5 Reasons Why Guest Posts Help Your Blog

I talked a few weeks ago about how to guest post on other blogs.

To give you some real life examples of how this has gone, here are a few links to recent guest posts I’ve done (including readership, # of Comments, & Page Rank (PR) )

Blog Post Title
Readership # of Comments PR
How to Get Started Blogging (Podcast) Unknown 0 2/10
Simple Ways to Monetize a Blog (Podcast) Unknown 0 2/10
Making Your 1st Blog Post (Podcast) Unknown 0 2/10
Do I Really Need a Blog for an Ecommerce Business 920 29 4/10
5 Blogging Basics You Can’t Live Without 920 8 4/10
The 2010 Goals Challenge – Can You Do This 3509 15 6/10
6 Consistent Keys to eCommerce Blogging Success 3509 9 6/10
Have You Ever Thought This About StumbleUpon? Unknown 2 4/10

It’s one thing to guest post on a blog.

But what is the real VALUE to guest posting?

Here are a few things I’ve discovered after guest posting more aggressively:

5 Reasons Why Guest Posts Help

  1. Building Business Relationships with Fellow Bloggers: This is probably the best reason to guest post on other blogs within your industry. As the saying goes, “It’s not always WHAT you know, it’s WHO…” Industry connections do so much to get your name out there, help you establish credibility, and build your brand online and off.
  2. Increased Subscription to My Blog RSS Feed (Email Updates): Guest posting has increased my RSS subscription numbers by about 50% so far. To some, RSS feed subscribers may not be that big of deal; but to me, having a dedicated readership who get updates only helps me be a better blogger and keeps me accountable to blog consistently. RSS Subscribers are important for a variety of reasons. Hidden Goal: I want to have 100’s of Thousands of subscribers and then sell advertising to businesses that value these types of numbers.
  3. Increased Traffic to My Site: Yes, this is one reason I guest post; but really I don’t care as much about the one-hit wonder traffic that is curious and follow my links to my site. The traffic I really care about is related to the Search Engine Traffic I’m seeing. One way I see this is by using Google Alerts to notify me when Google finds MollerMarketing.com or Nate Moller.
  4. Link Building on Quality Sites: Another reason to guest post for sure; but again, the link building is mostly for SEO purposes. This is why it’s important to look at Page Rank as you guest post. If the PR is higher, the “link juice” is much more sweet!
  5. Increased Comments on Blog Posts on My Site: According to Darren Rowse, only 1 of every 100 readers comment on your blog. So what can you do to get more comments? Guest posting on other blogs has helped me get more quality comments on my own blog posts, which to me creates much more credibility on my site overall. My recent post about an end to SEO got comments from people I really respect and added so much value to my initial research.Comments are a big deal to me. If I make a blog post that I feel has merit and then I get NO comments, I begin questioning if I should tweak the article, be more controversial, or completely erase it and start fresh. Comments are part of the community a blog creates. If your blog posts aren’t getting comments and you’ve been online for a while, guest posting on other blogs that have readers and comments is a great way to get your name out there and attract readers who comment.

How has guest posting on other blogs helped your online business?

UPDATE: Found a great article from Ann Smarty about How to Find Places to Guest Post via Google.

Is There Ever an End to SEO?

I’ve been talking with a good friend of mine a lot lately about SEO.

He’s working on a new business idea and knows that SEO, both on-site and off-site optimization, are crucial to his initial and on-going success.

However, he proposed a question that I felt I had the answer to, but wanted additional feedback from others.

The question was:

At some point can’t we just STOP the SEO consulting and rely on word of mouth and viral marketing to keep us in the top of the SERP’s?

is seo going to die in 2010?My initial reaction was NO. Once you’re at the top of Google you can’t just say, “All is well.” You have to CONTINUE to follow the search engine rules, continue to build quality links, continue to provide valid content, etc.

I told him I would ask around from a variety of sources. Here are some of the answers. Take note of the variety of names – there are some “big players” who have been involved in SEO for a long time. Thanks in advance for your responses.

Why SEO for a Big Business?

The Official Question:

Do big online companies (Twitter & Facebook) ever use or need SEO?

