According to the recent market analysis by Research Dive, the Global Content Marketing Industry forecast will surpass $107.5 billion by 2026, from $36.8 billion in the 2018, growing at a CAGR of 14.3%. This growth will come as no surprise to marketers, as having a solid content marketing plan has shown proven success for businesses time and time again. Guest posting remains a valuable part of a content marketing strategy for boosting SEO and growing an online audience.
So, why guest post on outside publications? Well, there are a few different reasons:
- To build brand authority
- To increase visibility
- To gain proper backlinks
It also happens to be a win-win scenario for both parties! Free content for one side, backlinks for the other.
Let’s dig into the above benefits some more so you can get a better understanding of why your business should start looking into guest posting opportunities.
Guest posts build brand authority
Authority isn’t made overnight—it’s developed over time, and it takes a lot of work. The more authority you have, the more trust you receive as a brand. All of this leads to more customers who are willing to take a chance on your business or service.
And it’s not just about the size of your company. You can be a small business but develop trust and loyal customers over time.
It goes without saying, but before you start on this guest posting journey, you need to decide:
- What you want to be authority in
- Who is already an authority in this field
One way to build up your authority is by guest posting on trusted websites that are within your field of expertise (hence identifying those two things above). You can think of them as “thought leaders”; people or companies that are experts in a given area, who have built up a following and trust overtime.
It doesn’t matter what type of industry you’re in—from plumbers to SaaS companies, people want to deal with experts. By producing and publishing high quality content on related thought leaders’ sites, you begin to align your business with these companies. In a way, you borrow some of their authority to help build up your own.
TIP: To become a thought leader in your given industry, you have to be committed to building content that truly helps and inspires others. Don’t think about guest posting as something transactional—make those real connections and put in the work.
Guest authors increase brand reach
Another important benefit of guest posting is the increased visibility that it brings. Every business wants more visibility. The more you can get in front of your ideal key audience, the better your chances are at gaining new customers.
Guest posting on high authority sites increases your reach by putting it in front of an audience that otherwise may not be exposed to your content. People see this content and begin to become aware of your business. This effect compounds over time as you continue to build out your guest post content.
It’s important to make sure that the content you’re putting out into the world is of high quality and engaging so that readers are encouraged to click on your links, which drives traffic to your site. It’s also crucial to build up this similar content on your own website to help round out your content strategy.
TIP: Build relationships with the businesses and leaders who accept your guest posts. There are likely more opportunities to write for them in the future, so it’s important to keep in touch.
Guest posting rewards you with quality backlinks
One of the keys to strengthening your website’s SEO is by link building (or backlinking). This refers to links that are pointing from someone else’s site towards yours.
This is a common practice across businesses who want to win with great content. Heck, some businesses even have a whole team dedicated to building out their link profile. 52% of marketers believe that link building directly impacts their organic search rankings.
So, what exactly is a backlink, and why should you care?
Not every backlink carries the same weight. Think about it like a surge of energy, passing from point A to point B. The higher the domain authority (DA) of a site, the more energy it passes. A solid content marketing strategy aims to develop a wide range of backlinks from leading sites to help build up a natural link profile. Over time these links build up your website’s SEO strength, helping your content rank higher for your target keywords.
You can use sites like ahrefs and SEMriush to look into the DA of a website. The higher the DA, the better the backlink. But there’s a caveat: websites that have a high DA are usually tougher to secure guest posts on!
And many sites will actually require you to pay money out of your pocket to even secure a link on their site, even if it’s a post you’ve written. So just keep that in mind as you embark on your guest posting journey!
It’s important to note that some sites will not allow links to be directed back to your site, in which case, your post serves the purpose of brand awareness, authority and visibility, rather than SEO.
TIP: When building out your guest posts and backlinks, make sure your anchor text (the text that has the link back to your site) is varied. This makes the link look more natural in the eyes of Google. Where the link is directed should also vary so you’re building out links across your site. You can pick a few pages to start with and build some links to each.
Content marketing is more than just blogging, just as guest posting is more than just backlinks.
Content marketing continues to grow as more businesses adopt these practices to help grow their business. That being said, the efforts of guest posting compound over time.
When approaching any guest posting opportunity, think of the many benefits it can (and will) have on your business. Be deliberate and thoughtful with the posts you produce. And most importantly, build those relationships with other publishers, leaders and websites! The seeds you plant today will help your business in the long run.
To find guest posting opportunities and connect with others for more content marketing collaborations, join Guestra, a free community for guest authors and industry peers that help each other build stronger SEO and grow audience.