How To Approach Guest Blogging In 2014
Already in 2014, we’ve seen Matt Cutts announce that guest blogging is dead and Google penalise the popular guest blogging platform My Blog Guest however what does that mean for marketers using the approach as a way to grow their brand online and demonstrate their knowledge and expertise? Is it the case that guest blogging is dead full stop or does it depend on what’s being done and how it’s being approached?
What Matt Cutts Said
Back in January, when Matt Cutts announced through his own blog that guest blogging should not be used as a link building approach, stating:
Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company. So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.
This, as you would expect, caused some sort of uproar in the SEO and digital marketing community and left many who had generally been using the approach as a way to build their brand online, whether they were putting themselves at risk by doing what they’d always done…marketing themselves and building relationships with industry publications! To this, Matt updated his post and responded:
There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
When you look at it in this way, it’s very clear what Matt was trying to say. If you’re guest blogging SOLELY for the purpose of building a link…STOP! If your primary motive, however, is to showcase your knowledge and get your brand in front of someone elses audience…don’t worry! However, with all the recent fuss about guest blogging kicking up once again, following Google placing a manual penalty on My Blog Guest last week, here are our top tips for guest blogging going forwards:
- Choose Your Publications Carefully
When considering placement options for guest blogs, make sure you choose the host sites very carefully. Be aware of relevancy of the sites as well as the number of social shares and the like ahead of metrics such as Page Rank. Arecent post on Search Engine Land looked at the concept of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 sites and is a great practice to get into.
- Outline Your Goals & Motives
What are your goals and motives for guest posting? As outlined above, if it’s simply to build a link then forget it. You need to be writing and publishing guest posts with the primary goal of increasing your brand awareness and getting your content in front of new audiences.
- Write Outstanding Content, Not Just Good Content
Your guest post content simply must be of the highest possible quality. It must be outstanding content and must put you at the forefront of your industry. If you want to build your brand and increase your profile through guest posting, only the best content will do. Forget anything sub-standard and don’t even consider scaling the approach up. Spend your time on each post and ensure it’s the very best you can do and that every post is an industry leading piece.