Do you want to use guest blogging to help build create link love? We think that is a great idea. Link profiles need to be diverse and guest blogging is a great way to inject some variety into your SEO.
Guest posting opportunities are incredibly easy to come by. Spend an hour searching the internet or using various tools and you can easily come up with hundreds of sites that offer the service.
Just because gust blogging opportunities are easy to come by doesn’t mean they are all created equally. You shouldn’t follow-up up on all those leads you acquired in your hour of searching. In fact, there are precious few of those opportunities that should even be considered.
Don’t waste your resources (time and money) to guest blog on sub-par sites. When future updates roll out, those links will be stripped of their value.
As you proceed down the guest blogging path, make sure you consider these dos and don’ts.
+Guest Blogging Dos
- Look for sites that are within your niche. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match, but there should be some audience overlap. It should make sense to readers why you are posting there.
- Check the quality of the blog. There are various ways to do this.
- Check the Domain Authority, PageRank, and Page Authority. Consult the page specific data for a variety of different pages – not just the homepage.
- Is the blogger active on various social networks? The blog should have a community of followers on at least one social platform.
- Look for evidence of active readers (comments, sharing, etc.).
- Does the link profile look natural?
- How many subscribers does this blog have?
- Take a look at the other guest bloggers. Where are their links going? Are the links spammy?
- See how much information you can dig up about the blog owner. Are they open and honest about their motives, accomplishments, education, and experience? Or is the site run by someone hiding behind a vague “About Us” page?
- Check the guest posting guidelines. In general, the stricter the guidelines, the better the site. The blog owner should have a clear idea of what the readers are looking for. He or she should also be able to put those expectations into words and tell guest bloggers what to write.
- Take a good look at the content. Here are some specific things to watch for:
- Is the blog owner contributing content or does all the content come from guest bloggers?
- How often is the content updated? Erratic posting schedules indicate a lack of commitment, devotion, and professionalism. Is that someone you want to align yourself with?
- Check the blog articles’ comments. What type of readers does the blog attract? What type of content is most popular? Is the comment section full of spam?
- Try to rustle up guest posting opportunities on sites that don’t publicly seek this type of contribution. Getting a link on this type of site will be very lucrative. It is a link few of your competitors will have, making yours more valuable.
- Find out what keyword(s) the site ranks for. When possible, write your post about this keyword. This will increase the chance of appearing in the search results. When going this route, you’ll have to find something new and interesting to say about the keyword – or at least address an issue the site hasn’t covered before.
-Guest Blogging Don’ts
- Run away – fast – from any site that:
- Allows contributors to post directly to the site without having the content approved first.
- Accepts all contributions in an attempt to publish as much content as possible.
- Have guest posting guidelines that are easy to meet with little to no effort.
- Doesn’t have a target audience or subject matter.
- Stay away from sites that have a low PageRank. Also, make sure each internal page has its own rank and isn’t drawing from the homepage. Ideally the Domain Authority should be over 30. There are a few exceptions to this rule. If the blog has a large following, they will likely achieve a more positive status in the future. Also, a killer design is an indicator of future goodness.
- Speaking of design, don’t submit your article to a site with a shoddy/unprofessional design, confusing structure or bad user experience.
- Sites with excessive ads should be avoided too. These tend to diminish user experience.
- Don’t post to sites that fail to provide contact information. At the very least, there should be a form to contact them. In a perfect world, there would be plenty of opportunities to interact with the blog owner and community.
- Check the content. Don’t share your witty repartee with sites that post:
- Uninteresting content.
- Content that is based on unreliable opinion rather than actionable suggestions.
- Out of date information.
- Don’t wait forever for your article to go live. Sure, editors are busy – especially the popular ones. However, it shouldn’t take more than a month for your article to be published. If it takes longer than that, the blog owner obviously doesn’t value fresh content. If a popular blog has a posting schedule that is several months out, they should tighten their standards even more or evaluate the posting schedule.
Guest blogging can either help or harm your SEO. Do it properly and guest blogging could be your best online marketing strategy. Goof it up and you could easily incur Google’s wrath.