One of the ways to extend your brand’s reach and gain some valuable back-links to your website is to write a blog post for another blog in your field. Sometimes bloggers may be looking for extra content for their site or just a different voice. But here is where we also dive into murky waters.
While guest blogging is a perfectly valid method of marketing, it is also a popular technique for affiliate marketers. An affiliate marketer is a blogger that is primarily looking to sell their readers something. For everything they sell on their website, they get a small affiliate percentage payback. Amazon, Apple, and thousands of other companies have affiliate arrangements available for their products. There is nothing wrong with affiliate marketing in general and I do affiliate marketing myself, however, the marketing tactics of some affiliate marketers leaves much to be desired. An affiliate marketer wants to guest blog on your site primarily for the back-link. This link back to their site is of great value to them because it can cause them to rise in Google search rankings. For that, they give you content, but that content may or may not be of the highest quality or even relevant to your site at all.
Recently I received a request for a gust blog post that was so wrong, I feel compelled to write about it. First of all, the email was poorly formatted and generally looked sloppy. If you are serious about your business, and make so mistake this is a business proposal, neatness and professionalism are paramount. The email said they found my site “enchanting”. I like what I have done with this website and I think it’s a strong company site, but enchanting it is not. This kind of misplaced, over the top compliment makes you look silly. Two strikes.
They proposed a blog post about beading. Boy would I love to know what beading has to do with social media and marketing. This is completely out of the blue and has nothing to do with the content or tenor of my website. To add insult to injury, they offered me $40 for the lifetime of the blog post. Lastly, the entire email included some broken and otherwise poorly written english.
So here are your rules for guest blogging:
- Do your homework. Seek out sites that may be a good fit for the content you propose to write. Read the blog and understand the tone of the posts. Read the comments and understand the audience. If you really want to go the extra mile, join the community and add your own comments. This way, you get on the blog author’s radar and they can get to know you and your perspective.
- When you write to propose an article or writing for a site in general, make sure your email is neat and well written. Approach it like you are applying for a job, because in a way you are. People running high quality sites are very protective of their content and will not let just anyone post.
- Propose content that is highly relevant to the website and it’s audience. If you have done your homework, this should be easy. Find a way you can add real value to the site. You are thinking more here about what you can give to the site than what writing on the site will give to you.
- Asking to pay for your post because you want to insert a link is generally not a good idea outside of the deliberate affiliate marketing space. If you want to outright buy a link, there are some sites that will have a sidebar section with paid links or even display ads. If this is what you really want, don’t beat around the bush, you’re asking for paid advertising. Otherwise, when you guest post, most often there will be a byline in the article and that will often link back to your main website. This is already highly valuable for you as readers will clearly see this and it adds to your Google ranking because of the back-link. Don’t push it, you’ve already won.