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Why Guest Blogging Will Never Die

Why Guest Blogging Will Never Die

As I sit at my desk when I arrive at work in the morning, the first thing I do is catch up on a few industry blog posts to keep up with the exciting and ever changing world we digital marketers live in. I’ve been doing this for as long as I have been working in this industry, I love it, and it’s what keeps my job so exciting.

The thing is, just recently my mornings are quite rudely interrupted by the yelps and cries of link builders telling me that guest blogging is about to die and if I continue I will face the mother of all Google penalties.

As you can probably tell, this is really starting to wind me up the wrong way. It’s not just the blog posts that I’m reading that are annoying me. I contribute to a couple of forums where I like to talk about alternative traffic driving sources to Google.

Recently I was part of a discussion named – “What is the future of Guest Blogging”?

Perfect, there should be some really great insights into where this tactic is heading and what other marketers are doing to provide real marketing value to themselves and their clients.

Well, I was wrong, I posted a lengthy comment expressing my rather passionate believes that the link is not the primary goal when guest blogging and all I got were replies saying things like – “Whilst it works you should carry on but when it doesn’t you should stop”.

Okay, so apart from that being just about the worst piece of advice on any subject, the general theory of his answer was completely incorrect.

Guest blogging really should be about the importance of traffic that the article sends to your blog and the increased visibility for your brand to increase followers on social media. The ability to tap into someone else’s audience that is relevant to your business is one of the most valuable aspects to any marketing tactic.

Guest blogging gives you that and much more, so why should the devaluation of guest post links cause you to stop using this tried and tested marketing method?

Will Google de-value guest post links?

That’s something I can’t actually give you an answer to, sure we can all make predictions but nothing is ever set in stone with Google. I’m going to make a bold statement now and I can just see a backlash from this comment but “Part of me hopes Google does devalue guest post links because then at least we know the only people still doing it will be for legitimate marketing purposes

Let’s face it, if people are so worried about being penalised, then why don’t they just request that the link is no-followed?

I guess the people that are doing it legitimately aren’t exactly worried about getting penalised anyway.

Why guest blogging is part of my content marketing strategy

Building links with the main objective of driving traffic, will always increase the quality of the marketing.

I keep that quote in my head when developing content strategies for our clients. Now, with that in mind, why wouldn’t you include guest blogging as a part of your content marketing strategy?

Using an example of a current client of ours at Jigsoar, I am going to explain why guest blogging remains a core part of our content strategy and has been providing solid results on a regular basis.

Immediate target audience exposure

A client of ours wanted to gain exposure to a new product range quickly and in doing so they wanted to build their already healthy social media audience.

A budget was put aside for product reviews. Based on the quality of the products I knew that the traffic they’d drive would be high quality and part ready to buy.

The problem was, product reviews are not the key to building an engaging audience. Step forward – guest blogging.

Forget domain authority and PageRank, the size of the brand within their market meant that they were never going to be knocked from the SERPs. This meant we could begin guest posting for traffic and engagement purposes alone, some real shit! Proper brand marketing.

Now I know that in only a few cases will you be working with super brands but if you adopt the same methodology of building a faithful audience for your business then you can plan for the long term and know you have a group of potential customers to call upon for every new product or service you provide.

You can read this post on guest blogging, that explains the process I use for finding targets that are perfectly suitable to you and your business.

Guest post links to landing pages

The amount of guest bloggers that don’t do this is insane! It absolutely murders your conversion rates if you neglect the use of landing pages to collect vital lead information. I guess the percentage of people that don’t use landing pages are guest posting with the link as the core purpose.

You can sign up to Unbounce for around $100 per month or alternatively there are a range of free or more cost effective tools you can use to build your own landing page on your website or blog. There are also a number of landing page plugins for WordPress – that’s if your website uses WordPress, of course.

How to create a guest post landing page

1. Create a New Page – Not a post because you don’t want it to go out to everyone.

2. Customise the Landing Page towards Readers – What I mean by this is, use a large header in the design of the landing page that says – “Welcome Blogging Wizard Readers”.

Of course that’s just a simple example. You can be so much more creative, so long as you make the reader feel special or in some way unique.

3. If they click on your link, then they want what you have – Of course in reality they won’t all want what you have, but if you collect enough information from them you can nurture them into becoming customers of your business in the future.

4. Link to relevant posts on your blog – Find blog posts you have written that are relevant to the guest post. You know what the readers interests are because they read the guest post, so now you can provide even more value to them after they visit your website.

5. Provide Enough Value – This follows on from point 4, make sure you provide the visitor with around 5 top quality blog posts from your blog. You can immediately make a great impression on them – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

6. Collect Information – So you’re giving something to the reader, now they need to give you something back in return. It’s not all, give, give, give in this business. Set up a feed burner so you can collect their email addresses. If you have something larger like an EBook, then you might want retrieve a little more information before allowing them to download it.

Note: if you are a WordPress user then this is usually much easier to setup, there are some plugins on the market to help you which you can find here.

Use case studies

An alternative to supplying your readers with more blog content, you can show them how good you are at what you do by providing a detailed case study.

A case study is a piece of content. It shows your potential clients why you are the best fit for their business. Use case studies as a conversion tool to increase the amount of leads, customers and retained clients of your organisation.

