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
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
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
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
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.
You can take a look at the contribute section to see if it is what you’d like to write about.
These are their contributor guidelines.
To become a contributor to this website, you need to learn how to become a contributor.
You can submit to PR daily on their submission page.
You can contribute to Mashable by following this link.
For their contributor guidelines, take a look here.
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 post guidelines”
“submit your article”
“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
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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