Guest Posting is often touted as a key to writer platform development .
You MUST have a platform and you must promote it to the world. If you don’t, your writing is doomed to vanish unread. So say the Gurus. They may even be correct. However, the average writer is doing well to find time and energy to write every day. Some of the lists of what writers should also be doing to build their Writer’s Platform would require a full-time commitment by the writer plus a support staff. It’s not going to happen.
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting is when you write an article for a blog or article site and they publish it where their larger readership will see it. You normally get to include a photograph of yourself, a one or two sentence bio, and a link back to your site. The theory is this displays your work to a large group of potential readers who will follow the link to your Writer’s Platform website and become regular visitors and/or sign up for your mailing list.
Links are a vote of confidence.
Google uses links from other sites to decide how valuable your site is to others. The more links from other good sites the higher your site will rank. Getting your article published on a high ranking related site should help your own site rank. Unfortunately, so many people took advantage of this that the rules have been tightened and obtaining quality inbound links is more difficult than it used to be. Google is very aware of & works hard to discount the value of paid links, link trades, etc.
All links are not the same.
The person publishing your guest post can set your writer’s platform link to nofollow. In fact, Google encourages/requires them to do that because they see your article as an exchange of value. In other words, a paid link, which is against their guidelines. Of course it also removes much of the value from your guess post.
Guest posting may still have value.
If your post is published on a site with readers who are interested in your topics some of them will follow the link to your site and see what you have to say. Some of them may sign up for your list and ask to be contacted when you publish new material. They in turn may mention your site to their friends/readers which may lead to good links from other sites.
You need good metrics.
The only way you will know if the effort of writing the guest post was worth it is if you have Google Analytics or some other tracking system installed on your writer’s platform website. That will let you see how many new visitors arrive after your article is published and give you some idea of the reward for the time you put into writing it.