May 13


Should You Guest Post if they Don’t Give You a Link

By Jason Khoo

May 13, 2020


Hi guys. And welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation is, should you guest post on a site if they're not going to give you a link? This is a really important conversation because guest posting and link-building often has a little bit of a controversial conversation around it. I think a lot of people can take it the wrong way. So I kind of want to jump on into that. But of course, this is Zupo SEO Talk & Tea, we have our green tea today, which is a common player in this serious. It is a green tea that had a little bit of more oomph as a green tea. A little bit more dynamic flavor. I'd say green tea generally has a very calming mellow flavor. This one has a little bit of more flavor to it. But anyways, let's go ahead and jump on in.

So when it comes to guest posting, I like to call it contributorship. I don't like calling it guest posting. I think guest posting has been used as a term that can be seen as negative SEO or block SEO now. So I don't really like using that term. I like to call it contributorships. Regardless of what we're going to call it, the point is to build exposure and drive more links referring domains to your website.

Now there's two variations and let's start with the first one. What happens if a site will not link back to you? Not even in the author bio, they're just not going to link to you. If that's the case, I would say it will depend on where you're at with your SEO. If you are first starting out and you have zero exposure, you're not getting that much referring domains. You don't really have the option of kind of negotiating that link.

And the hard part about guest posting and contributorship is that it's really dependent on where else you've contributed. In my experience, working with clients, the more that they've been published in other publications, the easier they've had to go get accepted in other places. Now, of course, what the publication is really depends on it.

So I've had a client who has been published in HubSpot Forbes, entrepreneur, WordStream, social media examiner. They have a very easy time getting accepted anywhere. So for a client like that, I would say we do not post for a site if we don't get a link back because it's not worth the time and resources. We have to develop the content, edit it, send it to them, coordinate. It's too much to not get a link.

If you're a client who has maybe a startup or a business was just starting out their company in SEO and you have zero cache, I'd say, then you probably shouldn't have to do. I definitely have clients who are on the flip side, who don't have a writing portfolio. Who haven't been published anywhere. So for us, I don't love the saying, beggars can't be choosers, but I'm going to use it here. You can't really be too nitpicky. If you get the opportunity to write for someone, even if you don't get a link you need to build your writing portfolio. Because when you go to the other publications that are a little bit more valuable, they'll ask for your writing portfolio and you can show them these other pages. So I would say in that case, you should write for them, even if they're not going to link back to you.

Now, I want to take some time to also comment on what the most valuable places are. The best places to post are the ones that allow for you to write a post, having author link bio. So that's usually in your bio, you have a link to your website, but also allow in body links. So the more common thing I've seen with publications is you are allowed to link in your blog posts to your website as long as it's not your service page, product page homepage or anything that's too salesy. So you can link to your blog posts. So those are the best, because if you can link back to blog posts and content on your own site, in addition to your author bio, that drives more links to your site, but also you can allow you to be more strategic. If you're trying to optimize certain areas of your website, you can drive the link to those blog posts about those concepts, so that you can have more link equity passing through. And you can be a little bit more strategic about where you're trying to get more optimization.

Because when everything funnels to the homepage, it's not always the best optimization. You want links going to different pages so that you can optimize certain sections. Because usually your homepage is optimized for one keyword category and the other pages are different. It's all going to the homepage will all over optimize on the homepage. You do want some on the other keyword are trying to go for it. So in that case, then generally for me, it falls into what is your resource availability and then second, what is your writing portfolio and writing folio takes precedent.

So if you don't have any writing portfolio, and they're not going to give you a link back, do it because you need to build up some writing portfolio. If you have a lot of resources and you can write, even if they're not going to give it that many links or just the one author bio link, it might be worth it. But if your business is limited on how much resources it has to spend on terms of time or money on content, developing, editing, and coordination, and you may want to have showed the more valuable ones.

So what we like to do is we send out lots of pitches, get acceptances, and then we tier and prioritize which ones are the most important. The ones that are really strict, or they don't want to give us things, we'll put them later on the list and we'll get to them if we ever get to them.

That's kind of how we do our digital PR on link building at Zupo. I think it's a great way to not waste resources for our clients. There's a lot of other things that need to take care of, and this stuff does require resources. That's kind of how I delineate between the two.

So hopefully, that will help clear up for you as you begin to do contributorship or guest posts. How you will determine if you're going to post with someone or not. Hopefully, you found that valuable. If you liked the video, please like, and subscribe. I'm going to go ahead and pour out my tea. And then I hope to see you guys again soon. Thanks everybody.

Jason Khoo

About the author

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

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