Guest posting has value… extreme value in many cases. Not only can you capture a new audience (with click overs from the profile), but you can get some search engine love from some inner links as a side-benefit.
Notice that I said “side-benefit?”
I have built many content sites over the years, and hired many writers. The old approach was as follows:
1. Do keyword research to find a high traffic keyword, with low competition, regardless of niche.
2. Buy an exact match domain name for that keyword.
3. Find a few more high traffic keywords, but worry less about the competition, and use them for categories.
4. Find a bunch of related long tails.
5. Now, find a writer that writes on the topic of “any darn thing in the world.”
6. Order articles for the homepage, the categories, and the long tails.
6. If you feel the urge, get some articles written for one-word keywords that will represent “tags.”
I know. People still do that. And people still make money doing that. But, it’s lame. That type of content can’t be very much better that “crap.” Sure, it might be “good crap,” but it’s still crap.
Often it’s only a step above automated re-writing. No joke. If the person isn’t passionate and knowledgeable about a topic, it shows. At least hire someone that has one of those two traits towards a topic, or it’s just plain old: Filling the web with junk to make a buck.
I’m over that.
Treat guest posting the same
I recently had someone approach me to write a guest post on my site. I have a site in the “raw food” niche. What’s that? It is a “diet”, or a “lifestyle” where a person will eat primarily uncooked food. Most of the time the food is plant based only.
What’s the point? The idea is that uncooked food contains the enzymes necessary to digest the food, and that cooking destroys these valuable enzymes. Without the enzymes in tact, the body must take from its finite stores, from which the estimate is that there are only 30 years worth.
Enzymes do more that just help with digestion, so it is handy to keep them around, or encourage more from the diet, so says the raw foodie. Additionally, cooking is said to destroy nutrients. More than that, plant based foods are said to support the bodies nutritional needs more than animal foods. Plus there are some environmental benefits, etc.
This is not a debate on the merits of raw food, but a look into the belief systems of the common audience to such a site.
The person who approached me suggested topics like:
1. 5 Raw Foods Myths Debunked
2. The Best Raw Food Restaurants in Canada
Good start. Articles with those titles should have value to my audience.
OK, so I know what’s in it for me. What’s in it for the writer? Guest posting usually is done to satisfy the need to reach out to a wider audience, and/or for networking.
So, he came back with. “I am interested in a clean brand link (for website.ca) which can appear in a biography.”
The website was for health insurance 🙁
Not going to happen.
That is commercial. Go to eZine article or something.
Here’s what I think the situation should be like for guest posting.
1. Someone is passionate about the exact same sub-niche or darn close to it.
2. They link to more content of high value, without being concerned about the hyperlink.
This will provide:
2. A wider audience
3. SEO side-benefits
Don’t link to a commerccial site trying to sell something.
Plus, what is the content going to be like?
It brings me back to when I hired writers to write about “anything and everything” by mashing together pieces of content found around the web. This will lack passion, and intelligence (in most cases).
Just think about the audience… the people, when accepting guest content, and when providing guest content.
That’s my take at least. Do you feel me?