Guest blogging is a technique you can use to expose your site to a wider audience. But what do you need to take into account before adopting this as a strategy?
When you open up your site to guest blogging, established bloggers are invited to publish a piece on your site. It’s a great way to reach a new audience, but there are important things to consider before including this in your content strategy.
The evolution of guest blogging
A few years ago, guest blogging was the key way to improve your SEO through the creation of backlinks. The practice exploded and became ‘spammy’, with a low content standard and posts that were barely more than strings of keywords. The audience was forgotten, instead, posts were published with the algorithm in mind.
Now, with improvements in the way Google prioritises ‘quality’ content, guest blogging has evolved from being part of a standard SEO process and a way to source backlinks to being a valuable way to enhance your content publication.
Finding a guest blogger
Now you know you want one, you need to find your guest blogger. Taking the time to select a suitable blogger who is a great match for your site will really make a difference to your community and audience. Don’t look to mirror existing content; this is a great way to showcase a new point of view or discuss complementary expertise.
Social networks are a good place to begin – especially Twitter and LinkedIn. Medium, a long-form content-specific platform, is also an incredibly rich source. Don’t limit your search to online! Going to networking events is an excellent way to identify potential guest bloggers.
Remember your reputation
When you use a guest blogger, their name will be linked with your website online – so it’s important to pull the files. Don’t just look at the content they’ve written previously; it’s important to also check out their social media profiles. They could operate quite differently in the professional and personal realms!
Any quirks aside, it’s also important to check you’re recruiting someone with a decent social reach so that you’ll get the benefit of your site finding a wider audience.
Innovate, don’t replicate
Google looks unfavourably on duplicate content, but apart from this, there’s just no reason to publish content that can be found elsewhere. When you’re engaging a guest blogger, take the time to put a clear agreement in place that the post provided for your site will be original and won’t be replicated.
Use the chance to learn
Guest posts are a great way to experimentally introduce a new point of view, style of content or format on your site. As always, it’s important to measure, learn and adjust when you try something new.
If content from a guest blogger resonates with your audience, consider engaging them on a more regular basis or adjust your content strategy to take into account what the guest blogger is bringing to your site.
Remember to reach out!
Encourage your guest bloggers to get involved on your social networks, and make sure you make it easy for them to amplify the post by sending them the final link or asking them to share the content from your social channels. Having their involvement in the accompanying social chatter is a great way to show the audience that the relationship is genuine.
Just as you’re using guest bloggers, remember to hunt for opportunities to showcase your content on other websites. You’ll receive the benefit of a new audience and further extend your network.
Resources and further reading