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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    "Guest Blogging" - Your experience?
    Since SEOMOZ wrote a series of articles about "guest blogging" starting in March of this year, I've been getting a handful of spam/offers to guest blog in email every week.

    Unfortunately most of these offers did poor research on determining their targets and they are emailing technical/consumer sites about writing articles about pets or other things which aren't relevant at all to the target audience... Not that relevance matters to the guest bloggers, they are just looking for link backs.

    I guess this can be a legitimate strategy for link building, especially if the content is excellent, and it is properly targeted to the audience. As an operator on some big sites with good pagerank however, I always receive these offers with an especially high degree of skepticism... The guest offers come across as hit and runs, people not genuinely interested in my audience or my site. So I read their messages with mistrust from the get-go.

    Any thoughts or tips I can give these people to help set them on the right track? Many of them are normal people who will reply to my emails, but their messages do not come across well and I'm not sure how to tell them to do it better.

    Here's an example article which started this trend I'm seeing in my inbox:
    Guest Blogging Strategies - Whiteboard Friday | SEOmoz
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Here's an email I got yesterday:

    Hi,

    My name's ****; I spend much of my day writing about animals as both a zoologist and environmentalist.

    Would you like a free a guest article for your website? If you have a specific topic in mind let me know; otherwise I'll pull from one of my research areas that would benefit your web audience.
    And another from yesterday:

    I came across your site and was curious to see if you’re currently accepting guest posts. If so, I’d love to be considered as a future contributor. Here’s what I can offer:
    • A unique perspective that may be valuable to your readers.
    • Fresh, quality content that search engines will love.
    • More traffic and increased readership.
    If you’d like to hear more about the kind of content I can provide for you, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
    Thank you for your time,
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    It's the "new" link-building and article marketing. Many companies previously focusing on those "techniques" seem to be grasping at straws to keep a business model going. You and I (and others) are seeing the result of those grasps.

    SEOMOZ seems to remain popular by continually explaining the "moving target" of search engine manipulation.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  4. #4
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    Perhaps I'm being cynical, but how can you be certain these articles are unique..? Unless you know them personally, I find it hard to believe someone would actually write fresh content for any other site but their own.

    We all know that good content does generate decent rankings.. traffic might not be through the roof, but it does eventually pay off.

    It would be a far worse outcome for you if someone guest blogged duplicate content.

  5. #5
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe someone would actually write fresh content for any other site but their own.
    Ah...but some/many people do. Thousands of folks give tons of content to Google on their Blogger platform. Heck, there are even some affiliate marketers who build sites and give away away content - to Blogger.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Thats part of my cynicism as well TZ. I feel they are probably pulling from their own article repository, and maybe giving an old story a small "spin".

    More importantly to me however is lack of familiarity with my audience... They are contacting sites where all the existing writers have long term relationships with the site and are invested in the site in a personal way and are passionately connected to the subject matter. The existing writers are not professional journalists - they are just amateurs and members of the forum, however they have spent a sufficient amount of time in the community that they have demonstrated the authenticity of their interest. That brings a certain quality and depth to their content which isn't easily reproduced by anyone just passing by - someone genuinely invested in the subject matter typically goes the extra mile to produce something they are proud of, sharing it with the audience is almost secondary in a way to them being satisfied with the quality and completeness of their writing on the topic.

    Makes it hard to take guest bloggers seriously. But I still feel I'm being too cynical and perhaps there is some opportunity being missed... I'm getting so many of these offers though I don't have time to parse potentially good from probably bad.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  7. #7
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    Thousands of folks give tons of content to Google on their Blogger platform
    Ahh yes, but they all think they're writing for their own site!

    Most committed bloggers will be enjoying some success on their own sites...

    I have outsourced content on a couple of my sites - not only did I know them personally, I provided clear guidelines, and was a hands-on editor before anything was published on the site. The contributors got paid for their work...

    Guest bloggers remind me of the old saying "you get what you pay for".. unless you're the Huffington Post...

  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I have been getting 1-2 of these a week to ABW and ignore those that are off target. I have talked with a few and challenged on to write an article on "article writing" which may be of value to our members. I will review the draft first and if off target then they wasted their time.

