If you’re on the fence about whether or not you need a guest posting strategy in 2014 (or want to remove your current strategy), you’re not alone. Many successful small businesses spend January adding and removing different online marketing methods, and guest posting is surely something on the list. Hiring a third-party agency or in-house writers can be expensive, and the Google changes we saw in 2013 really shook things up. According to an article published on Search Engine Land, the changes we saw last year changed SEO forever.

The speculation over guest posting is fairly minimal, but every once and a while you hear something about the death of guest posting or Matt Cutts’ dislike for the whole process. Consider some of the pros and cons before making your decision.

Guest Blogging in the New Year: Is It Still Helpful?

The Pros:

  • SEO Benefits. The more relevant, quality links you build, the better your website will rank on a Google search results page. There are quite a few other factors that play into rankings (hundreds, in fact), but guest blogging is a good way to make link building happen for your company.
  • Quality Content. Although the quality content is going on another website, you’re still establishing yourself as an expert in your field. You’re gaining visibility and getting your content in front of a new, but relevant, eyes, which is a great way to bring more traffic to your website.
  • Build Relationships. Part of guest blogging is building relationships with editors across the web. This is an excellent way to find new opportunities and stay involved in the community (not to mention the relationships you might gain with readers).

The Cons:

  • Unoriginal Content. When you offer guest content on a large scale, you might realize that it starts to seem repetitive or bland. The best way to earn all of the benefits of guest blogging is by coming up with unique content, so if you’re finding that the content you’re producing seems unoriginal it might not seem worth it.
  • Keywords Less Important. Head of Google Webspam Matt Cutts has made it clear in a few videos that link building and keywords are going to be less important in the coming years, and guest blogging is best done in moderation.

What the Pros and Cons in 2014 Mean to You

Most of the pros you see above have been pros of guest blogging for years. The cons are slightly different. Whether or not you have original content is up to your company, and this could change your guest blogging strategy. As for some of the things we saw from Google in 2013, it seems that these changes will only add more to your plate, not get rid of anything regarding guest blogging.

The Verdict: Guest blogging can still benefit your company greatly and help you gain visibility online. It’s true that I do quite a bit of guest posting myself, but through the eyes of both a writer and an editor, guest blogging is as successful and alive in 2014 as ever. If you want to cut down on the amount of guest blogging you do that might be a good idea, but only if you find that you were publishing too much content on poor sites or link directories. Cut this out and definitely fine-tune your approach, but don’t get rid of it completely.

What are your thoughts on guest blogging in 2014? Do you think this method is going to be just as successful as before, or are you cutting this area of your online marketing department because it has been getting poorer results? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO firm HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.