Guest blogging has long been a way for bloggers to create links back to their own content. Traditionally, this has been a good thing for bloggers looking to make a name for themselves and establish some link credibility for their own site.
It was good for SEO, and it was good for the writer. It should also have been good for the blog running post. The tide, however, seems to be turning on guest blogging. Lately, you hear of people speaking about its demise.
Is guest blogging really dead?
The Haters & Spammers
Recently we opened our WordPress blog up for guest blogging. The idea seemed simple enough. It was a chance for us to get great content with a different perspective from new writers, give the writers links, and share some credibility for everyone involved.
To our great disappointment, however, the content we’ve received so far hasn’t been all that credible. In fact, most of it (though not all of it) has been pretty lame content intended for a quick ‘win’ with little value besides a link at the bottom of the post.
Most respondents clearly didn’t want to be bothered with reading, or following, our guidelines for guest posting. One writer repeatedly asked us questions regarding the link-back to his own blog and whether his link would be left alone. He was more concerned with the link than the actual content of the post.
That is precisely where guest blogging went wrong.
The problem with guest blogging isn’t guest blogging. It is the haters, those content spammers looking for a quick win with sloppy content and an emphasis on links. The bottom line is that too much of the ‘guest content’ out there is really just junk content. The almighty link has beaten out quality content.
Please don’t get me wrong; there are still some very good guest bloggers out there and sites that are doing a great job of accepting high quality guest posts. They must be weeding through many questionable posts to do so. And that, in many ways, is the point of this rant.
Link Building Can Still Work
In reality, guest blogging has always been about the link, and it’s OK to admit that. Google still honors the link, and those guest posts and links can still be used to improve your overall SEO value. But, to do it right, guest blogging needs to be about more than a link. It needs to be about content, first and foremost.
What if we saw guest blogging as a way to share and spread new ideas? What if we saw it as a way to develop a personal brand, or extend our own abilities as a writer and a communicator? Would that be so wrong?
Does the entire process have to be about lousy blog posts and easy link backs?
The post you are reading now is a guest post, on a blog that accepts guest posts. Links have been exchanged, but hopefully discussion-starting ideas have been as well. The transaction was fair for everyone involved, including the blog, the guest writer, and the reader.
Guest blogging isn’t dead. Let’s consider the recent changes that Google has made (the ones leading to the “guest blogging is dead!” hysteria) as a simple marketing correction. Yes, some guest posting is dead (and it should be), but that doesn’t mean it needs to dry up for the rest of us.
Make It About Content
If you are considering starting your own guest blogging strategy, just keep in mind this simple little rule – your guest post is all about content. How can you add value to the blog that you are writing for? How can a writer add value to your blog?
If these aren’t your motivations, then your guest blogging career is, unfortunately, DOA.