Matt Cutts, a former Google employee, told us in 2014 that guest posting is dead. His article spelt the death of SEO guest posting (or so thought the world).
But statistics from OptinMonster tell us that 60% of blogs post 1-5 guest posts a month. And top websites, ProBlogger and Huffington Post to name a few are also accepting guest blog posts.
Now it is logical to question the sensibility of these bloggers and platforms who, despite a Google insider telling them not to, are focusing on guest posting.
Let’s clear the confusion.
To begin with, Matt was talking about a specific type of guest blogging.
According to Matt, spammy guest posting is dead. Google (and other search engine crawlers) have become smart today. And they can easily tell when guest posting is done with an intent to throw them off track and index and rank sites not worthy of the reader’s time.
So if you are just churning out crap content and posting it here and there on equally crappy sites to get more backlinks, you ain’t going nowhere with that!
So, does guest posting for backlinks really work?
Does that mean guest blogging is only good enough for awareness building and getting referral traffic and not for backlink building?
Yes. And no.
With the right advice and the right strategy, you can actually get valuable backlinks (among other benefits) from guest posting.
Now the easiest way to make guest posting work for you in terms of getting backlinks is to get guest posting services. These services help you find niche and industry-relevant sites with good authority sites for guest posting. They can also get expert-created branded content for guest posting. And they will make sure you get the link juice you are looking for guest posting sites.
However, for the DIYers in the house, here are 5 infallible tips that can help you acquire quality backlinks through guest posting.
1. Don’t focus on just getting backlinks
That sounds confusing, right? If you are guest blogging for acquiring backlinks so how can you not focus on getting backlinks?
The answer is simple! Focus on creating valuable and unique content. That will convince high Domain Authority sites to give you a backlink because they’d be getting worthy content. Also, when people actually read and like your content, they are going to become your loyal readers. That will also give the crawlers a hint that your content is worthy of the backlinks.
Always remember: Quality content should be the primary output of your guest blogging efforts. Backlinks are a by-product and should remain as such.
2. Keep an eye on your competition
A lot of sites allow only nofollow backlinks in guest posts. These nofollow links are a signal to Google that the webmaster doesn’t trust your content/site and doesn’t want to pass on the original site’s authority/link juice by linking it to you.
What you need are dofollow links that make backlinks worth it.
Now, if you were to start from scratch and look for sites that provide dofollow links, are related to your niche, have the right target audience as their audience base and will allow you to post guest blogs, you’ll be doing too much labour for too little output.
The simpler alternative? Keep an eye on your competition. Backlink analysing tools like the ones from Moz or Ahrefs can be used to check the dofollow links that your competitor is getting.
Here’s what you do with that information:
- Create a list of sites that allow creating backlinks in guest posts and are in your niche.
- Read what content your competitor created for those sites.
- One up that content and pitch the idea to the site.
- There’s a high probability that the site would welcome your guest post as well. And bam! you have your backlink minus the effort required to search for opportunities.
Other than quick backlink creation, keeping an eye on your competitors’ backlink strategy has many more benefits too. For example, you are able to ensure that the audience that reads your competitor’s content, reads your content too. That means you get a fair chance at being picked over competitors.
3. Include influencers in your strategy
Finding car parts isn’t tough, right? And you can also learn how to change car parts via YouTube. But you still rely on industry expert mechanics, even for the smallest automobile repair jobs.
Guest blogging is no different. You can find sites that accept guest posts. And you can cram guest blogging guides too. But it is better you let blogging influencers do the job for you.
One, they are experienced bloggers and will be able to churn out better content than someone who isn’t a wordsmith.
Two, they already have a loyal reader base. This means with them you also get access to more eyeballs.
And three, most influencers have a tie-up with sites where they regularly share guest posts. This means the struggle of finding such sites and getting them to accept your guest post is off of your head. That’s a great deal, to say the least.
4. Screen and sort the guest posting opportunities you have
When you need backlinks it is hard to pass any opportunity that comes your way. But make sure you don’t pitch to any random sites.
Won’t getting more backlinks be good for your site’s authority and ranking?
Not if you are getting those backlinks from low authority sites or sites which don’t cater to your niche.
Here’s a quick don’ts list to swim through the ocean of guest posting opportunities:
- Do NOT consider any website that has a domain authority score of less than 20.
- Do NOT pick sites that aren’t in your industry, even if they are popular or of high authority.
- Do NOT guest post on sites that don’t allow a by-line and an About the Author segment. Sites that ask for ‘ghost’ contributions aren’t worth your time.
- Do NOT share your blogs on sites that have been any relation to the 3Ps (pills, poker, and porn). Such sites will be detrimental to your authority in eyes of search engines as well as your readers.
- Do NOT pay for link exchange programs. It is an out-and-about black hat practice and can get you banned by search engines.
5. Don’t forget your content after it goes live
Once you have done all the hard work and gotten your guest post live and a backlink in your kitty, don’t forget that content.
For one, promote the guess post via your email list and social media channels. This will help you get popularity and you might get some people to link back to your content. That would mean more backlinks for you.
Second, engage with the people who leave comments on your guest post. Replying to appreciative comments and trying to address any negative reviews will enhance your public image. And you might also get a chance to direct people (via a link) to other content on your site. That means more backlinks for you.
With that, we have come to the end of our guest posting tips that will help you acquire valuable backlinks. Now start competitor analysis, find valuable guest opportunities, engage influencers, create good content, and continue fishing for post-publication backlink creation opportunities.
Does that sound like more effort than you want to put in for backlink creation? Then avail guest posting services and sit back and relax while experts do the job for you.