Guest Post Guide

Because this blog is written for my clients, I’m going to start at the beginning.

What is a Guest Post?

gues post opportunityA guest post is simply a blog post written by someone who is NOT a regular contributor to a blog. The person writing the guest post doesn’t even have to have his or her own blog to write a guest post.

Usually, guest posts are written by people who want to introduce themselves to another blog’s audience. These guest posts are done with the hope of attracting new readers to the guest post author’s blog or website.

The blog that features the guest post also hopes to benefit as well. Usually, when a blogger lands a guest posting gig, they promote it on their own blog, including a link to the guest post. The guest post blog’s readers are then introduced to the blog where the guest post is published.

This is known as a win/win situation. Both blogs are introduced to new audiences and as a result, both win.

The blog featuring the guest post wins in another way. The blog which features the guest post also gains some valuable content which is the currency in which blogs trade.

Oh, and yet another “win” for the blog owner is a sweet, brief respite from posting duties on the blog.

Men with Pens has a GREAT informative series on Guest Posting. James openly shares that guest posting is one of the keys to the success of the Men with Pens blog. In Guest Posting: Finding the Motivation to Write, James Chartrand shares how the guest posts that you write should be the absolute BEST posts you can write. Instead of posting these “gems” on your blog, you post them on someone else’s blog. By posting these gems on someone else’s blog is how you build an audience.

In Dispelling the Myth that Guest Blogging HAS to Be Time-Consuming Charles writes:

Sure, there are other downsides of guest blogging. There are risks associated with it if you don’t fully understand your audience (although some would argue that controversy is far from a bad thing), but the benefits – visibility, enhanced reputation, high quality links, relationships – far outweigh the disadvantages.

In Landing a Guest Post Isn’t That Hard, James outlines the pros and the cons of guest posting. If you’re interested in guest posting – either for your blog or being a guest post contributor, read every installment of the Guest Posting Series.

Guest Post Case Study

James Duthie from Online Marketing Banter wrote two guest posts for the Tad’s SEO 2.0 blog. It’s a follow up to a naughtier previous guest post which I won’t name here because I just wrote a post “Sex Sells- but you already knew that” and I don’t want to even try to compete with Naomi over at Itty Biz for the title of sex marketing queen. (She has the title wrapped up and I hear she’s wearing the accompanying glittering crown and sash to all her public appearances.)

Anyhow, James promoted both of the guest posts on his own blog. The first guest post written by James resulted in Tad’s blog gaining over 100 subscribers overnight! (James also confesses that he saw a much smaller increase in his subscriber base.) The second guest post, The 7 ingredients of a wildly successful blog post, dissects the reasons why James thinks the first guest post was so successful.

Barriers to Guest Posting

Despite success stories like the one above, bloggers don’t seem to be hungry for guest posting opportunities. I think fear has a lot to do with that.

Monika Mundell put out a call for people to guest post on her blog The Writers Manifesto a while back and only got a few responses. I suspect the reason is that many of her readers are afraid their content can’t stand toe to toe with Monika’s incredible content. Fear of rejection is a powerful inhibitor on both sides of the equation.

One the blog owner’s side, there is the fear of how the content will “fit” into the blog’s overall content. When you get contacted by someone who wants to do a guest post, some fears that come to mind are:

  • Will this content fit into my blog?
  • Will this content cause me to lose readers for my blog?
  • What if this content offends my blog readers?

Of course, fear of rejection on the side of the potential guest post writer is also high, and the fears above are echoed on the potential guest writer’s side as well.

Strategies for Guest Posting Success

Guest posting is a form of marketing your blog. You should view guest posts in the same manner as you would submitting an article for publication in a magazine.

First, be sure your blog and the blog for which you’d like to guest post are a good “fit”. For example, if yours is a blog on diet and exercise, then a guest post from an RD or an MD would be a good fit. A guest post from a marketing expert on a diet and exercise blog would not be a good fit.

Next, subscribe to the blog’s feed and watch the posts. For example, this would be an exceptionally bad time to contact the Men with Pens blog with your guest post on guest posting because that series is wrapping up over there.

If you have an idea for your own series, pitch it to the blog’s owner. That’s what Joshua Clanton did over at Daily Blog Tips. His series of Star Trek Blogging concluded with Star Trek Blogging: The Borg Way

and landed
As a blog owner, here’s what I’d like to see from prospective guest bloggers.

  • A synopsis of who your current blog readers are.
  • An idea of what this blog post could offer my readers.
  • The actual blog post you’d like to feature on my site.

If you’re looking to test the waters of guest posting, check out Blogging Web 2.0 where you can get your feet wet in the guest posting waters under the watchful eye of Monika Mundell and Terry Didcott.

Comments

  1. says

    Hey, great write up, Kathy!

    Funnily enough, I had no idea that so many people had questions about guest posting. I can’t remember what sparked my series, but I do remember thinking, “Wow. Everyone has these questions – and they’re not asking! I have to do something about this.”

    The whole series ended up gathering a ton of questions from people, and some really good ones. I was surprised to see how many people were starved for what they needed to know, so I’m very, very glad that my series responded to all that and more.

    Cheers!

  2. Kathy says

    @ James:

    Thanks for the thumbs up!

    When I saw you begin your series, I remember thinking… “Oh, I HAVE to let my clients know about this!”

    Education is a GREAT way to make a connection and you do a GREAT job of educating writers on your blog! Keep up the good work!

  3. says

    Hi Kathy,

    Guest posting is still a mystery for many like James pointed out and I’m glad he did post the series since it helps to dispose of the fear many people have.

    You noticed correctly that i didn’t get much feedback when I put my own request out (a while back) which baffled me to be honest.

    I’m not sure whether it is because of the quality since many other blogs do have high quality content and they do have guest posters all the time. I rather think it was to do with the low RSS count at the time. people seem to associate RSS feed subscribers with the success of a blog which of course is total rubbish.

    I’ve seen blogs with high numbers and no conversations and others with no known RSS feed count with 70 odd comments pretty much in each post (our friend Brett).

    This is a classic example of a successful blog. Being able to draw readers in while having conversations and building a community means so much more in my eyes.

    Guest posting also hasn’t done much for myself to be honest. I posted on three well known blogs in the past, but to be honest, I never got much out of it and then I got too busy with client work to bother.

    At the same time I understand many bloggers are now famous because of guest posts, so in the end I guess it really depends where and when and by whom.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Going Offline – Breaking Into Magazines