Have you ever considered guest blogging in your PR strategy? Although Ann Smarty started My Blog Guest as an alternative approach to link building, she learned that the strategy has far more important benefits than just SEO. Guest blogging is a relationships and reputations builder. So Ann decided to build a platform that would give the same opportunities and advantages to other marketers:
“The “linking” benefit of guest blogging turned out to be not the hugest one. I have built my reputation by solely guest posting. A guest post has changed my life and career,” she told Everything PR in an exclusive interview.
The guest post in question was published more than two years ago, on Search Engine Journal, and it was, indeed, a career booster for the kind Ukrainian girl, Anna Povysheva, known by the SEO world as Ann Smarty. If you ever networked with her, you already know that she is always opened to talk, help, and to establish a good relationship with her readers. She is one of the best brand emissaries for Search Engine Journal, and for any publication she agrees to work with.
The idea to build a community that would give other writers a chance to find guest blogging opportunities came as an effect of her personal success. But implementing the idea was more difficult than one expects. Ann didn’t want to create a market place like Review Me or Link Ads, because, in her words: services like these ruined the link building concept and practice.
I cannot agree that the services are guilty for the outcome – I believe that the way people understand to use them is what brought the dismay of such marketing channels. Without the proper scrutiny My Blog Guest itself could turn into something it was not designed to be. Luckily, Ann is “old-school” – her understanding of doing SEO means genuine white-hat strategies. You know? Those strategies that don’t work overnight, but build a sturdier foundation for the online footprint of a business. My Blog Guest was conceived as such a “white-hat” strategy. My Blog Guest’s community should understand the idea behind the concept, instead of trying to use the system solely for SEO (link building) benefits:
“The only problem I am facing is link builders (ironically, that’s what we have started with!). I’ve been discouraging members from building links (only). I want everyone to focus on other benefits like networking and exposure. If one focuses on links, the quality of the content is dropping. If there are many link builders in the network, the quality of the service gets lower as well. There’s not much I can do about it except for promoting the concept of guest blogging I’ve been advocate of. But if you do what you believe in, your community will follow.”
The last statement alone shows the qualities of a true leader, and this is how Ann will succeed promoting and, eventually, monetizing this strategy. Since Vocus purchased HARO, I can see a similar outcome for Ann’s endeavor. My Blog Guest is yet not powerful enough to inspire an immediate decision, but if you consider who is behind this startup, you can expect a few bids to come in the near future. Keep in mind that My Blog Log already has a monetization model in place, although it’s not bringing much revenue yet.
The premium membership is only 10 USD per month and it brings access to advanced features like:
- The ability to manage and track your contacts and tasks via the “Watch list”
- The ability to send guest posts directly to bloggers’ wp-admin (save time! no emailing back and forth!)
- The ability to receive guest posts directly to your wp-admin as drafts from approved members (save time! no editing and uploading the posts!!)
- Access to private forums for advanced / secret guest blogging and link building tips
In its free variant, My Blog Guest still offers some great features and opportunities. There is a jobs board, where bloggers can find ghost blogging (paid) opportunities, but also long-term commitments. There are forum topics that enable calls for guest bloggers, or calls from guest bloggers for a blog to host their content. There’s even a place to ask for help to promote a guest post on social media – a vital aspect if you consider that “building” is not enough to “make them come.”
Give it time, and My Blog Guest will make a great PR resource. It all depends on how fast, and how effective, Ann and her team will build a community able to provide high quality content. Right now, My Blog Guest still fights to ensure a good level of quality. This is what Ann told us, regarding this desired quality:
The quality is varied. We have some high-traffic blogs as well as small niche (tightly-targeted) ones. Besides, we have had deals with blogging top players like Splashpress Media.In fact, I think this is the power of the service: there’s something for anyone (regardless of his/her interests and aims).
Besides, I wouldn’t focus on “power” of blogs: the point is in building connections. Some tiny niche players will drive just a few visitors to your site but those will be highly-targeted and will turn into powerful connections.
The same goes about the content. I’ve head some really great pieces published from MyBlogGuest. Of course, some content is mediocre (to put mildly) but after all, it is up to a blogger to accept the content or not. So if you want to maintain high quality of the resource, no one will force you to publish low-quality posts.
In fact, I’ve been highly encouraging members to only accept high-quality articles. If we all stick to high standards, blatant link builders and spammers will leave the place!
At Everything PR there is a general consensus that My Blog Guest is a promising PR resource. What do you think?