Guest posting is a pillar technique in any good marketing strategy. In this article, we look at the core fundamentals of guest posting. You’ll learn how to create, distribute and promote your articles through other blogs and media websites.
What is guest posting?
Guest posting is all about placing your articles on third-party websites or blogs. You are essentially writing as a guest on that blog. It’s really that simple.
Blogging has been around since1994 and it didn’t take long before guest posting, aka guest blogging, also became a standard marketing technique used by digital marketers.
Guest posting is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic for a number of reasons. We’ll get to these in a sec. The hard part is the process you need to go through. It’s cumbersome and very time-consuming.
Cold email outreach to blog editors, the back and forth emails, and issuing payments are just some of the time-consuming pains that come with guest posting. The whole process scares most marketers off.
Many marketers simply give up. But, if you can make it work, guest posting could be your secret sauce.
This creates a huge opportunity for marketers that can streamline the guest posting process.
Contento gives you direct access to media who are looking for relevant and unique articles. The whole process is streamlined; making guest posting a sinch. Contento could be your competitive advantage!
Why should you guest post?
Here are our top reasons you should be guest posting:
1. Garnering backlinks
Backlinks from reputable sites is still a major SEO ranking factor. Most marketers will generate backlinks through guest posting. You want quality websites, within your industry, linking back to your site.
2. Awareness through guest posting
Posting your original articles on third-party blogs is a great way to leverage an existing audience. It will result in good referral traffic to your site and increases brand awareness in a relevant market.
3. Gaining social proof and brand alignment through guest blogging
It takes time to build trust in any market, and aligning your brand with other trusted brands is great for your reputation. It creates social proof that your products and services are worth recommending.
The difficulties with guest posting
Let’s dive a deeper into the issues associated with guest posting, and how to avoid them.
Researching who to blog with
You’ve made the decision to start guest blogging, great! Now you need to work out who to offer your content to.
One way you can do this is by searching terms like ‘submit a guest article’. Start making a big list of sites you want to reach out to.
Make sure you have a lot of options on your list, as most editors will ignore your emails. Which bring us to our next point.
Guest blogging outreach is very hard
So you have a list of publishers that are worthy of your articles. You now need to start finding contact details for each site. Easier said than done.
A lot of blogs only seem to have contact forms. Finding a specific person to contact is much harder. You might also want to also check LinkedIn for editor details.
We can almost guarantee that generic email addresses like news@ will not be looked at. And contact form submissions will be trashed as soon as you mention the words ‘guest post’.
Over the years black hat marketers have sent so many low-quality requests to editors that all guest posting requests are treated as spam. Not ideal.
The only way to ‘get in’ with quality publishers is to find the digital editors direct email address, or better yet; phone number.
If, by the grace of God, you do get a reply to a cold email; you now have to convince the publisher that your brand, and the proposed article, is relevant. You also need to show that the article is going to add value to their readers.
Of course, Contento removes all this and gives you direct access to publishers.
Payments and liability
When coming to an arrangement with the publisher, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of.
Be very clear with your publishing terms; the date you want it to go live, the images you want to include, the backlinks, and the payment details.
Most publishers will require 100% of the publishing fee up-front to remove any risk from their side.
We have heard horror stories of brands paying blogs for a guest post and then never hearing from them again.
For a safe and simple transaction, we created the payment process, in Contento, that holds each party accountable. The publishing fee is prepaid and then releases to the publisher once the brand is happy with the live article.
Black hat vs white hat
You might have come across Black Hat or White Hat marketing terms. These get thrown around a lot and cause quite a bit of confusion as to what techniques fall under what hat.
Black hat is the term used to label disingenuous, unethical and possibly malicious marketing practices. They are synonymous with hackers and are usually aimed at driving traffic by any means necessary. Quantity over quality.
On the contrary, white hat marketers like to stay within the guidelines and avoid search engine penalties. Marketing in a responsible and ethical way; managing audience expectations, and delighting their audience. It’s about quality over quantity.
For example; keyword stuffing your blog posts is considered a black hat marketing technique. While writing value-adding articles where keywords are included naturally is ‘white hat’.
Don’t keyword stuff your copy
You should know what keywords your writing for, but don’t cram them into every sentence.
Write your blog articles in a natural way. Don’t forcefully add keywords into everywhere you can. It won’t read well and search engines see through this. You’ll just end up with penalties.
Avoid duplicate content
Search engines and publishers want unique articles. If you have more than one copy of the same article, on any domain, search engines won’t know where to send people if there is more than one copy. You will run the risk of duplicate content penalties and your article will be de-ranked.
Don’t be misleading
Creating trust with your audience is essential and you can achieve this through meaningful guest posts.
An article that is disingenuous, too hard-sell, or misleading in any way, is not going to be beneficial to your brand. It will only lead to early page exits and missed opportunities.
Don’t buy links on unrelated sites
Backlinks are SEO gold! But not all backlinks are equal. Your articles should be posted on blogs with a higher Domain Authority than your own site.
It’s also best if the backlinks are coming from sites relevant to your market and industry. Do your research and choose quality blogs to guest post on.
Focus on creating value-adding content
When it comes to guest blogging, value-adding content is what it’s all about. No decent blog is going to accept a guest post that’s completely advertorial.
Your posts must be value-adding and relevant to the audience of the publisher you want to guest post on. Educate, inspire or entertain the reader.
Draw on your domain knowledge and experience. Create great content that shows you know what you’re talking about and sets you as a thought-leader in your industry. This will create trust, increase your reputation, and ultimately increase sales.
Guest blogging and your content strategy
When it comes to effective marketing, there is no silver bullet and no one-size fits all strategy. There is not one thing that will turn your business into a massive success.
Nowadays, it takes 20-30 touch points before someone will buy from you. A massive increase from what use to be 6-10.
Posting content on your own is great for search traffic but it takes months, if not years, to build up. Guest posting is a great way to tap into existing audiences, and this is especially good to help drive traffic to your site if your current traffic is low.
Guest posting is great to gain awareness and you should be including guest posts in your marketing strategy.
Successful guest blogging is hard to do and it’s easy to see why many marketers give up on it. However, Contento makes guest posting super easy and could be your marketing advantage!
Don’t be scared to repurpose your own articles. You might want to re-use one of your best articles as a guest post. You can repurpose the article to better suit as a guest post and avoid duplicate content issues.
Use our free article rewriter tool. You can set the original copy and then the duplicate content tool can guide you to change it to a minimum of 30%.
This is more than enough to be classed as a unique article for both search engines and publishers.
Instead of firing out a press release to all media, you’re better off to create unique articles and work on distributing those to media.
It might take you longer to craft different articles, but you’ll get better media placement and also avoid any duplicate content issues from copy/pasted press releases.
Promoting your guest blogs
Promoting your articles is another part of guest blogging a lot of people overlook.
You should be leveraging and promoting your live guest posts through your newsletters, social media channels, and any other way you have to help drive readership.
There are over 2,000,000 blog posts published every day (source). To stand out amongst this noise you need to be unique and you need to look for distribution and promotion techniques that give you a competitive advantage.
Contento could be your guest posting secret weapon. Offer your articles to a network of reputable publishers. No cold emails, no back and forth comms, just a streamlined process that allows you to focus on creating more content and not wasting your time on outreach.
Give it a go and see what ROI you can get. You have nothing to lose and potentially lots of traffic to gain. Start your trial here.