The benefits of guest blogging are long and well documented--provided you go about it in the right way. I've often wondered if guest blogging will become the new link exchange if we aren't careful (where there is a will there is way to spam it) but I still believe that guest blogging is a great and necessary addition to any SEO and content marketing campaign. But just like any other component of SEO there is a right and wrong way to go about it.

Here are four things site owners do that can screw up their guest blogging efforts:

1. Hire a non-native speaker to create content in your name.

I recently did an interview with Ann Smarty, a writer who has built her personal brand and SEO career on the power of guest blogging. Ann is from the Ukraine but she speaks and writes in English so well that I didn't realize she was a non-native speaker for a quite a while. But even Ann recommends that one of the most important things a company can do to help their guest blogging succeed is to work with a native speaker. As she said in our interview, "No matter how much a non-native speaker tries, there will always be clumsy phrases. It is next to impossible to sound natural unless you use the language on a regular basis."

I realize that a $5 article from India sounds pretty tempting, but a $5 article is going to read like a $5 article from India--and that won't do much good for you, your website or your brand in the long run.

2. Have an outside party do all the blogger outreach for you.

Assuming you went about hiring a freelance writer in the right way it's still a good idea to handle the actual blogger outreach on your own. Even if you have someone else do the research and find the guest blogging opportunities someone from within your organization should be the one to approach the blogger about becoming a guest author. A freelance writer can produce great content for your but that content is going to have your name and brand attached to it and you should be the one building a rapport with blog owners.

What happens if you end up hiring an in-house writer or a new freelance writer to handle your guest blogging activity? If you never had any interaction with the blog owners themselves, as it was managed by your ghost writer, you risk losing that relationship.

3. Send exactly the same proposal to every blogger/editor you can find.

Since you are going to be handling the blogger outreach in-house, even if the content is being written elsewhere, a common mistake plenty of site owners make is to send the same generic proposal to every blogger/editor whose email address they can get their hands on. There is a lot of debate over how long/short an initial outreach email should be to get the attention of a blog owner but most agree that generic blast emails that start with "To whom it may concern..." usually get trashed or spammed without a second thought.

A popular blogger probably gets inundated with dozens (if not hundreds) of guest blogging requests every day and your email needs to stand out among the clutter. A little personalization goes a long way. Show that you've actually read the blog, understand the readership and have some ideas that will fit right in with the blogger's vision.

4. Give up after a few weeks.

Guest blogging opportunities typically don't fall into your lap, especially if you are new the game and haven't built up much of a name for yourself with your own blogging efforts. Everyone has to start somewhere so don't be too discouraged if your brilliant proposal to the top industry blog gets no reply. The biggest blogs can pick and choose who they want writing for them and it's usually something you have to work your way up to.

You might send out a dozen outreach emails and only hear back from one blogger...who just replied to tell you no. But you can't lose hope! While you're working on your guest blogging outreach be sure you're continuing to build up your own blog and author authority.

A final thought--just because someone offers you the chance to become a guest blogger that doesn't mean you have to take it. If you're going to take the time to produce a great guest post you want it to be worth your while. Smaller industry blogs might not have the same reach as a popular site but it's still a credible site and targets the right audience. What you don't want to do is write for any site that will have you. Guest blogging is a great way to build links, connect with your audience, build your industry authority and more but only if you're writing for the right kind of site!

December 21, 2012

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, one of the premier full service SEO firms in the United States. With over 12 years of experience Nick Stamoulis has worked with hundreds of companies small, large and every size in between. Through his vast and diverse SEO, search engine marketing and internet marketing experience Nick Stamoulis has successfully increased the online visibility and sales of clients in all industries.


That's true, that's why I prefer to do this on my own. I am not native too, but at least I check my grammar and I don't copy content from anywhere. On the other hand selecting blogs or websites is critical.

Awesome information related to guest blogging. After panda and penguin updates most of the seo companies are targeting guest blogging to bringing more and more traffic towards their business and many of them are using blackhat techniques to get instant results. So every webmaster should take it serious when they are giving permission to other bloggers for guest blogging.

This is a great article and definitely guest blogging is a powerful link building tool. I doubt (hope) it won't fall foul of Google's graces as it provides good on topic content for the blog owner that when done properly adds value to the blog in question - of course in turn it means that we get a 'quality' link back to our sites, but of course that's not the real reason we do it... Cough-cough-splutter-splutter!

Most of the Webmasters recognize the writer is not native in English, and slam back the piece sent, (with what I observed).
The Guest blogging is getting smarter and stringent, which is indeed good. Some, great original content will flow, brimming with ideas, and give a new face to the ranking ladder of SEO.

Great advice. The more personable the better as far as the guest blog request letters go. I have also found that third times the charm. If you follow up eventually you will get an answer one way or the other.

I recently read another article about Ann, apparently she is running My Blog Guest right?
I tried it but found it a little to complicated for it's own good. It did work though.

That's all true, and all these are in general good advices that can be resumed as "Rome wasn't built in a day"... and surely not in any cheap way! Content is still very important for many factors and having an eye on the content your company (or the people that write for you) create and publish is very, very important. That's the way you communicate with your readers/customers and you don't want to leave such an important part of your business strategy on the hand of non/semi professionals.

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