Last Update August 11th, 2014 I try not to sound too egotistical when I say this, but over the past 12 months I have certainly been one of the ‘faces of guest posting,’ simply because I have had a lot of public success with the tactic. I’ve been interviewed about marketing using guest posts over 10 times, I’m mentioned on the homepage of a guest posting community and I’ve written far more of them than I care to remember.
Because of this, I feel I’m probably one of the best people to cover this subject with a long in-depth article. If you’re wondering what guest posting is or why you should even care about it then you’ve been missing out. You’ve seriously been unaware about one of the best marketing tactics available today. Thankfully, if you’re reading this article then you may have time to utilise this strategy before it is too late.
If you’re wondering about the “what’s?” or “why’s?” of guest blogging then they’re going to be covered here. To begin with, let’s explain what guest blogging actually is. In it’s simplest form, guest blogging is the exchange of content from one blogger to another, for a site which the author does not own.
In essence, someone (you, perhaps?) writes content for another website and this act makes you a ‘guest blogger.’ If you’re wondering what you get in return with more specifics than the typical “exposure” response then let me give you a run-down:
Guest blogging is a great situation for all parties involved. Blog owners win because they get excellent, free content for their site and bloggers win because they get more links and more subscribers on their blog.
If you’re going to guest blog on other websites in your niche to enjoy some of the benefits that guest blogging has to offer, then you need to actually find websites to write for. After guest posting consistently for over a year, I now have quite a few tactics for helping with this process.
There are other more complex ways to find people to write for in your niche then this should be more than enough. If you think that every article for someone else can take you up to 2 hours to research, write and edit then even just 10 guest blogging opportunities is going to put a lot of work on your plate.
Although bloggers who accept guest posts also ‘win’ because they get free content, they still want great content. On that same note, guest blogging has so many benefits because you get to show a new audience the kind of awesome content you’re capable of writing, not to slip in a link and hope to get hundreds of subscribers.
The basics of all good blogging applies to guest blogging so because they’re so important, I thought I would jot down a few of them here:
If you write good content for other sites, you’ll have your posts approved and you’ll receive the benefits that guest posting has to offer. If, however, you put in minimal effort and product sub-par content, then you will have done nothing but waste your time. Even if your post gets published, nobody will take the time to check our your website and they certainly won’t subscribe for future updates.
The process that you go through with guest blogging very much depends on the website you are writing for. For example, in almost all cases, bloggers will say that they want to see your article idea before you get to work. However, these same bloggers will say that if you want an interview with them, send questions with the request so if the answer is “Yes, I’ll do it” then things get done.
Based on this, I decided to send a number of guest posts without saying anything. I simply sent my content and said ‘I really hope you enjoy it’. Now, these were people that clearly accepted guest posts, but they were also people who said they wanted to know the idea before the article is written. This is usually just a measure so that the blogger doesn’t waste his time, but when I was writing these things so frequently, the only time being wasted with the process was mine.
I don’t recommend you going ahead and relying on this, but it goes to show that people like to do business without much fuss. If you know your work is up to standard, you just might get away with this like I did. Otherwise, the process typically goes like this:
As far as publishing time goes, I’ve had one blogger who published my post the next day and one who took almost four months for an article to go live. A handy rule to remember is that generally, the bigger the blog (in terms of subscribers), the longer the wait.
I’m certainly not the only guest blogger in the world so there are lots of examples out there of it’s benefits. Some of the most prominent guest-bloggers (and people I count as friends) include Ali, Jade, Mary and Dirk. This means that I can give examples about each of the points mentioned earlier and show how things work out.
As you know by now, guest posts give links to the authors website. These links in-turn send traffic which could then become subscribers to this persons blog. The links don’t just send direct traffic but they also help with search engine traffic. If you want more traffic from the likes of Google, Yahoo and Bing, you need more links.
The image above shows a Yahoo backlink count of links to PluginID. The tool seems to be a bit ‘off’ lately as PluginID has around 15,000 backlinks but this screenshot should show proof that guest posting can get you a lot of links. Also highlighted in the image is an article that I did for ZenHabits.
As I am working a little on getting the name of ViperChill out there, I have already written a few posts to both help people and build this audience. Notice how I don’t think of guest posting as just getting something in return, but also doing a good service to the readers of the blog I write for. Because of this promotion, I recently posted an article on Problogger about the lessons I’ve learned from blogging over the last 12 months.
The article ended up getting me almost 700 highly targeted visitors from the site which I believe resulted in around 200 feed subscribers through watching my stats closely around this time. This clearly shows more proof about the benefits of guest blogging and what 1-2 hours work can do for you.
Traffic and links are great, but they’re only second compared to the potential of getting new devoted blog readers. Devoted readers talk about you, they share your content, and they buy your products. If you want to make a living blogging, then you must realise your subscribers (the real people behind your site) matter a lot.
My guest post for Problogger went live on November 15th when I had 2,646 subscribers. On November 17th the site had 2,848 subscribers. That is an increase of 202 subscribers in just two days.
Guest Blogging Email
Instead of just showing you the benefits of guest blogging, I also thought it would be useful if I provided a sample email of what I send to bloggers after I’ve written an article for them. Note that I send all of my posts in text (.txt) files because I send bloggers the HTML code of my post, and not just the text version. This allows us to keep links intact and make the post far easier to edit.
If you can’t read all of that text clearly then don’t worry too much about the specifics. Instead, the two most important tips I can give you when sending emails like this are simply: be friendly and to get to the point. Bloggers are busy and they don’t want you rambling about your life story but neither do they want you to be robotic, so be personal in there. As long as your content is good, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this email.
Everything I have told you so far has hopefully given you a clear understanding of what guest blogging is, how to get blogging opportunities and how much potential this ‘method’ has. Before I leave you all to start getting in touch with bloggers in your niche, I want to share some tips from getting the most out of guest blogging.
A lot of these are common sense suggestions, but I do see them being ignored on a daily basis. If you can write great content and stick to these tips to maximise your rewards, then you’re going to have a lot of success with guest blogging.
If you can’t tell, I have put hours upon hours into this article. My aim with ViperChill is to write more in-depth and value giving articles than anyone else in the industry so I try to deliver that goal on a weekly basis. If you do enjoy this article, I please ask that you share it on Twitter (link below or top left), Facebook, Delicious or even just email it to a friend.
Your support is appreciated!