Love it or hate it, there’s no avoiding the role of SEO in shaping the Internet as we know it. One way or another, techniques for improving a site’s position within the pages of Google has directly influenced what we read, source and buy every day.
Unfortunately not all of the techniques Internet marketers use could be described as ethical. In fact many are quite the opposite. Shady practitioners spam message boards, create homogenised link farms and generally clutter the Internet with worthless content. Their goal? Simple, get a link at any cost.
Stepping Away from Spam
This brand of opportunistic blanket spamming does little to improve the reputation of an industry already tainted with widespread mistrust and accusations. Despite this though it continues, and will do so until websites no longer see the benefit of this diligent scattergun approach.
But there is another way. Off site SEO efforts can be constructive and even beneficial to the wider online community. One such technique is guest blogging.
Trade Knowledge for Exposure
Writing a guest blog post, such as this, is a great way to share your knowledge, develop writing skills and increase your online visibility. It isn’t simply about SEO though. Writers are rewarded with exposure, which can lead to future opportunities and develop their social presence online.
However, you won’t be rewarded for writing a spam-filled post overflowing with errors and nonsense. With guest blogging you will only ever get out of it what you are prepared to put into it first. If you’re just chasing a couple of links and don’t focus on the quality of content you’ll be found out.
For any writer there is an inherent responsibility attached to producing content for somebody else’s blog. By putting your work into the public domain beyond the sanctuary of your own blog or site you open yourself up to rejection or ridicule. If you fall below the required standards you simply won’t get published.
Being Constructive Rather than Destructive
With all the nonsense that does go on in the world of SEO and Internet marketing generally, guest blogging offers a more positive and productive solution. Writers and sites can benefit from creating quality content that will actually help readers. They can share their knowledge and skills with an audience beyond their usual parameters.
Of course guest blogging is a two way street. Whilst writers can hope to earn a link and share their views with the wider world, a host site gets quality content to develop their blog. The ability to pick and choose which articles to publish affords the blog owner the freedom to separate the wheat from the chaff. Or, to put it in more pleasant terms, weed out low quality articles that don’t fit in with the site’s overall message or fall short of expected standards.
It’s not just the reputation of the writer on the line remember. If a blog has published a few duff posts, it’s likely to lose credibility and even some regular readers. Therefore when it comes to guest blogging, ensuring the highest standards on both sides is mutually beneficial.
With quality at the forefront, guest blogging is undeniably one of the more positive Internet marketing activities. It’s not a hive for spam and it doesn’t reward everybody equally. As a writer you have to earn any link that you want. As a host you have complete editorial power but shoulder the risk.
The more interesting, provocative and thoughtful content there is on the Internet, the better it becomes. Whilst there isn’t much any SEO can do about those who will deliberately flout spam rules, they can certainly ensure they don’t fall into the same trap. It’s constructive and hugely beneficial.
Develop Your Own Writing Skills
Whilst writing decent content takes time, it is far from being a worthless activity. As a writer I look to stretch myself every time I put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). Many others no doubt feel the same. So the opportunity to produce more content is also a chance to develop skills.
You can learn a lot from comments too. This is where you’ll find out what people really think and identify areas where improvements can be made. By exposing yourself to new audiences you can expect a fresh perspective too.
Whilst Internet marketers and SEO practitioners in particular have a professional reputation on a par with traffic wardens, guest blogging is an escape from all that. It shows creativity, understanding of a subject and adds value. Just because both sides stand to benefit, there’s a wider gain for readers that helps it transcend traditional optimisation techniques.
Can you rely solely on guest blogging for your online marketing efforts? Probably not. Should you be looking to integrate it with your current efforts though? Almost certainly. It’s positive, proactive and offers opportunities aplenty, what more can you ask for?