What is a Guest Post

what is a guest post
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Guest Posts

Guest posts are one element of a successful content marketing strategy. They are often utilized by businesses who wish to reach audiences which they may find difficult to reach through their conventional marketing channels.

The sole purpose of guest posting is to increase the number of people heading to a website, diversifying the type of visitor and, ultimately, ensuring that those who visit the website are converting to paying customers.

What is a Guest Post?

When a company guest blogs, they will be developing content for another website (1). This content includes a link back to the company’s website.

A guest blog is a unique piece of content developed specifically for the website that it is being posted on. This content will be tailored to fit the needs of the website. The content will often conform to the editorial guidelines of the website where it is being posted. To an outsider, a guest blog should never look like a guest blog post. It will look like a standard piece of content.

The intention of a guest post is to drive traffic towards a website. These guest posts, when done correctly, should be highly targeted towards an audience which can lead to a high conversion rate. It is believed that guest posts are one of the best techniques that you can use when it comes to content marketing, at least when you are striving for a high conversion rate.

Many guest blog posts will also include a biography of the author. This biography is designed to build up the ‘brand’ of that writer. If the writer appears on numerous websites in the same niche, then it is likely that they are going to become an authority in the niche, which results in more people heading to their website and following posts.

Since a guest blog also delivers a wealth of benefits to the website where it is being posted, it will normally be free to post there. The writer will still need to conform to strict editorial guidelines, but it should be free to post. There are a few select websites, mainly larger ones, which do charge for guest blog posts. These are very rare now, particularly since search engines such as Google are known to look down upon those sites which either sell links or buy links.

Benefits of Guest Blogging

Businesses engage in guest blogging for several different reasons. Guest blogging will often form the backbone of a much larger content marketing campaign. There are several benefits that a website will be able to enjoy should it regularly engage in guest blogging.

One of the main reasons as to why people engage in guest posting is a method for building up links. Building up quality links is important when it comes to search engine optimization. When a blogger chooses the location for their guest posts well, they should end up generating a plethora of viable backlinks to their website. However, there is some indication that the links found on guest posts are now less valuable than they were in the past (2).

Others guest post as a way in which they can reach their target market, often free of charge bar the cost of producing the content in the first place. When a guest post location is well-selected, and the topic that is selected is perfect for that website, then it has the potential to drive a lot of pre-qualified traffic in the direction of the website.

Guest blogging has also been demonstrated to increase the authority of a website. Google, among other search engines, ranks websites based upon the quality of content that a person is likely to find when they browse through it. When a website has a plethora of links online, often from some of the top websites in that niche, it indicates that the website is highly related to that niche and, as a result, is likely to be an authority.

The websites which receive the guest post will also benefit from guest blogging. Websites thrive on quality content. It can be costly and time consuming to produce content for a website. When they accept guest posts, they can generate a lot of content, effectively free of charge. With a decent editorial policy in place, they will be able to ensure that the content which arrives on their website is going to be of the highest quality possible for their readers. This will lead to an increased number of shares and likes on the content, generating more traffic for the website.

Website owners will also notice an increased number of social media shares with their content. This, again, will result in more people heading to their website. They may also notice a boost in the search engines as a result.

The Future of Guest Blogging

Google has recently spoken out about the way in which they believe guest blogging will change in the future (3). Google believes that you should no longer be guest blogging as a method for building up links. They see guest blogging as a viable option for sharing content and driving content to a website, but it is no longer going to have the same impact that it had in the past when it comes to search engine optimization. This means that you should not really be guest blogging if your only real intention is to climb up the search engines.

Google believes that if you want guest blogging to work, then it is important that you take the time to forge a relationship with the areas where the guest post is going to be placed. This will help a person to become an authority.

Google has gone to great lengths to ‘tidy’ up their search engine with regards to guest blog spam. Websites which appear to be nothing more than a ‘link farm’ i.e. which are packed to the brim with poor quality content, are likely to have their position in the search engines downgraded. This means that the guest blogger will not benefit.

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