Aaron Wall, one of my SEO favorites

Brian Clark, Copywriting Tips

Janet Meiners Thaeler, Online PR

[16:17] Janet M: I don’t think they do
[16:17] Janet M: I don’t even think Google does
[16:17] Janet M: they own authority sites
[16:19] Janet M: 1 – they have brand recognition because they created something useful & easy to spread 2 – huge #s of people depend on their service, 3 – people constantly produce new content that sustains them & keeps them relevant
[16:20] Janet M: but that doesn’t mean all big companies don’t use it
[16:20] Janet M: they are fundamental shifts/game changers
[16:21] Janet M: if your big business isn’t great or something remarkable like that you need SEO
[16:21] Janet M: their SEO is link building happens & grows organically without them having to do it

Dan Patterson, SEO.com

[17:20] Dan: i’d assume that they don’t really do much. They’re viral enough that they’re doing fine. Could they benefit from it? Sure! Not everyone knows about them and there are definitely phrases out there they if they ranked for they could get more users.
[17:21] Dan: personally, I can’t think of a single brand that couldn’t benefit in some way from SEO
[17:21] Dan: heck, just yesterday i was on the phone with a guy i know that has a website, and he has NEVER heard of Google Analytics
[17:22] Dan: the more phrases you rank for, the more exposure you potentially have
[17:22] nathanmoller@gmail.com: true
[17:22] nathanmoller@gmail.com: think about coca cola, who obviously doesn’t do much in terms of SMO
[17:29] Dan: but Pepsi is launching a huge campaign
[17:30] Dan: http://mashable.com/2009/12/23/pepsi-super-bowl/

Ben Nettesheim, Online Backup Marketer

[17:03] Ben Nettesheim: my two cents…
[17:03] Ben Nettesheim: I would say yes. It’s all about reach and frequency… even for the big dogs. If a consumer runs into your brand over and over and over, they will tend to remember it. This runs true in print, on the streets, and most certainly online. If a user consistently see Amazon as an answer to a search, then Amazon will likely be at the front of their mind for a future search or question. Likewise with Twitter of Facebook – If their services provide an answer to a search or question, then look for them to be a likely candidate for answers to future questions and searches. They have become the authority because their answer is consistently on top… even if you could have gotten a better or cheaper answer elsewhere.
[17:06] MollerMarketing: but all in all I have formed my own opinions which are EVERYONE needs SEO if they plan to stay at the top of their industry
[17:07] Ben Nettesheim: i agree. I could see the argument that if they are big enough they will get it w/out trying
[17:07] Ben Nettesheim: but even a small effort yields big return
[17:07] MollerMarketing: yeah, that’s been some of the feedback
[17:07] MollerMarketing: one point was that even the big dogs follow seo rules
[17:08] MollerMarketing: Youtube is all about “link bait” – allowing people to embed code and share
[17:08] Ben Nettesheim: yep and my opinion is if you are that big, you already have an advantage… so use that advantage instead of waiting for someone to take your advatage away
[17:08] MollerMarketing: exactly
[17:09] MollerMarketing: there’s always the little guy that might be doing all the right things that will pass you right up
[17:09] Ben Nettesheim: i wonder if you could find some examples of big guys not at the top of the SEO list who could benefit by putting a little more effort into it

Russ Page, Utah-based SEO Firm

[16:23] Russell Page: They absolutely follow the principles. Just one small example of this was when Facebook added the ability for you to be able to change the location of a page or a group from a number-based URL to a specific keyword based URL.
[16:25] Russell Page: YouTube includes easy to copy-and-paste URLs to everyone of their videos, which is a link building tool among other things.

