Welcome back to my #Blogtober series! This series will share one blog post per week all about blogging!
This week, we are exploring guest blogging – what it is, and what the pros and cons of using guest blogging in your online marketing strategy are.
What is guest blogging?
Put simply, guest blogging is writing blog posts for other sites – or accepting posts written by others on your site. It is used as an online marketing tactic to gain more links to your site, which can help with improving your ranking on search engines (your site appears higher in the results when someone searches for a keyword relevant to your business).
It may seem like a no-brainer to introduce guest blogging to your online marketing strategy, but there are a number of pros and cons to consider before investing your time in this method.
Today, we are going to look at those pros and cons from the perspective of guest posting on other sites.
Pro: Expanding your reach
Guest posting on someone else’s site can expand your reach to new audiences. If the site owner promotes your blog post on their social media, there is the potential for people that were unaware of your business to notice you. This can help to earn a good reputation for expertise in your field as well.
Con: Reaching the wrong audience
You need to ensure that any sites that you are guest posting on are relevant to your industry.
Not only would it be pointless to guest post on a plumbing blog if your business is in cosmetics for example, but it would also be detrimental to your search engine ranking, as Google will see it as a spammy tactic to gain more links to your website.
Pro: You can improve your SEO
As mentioned, guest posting can help build links to your site which is good for SEO. With strong, quality sites linking to yours, Google will associate your site as also being strong and of good quality.
A site that is strong and of good quality will typically:
- cover a specific niche which is relevant to your industry
- have social media profiles that have real followers (be wary of sites that have lots of followers but little/no engagement on social media posts)
- have content that is well-written in good English (or your target native language)
- that content will have a level of engagement – social shares or comments
If you want to do a deeper dive into the sorts of sites that are best for guest blogging, this article from Search Engine Journal is a great resource.
Con: Poor quality sites = penalisation
Since guest posting became popular as a way of building links, lots of poor quality sites have cropped up offering guest post placement for a fee. Run a mile from these opportunities! Not only will you run the risk of being penalised by Google, but you will also be wasting your money.
Gaining a link from lots of poor quality sites, or a handful of particularly bad sites can put your site at risk of being penalised by Google for spammy practices. This could mean that your site has a huge drop in how it ranks on Google, or it could be removed completely.
Pro: Developing relationships
Guest posting with great content on relevant industry sites can help you develop great relationships in your industry. Your guest posts should aim to add value rather than try and sell your product or service.
If you can create guest blogs that are useful and informative, the site owners are more likely to offer more opportunities to post on their site and are also more likely to share your content with their social media followers. Site owners may also recommend you to their clients if your business offers a service they don’t.
Con: Targeting the wrong people
It’s all well and good if a high-quality site is willing to accept your guest posts, but are their audience the ones you want to target? Ideally, you need to be guest posting on the sites that your customers spend their time on. Some research into your customer personas can help you identify where they are most likely to get their information from.
Even if your guest post ends up generating a decent amount of traffic to your website, if your website isn’t designed for or suitable to that audience, your time and effort guest posting is wasted!
To make guest blogging work for your business, you need to do some investigation to figure out if the juice is worth the squeeze and be wary of sites that make it too easy to contribute as these tend to be the ones of poor quality that Google are cracking the whip on!
Guest blogging can help your business to grow. Want to find out more?
Book in a free consultation call with an online marketing expert by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today.