5 Major Guest Posting No No’s

no no noGuest blogging, or submitting posts to be published on somebody else’s blog, is a great way to build up your own social media network and your own industry credibility. Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to reach a new audience, to drive traffic to your website, and to improve your search engine ranking through the skilled use of key words in the text. Becoming a good guest blogger, and a person who is able to persuade blog managers to accept your posts, is a skill to have when it comes to gearing up your online presence. However, there are definitely things you do not want to do when writing and submitting a guest post. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when trying to get your articles picked up by different blogs.

1. Not Knowing Your Audience

You may be used to writing your own blog, and you may think you know your own audience pretty well. But even if the blog you are planning on submitting to deals with the same subject matter that you do, differences in style and perspective must be taken into consideration before you submit an article. If, for instance, you right serious academic articles about public policy and you submit a jargon-heavy piece to a political blog site that is focused on making things satirical and digestible, well, odds are that it is not going to be a good fit. Know what the audience (and hence the blog manager) of the particular website is expecting and what the site will benefit from posting before you send them your submission.

2. Ignoring Submission Guidelines

One very basic mistake that would-be guest writers make is submitting posts to blog sites that don’t even accept guest blogs! You would think that would be an easy mistake to avoid, but many writers waste all sorts of time sending submissions to all different websites hoping they get a bite without taking their time to maximize their chances by doing it the right way.

Of course, you don’t usually want to send a submission out of the blue at all. First off, research their submission guidelines. If you can’t find instructions in the contact page do a Google search for the website plus submission guidelines or instructions to see if you can find any information elsewhere. Also be sure to look for the name and email address of the blog manager so you can contact the right individual by name. Busy blog managers aren’t going to take the time to sift through requests and submissions that are obviously done wrong, so make you don’t waste your own time by wasting theirs.

3. Submitting Irrelevant and Stale Posts

When submitting a guest post, it doesn’t make sense to send them a different version of an article they have already written. If you’re submitting a recipe on the perfect Linguini to a cooking blog and they already have an article for your particular pasta on the site, you’re not likely to be contributing anything new to their blog. It therefore gets back to research. Cross check your own ideas against the content they already have on their site. Think in terms of offering something that falls in with the theme of their content, and that yet brings something new to the table…perhaps you could literally write a piece for a food site called “Bringing Something New to the Table,” talking about authentic Italian dishes that Americans typically don’t know about. Show the blog manager that you’ve put thought into what it is you are asking them to put up on their site.

4. Going Link-crazy

Most of the time when a blog manager publishes a guest submission it goes without saying that they will let you insert a link to your own website either hyperlinked in the text, in the byline, or both. But there’s nothing more obnoxious than a guest post that has a link in every paragraph, or who makes the call to action of the article something directly relevant to him or herself. Don’t be selfish, and remember you are a contributor to someone else’s platform.

5. Giving Up Too Easily

As with everything, persistence it key. Don’t continually pester the same blog manager; if they say no, or ignore you, move on. But keep sending requests, putting in the time to research different sites, and if after coming up short and finally getting a request for a submission only to have them refuse it, think about your mistakes and try again somewhere else. Like anything worth doing it can be hard work. But hard work always has a way of paying off in the end!

Guest Blogging to Increase Your Online Presence

guest-blogging-online-presenceIn the online arena, it’s just not enough to design a business website and get it up and running. With tens of millions of new sites going live every year, it’s not hard to see why so many get lost in the shuffle. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies you can unleash to increase your online presence.

First of all, you’ll want to list with directories (Yelp, Google My Business, and industry-specific sites), and you’ll also want to submit your site to Google and other search engines. Without this essential first step, people simply won’t be able to find you – even if they’re looking.

From there, you have to optimize. Even if search engines accept you, you won’t be found unless someone searches for you by name, and even then you might not be the first listing. However, when you utilize SEO practices, you can compete with other listings and increase your ranking for specific search terms related to your business.

An on-site blog can help you here. The more content you add and optimize, the greater potential you have to get recognized and catalogued by search engines, not to mention found and shared by readers and their extended network of contacts.

Blogging can help you in other ways, as well. If you’re a good writer, you have a unique, engaging, and entertaining style, and you’re an expert in your field, you could also guest blog. In other words, you can shop your content around to industry blogs.

But what do you stand to gain? How can this extra work help you increase your online presence? Here are just a few ways in which guest blogging can extend your virtual visibility.

Become an Authority

Yes, you’re already an authority in your field. But it doesn’t really matter if nobody knows it. You can rectify this oversight by creating informative content to post on industry blogs.

