Dear Guest Bloggers,
As a digital marketer and the editor of this blog, I have got the opportunity to be both a publisher and a guest blogger. I strongly believe that the blogging community can thrive by setting high standards for guest blogging instead of discouraging it, a step that would ultimately benefit both the stakeholders – publishers and guest bloggers. I wrote an article last year in favour of guest blogging and guest bloggers and criticized blog owners/publishers who have become averse to guest blogging. Please read that article first to understand the context of this post.
We, at TheiMarketingCafe.com, have always embraced guest bloggers with open arms and have encouraged them to contributeto our blog. We are probably one of the few blogs left in the digital industry with minimum terms and conditions for guest blogging. Our objective is to encourage guest bloggers who genuinely want to contribute great content to our blog and in return we ensure that they get the much deserved space in author bio with links to their websites/blogs as well.
As an attempt to continuously achieve the above objective, we make sure to respond to every guest blogger who contacts us (though the response might not be always quick). We always encourage and guide them to choose the right topics and create great content that may be useful for the readers but the more we see the mails received from typical guest bloggers, more we tend to believe that the publishers have a point and they have their own reasons to have become cynical about guest bloggers. (Note: Having said that I still stand by what I wrote in that piece and I still believe that the publishers’ approach toward guest blogging should change for the better). Let me explain.
Despite the drastic change the blogging community has undergone ever since the Google’s crack down on manipulative guest blogging and despite the fact that majority of the blog owners/publishers either stopped accepting guest posts or have unfair terms and conditions in place, many of the guest bloggers haven’t sadly changed their approach – these are mostly either marketers or bloggers managed by marketers. They continue to follow the same old approach where the guest blogger would either suggest some common topics followed by a direct request for links and if the request gets accepted, he/she sends you an average content for review. The intention is simple and straight – gaining ‘followed links’.
This approach has been sustained for a long period because many publishers were party to it and I’m quite surprised that many of the guest bloggers haven’t changed their approach even after the major change that the blogging community has undergone and that majority of the community has started rejecting this approach outright since a long time now.
In fact, this narrow approach to guest blogging has actually led the whole community to chaos when Google humiliated us in a big way by asking us to ‘no follow’ all the manipulative links given to the guest bloggers.
Sadly, we still receive a lot of such mails from guest bloggers who try to make us accept ‘below average’ content and directly ask for links.
Dear guest bloggers, trust me, being a digital marketer myself, I understand the challenges of developing content and acquiring links but this is an out-dated approach (which was never right in the first place) will not help any of us. We need to create a win-win situation and here is how it works:
This is not something new but most of us haven’t been following it and didn’t bother to do so even after the major change in the blogging landscape.
If you want to succeed in guest blogging, your primary objective should be to bring value to your readers across blogs that you approach. Think of those readers as your potential audience and bring value to them maniacally. Think of publishers as your channel partners who enable you to reach your audience.
Focus on creating great content, great relationships and great conversations. Sure, negotiate hard on what you get in return for great content overtime after building a strong relationship with your partners but don’t try to trade mediocre content for links. It was never the right way. It’s not going to benefit any of us now or in the future.
I’m not saying that you need not ask for links to your websites/blogs, links should never be the primary focus – they should/will come as a by-product of your guest blogging efforts and the primary focus should be creating value for readers, building relationships, gaining referral traffic, increasing brand mentions, building mutually beneficial partnerships and so on. Be great at delivering awesome content, publishers will be very happy to provide you all the benefits you look forward to, including links. Don’t guest blog only for links as many of you are doing now. That’s the underlying point.
Easier said than done? Well, maybe hard but definitely doable. Moreover, there is no other way out! If you have limited resources, don’t focus on quantity but quality. It will add up in the long run and it’s sustainable.
Just that you need to open your mind and look at guest blogging from a different perspective and you’ll see endless possibilities that guest blogging offers. Raise your standards and stop ‘begging’ for links! Focus on creating value, links and other benefits will follow.
You’ll be able to negotiate better for author benefits with even many of those publishers who have become cynical about guest bloggers, with great content. My personal experience says so.
The blogging community has become very averse to guest blogging and it doesn’t have to be that way. The like-minded guest bloggers and publishers can come together and do their part to change the negative perception about guest blogging and make it work for all of us.
As far as those marketing agencies out there that are doing bulk guest blogging to gain links for your clients, you are ruining it for short-term gains. Stop this crappy practice immediately and have the guts to educate your clients if they are pressurizing you to do so. That’s how you stand out in the market.
Guest blogging is dead. Long live guest blogging!