The truth is that most bloggers do guest posting completely wrong! What they think is helping them get more eyes on their own site is really not benefitting their site in the long run.
Guest posting, when done correctly, can be a great source of referral traffic because usually, you are able to include a link back to your own site in the guest post (or at least in your bio for the guest post).
It can also be good for building quality backlinks.
Below, I'm sharing the Dos and Don'ts of guest posting to help you use this tool to make a positive impact on your own site.
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Guest Posting for Others
Guest posting for others can be a great way to build quality backlinks and to get referral traffic back to your own site. But understand that guest posting for anybody and everybody isn't necessarily a good thing to accomplish either of those.
First, and foremost, focus on writing for your own site so you can start building a foundation for generating organic traffic. Guest posting should be something you work on much later in your blogging journey. When you are first trying to build/grow your site, use your writing talent for YOUR site – not someone else's.
A note on backlinks. Your focus should be on building YOUR organic traffic – not building backlinks. In the Christian niche, you can easily outrank higher authority Christian sites simply by writing great, SEO-optimized content.
Choose opportunities to guest post for sites that are generating organic traffic or who have a huge social/email following. If you write for a site that doesn't already have great traffic, you won't get any referral traffic (because there is no traffic to refer).
Sites like Living by Design Ministries don't get a ton of organic traffic but they have a HUGE email list. So guest posting for a site like that is beneficial because they send out your guest post to their entire list.
When you guest post for another site, you will normally have a link to your site listed in your bio for the post. Also, most sites will allow you to include a link to 1-2 posts on your own site in the actual content.
When including links to your own site, make sure what you link to actually relates to the topic of the post. This is crucial for building SEO link juice. That being said, you should always seek opportunities to guest post on blogs in your same niche and pick topics that you have content related to.
In other words, don't guest post on a Christian marriage blog where every post is about marriage but you don't have a single post related to marriage on your site.
Once you have guest posted for another site, there are some things you should and should NOT do with the article
Definitely Do These:
- Share the post on all your social media accounts
- Share the post with your email list
- Use it as a natural external link in a post on your own site. (Read more about this below)
Definitely DON'T Do These:
How you share the guest post on your own blog is very important.
- Never publish a simple teaser post. This type of post looks more like an announcement and all it does it mention the guest post and link to it. This type of “announcement” should be done via email/social media. Never publish a post for the sake of making an announcement. Every post you publish should be written with the intention of ranking on Page One for a search result.
- Never republish the guest post as a new post on your own site. It will in no way benefit your site because Google will see it as duplicate content.
The best way to link to your guest post on your site is to link to it naturally as an external link using good SEO anchor text.
An example of this would be:
If you had a blog post on your site about The Power of the Tongue, and somewhere in that post you had a sentence along the lines of “Our words have the power to speak life over our family (or husband, or kids, etc). And you wrote a guest post for another site that was titled “How to Speak Life Over Your Family (or husband, or kids, etc) – you would link the words “power to speak life” on your site to the guest post.
This type of external linking is what helps build your SEO link juice.
If you are looking for quality guest post opportunities, the Kingdom Bloggers Membership Community has some! Each of these sites has consistent (and growing) organic monthly traffic which means you will benefit from the referral traffic. Bookmark this page because we update it regularly!
Accepting Guest Posts on Your Site
Accepting guest posts on your own site can help you create more content for your own site. But as I mentioned before, not all guest posts are beneficial. Just randomly asking for guest posts really isn't going to help your site.
Definitely Don't Do This:
- Never just randomly ask for guest posts. In other words, don't post in a FB group “I'm looking for guest posts on anything family, marriage, or faith.
Definitely DO These:
First, you should already have a decent understanding of SEO and how it works. You should also have a 12-month content plan that literally spells out the topics of the blog posts you intend to publish for the year.
- Pull titles/topics from your content plan. Be very specific. These should be based on actual keywords people are searching for.
- Create an outline with H2 and H3 headings for your guest poster. Provide instructions on how to write the content. Even if they don't quite undertsand SEO, this will help them stay focused enough on the topic to ensure it has some SEO value that you can edit.
- Create a Guest Post guidelines document for them to agree to which outlines things like your statement of faith, the due date, how they can share the post after it is published (the don'ts mentioned earlier), etc.
Guest posting is a great tool for any blogger to be able to write more. If you are super bogged down with mom duties and just can't create 4 new posts a month for your site, this could help you fill in that gap.
Guest posting is also a way to super-charge the amount of content (more than the standard 4 per month). The truth is that more content (as long as it is optimized for SEO) means more traffic. If you have a goal of monetizing your site with ad revenue such as MediaVine, this is a great way to make that happen much faster.
But at the end of the day, it is important to understand just how guest posting impacts your site and ensure you are doing it in a way that actually grows your site (more organic traffic and/or more referral traffic).