How Can We Fix Guest Blogging?

Content Marketing Blog 29th May 2013

Hi, there. I’m going to talk to you today about guest blogging. There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the word “guest blogging” lately. Many people are worried as to whether Google are going to start cracking down on sites that host guest posts. Although nothing is for certain yet, what we do know is that Google like good quality content. The whole reason they keep running the algorithm updates for Panda and Penguin is because they want to try and create a better Web. So how can we help make the Web better? In short, through creating better content.

But what’s wrong with guest blogging, anyway? It’s been around for nearly as long as blogging has, and yet no one seems to have got it down to an exact science yet. There are plenty of great guest posts out there, but for every one of those there’s probably a thousand spammy, scraped posts that are created purely just to earn links. The level of spam emails sent out every day has kind of created an untrustworthy culture among bloggers. It’s led to many putting up pay walls that charge extortionate amounts just to post any old content. This isn’t really the kind of Web that people want to experience, nor is it the kind of Web that Google want to see.

So what can we do to make it better? For a start, we could only share content that we would be happy to post on our own blogs. The rise of the authorship tag has meant that many people put their names and faces to their own work. People are now literally responsible for exactly what they produce on the net. It’s not worth besmirching your own good name to just earn a few links. Make sure the content you send out is better, if not just as good, as the content that’s on your site.

When you’re looking for blogs as well, don’t just send it to any old blog. Send it to blogs that post regularly, have a large social following, and are constantly updated by all kinds of people. Send it to blogs that you have a personal interest in. If you already have the blogging site out, why not be part of it as well?

I think the most important fact is to send it to blogs that are relevant. That way the article that you’re posting will at least reach the intended audience.

It’s all about building relationships and earning links, as I like to call it, “Making Love, Not Links.” If you spend time on the sites you’re looking for, interacting with their communities, finding posts that interest you, showing that you’re an active part of that site and interacting with other bloggers that interact with that site as well, then the webmasters who host it will be much more likely to accept things off of you than if you would just randomly shoot them an email out of the blue asking to post on their site for no apparent reason.

If you even look on social networks and join in groups of bloggers. I know there are plenty of Google+ circles that you can get involved with or Facebook groups. My Blog Guest, the famous blogging community, do a Twitter hangout every Thursday afternoon, #MyBlogGuest, every Thursday, and you’ll find advice from newbies and professionals on how to blog properly, how to encourage guest blogging, and all kinds of tips and advice.

There are some things to consider. Just because you send a nicely worded email doesn’t mean the blogger has to respond to you. Bloggers are very busy people, and they might not be able to get back to you straightaway. Don’t pester them with emails daily asking them if they managed to read your content yet. Chances are they haven’t. And if they have, if they haven’t got back to you straightaway, they maybe didn’t like it. They don’t have to post it just because you spent time finding out about them or just because you spend time on their site. As I said earlier, there is no tried and tested formula for guest blogging yet. All you have to do is spend time getting to know the people and show that you’re genuinely interested, and obviously don’t send them content that’s not worthwhile.

If you’re still struggling, though, there are some tools that can help you. Followerwonk, for example, is a Twitter-ific tool that helps you analyse your Twitter account and all your followers and shows you exactly who you should be following. Rapportive collects together all the information you have about your contacts in your Gmail account. It’s a great addition if you need to know exactly who’s who and remember who you need to contact. TweetDeck is a great Twitter client that can help you organise your Twitter followers into columns and follow trends specifically. These are all well worth looking into if you’re serious about guest blogging. Of course, there are many other tools available. So let me know the ones you like in the comments section below.

Thank you for watching. I’ve been Harry Gardiner, and for more information on guest blogging and SEO in particular, check out the links at the end of this video.

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