How To Succeed With Guest Blogging

Today I look at how to ensure your guest blogging campaign is successful and will boost your site’s search rankings.

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Guest blogging is a hot topic in the SEO community at the moment and one which is the cause of much debate.

Guest posts have been a fixture of the blogging world since the start and when used correctly are a great way to increase your own site’s visibility (by gaining access to the audience of the host blog) and to build high quality, relevant links to your website which will generate real click throughs for targeted traffic. These same links will of course also help to improve your site’s search engine rankings.

The problem is, as with most things on the web, it is an area which is starting to be abused more and more by the grey and black hat SEOs. Low quality articles are being thrown together for the sole purposes of gaining a back link (normally with exact anchor text) and blogs are springing up which are little more than glorified article directories, containing nothing but guest posts on every topic under the sun and no editorial ‘voice’.

It seems likely that guest blogging is an area that google will be looking at closely over the coming months and Matt Cutts (google’s head of web spam) has had much to say on the topic over the past year or so. So how can you use guest posting correctly to ensure you stay on the right side of google and boost your blog’s traffic?

1. Be Amazing

Every time I prepare a guest post for another site I ask myself 1 question. Would I be happy to publish this post on my own site?

If the answer is no then delete and start again, or edit until the answer is an emphatic yes! Your guest posts are your opportunity to show off your skills in front of a new audience, so wow them! Write about interesting topics, (which are relevant to your own site) and show off your knowledge and passion for the subject. Show them that you are an expert and they will want to click that link in your author resource box to find out more about you and get access to more great content.

Additionally, the better your article is, the more likely you are to be asked back to write future posts and you will also be able to point to it as an example of your work when trying to secure other guest posting opportunities.

2. Promote Your Post

As a guest author, your job is not finished when your article is published. Help the site owner to promote your article by sharing it with your twitter followers, posting to your facebook page etc. You might even want to prepare a short post on your own blog linking back to it, after all you’ve listened to the advice above and you’re proud of this great piece of content right?

3. Stick Around

Make sure you stay around to check the posts comments for questions or feedback (you can normally subscribe to comments by email). Answer any questions and respond to feedback (positive or otherwise) in a polite and professional manner. Again, this is likely to encourage people to click through to your site as they can see you are someone who cares about what they have written.

4. Write A Snappy Bio

Your author resource box is your opportunity to introduce yourself and entice readers to click through to your site. It’s not an advert, so keep it short and sweet and don’t turn it into a sales pitch. You’ll normally want to include 3 links here: –

  1. Your blog or website
  2. Your google+ account to claim authorship
  3. Your twitter

Policies vary from site to site, so check what you are allowed in terms of links, but the above should generally be fine.

Note that the link to your site should be the name of your brand or domain. Don’t use keywords, they’ll just get you penalised and this is all about establishing your brand.

A format that works well is: –

This guest post was written by Joe Bloggs (link to google+ profile) from Name Of Site (link to site) – check it out for more great articles about topic. When Joe isn’t writing about topic you’ll normally find him doing a really interesting thing that shows he’s an interesting person. You can follow Joe on twitter @joebloggs (link to twitter)

Check out this post from myblogguest for more tips on writing a great resource box.

5. Go For Quality Over Quantity

As mentioned above there are loads of low quality, article directory style sites which accept any old post. Forget them. Focus on securing guest posting spots on high quality, related sites with a strong editorial influence. One link from an authority site in your niche can generate a flood of targeted traffic and see your subscriber count go through the roof.

I will go into how to find good guest posting opportunities in a future post, but in the mean time check out these tips from copyblogger.

So, follow the tips above and you will be on the way to becoming a guest blogging superstar; building your reputation, creating real relationships with other bloggers, securing excellent authority links to your site and growing your traffic.

Summary

  1. Write The Best Posts You Can
  2. Help To Promote The Post
  3. Answer Comments And Feedback
  4. Write A Snappy Bio (resource box)
  5. Go For Quality Over Quantity

And then put your pen down for 5 minutes and chill out with a cup of tea and a jaffa cake as those visitor stats go up and up!

Do you have any other guest posting tips you would like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below!

This post is over a year old, so while the advice above is sill valid, check out my guide to guest blogging in 2014 for up to date advice.

About the Author

I'm a web developer, programmer, blogger and SEO expert from Glasgow, Scotland, with over 15 years experience in the industry. When I'm not writing about marketing and SEO you'll find me strumming the guitar in my band or listening to Revolver on repeat. Follow me on twitter, connect with me on google+ and add us on facebook to keep up with all the latest trends in SEO and online marketing.

