Many marketing blogs will tell you that the days of guest posting are coming to a close. Bloggers are speaking of guest posting like it’s an outdated mode of communication, as if it’s the rotary phone or the black and white TV of the blogosphere. Bloggers who decry the state of the guest post point to a decline in their overall quality, because so many guest post authors opt for spammy content instead of actual substance.
Ultimately, the term “guest post” has nearly become a bad word in web marketing circles.
But I’m here to tell you that the guest post isn’t dead; it’s just in desperate need of a makeover.
Guest posting began as an effort for like-minded webmasters to share content and network amongst each other. Bloggers wrote on other blogs to contribute to a general conversation taking place among a certain group of web writers, be they tech enthusiasts, foodies, small business owners, or graphic designers.
The idea was that if you wrote some compelling material on someone else’s blog then the readers from that site just might follow you to your own blog, and you’d have a new cache of followers. Adding backlinks and utilizing SEO might have been an afterthought, but it certainly didn’t drive the initial guest posts.
What happened to guest posting ?
As soon as the “get rich quick” web marketing schemes took root in the blogosphere, guest posts began to decline in quality. Bloggers and web entrepreneurs figured out that they could write countless guest posts for the sole reason of getting a higher Google ranking.
The content of an actual guest post didn’t matter; it only mattered that a webmaster posts an article good enough so that readers could use the backlinks to get to the guest post writer’s website. Gone were the long and involved guest posts meant to encourage dialogue among the blog’s readers.
Now most guest posts follow a formula designed to optimize the chances that readers will click on a link rather than comment on a post.
Examples of low quality guest posting
Allow me to enlighten you on a few tricks of the trade used by bloggers who want to make fast and pointless guest posts:
- Bloggers looking for a new angle on an old subject tend to reframe their pieces so they look brand new. These articles don’t cover any new territory; they just rephrase standard advice with a different tone. It’s a way to reverse engineer a post you’ve already done.
- Examples: “How NOT to use Twitter” or “What you can do for social media”
- They may also repackage common sense advice in a numbered list so as to make their post seem as concise and essential as possible. You see these posts all the time across the blogosphere, no matter what genre it covers. Sometimes these posts can be informative, but they’re more often filler pieces.
- Examples: Top Three/Five/Ten anything
- Lazy bloggers also tend to post inoffensive opinion pieces meant more for filling up space than they are for expressing an opinion. These faux opinion pieces tend to state the obvious and frame it from an opinionated and personal point of view.
- Examples: “In defense of (anything that doesn’t need to be defended)” or speculative pieces about future events.
These are just three examples of many subpar guest posts. It should go without saying that serious bloggers should avoid writing filler pieces on other blogs for the sake of mere link building, but most people don’t understand that simple concept. These bloggers fundamentally underestimate the everyday web user.
- Web users won’t waste their time on shoddy content.
So how can you bring guest posting into your web marketing strategy?
It’s simple really: write and accept only the highest quality guest posts. I’m talking about an overall return to great quality guest posting in order to save this dying art in the blogosphere. Guest post writers need to focus on long, detail oriented posts rather than ones that offer a few empty platitudes and a boatload of SEO techniques.
Research shows that comprehensive guest posts on very specific topics have a much better chance of being published, read, and referenced by fellow bloggers.
From the perspective of a webmaster, if you get an email from a writer who wants to write a guest post on your blog, make sure that they have a substantial idea that will add to your blog’s overall message. Don’t be afraid to drill them about the particulars of what you expect to see in a guest post.
- If the writer shows impatience or inflexibility in the face of your guidelines, don’t hesitate to end the conversation.
One glowing guest post article will do much more for your website than a half dozen half-baked ones.
What are your thoughts on guest posts in the realm of web marketing?
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.