I’ve been a big advocate of guest blogging over the years; currently ranking no.1 for the phrase in Google and using it to build my personal development blog to over 6,000 subscribers. Many people who come across the idea of writing guest posts and the benefits they offer automatically think it’s the best use of your marketing time.
Well, it’s not. If I write a guest post for someone, I might receive 100 visitors to my blog and receive about 15 subscribers. Yet, if someone links to me naturally, interviews me, or mentions one of my posts they happen to like, the visitor to subscriber ratio is way higher. In other words, I would rather be mentioned on a popular blog than write for it.
Once you see the effectiveness of mentions on other websites, you inhibit a drive which makes you want to work on getting more of them. After all, it makes sense that you would rather trust the recommendation of a friend (or website) directly, rather than have someone speaking on their behalf (a guest post).
The major benefit of guest blogging over trying to get mentioned on other blogs is that generally, your time spent guest blogging is a lot more likely to result in a link. If you put the work in on a good article, then it’s likely to go live on the intended targets’ blog. You can’t be sure, however, that your engagement with other bloggers will result in them linking back to your website. Getting links from other bloggers, in my vast experience, is the easiest and most effective way to increase the number of people subscribing to your blog.
For this reason, I’ll still focus on writing a few guest posts per month, and doing the “work” necessary to help me get mentioned on other websites. Before I go into my recommendations, please note that not all of them are necessary. Just utilising one of these tactics may get you the result you’re looking for. However, it’s good to know all of the options available to help you get the best results.
There are a lot of people who come to ViperChill, leave comments, and interact with me on a personal level. I would love to promote a few of them to help them grow but in all honesty (without trying to sound nasty) the content they produce just isn’t that great. The main reason for this is that it isn’t unique.
If I recommend a site that people don’t get value from, you guys will start to lose trust in the links I share. That’s why I so frequently link to people like Tamar, Karol and Pat, because they write excellent content and it’s relevant to this audience.
No matter how engaged and friendly you are with another blogger, they’re going to struggle to link to you if your content isn’t relevant, and it isn’t amazing. It’s pretty much a waste of time trying to get a cooking blog to link to your marketing website, and also a waste of time trying to get them to link to your guide on how to make toast, even if you do run a cooking site.
Make sure you take care of this most important step first and foremost, and you’ll have a much greater chance of getting links from big blogs.
When I was 16, I received an email from Google Engineer Matt Cutts. Matt created what you may know as Google’s “safesearch filter” and is the head of their web-spam department. His blog actually has over 70,000 subscribers. In the email, he asked if I did any “shady or black hat tactics” because he wanted to link to me, but didn’t want to look bad for doing so.
If my blog at the time had any sort of audience interaction or readership, Matt wouldn’t have needed to ask. Because my blog was so quiet, which I had in common with many of the bloggers who interact with me, he wasn’t totally comfortable with just linking to me, but instead wanted to speak to me first.
Just because I like a post of yours and may want to link to it, like other bloggers I’ll have doubts whether this was a fluke post of yours, and whether people would be disappointed with your other posts if I was to send them your way. Sadly, we rarely have that much time to look around to determine a “trustworthy” site, so building an audience first is your best chance to do so.
With so many blogs in the Make Money Online space, it’s only the ones with a fairly large audience that tend to catch my attention. Grow your readership and show potential linkers that you can build and sustain an audience, and they’re far more likely to send readers your way.
Finally, this also works well because many people will link to you in the hope that you’ll link back one day. They’ll only care about this if you have a decent-sized readership.
This isn’t so much a rule myself or other bloggers have, but more of a feeling. If I don’t know anything about you (even just basic details such as your name or gender) it just feels weird to link to you. First of all, I don’t know what to call you when I do so — site names just aren’t personal.
Secondly, I don’t know how to structure my sentence because I usually want to say he or she. Thirdly, I tend to wonder what people have to hide if they don’t want to reveal information about themselves online. I totally get anonymity, since I had a pseudo-name online until I was 18, but some small details like your first name and a picture won’t hurt you.
I’ve also noticed that out of all the people I link to regularly, I know something specific about their life, or their character (usually through Twitter interactions). I know bloggers who I don’t even interact with that are performers in the circus, trying to visit every country in the world, or able to speak six languages.
If you can let me know through your blog or our interactions something unique and quirky about you, I’m far more likely to remember who you are. Though it may not be great for my brand, people often refer to me as the “young blogger” or “marketing wizz kid”. Neither are things that I’m going for, but it’s clear that people pick this up from my work online, and it’s something they remember me by.
What can I remember you by?
If I can remember something, I’m more likely to link to you when it’s relevant to what I’m writing.
As with many things in life, you have to give to receive. Smaller bloggers can quickly work their way up my radar by mentioning me frequently. Similarly, people with a lot of Twitter followers who tweet my links can quickly make me a fan.
The simple reason is that if someone is giving me 100 subscribers from a blog post link or helping me get an extra 50 retweets, I want more of it. Who wouldn’t?
The way I am most likely to help that cycle to continue is to link back to that person, or retweet the other bloggers posts as well. This isn’t some verbal exchange where we both agree we’ll do something for each other, but more a natural reciprocation which has an underlying conversation whereby we both know we’re supporting each other.
That being said, there are many people who link to me where, right now, I just can’t consider linking back to them. The simple reason is that they have nothing on their blogs I want to share with the world. They fail with point one of this post. Unless you have great content I can share as well, then this simply isn’t going to work much in your favour.
Two people that have linked to me recently where I do recommend their content would be the blogs of Michael and Kristi. They link to me, they write great content, so I’m linking back. Apart from a couple of tweets, I have had no other interactions with either of them.
Giving doesn’t just have to be tweeting and linking of course. You could:
I once wrote a personal, hand-written letter to one of my favourite bloggers who linked to me after they received it. I’m not suggesting you get your pen and paper out, but instead to realise the number of ways you can give in order to receive.
In all honesty, this is one of least effective ways to get my attention, but I know it works well on other bloggers, especially ones who are overloaded by their other communication channels. If 200 people are retweeting and linking to your per day, it’s almost impossible to notice the people who stand out. However, the odd request by email from someone who has interacted with you before may be enough to get them to share that link juice.
There are just a few things you need to know when asking for links, but they’re very important. The first is that you should get to the point quickly. I laugh when people tell me how amazing my blog is in a few paragraphs and then at the bottom of the email clearly have something to ask from me. It almost feels as if they should have said the nice stuff in a comment, and then asked me for a link and nothing else in the email.
Tamar’s excellent post confirmed that influencers just want you to get to the point.
The second thing to remember is that you must tell the blogger why they should care; without specifically telling them why they should care. For example, if you mention the comments you’ve been leaving on recent blog posts (which you really have) or the relevance of your post to one that the blogger wrote recently, you’re giving them a reason to care. You’re showing you’re not just spamming inboxes in the hope of getting a backlink.
To boil it down for you:
The last point is there simply because bloggers can’t always get in touch with you when you want them to or edit upcoming posts with links to your site. However, they may be able to link to you in the future. If you act bitchy because they couldn’t this time, then you may ruin your opportunity for getting a link in the future.
Getting links from other blogs (without writing guest posts) is always the highest visitor to subscriber ratio traffic I receive. Don’t miss this out on this tactic, and the great opportunity available to grow the size of your audience.