[16:37] Russell Page: Big news sites are finally starting to see the value of linking to older stories or stories that are similar or to topic pages
[16:37] Russell Page: I’m talking about sites that get millions of hits a day already
[16:37] Russell Page: so they are already in the large traffic category
[16:39] Russell Page: this is in the middle of a CNN story.
[16:39] Russell Page: http://screencast.com/t/NzY3YzVj

Ryan Miller

[16:49] Ryan Scott Miller: I know Twitter took steps to make their profiles more SEO friendly, but with the recent deal between Twitter & Google, Twitter gets special treatment in Google results.
[16:50] Ryan Scott Miller: Facebook might not need SEO simply because their user base is the size of the US population
[16:51] Ryan Scott Miller: For many people Facebook IS the internet much like AOL was in the early 90s [16:51] MollerMarketing: although Facebook follows SEO rules of Friendly URLs and they are now indexing some content for search
[16:51] MollerMarketing: so they must see some value
[16:54] Ryan Scott Miller: Ultimately SEO is valuable because it optimizes your presence on search engines which are what people use to access & understand the internet
[16:54] Ryan Scott Miller: Facebook, like search engines, has become that portal through which people access the wider internet in general
[16:56] Ryan Scott Miller: Hence the necessity to optimize your presence there like you need to on search engines

Devin Eden, Programmer, Eli Kirk

[16:21] Devin Eden: every company has to start somewhere.
[16:22] Devin Eden: I would be a little surprised if google has a white list of sites that will automaticaly rank high
[16:22] Devin Eden: however everyone knows who face book and twitter is.
[16:23] Devin Eden: so I would think their isn’t much need for them to “advertise”
[16:24] Devin Eden: However i think the real answer is it is more a business decision. I would use seo just as an other advantage over my compatetion
[16:25] Devin Eden: but thier are some easy ways to find out
[16:25] Devin Eden: one could be by paid adwords in google. The other would be by doing some search for hard to get key words
[16:26] Devin Eden: if they pay for ads then they for sure spend time with getting the site out their
[16:28] Devin Eden: It looks like facebook doesn’t
[16:29] Devin Eden: so far the only search that turned up facebook was social networking and it was only the social portion that goth the resolts
[16:32] Devin Eden: I am pretty sure apple spends a lot on seo
[16:32] Devin Eden: if you search for their products they are almost always the first one
[16:32] Devin Eden: I haven’t seen that as much with say microsoft
[16:37] Devin Eden: for more reasearch I would try searches that you would use to find a site like twiter and facebook
[16:37] Devin Eden: if you can’t find them then they don’t bother with seo
[16:37] Devin Eden: you could test that with some other larger companies as a comparison

Thanks to all of your for your responses.

After reading these over, this was my initial conclusion:

Initial Conclusion

If I were to ask the question again, I may clarify it like this:

At what point is a company (big or small) ok with ending their SEO Campaign? (ie. not investing the time/money to maintain placement because the word of mouth is strong enough to keep them at the top)

I actually did re-ask the question on Twitter and via Chat to a few more people. Here’s the follow up question:

Answers were a bit more clear:

Aaron Wall, PPC Blog

Well it makes sense for them to want to rank their profile pages for the associated brands. And if you have a copy of Google’s internal ranking documents they state that they want to rank these pages for brands. Optimizing the page titles is an easy way to help the pages pull in more traffic. And some social sites like WordPress.com create topical tag pages which accumulate pagerank and anchor text against a target keyword and then they rank well for those. The nice thing about ranking such pages is that it is free traffic that can be monetized aggressively without tarnishing up user profiles or harming the site’s organic growth.

I wouldn’t try convincing clients of anything. Either they are sold on SEO or they need to get a clue. It’s your job to sell them on hiring you, but it shouldn’t be your job to sell them on SEO because the ignorant often wishes to remain so. Most investors and start ups are doomed to fail because they think engineering is important but think of marketing as an after thought.

Thanks to Scott, Matt and Rick for their direct feedback!

Thanks Chris!

Final Conclusion

The bottom line is, SEO will never be an end all cure all process. You need to use all the online avenues to build your name and business reputation.

However, I feel a company should definitely invest the time and money to build a strong SEO presence. As they gain some recognition and placement from SERPs, they may re-allocate funds at some point to additional types of online marketing (social media optimization, video marketing, viral marketing, link bait, brand and reputation management, localized marketing, image optimization, etc.)

But a small to medium sized or start-up business should never fully eliminate on-site and off-site SEO!

As my great Arizona SEO friend said recently:

Will SEO Die in 2010?

