Guest posting is one of the oldest SEO practices that has been with us for over a decade, which is ages in Internet terms. Despite SEO having gone through major changes over the years, guest blogging remains the same in terms of the process. You arrange a post with a blog owner, provide content or collaborate on content creation, and the blogger posts it alongside with a link to you at their resource. They can do it free of charge or you pay for the placement. It is supposed to give you extra coverage and draw new leads and followers from the blogger’s audience. And also create a valuable backlink. But if SEO is changing, does the effect guest blogging has on your promotional campaign remain the same? Today many experts argue that free guest posting can actually be more detrimental to your SEO efforts than beneficial. Let’s take a closer look at this issue in this article.
First things first, guest blogging is still an absolutely viable marketing practice. But as they say, there’s guest blogging and there’s guest blogging. Here’s some interesting stats about blogs in relation to marketing:
As you can see, blogs and blog placements are an exceedingly sweet morsel for SEO marketers. And to think all of these goodies can be yours free of charge if you use the free guest posting sites. But of course, there is a catch. Before we discuss why free guest posting is not always good for you, let’s look at why people choose free guest blogging in the first place.
Besides all the promising statistics that we have mentioned above, free guest posting has a few very obvious advantages.
First of all, it’s extremely cost-effective. You literally pay nothing to have your content posted, your backlink created and the audience of someone else’s blog monetized.
Blogs who take no charge for a placement are usually not very picky when it comes to content. Submission rules are more lax and guidelines are less strict, making it much easier to match your content and a blog.
Since there will be fewer things to agree upon, as well as corrections and editing, chances are, your post will go live sooner rather than later.
Free guest posting sites are numerous, so engaging multiple sites at once will bring you a large quantity of backlinks fast and only at the price of your own efforts.
However, all of these advantages come with caveats of which we will speak in more detail below.
The Internet offers plenty of aggregated resources with free guest posting sites. For instance, the figure below shows a typical categorized directory where guest blogging websites are grouped by topic:
Other ways to find free guest blogging options include:
Sometimes bloggers can post your content free of charge, if it is specifically relevant to their blog or if they get other benefits out of posting it than financial rewards.
The following keywords return the best results for free guest posting venues: free guest blog/post submission, submit your content free, write for us – your niche, etc.
Large social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer plenty of guest posting opportunities. Most blogs maintain an account in at least one of them, in most cases, they have multiple social media. More niche social media like LinkedIn, Etsy offer more targeted free guest posting opportunities.
Becoming an active member of a blogging community will bring about many ways to exchange content, backlinks and guest posts for free.
Now we’ve finally got to the most pivotal question. Why is it that free guest blogging can do you more harm than use, especially if you do not take care to do it correctly? Here are a few reasons:
Often if a resource accepts guest posts for free in bulk, they do so indiscriminately and the relevance of placement leaves much to be desired. Which significantly lowers the quality of backlinks guest posters get.
If you exploit free guest posting and acquire a large number of such low quality backlinks, Google will consider this rank manipulation and apply penalties. Their severity can vary, but any penalty will ruin your SEO efforts.
Free guest posting often means the blog owner or platform virtually gets nothing out of it, so they are not motivated to invest in creating engaging content to incorporate your link. Even if you do it yourself, it doesn’t mean other guest posts on the blog will be the same high quality. You’re risking to place your link among spam.
As chaotic as content on free guest blogging platforms is, any advanced benefits, such as targeted traffic, become unavailable for guest posters. Besides, such sites are often generally overlooked by audiences, so don’t expect such links to drive any traffic to you.
Even if you manage to select your link anchor text yourself, which is often not the case with free guest posts, whether or not you can remove the link if it proves to be toxic, will be out of your control, since you will literally have no terms or an agreement with the platform.
A certain quantity of free guest post backlinks can seriously dampen the relevance of your backlink profile, which will be definitely noticed by Google.
Some free guest posting platforms have so many irrelevant guest posts and carelessly placed backlinks, that the backlinks become toxic in the eyes of google. Such platforms should be avoided.
If, after all, you still want to try your hand in free guest blogging, here are some best practices. After all, not all blogs are even willing to place a charge on their guest posts, you just have to find the right ones who do it for free.
Look for blogs that offer high quality content and engage their audience on a regular basis. You will have to make a good pitch for your guest post and probably, will have competition, but in this case, it’s worth the try, since you will be getting high quality backlinks and traffic.
If you are an opinion leader in the niche the blogger where you want to guest post, writes about, chances are, they will be willing to accept your post for free and negotiate terms with you. This is the case where the blogger is also getting something valuable out of the collaboration: a chance to feature an expert take on something that their audience is interested in.
If you want to create quality free guest posts on a regular basis, build good communication and relationships with blog owners in your domain, promote each other mutually. This way, getting a guest post for free will become more streamlined.
Make sure you have a significant social media presence, develop your social media profiles to gain a good following, this way, it will be much easier for you to get the attention of blogs with higher domain authority and negotiate a free guest post.
As you can see, when done right, free guest posting requires time, effort and – yes, it will still require investments: to become an expert, to support your social media, to create great content on a regular basis. If you want high quality results, but the amount of effort seems intimidating, Serpzilla – and that’s us, can be a great alternative.
We offer an almost infinite pool of paid guest posting platforms for a big number of niches, both mainstream and more exotic. You can select target blogs of desired domain authority that fit your budget. The negotiation and placement process is automated, so you can devote your valuable efforts to creating content.
Our key benefits include:
We constantly monitor our pool and can guarantee you that no site in it will produce toxic backlinks
With the majority of placement processes automated, you can create and manage your guest posts in bulk easily.
With Serpzilla, you are in charge of everything about your guest post, from content, to link anchor text, placement and site selection.
Transparent metrics and intuitive visual dashboard will always give you a very clear picture of what’s going on with your guest posts. Your every decision will be very well informed.
Yep, we automate that too! Serpzilla helps you to keep track of all your communication with content creators, ensuring that no query gets lost or unanswered.
Providing high-quality services is our mission. That’s why we are constantly improving and expanding our guest blogging site database, keeping it highly up to date, making sure that all guest posting processes adhere to Google Search Essentials and providing only excellent quality backlinks.
Our team of highly qualified SEO experts with a vast experience in SEO and digital marketing behind their backs is always at your service should you need professional advice and help.
Free guest posting looks simple and straightforward at first glance. But as attractive as it may look, it still has its pitfalls. When done right, free guest posting is actually far from free, as you will need to invest in building robust relationships with quality bloggers, social media marketing and content creation. But when done wrong, the price of free guest blogging can prove to be quite exorbitant, as you will have to clean up the consequences of a toxic backlink profile or Google penalties.
Paid guest posting, especially when done with a stable, reliable partner platform like Serpzilla, can be a great, safe and actually inexpensive alternative. It provides you predictable, expected results, helps you keep track of your SEO campaign and can be fine-tuned to reach specific goals.