It’s getting harder and harder to get traffic that converts. A lot of SEO tactics have come and gone over the years, but one strategy that continues to deliver high-level results is guest posting. By landing guest posts on popular sites that are relevant to your own, you can get your brand in front of a lot of new faces while also boosting your search traffic levels.
But getting those guest posts accepted can be a real challenge. So here are five things you need to avoid in order to get those posts published on blogs that matter.
Submitting Low-Quality Content
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make today in the area of guest posting is that they think they can submit generic, outtargetd, keyword-stuffed or spun content and expect it to be accepted on someone else’s blog. Sure, you can get away with that on some low-level PBNs or on some cheap niche sites that someone threw together back in 2012, but no reputable industry blog or big media site is going to give you the time of day if you’re submitting plagiarized content filled with typos, common knowledge and awkward keyword combos.
Instead, hire a good writer and submit content that adds over-the-top value to the audience you are hoping to reach. Your guest posts should be just as good as — if not better than — the pillar content you offer on your own site.
Submitting Duplicate Content
Submitting work that has already been published is another fantastic way to get your guest post denied. The reason for this is actually less about publishing unique content and more about avoiding any hint of a Google penalty. A few years ago, marketers realized that duplicate content is a ranking factor that can negatively impact your traffic levels, so most blogs will refuse to publish a previously published guest post out of fear of losing traffic. This fear is not always justified — as the success of syndicated content on news sites, Huffington Post, Medium and other sites demonstrates, but nobody wants to take a chance these days.
So save the duplicate content for Medium, LinkedIn and other sites that allow for it, and only submit unpublished guest posts to sites from which you want to get some link juice.
Totally Ignoring the Submission Guidelines
It’s ridiculous how many people submit guest posts to blogs without following — or even reading — that sites guest post submission guidelines. If you can’t bother to follow the host site’s instructions, then there’s no way you can expect to get your submission accepted. In fact, failing to follow guidelines shows the site’s editor that you’re just a spammer, and they’ll likely blacklist your email to prevent you from wasting their time ever again.
So follow submission guidelines to the letter. Don’t ask if they can make an exception for you. Just follow their rules and submit the kind of content they want.
Ignoring Both Google’s and the FTC’s Guidelines for Sponsored Posts
A lot of marketers expect way too much when inquiring about guest posting opportunities. Sure, they’re willing to pay to get their post published, but they demand that no disclaimer be made to tip off readers that this is a paid post or advertorial. They also require that the backlinks in their guest post be tagged as dofollow rather than nofollow links.
Whether they’re doing this out of ignorance or arrogance doesn’t matter. These marketers are just breaking all the rules and expecting to get away with it without penalty. The truth is that it is illegal for those blogs to post paid content without disclosing to their audience that they were compensated for publishing it. It’s also against Google’s guidelines to give dofollow links for paid posts in order to manipulate search rankings.
So play nicely, avoid future Google penalties and legal hassles and just follow the rules.
Pitching Guest Posts to Random Blogs in Other Niches
Another common reason guest post submissions get denied is that they literally have nothing to do with the host’s blog content and audience. Relevance is a big deal when submitting guest posts. In the old days, you could get backlinks from random websites and still receive SEO benefits for your site.
But search engines caught onto that years ago and began discounting or even penalizing low-quality backlinks from unrelated sites. No webmaster or blogger who actually cared about her audience would post random crap on her blog that her readers would not be interested in, so irrelevant backlinks just tell search engines that these are spam sites and PBNs. So blasting out links on every site that will accept them will just get you penalized in time.
Old school SEOs will still follow these outdated tactics because they can get temporary results for their clients, but in the end it will just trash your brand and your traffic levels. If you’re outsourcing, use a Blogger Outreach Service that follows current SEO best practices and will only submit your guest posts to blogs in your niche or in related niches — or to sites that have categories that relate directly to your content and your business.
Getting backlinks from popular blogs in your industry is a great way to boost your organic search traffic levels and get new leads and sales. But you have to do it right. Follow these five tips to improve your odds of getting guest posts approved by these sites and watch how your traffic levels climb as a result.