Guest bloggers have often mistaken HOMEiA.com for an average blog site that allows people to guest post anything as long as they pay, but HOMEiA.com is different. In this article, I will discuss three common types of blog sites for guest posting. Then I’ll introduce a fourth way — HOMEiA’s way — and show you how HOMEiA is unique in the way we publish our content. Let’s get started.
First, a little about us: HOMEiA’s team of web designers, developers and internet marketers have been in the digital marketing industry since 2009 (starting with ProWeb365.com). Over the years, we have witnessed and worked through many of Google’s search engine updates. This means we have been around the block enough times to know what a good digital marketing and SEO approach looks like. HOMEiA.com is our flagship site, with a mission to build a great platform for our audience for years to come.
Now let’s get to the main topic. Today, we live in a time of exponential technological growth and change. Google’s search engine is evolving rapidly, turbo boosted by artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and 5G internet (and soon 6G).
The days of gaming Google’s search with gray-hat SEO tactics, like guest posting “low-context” articles on private blog networks (PBN) for backlinks, are gradually fading into history. Guest posting just for the sake of backlinks is becoming obsolete, just like “keyword stuffing” in the past.
Meanwhile, many “link builders” are still over-focused on building backlinks at the expense of content quality. This is a mistake, because Google today is paying much more attention to content quality, from text to graphics to videos. This is especially true with “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) content, which is rated by EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).
Therefore, the approach of over-focusing on just backlinks is an uphill battle — and Google is waiting at the top to roll down a giant ball of manual action, in due time.
With many writers offering similar services in our gig economy, how do you differentiate yourself to increase the chance that potential clients will choose you? In this article, I will provide tips to boost your chances of gaining new clients in today’s competitive environment…
Three Places for Guest Blogging — And One That’s Actually Worth It
Let’s discuss three common types of sites where guest bloggers go to build backlinks. I will give you my perspective from years of experience, ranking these types from worst to best for guest blogging, so you can weigh your options and make the most of your limited budget.
Table of Contents:
1. Private Blog Networks (PBN)
In a private blog network, a group of sites is set up as a network to sell backlinks. These sites typically sell links to anyone who is willing to pay $10 to $45 per guest post.
On these sites, incoming articles are published “as-is,” without editing or review.
This leads to a lot of low-quality content that lacks value or insight and merely rehashes what others have said.
Google, in determining which content is worthwhile for users, sees this type of content negatively. Google also devalues these sites for their abnormal backlink behaviors.
This approach is a ticking time bomb counting down to Google’s next updates. If someone offers you a very cheap price for do-follow backlinks on a list of sites that seem to belong to a PBN, consider your decision very carefully.
2. Blog Sites that are Cashing Out
These sites at one time dominated their niches, but they are no longer reinvesting into their sites to grow the type of core content that got them where they are.
Content marketing is an ongoing journey. If you stop investing in your core content, the competition will overtake you quickly. It is easier to maintain your rankings than to try to win them back after you’ve lost them.
When a site stops publishing great content and only publishes low-context, low-value content, users will notice and gradually move away to better sites. Therefore, if you want to gain exposure on such a site, and not just backlinks, your return on investment is minimal.
From a link-building standpoint, backlinks from sites that are cashing out still have some value in the short-term. I wouldn’t count on them in the long term, though, because Google is getting much better over time at assigning weight for their backlink’s value.
3. Mega Blog Sites (25+ topic categories)
These sites remind me of an infamous site of the past, EzineArticles.com. It used to be one of my favorite sites, but it didn’t pivot fast enough to keep its content publishing policies and quality up with the times, which makes me feel a little sad for it.
Today, although there are a small number of good mega general blog sites that I like, the majority of them do not keep up with their content quality. That’s understandable, because doing so costs quite a bit of money and effort.
But to have a sustainable growth blog site, content quality control is one of the top factors that can’t be ignored, no matter whether the content is produced in-house or created by the users. If the content publishing volume is too large, a smart move is to simplify by reducing the number of low-performing categories to allocate more time and resources to high-performing categories.
At HOMEiA, we produce most of our core category content (City Living Guides) in-house, and we also produce content for a handful of sub-categories. Quality control is always at the center of our content marketing campaign.
For incoming guest blog content, all authors must be proven experts in topics related to real estate. Our internal content editing team reviews and edits every piece carefully to make sure it meets our quality standards prior to publishing.
If you guest blog on mega general sites for backlinks, you should look for sites that not only have strong content quality control but also have good backlinking standards (not linking to gambling or pharmacy sites, for example). At HOMEiA, we only link to highly relevant content that complements each guest post topic.
Finally, it is best to find sites that strictly control the number of guest post backlinks going out each month in order to maintain backlink quality. HOMEiA does!
In this article, I will discuss why I think these factors are becoming more important, and I will introduce a new approach that will help you get the most from your guest blogging for backlinks…
4. Worth It: One-of-a-Kind Sites
Unlike the three types of sites discussed above, one-of-a-kind sites don’t follow the crowd, duplicating the common content categories that everyone else writes about. When it comes to their core content, they pave their own path, producing valuable content in a particular niche.
