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  • Aspire » Blogging

    23 Dec

    Guest Blogging

    Today’s post is, ironically a guest blog on the topic of Guest Blogging…! Thanks to Phil Singleton of Kansas City Web Design® for a great explanation of the concept and why it’s a good idea, especially in today’s environment. If you’d be interested in Guest Blogging – let me know.

    This year content finally became ‘King’ – and we mean it this time.  For years, Google had been telling us that search engine optimization was all about great content, yet all along they were rewarding websites that accumulated a high volume of backlinks.  That all changed in 2012 when we experienced a Google search algorithm update called “Penguin” with the four subsequent Penguin updates since then.  The last major update on October 4th 2013 (called Penguin 2.1 or Penguin 5) put the final nail in the coffin for offshore and black-hat link building services.    In 2013 we’ve seen first-hand how small business websites with active blogs and social media channels have handily outperformed competing websites with passive SEO strategies.

    These days, most legitimate SEO agencies are focusing almost exclusively on social media and content marketing – because these are gaining the most SEO points.  Guest blogging has become one of the most effective methods of content marketing.

    Just what is ‘Guest Blogging’? 

    Guest blogging is a method used by bloggers and businesses to enhance website content and increase online visibility whereby third party writers and authors write articles to be published on other companies’ blogs.  Guest blogging works in two ways:

    • You write a blog post to appear on another company’s website

    • Another person writes a post to appear on your company’s website.

    But, why would you want to post someone else’s article on your website?

    1. Free Exclusive Content: As business owners, we wear many hats.  Let’s face it, most of us know blogging is important and despite good intentions most owners almost never blog.  With guest blogging, other knowledgeable professionals write custom content for your website.  How awesome is that?

    2. SEO Boost: Search engines love high quality, unique and relevant content – AND, they like to see this kind of content being published on your website on a regular basis.

    3. Social Media Exposure: When guest bloggers get published on third party websites, most will ‘amplify’ their post for you.  That’s right – they will go out and blast your website through their social media channels.  They get bragging rights and your site gets exposure to a new audience.

    4. Social Media Signals: when a guest blog post gets shared, tweeted, liked and +’d, these actions send powerful signals to the search engines regarding the importance, quality, relevance and trustworthiness of your site.  These are now major SEO ranking factors.

    5. Raises Your Profile:  When a credible third party author writes an interesting post on your site, this sends a powerful message to your readers: your website is so important to your niche, that a third party professional wanted to be published on it.

    And why would you spend time writing a blog post for another website?

    1. New Audience: Your content gets to be published to their audience.

    2. SEO Boost: It’s common practice to provide the writer with an author profile with 2-3 links to their site(s) or social media profiles.  This is the type of selective and high quality link building that still provides SEO benefit to the guest poster.

    3. Social Media Exposure: Just like above, in most cases if a company publishes your website because it adds value to their site and audience, they will typically promote your post on their social media channels and newsletters as well.

    CAUTION (NOTE THE ALL CAPS)

    Guest blogging works really well and creates a cascade of win-wins.  Yet, because it’s so effective, many people are trying to use guest blogging to game the search engines.  They are trying to use the old ‘spray and pray’ approach just like they did with mass link building.  Google is very good as filtering out copied, poor quality and outright spammy content.  Not only is poor quality content ineffective for SEO, it may result in a search engine ranking penalty.

    Some General Guidelines & Tips on Guest Blog Posting:

    1. Only post guest blog articles that are well-written and would be valued by your readers.  In other words, DO NOT post filler blog content just for the search engines.  If your readers don’t like the post, chances are the search engines won’t like it either.

    2. Only post articles that are relevant to your business and audience.

    3. Do not rely on guest blog posting for all of your blog content.  Most of your blog content should be written by you, your staff or your writers.  There is no guideline but the old 80/20 rule should be pretty good in terms of the upper range. Moderation is key.

    4. The ideal guest blog post should be around 500-1000 words.

    5. It can be helpful to have a few high authority outbound links within the post, but only if they truly add value to the post.

