Navigating the many ins-and-outs of Google’s algorithms is daunting, if not impossible. Thankfully, the way to succeed in Google’s eyes is much simpler: create great content and build links to your WordPress or website in an ethical manner.
While there are plenty of unethical link building methods or “black hat” SEO techniques, the most typically utilized method of building links for your blog is through guest posting.
Not only does guest posting provide links to your site, via a short “About the author…” blurb at the end of each of your articles, but it can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your site and build your reputation as a blogger in your niche.
While writing several different articles and submitting them to sites free of charge is not a silver bullet, it’s still a very reliable and Google-friendly method of building links and increasing traffic to your site.
For you WordPress gurus who might be weighing the possible benefits of starting to do your own guest posts, here’s a short list of the major benefits you can expect as a result, assuming you provide good quality content and post on a regular basis:
1. An increase in page rank
When you write a guest post, the owner of the site you submit it to will traditionally allow you to include a byline at the bottom of your post with a little info about your background, including a link back to your site or blog– it’s essentially how you are compensated for the article.
That means that in search engine’s eyes, you’ve got a link from that site to your own and they’ll view it as an endorsement of sorts, or a mark of the authority of your site. The higher ranking the sites are that link to you, the better your odds are of getting a bump in page ranking as well.
To see where you stand, here’s a place to check your page rank.
2. Better visibility in search results
As your page rank increases, your visibility in search results will increase as well. Page rank is one of the most important metrics that Google uses to decide what pages show up in search results, especially since their most recent search engine algorithm updates.
3. Potential networking with other bloggers in your niche
One of the great advantages of guest blogging is that it allows you to organically build a network by cultivating professional connections with other bloggers in your niche.
Blogging is a communal activity, so you’ll find that getting in touch with other bloggers will usually be a positive experience for both parties.
4. Spike in traffic
Whenever another blogger publishes your post, you should see a spike in traffic, the size of which would depend on how big that blogger’s site is. Again, the higher the page rank, the more traffic you can expect.
WordPress makes it pretty easy to keep an eye on Google analytics to monitor this traffic, even providing a plugin by which to do so. The WordPress JetPack plugin, for example, includes eight useful features that make even the most popular metrics easy to understand through a clear, simple-to-use interface with WordPress.com Stats. Other features include LaTeX, Twitter Widget, Sharedaddy and more.
As you send out blog posts and build links, you’ll see a steady rise in traffic over time as more and more channels into your website come into existence.
When your page rank rises, you can also expect to see a steady climb in organic traffic as your website becomes more favored in search engine results. Keep in mind that it’s not a fast-track to traffic, but rather a slow and steady climb that will pay off in the long run.
At first, it might seem a bit counterproductive to spend precious hours writing for another person’s blog for free.
However, it’s truly a valuable use of your time, especially if you’re just getting started on WordPress and developing your niche. You need to build your reputation and authority, and this is still one of the best ways to make that happen.
Get in touch with some other bloggers and send them some of your best work on a regular basis. The payoff is big in the long term.
Camille McClane is a motivated freelance writer and online entrepreneur living in Los Angeles who has graciously agreed to share her guest-posting expertise with the ActSeed community. Through guest posting, she has been able to gain more exposure with her writing, and it has opened many new opportunities for her. What are some other advantages of writing guest posts? Leave your comments below!