The most recent Google algorithm changes have caused many SEO consultants to start thinking carefully about the issue of building quality links. Within this context, guest blogging has long been seen as a way of creating inbound links that are relevant, authoritative and within the correct context.
It’s not my intention to discuss the basics of guest blogging within this article. I’m assuming that you already understand the basic principles behind the technique. If you do need a refresher, then you’ll find that there are some good basic guides online and some simple infographics that allow you to see why guest blogging has real benefits.
If you’ve already been making use of guest blogging, then there’s a fair chance that you’ve found it to be time-consuming and relatively expensive as a result. The reality is that any technique that has a real focus on quality is likely to be more expensive than spammy alternatives, but that’s also one of the reasons why it can be so effective. You will often be building links that others will find difficult, if not impossible, to replicate.
Having said this, it’s also clear that you’ll want to reduce the amount of time involved and to ensure that you have a solution in place that can be used on a larger scale. With this in mind, I believe that there are some simple steps that you can take to improve the outreach process and the way in which you write blog posts.
Concentrate on quality blogs
The truth is that it’s incredibly easy to get guest blog slots. If you don’t believe me, then simply head over to My Blog Guest and start browsing through the forums there. You’ll undoubtedly find a home for your latest blog post and some blog owners simply aren’t fussed about the quality of the content that they host.
This doesn’t mean, however, that such posts will bring many SEO benefits. In fact, I would argue that they can often do more harm than good. If a website editor is prepared to publish almost anything, then the chances are that they will have a blog that doesn’t have a great reputation. At first glance, the content may appear relevant to your own site, but you need to think about the wider implications here.
Before approaching any blog owner, I would suggest that you should take a good look at their blog. How would you rate the standard of existing blog posts? Does the owner post regularly, or does it appear to be a collection of guest articles? There’s a clear danger here that they may be operating little more than an article farm.
Take a closer look at the key metrics of the site too, ensuring that you have real confidence in the quality of what’s on offer.
You should only be seeking to approach owners of quality blogs, since you should care about the reputation of your own site. Equally importantly, links from quality blogs will have a more significant influence on the search engine positioning of your own site.
Think carefully about how you reach out
As you read that section about identifying quality blogs, you may fear that it all sounds like it will take a lot of time. After all, spending time assessing blogs is unlikely to be a fast process.
The good news here is that you’ll also save a lot of time. That’s something that you’ll be able to achieve because you won’t be wasting time reaching out to poor quality blogs, or submitting articles to them. Instead, you can concentrate your efforts on the blogs that really matter.
When you come to make first contact with a blog owner, you need to separate yourself from the crowd. As a working assumption, it’s worth imagining that they already receive dozens of offers each month. How can you ensure that they will at least read your email?
Be different to be noticed
I think that there are a number of important elements here, but the key tactic that you need to adopt is making clear that you have actually read the blog. Take the time to find out the name of the blog owner and read some of the recent posts. Don’t be afraid to make mention of specifics within your outreach email.
Although you can use a standard email template, it’s vital that you should seek to personalise some elements of it. If you thinking that sending out the same email to 100 separate blog owners will result in quality links, then the chances are that you will be sadly mistaken. It takes real effort to get results.
Finding prospective guest blogging opportunities
I made mention of My Blog Guest earlier in the article and that’s a website that will certainly make it easier for you to discover prospective blog slots.
Don’t forget, however, that Google can also be incredibly useful for discovering such opportunities. As an example, if you are searching for opportunities within the travel sector, then you might search for:
Travel blogs inurl:guest-post
That will immediately bring up a list of blogs that invite guest posts and are related to the sector that’s of interest. You can even use Chrome Scraper extensions to automatically transfer those Google results into an Excel spreadsheet, making the overall task that bit easier.
Guest blogging is a powerful technique and may well be central to your SEO approach. As with any approach, however, your success will depend upon your ability to build quality links.
If you attempt to concentrate purely on quantity, then guest blogging will still be ineffective in the long-term. Seek out blogs that really offer something to the online community and spend your time building relationships that will produce visitors, as well as links.