Guest blogging is the most popular venue for marketing online at the moment, and that’s largely thanks to Google’s upsetting the balance by penalizing popular “dump” article directory sites. It’s easy to see why Google, and online viewers, enjoy blogs more than article directories. Article directories are created solely for search engine traffic, usually picking up on popular to obscure keyword phrases. Guest blogs earn their traffic by appealing to human beings, and readers who have a vested interest in the blog site. A lot of article directory traffic comes and goes without any incline of revisiting.

No wonder everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of guest blogging. The question is, how does it work? The old fashioned way is to contact the blog site owner directly and ask to post a guest blog (or perhaps to follow the posted submission guidelines). Another way to do it would be to add other bloggers to your favorite users, and give them permission to post their blogs on your site—or perhaps even edit your site. Lastly, you can join a guest blogging network and be matched up with someone who has the content or the blog you’re looking for.

You also have to give some time to determine which bloggers you want to exchange content with, and what topics are worth fighting for. When it comes to asking for exchanges, be upfront and be prepared for a yes or no answer. Understand that some guest bloggers may not want to work with you because of your blog theme, or perhaps because of a lack of pay. Sometimes it’s only a matter of scheduling.

Of course, the blog network is a way to surpass this trouble, though you face just as many obstacles when joining a blog network. For instance, how well do you really know the other bloggers on the site where you will exchange contact? If you treat a guest blog network like an article directory, the results could be unpredictable.

On the other hand, it’s best to not “cold call” popular bloggers in this day and age, since all of the top dogs are being hounded by second-level websites hoping to earn publicity. In the end, whether you use a network or go fishing for blogs of relevance, it is best to take the time to get to know these people you are working with. Comment on their blogs, support their business, if you really want to get a solid connection back.

After finding a network of people you like working with, the next step is to invite bloggers to post on your site (and find blogs to support your content), set up a user profile and create access and permissions, and then determine dates and a schedule for publishing. You will also need to abide by, and create your own, guidelines for acceptable publishing.

Guest blogging is the way of the future as it focuses on original, conversational content—the type of online writing people want!