Leave a Reply 18 comments

Eric - July 2, 2013 Reply

Cool Post David! I gotta do a little bio brush up! 😀

    David McSweeney - July 2, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Eric, glad you enjoyed it!

Sire - July 2, 2013 Reply

I agree with your points but my last guest poster was a disappointment. Great article but he never replied to any of the comments. Naturally I deleted his link. Sort of makes me wonder why he bothered submitting it if he wasn’t prepared to do the right thing.

As far as promotions go, it works best when the guest poster is a fellow blogger and uses his blog to promote the post.

    David McSweeney - July 2, 2013 Reply

    yeah, that’s it – by not engaging with the commenters on your blog he’s not only annoying you, but the people that have bothered to comment and may have become readers of his blog. Guess he was just looking for a link and nothing more, although he’s shot himself in the foot now with that one!

Sourav - July 3, 2013 Reply

Hello David,

Great tips about guest posting. I always believe in quality over quantity. So finding a good blog to guest post on is really important. And then comes the quality of the post, it should be a killer post.

I agree with Sire taht if the author doesn’t come back and reply to the comments, then his he doesn’t deserve to get get any benefits from the post (like links should be removed etc). Because it shows that he interested only in getting the links.

Anyway, I haven’t started guest posting much, but I am now thinking to do it as my own blog is new.

    David McSweeney - July 3, 2013 Reply

    Hi Sourav, thanks for dropping by. Yes guest posting (when used correctly) is a great way to build the audience of a new blog.

Sally Brown - July 3, 2013 Reply

Hi David,

Nice post! It is sometimes difficult when I receive an article that has passion and strength with a good message, to turn it away because the grammar is horrible. However, I try to help this person with this issue because the content is of good quality. What do you think of this? Sally

    David McSweeney - July 4, 2013 Reply

    Hi Sally, thanks for dropping by. I agree with you that if the message is strong enough, the grammar can be overcome, however, the last thing you want to do is spend all your time editing other people’s posts so the article would have to be exceptional. I guess if someone really wants to write for you they should take the time to proof read and get everything 100% – in fact, that’s exactly what Scott has said below!

Scott Craighead - July 3, 2013 Reply

I’ve recently did a few guest blogs myself. As I was doing them I had to keep in mind that it was going to be on someone’s website and not my own! That I should write within perfection and double maybe even triple check my work and make sure everything is all good and well. Just think before you guest post something. – Scott Craighead

    David McSweeney - July 4, 2013 Reply

    Hi Scott, totally agree with your comment and ties in with what I was saying to Sally above. Although I would say that Sally is right in that if the message of the post is exceptionally strong, the grammar can be overlooked (well not overlooked, but edited). Thanks for your feedback!

7 Ways to Make Guest Blogging More Powerful | Internet Billboards - July 7, 2013 Reply

[…] How To Be A Guest Blogging Superstar […]

Bexy Lund - July 19, 2013 Reply

Great tips David Thanks you, I am always wondering why peoples asking about quantity backlinks instead of quality content ! 🙂 Quality content is the King !

    David McSweeney - July 19, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Bexy… amen to that!

aziz - July 19, 2013 Reply

Great post,very interesting tips,very useful and informative,Thank for sharing nice article.

Enstine Muki - July 20, 2013 Reply

Hi David,
Excellent post buddy!
One point most guest bloggers neglect is point #2. They post once and just wait to respond to comments. I think it’s an error. They have to be fully involved in the promotion of these articles. That helps him (the guest blogger) gain more credibility from his own readers.

I have rejected many articles from some bloggers because of low quality and poor language. We have really to be conscious of quality.

Happy weekend bro

Mohammad Reaz - August 4, 2013 Reply

I will start guest blogging within 1 week. This tips will help me a lot. Thanks. I have a question, I would very happy to know the answer. What are some tips you can give for finding blogs for guest posting? What types of blogs should people be looking to guest post for?

Thank you.

Web Strategy Genie - January 23, 2014 Reply

I think guest blogging works really well and augments your marketing strategy when it’s done right. I always start my guest blogging journey by sourcing for the right audience as I think this practice goes a long way in determining how successful this effort becomes. After finding the right audience based on the SEO/blogging goal I hope to achieve, I then craft the right message to suit the audience. I have found that crafting a message based on your audience’s needs increases the engagement of your post.
And yes, always go for quality of quantity, this is very important.

Regards!

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