This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and a conversation on Facebook really brought this into the front of my mind this past week. If you’re in any social groups related to blogging you’ve likely heard about guest blogging. Maybe you’ve seen some guest posts on your favorite blogs and blog networks. You might have even been asked to accept a post or received a request from someone to have you be a guest on their blog.
With all of that in mind I’ll keep my explanation of what guest blogging is pretty short, just in case you haven’t come across this recent blogging trend yet and are feeling a little confused. Guest blogging is what it sounds like, writing content as a guest on someone else’s blog. The benefit of it is that it usually includes a link in the byline to your own blog or even to a specific page depending on what the host allows in terms of linking.
I like to think of it as targeted article marketing. Instead of submitting that fresh article you wrote today at a directory like Ezine Articles you can contact a specific blogger who you’ve visited that has an audience you want to reach with your information. That way you know your words and ideas are getting in front of people that will find them interesting and can use the information you’re providing, as opposed to at a directory where you just submit your article and hope for the best and wait on people to find it.
At least that’s how guest blogging works when it’s done well. The ugly underbelly of it all is that brands and marketing reps have caught onto this trend and they’re essentially trying to get free advertising out of the whole thing. They’re contacting bloggers that they see doing product reviews and accepting sponsorship and they’re saying things along the lines of, “I have this guest post I’d like you to run on your blog, it’s free content and it will help you with search engines.” Usually that’s all the information they provide, not even a snippet from the article they supposedly have to offer. Then the blogger asks to take a look at it and the post has five links in the article and it’s often poorly written, and sometimes it’s not even relevant to their blogging topics at all. Not cool, dude.
Don’t be that person. If you want to offer a guest blog post to someone the very first thing you should do is look at their blog! Then provide a unique, useful, relevant article that their readers will love and they will be proud to publish on their blog.
Want to do guest blogging for major traffic and exposure?
Check out Nicole Dean’s How to Blog Tour: Guest Blogging for Free Traffic