Raven’s Top 11 Guest Posts of 2012 (and Why They Rocked)

Ryan Gosling Pinterest

One of the best parts of my job is editing and managing the Raven blog.

And the best part of that job is working with the many smart and talented members of the Raven community who write amazing guest posts for us.

As 2012 comes to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on top 11 most popular* guest posts of the year. We’ll make a guess as to why they were popular, and then give you a little behind-the-scenes scoop on each.

No. 1: Community: The best local SEO strategy you’re not using

Author: Jeremy Rivera

Why you loved it: Because these are easy-to-implement, common-sense tips that remove SEO from its snake-oil salesman reputation and put it right where it should be: at the heart of great marketing through community.

Behind the scenes: Why top 11 posts, you ask? Well, because we went and hired Jeremy soon after this post, so it only sort of counts as a guest post. If you’re gunning for job in marketing, an awesome blog post isn’t a bad way into an employer’s heart – and office.

No. 2: Turn up your marketing volume with Spotify

concert marketing with Spotify
Author: Trevin Shirey

Why you loved it: This post is proof that content marketing doesn’t have to come in the form of blog posts – or even words at all. It got the wheels spinning for many marketers about a potential new channel.

Behind the scenes: A really new, original idea can be tough to come up with – and even tougher to give away to another blog. But Trevin brought this amazing idea to Raven fully formed in a great example of outreach. Here’s how he described it:

“I am currently writing a post on creative ways that Internet marketers can use Spotify. I think the music service offers great opportunities for content marketing (building content around playlists), outreach (using Spotify for contests) and social media (creating a community through music sharing). In my post, I give a list of specific examples for each category as well as an extra pro tip. There are tons of juicy ideas.”

Who could resist a fully thought-through idea, backed up with plenty of specifics, that also promises “juicy ideas”? Not this editor.

No. 3: 11 social media tips to go from zero to hero

Author: Monique Pouget

Why you loved it: This post has it all: An attainable mission (get started with a new social media campaign the right way), great visual and video resources, a ton of specific examples – and an Anchorman reference. Monique wins the Internet.

Behind the scenes: One thing that really stood out about Monique’s post is that she seemed to go out of her way to find Raven resources to link to within the post. What a refreshing change from guest blogs stacked with self-serving links. This tactic will never go unnoticed.

No. 4: It’s not you, it’s me: A letter to SEO clients everywhere

it's not you it's me cat
Author: Monica Wright

Why you loved it: Who can’t relate to an “agency hangover”? Despite her headache, these tips to clients are thoughtful, comprehensive, and broad enough that they apply to almost any client.

Behind the scenes:  Only Monica Wright could make a Seinfeld clip totally relevant to the SEO client experience.

No. 5: 10 tools for exceptional SEO customer service

Author: Claye Stokes

Why you loved it: These aren’t the same tired old tools you already know about – you’ll find something new in this post.

Behind the scenes: When Claye and I began our conversation about guest blogging, he said the magic phrase in an email to me: “I want to choose a topic that will resonate with your audience.” Sure enough, he proposed two pitch-perfect posts for Raven’s audience.

No. 6: Optimizing Facebook Timeline for parent and local fan pages

Author: Yola Blake

Why you loved it: This post solves a common problem….

Behind the scenes: …and hit just as “Timeline panic” was gripping brands everywhere.

No. 7: 6 techniques to improve your SEO social indicators

Author: Matt Jackson

Why you loved it: Yes, social is affecting SEO – but what can we do about it? This post offers six practical strategies.

Behind the scenes: Matt wooed us by telling us our site “has an impressive Domain Authority.” Why, thank you!

No. 8: 8 1/2 types of content that go viral on Pinterest

Ryan Gosling Pinterest
Author: Nicki M. Porter

Why you loved it: Possibly the Gosling? Just kidding; Pinterest was all the rage this year, and this breakdown helps brands pin smarter with great, specific examples.

Behind the scenes: “How to Go Viral on Pinterest” was this post’s original title. We pulled the headline up from a subhead and added the .5 for a dash of intrigue.

No. 9: Could algorithms replace writers?

Author: Michelle Lowery

Why you loved it: Sci-fi overtones aside, algorithms are fascinating, and this idea is freakin’ scary to writers.

Behind the scenes: What I like best about Michelle’s post is that it’s truly reported, newspaper-style, so she builds a great foundation of knowledge for readers before finally sharing her opinion.

No. 10: 10 tools to help you blog better

Author: Ginny Soskey

Why you loved it: Everyone loves a tools list, and this one offers some unexpected gems. You might find a new go-to tool here.

Behind the scenes: Ginny was one of only a handful of bloggers this year to add specific campaign variables (UTM parameters) to the links back to Shareholic from her post. Want to know the ROI of guest posting? Start here.

No. 11: SEO education: How to answer clients’ frequently asked questions

Author: Amy Kenigsberg

Why you loved it: Most SEOs can relate to how tough it can be to explain what we do in plain English. This post did a great job at bridging the gap between technical issues and real talk.

Behind the scenes: Due to a miscommunication, Amy had to go back to the drawing board completely for this post. When most bloggers would have thrown in the towel, she persevered and produced one of the most popular posts of the year.

So there you have it – our top guest posts of the year. If you missed them the first time around, give them a read – you won’t be disappointed.

P.S. Since we switched comment systems from Facebook to Disqus this year, some of these great posts no longer have the comment love they deserve. Feel free to add your voice!

Bonus post: 7 steps to better client collaboration with Raven’s CRM

James Agate’s post narrowly missed the top posts cutoff, but his creation of a specific landing page for readers arriving from his guest post is so stellar I had to share it. You can read more about this tactic in his post here.


Think you can hang with these writers? Come guest post with Raven in 2013. Email me at courtney@raventools.com.

*Wondering how we defined “most popular?” These posts got the most unique views according to Google Analytics from Jan. 1-Dec. 18 of 2012.

Courtney Seiter

Listener, storyteller and petter of all animals. Content crafting at Buffer; sharing stuff about social media, workplace culture, diversity and music.

Listener, storyteller and petter of all animals. Content crafting at Buffer; sharing stuff about social media, workplace culture, diversity and music.

  • Ann Smarty

    Great listing and snippets of posts this year. And, what a great idea to post a list of the best of 2012.

    • RavenCourtney

      Thanks, Ann! I’m happy to have worked with so many great writers in 2012.