As guest blogging continues to grow in popularity, the bar on quality continues to rise. And the quality standard isn’t just about the content of the post– it’s about your links, too. Host blogs want your backlinks to lend value to their readers as an extension of your content. So today’s topic is “Guest Blogging for New Websites”
What if your site is new and light on content, however? Are links to your site truly useful, or will they look merely promotional? Here’s how you can impress bloggers and get links, even if the site you want to link to is new or thin on content.
Way back in early 2011, before the sea changes brought by the Panda and Penguin updates, host blogs generally didn’t care much about what sites the links in your byline connected to. They tended to be pickier about links from the body of the article, but byline links were largely given a pass, so long as they didn’t lead to an unsavory website. In fact, guest bloggers routinely placed links to sites that were completely unrelated to the topic of the host blog and the article itself. That’s no way to get links for a new site– or any site for that matter.
Forget About Sales, Think About Users
You guest blog because you want more traffic and sales, or you’re doing it as a service to your clients. You certainly don’t do it as a hobby. However, if your posts, your byline, or the page you link to read like sales pitches, your content will be ignored by readers– assuming it isn’t turned down by host blogs in the first place. Forget about your sales. Content marketing works because it provides your audience with something it really wants. Sales follow from that.
- What does your audience want?
- What jobs do they need to get done?
- What are their frustrations?
- What would they be happy to learn?
- What would they want to share with their peers?
Answering these questions is the first step to highly effective guest blogging. The next step is to build a page worth linking to. Even if your site isn’t yet noteworthy or it hasn’t yet gained many credibility signals, focus on making one page noteworthy, first.
Create A Linkable Asset
So you’ve answered the above questions and you have an idea about the sort of content or resources that your audience can use. If you’re doing a good job blogging, the bulk of your content is going to be helpful to readers, but not necessarily popular, much less viral. That’s OK. You can’t set the world on fire with everything you publish. However, you can get a lot more traction if your daily output of content references a “linkable asset.”
Linkable assets are resources that are highly useful to your target audience, and therefore worthy of gaining links on their merits. Consider the following:
- Unique and innovative services
- Widgets or other tools
- In-depth how-tos
- Extensive industry guides
- Up-to-dates news sources
Building your business as a unique and innovative service would be the most strategic thing to do. Our guest blogging service is a testament to that, as we begin to appear on more and more roundups of guest blogging platforms like the ones on Raventools and SEO Moz.
Of course, many sites are built not to change the way an industry works, but as a simple marketing funnel to sell products and services. There are lots of options for those kinds of sites, too, and if you have the gumption, here is an in-depth discussion of advanced linkable asset strategies.
But you don’t need to maintain elaborate resources to expect a chance to earn links; you just have to have a reason why your page is worth a look. Remember, organic search is about ranking high because your page is relevant and useful, not because you managed to score a lot of links.
For those of you who want to keep it relatively quick and dirty…
Spend a few days creating an in-depth blog article or set of static pages that would deliver real value to your target audience, without selling. Then, write your guest posts as extensions of that source page– your very own linkable asset– and link to it from your new posts.
Voila! Now you can reasonably link back to your own site from the body of your article. Should the host blog prefer no self-serving links from the body at all, then the link to your new asset is a bullet-proof byline link if there ever was one.
Also Learn: How to Make Blogging Less time Consuming.
Linkable Assets Make Blog Outreach Easier
Representing your new site can be hard out in the blogosphere. When you don’t have a large body of work to represent you, it’s easy for potential host blogs to disparage your intentions as pure marketing that doesn’t deserve a placement. However, when your outreach letter mentions your new great linkable asset, and proposes how a discussion of topics related to it would be beneficial to the blog’s readers, well now it’s game time, because all bloggers really want is for you to bring value to the table.
No matter how new or thin your site is, you can always create at least one great page that is worth a link. If that page is impressive, bloggers won’t care so much about your new site’s fledgling domain authority and PageRank. Keep at it, and your site won’t be “fledgling” much longer.
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