Despite anything you might have heard to the contrary, guest posting is still one of the best ways to promote your blog. It should always be a part of your blog promotion and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
However, the reality is that many blogging practices as we know them are inevitably coming to their end. A lot of old techniques and strategies are obsolete. Your blogging business will struggle and eventually die if you continue using obsolete practices and do not adapt over the next few years.
Blogging itself, though, is far from gone. It has merely changed from what it used to be, and it continues to evolve. People are skeptical and unsure about starting their blogging journey because they wonder if people still read blogs. Here are some facts to help you ease those concerns.
There are over 1.5 billion websites on the internet, and 152 million of those sites are blogs. Google gets over 100 billion monthly searches on average, and 77% of internet users read blogs daily. And, as this graph of Google Trends for the term “guest blogging” shows, this particular strategy has never gone out of fashion:
Source: Google Trends
There is still a high demand for information on guest blogging. In fact, we might be in the middle of a guest blog resurgence.
Defining guest blogging
Guest blogging is the practice of posting an article on another person’s blog with a link back to your own. It is a great way to build relationships, increase site visibility and authority, and make connections with prospective audience members.
Links are a key ranking factor in Google, and guest blogging in SEO provides an opportunity to obtain backlinks from high-quality websites. Guest blogging also taps into a new audience for additional visibility and enables you to build your website’s authority.
Guest blogging can be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Publishers want to feed their audience with quality content and keep them coming back, while writers need a venue for promoting their brand. Truly insightful blog posts achieve these aims by demonstrating the author’s knowledge on a subject and offering the publisher free content. In other words, guest blogging works best when it’s a win-win scenario.
In general, guest blogs are not just promotional. Instead, they are used to inform the audience, offer value, and provide insight into a topic. All of this makes guest blogging an excellent inbound marketing strategy.
Is guest blogging on its way out?
It’s entirely inaccurate to say blogging is dead in 2021, and we have data to back up this claim. The number of blogs released in the US is growing by the day, reaching a whopping 31.7 million blogs.
People are still making serious money from their blogging efforts. While these are professional bloggers and it’s not quick or easy to achieve the same results, it is possible. The market is still expanding, with a seemingly endless demand for quality content in almost any niche you can think of.
Top reasons to keep guest blogging in 2021
We’ve already discussed some of the advantages of guest blogging: building authority, introducing a new audience to your work, and obtaining backlinks. But that’s far from the whole story.
Here are a few other benefits you can obtain from guest blogging:
- Generate quality referral traffic: New readers coming from your guest post who visit your site are likely very interested in your offer.
- Grow your email list: Guest blogging helps you gain new subscribers and boost lead generation.
- Make more money: More backlinks mean more inbound traffic, and more inbound traffic means more chances to generate revenue.
- Build trust: When a trusted, high-authority site publishes your content, its readers will consider it an endorsement of your brand.
- Build up your social media presence: When people share your guest article through their social media accounts, your brand is likely to gain new followers.
It works the other way around, too. Hosting guest posts on your blog can help you provide your audience with fresh viewpoints and new content. Featuring guest posts is an excellent way to keep readers interested. Your site will also get a promotional boost when your guest bloggers share their blogs with their network.
So if anyone has sent you a guest post request in the past and you’ve ignored it, this might be the time to learn how to find archived emails in Gmail, reach out to them again, and ask if they’re still interested.
But how do you get those guest blogging spots and obtain all the benefits we’ve discussed? Let’s dive deeper into the guest blogging process.
How to successfully guest blog in 2021
Guest blogging is an ideal opportunity for two bloggers or business owners to work together for mutual benefit. But you need to do it right. The more guest posts you publish, the more you’ll open up your brand to additional collaboration opportunities in the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the basics you need to know:
1. Avoid clickbait and focus on user intent
The problem with clickbait is that it does not satisfy user intent. These headlines promise an exciting story or valuable information, but typically fail to deliver. Using clickbait was considered a smart idea back in the early 2010s. However, readers now are more discerning and avoid opening articles with titles that read like clickbait.
Clickbait headlines ask viewers to trust them, and then, as soon as the link is clicked, they betray that trust. That is no way to build your brand’s image! If you post clickbait, users will gradually develop a negative opinion of your business and will stop visiting your blog.
