This article explains a few basic facts such as what blogs are, what SEO is, and how it affects your ranking with search engines. Do not think of SEO as a mammoth concept that you need to understand in full. An ice dancer does not need to understand the particle physics involved with ice in order to skate on it, and you do not need to fully understand SEO in order to increase your search engine ranking with guest blogging.
What is blogging? Do I need help with blogging?
Blogging is one of the first social media, before social media became associated with being a one-domain concept. Blogging comes from the days when chat rooms and forums were known as the big social media, and when MySpace way tipped to become what Facebook is today. Back in these days a blog was a chance for the little person to shine. It allowed anybody to put their thoughts online so that the whole world could see them.
Then as the Internet grew in popularity, a blog became less and less associated with quiet nerds, and people such as hairdressers, fashion designers and celebrities were creating them. Then search engines decided that they liked blogs and started listing them on their search engines more prominently. Search engines started paying more attention to the links coming from them, and here we are.
The commonly held blog concept is based on the idea that a person uploads a blog post (chunk of text) on a routine basis. These posts are often put on the same page, but are set up so that they are collapsible. This means that they do not all load at once. You will see an index/list of them, and will be able to click the one that you want to expand.
What is guest blogging? How do I do it?
Guest blogging involves putting your blog post onto another person's blog. You have to approach the blog owner and ask him/her to put your blog post onto their blog. They have the right to say yes or no, and may impose rules and restrictions. It is believed that the person adding the post should also be able to add a link to another website, and that the links should be followed by the search engines (i.e. it does not have a no-follow tag attached).
What is SEO? Why does it matter?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It involves a number of rules and regulations that govern what a person does with their website, and how they link to that website from other websites. It matters because if you follow the guidelines, and do not break the rules, then there is a bigger chance of the search engines placing your website higher on the search engine results pages.
What are links? What are internal and external links?
A link is an instruction from a web page to take you from the web page you are on, to another web page. This usually comes as a clickable link that the user clicks to either load their current browser tab with the new website, or to load a new tab or new window with the web page. Internal links will take you from one web page to another but within the same website (domain). An external link will load a page from another website (domain).
What is so special about incoming-external links (also known as backlinks)
When someone else's website links to your website then that is known as a backlink. The search engines look at backlinks as if they were votes. When a website links to you then the search engines look upon it as the other website voting for your page. And if you have lots of votes then your page must be usable and good enough for a higher search engine ranking.
How does anchor text help?
An anchor text attached to the link will help to tell the search engines what the link is pointing towards. Simply saying "click here" is not good enough because it doesn't explain anything about what the landing page is about.
How does a blog post's content help SEO?
Putting your blog post on another blog means that you can link to your own website (voting for your own site). If your blog post content is related to the page that you link to, then the link will have a more powerful SEO effect.
Isn't blogging just working for free?
Yes it is--you are writing a lot of content and not being paid for it. You can add affiliate adverts, but they will only pay you a pittance per month. If you are blogging then the only benefits you can hope to gain are the ones through creative outlet, and the SEO value that it holds when you link to other websites (such as linking from your blog to other websites).
Isn't guest blogging just working for free?
Yes it is, and worse still, you are working free for other people because they are the ones that get the blog post. On the positive side, it is a free way of getting a link from another domain. And if you pick a blog with a higher PageRank than you then it may help you out more than linking from a bunch of low ranking comment sections. The key is trying to find higher ranking blogs and convincing them to allow you to guest post (oh yes, you have to beg to work for free...what a world).