Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get your company’s name out there as well as build domain authority through quality backlinking. But monitoring how you guest blog is just as important as paying attention to your own on-site SEO. Guest bloggers need to think of their guest post as an extension of their own site.
It’s no secret that high quality links from other domains are one of Google’s biggest ranking factors, so why wouldn’t you want to make your guest post the best quality you can make it and use it to link back to your site? That’s why I’ve comprised this simple list of 9 things guest bloggers are doing wrong; to show you what not to do when guest blogging to get the highest quality backlink
1) Guest Blogging On an Unrelated Niche
This isn’t something I necessarily see a lot, but I do get a lot of requests and see a lot of people offering to exchange guest blogging services with anyone willing to say yes. The problem with this is although backlinks to your site are good, it’s important that they are relevant to the content they’re linking to.
Not only should both the blog post content and the page you link to be relevant to each other, but the overall theme of the two sites should have something to do with each other as well. This goes back to Google’s 2012 Penguin update that changed how the quality of inbound links ranked your site.
For example, if you were a business consultant, you would not want to seek guest blogging opportunities on a DIY crafts site. A lot of it is common sense, but it is definitely something to keep in mind when seeking opportunities.
2) Not Structuring Posts for Specific Keywords
When a lot of guest bloggers write, I’ve noticed they’re just looking for a quick post to get an easy backlink. Well the quality of that backlink is largely due in part to keywords it targets. If you don’t target any keywords in that post, the authority of your link won’t be as strong, especially if you don’t use keyword anchor text.
If I were to talk about backlinks, which I have mentioned multiple times already, it’s in my best interest to make that the focus keyword and link the anchor text ‘backlinks‘ to a blog post on my site about that topic.
Which I just did.
The post that is both structured around that keyword and uses that anchor text to link to my post about that topic is going to carry a lot more authority over through that link.
3) Not Looking for Internal Link Opportunities
Internal links are one of the most important factors for your on-site SEO. Well, since you’re guest blogging it’s not YOUR on-site SEO, is it?
It’s not, but you should treat your post as if it were on your site. Your goal should be to make your guest blog post and authoritative page on the site you’re writing for. The better the on-site SEO and page authority for your guest blog post, the better link equity gets passed on from your guest post to your site.
So don’t write your post, link back to your site, and be done with it. Write your post and look through the site to see what other related content you could link to, make your post what stands out on the site. It’ll be recognized by both Google and users!
You only need 2 or 3 good, related pages on-site to link to in your post with good anchor text to really create a strong internal link authority on your blog post.
4) Not Using Keywords to Link to Relevant Posts on the Site
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the one right above. Your internal links shouldn’t just be hyperlinked to random words. If you’re looking to rank the pages on the site better, look for keywords you can use those links on. If you reference an older post about ‘business consulting’, link that post to the keyword ‘business consulting’. All too often I see links that use anchor text like “click here” or “our other post”.
Avoid that and use actual keywords to link.
5) Writing Too Short of a Post
Some of the shortest posts I’ve seen have been from guest bloggers. The theme mentioned above remains the same, they get the opportunity, vomit 300 words, and insert their link wherever just to get that low-quality backlink.
Think of it like this, if I wanted a good review, I might discount a website build for a client on the condition they leave me a positive review. Well if I build a sub-par website that doesn’t look very nice and has weak content, all that review is going to do is say, “Hey, look at my low quality work and lack of expertise!”.
Always put your best work out there.
Of course one of the main reasons for writing too short of a post is not knowing what to write about. If that’s the case for you, I’d check out my other article, “40 Blog Post Ideas”.
6) Guest Blogging Too Often
Guest blogging too much is a tell-tale sign you’re not looking for quality places and sites to blog for. Remember, you should also be blogging for your own site as well. So instead of pumping out 5 blogs per month on a lot of lower quality sources, try sticking to one or two sources that are sure to get you some great link equity.
A good way to determine whether a site is going to be a good source is a qualitative assessment on the site content to see if it’s relevant to you as well as a quantitative assessment to see how their traffic and authority could benefit you.
Get the MozBar. It’s a Google Chrome extension that shows you the big picture on-site SEO stuff on their site. The biggest things I pay attention to on the MozBar are the Page and Domain Authorities. High scores on these are fantastic for link equity, but pay attention to the Spam Score, this score is often attributed to lots of low quality domains linking to that site, which is what we’re preventing you from doing to your own site with this post.
The next thing you want to do is check the Alexa Traffic rank. If the website gets a good amount of traffic, they’ll show up on the Alexa rank. A good amount of traffic on a site you want to guest blog for gets your link more exposure. You can check the Alexa Traffic rank with another simple Google Chrome extension.
7) Not Helping Promote Your Guest Post
I think the theme of this post has been to not just post and run. You want your guest post to get just as much traction as your own site. A post with good on-site metrics and page authority is sure to pass on some of that much sought after link juice to your own site.
You see, if you reflect on the point of guest blogging, it’s to use high domain authority websites to link back to your site. If you write high quality posts on a site and link back to your site, the higher the chance of other sites linking to the post you wrote, thus increasing that site’s domain authority (in theory).
The higher the domain authority for that site your guest post resides, the higher the quality of link equity you’ll receive to your site for having being linked to.
I mean I guess it’s kind of link a pyramid scheme…
At the end of the day you want your guest post to succeed, because if it succeeds, you succeed.
Looking for more ideas on how to promote your new guest post? Check out “28 Content Marketing Tools to Get You More Blog Readers”.
8) Guest Blogging on a Guest Blogging Platform
This one might sound really counter-intuitive, but guest blogging platforms are becoming a thing of the past. If you’re not familiar with what a guest blogging platform is, it’s a website where it’s content is 100% generated by other users, like Medium or BlogDash.
Most guest blogging platforms use rel=”nofollow” attributes, meaning they tell search engines not to follow links and pass on link equity, but it wasn’t always that way.
In January of 2014, Google’s own, Matt Cutts, made a statement,
So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.
Guest blogging platforms used to build their platform on building links for your site’s SEO. But after that statement from Google in 2014, the business model for those sites had to change.
Having said that, guest posting for the purpose of guest posting on a guest posting site that offers ‘dofollow’ link attributes does more harm than good to your SEO and your time.
So just stay away from them.
To Sum it All Up
As you’re aware, inbound links from high authority domains is one of Google’s top ranking factors and guest posting on other sites is an excellent way to get a high quality link from a site with high authority. But only if it’s done correctly.
It’s the Golden Rule of blogging, write as though you were writing on your own site.
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