SEO

Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty

image001 Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty

The SEO sphere always talks about modern ways of building quality links that are pointing back to the website. People use multiple techniques that help them build the authority of your website and at the same time it helps them get a quick boost in SERPs.

Few of the top highlighted modern (high quality) link building tactics will include Link Bait, Ego Bait, Interviews, Guest Blogging, Contests and more. Today we are specifically going to discuss Guest Blogging and how powerful it is in terms of digital marketing and online branding.

I am glad that I have with me, the much known personality from the Guest Blogging domain. Owner of My Blog Guest, she is none other than Ann Smarty. Let’s not waste the time and jump over to the questions.

Ann, Thank you very much for taking some time from your busy schedule and answering the questions, I am sure that your answers will help me and others in the Internet Marketing and Blogging arena.

No, thank YOU for thinking of me! That means a lot!

Interview Questions

Let’s start with the basic misconception about guest blogging; many people think that guest blogging is only a link building technique. My question is very simple what is guest blogging other than a link building technique?

In fact, I am not going to lie: links are the main reason most people even attempt to guest post. I can understand that: guest blogging is time consuming and hard to scale – and the only “measurable” outcome (that makes it look worth a try) is links.

What I have been trying to warn against: focusing on links when guest blogging dooms you to failure. Thinking too much about links will prevent you from building authentic relationships with bloggers – and these are priceless.

Think about it: one guest post brings you one or two links (three if you are greedy), while good blogging contacts put your link building on auto-pilot. Bloggers start citing you, including in link round-ups, covering your news, helping you with getting the word out!

There are still many people in the blogging sphere, that do not allow guest posting on their blog, do you think it’s a good strategy for a business? (Keeping the branding in mind)

I can’t tell for all cases. I tend to keep my personal blog SEOsmarty.com free from guest blogging just because I am trying to keep it for myself. It’s supposed to be my portfolio, the collections of things I am knowledgeable at. We are not taking guest articles at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well, because our blog is our team effort aiming to showcase our expertise.

On the other hand, I do see that such powerful sites as Search Engine Journal and Social Media Examiner benefit a lot from guest contributions. Moreover, it’s due to guest authors that they are as powerful as we see them now: its guest authors who bring the variety of perspectives, styles and topics.

So my answer is: it depends on the blog aims and objectives. For many blogs, guest articles are life savers!

It’s been a long time you are moderating Daily SEO Tip and have a great expertise in Guest Blogging, It would be great if you can share the top 3 things that one should consider while approaching for the guest post on any blog?

Following are the three tips that can make guest contributions pitch stick:

  1. Personalize it to the point there can be no suspicions you reaching out to many bloggers like this one. I instantly delete all emails that say “Dear webmaster” at the very beginning icon smile Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty
  2. Mention the specific article idea (or even include the post) in the very first email you are sending (this always prompts a reply and shows you care about the opportunity).
  3. Don’t mention the backlinks – we all know you’ll get them in the article, so don’t push it. Bloggers hate feeling they are being used (who doesn’t!), so don’t make it sound the way.

In a word, be sincere in an effort to build a powerful connection!

My Blog Guest plays an important role in the blogging spare for bloggers of several niches. Although active bloggers and guest bloggers by now, know almost everything about this but that would be awesome if you can define why it is important for SEOs and SMBs?

My Blog Guest works in every niche, true. However it’s the most powerful exactly in SEO and social media niches for two reasons:

First, I am best connected in those niches, so my friends and followers keep joining. Secondly, bloggers in those niches seem to be the most active and the most knowledgeable ones (there are many more professionals’ blogging on SEO than there are in the food niche, it seems to me).

Therefore MyBlogGuest is a valuable networking tool for search and social marketers. You are likely to find great opportunities if you decide to join!

You have fairly good idea about the Russian SEO market as well as US market; I would love if you can tell us 3 major differences in SEO strategies while targeting these different regions?

Yes, with MyBlogGuest.ru we are getting some idea on how the Internet works in Russia as well, and it’s really exciting!

  1. Russian SEO is much younger but it seems to be evolving at a faster rate.
  2. There are much fewer professional bloggers in Russia as yet, most of the bloggers are hobbyists;
  3. Russian Internet borrows a lot from the US Internet (which is obvious) instead of trying to use the existent sites: that is why Yandex is still so powerful and instead of using Facebook, we use our own alternative – VK.

With reference to Guest Blogging, one of the major problems with small niches is that there are not much guest blogging opportunities available, how you deal with this problem?

What I suggest our users do in those niche where there are not so many opportunities is re-focusing their content while still staying on topic.

