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Last week, a popular guest blogging network got stung hard when Google slapped them with a penalty. And now, guest bloggers are running for cover. But should they be worried?

We’re big fans of link building around here, and guest blogging isn’t a bad deal either. But if your purpose for guest blogging is to build hundreds of links back to your website, then you’re doing it wrong.

Guest blogging isn’t about the links. It’s about your brand. It’s about putting your brand in front of a potential audience and attracting that audience to your website so that you can build a relationship with them. What matters is how you do that.

So how should you go about guest blogging?

Start with identifying blogs that attract the same type of reader you want to attract. You want a blog with a high percentage of crossover in terms of your audience. The audience for your target blog may be interested in the same types of products and services that you offer.

Read up on that target blog’s content guidelines. Do they accept guest posts? If so, how do they want to receive them?

Follow the guidelines for your target blog to a tee. Don’t concern yourself with anchor text links in your bio or relevant dofollow links. Write high quality content that is valuable to the target blog’s audience. Above all, add value to the site you are guest blogging for.

Instead of linking to your site using anchor text in your bio, link to your site using your brand name or using the URL.

Guest blogging is about adding value, not building links. If you do it well, you’ll get the recognition you deserve.

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