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Also known as the place I write words.

As the demand for quality content rise, guest posting continues to gain more importance not just as an SEO strategy, but as an effective online marketing tool itself.

The ability to write or finding the right talent to write is the key to success for content marketing in general.  However, just like not everyone is blessed with the talent to paint, sing, dance or design, not everyone can write.  Writing needs a combination of skills such as good command over language, subject knowledge, patience, inquisitiveness, analytical mindset, dedication, creativity, a love for reading and writing and the ability to accept criticism. Moreover, it’s not only about writing, one needs to understand his readers well and write keeping them in mind.  If you are a blessed writer with such qualities, you would probably enjoy guest posting than anyone else.

I have no intentions to say, you cannot learn writing or become a successful writer by just working hard and improving your skills. If you are an aspiring writer, you shouldn’t’ be reading the rest of this post. Go straight to 750words.com which will help you write at least 750 words every day. It will even send you reminders, if you have forgotten to write on a given day!

If you are still with me, it means you are seriously short on time or have other priorities than writing. Here are some situations when it’s better to outsource your guest posting to another person or to a guest posting service provider.

1. Guest posting is not an easy task

Guest blogging might sound like a simple process initially. But if you have tried it once, you will know how difficult it is. There are too many steps involved right from finding an ideal blog to write for, evaluating the  opportunity, establishing contact with the blogger, making a pitch, content research and writing the piece etc can actually be a tedious process.

2. Lack of time and confidence

Very often small business owners and even medium size business managers are tied up with lots of other activities which need more of their attention and they may not find ‘quality time’ during their daily schedule to write a blog post. Further, you may have good command over language, but if you are not very confident of writing, there are chances of pushing ‘this activity’ for the next day and so on because of the mental block.

3. Save money on salary and other office overheads

Sometimes you may not have sufficient work to keep an in-house writer or have budget constraints to keep them on your payroll. Also, it’s not easy to find a talented writer who can write on your subject.  Even if you manage to hire one, keeping them satisfied over a long period of time can become another challenge. In most cases, you will be able to find an outsourcing service provider who can deliver the same quality, at a much better price. When you are getting the desired output at a better price, make use of it and save significantly on salary and other office overheads.

4. Another language

This is an obvious reason. It’s better to hire a native writer to write content in a language unknown to you. This is because, even if you decide to take the help of an online translator tool or a translator’s service, there is nothing like a piece written by a person who writes in that language. Literal translations will not work in most cases. The written piece should be able to connect with the culture and emotions of the audience who read it.

5. Scalability

In order to be successful, any SEO activity needs to be ongoing. Only continuous and consistent efforts would help you improve your ranking. When you have many other things to handle, it’s normal to procrastinate things like ‘writing’, because they are low on priority. However, if you’ve outsourced it, you can be pretty sure about the plans being followed.

6. Professional team of writers and researchers

When you hire a guest posting service, you are able to access the services of professional writers and researchers who are otherwise not available at your service. Because of the large volumes they handle, they are able to maintain a huge network of talent.

7. SEO knowledge

When you choose a professional guest posting service like ours, you can be sure that the posts are optimized with the right keywords at the right density. We also have access to professional paid tools to check various SEO factors and write the content as well as choose the anchor texts used in the content keeping your overall SEO objective and current ranking status in mind.

Guest blogging is an effective way to build quality backlinks, build relationships, build credibility, increase brand exposure and drive traffic to your site. However, you need to be little careful when you start guest blogging as all the opportunities are not the same. Here are 10 criteria you need to follow while evaluating guest blogging opportunities.

Before that, let’s just get the basics in place for those of you who are new to the world of guest posting. It’s nothing but contributing content to another blog and in return you will be allowed to mention about you, your business, usually in the author bio. Check this post on the benefits of guest blogging  to know more. For the purpose of this pot, I assume you are aware of the basics of SEO and link building. If you are new to SEO and internet marketing, don’t worry, use this excellent resource from SEOmoz to get the basics in place.  Trust me; it’s not as difficult as you’d think.

1. Relevance

Is the blog relevant to you? Do they write about the same industry or topic to which your site belongs to? The backlinks are more valuable if they come from sites within the same industry because it’s like an endorsement from others in the industry and search engines give more importance to such links. Moreover, if it is in the same industry, the readers will be an ideal target for you to reach out to too.

2. Do they allow guest blogging?

Obviously, you need to check is if they allow guest blogging. Look for tabs or links which says ‘write for us’ ‘guest posting’ ‘contribute content’ etc in the site and make sure to read their guest post submission guidelines carefully and follow them when you write the post and submit.

