Done right, guest posting can do everything from raise your blog or website cyber-profile to burnish your credentials as a thought leader in your business space.

Done wrong, it can be a massive waste of time and energy.

The idea of posting—by invitation, of course—on another’s business’ blog has been around for a while. As search engines continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, however, keeping up with the algorithms that decide what gets on the results page is critical.

The algorithms evaluate backlinks—more on them in a minute—blog content quality and freshness, and hundreds of other search engine optimization (SEO) factors. Therein lies the trick to creating guest posts that work hard and get the best results.

Here are six tips to writing effective, profitable guest posts.

  1. Create a backlink strategy.

For a guest writer, a strategy for building backlinks—also known as inbound or incoming links—must walk a fine line. Search engines reject the spam version of backlinks: too many that lead from sites that don’t carry much weight in the business space.

It seems counterintuitive, but guest blogging gurus warns that it’s a bad idea to build your SEO backlink strategy with the goal of creating backlinks.

Instead, focus on writing guest blog content that is original and knowledgeable, and not packed with keywords for sites that are respected in their space.

The web crawlers eat that stuff up, and over time your expertise will move you up in the search engine rankings.

  1. What makes a platform authoritative?

Blogs that get millions of unique monthly hits count as authoritative. Guest blogging on one might not be impossible, but it’s likely not probable.

Find websites and blogs in your area of expertise that have active followers. They comment on articles and share them on their social media accounts. That activity creates back links to sites you want to be on, which supports its domain authority, trust, and relevance, which are top factors in SEO ranking.

That’s the sweet spot for guest bloggers—finding a respected business or thought leader in your space with a loyal, active following. Placing high-quality content there with a thoughtful backlink to your online presence will pay off.

  1. What is the value of relevant content?

Relevance—that is, writing for your audience—is the gold standard of guest blogging.

Generally speaking, don’t fall too much in love with the authority and readership numbers of your guest-posting site. They are important, of course. They are critical, though, only if they are relevant to your audience. There is no point in posting relevant, expert content on a site that draws people but not the ones you want.

  1. What’s the best kind of content for a guest post?

Guest bloggers who do it right write content that their audience will view as a resource. It answers their questions, stokes their enthusiasm, and provides workable how-to ideas.

Articles that deliver information that is relevant to the target audience creates subscribers, and some of them will become active on your site. As mentioned previously, active followers share content over social media and their blogs, which creates high-quality backlinks to your site.

  1. Is guest blogging relational or transactional?

Building relationships is critical in marketing, and guest blogging—both for the writer and the host—is an exercise in marketing.

Therefore, a solid backlink strategy should invest in creating relationships not only with the audience but also with the host. That might mean letting some hosts go to consolidate your connections that are generating the most activity. You likely will have to pitch content ideas repeatedly with them, but if they work for the host, they will work for you.

Pro tip: Subscribe to and become an active follower of your prime hosts’ blogs. Liking and commenting on their posts and sharing them across your social platforms keeps you on their scope and the quality of your comments builds trust.

  1. How do you promote your content?

Market it! Once it is posted, send the host a thank-you email to strengthen that relationship. After all, you are your brand, and brands either market or die.

Content marketing is just that. Write a blog and spread it as far and wide as your social accounts will let you. Write as many unique social posts as you can and link them back to the content.

You wrote the content so people would read it, so show them how to find it.

Going beyond the conventional strategies is the only way you can stand apart in the competitive landscape. And adopting these smart tips and tricks can definitely help you take your guest posting strategy to the next level.

Go the extra mile with content.

You may have found the perfect site with high authority and relevance to your niche. And you may have a great idea for a resource article that you would want to publish on the chosen site. But honestly, that is just half the work done because the content you create matters a lot.

It is best to buy guest blog posts from an expert that excels at all these aspects, whether it is about finding the right platform to publish the content, pitch them successfully, or create posts that can drive real traffic to your website.

Essentially, your guest post should be informative and relevant to the reader’s intent and deliver them something of value. Good content gets you more views and has the audience hooked to your website and brand in the long run. If you really want to unlock the potential with guest posting, go the extra mile with content.