The tendency here is to shoot for the best known blogs. But chances are good that these platforms already have paid writers on staff. And more than likely, they’re not looking to hire a novice or a writer they view as having commercial interests of their own.

Instead, you’ll want to seek out mid-level blogs that have a decent following and a good reputation for providing timely, topical, and informative posts for a targeted readership. This will not only help you get a foot in the door, but it will also allow you to establish industry credibility as an authoritative source of information, potentially creating opportunities to post on other blogs.

Reach a New Audience

audienceSEO, an on-site blog, and social media can all help you expand your online presence. Guest blogging is just another strategy you can try. But it comes with the added advantage of a built-in audience.

When you convince a leading industry blog to publish your content, what you’re really gaining is access to all the traffic that frequents their site, including both loyal readers and new visitors to the site. This is an opportunity to wow consumers that might otherwise never find you, and you’ll reap the rewards of any goodwill the blog has already engendered with repeat readers, giving you a distinct edge.

If you impress a blog’s readers, you may encourage them to share your content, visit your site, or follow your blog. And there’s always a chance they could become patrons of your business.

Network with Industry Blogs

Anyone who manages a business knows the value of networking. Who you know can often be as valuable as what you know when it comes to creating and capitalizing on professional opportunities, including contracts, partnerships, cross-promotions, discounts, free advertising, and more.

Guest blogging is not only a great way to reach out and interact with a readership (and prospective customers), but it’s also a chance to get to know opinion-makers within your industry, including the very blog owners that may review your products or services.

And these people, in turn, can open other doors for you, acting as a gateway that connects you to innumerable industry resources, including other blogs and colleagues that you’d like to add to your contact list.

Get New Guest Posters

While you’re attempting to raise awareness of your brand by posting content on other sites, you may find that the blogs you approach are looking for some kind of trade. In this scenario, you would post content to their site and they would submit content to your on-site blog. This can benefit you in a couple of ways.

For one thing, arranging a trade could make it easier for you to engage in guest blogging. And getting content for your blog in return will bring a new voice to your on-site blog without additional time or money, and you can optimize the content to your advantage through SEO.

Of course, the caveat here is that you have to make sure that the content other bloggers are providing you with is up to snuff, meeting the high standards for quality and subject matter that you and your readers expect. Of course, working out a trade that allows you to guest blog for others in your industry and get free content for your own blog in return is likely to be a win-win situation.

Secure Backlinks

backlinksOne of the very best reasons to guest blog is to build your network of coveted backlinks from reputable sources. For this reason, you need to be extremely selective about the blogs you pick to post with. And you have to make sure they’re willing to allow a backlink as part of the articles or the bio you provide.

But if you’re at all familiar with SEO practices, you probably understand the value of links that lead back to your site. And when you secure quality links, you’ll look better to search engines and be ranked higher as a result.

Even though backlinks may be your primary purpose for guest blogging, don’t forget that quality of content is paramount. Not only will the quality of content you create as a guest blogger affect how search engines rank you, but the blogs you post for will demand high quality, and the caliber of your content will influence how readers view and share your work. So don’t squander this prime opportunity to increase your online presence.

5 Simple and Effective Ways to Improve Your Blog Posts

improve_your_blog_postsWriting a blog may not be as complicated as penning posts for the New York Times, but your readership is equally sophisticated and demanding, which means you have to put some thought into the content you create. And if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas or you feel like the quality of your blog has deteriorated over time as your ideas have waned, perhaps you could use some help to improve your blog posts. Here are a few simple and effective ways to get back on track. [Read more…]

How to Craft Magnetic Headlines That Leave Readers Wanting More

headlines

Newspaper Headline

There’s no simple formula when it comes to creating the killer headlines that are going to catch the attention of your readers and make them want to know more. But the unfortunate truth is that you’re trying to cut through the noise of millions of websites and blogs in order to gain the notice of targeted readership. And in order to do that you not only have to offer the quality content that your audience craves, but you have to find a way to convince them you’re the best choice in the incredibly small space provided for the headline. How can it be done? In truth, there’s no surefire way to craft perfect headlines. But you can take steps to put your best foot forward by following some simple guidelines. And with time and practice, your skills at assembling headlines that readers find compelling enough to dig into the meat of your article will improve. Here are just a few tips and tricks that will have you churning out literary gold in bite-size segments in no time. [Read more…]

Domain Authority Vs. Page Rank: Which Metric Is More Relevant?

