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Imagine a world of sunshine and flowers, where you could control exactly who linked to you, what the link text was, and what information your site address was affiliated with. You could ride unicorns under double rainbows all day long singing about SEO. Welcome to the magical world of… guest posting?
Ok, maybe you’ll have to imagine the unicorns and rainbows, but guest posting really is that great for your SEO.
A guest post is exactly what it sounds like: a blog post written by a guest – anyone who doesn’t own the blog. The guest is credited at either the beginning or end of the article, often with an introduction paragraph by the primary blog author. In the guest's byline, he or she generally can place a couple appropriate links.
Why You Should Guest Post
The main reasons to guest post are to contact a new audience, to build a relationship with other bloggers, and to create quality links back to your blog or website. Who doesn't want a little more exposure to new potential clients?
With so many people wrapped up in SEO, it can be easy to forget that every link is a new road for potential clients to find your website. You can drastically increase both the number and quality of the people following the links by guest posting for blogs that your customers will read. Remember, it's not just the page views that matter, it's the sales or engagement that those individuals contribute.
And by building a relationship with another blogger expands your network. They might be able to direct interest or sales toward you, especially if you work on supporting them, too.
Improve Search Rankings
One part of the magic Google formula is the number and quality of links to your blog. By guest posting, you are creating quality links from one respected website to another, a good move in Google's eyes. Even writing your byline is important: make sure that your link text says something relevant to your market instead of simply “click here.”
What to Write About
It is important that you have a message to share with the blog's audience beyond advertising. Generally, posts that are too self-promotional backfire, leaving potential clients with a bad taste in their mouths.
Be sure that you have read a variety of the other blog posts, including other guest posts. Some bloggers will appreciate it if you mimic their writing style and length, but others will let you represent yourself however you see fit.
Introduce yourself, and make it obvious why you think your message is important for the community on this particular blog.
Many blogs have differing requirements for how to submit a guest post request or proposal. Some sites only accept full articles, others request ideas be submitted before the articles are written. Still other sites have specific e-mail addresses or contact forms you should use, and many simply do not accept guest posts at all. If you want to write a guest post for a blog, follow their lead and submit your proposal the way they want it. After all, it's still their blog!
Work, but Worth It
Yes, it takes a significant amount of time to write a good guest post, especially at first. Many of your posts and ideas will even be rejected. However, spending quality times on these posts will help you become a better writer for all of your posts in the future, both guest posts and posts on your blog or website.