I've always believed in the power of guest blogging. Not only is it a great way to connect with other bloggers and showcase your expertise, but it can also bring traffic to your blog. I've recently been able to prove this with some actual stats.
Guest Blogging Stats
Back in May/June, I decided to make a more concerted effort to blog more and raise my online profile a bit. I also started doing more guest blogging for clients, authoring posts which linked to their site or resource. (While I know guest blogging is a strategy that many abuse, I ensure that I deliver quality posts.) Over the next couple of months, I published posts here on BasicBlogTips, on the Authopublisher site, on Growmap, on an online women's magazine and in a few other places, and it's clear to me that this has resulted in more traffic to my main writing blog. Here's how I know.
A Broad Overview of Guest Blogging Traffic
First of all, I looked at the stats for a period of about two and a half months, from June 1. I saw a 9% increase in visitor numbers, an 8% increase in visitor actions and a 15% drop in bounce rate, as well as a small increase in feed subscribers. (The overview for the longer period contradicts my initial analysis of Cloudflare stats, though I don't know why.)
There was also a whopping increase in visitor engagement as well as the time spent on site for those staying for up to 30 minutes. (For those staying over 30 minutes, there was a drop in engagement; I'll have to delve into the figures to see why that might be. ) Direct traffic to the site also increased by 41%. I surmise that it's because of people following the link to my blog in my guest blogging bio. The 7% increase in home page visits seems to support that.
I also noticed that:
- My blog's rank on the Invesp Writing and Freelance lists increased.
- More of my old content was stumbled.
- There were huge increases in traffic to some of the outgoing links, which means other bloggers also benefited.
- My about page and sitemap had a 999% traffic boost, which means more people are researching me and finding out about the content I publish.
Drilling Down into Guest Blogging – Monthly Analytics
I then decided to look at the monthly stats for July, just over a month after the start of my guest blogging campaign (if you could call it that). Compared with June, visitor numbers and actions increased by 11% and the bounce rate fell by 5%. There was a 12% increase in visits to my home page and an 8% increase in direct traffic to my blog. Figures for the last 30 days are more modest but show the same general trend. There seems no doubt that guest blogging is responsible, as I haven't changed anything else on the site (apart from Cloudflare) during this period.
Other Important Guest Blogging Stats
I've also been keeping an eye on my Klout figures. Just before I went on vacation, my Klout had risen 3 points to 59. I think that was due to increased contact with bloggers across a range of topics who interacted with me on Twitter and elsewhere.
By the way, interaction is a key part of a good guest blogging strategy – that means responding to comments, tweeting and sharing the post (it's only courteous for guest bloggers to do this). When you do, you gain a lot in terms of relationships with other bloggers. How do I know that this interaction is responsible? Because while I was on vacation I was less active and my Klout score dropped to its previous level. Case closed.
So what have I learned? That guest blogging is great for building relationships and influence, but you have to engage to keep it going. I already knew that, but it's nice to have the stats to back it up.