One example is HOMEiA.com. Our core content is our City Living Guide series, which we deliver in a very attractive way. Let’s use HOMEiA as an example as we further explain the features of one-of-a-kind sites.
- Niche content: HOMEiA.com is a media website for topic experts to share their insights with our growing audience. It’s like Entrepreneur.com, but instead of the business niche, HOMEiA.com is in the City Living Guide niche.
- Attractive presentation: Our internal graphic design team presents each guest post article attractively. Compared to similar sites, HOMEiA.com takes the content presentation standards up a notch. Here are some examples.
- Limited, high-quality guest posts: We only allow a few paid guest blog slots each month. These posts allow topic experts to share their knowledge with our growing audience while gaining exposure for their name or brand as a trusted source.
- Limited, high-quality backlinks: We don’t sell backlinks with our guest posts. We do, however, include a one-year do-follow backlink as a bonus to help boost awareness for the insightful and related content on our contributor’s site.
We review the content on each client’s URL page very carefully before we allow a do-follow backlink. In some cases, where the content on the URL page is unhelpful or too promotional, we say no to the guest post application entirely — no matter how much those parties offer to pay.
A. How to Get the Most from HOMEiA.com
If you want to gain ongoing exposure from HOMEiA.com, you should guest blog with your best content while linking from it to your website’s insightful content. That way people will get familiar with your brand (often mentioned at the bottom of your article) and go on to follow the backlink to the next helpful article on your site.
Better yet, if you are passionate about educating our audience with your content, we will help you establish a strong HOMEiA profile where potential clients can reach out to you directly for your services — and you don’t have to pay us any commission.
Also, once you reach the 10th guest blog article on HOMEiA.com, each of your new articles after that will get a 15-month of do-follow backlink, instead of the normal 12-month. And once your reach the 20th article, it will be an 18-month backlink, provided that the web pages we link to contained content that meet our quality standard.
At HOMEiA, the majority of our site content is produced in-house. However, we invite a small number of incoming guest posts each month just to add some diverse perspectives to our educational content.
Our recent success has further fueled our team’s passion and our determination to make HOMEiA.com even better in 2021. We’re working toward bigger milestones, and to achieve those goals, we are making a few adjustments to our guest post services…
B. What Makes HOMEiA a Good Host Site
Ideally, when guest blogging, you want to choose a site that is user-friendly, has a strong intention to educate or help users and lacks excessive banner ads and unhelpful outward links.
It’s a great thing when users read your guest post and click the link to your target page. But if the host site is too promotional, with flashing ads every few paragraphs, users will find it distracting and exit the site faster than you’d think — without clicking your link.
HOMEiA.com offers a clean, attractive experience that keeps users happy and clicking.
A good host site optimizes related content in and around its articles with the intention to help the audience find more insightful information.
Unfortunately, many blog sites use software to auto-link between articles based on matched key phrases — without giving much thought to whether the linked article is helpful to the audience.
Worse, sometimes these links take users to content that is misleading, which harms the users more than it helps. Again, I think that is why Google pays more attention to the EAT factor of web content nowadays, especially with YMYL content.
Browse through a few articles on HOMEiA.com. You will see how we optimize our content with a strong intention to educate our audience.
We believe our approach strongly correlates to our web traffic increases over the last couple of Google core updates. In December of 2020, our site’s traffic increased more than 230%. And after Google’s recent 2 partial core updates on June 12th and July 12th, 2021 our web traffic increased more than 15%. And so far our web traffic keeps increasing as Google is doing its mini weekly updates in the last couple of months (as of Oct. 20th, 2021).
HOMEiA.com is a platform that empowers real estate professionals with dedicated, professionally designed pages where they can promote themselves for years to come, even if they move to new organizations.
This fact sets HOMEiA.com even further apart from the less effective types of websites mentioned above. We are a platform, not just a blog site.
The Long View:
HOMEiA is on a mission to build a sustainable site that can grow for many years. Unlike average sites, we don’t rely solely on user-generated content and link-selling volume to survive the next Google update. We are committed to forgoing short-term gain when necessary to ensure long-term success. So now you know where our HOMEiA team stands!
People who come to us just for backlinks — without the intention to provide helpful content for our audience — are making a big mistake. Sometimes we receive a generic email offering to guest post many articles in exchange for a bulk discount and plenty of backlinks. This email outreach approach is a red flag at HOMEiA and in the eye of Google as well. We often delete these messages right away, and sometimes even blacklist those senders to save time for our team.
By now, you should see what makes HOMEiA.com different. We are the ideal playground for topic experts and influencers who are passionate about sharing insightful content. With the help of a great graphic design and digital marketing team, we bring their content to the next level. Here are some examples: https://homeia.com/guest-post-examples
In conclusion, we strive to create better and better content over time. We want topic experts and influencers to be stoked to have their content featured on HOMEiA.com, regardless of backlinks. And to achieve that, our team is working hard to evolve our content presentation over time.
If you feel that you have found in HOMEiA a one-of-a-kind site where you want to publish your best content to share with our growing audience, apply here. You will hear from us soon. All the best!
The extra investment of time and effort means the content you share on HOMEiA.com will continue to bring value even as search algorithms evolve…