Ever since Google’s Matt Cutts claimed, “Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done,” marketers have wondered if they should stop using it as a way to build trust and drive traffic to their websites. That was four years ago, and yet, marketers still go back to this comment as a way to abandon the practice entirely.
It doesn’t matter that Cutts clarified his comment to mean that guest blogging for purely SEO purposes is done. The damage was done, and marketers will be forever worried about the perilous relationship between Google and blogging.
If you’re one of the many marketers on the fence about creating a guest blogging strategy for 2018, here’s some good news. It is far from done.
That doesn’t mean it’s the same as it’s always been. There have been some important changes you need to understand. Then, you’ll need to go over the benefits of guest blogging in 2018.
Blogging has gone through quite an evolution over the years, but two parts of this evolution stand out in regards to the guest blogger. First, there’s social media. Social media didn’t just change the way people access information. It also built a new army of influencers, and those influencers have impacted the world of guest blogging.
In the past, people were happy to write their own guest blogs and submit them for publication. If done correctly, the blog post would get some traction and help the company make some more money. Now, though, companies are changing that strategy. They want to tap into the power of influencer marketing, so many are reaching out to influencers to write their posts for them.
That doesn’t mean someone who has a startup can’t post guest blogs and get some traction, but that entrepreneur better be ready to roll out a solid social media marketing campaign to go with that guest post. Having an influencer or two share a post about the blog certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Blogging has also evolved in regards to SEO. This goes back to Cutts’ statement about guest blogging being a trend of the past. Back in the old days, guest bloggers could throw in a bunch of keywords, essentially spamming their own posts. It didn’t make for good reading, but it helped that guest blogger show up in search results. Now, quality is more important for SEO. In fact, if your guest blog post isn’t of the highest quality, you won’t get any traction at all.
This frustrated some business owners and marketers, but it shouldn’t. Quality should have always been first anyway. Marketers and businesses made a mistake when they decided writing for search engines was more important than writing for people. Yes, it takes more work to create a guest blog post these days, but that work pays off. If you can create something that is of a high quality and then manage to get it out in front of your market, you’re going to get results.
The question is, what kind of results will you get in 2018? Look at the benefits of guest blogging to get a better idea of what to expect in the new year.
Benefits of Guest Blogging – 2018 Edition
Blogging has changed over the years, but guest blogging is still just as powerful. In fact, you could argue that it’s more powerful now than it has been in the past since the quality of the content has gone up. High-quality content establishes you as an expert in your field. You get instant credibility with each guest post that gets published. That type of creditability allows you to build trust with your market.
Then, of course, you get to add links to your author bio. Many blogs allow you to add do-follow links, which give you an SEO boost. Even if you can’t add a do-follow link, you’ll still benefit from a no-follow link. No-follow links still bring in traffic, and that traffic is highly targeted when it comes from a guest blog post. The people reading these posts are already interested in the market, so they are more likely to pull the trigger.
In fact, guest blogging shortens the sales cycle by eliminating the need to qualify leads. You normally have to go out and find a lead, qualify it, and then warm it up. You create marketing materials around this process, and it might take weeks or months to nurture a single lead. It’s a time-consuming and exhausting process.
Guest blogging puts you out in front of qualified leads. In fact, many are ready to take the next step as soon as they click on the link. That means you can put less time and effort into the entire process. As you know, the less you have to put into a sale, the higher your return on investment is.
The Bottom Line
As long as there are blogs, guest blogging will likely be a powerful tool. The rules are changing, but if you can adapt to the changes, you can benefit from this platform. It’s a great way to reach your target market and position yourself as an expert. If you can do that, the sales will come.