If you’re integrating guest blogging into your marketing strategy, hit the pause button. Publishing content on third party websites can work – but it comes with irisks too.
In this short guide we’ll:
- Explain what’s meant by a guest blog
- Outline the pros and cons
- Explain how to create your strategy
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging involves publishing content on a third-party website with the end-aim of increasing brand exposure and ranking in the SERPs.
Should your accounting firm deploy this strategy? Absolutely – the approach can be adopted by any business regardless of its sector.
The benefits to you include…
- Increased brand exposure and credibility – with your practise positioning itself as a thought leader with targeted content on trustworthy platforms
- More digital footfall being driven to your website – where you can convert curious readers into buyers or even die-hard brand advocates
The benefits to your partner include…
- Improved rankings in the SERPS, thanks to the high-quality content you provided
- Decreased costs, because they won’t have to hire a writer or allocate the work to employees
- Enhanced reputation due to the insightful content you created and published on their site
Build your guest blogging strategy in three simple steps
Guest blogging isn’t risk-free (we’ll cover this shortly). But you’ll have a greater chance of success by adhering to the guidelines below.
#1 Know your audience
Your guest blogging strategy will succeed or fail on the back of your due diligence. This means carefully curating your audience – rather than forming partnerships with third parties on the basis of their content performance alone.
Instead, before connecting with potential partners, consider…
- Ranking factors – could you rewrite one of their blogs and increase its position?
- Missing topic – is there a knowledge gap you can fill?
- Their reputation – do you want to associate with them?
- The overlap – do you cater to the same audience?
#2 Be fresh and engaging
Your aim is to extend brand reach, educate your audience, and convince them to take the next step – by subscribing to your newsletter, booking a free consultation, or downloading an eBook.
Whatever your aim is, don’t mimic rival firms’ blogging strategies. Instead, look for gaps. What aren’t they writing about, and could those topics help your target audience?
Important: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Finding a new angle on a popular topic is quite okay!
#3 Backlink to your site
If your blog is intriguing readers will want to learn more. That’s why it’s important to backlink to your firm’s website.
This is where guest blogging sometimes falls down – with bloggers believing backlinks adversely affect SEO, meaning they abstain
The truth is…
- Keyword-stuffed backlinks are bad
- Poor-quality blog content is bad
- Backlinking en-masse is bad
Start with great content instead; guest blog infrequently; and backlink to your website. The results will surely follow.
What are the risks of guest blogging?
Even if you follow the recommended steps, it’s impossible to eradicate risk completely.
#1 Misguided targeting
Finding a third party with whom you share your audience is harder than it sounds. So, research carefully.
- Check their social channels – who follows them?
- Visit their website – who do they list as clients?
If in doubt, don’t. Taking a punt on the wrong partner could seriously unravel your marketing efforts.
#2 Reputational damage
Aligning yourself with a disreputable website might earn you extra link juice – but the trade-off (in terms of damage to your brand) isn’t worth it.
Again, it all comes down to research…
- What are customers saying about your proposed partner on social channels?
- Can you tap into reviews on Google or Trustpilot to get deeper insights?
Ultimately, you can never know too much about a prospective guest blogging partner.
#3 Potential penalties
Seek websites with high-performing content that ranks rather than tanks and you’ll mitigate the risk of Google penalties.
How should you do this?
- Type in the keyword you want your guest blog to rank for
- Look at the top-ranking websites for that term
- Follow steps one and two in this section
Research takes time. And even then, your pitch can fall flat – with your ideal partner refusing to collaborate (or failing to respond at all). That’s why it’s important to spread your marketing activities across different media and platforms.
In addition to guest blogging focus on…
- Building engagement through social channels
- Generating content via your own website
- Remarketing via targeted email campaigns
Do all of this and you’ll widen your sphere of influence instead of decreasing it by focussing obsessively on a particular strategy.
Guest blogging works but takes time. And, as we touched upon, it’s not without its risks. By all means, incorporate it into your marketing strategy, but don’t expect it to transform your fortunes on its own.
Publishing a guest blog infrequently that’s of high-quality is best – as this will save you time, reduce the chances of reputational damage or Google penalties, all while delivering maximum value.
Contact us for help with your marketing today. Using our experience of the accounting sector we’ll drive more traffic to your website, boost your brand visibility, and measurably improve your ROI.