Guest Blogging

We write on our own blog to get readers to come and read our words, which is fine, in itself, but are you happy with the amount of traffic you get?  What if I was to tell you that there is another way to get readers to read your words.  A way which is more powerful than you ever thought possible?  The term for this powerful system is called Guest Posting, or Guest Blogging.

Before we dive into this popular subject, just what is guest posting, and how is it good for you?

When you ‘Guest post’, it means you write an article on somebody else’s blog.

It is not easy, and it will feel uncomfortable, however, it’s not impossible.  You can say it’s a necessary evil or an essential discipline.

You might ask…

  • What is the point of guest posting, and
  • is it wise for you to write a good article and send it to one of your competitors?  (This, of course, providing the webmaster of that particular site accepts your article.)

For a webmaster to accept your writing, it has to be brilliant.  It also has to add value to the webmaster’s blog.

And yes, it is wise for you to write content for your competitors, and I’ll explain why.

  • For starters, it is a wonderful way to connect with readers who didn’t even know you existed.
  • And you will also be getting your name out there.
  • Apart from the above, it’s ideal for growing the popularity of your blog, as well as your online influence.

Guest blogging and SEO

SEO and guest blogging

Guest posts can help you grow your website and maximize your traffic from Google.  This, in turn, will help you with leads and sales.

The more guest posts you have out there, the more you can grow your brand.  Eventually, you will become an authority in that field.

There are huge misconceptions about guest posting.

The biggest misconception of them all is that you will only see results after you’ve written hundreds of guest posts, and over a long period of time.

This is totally not true.

At times, just ONE post is enough to give you the boost you badly needed.

A guest post is a very powerful means of increasing your flow of traffic, but this would depend largely on where it has been posted.  Writing one on just any website is not going to get you anywhere.  You need to write an article on a site which bears some authority in order to get the readership you desire.  You need to find a popular website, with real readers to be able to go through your content, and they might even go to your site to see what else you’ve written.

By doing so, you will also see an increase in your ranking…

However, as in everything else, there is a good way to go about writing on somebody else’s blog.

And there is also a bad way of going about it.

If you do it right, your guest post campaign will work, but if you don’t, then it just won’t work…simple.

Why your guest post might not work well for you

The following are the main reasons why you don’t get the expected results.

If your post doesn’t get any feedback, it could be because this is buried deep inside a website.  It could be in a location where nobody tends to go.  A typical example is on the Author’s Bio page.  This particular page is one which will have next to no internal links to it.  It’s a page which is just there, and practically floating unless a visitor decides to have a look at the author’s details.

Ideally, your guest post will be featured in a prominent place on the website.  A great place is on the front page.  Otherwise, your chances of getting a lot of exposure, better ranking, and traffic, have just hit the dirt.

Another important factor to take into consideration is the fact that you’ve written on an authoritative website.  This is more than brilliant for your exposure and trust-building.

Relevance is always the key to guest blogging

Always make sure that the site you ask to write for is relevant to your niche.

It goes without saying, but I thought I’d just mention it on the off chance.

It would be great if you could spread your wings around and find suitable sites for you to write for.  However, there is no need to overdo things.  This means that you don’t need to write countless rubbish articles.  Remember, it’s always better to have quality over quantity.  I would prefer to write a decent guest post once a month than create thirty poorly written ones.

Poorly written articles can, and will, backfire on you

Write your best blog

When you do actually come down to write for another blog, always give it your best shot.  Write it like you’re writing it for your own blog.  That means do your research, find suitable pictures, and write at least a thousand words.

And, for goodness sake, check your grammar and spelling mistakes.

Now that you’ve got an idea of how important guest posting is, the next step is how to find places that accept your guest posts, and ideally, they give you a do-follow link back to your site.

The approach to take consists of two steps:

  • First, build a relationship with the webmaster.
  • Ask to write a guest post for that site.

It’s all about building a healthy relationship

Once you are in a good relationship with the webmaster, you can make direct contact and ask if you can contribute something to the brilliant website.  Perhaps you can even expand on an already written article, including infographics, data, and your view on the subject along the way.  You can write it in a way that that site’s readers will enjoy reading, which is a plus for you.

