Here we go again…a flood of unsolicited guest post proposals suggests to me that many recently attended a conference where guest posting was taught as a way to grow links and/or traffic. I can think of a few where that just might have been a presentation topic.
I wonder if the message isn’t also getting out that guest posting is losing favor (I wouldn’t say is out of favor, yet) with many blogs, maybe in part because there are indications the keepers of the Google search algorithm are casting a frown upon the practice.
Guest Posting Practice
Guest posting, the practice of writing posts for blogs to which you have no relationship or publishing posts from writers with no relationship to your company or blog, is a practice that has long been simultaneously extolled by many and denigrated by others.
The practice of guest blogging has been used – successfully – and taught as a means of building links back to the writer’s blog because one or more links are included in some way in the guest post. Since Google relies in part on links as a means of determining importance of a site, more links has meant higher rankings, higher rankings means more traffic and, hopefully, more traffic means more revenue.
As the Google algorithm has devalued and even punished other link building methods over time, guest blogging has grown as a safe haven. Well, at least perceived by many as such, though it seemed only a matter of time before it would get some scrutiny.
Guest posts are seen as attractive by many blog publishers because it allows them to pack more content into their blogs and publish more frequently. They feel more content means greater importance and potentially higher rankings in the search engines, bringing more visitors to your site and, yes, hopefully more revenue.
Guest Posting for Your Company Blog?
By now you may be wondering if guest posting is right for you as a business blogger. As with many topics, there is no one-size-fits-all answer except to suggest first going back to the purpose of your blog for guidance.
What is the purpose for your business blog? Put differently, what are your objectives for the blog?
If your blog is intended to build a relationship between current/prospective customers and the people who are the personality of the business, a guest post might not fit your needs. After all, reading something written by an outsider doesn’t bring YOUR people closer to the customers. It also may not reflect your thinking, be written just the way you would write it (your “voice”) or build that bond between you and your customers in the way you intend.
If your purpose is, at least in part, to be seen by customers as a valuable resource then offering an insightful blog post written on a subject of interest to customers by someone they will recognize as an expert just might be supportive of your objectives.
As discussed earlier, some would argue in favor of accepting guest posts because “more is better,” an all-to-common belief that content volume ought to be a top objective. What happens, though, when a visitor drawn to your site reads one of those posts? Are they reading something representative of your company? Will they get the wrong impression of what you have to offer, leave and never come back? Do you really want to find out?
What then do you do with all those unsolicited offers of posts from unknown “experts” you get in your email inbox each day? Well, you’re under no obligation to respond to unsolicited offers, but you never know who might be your customer one day or who you might want to hire so maybe a polite response will better serve you.
What’s the right approach for your business blog? I would have to talk with you to know, as it really depends on your objectives for the blog. Yes, your blog is probably just one tactic you use to achieve your objectives, but it’s also one of the public faces of your business.