Everywhere you look these days, especially since Google’s ongoing succession of algorithm updates, naysayers are proclaiming, “article marketing is dead” or, “article marketing doesn’t work any more”. Fortunately, my experience tells a completely different story: instead of losing its effectiveness, article marketing in its original, purest sense has now acquired a whole new authority, helped, rather than hindered by Google’s clampdown to eliminate trash content.
Complementary to article marketing is Guest Blogging, and when approached correctly, it can very easily produce superior results. Why should this be? Well, a blog post is an article, the only difference being, it’s published in a blog, not an article directory. However, that one difference can be amazing in the focused, quality traffic it attracts.
So, How Does Guest Blogging Provide Superior Traffic?
Simple. As respected as many article directories may be, they are not authoritative websites. When people are searching for information on a subject, or solutions to their problems, they will only read your article posted in a directory if they happen to stumble upon a link to it during their search. There is no way they are going to head directly to Ezine Articles or Article Base to find answers.
Article directories were created to be depositories for articles; a place where webmasters can go when they need fresh content for their websites, blogs or newsletters. Only when these webmasters publish your content, can it begin to attract focused readers back to you. Their ready made, niche relevant audience will read your content, and if your information is good enough, they will follow the links to your website in the resource box for additional reading.
When you publish an article in an article directory, it’s with the intention it will get picked up by niche relevant webmasters, but there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t stack the odds significantly in your favor and pro-actively seek out and approach these webmasters directly and offer to guest blog for them.
In fact, you really should make Guest Blogging a major part of your article marketing strategy. It will involve quite a bit of additional work on your part, but I promise you, the results will be well worth the efforts.
Here are a few tips to help you reap the best results:
Select Carefully: It’s critical you approach blogs which attract traffic relevant to your niche. You will be wasting your time contacting webmasters of unrelated blogs because a) Your guest post won’t be accepted, and, b) on the remote chance it is, their followers won’t be remotely interested in what you have to say.
Potential traffic volume will always be your overriding concern, but don’t let it blind you to quality of traffic. Is there any comment activity? Have they published other guest posts, and if so, are they focused on your article’s intended subject?
Highly targeted traffic will always deliver superior results and could probably provide more focused visitors than somewhat generically focused blogs.
Having said that, the whole point of guest blogging is to increase your visibility, so think outside the box; see your niche in a broader light. As an example, you may normally write about growing tomatoes, but parents could be extremely interested in reading about the dietary value of homegrown vegetables for their children. Write a guest blog post about healthy, home grown tomatoes and you’ll attract a whole new audience.
Carefully Read the Blog: Having found a likely candidate, read the blog you’re considering. Get a feel for their tone, the type of content they publish, and how they “speak to” their audience. Is there a particular topic they talk about more than others, etc.
Study the Blog’s Comments: These can be a goldmine because if there is a question frequently asked, or a subject regularly discussed, this could be your post’s theme, and you could mention this when you approach the webmaster.
Never Self Promote: Guest posts should always entertain and inform; they should never, ever sell anything. You should cleverly showcase your expertise in the subject you are writing about, but never in a way which self promotes. Your article needs to hold the readers’ attention all the way through to your resource box, where they will click on your link for more information.
Your Resource Box Is the Key: Your article should only provide part of the solution to the problem you are writing about; it needs to draw the reader to the link in your resource box which they need to click for the entire answer. Try not to satisfy them by telling them everything, or you will remove the reason to click through to you, but at the same time, don’t alienate them by blatantly holding back on critical information. You will need to walk a fine line.
Explain to the reader why they need to click on your link. The resource box is where you can self promote and explain what makes you special. Include a definite “Call to Action”; guide them, actually tell them to click on your link.
Another great idea is to offer them something free: an ebook or report closely related to the subject of your article. Once they arrive at your website, they will need to provide their contact information prior to downloading.
Include your name (or pen name you’re using) in your resource box to establish credibility and always mention the name of your website and include the full URL. Many people prefer to click on a URL rather than link text.
Now more than ever Guest Posting can provide you with amazing opportunities to showcase your website to a much wider audience, and improve your site’s SEO. Every guest post published will provide you with an authoritative, high value, one-way backlink; something Google loves.
In fact, SEO scholars have stated that just one of these blog guest posting backlinks will carry much more perceived “link juice” than many thousands of links acquired from the proliferation of low quality directories, blog comments, etc.
As I stated to begin with, Guest Blogging does involve a lot of time and effort, but as a marketing strategy, it can bring in floods of new, focused traffic.