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The kind of wake-up call nobody wants: 6 AM on your day off; builders have started drilling, and they're not stopping any time soon. Some SEO practitioners likely had a similar feeling when Google's Matt Cutts published his "The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO" blog post in January 2014.

So long, guest blogging. Oh, and Happy New Year!

Blogs started no-following their links, and some stopped accepting guest posts altogether. But here's the thing, Cutts was doing everyone a favor. Poor content began to be culled, and companies refined their strategies to what those strategies should have been in the first place.

It's not about links

If that's all an SEO company thinks of SEO, it shouldn't be hired.

Guest posting is a cost-effective way of generating inbound leads. Anyone can be passionate. Anyone can write (in fact, everybody writes!). Guest posting is also highly powerful as a form of generating brand awareness and building relationships. You can tap into the audience the site owners have created, and the site gets free content: win-win.

Editors used to get spammed daily with guest-posting requests. Now SEO firms have backed off ("Matt said we can't be friends—sorry"). There is now a content gap that needs to be filled, and editors are more likely to listen. That gives you an open door, an opportunity. Maximize your use of it.

Relevancy is not what you think

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image of Grant Draper

Grant Draper is a writer with a love for business and startups, and a content marketing manager at Heating Force. Connect with him via email: grant@grantdraper.co.uk.

LinkedIn: Grant Draper

Twitter: @Grant_A_Draper