Guest Blogging for SEO and Targeted Visitors
Guest blogging is a powerful and effective way to expand your reach, build your brand and make connections with other people and businesses. When done correctly, you will find that you get new, and highly targeted, visitors to your site who are genuinely interested in what you do. A further benefit from guest blogging is that it can have a really positive benefit for your SEO.
SEO Benefits of Guest Blogging
Most guest blog posts end with an author or bio box, in which the guest blogger can write a few lines describing who they are, what they do, and where readers can find out more. This tends to include a link to their website and perhaps their social media accounts, too. By choosing to write for blogs which are authoritative in their area, these backlinks can have a powerful effect on search engine rankings.
How to Find Blogs to Write For
You probably already have some favourite blogs in your niche, so starting with these is a good idea. You are already familiar with their style of writing, and how frequently they publish guest blog posts, so contact them with a well thought out proposal.
Alternatively, utilise advanced search techniques to find the information you need. Some suggested search terms are:
- “your subject” + “write for us”, e.g. "pet care" + "write for us"
- “your subject” + “guest post guidelines”, e.g. "vintage cars" + "guest post guidelines".
The results of these types of searches will give you a good range of blogs in your area of expertise who accept guest bloggers' submissions.
You can then further segment these by looking at the quality of the blog and some simple metrics, such as domain age, frequency of content updates and page rank. This will enable you to target the more authoritative blogs which will turn will give you greater value.
How to Make the Approach
It is important to resist the temptation to email webmasters en masse with a vague proposal for a guest blog post, specifying how many backlinks you want in return. Anybody who manages an authoritative website will receive these types of emails daily, and can quickly see through the senders' intentions. Think about it from the webmaster's point of view: they don't want to offer you free advertising and links, they want something which will be of interest to their regular readers.
Craft a message from scratch, making it clear that you regularly read their website and understand their perspective. You are much more likely to succeed if you can demonstrate that you can provide great value to their site and their readers.
Show that you understand their style, because you want to write something that will resonate with their audience…do they write in-depth analysis, short funny posts or newsworthy and up-to-date content? Address the site owner by name, too, because “Dear Sir / Madam” is not the way to make a good first impression. Personalising your approach will pay dividends.
Well-targeted guest blogging can bring you new visitors to your website, which can lead to new subscribers, followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook, and email list sign-ups too. The value of the backlinks is important, so carefully consider the best anchor texts to use for your backlinks, and choose large, well-respected websites to post on. But do remember that there are wider benefits to guest blogging, which have the potential to improve your brand recognition, subscriber count and status as well.