Many experts have named content as one of the main areas of emphasis for SEOs to focus on in 2013 and beyond. This is especially the case with Google’s recent algorithm updates that place an emphasis on fresh, unique content. However, simply placing unique and great content on your own blog isn’t going to maximize your online presence.
Posting and guest blogging on other websites is a great way to gain a bigger following on your own social media accounts and websites, while also gaining credibility and networking opportunities.
Because many online users visit the same social networks and related blogs in their industry on a regular basis (even daily), seeing the same author in multiple places reinforces the idea that this person is an expert in their field. This is due to the fact that they not only are writing useful content, but that content is also being published on websites that are reputable and useful.
Guest blogging is usually time-consuming, but it can pay off in spades, especially when it comes to building individual and company branding.
Great, high quality content has become even more important as more readers are getting the majority of their news and information online instead of nightly television news programs or newspapers. This means that there is a flood of content being published each day, and the more websites a person or company is mentioned on, the better (not only from a human perspective, but also a search engine perspective).
In the advertising world, companies know that a potential customer must be exposed to an ad multiple times before they begin tying positive feelings or subconscious recognition of the product or brand.
The same could be said for the online presence of a company and its individuals. Not only do authors with published guest posts on a wide variety of websites get more exposure, they get more opportunities to craft a positive association in readers’ minds.
Positive association with brand names definitely drives credibility for individual authors and the companies for which they write. An author who has been published on sites like Huffington Post or Marketing Land will most likely be seen as more credible in their field than someone who has no guest posts at all. It can be difficult to get approved as a guest writer or contributor for top industry sites, so starting with smaller blogs and using them as a portfolio will start creating the online credibility that will only grow once the author has been published on more popular sites. It also helps to mention any type of experience that may lead to better posts, such as continuing education (e.g. conferences or additional certifications) or recent client experiences.
Guest blogging on popular industry sites can also lead to greater opportunities that go beyond writing posts for additional websites and blogs. They often lead to actual sales of products and services, speaking engagements, and increased website traffic for both the publisher and the author.
Increased website traffic is one of the main reasons why many writers choose to begin guest blogging in the first place. Most websites allow writers to submit a bio and/or their social media profile URLs to be published at the end of the post. These links drive referral traffic and boost organic search rankings, resulting in better search visibility for the author’s website.
Because the guest blog post provides inbound links, it’s important to provide only high-quality content. Link building is almost always worthwhile, as inbound links play the biggest role in the search engine ranking algorithm. In addition, thoughtful, useful, and valuable content that gets traffic and steady engagement will help you publish more regularly at each publisher with whom you work.
Social Media Growth
In addition to website links, links to social media profiles can help improve your visibility and online presence. If a reader likes the article, they’ll often follow you on Twitter or Google+ to see what other content you are publishing on other websites, including your own.
Besides growing a following, great articles will also get shared via social media channels, leading to improved visibility for authors that are constantly writing and publishing great content. This may include tweets like, “Great article on Google Analytics Custom Reports by @username: LINK” or “@username’s The Comprehensive Guide to e-Commerce Websites is awesome: LINK”. These shares will further speed up the growth of your following in social media channels while also driving traffic to your articles and establishing social proof for the legitimacy of your content, which strengthens your Author Rank and allows your content to rank higher in search engine results pages.
Besides outright promotional tweets and sharing of your content, guest blogs also often drive conversation on social media, the comment section of the post, and via email, which could lead to great networking opportunities or sales. For instance, I often get emails from readers thanking me for my articles and offering to connect on LinkedIn.
After responding, you leave a positive association with that reader. The next time a reader needs services or products the author’s company may provide, you could be the first person they go to.
Beside potential sales, networking that results from guest blogging can also lead to valuable industry contacts that are great for support and business referrals. In addition, a new contact may ask you to write a guest post for their own blog.
Networking can also be a great way to find guest bloggers for your own website. Bringing in regular, quality guest bloggers can result in more fresh content and a better variety of perspectives and knowledge that may not come from a single individual or team working for the same company. This further fosters a supportive environment of authors helping one another.
Whether you are looking for more exposure, credibility, inbound links, social media exposure, networking opportunities or all of the above, guest blogging is a worthwhile content marketing strategy. While it takes dedication to consistently write great posts, the benefits far outweigh the time investment.