Can guest posting and article marketing be considered the same thing? It can be confusing if you’ve never tried to be a guest author or submitted a press release. The truth is that guest posting is one method of article marketing among many that have become a popular choice for link building, traffic generation, and brand recognition.
What exactly is “guest posting?”
The definition of a guest post is when a website publishes an article that was written by a guest author. This practice has become popular because of the benefits it offers to each party involved.
Benefits for a guest author
Guest posting serves as a viable link building strategy to improve the ranking of pages you are trying to promote. As a guest author, you can include backlinks to websites that serve as references, examples, or resources.
The articles published also serve as a way to demonstrate authority and expertise in any given topic. By publishing top-notch, informative content, you can develop a loyal audience and drive more traffic to your website.
Benefits of the hosting site
Websites invite and allow guest authors to post on their sites to publish a higher volume of quality articles more frequently. The term quality can be somewhat of an objective statement. Still, by adhering to strict guidelines, a blog can benefit from quality writers that help build their reputation with good content.
With more quality content and a broader range of topics, a blog can attract more readers and subscribers. Today, traffic can be equated with currency.
A high traffic website makes money through advertisements and sponsored posts and can initiate any promotion through an email list of subscribers.
An example at one of the highest levels of the value of traffic is the reputation Forbes has built for themselves. A “discounted paid post’ goes for about $4000USD. Why would any author or company pay for something like this? A link from Forbes (even if it is no-followed) means a massive spike in the traffic your website receives from business-like minds. The credibility of your site goes way up, creating a stronger possibility of converting more visitors into clients.
Quality guest authors will also send links back to their articles and promote their work through their networks. If you have a lot of good guest authors publishing on your site, the cumulative effort of many is infinitely more powerful than promoting your content yourself.
How does guest posting work?
Many websites will openly invite guest authors to contribute to their blog by publishing a page with guest post guidelines. This way, authors, website owners, and companies can easily find their site and submit an article or proposal for review.
In theory, a guest author can reach out to any website they feel can provide a valuable contribution. That is exactly what happens.
Anyone actively looking to build links through guest posting will create a list of prospects that best match their area of expertise. From this list, they will reach out with a proposal to write an article on their site and offer a few different title ideas and some links to previous articles they’ve published.
If their proposal is accepted, they’re free to submit an article for review and publication.
What is article marketing?
Article marketing is a much broader term that encompasses different methods of distributing content. The goal is the very same as guest posting; to generate backlinks, traffic, and brand awareness by publishing informative content.
Different forms of article marketing include:
- Press releases
- Social media
- Guest posting
- White papers
Ultimately, the goal behind all forms of article marketing is to increase the revenue of your business. Companies develop content marketing strategies to expand their reach through educational content for marketing. Despite the long period it takes to generate results, content marketing gives companies a higher return on investment over paid advertising.
Notable changes to article marketing
Within the last few years, there have been some notable changes to best practices of article marketing. Google, as one of the major sources of lead generation, has adjusted many of its own systems and algorithms for determining how they rank websites.
Ultimately these changes have affected the methods in some areas of article marketing.
Widespread abuse and manipulation of common practices have led to more regulation on link building. This directly impacted the type of content that was being produced as well as the outlets in which content is distributed and published.
This form of article marketing is a powerful method for generating traffic. It comes with a caveat, however, and, if used incorrectly, can severely result in over-optimization. When used for the right reasons, a well-crafted press release can get your content in front of a broad audience and result in some high authority backlinks.
Most press release outlets will nofollow their links. Despite this fact, if you use optimized anchor text within your article, you run the risk of over-optimization. If your story is picked up and syndicated, your optimized anchor text could be repeated hundreds of times and would have an adverse effect on your ranking. The solution to this is only to use brand or naked URL links.
Journalists are always watching media outlets for the latest update so they can get be among the first to publish a trending story. Using a press release company like Cision, will get your story to a massive number of sites, many of which will republish your story.
Although it can be a bit more expensive than traditional article marketing (starts around $450 US), you can generate much traffic and acquire valuable backlinks to your site.
It’s obvious to most people that the more content your site produces, the more traffic you can generate. Long gone are the days of short, useless blog posts as blogging today requires a definitive answer to search intent.
If your content is not being read because it doesn’t provide value, it will slip into the chasm of Google de-indexation. Your articles have to serve a specific purpose, be keyword optimized and should drive traffic by offering an answer to a particular keyword search.
The value of your blog to your business is only as valuable as it is to your audience. To give your blog posts the best chance for success, go through the checklist to improve your on-page SEO.
Article submission sites
The death of article submission sites happened around the same time as the birth of Google’s Panda Update. These types of sites tended to attract a plethora of low-quality content and were mostly blown off the map for marketers looking for quality backlinks.
The main reasons to publish content that links to your site is to send more visitors to your site and improve your authority and ranking ability. Article directories had the opposite effect.
The traffic on most article directories dwindled as more spam was published. This eventually led the downgrade of article directories in terms of the value they offer as backlinks to your site.
This link building strategy has changed for both guest authors and the hosting sites offering guest posting opportunities.
Many high authority sites are now only offering nofollow backlinks. This makes building authority more difficult for those who are publishing quality content.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, several sites will do more damage than good when linking to your site. Guest authors should take precautions to avoid low-quality domains with many spammy links to prop up their site.
With more emphasis on the need for quality content, Google has made guest posting more challenging to do in large scale. Some companies may opt for methods such as broken link building or investing in premium evergreen content that will attract links as time goes on.
It should be clear that article marketing encompasses a wide variety of tactics and strategies for content distribution. Guest posting is merely one method that falls under that umbrella.
When it comes to generating traffic, backlinks, and improving brand recognition, article marketing is a highly effective strategy to achieve all of these goals.