DO NOT, under any circumstance, email the webmaster before you have achieved a certain level of communication.  One way to start building a healthy relationship is through comments, and not with a pushy ‘in your face’ email.  This will most likely be deleted before it’s read.

Remember that bloggers are busy people, and their receiving standard emails just from anybody is not an approach which will work out for you.  Many times, these emails are thrashed without the webmasters even bothering to open them.

While shopping around, take a proper a look at a site you think you can guest post for, and see if there are different authors writing for it.  This is a good indication that your request will stand a better chance of being accepted.  Make a note of the voice, how the article is written, laid out, and also to how much detail the blogger goes into.  However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t also approach other websites who have no obvious signs of accepting others to write on their site.

You could be pleasantly surprised.

Be polite when contacting webmasters to write on their blog

Polite originals when guest blogging

One of the best actions to take is to ‘introduce’ yourself to other website owners in your industry, and to become actively involved with them by commenting on their blogs.  You need to build proper relationships with these website owners, and in due time, you can approach them for a guest post opportunity.

When I say ‘commenting’, I don’t mean ‘Hi, I think this post is great!’ …end of story.

I mean you should take your time, actually read the post and understand it.  You should offer real feedback, as well as your honest views and opinions.

In other words, you need to contribute something worth its while to their website.

The way you write, the way you express yourself is sensed by whoever is reading your comments, and that includes the webmaster, who will get a feel if you are genuine, or not.

What happens when a guest blogger is turned down?

In the eventuality that you REALLY, REALLY want to write for a particular blog, but you were left standing, you can time-out for a while, and then approach the webmaster once more with a different piece of content.  Don’t be a pain in the backside, but show your immense interest in this particular blog, and mention how much you’d love to write for the website.  If the webmaster is human, and your writing is actually good, you might eventually be accepted.

Don’t become discouraged and give up immediately.

Many bloggers shy off approaching other bloggers to guest post on their site.  I do understand that rejection does hurt, especially if you are super sensitive, but having said that, you will never know until you try.  From a practical point of view, don’t expect each and every webmaster you approach to readily accept your request to guest post, but that’s how it goes.

The worst that can happen is that they say “No”, but never be discouraged as there are millions of blog sites out there, all ready to be explored.

Blogging is all about using the right words, at the right time

If you are a good writer, your talent might seduce your prospect into accepting a piece from you, which would be great.  The more quality content you manage to write, which is, of course, relevant to the site, the better your chances are of being accepted.  Be extra careful when you write for others, giving special attention to grammar, typos, voice, layout, as well as following the general drift of the style of the webmaster’s writing, or those of other contributor bloggers on the site.  The more of a masterpiece your proposed article is, the more you’ll raise eyebrows, and generate interest in your writing.

Remember that the internet is made up of words, and of people who want to read your writing.  There is a great demand for good writers, so if you think your writing needs a little boost, there are sites that can help you out with that.

Suitable sites to attempt to guest post for

Another way you can try your guest posting approach is to go for places like Medium, Copyblogger, and Lifehacker, just to name a few.

These websites are ideal to write an article for as they have millions of monthly viewers, making them ideal to reach out to people, and with any luck, manage to get traffic to flow back to your site.

You’d need to sign up for a free account, but it only takes a few minutes.  With the advantages gained by joining, your few minutes will be worth their weight in gold, and traffic.

There are many other places where you can contribute to.

Below are TEN popular websites where you can guest post to your heart’s content:

The list is not compiled in any particular order of importance, or authority.

Fast Company

You can take a look at the contribute section to see if it is what you’d like to write about.

Entrepreneur

These are their contributor guidelines.

Forbes

Business Insider

Social Media Today

To become a contributor to this website, you need to learn how to become a contributor.

PR Daily

You can submit to PR daily on their submission page.

Mashable

You can contribute to Mashable by following this link.

Business2Community

For their contributor guidelines, take a look here.

Inc.com

Huffington Post

Search Engine approach to find Guest Post websites

If you are not happy with the above sites, or you feel that they might be somewhat over your head since you’re just starting out, you can use Google to search for other sites accepting guest posts.

