A lot has been said about the last year’s effect on link building. It has become a lot more work, which is actually a good thing. The weeds in SEO are being attacked, which allows the prime crop to rise to the top. This does mean that if you want to get to and stay at the top, you need to up your game. Shortcuts are less acceptable than ever.
There are a lot of annoying sayings out there about the importance of quality content. I’m going to try to avoid repeating any of them. But it is definitely important to focus on your content, whether it is for your own site or part of your quest for backlinks.
Guest Posting is the new go-to method for backlinks. It takes time and effort, but it results in natural links that provide potential value to readers.
If there are readers.
The ugly truth is that sometimes guest posts have a very small audience. They’re on sites that specifically exist for content to be posted. There’s no unifying theme, and worse, no real readership to speak of. There might be traffic, but are there actual people reading the articles?
You might ask if it really matters. After all, as long as you get your link, you’re golden.
It might be more of a silver color. Or bronze. Because if there’s no traffic, how long is that site really going to last? Another year?Maybe two? But how great is the quality? It might be decent right now, but with time, standards might wane. If no one’s reading, what is the site owner’s motivation for maintaining quality?
In linkbuilding, we’re always looking for the most effective links. A link is our main goal, but then we start to measure the value. The link has to make sense on the page. It’s better if it’s in a place where people are likely to click it. A link is an association, and you need to be sure you really want to be associated with the people linking to you.
Here are things to look for in a target site to see if your guest post can get a decent amount of traffic:
- Are there comments on other posts?
- Do other posts have social media shares?
- Does the site itself have a social media presence?
- Is most of the content generated by one author, or by guests? (One way isn’t necessarily better than the other, but it’s something to be aware of. A single author might imply a more unified audience)
- Is the content moderated or can anyone post whatever they want?
Even if the site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, if you like their content and/or mission, you might still want a post on their site. If they’re doing things right, they will probably increase their audience with time, and you can use your established relationship with them to your advantage in the future.
Regardless of whether the blog has an established readership of its own, you should always do a bit of marketing of your own.
- Promote your guest posts on all your social media platforms
- Respond to comments; if you start conversations, people are more likely to check back and remain engaged in the topic
- Post a link to your guest posts on your own site. Your audience will appreciate seeing your information elsewhere, and it increases the chance they will share it with their contacts
- In other guest posts, you can refer to other articles you’ve published as resources or ways for interested readers to read more of your work. This could be in the actual post or in your author bio section
Guest Posting is a lot of work. I always approach it with the idea that since I am writing for someone else, I should write even better than I would for myself. It makes sense to make that work stretch as far as it can and be exposed to as many people as possible.
How do you market your guest posts? Do you feel like your guest posts get decent traffic?