    6. Do not copy or reuse content or send blog post to multiple websites.  This method only works if your post is unique.

    Google’s head of webspam and essentially the defacto spokesman for their search engine posted two videos on guest blogging in the last two months:

    http://youtu.be/OGieiNe6RL4

    http://youtu.be/qozPhALuQQw

    In summary, guest blogging should be a permanent part of every small businesses online strategy.  It has to be done in moderation, be of the highest quality and should be used as a part of an overall SEO / Internet marketing strategy.

    Phil Singleton is the owner of Kansas City Web Design®, a web development firm specializing in SEO-friendly WordPress websites and custom website applications, and Kansas City SEO®, a full-service Internet marketing services company that provides organic search engine optimization and other online marketing services.  Contact Phil on his Google+ page.

    Thanks again Phil!

    Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

    10 Jun

    Your prospective clients are hungry…are you feeding them good stuff?

    Whether we like it or not you have to have a presence on the internet…if I hear about you from a friend, if I meet you at a networking event and get your card or if I stumble across you on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook the first thing I’m likely to do if I find you interesting is to find your website and check you out.

    I’m looking for a better understanding of who you are, what you do and why I should care.  I’m hungry for information and if you want me to do something beyond a quick glance, you need to feed me something tasty and nutritious.

    Read More…

    12 May

    I’ve been really busy the last few months (which is a great problem to have these days), but it’s been challenging to keep up with all of the great stuff that’s out on the internet.

    I pick up a lot of ideas for articles and blog posts from Social Media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) when I get the time to surf a bit – or if I’m doing research.  I also have a lot of blogs set up on various RSS readers, on my Yahoo home page, my Google home page and even some just tucked into odd corners.

    I also follow blogs from a variety of local folks that I see around Kansas City that I think are very good – here’s a few – Sarah at Dog Eared Pages of course.  Although I haven’t met him personally, I like Sam Meers at Smoke and Meers and a couple that  new to blogging,  Tara Renze at Prospects to Partners and Jason Terry (of the upcoming Blue Gurus) are going to be good reading.

    On a national level, there are just a few blogs that I value enough that I sign up for their email feed – several of them because they have good content, but more importantly because I just enjoy reading them.  These are the kinds of emails that you look forward to reading – a treat to look forward to.

    Here are 4 of them that add a real splash of color to my inbox!

    Read More…

    04 Sep

    photo by extranoise 

    Blogging is a great way to promote your business.

    There are a lot of great reasons why you should Blog for your business but the catch-22 is that blogging without any readers doesn’t make any noise in the forest (you know what I mean).

    As I’ve discovered over time, although it’s pretty straightforward (not easy mind you, but straightforward) to blog consistently and with good intent.  However, getting people to find you and check out your blog (and subscribe) is a whole different ball o’ wax.

    I would argue that quality (of readers and of postings) is way more important than quantity, but still everyone wants to grow their readership and more importantly become part of a blogging ‘community’ of similar interests.

    That’s why I think Michael Martine at Remarkablogger came up with a great opportunity to Get Web Traffic

    • Check out the aspiring bloggers on the comments list
    • Sign up for their feeds if it’s something cool that you would enjoy
    • Leave a comment and let ‘em know someone is reading them

    But definitely make sure you check out Remarkablogger because he almost always has something worthwhile to say!  (also don’t forget to comment here!!!)  ;-)

    Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

    20 Aug

    I couldn’t stand it any longer – I needed to find out what all the buzz was regarding Twitter, so I decided to join up and start learning.

    For those that don’t know, Twitter is a ‘micro-blogging’ platform that limits you to 140 characters per post (or Tweet).

    What’s the point?

    Well that’s the interesting thing – I have no idea how planned this product was and there are a lot of opinions out there, but I think the forced brevity encourages more of a true conversation format.  You can leave short posts on what you’re doing, you can share sites that you found interesting or you can engage people.

    There are a lot of ways to participate in Twitter – here’s a few that I’ve noticed so far: Read More…

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