You can use search queries to this effect:

Your Keyword “guest post”,

“guest posting opportunities”,

“contributing article writer”,

“submit a blog post”,

“contribute to our blog”,

“guest column writer”
“submit your content”

“guest post guidelines”

“submit your article”

“contributor’s guidelines”

“contributing writers”

“guest blogging”

“guest posts writer wanted”

“accepting your guest posts”

“articles and posts wanted”

“guest post writer”

“submit your guest post”

“submit an article or post”

There are more varieties to the above queries, but you can easily use your creative juices to come up with many more once you set your mind to it.

Allow Guest Posting on your site

guest-writers-wanted for guest blogging

Something that you should also think about is to allow other bloggers to write articles for your site.  This has the added advantage of giving your blog fresh content, and it also increases the possibility of more traffic since people tend to follow a good blogger wherever he or she might be writing

A very important point to keep in mind when inviting bloggers to write on your own blog, is to make sure your site worth writing for.  Your site has to look inviting, it has to be presentable, easy to navigate around its pages and posts, and it should have some decent images all related to your niche.  It really doesn’t need to be a premium theme as there are many free ones you can use which will still make your site look fantastic.

It is also brilliant if you can have a picture of your face on it, that way, people can relate to the person who owns the blog.  Many would-be guest bloggers will easily keep away from offering their writing services to a site with no apparent human being behind it.

In other words, your site has to make an impression on your potential guest bloggers.

What does it take to have a guest post published on a high traffic blog?

This can be split into different points which are all necessary for your success.

Read through the website’s guest posting guidelines.  (If these are not evident, you can contact the webmaster for the link)

Follow them to the letter.  (If the length of the article is specified to be a thousand words, DO NOT WRITE two thousand words)

Get familiar with the blog, its style, its voice, and the layout.  (Get to grips with and how other guest writers put their words together)

Become familiar with the owner of the blog.  (Through writing good comments)

Contact the webmaster directly through a polite email.  (Don’t be a pain)

Be relevant.  (Do not write an article about a topic which the blog doesn’t cover.  Discuss with the blogger the nature of your article)

Write your best post ever.  (This is your ticket to being accepted, so watch out for silly mistakes which will cost you dearly)

Thank the blogger for accepting your post, and share it around.  (This can be done on Social Media channels, where you send people to the blogger’s website.  You can even write a few lines on your own blog, and send people to the blog to read the whole of your article)

Respond to your readers.  (When somebody comments on a guest post you’ve written, respond accordingly, as this also makes the blogger look good.  The people reading your guest post are in fact the blogger’s usual readers in the first place, so be nice to them and acknowledge their comments)

But what if the blogger doesn’t respond to your request to write a guest post?

If you don’t hear from the blogger, follow up after a week or so, and the week after that.  (Don’t become a pest and email the website daily.  This will make you look bad, and you will end up being rejected, or blacklisted, which is worse)

Find a new blog to offer your article to.  (If the original blogger doesn’t come back to you after several attempts, politely let him know that you’ll be taking your work somewhere else.  You need to move on, however, there are cases where the blogger does come back with an acceptance note.  Remember that bloggers don’t always read all their correspondence)

What to do after your first guest post

If all goes well, once you’ve achieved success with your first writing contribution, go over to the next one, and the next one after that.  You can never have enough of your posts shared out there.

Guest posting is the best source of traffic you can think of.  It’s hard work, and you have to dedicate some time to write a very good article.  This is the best way to stand a chance of your work being posted on other blogs.

By writing on other websites, you will increase the amount of your traffic more than you can possibly imagine.  You can insert links into the article which point towards your own website, which is an ideal way to go about it.

This can be achieved by following the few simple steps listed above, and putting your best foot forward at the same time.

Blogging on a full-time basis as a source of income

For many bloggers, guest blogging is part of their business, if not their full-time business.  It’s all well and good knowing how to write, but what about the rest of the website?

Do you know how to go about getting a domain for your site, a theme, how to set it up, and where to host it?

How about SEO, which is something you probably never even thought about?