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    Ahh yes, but they all think they're writing for their own site!
    That's why this surprised me when I saw it last month:
    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    I'm a blogger guy. Affordable domain name offerings, easy to set-up and use and Google Apps so you can have a free gmail @yourdomainname.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  10. #10
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    I was talking about writing/owning a blog under a sub-domain - domain.blogger.com (or domain.wordpress.com). I believe Bibby was referring to top level domains - you might be subject to different rules, but would still earn the credit for the work.

    I'm not a fan of Google-hosted products, but it's a personal choice.

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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    Perhaps I'm being cynical, but how can you be certain these articles are unique..? Unless you know them personally, I find it hard to believe someone would actually write fresh content for any other site but their own.
    Believe me, there are so many people that would even pay in order another blog/site to publish their unique posts. Especially if your site has a good pagerank or many visitors... Any experiences in the forum?

  13. #12
    ABW Ambassador daiarian's Avatar
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    I came across a site myblogguest.com where guest bloggers send articles to your WP site which you then have the option to approve and use.

    The other side is that you have the option to send articles to other site holders presumably as part of a link building strategy.

    Anyone used this site?
    0 to $1m before I am 70, Ok maybe 71 !!! (April 2013)
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  14. #13
    Newbie JonRhodesUK's Avatar
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    I usually do a Google search for my niche plus "submit guest post". Then you get sites that are asking for guest posts, rather than cold calling them. I've had loads of great links guest posting. It's hard work because the better the site, the higher the standard of article they require. However it is worth having fewer guest posts, but at better sites. Quality over quantity!

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  16. #14
    Newbie JonRhodesUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovemedia View Post
    I like JonRhodesUK’s way of going about it best. I think it’s better to find a high-quality site that is actually looking for guest posts as opposed to just randomly flinging out and looking for anything that will take a nibble.
    Thanks! Also sometimes you might notice that people have posted guest posts on a blog even though there is no sign of them inviting this. Then you can email the blog owner and propose a guest post with a title and brief description. It is much politer than sending a full article out the blue.

  17. #15
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    The latest garbage I'm getting:

    Hi Matt,

    I have a new page dedicated to Project Management and Construction education called www.projectmanagementdegree.org. I cover everything from types of project managers, contstruction projects, salaries, and educational information about finding the best program. It is basically a one stop shop for finding all you need to know about starting a career in project management.

    I am hoping you will take a quick look at the site and consider posting a link to it on your page of How to Build a Quiet Computer | Overclockers
    . Hopefully some of your viewers will find it useful and pass it along as well. I would certainly appreciate any efforts to help me spread the word about my project management site and please let me know if you have any feedback or questions. Thank you.

    Megan Owens

    www.educationoptout.com
    The article they linked to is from 2003, and it uses the word project 3 times, but has nothing to do with project management or education.

    What a waste of time! Epic fail on keyword research.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  18. #16
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    I've written one guest article so far and I actually enjoyed it. But the main thing is that I made sure I had a fresh, high-quality article over a thin article that simply contained a lot of links back to my company's website. There was only one backlink and even then I still saw a significant improvement in our rankings. The key was a relevant quality article on a relevant website. I plan on doing a monthly guest article for different sites as long as I am always releasing good content. I actually enjoyed writing the article and it turned out well

  19. #17
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    "I find it hard to believe someone would actually write fresh content for any other site but their own."

    Very well said sir. Even myself too think that this kind of activities are utterly spamy tricks! It was really a great an eye opening experience to see the mails received by I.M.O.G. Thanks for sharing it.
    Last edited by e2 solutions; September 24th, 2012 at 07:37 AM.

  20. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    "I find it hard to believe someone would actually write fresh content for any other site but their own."
    There is nothing wrong with hiring a content writer as many here are employed to do or are hiring to supplement their own work. As long as the content is original and on target for the theme or purpose of the page.

  21. #19
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    I'm talking from the standpoint of a site owner ...

    If you're an exceptional writer, and find it very easy to write daily, perhaps you might expand your reach and become a contract writer. But personally, I believe it's more lucrative to write for your own domain (ie. earn ad revenue or affiliate commissions) than get paid to write for another site.

    But if a writer doesn't have the time or tech skills (or interest!), in owning their own site, then yes, by all means, write for others.

    Original content has become a very precious commodity. I may have a biased view as my sister is a very talented writer who carved out a new career for herself with a very basic website (no CMS or fancy features) - it's her words that attract readership. Fresh original content on a daily basis is more powerful than some might think..

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