Web Content Dilemma: Guest Posting, Yes or No?

Web Content Dilemma: Guest Posting, Yes or No?

You want traffic, so you post Web content to your website or blog regularly. It works. However, with a tsunami of content flowing onto the Web each day, it’s very hard to get noticed. You decide that you need more content to draw traffic.

One day you have a lightbulb moment, and decide that you need to write guest posts for popular websites. They get much more traffic than you do, and they offer a link back to your site. So you offer an article to a popular site. Your article is accepted, and you get your link, and a trickle of traffic. Your daily traffic is increasing.

Guest posting is amazing, you decide. It works! So you spread yourself far and wide, posting on others’ sites, and chasing links.

I love guest posting, and enjoy posting on sites like LifeHack. However, Google’s Matt Cutts has repeatedly warned that overdoing guest posting may not be a great idea. Sooner or later, Google will come down on websites which chase guest posting links.

The solution is…

Post your best content on your own website.

MOZ CEO Rand Fiskin, in Why Guest Posting and Blogging is a Slippery Slope suggests:

For your marquee content, your best stuff, I strongly – see how I’ve underlined strongly – strongly suggest using your own site. Reason being, if you’re going to put wonderful stuff out there, even if you think it could do better on somebody else’s site, in the long term you want that to live on your own site.

The problem with guest posting is that even if your name is on the content, you’ve lost some rights (maybe all rights, in some cases) to the content. Even if your guest posting venue merely claims exclusivity for a couple of weeks, and you retain all rights, the content nevertheless is posted on someone else’s website.

It’s a dilemma. Should you guest post, or post your Web content primarily to your own website?

When to guest post…

Consider your business goals, as well as your marketing goals. What do you want to achieve in the longterm? If your aim is to be a thought leader in your industry, your choice is obvious: post your best content to your own website. Make the most of your content too – repurpose it. Integrate your content with the rest of your website.

When should you guest post? Ideally, when you want to form a relationship or partnership on the website on which you post your Web content. Or, guest post on a website which is read by your target audience.

Consider that guest posting your content is a short-term solution. Yes, you get links, and those links may be valuable right now. However, you’ve lost control of that content.

As Rand Fiskin suggests in his article, guest posting can be a slippery slope, if you look on it as an easy way to get links and traffic, and start to scale it. Some links can damage your website.

We’ve discussed repurposing your content. As time goes on, you can reprise your content too, as long as the content lives on your own site.

Web content is valuable. Think carefully before you give your best content away too cheaply.

Quick update… is guest blogging DONE?

Some hours after I posted this post, I received Matt Cutts Declares Guest Blogging ‘Done’ … Are We All Screwed? from CopyBogger.

(Giggle) Love the title. 

I went to the source, Matt Cutts, who’s made it clear that he’s talking about guest blogging solely for SEO:

Added: It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. 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.

You can create guest posts as Web content to your heart’s content. Just make sure you’re not doing it SOLELY for links. And keep your best stuff on your own site, as much as possible.
Blog management

, and on Twitter: @angee

Blogging In A Wasteland? 6 Quick Tips To Get Targeted Traffic

Blogging: 6 Quick Tips To Get Targeted Traffic

When your blog gets little to no traffic, you can feel as if you’re in a wasteland, talking to yourself.

You know you need content, so you’re working hard. On the other hand, perhaps you already have lots of great content, but Google’s slapped you silly. Result – a trickle of traffic, on a good day.

You’re close to giving up.

Please don’t. You can get free, targeted traffic, and will fall in love with your blog all over again. Let’s look at six quick tips to get traffic.

1. Get social media buttons (obvious, and essential)

Do you have social media sharing buttons on your site? It’s easy to overlook this. Make sure that they appear on every page of your website, especially on your blog.

Shareaholic offers publisher tools, including share buttons, and tracked eight of the most popular social media platforms to see which were driving traffic:

Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are dominating. These three social media power players collectively accounted for 15.22% of overall traffic last month. Given their community and share-friendly nature, it’s no surprise that they top the list in traffic referrals and have grown more than 54% each in share of overall visits.

2. Get easy inbound links: polish up your social media profiles

You can’t be active on every social media platform which might drive traffic. Choose two, and polish up your profiles on those sites.

I’m most active on Twitter, and Google+, so I keep those profiles updated.

Even if you’re not active on Google+, it’s a good idea to polish your profile there. You get a special section in your profile called Links. Make sure you link out to your online properties there, and if you contribute in any way to other sites, add the links to the “Contributor to” area. This helps Google to identify you across the Web.

3. Get busy reviewing on Amazon

I had a real “duh!” moment when I read this tip from Jennifer Bourn:

You can use your Amazon reviews as a sort of satellite blog, a place to offer your insights, intelligence, and helpful advice to consumers trying to find the right book or product. This is an opportunity for you to be helpful, to be visible to a new audience, and to be positioned as an expert, all at the same time.

I’ve never considered reviewing on Amazon, preferring my own websites. I just changed my preferences. :-)

4. Get moving with YouTube

Did you know that one BILLION unique users visit YouTube every month? Yep, you read that right: one billion.

