Guest Blogging Is Dead—Long Live Guest Blogging

3 Key Reasons to Guest Blog

Gravestone Guest blogging for the purpose of improving your search ranking, particularly through the use of links, is dead!

In words of Matt Cutts, Google’s Webspam team lead, “Guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well.”  Guest Blogging Is Dead-Long Live Blogging

As a blogger, I’m inclined to agree with Cutts. While the Actionable Marketing Guide doesn’t accept guest posts, we regularly get lots of guest blogging requests.

Often composed by a PR hack or assistant, these communications have expended neither time nor expense in the process. Many of these thinly veiled requests for links to irrelevant information are rife with spelling and grammatical errors.

Obviously no one’s taught them that making a good first impression will help you achieve your goals. Because, if a potential guest blogger doesn’t know my name or what my blog is about, how can they supply me with quality content that will meet my readers’ needs and expectations?

While the idea of getting guest bloggers to help fill your editorial calendar with quality content sounds like many bloggers’ dream come true, the reality is that guest blogging:

  1. Requires time to cull through unqualified inquiries and potential posts.
  2. Needs additional editorial and related post-writing work. Don’t underestimate the amount of time required to craft guest posts into content that meets your site’s standards.
  3. Lacks appropriate level of quality. Just because you request it, doesn’t mean that it’s delivered.

Want to see real proof?

Look at Kristi Hines’ experience on her personal blog, Kikolani. Hines found that investing the time in her own content and interactions yielded better results across a number of indicators. This makes sense since Hines was invested in her own blog and its audience.

Long live guest blogging.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop doing guest blogging. Rather reassess your strategy to ensure you’re providing quality content to your readers regardless of where you’re published.

Even Cutts agrees, “There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging …”

3 Key reasons to guest blog (beyond search and backlinks)

Remember you can’t just ask a blogger to hand over their platform that they’ve built lovingly with their hard work like it was something they owed you. When you borrow another blogger’s audience to expand your exposure, it has to be a win-win for both of you or it won’t work. You must provide value for the other blogger’s audience to achieve the following marketing goals for yourself:

  1. Build brand. Leverage the power of a well-known bloggers’ audience to let people know who you and your firm are. While meeting the blog’s guidelines, integrate your brand into the piece so that it’s recognizable. Do your homework so that you provide quality content that their readers want.
  2. Extend your reach. Give away your best information so that you impress the blog’s audience and encourage them to take action. While you may not earn backlinks, you can still offer these readers a valuable piece of information, such as an ebook or white paper.
  3. Establish thought leadership. You can acquire a lot of recognition just by association with a strong blog. If you’re good enough for them, then you’re good enough for us.

Even without the backlinks and search optimization benefits, guest blogging still remains a critical element of a well-planned content marketing strategy. The bottom line is that content quality counts.

Do you believe in guest blogging? Why or why not?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • Medialoot

    We agree with you, Heidi. Beyond backlinks and search results, guest blogging is still a really great way to host and and create quality content, and it also builds rapport with your community.

  • Gee | KnotsVilla

    Ugh i have to agree, Guest blogging is very spammy. These days I encourage guest blogging from people I know as opposed to those I don’t. But mostly i read the content submitted to make sure it applies to my viewers. But sometimes i really wonder if it’s stolen content or not…lol

  • parkerconsulting

    I agree. Guest blogging still has value and can be a very great way to gain a much larger audience. Unfortunately, the spammers in the world have taken this great tool and polluted the market. It will be interesting to see how this progresses as everyone listens to Matt Cutts since he is the Bernanke of the digital industry.

  • Prachi Sharma

    Guest blogging isn’t bad, guest blogging for links is bad. I think SEO’s need to start creating real amazing work.
    SEO’s need to start selling real work that doesn’t include a link report but more so a traffic and interaction report. It’s interactions that’ll help grow your business. We have to show our clients what matters the most!

  • Cocoonfxmedia Ltd

    It isn’t dead, i think it needs to brand centric and also be authoritative, less 12 steps to do x,y,z . I think more will be placed on authorship and the social signals.

  • Judy Gombita

    For our global, collective blog, PR Conversations, we very much value contributions from a variety of public relations practitioners from around the world. And Heather Yaxley and I constantly get “pitched” the horrible spam, link-building “guest” posts described by Matt Cutts and others. Most of the time we just hit delete, not even bothering to respond (it’s obvious most take the “spray and pray” approach).

    Regarding whether I guest post in other places, yes I do. But not nearly as much as I used to, because a “higher profile” is no longer valid if that’s the only physical outcomes. I actually addressed this, in part, in my early January post on CommPRObiz, “The Maturing of (Social) PR and Personal Relationships in 2013.” These two points are the most applicable to your post, Heidi:

    2. Be cautious about how much weight you place on “communities” and anticipated long-term relationships, particularly if they revolve around one individual with an excess of vanity metrics and ego.
    3. Accept external writing and other (particularly unpaid) speaking assignments, etc., carefully; ensure that you (and your employer or personal business) will benefit as much (or more) than the person proposing it. Relationships should be more or less amongst equals, not a social-god-to-sycophants equation.

    (On a side note, I found this post because Fay Shapiro, publisher of CommPRObiz, selected it as a Top Blog….)

    I admire how you consistently produce great content and interesting posts.

    Judy Gombita

  • Tania Tirraoro

    I agree that guest blogging builds influence as long as you have the right guests. I regularly get offered “professionally written blogs” for my Special Needs Jungle site, which I always decline.
    What I have done is identify those who have the potential to be key influencers and invite them to be regular columnists, because they have expertise in an area that my blog covers. This, I am happy to say, has been an immense boost to the site and we have created our own SNJ ‘family’ because relationships are important.
    We also have occasional ad hoc guests, but they are people whom I have sought out myself and invited because I believe they have important information to share. And I always introduce them at the top of the post so readers know what’s coming and feel you’re bringing them along the journey with you as part of your valued community.