Domain Authority Page Rank

Signs for Rankings of Websites

Just when you think you’ve got online ranking systems all figured out, a new metric pops up to throw a wrench in the works. And while you could continue adding to your workload by trying to keep track of and influence every new metric on the market, the truth is that most businesses lack the time, the money, or the inclination to take this course. That said, there are two major metrics that seem to be duking it out for dominance at the moment: Google’s Page Rank and Moz’s Domain Authority. And both may be employed by savvy businesses to determine how their online efforts are affecting their standing with search engines, as well as glean clues as to how they might proceed in order to achieve more success with search engine optimization. But is one metric better than the other? How can you tell which one will offer your business the best information and insights? And which looks to remain relevant moving into the future?

[Read more…]

Adapting to the Future of Guest Posting

Matt-CuttsGoogle has become a formidable empire, what with their dominance of the online search market, not to mention innovative technologies like Google glass, the self-driving car, and Project Loon (balloon-powered internet for everyone, or a literal sky-net, if you will). So it’s no surprise that when Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, issues a post entitled “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO”, people perk up and take notice. It was the fork-stick heard round the world, and everyone from bloggers and guest writers to businesses and SEO companies felt as if Cutts had just stuck a fork in their gut. But before you toss your guest-posting strategy in the trash, you might want to take a moment to read between the lines. In case you haven’t heard, guest posting is alive and well. And despite Cutts’ dire proclamation, the truth is that Google can’t survive without it.

The problem is not so much guest blogging as bad guest blogging. The introduction of Google Panda and Penguin, not to mention the advent of nofollow linking tags, has really put a crimp in the works for spammy, black-hat linking schemes. But not all guest posts fall under this category. In fact, what Cutts is railing against is the use of poor quality content as nothing more than a vehicle for inbound links, a practice that has to some degree been dealt with in recent years thanks to Google’s changing algorithms. What Google wants, is to provide their customers with the best possible service, like any good business. And when commercial interests push links in order to gain page rank, artificially increasing their standing with search engines without bothering to provide the instructional, entertaining, and engaging content viewers are seeking, they’re messing with Google’s business. We get it! [Read more…]

STUMPED: 5 Tips to Help You Generate Amazing Blog Topics

8733143_sWhether you started your blog as a labor of love, intent on connecting with like-minded individuals, or you always intended to turn it into a money-earning enterprise based on advertising dollars (or in association with your business website), you probably discovered pretty quickly that it’s not all that easy to come up with the topical, engaging, and unique content that keeps a readership coming back for more. Even if you’re an expert in your field and you’re a truly creative type to boot, it can be difficult to find inspiration when it comes to selecting topics for your blog. Luckily, if you gain some popularity, you’ll start to notice that writers come to you asking if they can write for your blog in exchange for the recognition and readership they may gain along the way. However, you may prefer to have guest posters stick to topics you’ve approved, leaving you in the same pickle as before. So here are just a few ways to generate compelling guest post topics. [Read more…]

5 Innovative Ways to Brand Your Business Online

17860213_s-1Using the Internet is an excellent way to market your services and get your business’ name out into the public view. Online resources are seemingly endless and affordable, providing you with an effective way to interact with your customers for a low cost. The most successful businesses, big and small, utilize their resources to brand their business. Here are 5 innovative ways to brand your business online and create a brand culture. [Read more…]

How to Approach Guest Posting (Post Google Panda)

QualityWhen it comes to securing the links back to your website that are going to help you secure and retain a good standing with Google (and other directories), guest posting is one of the best ways to go. By providing quality content for blogs related to your industry you are doing a lot of good. First of all, you’re associating your brand with content that is interesting, entertaining, engaging, and insightful. It raises the bar on the conversation concerning your industry and helps readers to make intelligent and informed decisions. And of course, it can create a positive reputation for your company in your own industry and beyond, as well as cementing community relationships. Plus you get links. All in all, it’s an overwhelmingly positive experience. And Google Panda aims to continue the trend of excellence in all things web-related by ensuring that diverse and high-quality guest posts are the order of the day. [Read more…]

The Benefits of Allowing Guest Posts on Your Blog

You’ve spent countless hours and sleepless nights making sure your blog is stocked with continuously updated content. And you’re reaping the benefits: higher readership and the potential of turning a part time hobby into something much bigger. But so far, you’ve been concerned about allowing guests posts on your blog. Whether your issues about guest bloggers involve maintaining authorship or quality, you’ve yet to open your site to guest bloggers. But allowing these guest posts can do wonders for the future of your site. So here’s a look at some benefits working with guest bloggers can bring. [Read more…]