Is guest blogging still a viable marketing strategy?

May 31, 2019 by
Is guest blogging still a viable marketing strategy?

In the ever-changing world of SEO, there have been whispers of the “death of guest blogging” circulating for years now. And yet, hundreds of guest posts are still being written every single day with the express intention of improving search rankings.

The death of guest blogging has been greatly exaggerated – a fact that just a cursory glance at this very site will no doubt confirm.

The rumours first caught wind five years ago thanks to the now infamous post by Matt Cutts. The incendiary, “Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO” posited that it had become too spammy and that there was far too much poor-quality content being produced, which had weighed down the sector and given it a bad name.

He might have had a point, but rather than signalling the death of guest blogging, all Cutts really did was herald in a new era of quality content. This new era was set in stone in 2017 when Google began scolding users for abusing guest blogs to build links.

Guest blogging still remains a viable marketing strategy to this day, but the shoehorned links, meandering, keyword-stuffed content of yore largely replaced by more considered and authoritative content.

Let’s be honest, guest blogs had a tendency ‘back in the day’ were not designed to be read, they were designed to be page-filler and were quite often about nothing in particular. In 2019, however, the bar has been raised.

How to Guest Blog in 2019

Staying with Google’s guidelines whilst still generating measurable SEO benefits is certainly more of a challenge now than it was five years ago, but the rewards are more than worth the effort. Below, we’ll run through the top tips you might want to consider before ordering your next batch.

Information – Blogs should be genuinely informative and educational, not just to advertise. If your content has felt overly sales-orientated in the past, consider toning it down a little and focusing on creating content that you yourself would find useful and engaging.

Diversification Good guest blogging can be incredibly powerful, but it should just be one string to your bow, not the whole thing. The more diverse your marketing strategy, the more Google are likely to take you seriously.

Humanity – Focus on your readers, not the keywords. The keywords are obviously important, but they should slot into the content naturally in a way that actually helps, rather than hinders, the flow of the piece.

Authority – A survey from Social Marketing Writing found that almost 63% of people thought that blogs with multiple authors were more credible. This speaks to a culture where authority matters. This means your links should be relevant, your traffic should be qualified and your leads should be motivated.

Placing – Your guest blogs are more likely to gain more clicks if they are posted on sites that people trust. Pitch your pieces to the sites that you actually use on a daily basis, as these are the sites that draw the big clicks. Don’t be afraid to shop your content around to different sites either. If Mashable turns you down, maybe The Huffington Post would be interested?

Quality > Quantity

Let’s be clear, Google has never discouraged guest blogging for SEO, it simply warned its users against being overly spammy with their tactics and this has generally resulted in a much cleaner marketing landscape.

According to HubSpot, 53% of marketers still feel that guest blogging is their top inbound marketing priority. So it obviously still works. However, whereas it was once about quantity, it’s now all about quality, which is ultimately the way it should really have been all along!