I’m often asked to guest blog on websites. I do so because I love writing, but what is the purpose of guest blogging? Why do it? Why allow others to guest post on your site? How do you even find these relevant people?
Those are all questions I will try to answer today, with some real data to back it up from an SEO and traffic perspective.
Recently on the Distilled blog, our friend Josh Giardino guest posted an article entitled Quit Playing Google, The Jig is Still Up! This was a followup post to his original post on our friend Mike’s site, where essentially Josh uncovered what he believes to be a game-changing discovery about Google ability to index sites. The first post ended up on the first page of Hacker News for a few hours. After Mike wrote a followup post on SEOmoz called “How Smart are Search Robots?“, Josh posted his followup on our site.
That day, the post hit the front page of HackerNews again, where it stayed in the #3-#4 position for the rest of the day, and was still on the homepage the next day. For those of you not familiar with HackerNews, hitting the homepage with an article is not easy, and staying there is even harder.
Here are the traffic statistics for the first week in December. You tell me which day Josh’s post was published on:
Josh’s post sent 13,075 visits to the page in the first 3 days, and thus far the article has earned 75 links from around the Internet, according to Majestic SEO’s web index:
THIS is the power of guest posting and allowing guest posts!
What’s the purpose of posting or allowing guest posts?
If you haven’t figured it out already, guest posts fit multiple needs. If you are writing guest posts, they can lead to a whlie host of benefits:
- Get you exposure beyond your normal readership.
- Earn you at least one followed link back to your site (helps SEO).
- Builds your personal brand.
- Can lead to new relationships and more opportunities for guest posting.
- Rinse and repeat.
Guest posting is hard and can take a lot of time out of your already busy schedule, so if you have your own site or blog, you can accept guest posts as well. If you are accepting guest posts, they can do the following for your site:
- More links to your site if the post is high value (helps SEO for your own site).
- You get quality, original content for free and for little effort.
- Help you build relationships with others in your niche for potential links in the future, as well as other opportunities;
- Rinse, repeat.
How do I tell others I’m open to guest posts?
Different bloggers have different ways of telling others that they are open to guest posts. Some tweet about it if they have a decent following while others email friends in their industry and see if they might be interested.
One thing that people often overlook, and that I have failed to do myself in the past, is set forth a list of guest posting guidelines. Since people interested in guest posting are often interested in the link/SEO benefits, you may have to set down some rules for:
- The number of followed links allowed (you could potentially nofollow links, using the rel=”nofollow” parameter, over this limit) though I would not worry about this. I believe in linking out freely.
- The topic or niche of the post (so that it is in line with what you usually accept and what your readers enjoy).
- Length (in keeping with your blog goals, if these exist).
- And that it must be an original work.
How do I find people to post on my site?
First, you should announce it to your followers! Before you even begin guest blogging, you should already have a decent readership built for your site, as well as a social media presence.
When I announced that I am now accepting guest posts on my site, I announced it via a tweet:
I’m officially accepting guest blog posts on my site! If you’re interested, read these guidelines (j.mp/shBnK4) and let’s chat
— John Doherty (@dohertyjf) December 16, 2011
List Your Site
You can list your site places such as MyBlogGuest, which I used to great success as an in-house SEO. MyBlogGuest allows you to list the categories that your site pertains to, and people can contact you directly through there. People must also respond in a timely manner, so you know that they are serious about writing for you.
Reach out to influencers
If your blog is focused around a certain niche (and it should be), you should also find the influencers in your space, become friends with them (there is no competition in blogging), and then ask them to guest post for you! Oftentimes, people are more than willing to write a guest post. You’ll be surprised how often people are glad for the opportunity and surprised to receive it.
Please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or other social networks. I love making new friends!