Why I Think Guest Posting Is the Least Vulnerable (Marketing) Tactic

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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.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
Ann Smarty
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  • http://how-to-blog.tv Derick

    I just got this via Twitter. . .ironically as I was finishing the tail end of a video of a speaker I saw recently. The speaker talked about guest posting as a great strategy for building links. I struggled with the message as that really isn’t what I nor my colleagues recommend. I like your approach to the topic. Thanks for sharing this.

  • http://www.2makemoneyontheweb.com George

    I agree and disagree with this post. I guess this article should be titled don’t spam. And you’re right, spamming will get you nowhere.

    I don’t think guest posting should be frowned upon though. If you are able to write a meaningful post, then why shouldn’t you?

    If I come across an article I am interested in, I tend to want to share my opinion about it.

    Just my two cents.

  • http://jaxseoworks.com/ Ken

    Good article. I agree the focus of the guest post should be good content, not just posting for the purpose of getting links (a practice which can degrade your post into spam, to agree with both the author of this article and the prior commenter).
    And this article shares many good, helpful insights and links for further information, for people just considering getting started in guest posting.
    And even a link to a community established for people interested in guest posting; Neat!
    Thank you for sharing an article that will help to better prepare bloggers looking to improve the Internet prominence of their blog/website, and also improve the content of articles posted on the Internet.

  • http://sem-group.net Gerald Weber


    There is nothing in this post that is frowning on guest posting as a strategy.

    The message is that you shouldn’t approach guest posting only as a means to get a quick backlink. Instead you should focus on creating quality useful content and the networking aspect of guest posting.

    If you do this correctly the links will come naturally.

  • http://reetaluthra.com/ Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health

    I’ve just started a series of guest posts on another website so it’s timely to have come across this post.

    You’re absolutely right, quality has to be paramount on guest posts – it’s how many people will first “see” you and they need a reason to click that link back to your own site.

  • http://outsourcing-services Phil-Am OSI

    Great article. Absolutely, I agree.

    Guest post in general is acceptable if the intention of the poster is to share his/her good thoughts. If the purpose is just to get a quick backlink then it’s bad, that’s another story. Better for a blogger to monitor some of the comments especially if the blog commenter/poster is from the outside world. 🙂

  • websitetraffic

    I agree Ann with the statement that in guest posting we shouldn't focus on link building as it would come as a consequence of quality post writing.

    Having posts published in neighboring niches is pretty good policy and not that hard to do. The reward is always great, but I think focus is very important.

    By that, I mean it's better to write for certain number of blogs, not a huge number of them. This way, the readers of that particular blog get to know you sooner and establish some sort of relationship with you and may decide to follow your upcoming content more closely by subscribing directly to your own blog's feed.

  • http://www.oddsbet.co.uk Bet Odds

    Derick, what would you recommend then?, to me guest posting is a fine method of self-promotion, i have noticed dozens of examples of site owners bumping up their popularity successfully by guest posting, mostly in places that are irrelevent to their niche.

  • http://www.oddsbet.co.uk Bet Odds

    Derick, what would you recommend then?, to me guest posting is a fine method of self-promotion, i have noticed dozens of examples of site owners bumping up their popularity successfully by guest posting, mostly in places that are irrelevent to their niche.