This is a guest post by Chris Green. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines for more info.
Guest blogging, a hugely “Pandarific” development that has become all the rage within SEO these days. Google’s sustained assault at spam content and lazy article marketing see new SEO techniques born and discarded within a matter of weeks some times, so changeable is the terrain over the last year. The value of links constantly shifting, worthwhile relevant and loved guest blogging content is one of the few link building techniques that are still relatively steady.
If you are a guest blogger for more than one niche you’ll often have to struggle with subjects you have encountered before, which isn’t always easy. Reflecting on my days as a literature student I realized that I’d learned something from the famous 19th century author and all-round celebrity, Oscar Wilde.
Wilde, would probably smile with amusement at the thought that people would be attributing his teachings to subjects he would have absolutely no concept of in his lifetime – either that, or baulk at the idea of optimizing search engines, what ever they are. Whether or not Wilde would know or care the effect his writing would have on future generations, the ripples and waves he created will long continue to spread.
Oscar Wilde Thinking About SEO
So what on earth Oscar Wilde, a 19th century aesthete, has to do with 21st century link-building tactics like guest blogging? Quite simple, lying. Before you make a hasty judgment on what exactly I mean about this and think less of me (and Wilde), please read on.
In his essay written in 1891, The Decay of Lying – An Observation, Wilde writes about his views of “art for the sake of art” and Aestheticism. I won’t go into details, but essentially there is a great deal of concern of the way art at the end of the 19th century seemed to be growing fonder of the “truth” of life and nature, rather than the joy of being art. Bare with me, I am getting to the point here. It is within this concern, or at least the “solution” to this problem do we see the valuable lesson for guest blogging.
The key to the best and purest form of art is lying, the artist is lying because s/he is using their skills to fool or mislead the reader, to trigger an emotional response about something that is not real, or at least not wholly real. To really buy into this view you need to take a step away towards seeing lying in a malicious sense as being removed from the sort of lying used in the creation of art.
I don’t claim that guest blogging is art, in fact the vast proportion of certainly not art, but there is a kernel of truth in Wilde’s essay that can make a better guest blogger of you – every time.
Successful guest blogging is a tricky balance between being able to produce relevant and high quality articles but quickly – a trade between quality and quantity. For those less experienced and covering topics outside their niche this can be a tricky act to pull off, too much research takes too long, but you do need to know something about the subject.
Only the most well traveled and experienced amongst the guest-blogging community will be able to write about only topics within their own personal experience – which, of course, are the easiest articles to produce. So what do you do?
Lie. Well, don’t lie exactly – lying does give the impression that the whole thing will be a complete fabrication. By lie, I (via Wilde) mean that you must embellish, draw on what you do know and use the powerful tool of your imagination in a way to breed something new – far removed from stoic and dry facts and embracing something more fantastical. Writing about a weekend in Barcelona? You don’t necessarily have to have been there (although do go, it’s fantastic) to write an emotive or compelling description about the glorious sights. The internet is awash with the information needed, it’s just your job to add the personal element that makes an engaging guest blog.
But what do you think? Do you have to have experienced the very thing you are writing about to produce a compelling and insightful article? Or is the fact that you can produce something you have no first hand experience with wrong? I personally ensure that all facts in what I write are correct and then leave the rest to my imagination. How do you guest blog?