Should You Be Guest Posting?

(This post originally appeared at The Freelance Farmer.)

As a freelancer, I get quite a few requests to write guest posts.  Whether I do it under my own name, or whether I ghostwrite for someone else, I can usually provide these posts for 80% of my regular fee for writing a 400-word article.  When times are lean, I will do them.

But what is the benefit for these companies who hire me to write a guest post?  Especially when the sites they are posting at don't pay them any money?  Well, there is, of course, the SEO value.  (Posting at XYZ site with a Page Rank of 6 will definitely juice up your backlink.)  But is there a value beyond that?  Why would a company want backlinks from a site with a Page Rank of 2 or 3?

Build a resume.  Maybe, they are just looking for clips.  To even be considered at a big online news site, you will need to have a pretty decent list of previously published articles (and your own blog doesn't count.)  Writing anywhere -- even for a small site with no money -- is better than nothing.

Build a brand.  If you want to be known as the expert in all things cheese, you will want to submit articles to any site that will run your post on a cheese-related article.  Guest post at a frugality site to explain how to make your own cheese for less.  Get a gig on a travel blog to discuss the best artisan cheese destinations in France.  You get the idea.

Provide a service.  Maybe, you don't have any interest in building your brand or links, at all.  Perhaps you have cleverly created a businesses solely out of securing, writing, and placing guest posts.  There is big money for a freelancer who is well-connected and who can promise XYZ company that they can have 10 articles out on the web with reputable sites -- all with links in the bio back to their new product.  If you can capitalize on this trend, you now have another reason to guest post.

What about you?  Do you guest post?  Would you?  Is it worth your time?

Like this topic? Check out some other reading from Blog GoDown and  We Blog Better.

*For the record, I have done only a handful of guest posts, and most of them were ghostwritten for someone else.  I have also handled the guest posting program at several blogs, so I'm keen on what the editors are looking for.  Do you have a question about how to pitch a guest post or where to look for opportunities?  Speak up!  I'll try to answer.

Photo by stockicide via Flickr.

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