There are a lot of bloggers writing that guest posting and link building, are dead. Naturally occurring links in quality content are still “good” links and will help your content get noticed by Google. On many sites, blog comments will have ‘nofollow’ links, to discourage comment spam, and giving away link juice, but the post copy links do not have that attribute.
Take the time to find good homes for your guest posts. Do not guest post on sites that have no topic relationship with yours.
In our experience, it’s best not to announce that you’re a guest blogger. If the site owner puts up a ‘guest blogger’ avatar image, with a filename like guest-blogger.gif, or assigns it to the user “guest”, it’s a dead give-away that you’ve arranged to post on someone else’s blog, to gain a backlink. It appears contrived, not natural. This doesn’t mean your guest post will have no value, but blogging with your Google+ “author” email address and name is a lot stronger than being just another “Guest Blogger.”
How do you arrange to guest post on a quality blog in your niche? You’ll want to cultivate a relationship with the blogger, by posting useful comments for a while. Provide value to their blogs readers before you ask to post. Then, if the blog owner is open to it, have them set you up as a registered author instead of just adding a footer credit. This makes you part of their ‘editorial team’ and it will be perceived as a relationship based upon building brand awareness and authority within your niche, not just a link ploy.
Be respectful. Follow the guest posting guidelines of each blog to the letter when submitting posts. Provide value. Give the host a genuine marketing incentive by offering to promote the hell out of the post in social channels. Then follow through by creating even more buzz than expected. If the blog’s traffic stats show a noticeable spike every time you post, you have become a valuable asset.
If the host allows it, place one or two links in the content and deep link them to specific posts on your site. Post more than once, something a hit-and-run guest post spammer is unlikely to do. Writing a series of articles can be a great traffic builder and provides a welcome break for the host blogger. Come back in a while to write again, to avoid raising any red flags.
To avoid alerting Google to a ‘link exchange’, if the other blogger would also like to guest post for your blog, put some space between the posts.
Think bigger than the link… way bigger. Guest posting allows you to put your content up on prime real estate. This is a huge opportunity for building brand awareness and your own credibility as an authority within your industry. Put your very best work out there. Give your post an attention grabbing headline. Every reader is a potential click through to your site. Every social mention increases your visibility indirectly as well. If you write great content that increases traffic, you can look forward to writing for that site again, and other blog owners are likely to offer you the same opportunity.
Remember, you’re a guest, so avoid attempting to sell your stuff on their site. The links you include should only be there to provide additional information. You are there to provide value to the readers and host blogger; it’s not about you.