A couple weeks ago, Google’s Webspam team leader, Matt Cutts, officially freaked out the content marketing world when he told marketers to “stick a fork in” guest blogging. After a bit of an uproar, he finally revised his statements to explain that only guest blogging for SEO purposes was dead, but the damage had already been done. Thanks to years of spammy, link-filled guest blog posts, Google’s Webspam team have finally decided to do something about it. However, with the benefits of guest blogging expanding beyond just the realm of SEO, marketers are left in a bit of pickle. Should you continue to guest blog as a way to build connections or should you just get the Hell out of Dodge? In this post, we’ll give you 5 legitimate, non-SEO reasons to continue guest blogging.
Even before the blog gets published, you make a connection with another writer and business. That alone is worth something, isn’t it? Especially in a day and age where it doesn’t always matter what you know, but who you know. And, because you know better than to associate with sketchy, spammy bloggers, these new connections of yours will also introduce you to their loyal blog audience. Make a good impression, and who knows what kinds of leads you can gain.
If you’re looking for ways to improve the quality of your content, writing guest a blog can be a great way to improve your writing abilities. Though the mere repetition of writing can have its benefits, when guest blogging, you might be challenged to take on a new voice, tackle new subjects, or even change the way you research your topic, all to help fit the tone and style of the blog you’re guest blogging for. Use these challenges as a learning opportunity, and you’ll surely finish the post as a slightly better blogger than when you started.
Increases Your Authority
If you spend enough time reading blogs and staying up-to-date on industry news, eventually you start to pick up on some of the big names and thought leaders within your industry. That being said, it only makes sense that the more you put your name out there along side high-quality content, the more people will notice. Take away any of the link building benefits, and still have the opportunity to get your name out there and recognized for your talent. You can even parlay your new blogging “fame” into more social media connections if you play your cards right!
More Employee Engagement
As we’ve said multiple times before (most recently here and here), some of your company’s most valuable content marketing tools might not even come directly from your marketing department. You know they have the inside insights needed to write content that would be interesting to an audience, but because they don’t come from a marketing background (or don’t have enough experience as an intern), blogging is a bit of a foreign concept to them. If you have a large readership and don’t want to saddle them with the pressure of creating something too difficult, guest blogging on a smaller site can be a perfect learning opportunity. Not only will your employees gain valuable experience, but they’ll also feel a certain level of accomplishment and excitement for getting published online. Just remember to make sure someone from your marketing department proofreads the article for errors and readability before you hit send!
Boost Your Traffic
Regardless of what Matt Cutts and Google’s Webspam team has in store for the writers that abuse guest blogging, it’s inevitable that your business will get at least some referral traffic from the links in your post. Whether a reader clicks a link in the text or even just a link in your author’s bio, if you cast a line, eventually you’ll catch a fish. And, if you have a well-designed site and high-quality content, you can turn those one-time clicks into repeat visitors. Just remember, spamming posts full of links is what got us into this mess, so only include a link if you’re citing a source or if it adds value to your post.
Looking at the list above, it’s easy to see why writers and businesses everywhere should, and likely will, continue to guest blog. As Matt Cutts said himself, “there are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.” For now, as long as you stay focused on writing for your audience first, and search engines second, your site won’t feel the wrath of Matt Cutts’ “Spam-hammer.”
If you're interested in staying ahead of news about Google updates and digital marketing changes, you need to adopt a forward-looking approach. Learn more about how to anticipate future changes in our Forward-Looking Marketing solutions guide by clicking below.
Posted by Alex Sobal Alex has exceptional writing skills and the ability to learn new industries and their complex processes. While at Weidert Group, he was also an avid social media marketer and wrote frequently on online community engagement and content creation strategies for our blog.