How To Succeed With Guest Blogging In 2014

This is a follow on to my post about why I am supporting My Blog Guest.

Guest blogging is dead. Long live guest blogging.

Google’s recent (unwarranted) nuclear bomb attack on MyBlogGuest has left a bitter taste in the mouth and a fear that, what was a great way to gain new readers and build your authority in a niche, has been ruined by spammers.

But fear not; guest blogging in 2014 is alive and well. It is merely our approach to guest blogging as a traffic building tactic that will have to change in 2014.

Here is how to use guest blogging as apart of your wider content marketing strategy in 2014, avoid google penalties and grow your audience.

guest blogging in 2014

Forget Using Guest Blogging As A Scaleable Link Building Strategy

If you are currently viewing guest blogging as a way to build x number of links per month, then forget it.

That is not what guest blogging is for and is exactly what has caused google to turn their beady eyes towards it.

Spewing out 20 (or more) articles a month to wherever will take them, for the sole purpose of building up your backlinks is not going to end well.

Instead focus on one or maybe two guest posts a month, which are your very best work.

Your guest posts should be of a standard that you would be happy to publish on your own site – in fact it could be argued that they should be even better.

Where Should You Look To Publish Guest Posts?

The primary purpose of guest blogging should be to get yourself (or your brand) in front of a new audience that will be interested in your product or services.

With that in mind, here are some questions to ask yourself when considering which sites to approach.

Is The Site On Topic?

Will the visitors to the site you would like to guest blog on be interest in your product/services? If not, then look elsewhere.

Does The Site Have An Engaged Audience?

Comments (unless the site is copyblogger!), social media shares etc are a sign that the site is popular and has an active, engaged audience.

Is The Site Active On Social Media?

Does the site/blogger tweet, share etc regularly? What sort of following do they have?

Does The Site Have A Strong Editorial Voice?

If more than 25% of the posts on the site are guest posts I would generally avoid publishing on there (the exception is authority sites).

Is The Site An Authority?

You should know the authority sites in your niche and if you can secure a guest post on one of those it will be gold dust.

Use Guest Blogging As A Way To Strengthen Your Existing Connections

As a successful internet marketer, one of your primary focuses should be on building connections with other webmasters in your niche.

Guest blogging is a great way to strengthen these relationships and at the same time put yourself and your website in front of new audiences.

Instead of pitching to sites/webmasters with which you have had no previous interaction, why not look to guest post on sites that  are already engaged with you?

As you are spending less time on sending out email pitches, you will have more time to spend on creating great content!

Stick Around And Don’t Hide!

Don’t try and be sneaky, don’t try to be clever.

Claim google authorship of your guest posts, promote them through your own social media, link to them from your own site even.

In short, be proud of them.

And make sure you answer any comments/questions on the post – it will make the right impression with your new audience and increase your chances of being invited back by the host site.

Link Smart

As I explained in point 44 of my monster post on SEO myths, branded links trump anchor text every time.

Guest posts are not the place to build anchor text, so in your profile link use your name, your brand name or website name.

For example I might use: –

David McSweeney
Top 5 SEO
www.top5seo.co.uk

If there is a genuine reason to cite another one of your articles (either on your main site or a guest post on another site) from within the body of your new guest post, then link naturally.

To Follow Or Not To Follow

That is the question…

Should you add nofollow to those bio links in your guest posts?

I’m saying no.

Don’t Pay For Guest Posts

If a site is blatantly selling guest posts (without adding the nofollow attribute), then you probably want to steer clear.

Why Guest Blog Anyway?

Guest blogging as part of your marketing strategy should have the following goals, in this order of priority: –

  1. Reaching a new audience
  2. Gaining referral traffic
  3. Goal conversion (i.e. new subscribers/sales from that referral traffic)
  4. Building your authority within a niche
  5. Building your social media following
  6. Strengthening relationships with other sites/bloggers
  7. SEO

I have included SEO on the list as guest blogging will certainly have an SEO benefit for your site, but only if it is not your primary purpose!

Creating great content (with a message) and getting that content in front of people is the cornerstone of successful, white hat internet marketing and guest blogging is still a great way to do just that.

Use guest blogging as just one of the tactics in your inbound marketing efforts and follow the tips above to ensure that you will reap the benefits of increased traffic and new sales/subscribers without having to worry about being penalised by google.

Show your support for MyBlogGuest by tweeting with the hashtag #isupportmyblogguest

Further Reading On Guest Blogging In 2014

About the Author

I'm a web developer, programmer, blogger and SEO expert from Glasgow, Scotland, with over 15 years experience in the industry. When I'm not writing about marketing and SEO you'll find me strumming the guitar in my band or listening to Revolver on repeat. Follow me on twitter, connect with me on google+ and add us on facebook to keep up with all the latest trends in SEO and online marketing.

Leave a Reply 11 comments

Charles Floate - March 28, 2014 Reply

Thanks for the feature man 🙂

    David McSweeney - March 28, 2014 Reply

    No worries, was a good example of how it should be done!

Robert Kirk - March 28, 2014 Reply

Hi David

Been following your blog for last few months now, some really interesting posts.

Thought this post was great read. My concern going forward with guest posting now is though many of the good blogs are now worrying about linking out and either not accepting guest posts now or simply automatically no following them?

    David McSweeney - March 28, 2014 Reply

    yes, that is definitely a concern and is unfortunately going to be a by-product of google’s action against MyBlogGuest. It’s sad as it’s the same as when everyone started slapping nofollow on outbound links left right and centre for the wrong reasons. I read an interesting article earlier about how google themselves are accepting guest posts on their analytics blog – which contain followed bio links http://monitorbacklinks.com/blog/seo/proof-guest-blogging-dead-coming-right-google/

Alex revised - March 29, 2014 Reply

Revised comment: Thanks for the sound advice. I reshared it to my G+ stream.

Anyway, G+ is the only reason why I care about getting my manual action resolved. Otherwise, believe it or not, I wouldn’t care. (I get traffic from other sources.) But here’s something odd: I’m very active on G+ so my penalty creates an uneasy situation that’s still unresolved at this point. I suppose Google won’t mind as long as I don’t post posts to G+ that exist on my penalized domain. I care 1,000 times more about G+ than SERPs. I can’t imagine my life without G+ (Side note, not terribly important: I use Authorship and I wish more people would adopt it; I feel that fact doesn’t simplify this, unfortunately.)

Nithin Upendran - April 4, 2014 Reply

Interesting post, Well last time I checked guest blogging is nearly dead but after reading your post I guess I need to start all my guest blogging campaigns to high quality blogs.

Thanks

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Troy Wilde - October 28, 2015 Reply

Thanks for the information! This is going to help my campaign ALOT. Any more of these articles coming up?

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