Adam Veitch

In the grand scheme of things, blogs and the internet in general haven’t been around for too long. At least not anywhere near as long as the ancient Romans. However, there are lessons to be learned from our noble ancestors with regards to constructing a lasting legacy.

More recently, guest blogging has been a technique used at the forefront of digital marketing and SEO activity, and there are a few things we can learn from the Romans for building an excellent guest blogging campaign. Admittedly, a well constructed guest blog will pale in comparison to the significance that a wonder of the world such as the Roman Colosseum will possess; but that doesn’t mean that the job satisfaction and pride you feel when you stand back and marvel at the beauty of your creation should be any less than the feeling our timely cousins felt all those years ago.

The Colosseum’s strength comes from an array of structural, yet elegant, arches. In this guide we dissect a typical Roman archway, draw comparisons and provide tips of how you can set in stone a guest blogging campaign that will leave a lasting impression; just as our 2000BC counterparts did.

The Foundations

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Know why you’re guest blogging.

Before you start your guest blogging outreach you need to ensure you have solid foundations on which to build from: You need to know why you are guest blogging in the first place, what you’re aiming to achieve and how best to achieve it. You should guest blog as part of your SEO strategy for solid link building and for establishing/maintaining reputation within an industry. We believe that for new companies struggling to be heard, guest blogs can be more effective than blogs on their own websites; as they can land on stronger pages and can reach a wider audience.
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The Footers

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The Left Footer – Choose the right targets.

No I’m not talking about left footer’s such as Roberto Carlos or Ryan Giggs; I’m talking about one of the stones which will take the brunt of the weight. Appropriate planning and preparation before you start to build will help ensure that your campaign ticks over like a well oiled machine (or pulley if we’re keeping it Roman). Before you start your guest blogging outreach you need to make sure you choose the right potential outreach targets. Find a site within the relevant industry and ensure it has a strong site, not just a strong blog. As a general rule of thumb, factors such as MozRank to evaluate the strength of the homepage will help. The stronger the site, the stronger your blog post and links will be (at least in theory!).

The Right Footer – Know your audience.

When I say know your audience I don’t mean knowing them by name; you need to know the industry they’re interested in and know what keeps them engaged. Make sure the information you pass over is relevant to the audience who will be receiving it. Also, choose an audience that will take kindly and interact with guest bloggers as some communities don’t like the idea of newbies coming in and disrupting the flow of things.
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The Imposts

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The Left Impost – Keep your own blog tidy.

During any phase of construction, potential clients will look to see credentials and/or references to previous work carried out by the contractor in order to give them an idea of their capabilities. Guest blogging is no different: Ensure that your own blog sections are up-to-date with interesting topics for it’s specific audience. Guest blog partners will look at your blogging techniques, the language you use for your targeted audience and your abilities to change your writing style dependent on your readers.

The Right Impost – Keep targets warm.

Once you’ve laid your supporting stones, you need to ensure the vertical columns remain plumb. Don’t cut corners with this phase of outreach… as – going back to the arch analogy – upon reaching the final stage you’ll come to realise that your columns don’t meet together as well as you had expected them to. You should keep potential link targets warm, either by email or social media – keeping them informed of progress and generally keeping them engaged and interested in your new piece.
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The Springers

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The Left Springer – Build your profile.

The stronger the contractors portfolio, the stronger their reputation within the industry. By outreaching to engaging audiences you’re creating positive notoriety for your business. Guest blogging can be a form of PR and can get your brand talked about. If you’re name or product is regularly appearing in the right places then people will start to mention you and with it create a buzz around your company which is ultimately what you’re aiming to achieve by offering guest blog posts to other websites.

The Right Springer – Don’t forget to link.

As the Greeks, Normans and other Barbaric descendants of time decided to build their own archways, they claimed the spotlight for themselves but ultimately took the idea from the Roman creation. When you submit a guest blog you’re fundamentally allowing the host to claim responsibility for your work in return for a couple of well placed links back to yours or your clients site. A tip here is to link back to pages that just need a little helping hand to propel them onto the first page of the search engines: pages ranking 11th or 12th are ideal for targeting with back links.
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The Voussoirs

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The Left Voussoir – Go one step further.

As with any form of construction, the contractor likes to add the project to their portfolio in order to improve their chances of receiving work in the future. Guest blogs can be lengthy and time consuming to produce and although they are a great tool for building links, it would be great to build on relationships by requesting a few nice words over Twitter promoting the article. Let them help you! This of course requires the right kind of guest blog contact but if your relationship is strong enough you should be able to get something more than just the post.

The Right Voussoir – Measure your success.

Upon completion of the Colosseum, the Romans will have stood back in admiration of their efforts and reaped the fruits of their labour upon opening it up to the public. After your blog has appeared on the hosting site and it has had time to circulate the web, ensure to do a little research to see if the blog has done it’s intended job. Measuring the success of your post will allow you to improve on future blogs. Check to see if there have been any new enquiries, additional links created as a result and take a look to see if there has been increased traffic back to the linked pages.

Now you have both columns of your arch constructed, you just need to connect them together.
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The Keystone

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Quality over quantity!

The keystone is the most important piece of any archway. Without the keystone the construction wouldn’t last the test of time, the columns would crumble and the strength of the archway would be non-existent. In terms of guest blogging, the keystone is a simple piece of knowledge to keep in mind during the whole process: Create good quality pieces!! This is arguably the most important point: do not let the quality of your written communication slide; a wider audience is more inclined to be judgemental so stay on the ball and do a great job! Don’t just save your best work for your own blogs. Continue to push out immaculate content and the blogs will do the jobs you intended them to do… eventually.

So when laying your foundations and constructing your own wonder of the world, keep these helpful tips in mind and be sure to leave a lasting impression on the industry, the web and maybe even history itself.

Join in the conversation to add your own techniques about guest blogging; the more the merrier!

Until next time.

Adam.

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Adam Veitch

Posted By Adam Veitch

Adam is our Project Manager - responsible for day-to-day client communication and seamless project delivery. Follow him on Twitter @adam_t_veitch or on Google+ Adam Veitch