Guest posts have a history almost as long as blogging itself. A few years ago, they became incredibly fashionable as a quick-and-easy way of building cheap links for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Unfortunately, the tactic was so overused that it became increasingly ineffective, even dangerous. It’s still possible to guest blog for links, but it takes skill, finesse, and more than a little caution.

But that’s far from the end of the story.

Even if you put aside the SEO benefits, it remains a powerful technique that brings plenty to an online business, and for relatively little expense.

Earn Targeted Traffic

The most effective guest blogging opportunities are on high-traffic websites with a close relevancy to your own. With last years’ public debut of Google’s E-A-T algorithm (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness) the internet needs you, the expert within your industry, to start authoring content on topics which you are have the authority and trust to write about. So, a compelling guest post will tap into this source of valuable, targeted visitors, and divert at least some of them your way. Aim to provide content which is complete and useful in itself, but which also leaves the readers wanting more, and they’ll be ready to follow the link in your bio.

And as you have complete control over where your link points, you can build the perfect landing page to maximize the value of the traffic.

Social Media Amplification

An active, high-traffic site will likely have plenty of social media action going on as well. Your own post can benefit from this visibility, receiving shares and likes to boost its reach, and also attracting readers to your own account.

Produce a great post that includes your social media handles in the bio, and you can expect your numbers to receive a healthy uptick, with all the long-term benefits that provides.

Receive Constructive Feedback

If comments are enabled below your post, you’ll likely receive plenty of feedback from its readers. This is an immensely valuable form of market research you can use to your advantage, whether the opinions expressed are positive or negative.

As well as getting feedback on your product or company, it also lets you hone your content marketing style to see what works. You can then repeat the successes in your own campaigns and on your own site.

Generate Inbound Leads

If the content is well written, highlighting your products or services without being overly promotional, you can expect to generate targeted leads directly from your post.

This effect can be strengthened if you include a compelling call to action in your bio. With most guest blogging sites, you’re allowed a little more commercial leeway in this section compared to your main post content.

Control Your Reputation

Simply by having your content published on a popular and respected site, some of that reputation will rub off onto your own brand. People will assume you’re a credible company if your post has been accepted. However, for this to be effective, the publishing site needs to exercise high editorial standards. As in real life, your digital reputation is tightly connected to the company you keep. And whether or not you get a direct link under your post, Google will also acknowledge this reputational boost in the form of increased authority in the rankings.

These five benefits are valuable in themselves, but there’s more good news. The guest post qualities you need to get the best results are also precisely those which Google looks for in a strong link. By making your guest blogging as effective as possible, you’ll also be strengthening your SEO as a vital side benefit.

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