There are many things you need to know about before actually saying “I’m going to start a blog.”

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12 thoughts on “Guest Blogging

  1. I personally never heard about the guest blog but I’m still trying to figure out how to improve my design and creating content.

    I found really interesting what you wrote here but my question is if its convenient for me to do it? to look for someone who I would like to guest post in their website or should I wait a little bit more when I have more content and more things to offer?

    • HI, Paola.

      Figuring out how to improve your design and creating content before reaching out for guest blogging is a wise decision.

      Well, with regards to your question, I would first get your website sorted out, making it ‘attractive’ to visitors who will come for a look, and creating a fair amount of content is always a good idea.

      Imagine your site to be a hotel, which is still unfinished.  You’ll advertise for tourists to come and stay at your place, and when they come, they’ll find it’s still a construction site.  Not all the rooms are finished, and those which are, have heaps of teething problems.  I’m pretty sure your visitors won’t be very amused and they certainly won’t come round again.

      On the other hand, if your hotel is all finished, then your visitors will be very impressed and spread the word, which is good for traffic in the case of a website.

      Don’t rush things.  Work at your own pace, and when you think your site is up to it, then spread your wings and look for guest posting.

      When that time comes, pop over to this article again as it will guide you accordingly.

      Thank you for your comment, Paola.

      James

       

  2. Thank you for this post. I’ve often thought about guest blogging. There is one site in particular that always shows up when I am starting out research on new topics. This site also allows guest posting but I had no idea that it could actually help with traffic to my site. 

    I can see how incorporating a link to my site helps but are there other ways that guest blogging increases my exposure? Other than a website link, I don’t quite see how guest blogging content links back to me. Can you elaborate?

    • Hi, Jeff.

      Guest posting is a very powerful way to not only get traffic to your site, but it also gets your name out there, apart from the fact that the increase in traffic is also appreciated by Google, who in turn will boost your rank.  If Google sees people going to your site, then it thinks your site is worth a visit, and your ranking will go up.

      The higher it is, the more people will see your site, and obviously, more organic traffic is directed to it.

      Guest blogging also helps with getting backlinks to your site, which again, Google will take it that your site is worth linking to, and boost your ranking once more.  But beware, as this will only hold true if the backlinks from other sites are relevant to your topic, and are not shady links, like purchased ones, or any other form of black hat strategy.  Should a website opt for black hat link building, Google also notices this, puts out a red flag, and that site in question is penalized.

      When you write on somebody’s site as a guest blogger, you will get your name out there.  It’s vital you use a Gravatar, preferably one with your face, and not some other picture.  Readers will get used to a face, and after a while, it will become familiar…and treat you as a ‘regular’ after seeing you so many times.

      It’s a bit like marketing yourself.  The more you are around, the more people will come to accept and trust you, and when you build trust, you will also build traffic.

      Many thanks for your comment, Jeff, and I hope my answer has helped you a bit.

      James

  3. Very interesting post and a topic on Blogging that I had not been aware of at all…  I do have a quick question and I may have missed it. How ‘soon’ after setting up a Website should one ask for guest bloggers? I did read that you want your site to look ‘worth writing for’, but didn’t see how early you suggest, or is the lifetime of the Website irrelevant?

    Best, 

    –Brad

    • Hello, Brad…and many thanks for your comments.

      It’s amazing how many things there are to learn, and as a beginner or even as an ‘old-hand’, there is always something new to learn every time, which is wonderful.  I think life would be boring otherwise.

      OK…that’s a good question. 

      One of the most important things about guest blogging on a new website is if the website is ready to accept traffic. 

      I mean is your website looking good?  Some bloggers might not wish to write on a site which doesn’t look attractive.

      Has it got a structured landing page, along with an opt-in form so you’ll be able to capture visitor’s email addresses when they pop in?

      If your site is looking fabulous, there really is no importance as to how old it is.

      When you come to accept guest bloggers, make sure they write about a subject which is relevant to the topic of your site.  If your site is about books, it doesn’t make much sense if you’re asked by a blogger to write a post about mountains.  Relevant guest posts help your site to rank better, so aim for topics you approve of.

