Why do people keep emailing you about guest posts?
What’s with that?
If you’re like me, you get requests for guest posts almost as frequently as you get requests for links to other websites. (Well, maybe not quite as frequently.)
What are they? Why would you want to give valuable space on your website to someone else? Or, why would you bother writing on someone else’s website?
What is a Guest Post?
A guest post is a blog post on a website by someone not directly affiliated with the website. That person doesn’t work for the company that owns the website and they may not even know anybody who works for the company which owns the site.
As you may have guessed, there are two types of guest posts:
- Guest Posts on your site
- Guest Posts on someone else’s site.
We’ll cover both in succession.
Guest Posts on My Site
If you’re site gets enough traffic, chances are someone has emailed you about posting on your website. The email usually comes from a company that seems to have little to do with your business and it often feels as though they have done zero research about your brand.
Why Accept Guest Posts?
There are a couple of reasons to accept guest posts:
- it’s free content
- if the content is valuable, it could be valuable to your visitors
- you can charge or barter for the content.
What do they get out of it?
They get a link(s) to their business or their client business. The reason you are getting requests for guest posts is that this is a common-link building strategy. Link-building is the essential component of an off-site SEO campaign.
If there’s one problem webmasters have, it’s getting enough decent content.
The benefit of the best offers for guest posts is they are giving you something you would have had to pay for. And they may be willing to pay you for it (depending upon how popular your site is).
Normally you have to write the article yourself or pay someone to write it for you. Now you have an article for free.
You need to ensure a few things before you accept the post:
- It’s written well enough to be readable
- It is at least a little bit relevant to your visitors (your audience)
- It will link to sites you are okay with your site linking to (i.e. you don’t want to link to porn)
You control every step of this process so you can say no at any time. (There usually aren’t contracts.)
You can also demand better content than the original article if it is garbage.
The Best Guest Posts Are Truly Valuable
There are guest-posting experts out there who do a great job both planning the guest post pitch and writing the actual guest post.
If one of these people approaches you, it may be in your interest to just accept the post and the link(s).
Well, if the content is better than you normally produce, it will make your website better: it will attract more traffic and possibly lead to more business for you.
The content has to be really good, but you should get a pretty good idea by the pitch email as to whether or not you’re dealing with a really great writer. (When in doubt, google their name.)
Charging or Bartering for the Content
When someone offers to write a post for your site, you should only agree to it unconditionally if there is some real value in the content to your site or your business. (See Above.)
Otherwise, you should barter or charge for the post.
Bartering for a Guest Post
If you’re going to barter, usually you will ask for a link back (perhaps more than one). Not to the guest post but, rather, to an article or page on your site you want to promote.
You need to make sure the site is worthwhile so use a tool such as Alexa to ensure the site actually gets more visitors than yours.
If there’s no value in the link(s), then you want to charge.
Charging for a Guest Post
I know a brand that charges $100 for a guest post. That’s right, they charge others for the free content they are getting.
But their site gets millions of visitors per year. And they get tons of requests for guest posts per month.
Your site probably doesn’t get as much traffic. So, if you are going to charge for any guest posts, you need to figure out what an appropriate rate is, otherwise they will just say no.
Guest Posting on Another Site
The other side of guest posting is when you post on another business’ site. Why would you do that?
Well, it’s just the reverse of the reasons listed above:
- You want a link(s) to your website as part of your SEO strategy
- You want to get your content in front of a bigger or broader or better audience than visits your website as part of your content marketing strategy.
Guest Posts for SEO
If you are trying to build links to your website to increase traffic to your website, guests posts are a good way of doing this.
You can do this in a few steps:
- Make a list of sites you want to write for which will help your website. (These sites should be at least as popular as your site and their audiences should be interested in your business.)
- Plan the posts you intend to write for each of these sites based upon relevance to their audience and what content they have already published
- Contact the website with your pitch. Make it better than the pitches you get. Show them how you are going to make their site better.
- Once the post is approved, send it over.
- Once the post is published, confirm the link.
Rinse and repeat for all sites you wish to target.
Guest Posts for Content Marketing
In the early days of any brand’s content marketing strategy, the content does not get seen a lot.
A shortcut to getting your content seen is to post it on more popular sites.
If you are trying to position your brand as an authority in your industry, you will need to publish expert content about your industry and you will need to do it on sites other than you own.
There is the above SEO benefit of the link, sure. But, in this case, you are looking for greater brand prominence in your industry, and for your staff to be viewed as experts. If your staff show off their expertise by writing popular articles on the biggest sites in your industry, that only helps your brand. It may even get you clients.