What kind of guest posts should you build?
The blog posts that should be posted are written in good English. They are interesting, unique, timely and topical. They are all researched and written to be informative or entertaining, or both.
There are two main kinds of Guest Posts that are acceptible:
1. Written by a blogger.
In this kind of guest post, a blogger has come across your brand and wants to write about it. This is the least risky kind of guest post. It is following, by the book, how Google utilise their link ranking system. A blogger endorses your brand, and so Google follows suit.
Why is this not spammy?
Bloggers are an incredibly active community. They mention and endorse millions of brands every single day. An example: A blogger comes to London. They visit Harrods and have a great time. They then go home and decide to write about Harrods on their blog, telling people what a great brand it is. They include a link to Harrods for user convenience. As stated, this link is why Google’s link based algorithm exists in the first place. It is an endorsement. Google simply take someone else’s endorsement and use it as their own. Think about it, if it was spam every time a blogger mentioned a brand on their blog, then every major brand on the planet would be engaged in the worst kind of spam. Our job as SEOs would be to try to prevent bloggers from writing about brands… counter intuitive to the idea of PR!
2. Written by your brand.
In this kind of post, the brand engage in an active PR campaign, intended to increase its catchment and brand awareness. Instead of writing a bland piece about their brand, they write something that they think users will find genuinely interesting, about a subject that they are experts in, and thus have a valuable treasure trove of knowledge to divulge. This content makes their brand interesting to the user, who will then follow the link back to their website. These articles are written by a member of your team, who can be credited. The brand make it very clear in the article that it is a member of the team writing them, so that Google understand exactly what is going on (incase it ever did go under manual review).
Why is this not spammy?
This is a standard advertising tactic that is used by every major brand on the planet. When you open a copy of GQ and Paul Smith has written a ‘how to wear your suit’ article, people read it because it is written by Paul Smith (who they admire as an expert in fashion and will therefore take his advice). Paul Smith gets the benefit of additional brand exposure, as he is credited with writing the article.
Blog post outreach (as we call it in house) is taking this standard traditional marketing strategy and applying it to the digital sphere. As long as the article is well written, well placed and of genuine interest to the end user, then this is a really positive thing. It is placing good content on the web. So long as you do not cover up that it is written in house then it is understood that this is just part of an in-house outreach campaign.
That said, because this content is written in house, if it ever did go under manual review the link would be credited less link juice than the out-of-house endorsements (as it is a brand endorsing itself.) If this kind of blog posting is not done in too much bulk and so long as the blogs that they are placed on are quality blogs, then this would not be considered as spam and the link would still pass on link juice.
How should you meet bloggers?
There are regular Blogger networking events in most major cities, where you can meet and befriend many bloggers. Do not go in straight away with the old ‘please place articles on your site for us’. Go to these events and become a recurring member. When you have made genuine friendships then you will be in a good position to ask the blogger to allow you to guest post for them.
You should also be active on many forums and other blogs, writing helpful (non-link) comments in their comment boxes and sending the blogger friendly messages on occasions. Through this you will slowly befriend these bloggers.
If you start up your own blogs, make them really good and interesting, then over time you will probably find that bloggers start to contact you directly with ideas!
When these friendships are fruitful and genuine, see if you can’t leverage them!