In this post-Panda and Penguin search landscape, one much talked-about topic when SEO specialists gather together for a virtual drink is guest blogging.
Guest blogging, as you may already have read from several different sources, is perceived as a way to rank high in the search engines, mainly because guest blogging is all about content. And with compelling content, social media sharing comes into play.
Given the many algorithm changes that have been happening of late, social media, as some blogging and SEO experts claim, is the new SEO.
Guest blogging and online marketing
I do content marketing for small businesses through guest blogging. While some say “guest blogging” is so 2011 and that the new norm is now “contributing,” to me, that’s nothing but a technicality.
Writing a guest blog post can be referred to by several different names, but the basics of success remain the same – content, relevance, value.
I’ve been doing this for over a year now and have already gotten a good number of guest articles published in relatively big and small blogs.
It’s a rocky ride, just like any online venture. But along the way, aside from the usual and not-so-usual pointers we read regarding the principles of successful guest blogging, including what to do to turn a guest blogging pitch into an absolute disaster I’ve picked up a few invaluable blogging lessons that somehow make the ride less strenuous.
I’ll be highlighting ten of them, so if you’re ready and comfortable, let’s begin:
1. Do not venture into territory you know nothing about, unless you’ve done a good amount of research and are confident you can tackle the subject high and low.
2. Do not write about subjects that have been beaten to death a thousand times. If you must, make sure to inject a fresh perspective, like your personal experience, a case study and so on. Creativity can go a long way.
3. Lengthy posts are not always in. Despite what everyone else is saying, sometimes, short, concise posts that pack a punch are better. Just remember to review the blog’s requirement on minimum number of words or look for guest blogging opportunities with fewer restrictions if necessary.
4. Humor sells. While snarky stirs the pot, if you can’t handle the heat it might generate in the comments section, stay away from it.
5. Do not take rejections negatively. The editor always has a reason for not publishing your article. If you want to know why, politely ask. In spite of the explanation and you still disagree, calm down. Never walk away in rage. Burning bridges is not going to address the problem. Besides, it’s not your blog. It’s their blog.
6. What others perceive as mistakes, consider as “room for improvement”. If you’ve been given the chance to edit your article, follow instructions to the letter. Otherwise, maintain an open dialogue with the editor if the changes requested don’t necessarily suit your taste.
7. Don’t get too cocky. Even when several of your articles have already been published in the same blog, there’s no guarantee that article you just submitted for review is going to get published as well.
8. Find a critic. This person can be anybody you trust, like a blogging partner or a friend who reads your stuff. Just make sure she’s not your mom, particularly if she’s the doting kind. No matter how skilled you think you already are, there are things you don’t see through your own eyes.
9. Read a lot, especially about breakthrough trends. Editors, bloggers and readers appreciate cutting edge more than period pieces, unless you’re writing for a history blog.
10. Keep the lights in your blog’s porch open. If all else fails, your guest article should always find a home.
This, of course, is only applicable if you follow the first and ultimate guest blogging golden rule: Write and pitch articles you would be willing to publish in your own blog.
More Guest Blogging Tips!
11. Find a mentor. It doesn’t have to be somebody you communicate with on a regular basis. This can be somebody who runs a blog that gives sound advice on guest blogging. One VERY obvious candidate: Ms. Ileane of Basic Blog Tips.
12. Last but definitely not least, keep believing in yourself even when no one seems to believe your content is compelling enough, or relevant enough, or valuable enough.
Strive to better your craft every opportunity you get. Do not give up at the first sign of difficulty. Instead, persevere. Soon, you’ll prove the unbelievers wrong.
What about you, have you already started your guest blogging journey? If so, what guest blogging lessons have you learned so far?