Guest posts are articles that should suit and be relevant for the website that it's posted on and the website that it links to. In most cases, it is a blog article. True content marketing will look to connect with the owner of the website and offer both websites and their respective audiences a well written, relevant piece of content that will enhance the website it is placed on and drive traffic to the mentioned site.
"As a link building plan, guest posts fit within the realm of natural link building and are in line with Google guidelines. By providing content to websites and accepting guest posts from other sites, you ensure regular and relevant content for your audience. Most importantly you are providing content of value." - Debbie Aurelius, Peppermint Fish
Why You Should Allow Guest Posts
The job of a blog is to offer content that benefits your visitors. By aiding your visitors, the blog should also help your business. If guest posts meet the criteria they will benefit your day to day business and your site's performance.
Carmen Tseng, Digital Marketing Consultant and Educator for SMEs at Your Big Digital Brand, says: "Regardless of what business you have, having a blog on your website with useful, interesting content for your audience to consume is a fantastic way to strengthen your brand awareness and build a relationship with your new and existing audience. It's also fantastic from an SEO point of view because search engines love frequently updated websites with fresh, relevant content.
"The biggest problem with blogging, however, is that many business owners don't have the time to produce content for their audience consistently in the long run, and hiring writers might not be an economically viable option. In this case, opening their blog up to guest bloggers and accepting well-written guest posts with relevant keywords and content that matters to their audience can ensure that they are still providing value for their audience and keeping their website updated."
Maintaining regular blog posts can be time and resource intensive. Guest posts allow more flexibility. A good guest post with an agreed subject could ensure that someone else does that task for you. The guest post will provide quality, trusted content that will interest your visitors. You can use these posts to encourage them to contact you for your services and/or to buy from you.
Guest posts provide evergreen content that can be shared on social media channels and help attract visitors for months. In most cases guest bloggers will also promote the article through their own social media, ultimately doubling its audience potential. Helping your site and content's exposure.
Benefitting Your Site Performance
A good quality blog will give signals to your visitors and Google. By adding regular content you are showing that you are always working on your site and that it is not stagnant. You are providing more keywords, authority and relevance to your field.
Ensuring a well maintained and updated blog gives your site more scope for traffic. It engages your audience for long periods of time and across more pages. By ensuring you have high-quality blog posts you can maintain the right signals to Google. It can help confirm that Google sees and uses you as an authority very much in the same way that the media uses professional people as their authority in stories.
Laetitia Caron, Digital Marketer at Industry Search, says: "When writing about the right topics it can enhance your organic traffic. Therefore, it's important to do some keyword research before you start writing. Having high-quality back links to this content will boost your rankings in search engines."
By creating a guest post opportunity, you’re also starting more relationships. Creating a network of people with mutual interest in each other’s businesses can result in extra opportunities. Who knows which bloggers’ story will be picked up by a major news source that might just make your business the next big thing? It’s modern day business networking without the bar tab - and headache!
How to Manage Your Blog
We recommend creating a list of guidelines for posts, advising of the conditions and quality guidelines that must be met. Standards such as min length of a post, the level of grammar and spelling expected, no sales pitches, etc. Topics must be relevant and interesting for your audience.
Once you receive a guest post you ensure that the piece is conforming to the guidelines and business’ digital marketing strategy. Only post the article in line with your content strategy ensuring that the post is of sufficient benefit to your audience. Take time to add images if not provided and optimise the piece so that it conforms to Google's guidelines. Lastly, if you have invested this time in quality checks, share the article and ask that your guest blogger does too, to attract attention to the work. Most importantly ensure that the guest post is well written and something your audience wants to read.
Things to Consider When Contemplating a Guest Post Strategy
When creating your guest posting strategy there are 4 areas that had to be considered. These are to ensure you safeguard your website and business.
Choosing a writer
Luke Saint, Director of The Mortgage Insiders, says: "When choosing a guest blogger, make sure they are well known and respected in their field. If they are somewhat of an influencer with a strong following, you are far more likely to receive back-links from other sites, which play a large part in boosting your website's authority and keyword rankings."
Pedro Campos, Founder of PedroConverts, says: "Having content creators write for exposure on your blog is a time-saver. Before considering any guest blogger on your site, you should have them fill out an application asking a couple of questions about their background, areas of expertise and a link to any work they have published in the past. You should also let them know what kind of content you`re looking for."
Bernice Quek, Marketing Director at M&P International Freights, adds: "The best writers are good researchers who can tug the heart strings of your readers. They know your readers' pain points and concerns, and can write in a way that resonates. If you don't have the luxury of time to read the entire article someone has written, take a look at their portfolio or scan through their achievements and LinkedIn profile to have a glimpse of whether they'd be a good fit as a guest blogger."
Number of links
The amount of links you allow in a post can vary depending on the post. You’re not just looking at the links for one article but how many links your blog has pointing outwards. It’s important that we keep the balance of internal and external links right for your site. Follow / No Follow – only allow one follow link from an article as standard (to an approved website).
If an article is enhanced by an authoritative source, consider allowing additional links as no follow. Every article is assessed on a case by case basis. Prominent sites such as Forbes, Inc and Entrepreneur have started changing all their follow links to no follow. But that is a conversation for another blog - possibly a guest one!
In a nutshell, if you trust & like the site - follow the link.
Brett Downes - SEO Team Leader at Traffic Jam Media
No matter how good an article is we must ensure that a topic is of relevance to your audience. If you offer money-saving advice for retail. A well-written article on physics is not relevant so not suited. Don’t accept certain topics that could offend or incite controversy. However, if it's article and social posts engagement you're after - controversy is your friend. Areas like politics, religion, gambling and pornography are not accepted - but if the site content core is centered around these genres, then ignore that last line!
It's important to you have a process for managing guest posts. Working with guest bloggers is a great relationship and brand building strategy, but it’s important that you don’t upset potential bloggers. Having a process and a strategy is important for an easy to manage addition to your website.
Writing and accepting guest posts are not in every website’s digital strategy and it is important to ensure it’s a match for your business. But for websites that have a niche or controversial market, and websites with limited resources - it can prove to be a great digital marketing tool. Done correctly it can add value to your website at little cost.
If you enjoyed this article, guess what? It was a guest blog post provided by Tegan Groombridge, Digital Marketing Manager for My Favourite Voucher Codes.