Reputation Management Strategies: The Pros and Cons of Guest Blogging

Reputation Management Strategies: The Pros and Cons of Guest Blogging

One of the hot topics in reputation management circles last year has been that of “unnatural links.” Following on the heels of the Penguin update, in particular, reputation management pros have been all abuzz about the consequences of unnatural links. About the strategies, they might employ to avoid any Penguin penalty. For a lot of reputation management pros, this has proven a daunting task: After all, for a long time, entire reputation management campaigns were built on purchased or manufactured links—so what is a person to do now that those methods are no longer kosher?
One popular strategy is through guest blog outreach. You put together a form letter and send it out to a dozen or so bloggers. You ask them if you can submit a guest post for their blog, with one link back to your blog included in the post. It’s a great way to get links through natural, Google-approved methods.
What Google Says
Well, not necessarily. Google has gone on record as saying that it is less than wild about any manufactured link-building strategy, and it includes guest post outreach in that category. This is not to say that the guest blog approach is going to incur Penguin penalties; it does mean, however, that a lot of these guest blog campaigns seem to have been met with minimal results—not a reason to avoid the approach altogether, but certainly a reason for some scepticism.
More Problems with Guest Blogging
There are still further reasons why the guest blogging approach may be something less than it is cracked up to be. A particular challenge stems from how popular this strategy has become—and, thus, how many people are doing it. Bloggers of repute are getting flooded with form-letter requests for guest blog opportunities, which means there is not as much space for you to fit in among them. (Plus, a lot of bloggers have gotten wise to the demand for guest blog slots, and are asking guest bloggers to pay for the opportunities.)
An Alternative Approach
Here is an alternative, for reputation management pros: Don’t concentrate on link-building, but rather on relationship-building. Try to cultivate a network of friends and collaborators within your industry, and you might be surprised by how much better the whole process works. Start by sending outreach e-mails to bloggers that do not contain any mention of guest posting. Instead, say that you are building a network and that you’d love to help them promote their content via your social media outlets. Maybe even give them a chance to write a guest post for you!
In many ways, what you are doing here is just good PR—if not necessarily conventional SEO. But that’s okay because this strategy works. Reputation management pros can cultivate meaningful relationships with top-notch bloggers, and then be amazed at the benefits they receive for their campaigns. Try a little of this relationship-centred outreach today, and see how far it takes you.

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