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Does Guest Blogging Really Build Traffic? The Stats Say Yes!

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

Guest blogging stats - engagementFirst 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.

Clicky 3 month guest blogging stats

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.

About 

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.

65 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Jenny

    Hi Sharon,

    You gave me an idea on how important the “guest blogging” was. Thanks for giving illustrations and truly helps me a lot. :)

  2. I would have to agree and the stats don’t lie ;) When I started guestblogging I found that I was getting far more traffic and comments than I ever had before, and even now after a slump in me posting on other blogs, those old posts still bring in the occasional traffic and comments ;)

    • The same is true of my old posts, Karen; there are posts 2 or 3 years old that consistently send a few visitors my way. I started keeping comments open on old posts so that new visitors could still join in.

      • I think those that close old posts are losing out on possible new readers and commentators, I’ve also found that tweeting out “classic” posts also helps ;)

        • Yes, it does, Karen, though you have to be selective. When you use a plugin, you can have some strange tweets. I know one person who was tweeting posts about events that were no longer relevant. :)

  3. Lyka Ricks

    Hi Sharon,

    I definitely agree with your Guest Blogging points. Aside from the traffic generated, it will also expands our learning and keep us abreast to the latest.

    Cheers!

  4. Harleena Singh

    Hi Sharon,

    Another great post, though this time I love your illustrations given along side the post! Each time I read a post about guest blogging, I am reminded that I too have to start with it, as it is a known fact that it does generate traffic, helps in link-building and back links, expands our learning , and we simply get to meet so many different and new people!

    Thanks for sharing and reminding me again!

  5. Thanks for sharing those stats Sharon, a lot of bloggers wouldn’t dream of making something like that public. I appreciate it.

    I have a lot on my plate right now with restarting an old blog but guest posting is way up near the top of the list. This includes both accepting and writing guest posts. It’s very exciting to see the success you have seen from guest blogging.

  6. I agree Sharon and stats don’t lie.. Guest blogging done properly is a great source for not only traffic but a lot of other benefits associated with it. Sadly, I have been lagging behind using this tried and proven method to connect with other bloggers, and within the process bring more and targeted traffic to my blog. I will definitely have to remedy this soon..

    • It’s definitely worthwhile, DiTesco. Of course, once you start guest blogging, it’s important to keep the momentum going. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things after a one month break. (And if you ever have post ideas in the writing and publishing niche, I know a blog where you could publish them. ;) )

  7. sam

    From my point of view guest post is very useful for many bloggers because sometimes what happens when any blogger is busy in another work then guest post prove very helpful in that days for him/her beside that it’s too beneficial for keep in touch with other bloggers.

  8. James

    I am glad you posted this. Guest blogging is great for branding, but it is also a good steady source of traffic. I laugh at people wasting time submitting articles to worthless directories, when that same time could be applied to engaging on blogs, and getting better return for their time.

      • James

        Thats True too. the more guest posting I do, the more I get invited to guest post on other blogs, which gives me even more exposure.

  9. Hi Sharon!!

    I have heard many times for bloggers who have experienced traffic spike due to the guest blogging or contest.

    It is really nice to try, and worth to consider by myself personally who has never tried it :)

    Have a nice day

    Kimi.

  10. In terms of guest blogging, there is not only increase of traffic to your site but also the relationship build up with the blog owner, which might leads to JV, working on project together, etc… It is certainly a great marketing strategy :)

    Cheers,
    Ming

  11. I am also in big favor of guest posting because this thing shares your reader with other one,s and it doesn,t harm us or our website but only benefit we got is huge traffic.

  12. I have always knew how guest blogging built traffic but its nice to see some stats. Not only do you get traffic but you get some great links too, along with a few extra repeat visitors! Thanks for the post!

  13. Lionel

    You can’t argue with those numbers. I find guest blogging kind of like one of your friends introducing you to one of his friends. You instantly give him/her a certain amount of trust and credibility. And of course after the introduction, you want to find out more about them, and potentially build a friendship.

  14. Barbara

    Thanks for all the info and tips on how to keep the traffic coming. I didn’t know that actually responding to comments would make a difference in how many people decide to come to your site. I guess it makes sense because who would want to come back to a blog that doesn’t respond to its comments. Thanks again!

    • I think it makes a big difference, Barbara. Comments give you the chance to expand on what you originally posted and have other benefits as well. And all of us like it when others notice that we have participated – responding to comments says: ‘thanks for sharing your opinion.’

  15. Sandonino

    I definitely agree. Guest blogging really works to drive traffic. A good measure to optimize yours. I did it and did found the said benefit I had.
    :)

  16. Joshua

    Hey Sharon! Truly excellent stats! I too have been writing more guests posts and building relationships with other bloggers and I too have see a rise in traffic.

    Guest blogging ROCKS! 8)

  17. I don’t know about guest blogging, honestly I looked at my top 50 articles from Google Analytics in the past 6 months and guest blog posts are very low on the list. Hiring paid writing staff however, people who become part of the site is what drives traffic to my site. For the first time ever in the past 30 days I finally had one of my hired writers bring more traffic to my site in 1 month than I have done with any of my own original articles which increased my site traffic by 50% from previous month.