You may not see yourself becoming a YouTube personality, but you can post short tutorial videos there, as well as videos related to your products and services.

Hunt up the presentations hiding on your hard drive, and post them to YouTube.

If you have a Windows computer, download and install Windows Live Movie Maker.

On a Mac? Keynote will send your presentations to YouTube too.

5. Get going on Slideshare

Did you know that Slideshare is a search superstar?

CMI suggests:

Since a strong search presence is a huge boost for content marketing, SlideShare could be just what your brand needs for more successful content marketing. Think of SlideShare’s link juice as rocket fuel for the content you post on the platform. All you need to start borrowing some of the professional network’s clout is a coordinated plan.

Slideshare is one of the top 150 online destinations, so start creating presentations for some of that traffic.

6. Get active in online communities

With hundreds of thousands of online communities, you’ll find at least one community where you can get active.

Start by getting to know the community, and fill out your profile – this gives you an inbound link to your site.

Then, ask questions, and join in the discussions. You can share your knowledge,and learn from others too. Of course, you won’t spam. However, do create a signature file (most forums allow and encourage this.) Your signature gives you another link.

Is your blog driving you crazy? Get help.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Thinkery: Helps You Manage Your Life if You Live On the Web


I’ve been looking for an app which could handle snippets of information. I’m a heavy Evernote user, but I don’t want my account cluttered with ephemeral stuff — quick notes to myself, bookmarks for an article I’m researching and will never use again once the article’s done, links to videos… I’ve got thousands of notes in Evernote already. If I persist in filling it with ephemera, it makes important stuff harder to find.

Over the past year, I’ve tried several apps which live in the Mac OS X menu bar, but that’s packed already. Besides, none of them measured up.

A friend recommended Thinkery, a Web app.

On the app’s site, this resonated with me, thinkery.me:

* “Tired of spending more time organising your todo list than actually doing it? #yeah

* Sitting in the office and don’t want to spam your private mail account with cool links, videos, images, etc.? #hellyeah

* Don’t have time to watch a video, find a song or read an article right now? Want to read it later? #f*ckyeah”

Yes, to all of the above. :-)

After using it for a few hours, here’s what I like most, a single field for both entries and search:


This makes it amazingly simple just to dump stuff in Thinkery.

I’ve no idea whether I’ll keep using it long-term. However, it’s got a bookmarklet so you can enter stuff at a click, plus keyboard shortcuts; both features help save time. (And deleting stuff is easy.)

If you’re looking for lots of documentation, you’re out of luck. However, there’s a Thinkery Blog which gets you up to speed.

Check out the Tools page for bookmarklets for both desktop and mobile browsers.

Web Content: Links, and Links Which Convert


I wrote this article three years ago, Marketing Power: Grow Your Website With Great Web Content | Angela Booth’s Creativity Factory, and said:

“Each link you get is valuable. Consider that any backlink is worth at least $25 a month to you, and much more if the link comes from a high-ranking site. Placing a monetary value on links gives you a way to evaluate the results you’re getting from your content development.”

That’s still true; however, Google’s becoming more fussy with the weight it gives to links since the Penguin update.

It’s time to stop focusing on “links” per se, and focus on links which convert to sales… and, oddly enough, on outbound links.

From my experience working with clients, getting links which convert is easier, than focusing on just getting links for traffic. With Google hovering, it’s less dangerous too.

Links which convert

What do we mean by “links which convert”? In a nutshell, links which make sales for you: links which stem from a relationship you have with a company.

For example, let’s say you’re a marketing company. You’ll link to your clients, on your portfolio and case study pages, and wherever else is appropriate. With any luck, you’ve asked a client to link to you too, at the start of your relationship.

These kinds of links are a testimonial. They’re legitimate. However, don’t go back through your client lists and ask for links now; getting a flood of links suddenly won’t look natural to the search engines. But do consider getting these simple “converting” links going forward.

There are other ways to get “converting” links. Consider links from:

* Any companies with which you have a relationship, such as your suppliers;

* Companies in your local area. You can do this subtly. Create an events page on your website, to promote local activities. Sponsor an event or three. You’ll get links.

Subtly is the key. If you’re thinking that maybe old-school (gimme a link, any link) SEO is dead, you may well be right. As we’ve said, focus on conversions, rather than traffic.

Don’t be afraid to link out

From Aaron Wall’s interview with Brett Tabke:

While the outbound linking was directly from previously mentioned 26 Steps article. I took alot of heat in “26 Steps to 15k a Day” for recommending that people link out to other sites. The theory then was that clearly SE’s were going to look at outbound links to determine a sites theme. There are alot of metrics that outbound linking can be used as a quality (or lack their of) signal for search algos.

If you’ve been hesitant to link out, get over it. You can and should link out. Yes, it feels counter-intuitive. However, it builds relationships, and relationships are a huge part of new-style SEO — which is just plain old marketing.

Links will always be important. These days however, links which convert are much more valuable to you than any links which purely send you traffic.

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