I noticed a particularly intense marketing guru shouting the benefits of guest blogging. It was his contention that if you want to be an authority in your niche, you need to have a presence on many other web sites in the niche.
He likened the concept to becoming a popular and well-known TV or movie star by appearing on all the talk show circuits and doing guest appearances so that your face and name become household words. You get authority by being seen on the popular shows.
I used to think the same thing until I tried it. I contacted many site owners and asked them if they wanted me to write guest blog posts for them. I pitched the fact that this would be a win-win for both of us. They needed quality content and I needed exposure for my business and new subscribers.
Not everyone accepted my offer of free quality niche content, but many did. It wasn’t the greatest way to advertise my business, but I know it produced a few new list subscribers. Over time, it began to be apparent, to me at least, that I was spending a lot of my valuable time actually promoting the businesses of my competitors.
That was not my intent, I can assure you. But for the work I was putting in to make my content stand above anything the hosting site was offering, I was not getting a commensurate return.
Then one day I came across a short video featuring Ryan Diess, a well known marketer that has a huge following, discussing business blogging. It was his advice that turned me around 180 degrees on the subject. According to Ryan, I was doing everything backward . . . or upside down.
He claims that you should do just the opposite of guest blogging: invite guest bloggers to post on your site – don’t post on their site.
His reasoning was this: the site with all the great guest articles in the niche is seen as the “authority” site. It is much better to own the authority site than to have your content on other niche sites which helps them to be the authority.
In addition, once you have a quality article on another site you lose total control of what happens to your content. It could be up online today and gone tomorrow.
Also, great articles are going to attract traffic and search engines to the site where they’re published – not so much to the author’s site. Sure you’ll get a little bit of exposure, but compared with the good your article is doing for the blogger that’s publishing it, you’re not getting a lot in return.
What he described was what I was experiencing.
The idea was that it was much better to build an authority site and own it rather than being a popular guest blogger.
With this improved business model, IMO, guest bloggers would send you quality posts and you would have control over what went on your blog and what didn’t. You could be seen as the authority in your niche because all the great content was on your site, not the sites of others.
Ryan explained that guest bloggers will often go onto Facebook, Twitter, etc and tell their friends and subscribers to check out their latest post on (such and such) blog site – which should be YOUR site. You benefit from the new people coming to your blog, you benefit from the guest content posted on your blog, and the search engines begin to see that your site is the hub of activity in the niche – the true “authority” depository.
When you guest blog on other sites it puts your great content to work for a competitor’s site. You do get some benefit from the exposure and a few will click through your sig file. But it’s my contention (and experience now) that most of the benefit of guest blogging goes to the blog that is posting the great content – NOT the guest blogger.
That’s just my experience – yours may be different.
Some marketers believe that you should guest blog in the beginning because what I’m suggesting (inviting others to come to your blog) “only works if you already have a lot of traffic to target guest posters.” But that has not really been my experience.
I have found that guest bloggers usually like to post on your blog because it represents a potentially “new” audience for them. They aren’t usually too picky about how many subscribers I have. Granted, my blog has to be high quality and not spammy. Most guest bloggers already have great posts/articles that they will modify and send without too much hesitation or work on their part.
The real bottom line for me is this . . . I want to build up my site and not my competitor’s sites. And my previous experience suggests to me that is better done by being the guest host rather than the guest.
Note: If you have a brand new blog with no real exposure, I would suggest relaxing this approach some in the beginning because a few high authority backlinks to your site can be very helpful. If you do decide to make some guest posts, I would suggest posting the article to your own blog first and get it indexed by Google before you send it off to another site.
Opposing view points are certainly welcome.
To your online business success!
Steve Browne runs the place at www.stevebrownedirect.com