To Guest Blog or Not to Guest BlogMurmurs about guest blogging relevance have been on the rise in the SEO and content marketing spheres. In close succession we’ve seen a few articles by SEO Andy, Matt Cutts and others all discussing the cons and some pros of guest blogging. I won’t go into guest blogging yeas, nays or how to’s here because that’s been done sufficiently already, but it seems that guest blogging and content is on the mind of many website owners and SEO managers. Call me crazy but I have to ask ‘why this is still being discussed?’

Guest blogging isn’t new or novel. In fact, SEO agencies have been using guest blogging to try to gain links for websites for many years. Guest blogging has gained a fairly bad reputation due largely to the placement of  irrelevant links, poor content, and the use of low quality  sites to support articles that exist purely for advertising purposes. Bad news.

Let’s think about this. Blogging as a company is important for many reasons; this was discussed in a previous blog. Guest blogging on the other hand is a tactic that should be used to help build community and connections not to merely garner a quick link. In fact, if you want to build a connection with another blogger, you should be seeking to help them out primarily or to form a relationship, not to directly promote your own site from the word go.

It’s more likely that you will find success for your site via your own company blog, social media, and onsite content than through potentially dodgy links gained from excessive guest blogging. Don’t get me wrong, there are definite benefits to guest blogging, if done correctly (and by correctly I mean over time, with much research and after connections and relationships have been respectfully formed).

It’s time to pull up your boot straps and start anew. Leave the dusty old guest blogging for links strategy behind.

Create a Confident Company Story

Confident Company Storytelling

I’ve said before that SEO in the past has had too high a focus on links. This was because… it worked (for a while). But the link profile of a site says far less about a company than does its number and confidence of customers.

Are you hoping to improve your site’s search visibility, build community and get noticed online? Guest blogging is not the answer. Effective site architecture and compliance checks are an important part of the process. Another important part is the story your company is telling through its content.

Confident, creative content tells a positive story about your company. This should be your focus.

Your company story should be constantly growing and adaptable and should reach time across various mediums. It incorporates company blogging, social media, onsite content and even how and where your company advertises.

How do you tell a confident company story?

  1. Use positive, clear, active language: imagine your site is a letter to your visitors. Based on the words you’ve chosen, what sort of person would they think you are as a company? Shy? Stern? Disconnected? Engaging? Happy?
  2. Be consistent: don’t change your tone. You can change your voice to meet different mediums but the overall tone and message should be consistent. Just like in personal relationships if someone is inconsistent it gets confusing and can breed distrust. Creating a well researched tone of voice document can help with this.
  3. Get Passionate: Do you like what you do? Let your language communicate that. Don’t hide what’s great about your company. Tell your story in whatever way you can.
  4. Get yourself out there: Use social media effectively. Show your human side and help your customers become confident about you and their choice to use your product or service. Give them a reason to believe in you!

Everything you do as a company is part of your story. So it’s important to think about the story you are telling with the actions you’re taking and the words you choose. If you do this you’re well on your way to communicating a confident company story.

If you decide to get involved in guest blogging just make sure you do so respectfully. This infogram clearly illustrates what NOT to do. But like most things in life the best practice is to ‘do as you would have others do unto you’.

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