
Let’s cut the theory part and talk about the real figures. Properly executed, guest blogging can help you:
Many blogs state this, but I remember when I wrote my first ever guest post. Very few people tweeted it and I wasn’t able to make any good connections out of it. I was a newbie, and didn’t play my part well.
There is another common industry saying, Building relationships takes time. If I merge these two phrases, it reads something like this.
Guest blogging helps you build relationships, and since it takes time, you should be consistent in your activities.
Let’s hear what blogging and SEO expert Kristi Hines, has to say about building relationships through guest blogging:
“I’ve built great blogging relationships through guest posting on other blogs as well as inviting others to guest post on my own. The strongest relationships you will build with other blogs are the ones on sites where you contribute regularly vs. submitting one-off posts.”
Submitting a single guest post isn’t enough. If you intend to forge a relationship, then your job doesn’t end with submitting your post. Plan to interact with the audience (usually through the comments) and follow up with the blog owner or editor to see how your guest post did. This will prove that you aren’t just another link builder; you actually care about the community. Who knows? This might open their doors for you to a future of more guest posting opportunities and even partnerships in other areas.
Social Media Examiner is one example from my own guest blogging experience of building relationships through guest blogging. They treat all of their writers as a part of their team. They organize meet-ups at blogging conferences like New Media Expo (formerly BlogWorld), they include you in their roundup posts when your expertise matches the roundup topic, and they always offer to help you in any way they can. I’ve met a lot of great people through their community and even gained some clients for my freelance writing business, which is always a plus.
Become an expert
Guest blogging can act as your doorway to gaining status as an expert in your field. The more in-depth, well-researched posts you publish on authoritative blogs, the more chances you will get to communicate and interact with people. Over time, you can become an authority in the eyes of your target audience.
That’s advice you’ll read everywhere, but let’s gain deeper insight from the words of guest blogging queen, Ann Smarty, about her journey toward the respect she has earned in the industry:
“It somehow happened without me trying too much. I started blogging and was invited to guest post at Search Engine Journal. I didn’t even know what a guest post was and was too humble to even include an ‘about author’ page. Then guest posting invites kept coming. I saw traffic and more people recognizing me as an expert. I saw the benefit! So I started guest blogging actively. Then the idea of MyBlogGuest was born and my name became associated with ‘guest blogging’ because of it. I started to guest post even more promoting MyBlogGuest. It was promoted 100% with my guest posts: no paid reviews, no ads, just ‘free’ guest posts. And it started growing! I guess that’s the best evidence of the benefits of guest blogging.”
Discover business opportunities
This is the most delicious bite in the whole meal. Yes! With proper implementation, guest blogging surfaces new business opportunities. Don’t laugh. I know it works. Rather than quoting an expert here, I’ll share my own personal experience.
My last post on SEOmoz was about writing an email in a way that gets a better rate of response and it went very well. I danced twice; once when my post got promoted to the main blog and again when I received this message in my SEOmoz private message box:
While I can’t reveal all the details of this message, I think it proves my point. In fact, I have received several emails like this after guest blogging elsewhere.
If you’ve tried guest posting without achieving this kind of success, keep the following tips in mind:
When attempting to attract business, nothing matters more than the quality of your offering. Your submission must accurately showcase your level of expertise in your field.
If you want to see traffic flowing toward your website from your efforts, you must produce the best post ever (I really mean this) on your topic and submit it to a high quality blog. Be sure your website is ready to welcome the new traffic. Make sure it’s as awesome as your guest post!
Capture a wider audience
It’s generally accepted that the more targeted traffic your website captures, the greater the chance of a high conversion rate.
The formula for a blogger is pretty much the same, but the question becomes one of how to reach that target audience. Again, enter guest blogging!
Thanks to SEOmoz for coming up with this post analytics feature on their blog. I am highlighting previous guest posts on SEOmoz and showing you my stats.
Around 3,016 people actually visited my post’s page and average time of their stay on the page is around 4 minutes and 20 seconds (enough time to read and comment on the post).
I am sure that if I had published my post on my own blog, I would not have gotten the same amount of traffic. My limited audience and smaller circle of influence cannot compare to that of a big site like SEOmoz. Through guest blogging, I had the chance capture a wider audience and make an impression on new people.
Moreover, a good guest post can win more blog and Twitter followers. I’ve noticed how my followers have quickly increased whenever I’ve had a post published on one of the major SEO blogs.
Retaining these followers is a completely different story, but as far as the increase in followers is concerned, I consider this one of the best gifts guest blogging offers.
… and get the link!
Let’s not forget link building. The highest quality links will come from submitting your best content to the best blogs publishing in your niche.
My blog is in its infancy – only two months old. I currently have a Google PR of 3 and DA of almost 35. Most of my incoming links are the result of guest blogging.
I should add that I’ve been guest blogging for more than a year now, long before I launched my personal blog, so I haven’t been doing it for the purpose of linkbuilding, nor do I recommend this approach.
Within a few months, I achieved a reasonably good DA and Google PR score because I was getting links from valuable sites. Check out this screenshot of my link profile in Open Site Explorer to see what I mean:
For me, guest blogging is fun and it provides a chance to enhance communication as well as my interpersonal skills. It also pushes me to read more and think outside the box to come up with something really amazing for guest post content.
If you want to enjoy all the benefits of guest blogging mentioned above, then just think creatively and put together the best article for guest posting.
Moosa Hemani is an SEO strategist and blogger at SETalks.com. SETalks recently launched a Guest Posting Services to help clients build high quality relationships within their targeted niches. SEOmoz is not affiliated with Socialmedia.biz and has not reviewed this translation. SEOmoz provides the Web’s best SEO tools and resources.