I’ve long wondered if I should be doing guest posts as part of my linkbuilding activities. While thinking about it, I thought about the success with the tactic Glen Allsopp has had, who writes for ViperChill on the topic of viral marketing. So I pinged him an email and asked him if he’d do a guest post on Hobo about, well, guest blogging.
I’m not egotistical enough to think the majority of the readers here have a clue who I am, so let me share one important factor that you’ll find in everything I write: I only share advice on things that I have a lot of personal experience with. Guest blogging is certainly one of those things.
Though guest blogging has really risen to the scene in 2010, I was utilising it way before everyone started talking about it. In 2009, I wrote more guest posts than any other personal development blogger (and perhaps any blogger at all?) with over 40 under my belt.
These posts drove thousands of visitors to my blog at the time (I sold it at the end of 2009) and helped me grow it to over 6,500 feed subscribers. I’ve covered the topic of guest blogging before – ranking no.1 in Google with my post on it – but there were a few things that I didn’t discuss.
At the time, I had a lot to say on the subject, but it was all based on my own experience so that’s all I could cover. I wasn’t prepared for the literally hundreds of questions I would get about the tactic. Because of that there are still things I have to say on the topic that I haven’t been able to say elsewhere
Today I want to share 4 tips about guest blogging you may not know about, to help you get the most out of your time spent writing articles.
You Don’t Need to Build Relationships
One thing many of my clients come to me about is tips on how they can connect with bloggers in the right way so that they can pitch their guest posts to them. The “secret” I share with them time and time again is this: 9 times out of 10, you don’t need to create any form of connection with the person you’re writing for.
Many blogs are just really looking for quality content so that matters far more than whether or not you’ve been in touch with the website owner before. The reason a lot of blogs accept guest posts in the first place is because they don’t have time to write for themselves, so they most probably don’t have time to engage in new connections either.
Instead of worrying if it’s the right time to pitch your post idea, why not try sending it to the blogger instead. Even if it’s your first interaction. Unless it’s a blog that is difficult to write for (this is very rare) then I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Small Varied Blogs Work Better than Large Ones
The two main benefits of guest blogging are the traffic you receive from the sites you write for and the links you can get which help with search engine rankings. Writing for a large blog versus a small one is obviously going to be better for you in terms of traffic, but it doesn’t always stay that way.
If you keep writing content for the same audience then the amount of new eyeballs you reach diminishes each time. Unless they’ve had a substantial audience growth since the last time you wrote for them. On the other hand, writing for lots of small blogs does take more work, but there’s a better chance you’re reaching a new audience every time.
SEO testing has also showed me, and many other blogs, that getting links from separate sites is far more valuable than repeatedly getting them from the same site, even if it has more authority.
Guest Blogging is Often Better Than Writing for Your Own Site
Besides worrying about how long they should interact with a blogger before pitching a post idea, many people also come to me with the question of how many posts they should write for other blogs. Following that question I usually hear something along the lines of “But I feel like the content should go on my website now that I’ve written it.”
A simple way to test whether guest blogging is a good use of your time is to not do anything. Just keep posting content on your own site and see what happens. Then, let one of your “babies” off into the blogosphere and see the effects that guest blogging can have for you. If the site you wrote for had a decent audience, you’ll soon want to write lots more.
Unless the post is amazing and wouldn’t fit on any other site, then post it on yours. But (and this really just applies to newer blogs) if it’s great and there is other content you can write for your site, it’s probably better to pass it on to another blog. The traffic and exposure you receive is great compared to what you can usually generate for a new site.
Success With Guest Blogging Is About Your Site, Not Theirs
I’ve already said that writing for a large blog is initially far more effective than writing for a smaller one, but there’s still more to it in than that. You could post 20 blog posts on 20 different, large blogs and not get much for your efforts besides a spike in traffic.
Your site must be ready to receive traffic and convert those visitors. If you haven’t posted for weeks or I struggle to find your RSS feed, what use is the relevant traffic that’s coming your way?
Similarly, how many readers do you expect to gain if you write about social science and you’re constantly writing on blogging blogs (I’ve saw this, numerous times)?
Not only that, but to get the SEO value from guest blogging you should be linking to pages on your site that are optimised around the phrase you’re linking with, and vice versa.
If you put these four steps into play, you’ll have much more success with the method.