    • I guess it depends on the posts you get, Justin. One particular post on my blog was contributed by a guest blogger and consistently ranks among the top ten posts on my blog. It’s also a matter of being selective. I’m much better now at rejecting posts that I don’t think fit my audience and requesting posts to address a niche I don’t cover myself.

      • Being selective is also a good point, here is another question too. How much traffic do you expect a good guest post to get within it’s first 30 days, 60 days for you to consider it successful? And/or how many comments if you measure success based on interaction instead of views?

        • For me, it’s not so much about the numbers but the quality, Justin. Usually, I see referral traffic in the two or three days after guest posting. Some of my early posts here are still bringing a trickle. More important than that, though, is that because of my posts here, I’ve had opportunities to post on other influential blogs, such as the Growmap blog – I’m not sure you can put a price on that. It’s a good question, though, and I’ll have to look at longer term traffic trends to see what happens.

          • You make another excellent point about reciprocal guest posting elsewhere as well. Something I just don’t have time for anymore, it has been months since I guest posted anywhere else unfortunately.

          • It’s a fine balance, Justin. I must admit that recently I’ve been so busy guest posting that I’ve posted less on my own blog. I guess that’s where it helps to have an editorial calendar and stick to it.

  18. Laurie

    Sharon – this guest post ABOUT guest posts is really informative!! I haven’t written any myself yet, but I’m looking into it… Anything to help my fellow bloggers. ;)

    Laurie

  19. sanjay

    Glad to see the figures. I wanted to do guest blogging but I feel that my site isn’t ready yet. What do you think?

  20. MegB

    Hi Sharon,

    There is no need to test the guest blogging as anyone can see that now a days its on BOOMING stage and also running SUCCESSFULLY allover.

    So it directly mean that it is beneficial not only in matter of traffic but also there are many others advantages like–builds new relationships, new way of promotion and advertisement etc..

    But thanks a lot for this sharing as many have still DOUBTS in this so after reading your post they get their concept CRYSTAL Clear.MegB

  21. Guest posting really works. I have written several posts as a guest in some blogs, and have managed to increase traffic to my site. Also, the target site has increased traffic, because many of my subscriptors have found a new web they didn’t know (I usually post a link in my blog pointing my article as a guest blogger). The key is to write a really good and original article and you’ll gain many readers.

  22. Tracy

    Sharon – those are impressive stat jumps! What would you say was the biggest obstacle for you getting started with guest blogging? I’m curious about the roadblocks.

    • I’ve blogged consistently for the past six years, Tracy, for me the biggest obstacle to getting my guest blogging mojo was making the time. I’m a full-time writer and my client work usually comes first, so guest blogging on my own account has been way down the list of priorities. Once I decided to do something about it, the opportunities came flooding in. And now my clients are also asking me to guest blog for them to supplement some of the blogging I do on their sites, so the payoff for me is more time doing something that I love.

  23. Peter

    Hey Sharon, thanks for this great post I know see that guest blogging is really helpful. Also great job on the images you posted in the blog most people don’t use images.

  24. I don’t know what to say here.

    What you said is absolutely true (guest blogging really works). But, I have never been able to get much out it (I have watched my “traffic stats”. None of the sites that I have blogged for come up with in the top list of referral sites). I have written for many sites – From Famousbloggers to Basicblogtips. I guess that was because the quality of the content was low (since the quality matters).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing the proof with us, Sharon!

    • Well, I guess everyone’s experience is different, Jeevan. I can see the difference, not just on my writing blog but also on my less trafficked portfolio blog. I think writing a good quality guest post really pays off in the long run. I wouldn’t submit anything I’m not happy to attach my name to.

      • Since I read your post, I was looking for a reason why I hadn’t got much traffic and now I remember that I hadn’t added my site to any of the “bios” until recently. I also hadn’t done any “linking” to my posts. That might be the main reason. Anyway, thank you for the reply, Sharon!

  25. Marissa

    I have a great experience on guest blogging. So far I am quite okay with the results and I got to be acknowledged as well. That is the important thing a blogger should exploit. Popularity.

  26. I always love it when people guest post on my blog. I usually get a nice boost in traffic when someone contributes an interesting post.

    I enjoy guest posting on other people’s blogs too. More often, I end up becoming a regular poster on one blog or another. I’m not sure that people visit my blog after reading my guest posts on other blogs, but the back links are nice.

    • Good to know you’ve had a positive experience with guest posting, Cheryl. I guess it depends on the topic, too. I recently guest posted about writing on Growmap and that post sends people to my writing blog every day.

  27. Guest blogging is really a great way to gain a more targeted traffic to your blog. I once used it on one of my client and they have a great increase in their online traffic. And guess what? One blog owner, I send an email to guest blog offered me a part time job for his company. Great right?