      Oh, and try not to go and ask ‘world famous’ bloggers to write on your site just yet.  It won’t be because your site is not good enough, but it might be a good idea to start asking the ‘little’ bloggers along the way, and build things from there.

      Thank you once more for your comment.

      James

  4. I feel blogging is like fishing. Each blog post is a bait thrown in the sea. As a newbie “fisherman” blogger, I may not have the skills like the expert blogger. So it makes sense for guest blogging from an expert. From their ways of blogging, I can learn a better way to do my own blog post.

    • I can’t agree with you more.  There is a great deal of water out there, and there are some really big fish to catch. 

      Your blogging skills will be honed if you are set on something, and you sound to be, which is ideal.

      The more you blog, the more your English improves, and the more you follow expert bloggers, the more your chances of success will be.

      James

  5. Thanks for sharing. I found this post to be extremely informative and motivational. I’ve been particularly interested in proposing a guest post for “Medum” – I like their content, and their style looks like something mine could mesh with. The guidelines you provide for going about presenting yourself are of enormous value – it’s not knowing how to get started that seems to keep people from jumping in. Really, from my side, no excuses – I’m jumping in thanks to your article. 

    All the best,

    Norman

    • Hi, Norman.

      Medium is one of the ‘biggies’ out there.  Get your guest post on this site, and it will be exposed to over 60 million monthly views…and that is saying something!

      They have a variety of topics to choose from, so I’m sure you’ll find something worth writing about.    

      Before you actually start writing about a particular topic, check out posts by others, and get the feel of the ‘voice’ they use.  If it’s too serious, if it’s too friendly, if it’s a mixture of both…if they use plenty of images, or not so many, etc.  So, if you write your post which follows suit to other bloggers who have already been published, you will stand a greater chance of having your work accepted.

      Don’t rush it, Norman.  Write your article, and then polish it enough times until your eyes hurt from the glare when you look at it 🙂   And make sure your grammar, punctuation, and spelling are perfect.  

      It would be a hell of a shame if you managed to get an editor’s attention with your brilliant work, but you were rejected over some silly grammatical error… 

      If it is all that important to you being published there, which I’m sure it is, try and get a proofreader to go over it…just in case 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to comment here…and all the best with your guest blogging.

      James

  6. Hello and thank you for this wonderful article. I run a blog but only as of recently I started to get involved with the possibilites of guest posting and how it actually works. It would definitely help my blog get more exposure and become more successful. I am also intersted in bloggers guest posting on my blog, that would be a dream come true.

    I am really glad you put the links of the websites that can allow you become their contributor with guest posting. Do you need some type of reference to be a guest poster on some famous websites like Forbes? For example, how many posts you need to have behind you to be eligible for being a guest poster.

    Thank you in advance. Your article was amazing.

    Strahinja

    • Hello, Strahinja.

      You’re more than welcome for the article, and I have to thank you for your kind comments.

      Yes, guest blogging works wonders to boost your reach and exposure, and your ultimate success. 

      Imagine you writing a guest post on a blog having millions of readers a month.  If only a small percentage of these readers click on a link to your website, and just comment on it, you’ll end up not having enough time to answer everybody.

      Well, getting an article on Forbes is what many bloggers dream of.  There are ways and means, and to some extent, some kind of reference does the world of good.  You have to start small, get involved with people who write there by commenting on their posts.  Get your name out there, make your face known to people. 

      However, your ultimate goal is to get your hands on the editor’s direct email address, which isn’t easy to find, as these people are mega busy, and they don’t have much time at their disposal to answer a multitude of pitches.

      To be quite honest, you don’t need a huge portfolio of posts under your belt to approach a place like Forbes.  A really brilliant post, if done properly, might very well catch the eye of an editor and you’ll be published.  However, being published doesn’t happen overnight, and I know of cases where their article was posted three months after it was submitted.

      I do suggest that before you actually try your hand at guest posting, make sure your site is ready to accept visitors.  By that, I mean you have an opt-in form on your landing page, so those who do visit, will leave you their email addresses.  You do need to work on your email list as it’s vital for your work.

      Thank you once more for your comment.

      James

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