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Guest Blogging: The New Paid Link

March 18  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

So you might be thinking….is Ryan getting crazy in his old age? What’s this nonsense about guest blogging and paid links being mentioned in the same sentence? One of the major staples in our inbound marketing campaigns for clients is doing kick-ass content marketing on off site blogs. I’ve taken the time to compile the data just over the last year from all of our guest blogging outreach and the results were a little funny.

write for us guest blogging
While paid links in all sorts of ways are still happening, guest blogging has been the “beacon of light” for a lot of agencies and consultants. It’s a great way to reach your target audience, and frankly, the link you “earn” isn’t the highest of priorities for myself and our clients. Overall brand awareness and reach is what I’m going for and what better way to earn that then providing amazing/unique/intelligent content to the targeted masses?

Two Plagues Of Guest Blogging

1) Shitty content and targeted anchor text

The majority of guest blogging taking place is just the same lame article marketing style of content Google has tried to tapper off in the past couple of years. There’s no value being put forth and all these clueless “SEO’s” are overdoing anchor text and its just all about the link.

2) Blog owners want money to allow you to guest post

I’m sure those that do a lot of guest blogging outreach like we do get asked all the time to pay to be able to guest blog for the site. The biggest blogs in your vertical will most likely ask for money and this is the majority according to our data. Google will definitely be cracking down on this in the near future as they will see this as a paid link. I, however, think you will be fine so long as you provide outstanding content, and the social media reactions are somewhat abundant. When you’re “guest blogging” on a large site in your vertical it should be all about the brand exposure. I can see why you’d need to pay because you’re also getting reach through their(hopefully) large social media following, newsletter and whatever else they have going on. Oh, and don’t bother picking anchor text that’s not normal and stick to a nice looking site/brand link.

Guest Blogging Results By The Numbers


From the numbers below you can clearly see that the larger sites wanting money had more to offer than just that link. If your content stays top notch, you’re putting it on a high quality blog in your vertical and you’re also paying for their follower base(social + newsletter), I don’t ever see a problem with Google in regards to those links. I’m sure there is room for argument so I will leave that up to you folks as you know I love hearing your thoughts.

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About Ryan Clark

I'm the CEO of Linkbuildr Marketing and the brains behind our branding and blog content. I specialize in effective marketing strategies for hotels, luxury brands and real estate. If your brand is in need of a boost then don't hesitate to contact me for a free proposal. Follow me on Google+: +Ryan Clark Twitter: @Linkbuildr on Twitter. You can also come ask me a question on our Facebook Page.  

6 Responses to Guest Blogging: The New Paid Link

  1. Jamie Knop says:

    Great post Ryan of the current state of guest blogging. I’d of loved you to drill down a bit on time spent reaching out / cost per post that way also. Also as you emailed so many 4,137 im guesing you bulk mailed them and did not follow up?

  2. Thomas says:

    Ryan, I think the question to ask here is, whether paying for guest post placement is an honest business practice for a client or not. After all, when Google tackles the problem finally (and in my view, paid guest post placements is a problem), a client might end up in some deep trouble because of agency placing paid posts…. (a certain flower shop springs in mind now).

  3. @78e6fee661cc698d98e9ce85b918fe97:disqus I think if the content is “totally awesome” and the right fit, I don’t see why a website should charge. I tend to do a lot of link buying for clients just because they want it, so it’s hard to draw a line on my behalf sometimes.

    Any client who’s wanted to pay for it was fully aware of the consequences, however, Google has no way of knowing it was paid for unless they hired the CIA to torture the webmaster…I wouldn’t put it past them :)

  4. Geoff says:

    All of the emails sent were sent cold to niche blogs for 15 clients over the last year.

    For the most part, we got responses within a couple days, they simply needed a stronger relationship before a link would have been attained. That link might not have been from a guest blog posts, but then it wouldn’t have been a part of this post! In any case, they opened a dialogue with a site we wanted a link from and that’s never a bad thing.

  5. Those are damn good points I wish I factored in when doing this with Geoff….our brains were mush at the time from being over worked.

  6. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Guest posts are slowly becoming the new blog comments from years ago. However, I think it’ll be harder for search engines to determine which sites are using a lot of guest posts but one day they’ll definitely crack down on them.

    I’ve been using MyBlogGuest for a good while now and it’s great (I’ve also accepted guest posts). The one thing that I’ve noticed from accepting guest posts is that the quality is going down all the time. Some people send me absolutely terrible articles and expect me to upload it and give them a link just because it’s “unique” – that’s not good enough. One thing that I was shocked by was that some big brands sent me content that wasn’t great / not related to my site.

    At the end of the day, as long as the content is what the reader is after then guest posting is fine, otherwise it’ll work in the short term but more than likely not in the long term.

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