Guest blogging is a great marketing tool, but the irony is that marketers were those very people destroying this tool before 2014. On January 20 of that year, Matt Cutts declared the death of guest blogging for SEO because filthy marketers turned this respectable tactic into the infernal machine for poor link building.
Oh, those sweet memories…
I’ve rushed into guest blogging in 2013 to find myself in the hot seat: spammy content, keyworded anchors, random outreach, irrelevant SEO titles, and thin rewriting represented every second guest post looked back then. Those unlucky bloggers – I was among them, to be honest – had no issues with plagiarizing ideas and writings from others to generate tons of mediocre articles for backlinks.
To be sure, not everything was rotten in the state of Denmark.
The Bright and Dark Sides of Guest Blogging
Thus, Jon Morrow (Smart Blogger, ex-Boost Blog Traffic) relied on guest blogging to build the audience. And you know what? He managed to get 13,000 subscribers even before his blog had been launched! What Jon did was writing guest articles to authoritative websites and sending traffic to his landing page with a blog launch trailer.
Leo Widrich (Buffer) had published 150 guest posts in 9 months. Solely through those articles, BufferApp acquired around 100,000 of their first customers.
And here’s Aaron Orendorff. Guest blogging and a regular contributor to top dogs like Unbounce, Copyblogger, Fast Company, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and many others helped him build the personal brand (IconiContent) and join the team of key influencers in marketing. Find out how he creates the most shared posts:
These guys are heavy-hitters! Their stories are palmar examples of what stellar guest blogging should be. But the ugly truth of life is, we quickly give up on the good when a bad comes.
Did you hear that oldy-moldy verse about translators?
“Many critics, no defenders,
translators have but two regrets:
when we hit, no one remembers,
when we miss, no one forgets.”
Replace “translators” with “guest blogger” – and the meaning remains there still.
So when that squad of audacious marketers and hard sellers came and cracked the bright side of guest blogging, most webmasters went all out on escaping its dark side.
- They suspect guest bloggers of ulterior motives (read: link building) and, therefore, stop accepting guest posts at their websites.
- They adjust the rel=”nofollow” attribute to all outbound links they publish at their blogs.
Sad but true:
Guest bloggers have a quite shaky reputation today.
But They Are Different in 2018
We all remember the case of Danny Iny whose guest blogging strategy allowed him to grow from 0 to 23,000 monthly page views, don’t we? Specifically, he had to write over 80 guest posts of high quality (it matters!) for high-quality (yes, again!) publications to get this result.
As you can see, it depends. I would say that modern guest bloggers write for traffic only when their personal blogs are not that huge to generate it. But even in this case, some choose spending resources on epic content for own blogs in hopes for natural backlinks and brand authority rather than creating it for others in hopes for traffic.
This suggests that modern guest bloggers care about lead generation.
They don’t worry about Google algorithms updates because they know: Google is smart enough to tell the difference between writing for SEO and people. They concentrate on blog posts quality, telling stories to trigger emotions and solve readers’ problems because they understand: value and emotions, not links, are what builds trust and generate leads.
Modern guest bloggers develop a personal brand and build their audience. They contribute content for more people to know them and, therefore, back to them. Networking is one of their primary goals because they realize:
Connections are what determines business success.
And what is the best way to connect with authoritative bloggers? You name it: to write a guest post their audience will love!
Or better yet, write two guest posts for them.
Or even three.
I did it for many: Jeff Bullas, Michael Brenner, Jay Baer… This is my second guest post for Sue (check the first one here), and I hope you love reading it. 🙂
Productive relations are the most valuable thing to get from guest blogging in 2018. Writing for others, you come to the fore and make a lot of friends.
Authority, brand awareness, lead generation, and networking with key influencers are the focus of a modern guest blogger.
Whether they get referral traffic or not, and whether they backlink from guest posts or not, they still profit from exposure and credibility. Guest blogging allows them to build a solid portfolio to prove their awesomeness to prospective customers.
Who cares about backlinks when your work is live on Forbes or The New York Times, after all? Not the worst way to have the better of your impostor syndrome, huh? 😉
Interpersonal relationships, loyal readers waiting for new blog posts from you, recognition, and, after all, an impressive portfolio of publications at top blogs – that’s what modern guest bloggers expect to get when spending their time and resources on writing for external resources.
Blog hosts and contributors understand: guest blogging is an exchange. Always. The former get comprehensive content, the latter – a wider audience, an opportunity to represent their brand, and a chance to show themselves to be skilled writers.
A modern guest blogger focuses on content quality and its value for the audience. This guy or lady generates guest blog posts with the long-game in mind.
It’s your turn now.
Do you guest blog? What are your expectations for this marketing tactic? Or, maybe you don’t hold guest bloggers in high regard? Join the discussion in comments below.
Lesley Vos is a guest blogger hiding behind posts on writing craft, content marketing, and self-development. She creates web texts and polishes her writing skills. Specializing in content creation and self-criticism, Lesley develops a habit of doing her best proofreading before she hits “send.” Feel free to follow or just say Hi on Twitter.