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Last week or so I was approached by Danny Wong asking me to publish his post on why he thinks link building via guest posting is a bad strategy. I replied to him saying that this largely depends on each person’s approach to guest blogging.
I did agree to publish the post (because I think we should discuss various points of view here) but promised to share my own opinion on it in the upcoming weeks (for this same reason I didn’t comment on the original post).
Now, you may know that I am strongly advocative of guest posting as a marketing strategy (I even created the community of guest bloggers to make the strategy more organized). So yes, I have a lot to say about it.
Don’t Build Links by Guest Posting!
First thing I should state in regards to the link building aspect of guest posting is that you don’t want to focus on it at all. When guest posting, think about other (much more important!) benefits of guest blogging. If you put too much focus on building links, you are doing that wrong.
Building links will only prevent you from providing real quality (and thus enjoying all the benefits of guest blogging like branding, positioning yourself as an expert, building valuable contacts, etc).
Links Are Built Naturally
Links will still be built; and if you focus on quality, you’ll get many more links than just from the initial guest post: there will be tons of “indirect” links from other blogs covering your post and linking to the author or just from those who found you due to your guest post and became your “linkerati“.
How good and relevant that link building campaign will turn depends on your guest posting strategy.
This is why I think guest posting is one of least vulnerable link building tactics. Those who get it wrong won’t benefit from it because of two main reasons:
- Their posts will be rejected by most established bloggers (because those people see at once when link builders are trying to take advantage of their blogs);
- Their posts (even once published) won’t generate much attention (and thus additional links).
The fact that makes guest posting immune to the marketers (many of whom seek “quick and easy” results) is that guest blogging concept is based on mutual benefit, so if there’s no real quality provided, there’s no post (and thus no link) published. If the quality is high enough, the link is well-deserved.
Simple and genius.
Mistakes to Avoid
Now, to the initial post which I am replying to. Like it was fairly noted in the comments, it should have been titled “How not to guest post” or “Mistakes to avoid when guest posting”: So to paraphrase the whole post:
- Only guest post within your niche or in neighboring niches (if you care about the relevance). This one will happen naturally I guess: you will guest post on the topics you have expertise in (which will obviously be your relevant topics)
- Don’t go mainstream (trying to get as many posts published as you can). You won’t be able to do that without sacrificing on the quality (and thus getting more and more rejections).
- Treat each guest post individually: which means covering different topics or concepts, creating original copies, writing different by-lines, etc. If you try to cheat, bloggers will notice it and you’ll achieve nothing except for broken contacts.
There are many more mistakes to avoid of course (which were pretty well covered by more established bloggers like Chris Garrett and Darren Rowse) – I was focusing on those related to the initial post.
So, to conclude: you’ll succeed only by doing it right. If you don’t feel like contributing quality and spending time and effort on the strategy, you’d better never start.