Thursday 24 April, 2014
Guest blogging is a great way to reach a new audience. You write articles and post them on other people’s blogs. Their readers read your helpful and informative articles and then click through your link to your own site to see what else you have to offer.
Common wisdom dictates how you should go about finding good blogs to submit to. Of course, they should be relevant to your own. They should share your audience or at least have some overlap. They should have active and engaged readers. And they should have a high pagerank.
I want to dispute this last qualification. While it’s not that hard to check a website’s pagerank (there are tools that make it as easy as simply pasting a URL and hitting ‘submit’), I think the importance of pagerank is overrated and it’s an unnecessary step.
Why Page Rank?
The logic goes like this. If a blog has a high pagerank, this means it gets lots of love from Google. Therefore, it should send a lot of people your way. Plus, there’s an added SEO benefit. Theoretically, if a bunch of high pagerank sites point back to your site, this is supposed to boost yours in the search engines.
However, there are a few problems with page rank that are well-known. For one thing, page rank doesn’t necessarily tell you how popular a site is, but how popular a single page on the site is. This is not a good gauge of readership. Plus, pagerank changes over time.
And yes, although to some extent SEO is a numbers game, there’s much more to it than that. What’s the point in posting to a high-pagerank site that doesn’t have a steady readership? Or one that has readers but they’re not your audience? You should be after quality traffic and that’s not necessarily what you’ll get when you worry about page rank.
What You Should Consider Instead
I’ve seen better results by forgetting about page rank and paying more attention to a blog’s audience. If you find a blog similar to yours that is read by ‘your people,’ your writing will resonate with them and you’ll get results. Although the site may have a smaller readership than a high pagerank site, more of them will check out your site and become readers.
Also, the number of site visitors doesn’t measure engagement. Engagement means how much they comment and share posts; in other words, how into the blog they are. Passive readers don’t help you much, except for the traffic numbers. If a blog’s readers are actively engaged, they’re more likely to engage with you as well.
Do What Works
Of course, you should do as I’ve done and try different strategies to see what works. But remember that with your blog, you should aim to make real connections with people online. These are the people who become not only your customers, but your fans and advocates.