Guest blogging is taking off as the new form of search engine optimisation for blogs, but what exactly is it and what do you have to do?

The idea behind guest blogging is that one blogger, or even just a website owner, writes a suitable high quality post and offers it up as a unique piece of work, to another blogger to publish on to their website. There are even some websites appearing that allow you to find posts and blogs for this purpose, or you can just approach other bloggers directly.

As the guest blogger, as this is where I expect most people will start, you will track down a couple of suitable sites to guest blog on. Have a look over them and see what they generally write about and the style. There is no point submitting a dead pan serious post on a blog that is always funny. Also check that your knowledge can add to what they already post.

Then you write a top quality post and review it! It must be brand new and your best possible writing, so that readers of the post are tempted over to your site. Then email a copy of the article, ready for them to cut and paste, and request that they guest post it.

There is a good reason why it must be brand new and on the whole, you will agree that you will not use the article elsewhere. Once you give it to another blogger to use as a guest post and they accept it, you must not syndicate or publish it elsewhere. The reason is that unique content, rather than duplicate content, provides huge search engine benefits. By publishing your unique work, the blogger is hoping to keep the interest of their readers going, whilst tempting the search engines to send them more traffic.

But you have to take care when you pass over your best possible writing over to another blogger to publish on their blog. You should make it clear what you expect back – that they will link back to you and keep the links in place for as long as the post is up. Plus, they do not have the rights to distribute the article to other sites. You want your article to be unique, you do not want them copying it to other sites and getting the benefit for your work!

Once you have your article written and approved by the other blog owner and have an agreement in place, it is ready for the other owner to publish it and you can then just keep an eye on the post. Have an occasional look through your website statistics to see if that blog is sending you new visitors. If the visitors slowly start to dry up, then it could be that the post is too old and it is time to write a new post for that blog. If you never get any visitors, then maybe it is a blog best ignored.

So, guest blogging is writing new posts and getting them published on other people’s blogs in return for traffic and links.

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