2. Promote your blog (but don’t spam)
Online traffic is a key concern for a website owner. Guest posting helps solve this problem. When you guest post on a relevant website, you are able to draw its audience’s attention to your own site. By adding backlinks to relevant content on your site, you can attract traffic. Just don’t overdo it—one or two backlinks is enough.
Ensuring that your target site has a positive online profile will also ensure that your site will benefit from its reputation. So, when you look for a website where you can submit a guest post, you need to ensure it has high traffic and a strong Domain Rating (DR). High-traffic websites tend to result in higher referral rates, and high-DR sites provide more SEO benefits.
Here’s an additional pro tip: try to keep an eye on the comments after your guest post is published and respond to them. Engaging with your readers will leave a good impression on them and encourage them to visit your site.
3. Focus on a specific niche
The purpose of your guest blog is to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. But those thoughts must be directly relevant to your business. There’s no point in writing a guest post about sportswear if your business operates in the digital marketing niche!
Focus on topics that are relevant to your industry or your blog’s niche. This will help you build credibility. Remember that readers are looking to solve a problem or answer a question, so failing to address that user intent by posting irrelevant content will just turn them off. Choose a niche and stick to it. This will be the key to your blogging success.
You also need to get the tone right for the target site. Study existing content on its blog to ensure yours is a good fit.
4. Update old content to keep it relevant
Over time, most articles lose much of their relevance. Things move quickly in the online world, and search engines are designed to find the most precise, helpful, and up-to-date content for their users. Older pieces gradually fall down the rankings until they find themselves being buried under newer articles. This can have a huge negative effect on a site’s SEO over time.
However, you can always introduce a new spin to old content. When you’re reaching out to a site for guest blogging opportunities, check if the site has an old piece of content that needs updating. Offering to do that can help your article rank in searches more quickly by closely addressing user intent. For example, you could update an old article with new facts and figures, or find another perspective on a popular topic.
Google updates its search algorithms frequently. Updating old content and inserting relevant long-tail keywords will make your guest posts easily searchable and give older content a new lease on life.
5. Pivot towards long-form content
Good long-form content is more useful and detailed than shorter content. The more words your article has, the more information you can potentially impart to your readers. Google also recognizes that readers want to find as much information as possible in one place, and rewards long-form content accordingly.
How do we know this? HubSpot conducted a study about the relationship between word count and traffic and found that the sweet spot, at which content attracts the most traffic, is between 2,250 and 2,500 words:
Long-form content, which tends to be more informative on a given subject, is more likely to provide users with the answers they are looking for. Therefore, it will attract more traffic to your site and encourage those users to stay longer, share your work, and keep returning.
6. Aim for quality, not quantity
Many new guest bloggers make the mistake of posting guest content on just about any website that accepts it, thinking this will improve their search ranking. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Quantity matters, but the quality is much more important.
Therefore, target high-quality blogs that have heavy traffic, high domain authority, and are relevant to your niche. Low-quality targets that don’t see much traffic and aren’t considered authoritative are unlikely to impact your site performance – or can even have a negative impact. Backlinking from irrelevant or low-quality sites might put you at risk of being penalized by Google, which can be disastrous for your site. This guide provides plenty of useful tips on how to run a guest posing campaign.
To help you produce better quality blog posts, you can add dedicated writers to your team. Assigning work and keeping track of their output can be a challenge at first. Thankfully, Gmail notes allow you to easily communicate with them by providing an ongoing record of communication.
The bottom line
Guest blogging is a long-term approach that takes a considerable effort, persistence, and practice. To succeed as a guest blogger, you need to approach it with clearly established goals, innovative ideas for content, and a great understanding of your subject area. In addition, you need to target high-authority sites that will give your content the exposure it deserves.
A great guest post will help you build a wider audience and improve your own site’s search engine performance. It also allows you to build your reputation online. As long as you keep writing and posting content for relevant sites, guest blogging as a marketing tactic is unlikely to ever become obsolete.
The key to guest blogging success is to identify a few sites that will boost your own authority and help bump your site to the top of the rankings. Trying to game the system will do more harm than good. So take it slowly, be strategic at every stage, and don’t give up!