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For years, link building has ruled the online universe. Even when content was sworn in as King in 2012, link building still served as the royal advisor. Social media has been the cute little Princess dancing around in the background for the past few years, but it looks like her patience has finally paid off—she’s just been crowned Queen. Whether it is the humanization that social media brings or the incredible variation in distribution, there is little doubt who is making the rules now. So what does this mean for blogging, guest blogging and link building in general?
Guest Blogging Has Been Put Out To Pasture…Or Has It ?
In January, the entire blogging community experienced simultaneous heart failure upon reading the title of Matt Cutts’ article, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO.” We all heard it straight from the man himself—guest posts are a thing of the past because they have just gotten too “spammy.” But before webmasters slam the proverbial guest-blog door, let’s take a step back and see how honest guest blogging combined with social media is still a strong path to take.
This doesn’t mean that thou shalt never author on someone’s blog ever again; it simply means thou shall stop trolling for places to shove irrelevant links. This “announcement” isn’t really news to us, though. It just confirms that Google is no longer going to warn against spamming blogs – consider yourself warned. The practice of guest speakers and authors is dated back long before Google took over our world. So for those of you offering up sound and relevant advice for the sake of sharing knowledge and marking yourself as a relevant writer, then I say carry on.
Repurpose Your Link Efforts To Social Media
So now that we’ve alleviated the fear of all guest blogging – what’s next if you can’t focus on links?
This is where social media is your new best friend. Now that you’ve written that post – you better make sure that Google and your audience take notice. Share it on your platforms, get the conversation flowing and don’t go anywhere; you need to be there to respond to your new fans…or foes.
With hundreds of social platforms to choose from, you’ve got to know which platforms to target with your material.
There are tons of different social networks out there, but that doesn’t mean you should try to dominate them all. Each platform has its own focus and often speaks to a very different kind of user. In this case, it’s better to know a lot about a few than to know a little about a lot. Is your subject image-driven ?
Become an expert on Instagram, Pinterest or Vine. Is your subject based on news, politics or information? Try dominating LinkedIn, Google+, etc. You get the idea!
Must It Be Said…Please Stop With Anchor texts
You’ve probably heard this over and over again, but it’s worth repeating: please stop with the anchor texts.
Blogging, guest-blogging, social media-ing (that’s a verb now, right?) are all about being relevant and useful. If it’s neither of those, don’t force it and don’t use it. Be the expert of your own subject and let that expertise flow naturally through all of your content…especially on your oh-so-important social media accounts. When you have the opportunity to guest author - your brand mention, Google+ page link and other social links are every bit as useful as a link used to be. If you put your blog or business name in an article, don’t you dare shove in a link—there’s no need!
Last, but most certainly not least, bow down to your new Queen. Nurture your social accounts every bit as much as you nurture your blogs. It’s already been said a hundred times that you should be updating your blog several times a week, responding to followers’ comments, and making sure that content is fresh and relevant. Well, the same is true for your social networks. Mark my words: if your social accounts are lagging, then so is the relevance of your blog.
With all of that being said, it appears that most bloggers have put social media to use and most have a healthy respect for it; however, it needs to go beyond that. Your social media and your blog are in a Yin and Yang type of relationship. One simply cannot succeed without the other, so it’s time to wake up and embrace the future of social media and its massive impact on the success of your blog.
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