  • Are you always going to need a properly coded site? (technical SEO)
  • Are you always going to need good content?
  • Do you want people to find your content?
  • Do you want people to find your images and videos?
  • Are you always going to need people linking to you?
  • Do you want people talking about your business?
  • Do you think you might use Google, Yahoo or Bing in 2010?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions (which I dare any of you to tell me you didn’t) then YES, you will be using SEO in 2010.

What are your thoughts on this SEO discussion?

The 6 Step by Steps of Guest Posting

What is guest posting?

Have you ever heard of that concept?

Josh Klein, a guest blogger on ProBlogger.net, has this to say about the importance of guest posting:

You’ve heard the blogger cliché “content is king”. It’s a lot like the real estate industry’s “location, location, location.” It turns out blogging and real estate have something in common: for both, you need content and location.

When it comes to pro blogging, thinking about location matters. There is no “build it and they will come”, and only 20% of your work is publishing posts.

So how do you even get started guest posting and when is the right time to even start as a new online business owner?

In answer to the 2nd question, NOW is the time!

I don’t care how new you are to online marketing and blogging: if you want to make sales right out of the gate with your new business, begin implementing these steps right away. Granted, it helps if you have a place for people to go once they read your articles and love them, but really you have to start making connections even before the official “launch”.

why guest blogGuest Posting 101

Step 1: The Search

Find Blogs you want to guest post on. Guest posting on “any old blog” is probably not the strategy I’d take. In stead, look for these things:

  • Number of subscribers
  • Number of comments on posts
  • Google Page Rank
  • Make sure the blog shares your target audience

Step 2: The Request

Send emails to the appropriate people (owner of the blog, manager, etc.) Personalize the message. Here’s what my general email looks like:

Hey (blog owner),

My name is Nate Moller. I’ve been blogging since 2005 and am the owner of MollerMarketing.com.

I write a lot about starting an online business, eCommerce, droshipping, SEO, social media, and self-motivation.

I’m interested in guest posting on your blog in the near future.

Here are some articles I’ve written (and these topics would be things I’d want to write about for you):

•    http://mollermarketing.com/2009/05/28/w … r-success/
•    http://mollermarketing.com/2009/11/17/t … ing-books/
•    http://mollermarketing.com/2007/12/09/s … fic-steps/

Let me know what the next steps would be.

I look forward to blogging on (you blog).

Sincerely,

Nate Moller
MollerMarketing.com
@mollermarketing on Twitter

Obviously I’m going to change this up depending on who I’m emailing.

I may add things like how I found their blog, what I liked about it, how we could benefit one another, etc.

Step 3: The Content

Start writing a blog post on your own blog. Make sure to do all the following things:

  • effective blog formatting
  • a 2-3 sentence bio section, usually done in italics (here’s an example): Nate Moller has been teaching clients about how to start an online business for almost five years. He consults small to medium sized business, helping them establish and implement a blogging & social media marketing strategy to grow their business. Read more about Nate at MollerMarketing.com and follow him on Twitter (@mollermarketing).
  • images that are uploaded to your wordpress site and include a title and alt tag (if you have questions on this, let me know and I’ll write about it in the near future)
  • 2-3 links to your site KEYWORD PHRASES (like the bio section above)
  • you CAN include your domain name too but usually I just use keyword phrases instead.

Step 4: The Preparation

Once the post is formatted and complete, click on HTML in your word press blog editor, copy the code and paste in a Notepad (Start menu on your computer > Accessories >Notepad)

Step 5: The Handoff

Save the Notepad file and attach to an email for the guest post!

Step 6: The Promotion & Repetition

Repeat this process over and over again! Also, once the blog post is live, make sure to promote, promote, promote, especially if you plan to guest post on this blog again in the future.

6 Simple Ways to Promote a Guest Post

  • Tweet it to your friends
  • Ask them (in DM on Twitter) to Tweet it to their friends
  • Share it on your Facebook Status
  • Link to it in a blog post of your own using a quality keyword phrase
  • Bookmark it with the social media tools: Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious, Sphinn, Mixx, etc.
  • Repeat this process, not just on the day of the post, but throughout the week from time to time

Here are some other great posts from Darren Rowse and Ann Smarty about guest posting:

picture source