After all, guest blogging is all about cross-niche expertise exchange: social media marketers can blog on a creativity-related site on how to use social media to get more exposure to one’s artworks. Pet owners can blog on a health-related site on how pets favorably affect help…

You only limit is your imagination!

Ann, Keeping your experience of blogging and SEO in mind, I think this is a valid question from you! What do you think, how SEO industry has evolved over the last 5 years and where do you see it after 5 years?

It’s great to be able to say that I have witnessed the SEO evolve. Because I did and that was exciting! When I was entering the SEO niche, the most effective (and the cheapest!) link building tactic was a donation link. For $20 you could score a permanent link on a PR5 page. How awesome is that?

I didn’t like doing that SEO and that was the reason I left my very first employer: they didn’t see SEO evolve and they didn’t want to evolve as well. I guess they are still doing the same SEO they used to do when I was with them.

I love seeing SEO grow and become mature now. The SEO’s job is to create the strategy now:  plan the content marketing tactics, work closely with all other teams involved, etc. I think this article explains the SEO process evolution perfectly!

As for the predictions? I am not really great at them. I want to see Google lose the social media game because that would be only fair. I am sure the mobile will start dominating and I want Google to lose there as well!

Let’s take a quick jump on Social Media! Google+ is heavily impacting the search results and personalized results (in some cases) can eat the complete search page. What do you think is the future of SEO and do you think social media is the next SEO?

Social media is the next SEO already. SEOs cannot ignore social any longer, no matter how obvious that now sounds.

As for Google pushing Google Plus, I’d say that was too early and too aggressive. They seem to be too much in a rush pushing it forward and I hope that would be their mistake!

5 Top tips that you want to pass to bloggers in order to effectively play their role and help building web, a better place for users as well as aggregators?

I don’t want to say too obvious things again, but I can’t help! Here are my 5:

  1. Most important one: be patient. “Build it and they will come” really works if you keep building it for months and don’t expect fast results. To get a strong voice in your niche, you need to deserve that!
  2. Don’t try to be like someone else. There’s the difference between watching what your competitors (or fellow bloggers) are doing and trying to do the same. What makes you different is your own perspective.
  3. Be passionate and hungry. Many very successful bloggers don’t make any money from their blogs. Let that never discourage you. You are successful as long as you are hungry.
  4. Never stop learning. I’ve been suffering a lot when, at some point, I got so busy that I couldn’t afford to actually read. I felt I was getting dumb. Now I freed myself from a lot of duties exactly for that: to be able to learn new things again and I enjoy it thoroughly. The moment you stop learning new things you stop being a good blogger.
  5.  If you feel tired, switch to something else. There’s the reason why I have so many projects (while really not having time for all of them). When I feel inspired, I just do it outright! That lets me stop working on a current project and explore something new!

This is the one question that I asked to almost every search celebrity! SEO is not a digestible term for any lay man, how difficult it is for you to define your job to non SEO (especially non IT) people around you?

Well, I hardly even try. When I say that I “make money online” I feel that even my closest friends feel suspicious. So I ended up saying I am into Internet marketing that is like “promoting products on TV” but doing that over the Internet. That at least stopped the weird glances icon smile Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty

Thank you Ann, for your time and it was pleasure having you hear. I am sure that your answers will clear many things in the mind of bloggers and SEOs.

Mates! I tried to cover as much areas as I can but if you have any other question, use the comment section to ask out loudly icon wink Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty

 Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty

Moosa Hemani

Inbound Governor at SEtalks.com
Moosa Hemani is a strategist and a blogger at SEtalks.com. We also help our client get better online visibility using all inbound marketing channels.
 Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty

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2 thoughts on “Interview with Guest Blogger – Ann Smarty

  1. Hi Moosa, I really enjoyed this interview with Ann. It’s interesting to see how things are done in different parts of the world and Ann is always a wealth of information.
    I agree with her views about guest blogger requests that come from no where. I should set up a filter in Gmail to delete those guys! LOL.
    Thanks!

  2. Articles like are why I love the internet.

    SEO is so confusing for people like me (creative types, but technical newbies), but my favorite takeaway from Ann is this:

    “Think about it: one guest post brings you one or two links (three if you are greedy), while good blogging contacts put your link building on auto-pilot. Bloggers start citing you, including in link round-ups, covering your news, helping you with getting the word out!”

    The big part about building relationships is that you won’t just get the one-off backlink from your article.

    If you build a relationship, you get future backlinks when your OTHER content is cited. So, creating relationships is EVERYTHING.