Is Guest Blogging Dead or Alive?
Guest blogging, once a popular way to get your work seen by new audiences, has been on the decline. In 2014, the practice took a hard hit from Google exec Matt Cutts, who advised bloggers that they should “stick a fork in it, [because] guest blogging was done.” Since then, the focus of content marketers has shifted to other, allegedly more effective, strategies for brand exposure.
But is guest blogging really dead, or does the practice still hold value for marketers in 2023 and beyond? The answer is, it depends.
The Value Of Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a powerful tool that allows brands to drive leads, gain valuable backlinks, increase their search engine rankings, and boost their recognition. Guest posting also tends to generate more social shares than other types of content and offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with other bloggers in their niche, which could lead to future collaborations or even job offers down the road.
Some blogs offer monetary compensation or free products in exchange for guest posts, so it may also be possible to make a little extra money through this type of writing.
Challenges For Guest Bloggers
While guest blogging brings content marketers a lot of benefits, it doesn’t come without challenges. Most notably, brands that were publishing guest blogs on low-quality websites or article directories noticed their organic search rankings begin to decline after the 2012 Google Penguin algorithm update.
Instead of rewarding sites for more and more backlinks, the search engine had learned the difference between good and bad links and began to penalize brands for putting up low-value content on websites that only function to provide a backlink.
Many marketers struggled to maintain their search engine rankings once they were no longer able to “game” the system.
The rise of authority marketing and social authority optimization also played a role, making it more difficult for beginners to have their work featured on a reputable blog or website. Most blogs that offered quality backlinks wanted to feature guest authors who were already well-known or even an authority in their field. Webmasters now knew the value their backlink offered and became more discerning about who they featured on their brand’s blog, further discouraging bloggers from applying.
Together, these issues combined do make guest blogging more difficult now than it was in the past. But don’t mark it DOA just yet.
Why Guest Blogging Still Works
It’s true that guest blogging is harder to excel at now than it was in the 2010s, but that’s only because advancements in AI search algorithm technology have made it more difficult for webmasters to get ahead with cheap, keyword-stuffed content. If you’re producing high-quality content and continually building your authority, in time you will be able to build relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your industry who are willing to feature your work.
Remember that quality always supersedes quantity when it comes to search engine optimization, content, and backlinks. One quality backlink is more valuable than a dozen mid-quality links and infinitely more so than spammy links that work against you.
Successful marketing takes effort, regardless of which tactic you choose to employ. Guest blogging is a time-tested strategy that continues to deliver results in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, so long as the links back to your site are relevant and contain good quality information that users are looking for.
How To Find Blogs To Write Guest Posts For
There are many ways to find blogs to write for. As you build your credibility and authority in your field, more opportunities will become available and you may even find that webmasters reach out to you to request that you write for them.
Until then, however, the process can be tedious, so try not to get discouraged. Make applying for guest blog spots a habit and expect rejection more than acceptance. Keep reaching out and work hard to make the guest blogs that you do get accepted for phenomenal quality.
You should also continue to expand your brand and content in other ways, including writing blogs for your own site, posting on social media, and attending or speaking at events. As you branch out and build your network, you will inherently find more opportunities to get your content seen by the world.
Read next: The Anatomy of a Great Guest Post
John McDougall is the founder of McDougall Interactive and published author of college textbook Web Marketing On All Cylinders. Call today for a free strategy session to discuss your digital marketing success at 877-623-4291.
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