Hitting the Guest Blogging Wall
If you haven’t already seen Carson Ward’s latest post on the SEOmoz blog, go check it out. In my opinion, Carson’s take on the guest blogging bubble is dead-on. Guest blogging shouldn’t be your only link building strategy but rather a formidable tool in your arsenal, used sparingly and only when the occasion is right.
Last spring, when I was still an intern, I was assigned the task of starting guest blogging campaigns for our clients. At first, we had some pretty exciting successes. Using MyBlogGuest.com, we found a pet blog in the U.K. with a decent page rank, contacted the owner and wrote a post for one of our clients. Now I know a “pet blog in the U.K.” isn’t exactly the most thrilling link out there. But for a first try, the result was pretty encouraging.
Over the next two months, I wrote about two guests posts per week for our clients. Mostly, we hit low ranking sites from MyBlogGuest—green living blogs, travel blogs, blogs about health, wellness, etc. After getting the hang of it, however, I wanted to up our game and go after some bigger fish. In particular, I wanted to start posting on law blogs, which would have returned great links for our personal injury attorneys.
And that’s when I hit the wall.
I discovered that guest blogging (at least the way we tried it) is only feasible up to a certain point. I discovered that I don’t actually know enough about the comings and goings of the legal world to write for a respected legal blog. The same goes for the real estate market and dentistry. While I could post on a number of low-level blogs, catching the big fish wasn’t possible.
Or if it was possible, I certainly didn’t have time for it. Maybe if I had retired to a deserted corner of the office for a week with three text books on tort reform, one legal dictionary and my own personal coffee machine, I would’ve been able to post something about medical malpractice. But given that I was also responsible for keeping up four client blogs, I just simply didn’t have the time (or the willpower) for such an undertaking.
What I Learned
That isn’t to say that my efforts were entirely in vain. We did produce some good links out of our guest blogging experience. But posting on the big sites was next to impossible. Only a true expert in the field can produce the caliber of content that great sites want to see. I guess it goes to reinforce the old SEO adage that “content is king.”
I haven’t been doing much guest blogging lately, but if I started again, I’d definitely approach it in a different manner. I believe that guest blogging ought to be something left to the experts. For those of us in the SEO industry, our job should be to find the guest blogging opportunities. The actual writing should be done by those who know (and I mean really know) what they’re writing about. That’s not me, that’s the client.
Of course not every client has time to write a guest post. But for those who do, the tactic can be extremely helpful for website rankings and professional networking. And if it’s done right, guest blogging can also be a great deal of fun. After all, who doesn’t like to share what they know?