One of the most effective ways to increase your online visibility and build a successful blog is through guest blogging.
The key to effective guest blogging relies heavily on outreach to other popular bloggers in your niche and offering valuable, interesting content in exchange for a publishing slot on their blogs.
Essentially, guest blogging is the exchange of expertise and content for increased exposure, visibility and possibly some SEO benefits.
The publisher gets fantastic content at no cost. While you (the writer) get access to the blog’s audience, which has the potential to drive more readers and subscribers back to your own website.
Additionally, most guest posts allow a backlink to your site, which can have substantial search engine optimization benefits (especially if the blog is an authoritative one within your niche).
While guest blogging is a straightforward and effective way to generate more traffic and build your online brand, it’s not always an easy strategy.
Popular bloggers get inundated with dozens of guest post requests every day. You may understand how getting a guest publishing spot often requires an exceptional pitch and high-quality content.
If you’re new to guest blogging, here are 5 common guest blogging mistakes you should avoid.
1 . Sending Out Cut & Paste Emails
As mentioned earlier, successful and well-read blogs often get multiple guest post requests every single day. Some bloggers get dozens of requests, some even hundreds.
In order to stand out and get your article considered, it’s important that your offer stands out from the rest.
Those who are seeking for a guest posting spot often send out generic cut and paste emails to dozens, even hundreds of bloggers at a time.
The key to successfully pitching busy guest bloggers is not quantity, but quality.
It’s more important to send out a carefully crafted email to an authoritative blogger than spamming dozens of bloggers with a generic message.
In your email, be sure to connect your proposed guest post with the blogger’s existing content and readership. If your email doesn’t demonstrate an interest in the blogger’s work, why would they allow you to post on their blog?
Take your time to send individually crafted emails that demonstrate your work would be a valuable read for their audience. This way, you’ll get a much better rate of response than by spamming. Watch this video from Ms. Ileane and How She Uses Gmail Canned Responses to respond to those lame “copy and paste” outreach emails.
2. Failing To Submit Proposals
An extremely common mistake that results in wasted time is to submit guest posts directly, before having any prior contact with the webmaster.
Many blogs list their guest posting guidelines up front, which leads a newbie to assume that submitting a contribution conforming the guidelines will be accepted.
The truth is that even if you write an interesting, relevant guest post and submit it exactly in accordance with a blogger’s listed guidelines, there’s a good chance you’ll get a very low response rate.
Remember that emails get lost. Bloggers could be away, inactive, or simply overwhelmed with email volume. Also, the topic might not be suitable for their audience, they might not like your writing style, or they might simply not like the subject of your post.
It takes a lot of time and energy to craft a great guest post. So be sure to contact a blogger with a nice pitch and a few proposed guest post ideas before you start writing.
You’ll not only save yourself a lot of time, but you’ll be able to create better content because you’ll know exactly what the blogger wants.
3. Stuffing Your Article With Links
Being overly enthusiastic with your backlinking will get your quality content rejected. If there are explicit linking guidelines, be sure to follow them to a T.
Many bloggers will explicitly list their linking requirements. But even if they do not, you have a much better chance of guest posting success if you stick to 1-2 links within the author bio (better if relevant to the article topic).
This is not a chance to pitch your services. You should take this occasion to offer valuable content to the blog’s readers. If they like your writing, they’ll naturally click over to your links to check out your website.
4. Targeting The Wrong Bloggers
There are a couple of major ways that newbie guest posters target the wrong blogs. The first mistake is targeting websites in the wrong niche (based purely on the authority of the blog).
Submitting a guest post proposal to a site just because it has high rankings is not a good idea. Just think about it: if you pitch a conservative Christian blog and your website is about celebrating boozing and partying, you are not targeting the right audience.
Beyond submitting to the wrong niche, perhaps an even more common mistake is when guest posters spend time pitching bloggers that are simply too far out of their league.
It may be awesome to have a guest post published on one of the “A-list” blogs in your niche. But if you’re a relatively new blogger, this is unlikely to happen (unless you have some truly incredible experiences to share).
If you’re a fairly new blogger trying to get established, you’ll get the best return on your time targeting bloggers who are well respected (not necessarily the very top blogs in your niche).
There are many medium sized blogs that have good traffic, a strong readership and they don’t receive hundreds of guest post proposals every day. So, they’re much more likely to consider proposals from lesser known bloggers such as yourself.
You may love reading TechCrunch. But unless you have an exceptional story or you’re extremely successful in your own niche, your proposal will almost certainly be filtered out by their ultra selective editorial process.
By setting your targets more realistically, you’ll have much more success and perhaps even lay the groundwork for future “A-list” guest posts.
5. Not Delivering Fantastic Content
Guest blogging should be about delivering exceptional content to the guest blog’s readers. Be sure to respect the high standards of the website you want to contribute to.
And because it’s a showcase of your own writing and brand, your guest post should also be up to your own highest standards.
Create content that is unique, interesting, and relevant to the blog’s audience.
Ensure that your post is fitting with the formatting or length guidelines, as well as proofreading your content for spelling and grammar mistakes.
What's your experience with guest blogging?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below, thanks!