Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Did you know that more than three out of four people using the internet right now are reading blogs? Research also shows that more than 60 percent of all US consumers make purchases based on the information they read in blog posts. Guest blogging has proven to be a valuable investment for businesses and individuals seriously interested in strengthening their SEO and link building opportunities. Understanding more about the fundamental steps involved can make it easier to choose the best site to publish a guest blog on.

Here are the five main questions you should consider before your first guest post is published:

What Platform for My Home Blog? 

Studies show that over 400 million people view blogs on a monthly basis. Choosing the right blogging platform for your needs is critical for successfully building a presence online. The most popular blogging platforms are WordPress, Medium, Tumblr, Blogger, Weebly, SquareSpace, and Typepad. Joomla and Drupal offer a more in-depth content management system that many people find useful. WordPress is the most popular platform, offering to either host blogs on their own server or to have their services ran from your external server. Tumblr primarily focuses on visual media, like images, gifs, and clips, so it's important to consider the expectations of a platform's audience.
Your guest posts on popular websites will lead to greater opportunity if you have a legitimate, appealing home blog to link back to. Several of these platforms simplify the process of writing an online blog and provide more access to a community of people with similar interests. Small businesses and individual users have been successful with using platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, and Tumblr to build their brand and attract thousands of followers online. There are also websites like Myblogguest.com that specialize in pairing people interested in guest posting with niche blogs seeking relevant contributions.

How Old is the Domain? 

Once someone offers to publish your work, one of the first things you will want to find out is how old their website's domain is. Generally speaking, you don't want to spend time providing content to websites that have been around for less than a year. There are several places like the Small SEO Tools website that can help you find out a domain's age for free. Older pages and blogs that are updated regularly typically outperform those that are less than a year old. Even the links associated with older domains are typically valued more by search engines than links connected to new websites. There's actually been a Google patent filed that ranks older links over recently posted backlinks. In addition, older social media accounts with an established following tend to outrank those that are newer or have less influence.

How Much Traffic Does the Domain Get? 

Analyzing domain traffic can reveal a lot of information about how most internet users are actually getting to see the guest blog you posted on a website. Alexa.com is one of the most popular free websites you can use to find out about traffic, search rankings and other important information associated with websites. Similarweb.com also provides helpful information about websites, but through a more visually-based format. Research shows that 80 percent of the traffic blogs receive on a daily basis is actually generated by new readers. The blogs posting new content daily often receive up to five times as much traffic as those that don't. It may also be worth noting that 60 percent of the time, people are now using their tablet or smartphone to get online.

What About Spam? 

Checking the website for spam is also an important step in this process. Moz is one of the most popular websites for gathering more information about the spam present on a website. Moz can help with performing spam analysis and make it easier to evaluate the potential quality of different link opportunities. Moz assesses over 15 different criteria to determine how spammy a website is, such as evaluating the contact info available, any thin content, the number of links and the length of the domain name.

What's the Actual Grunt Work Involved? 

In order to get a real handle on things, you should take the time to manually analyze the entire website. It also takes time to evaluate whether or not the website caters to the target audience you have in mind. The layout and format of the website should be visually appealing as well. Blog posts that have images actually receive 94 percent more views than posts that do not have any, and internet users actually process these visuals 60,000 times faster than reading text.

Most online professionals consider guest blogging to be essential for successfully networking and establishing a presence online. Identifying the most suitable platform that's frequented by the target audience is critical. The ability to distinguish between credible platforms or blogs and those that could cause more harm than good is often the difference between success and failure online. Generating traffic is important, but as consumers and advertisers become more intelligent, mastering reader engagement and retention now have the most impact in 2016.

Author bio:
Lauren Brockmeier has a BA in history and enjoys writing on a variety of subjects related to business, software, and technology. You can find more of her work on her company's blog at http://cozmotek.com/blog/

Featured images:
License: Creative Commons image source 

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