It wasn’t too long ago, (a year or so) that nearly everyone working in the field of search engine optimization (SEO) would suggest using “high quality” guest blogging as part of a link building strategy. Well, in January of this year, Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam at Google, put a dagger in the heart of guest bloggers, calling it, “the decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.

In March, Google took action against several guest blogging sites in the form of a manual penalty. In June at SMX Advanced, Cutts said again, “some people still don’t get it [that guest blogging is dead] and we [Google] are willing to take action against that.” So if you didn’t see the clear writing on the wall back in January, and missed the huge penalties in March, listen to us now: Stop guest blogging. You could put your site(s) at risk of receiving a manual from Google. So what do you do instead? Here are some great ideas:

1. Write awesome content for your own blog

Why would you spend blood, sweat and tears writing content for someone else’s blog, just for one little link back? Seems kinda silly now that we look back on it. Spend that time writing some booty kicking content for your own site! Once you post it, don’t just let it sit there. Share your post on social media and get creative. If you have an awesome image in the post, try pinning it on Pinterest, while also repining similar content. You might get some repins for your own post.

2. Create videos

Before you start thinking that video creation is going to cost you some serious coin, check our post here (hint: you can get started for a few hundred bucks.) If you feel the content on your blog has been a bit stale, try mixing in some video to engage your audience with a different medium. Don’t forget that YouTube is the second biggest search engine, so if you aren’t sharing your videos there, you could missing out!

Some quick tips: make the videos short and sweet, around 2-4 minutes with some actionable take-aways. Have a good outline of what you’re going to say beforehand so you can limit it to one take.

3. Contribute to sites in your niche

Since you’re an expert in your niche, you should become a staple member of a few online communities. These could be a local online forums, monthly meet ups or even one of the many niche forums (which are called subreddits) on Reddit. Don’t just drop your most recent videos or blog posts in the community and leave; become an actual member. Leave valuable comments, help members with their questions, and contribute overtime. Once you get a feel of how it works, start submitting your own content. When you do post, it should function similarly to your expert level blog posts and videos.

4. Give Google+ the old college try

By now you have a pretty good handle on Facebook and Twitter, but have you branched out to Google+ yet? If not, now might be a good time to dive in headfirst and join some of the awesome communities in Google+. We wrote a handy guide to help you get started. Try circling up with some thought leaders in your industry and interacting with them. Share some great content and start building relationships. Want to take it a step further? Use that new video equipment from above and host some Google Hangouts to answer some questions about your topic of choice. Google+ Hangouts are a great way to be an authority in your industry or niche.

There you have it, 4 useful ways to spend your time now that you’ve stopped guest blogging. If you have any other great ideas, please share in the comments.

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