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.
Why Guest Blog?
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:
- Links - Links control the web. If you want
rankings on Google, you need links. If you want authority in your
niche, you need links. If you want traffic from other blogs, you
need links. Guest blogging is a fairly easy way to get custom
anchor-text, high quality one way backlinks to your website. There
are few other techniques so effective.
- Traffic - There are millions of webmasters out
there and they’re all competing for targeted eyeballs online. Guest
blogging is not only a way to get one fundamental of the web –
links – but also another fundamental: traffic. The difference
between someone who makes money online and someone who doesn’t, is
generally because one has a website which gets traffic. It’s that
important, and guest blogging provides it.
- Subscribers – Not everything is about web
spiders and the big G of course; the readers of a blog are more
important than anything else. This, of course, is why so many
bloggers care about their feed count. Subscribers are the life and
soul of a blog and if you can get in front of an audience on
another site, it’s likely that they’re going to subscribe to your
feed. (More on this later).
- Branding – Research suggests it takes someone
eight views of a brand name or logo to have it stored in memory. On
the web, your name and your blog are your brand, and guest blogging
helps you get them out there in your industry. My own activities
with guest blogging have sometimes found me on 3-4 sites all on the
same day. This massively pushed my brand around the niche and put
my website on the map.
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.
How to Find Sites
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.
- Google Search – Google is always the place I
start with my internet research because it gives quick, accurate
results. Depending on what you know about your niche, you can use
Google for two things. The first is simply to help you find sites
in your industry by searching for things like “niche blog”
(changing niche for your industry). Alternatively, you
could search for things like “niche blogging” or
“niche guest posts” to find sites that want your
- Niche Browsing – Many sites in your industry
will make it clear that they accept blog posts on their site.
Therefore, all you have to do is simply browse around the top sites
in your niche and see which one’s do. Look for text like “write for
us,” “become an author” and “submit your article”. These are all
indications the site wants guest posts so click on these buttons or
send the blogger an email.
- Google Blog Search – Google blog search, if the name
doesn’t give too much information away, is a blog search engine.
Because of this, we can easily find blogs that are accepting guest
posts. If you type something you may have typed into the regular
Google search box such as “niche guest post” or
“niche article by” then you should find some interesting
results. If you remove the niche section it’s possible you’ll find
a lot of sites that offer guest posting, but few will be
- Contact Authors – Every blogger should know at
least 10 other writers in their community very well. If you don’t,
then start finding them now. Most of the guest blogging
opportunities I have had did not happen because I found ‘write
here’ buttons on a website, but because I simply contacted the
author. Get in touch with the influencers in your niche and simply
ask if they would be interested in your free content. If they say
“No” is that really so terrible? Giving them a chance to say no,
also gives them a chance to say “Yes!”
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.
Writing Publish-Worthy Posts
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
- Write content that is unique and hasn’t been used elsewhere
- Break posts up with images, bullet points and headings
- Write your best work. Blog posts to a blogger are like
paintings to an artist. They’re your portfolio and show you
- Keep the piece relevant to content the blogger has published in
- Provide as much value as you can to the new audience you’re
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
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:
- You find blogs accepting guest posts or contact those who
you’re unsure about
- You tell them what you would like to write about and see if
they would be interested
- They get back to you with any suggestions or thoughts
- You write the article and make sure to include a link back to
your website in the bottom
- You send it to the author
- They publish the article if you like it, and you receive the
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.
Guest Blogging Examples
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
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
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
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.
Getting the Most from Guest Blogging
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
- Write Awesome Content – I know I covered this
earlier in the post but I believe it’s worth repeating due to how
important this step is. Remember: even if you get your article onto
the site of someone else, it doesn’t guarantee any results. The
best way to make sure you reap the benefits of guest blogging is to
write the best articles you can for other websites. This means that
they’ll a) want you to write again and b) you’ll get traffic and
then subscribers from their site.
- Leave an Optimised Link in the Byline - Guest
blogging has been around for a while, and there are hundreds of
people who do it. The biggest mistake I see these people make,
however, is that they just leave a normal link in the footer of the
article to their site. While it’s obvious that you should leave a
link to your own site in the bottom of your post, you can get more
‘use’ out of the link if you change the anchor text to something
you want to rank for in Google. I’ve received thousands of visitors
from this tactic and it means that the benefits of guest blogging
on each site will be with me for a long time to come (search engine
- Vary Where You Post – Generally, the way to
maximise the benefits of guest blogging is to write for bigger
blogs. If a site you write for has a large audience then that means
there are more visitors who can click through to your website and
subscribe to your feed. I have noticed a few people trying the
guest blogging ‘tactic’ just on a few websites and constantly using
the same ones. They had great results at first, but this quickly
died down. If you keep writing for the same site, the people who
want to subscribe will, and those who haven’t already probably
won’t. I have wrote for sites with 200 subscribers and I’ve wrote
for sites with 150,000 subscribers. I’ve enjoyed both and received
the rewards for varying where I place my content.
- Respond to Comments – Because guest blogging
is about writing on relevant websites, it’s important to stay
professional and friendly with the influencers in your niche that
you interact with. Not only should you try to keep in email contact
with the blogger you’re writing for, but respond to as many
comments as you can once your guest post goes live. This will show
the blogger (and their site readers) that you genuinely want to
give people genuine advice on whatever it is you write about.
- Make Subscribing Obvious – If you want people
to subscribe to your blog after they click through to your site, at
least make it easy for them. The amount of sites I go to and
struggle to find how to subscribe to them is actually amazing.
Remember that most of your visitors are probably not as web-savvy
as you are so you need to make your RSS and email subscription
options very clear. As you can see, I have mine in a bright yellow
box at the top right of a page (for those who are web-savvy) and
then sections in both the blog sidebar and single post footers for
those who need a little push.
- Have Excellent Content Waiting – People won’t
judge you just by what you write on the site of someone else, but
what you have waiting for them when they arrive. If visitors don’t
like what they see and don’t feel like missing your content is
missing out then they just won’t subscribe. For example, I
once promoted my personal development site on an internet marketing
blog (where I wrote about internet marketing) and as expected
received links and traffic for doing so. However, I only gained
about 20 subscribers from 500+ visitors because only a few people
were interested in both topics.
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.