3. Content

Read through a few articles to evaluate the quality of content. Interesting headlines, in-depth coverage, clarity in presentation, supporting statements with facts, usage of examples, correct usage of language and grammar, visuals etc. shows how good the content is.

4.Do they allow backlinks in the post?

When you go through the guest post guidelines, it is important to know if they allow you to put links to your site or blog post. Also check how many links are allowed, if they are allowed within the body copy or only in the author bio, are they no-follow links etc.  Ideally, you should get two links either in the body copy or in the author bio and they have to be do-follow links. But you can compromise on this based on the quality of the blog.

5. Ranking  for keywords

Is the host blog ranking for any keywords it is targeting? If they are ranking for some of their target terms, it is a good blog to associate your brand with.

6.Active blog

How often do they update their blog with new content?  Most popular blogs update their content very frequently with more than three to four posts daily. Even if they have a new post every three to four days, it’s worth considering, if it has authority.

7. Blog comments

The number and the quality of comments for each post show how readers respond to each post.  If you see good number of meaningful comments adding value to the topic, it’s a good sign of reader engagement.

8. Social media stats and engagement

Are they present on leading social media channels (at least Facebook, Twitter,  Linkedin) and how often they update their profiles? A high number of followers and good social sharing shows the popularity of the blog.

9. Google PageRank , Alexa Rank, Compete Rank, Domain authority

These are few important matrices you need to check to get a fair idea about the quality of the site, traffic received, average unique visitors to the site etc.

10.Number links and link profile

Use a free tool like Open Site Explorer to check the total number of links, inbound links, outbound links, anchor text profile etc. to know if the site links to other sites and what kind of sites are they linking to. Also see who is linking to their site and what anchor texts are used for linking.

11.Real people

Are there real people behind the blog or it’s an automated robot that does the content filling job? Check who the writers are and their social media profiles to get a better idea.

 If you look at these parameters closely and select the blog, you can be sure of the time and effort you are going to invest in the guest post.

 

Though the concept of guest blogging is not new, it has gained immense popularity among online marketers in the last couple of years, mostly because major search engines like Google have updated their algorithm to detect quality of the Backlinks pointing to a site.

Compared to any other link building tactics, guest posting, if done well; can get you not just few good backlinks, but traffic, brand awareness and thought leadership. Let’s look at the key benefits and advantages of guest posting in detail -

 1. Build backlinks and improve search engine rankings

The primary benefit of guest posting is backlinks. Link building is a key aspect of search engine optimization  as it’s almost impossible to rank high without the help of Backlinks. Most blog owners will reward you with one or two backlinks to your site/blog/content for contributing good content to their blog.  This is a natural and highly effective way of building links, because in most cases you will be writing on topics related to your business or industry in general, on a blog relevant to the topic and these are the kinds of links you need to improve your search engine ranking. Guest blogging also helps you have a control over the anchor text used and build a diverse link profile. If your site has a number of links pointing to your site from a few dozens of blogs in your industry, that clearly sends a big signal to the search engines about your authority.

2. Brand awareness

It’s not just about backlinks and it should not be. When you contribute to other blogs, your brand name can be mentioned along with your name and those who are impressed with the article is going to check out the writer’s profile and what he or she does.  This give you an opportunity to expose your brand name to new markets and audience.

3. Relevant Traffic

Huge amount of traffic to a site means nothing, if the traffic is not relevant. You need to attract visitors who are likely to be interested in the topic. For example, if you sell an accounting software, your target audience comprises of accountants and other financial professionals. If you contribute an interesting article about an emerging trend in the accounting services or share some practical tips in a finance related blog, it’s likely to be accepted by the readers, who are in fact your target audience. The chances of them visiting your site and converting to sale are much higher in this case. Imagine what would be the relevance if you contribute the same article to say a gardening related blog!

4. Thought leadership and credibility

When you contribute quality content, you are projected as a thought leader in the industry which creates a good impression in the minds of your prospective customers as well as others in your industry and projects you and your business in a credible manner.

 5. Build relationships and grow your network

Guest blogging is also about building relationships. When you contribute to a blog, you are establishing a good rapport with the blog owner, the readers, those who comment on your post etc. They might get in touch with you for offering new guest blogging opportunities, business opportunities, new client introductions, follow you on social media, share your posts and so on.

6. Social media exposure

Popular blogs usually have a huge and active social media following and they are likely to share your post across these channels, exposing your content and brand to a totally new audience.

Guest blogging is an inexpensive marketing strategy too. All you need to do is to spend time developing good content   and connect with other bloggers to get it published. Have you tried guest posting? Please share your experience in the comments.