Why guest blogging will never die

Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to break into someone else’s audience that is relevant to your own, follow them, engage with them, share your content with them, nurture them into your own followers and then eventually into customers of your business.

Now, is there any part of that, you wouldn’t want for your business? I’m going to guess the answer is no, because in terms of building your brand for the long term, guest blogging has to be one of the most useful marketing tactics ever created.

If done correctly, guest blogging will provide more value from the traffic that it sends you than the link ever could in terms of ranking potential. There is a time and a place for link building and if you gain a link from guest blogging then that’s fantastic, but it should be looked at as a secondary action.

If you follow this principle, I don’t see any reason why guest blogging will ever die.

Conclusion

Guest blogging is and will always be a strong part of the content strategies that I create for both Jigsoar and our clients.

I can’t neglect the fact that I can tap into so many vitally important audiences and ultimately build a follower base that I can nurture into customers.

For me at least, the link will always come after all of the true marketing benefits guest blogging can give to me.

I’d love to know your opinions on what I have said.

Let’s try and lift our industry up above the spam link builders that still curse over us and prove to businesses across the globe that we are vitally important to them in growing in their own market.

Photo credit: Kara Allyson via photopin cc

About Joe Pack

Joe Pack is Co-Founder & Director of Digital Marketing Agency, Nativve. Joe looks after client campaigns at Nativve, which includes major international brands and B2B businesses. He has a passion for content marketing in particular and believes that aligning your sales and marketing teams will revolutionise your business. You can follow Joe Pack on Twitter.

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  • Joe Pack

    Cheers Ashley, its fantastic to hear that you agree with my points.

    I love that you understand that I am in no way telling people they should stop link building, it is a core part of many businesses online strategy. My point is that so many marketers seem to believe that if the link is devalued by Google then there is no longer any point in guest posting. This in my mind is ludicrous.

    A landing page is a great idea if you have a specific purpose for driving traffic to your site. Its also beneficial to direct them to highly relevant blog posts you may have written in the past to educate the reader even further. Just make sure you collect their contact details within your site to benefit from this tactic.

  • http://www.bizsugar.com/ Heather Stone

    Adam and Joe,
    I don’t entirely disagree. My question is really two fold. And Adam, it would be great if we could start a conversation on this topic in the BizSugar community too.
    1. What do you do about plagiarism and duplicate content? Say what you will. This is an ongoing problem and can really devalue your blog (and not just from an SEO standpoint!)
    2. What do you do to stop guest bloggers from using your site to SEO their own clients? This is a more subtle issue, but, of course, can also devalue your site. There’s nothing wrong with outgoing links to add value to a post or a back link to the contributor who was good enough to share content with your readers. But allowing a guest blogger to SEO a list of clients with an article that spins content or creates essentially poor content just to see how many client websites they can link to using your blog will not do much for your credibility or probably for how search engines see your site.

    Thoughts?

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Heather, I think me and Joe may have a similar perspective, but I’d like to just add my 2 cents below:

      1. Duplicate content – Even though there is on going debates within the industry and some people have found that the ‘duplicate’ content thing is not a big problem and even a Google employee has openly said ‘don’t worry about it’, I do worry about it so I make a point to avoid posting duplicate content. I generally check posts I get in Google and other tools to make sure they haven’t been posted before. That being said I am VERY picky with who’s posts I publish, in fact I generally am a reader of most of the bloggers that contribute to my blog.

      2. As a rule I don’t because I see it like this – if someone is willing to write an awesome piece of content and contribute it to my blog, the least I can do is give them a link to whoever they are link building for. Although having said that the link has to make sense and add value to the post or at least be relevant and helpful. If it’s a link in the author bio then again it has to be relevant, I’m not going to let them get links for some dog training or weight loss site.

      It’s important to remember that not all SEO’s are spinning the hell out of articles for their clients which I understand is the case a lot of the time but not all of the time.

      Those ‘SEOs’ that do this are just getting clients into trouble and obviously don’t care about delivering results. Their model is a ‘churn and burn’ type model.

      There will always be this lower tier group of SEO’s with a ‘spray and pray’ approach but they constantly churn clients – hopefully this group will disappear in the future.

      • Joe Pack

        Adam, I couldn’t agree more with your reply. My post wasn’t really aimed at just SEO’s it was targeted towards online marketing as a whole but I think your points answered the questions perfectly.

        To add to your first point there, I think its important to keep in mind that if you were no-following the links on your blog from the guest posts you allowed, ‘churn and burn’ SEO’s would just lose interest immediately. My point was to encourage proper marketing in the guest post field as apposed to all of the dodgy tactics you mentioned.

        And secondly, you have control over the content that is written on your blog and I think Adam will agree with me here – you should only be accepting guest post articles from people you have a good relationship with and you know an awful lot about their blog or business, the way they write and perhaps any other guest posts they have written.

        Google can sometimes be our worst enemy, (thank you not provided data!) but I do sincerely hope they continue to halt ‘churn and burn’ SEO’s in destroying what is a very important industry for online markets.

        • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          Couldn’t agree with you more Joe!

  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

    Joe, great idea on the landing page and offering them more. I had not thought of that either. Thanks for sharing and glad to know guest blogging is not dead. If someone is really concerned about what Google thinks they could make the links like you suggest to nofollow. Thanks for the info!