Yesterday, I talked a bit about Penning the Perfect Post if you want to start guest posting, but there’s one element I left out – adding links to your post. When it comes to linking, especially when talking about SEO, someone could probably write a whole book on the different linking theories and practices. I’ll just tell you what works for me – and if you write guest posts, add a comment at the end to tell us all what works for you!
Some SEO Basics
Before I get into the meat of this post, let me first go over a few SEO basics for beginners out there. When you include a link in your guest post (or in your posts in general), it is important to pay attention to the words you actually link. These are your keywords, and they should be the words you’d imagine someone typing into Google to actually get to whatever page you’re linking. So, for example, say I wanted to promote this post in a guest post I was writing for someone else. I might link using the words “guest post linking” or “using links in your guest post” since those are words people might type into Google that are relevant to my post. Some people spend a lot of time doing keyword research. If you want to do that, great. If not, even being a little mindful of it and using keywords instead of stuff like “click here” or “my blog post,” you’ll be ahead of the game.
When you’re writing a post for your own site, you might want to include tons of links back to your own work or to blog posts that you’ve read and enjoyed. When you’re writing guest posts, you have to be a little more discreet. Everyone knows that guest posts are all about promoting your own blog, but if you do too much promotion – even if your links are relevant – you’re going to have a hard time placing the post on another blog.
Bloggers agree to post guest posts because they want cool content for their site. Most are happy to give you credit and even some links back to your site, bit too many links starts to get unattractive to them. Remember, every link you include is sending people away from their blog. If a post is full of extremely good information, but includes tons of links, most bloggers won’t accept it.
So how many links should you include? Consider:
- Length: In general, the longer your guest post, the most links you can include.
- Niche: Some niches are more link-friendly than others.
- The Proposed Blog: Some bloggers are more link-friendly than others.
Almost all guest posts include a bio at the end (or at the beginning – depends on the blogger’s formatting style). Your bio is your chance to shine. You want it to entice people to learn more about you and what you do on your own blog, and from a linking perspective, you can go hog wild.
Well, kind of.
You still don’t want to include a billion links, especially since bios are typically only about two sentences long. Still, it is more than acceptable to include two to three links. Some bloggers who post guest posts actually request that you not include any links within the body of the article, giving you only your bio for linking. I actually recommend at least two links: one for SEO purposes and one that appeals more to actual readers who might want to visit your site.
Want an example? Check out the bio I include at the end of my BlogWorld posts. It might change in the future, but here’s what I have right now:
Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner of After Graduation, a site for career advice and motivation. She works as a freelance writer and would love to connect with you on Twitter (@allison_boyer). Allison is also working on a super secret blog project, which you can read about here.
After Graduation is my site name, but also the keyword that a lot of people use to find the site, so that makes sense. “Freelance writer” is linked for SEO purposes. I want people who are looking for a freelance writer to get to my freelance writing site. The other two links, to my Twitter and to my blog project, are not going to help me with search engines, but they (hopefully) appeal to people reading my content who want to learn more about me.
Four links is probably the top I’d include in any kind of guest post bio (these are not exactly the guest posts here at BlogWorld, but it’s the same basic concept). Splitting them evenly between links for SEO and links to entice readers is what works best for me.
Okay, that’s my best advice for linking within guest posts. Check out the other posts in this series and give us your best tips in the comments below!