* This is a guest post by Mariana Ashley
I must admit, when I first read about the concept of guest posting on someone else’s blog, I thought, “What a waste of time!” I might as well post the content to my own blog, right? It’s a reasonable reaction. Original content is extremely valuable to any website, so why give it away freely to someone else’s?
Not Just About the Content
Search Engine Optimization
You must realize that content isn’t the only thing that contributes to a blog’s success. Backlinks, incoming links to your website or blog, are important for search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engines like Google rank pages in their results by a number of factors, one of them being backlinks. And not just backlinks from any random site, backlinks from related sites with reputations, unique content, and good quality.
So, if you want your blog to rank higher in search results, guest posting to related blogs can help immensely. And it’s a completely honest way to popularize your blog. Google constantly modifies their search algorithms to punish those who are simply gaming the system. But backlinking through guest posting is the type of activity that Google encourages among websites.
Note that backlinking usually occurs both ways. Not only does the hosting blog backlink to the guest poster’s blog, the guest poster usually links to his post (and by extension the host’s blog) either on his own blog or through social media. Which brings up my next point:
Effectively Doubling Readership (or more!)
First, there’s the obvious idea that readers of both blogs will intersect at this guest post. Readers of the host’s blog who really liked the guest post will click on the guest poster’s link and check out other posts on their blog. Maybe they’ll even subscribe.
Meanwhile, avid readers of the guest poster’s blog will likely visit the host blog to read the guest post. Then maybe they’ll find some other article titles that catch their interest. Maybe they’ll even subscribe.
Social media resources like Twitter also have an interesting compounding effect with guest posts. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say both bloggers, the guest and the host, tweet the post on Twitter. Let’s say that both blogs have ten or so routine tweeters who retweet their posts.
That information in and of itself is good news, but think about it this way. Anyone who tweets commonly for your blog is exposing it to roughly the same followers. It’s nice and helpful but also redundant.
Imagine how many new readers will see your blog if ten entirely new Twitter users advertise your post or your blog. Not to mention, the new tweets are coming from a similar readership to your own blog! Do you see the synergistic possibilities at play here? This is why I get excited about guest posting.
Okay, Somewhat About Content
Remember earlier in this post how I stressed that guest posting is not about the content? Well that’s half-true. For the guest poster, yes, the marketing and SEO benefits of guest posting outweigh the content that could go to your own blog.
However, for the hosting blog, the new content is huge! Not only do they get all the marketing benefits of the guest poster, they get more unique content added to their blog that is different than their own but similar in topic not to scare away readers. Ever feel like your content all looks the same? Inviting guest posts is a great way to cure this.
Beyond networking readerships, I also believe guest posting serves a unique purpose of networking bloggers. Feel like your SEO work has been hit by a recent change in Google algorithms? Try writing to that blogger you guest posted for a little while ago, and see what his or her experiences are.
Not only will you have a great network of bloggers to share and compare your experience with, having quality relationships with other successful bloggers can (believe it or not) spur business opportunities and open doors that you wouldn’t have even imagined.