Guest blogging has countless benefits and some even consider it the Holy Grail of building authority, generating backlinks and attracting new readers. But just like anything else we do in life – timing is everything!
I receive guest blogging requests on a daily basis and at times I’m reminded of the cast from “Saturday Night Live” a.k.a. (also known as) the “Not Ready For Prime Time Players“.
The very first sign that you’re not ready for guest blogging is that you just started blogging a few days ago, so in this post we’re not even going that count that one, ok?
One other thing we aren’t going to consider is people who want to begin guest blogging yet they don’t take the time to read or follow the instructions that the host blogger has provided for them. If that’s you, there’s a chance you might not even be ready to have your own blog – let alone be prepared to start guest blogging on other blogs. With those two out of the way, let’s get started:
You’re Not Ready for Guest Blogging If…
#1 You’re not going to get accepted
I remember the very first time I ever submitted a guest post. I had this awesome concept for a post and I wanted to submit it to my favorite blog at the time (this blog isn’t very popular anymore, so don’t even think I’m going to tell you the name of it).
My guest post got rejected and here’s why –
I never bothered to consider whether or not my post fit the needs or expectations of that blog’s audience.
The post was about social media and yet, the blog I submitted the post to is totally dedicated to blogging tutorials. Of course these days those two topics overlap, but back in 2009 – not so much.
The bottom line is this – always do your homework before you start guest blogging. Make sure the content matches the audience and the goals of the host blog.
I want to see you succeed in guest blogging, so start off on the right foot and research the blog you want to submit your post to. It’s also a smart idea to make sure the topic hasn’t been covered recently on the blog.
#2 You’re not qualified for the job
Quite frankly, your writing skills aren’t up to par yet. Your grammar and your spelling are atrocious and you haven’t invested any time or effort to improve them. I get offers all the time from people who want to start guest blogging on this blog because they know this is an active community and their post will get good exposure and a nice backlink for their blog.
But as someone who has hosted nearly 100 guest bloggers, I have to ask myself “what’s in it for me?” You might think that sounds selfish but actually it’s not. Basic Blog Tips provides a valuable service to thousands of bloggers and entrepreneurs who depend on this blog as a resource. People know that they will find a high quality well written blog post that offers value and gives them actionable advice. If I publish your “not ready for prime time” article I’m not only offending my readers, but in the long run your reputation is going to suffer.
If English isn’t your first language or if you just haven’t found your writing voice yet, keep practicing. Take a class if necessary. But if you’re serious about guest blogging you need to invest your time and effort into improving your writing skills.
#3 You’re not making the best use of your time
Let’s revisit that awesome social media post I mentioned earlier that got rejected by that blog I wanted to write for so badly. I ended up publishing that post on my old WordPress.com blog Ms. Ileane Speaks and it was a HUGE hit on StumbleUpon. In fact, that was the very first time I ever had a post go viral! The traffic I got by publishing that post on my own blog versus someone else’s was an epic move for me. It was a real turning point because it gave me the confidence to know that I could succeed with this blogging thing and there was no stopping me after that.
It’s critical to note that what I needed to do at the time was build! Build my own traffic, build up my content and most importantly build up my confidence! If I would have shared that post as a guest post I might have missed the boat. None of the traffic from StumbleUpon would have migrated from the other blog over to mine, and I never would have known that the post did so well. Who knows, maybe I would have got discouraged and quit blogging (just kidding).
Make sure you have some really awesome, well written posts on your own blog before you even start thinking about guest blogging elsewhere.
#4 You’re not helping your reputation
Getting your guest post rejected can damage your reputation as a blogger. First of all, check out your approach.
I mean, you just come from “no where”, you don’t even bother to introduce yourself to the host, and then you send the post as an attachment along with your email request.
Excuse you! Not on my watch buddy, get a glove and get into the game. If a blogger accepts your post after a move like that, rest assured – both of you guys have a lot to learn about the concept of guest blogging.
Second of all, it could make the host uneasy if you blindly send them a guest post. If the blogger is just getting started as a guest blogging host, they might not know exactly how to tell you that your post is rejected. I remember the first time I rejected a guest post it made me feel really bad and I thought I needed to apologize to the person as though it was my fault. As time went on and I started getting more and more guest blogging requests from out of the blue I made it a point to set up a canned response in Gmail.
If you got one of those emails from me, no hard feelings. Be sure to read this post on 5 Qualities of a Perfect Guest Blogger. Take the time to hone your guest blogging techniques, polish up your act and learn some “people skills”. If you’re not sure how to do that, make sure to read this next paragraph.
#5 You’re not building relationship the right way
Try to establish some type of rapport with the host that you want to start guest blogging for. Subscribe to their newsletter, follow them on Twitter, visit their Facebook or Google+ page and interact with them by commenting on their content. Whatever you do, don’t start off by talking about yourself or sharing your own content – this is a process and it takes time to nurture relationships.
I know what you’re thinking now “I’ll just ask my friend to post it on his or her blog”.
BAD MOVE for both of you.
Remember every established blogger puts his or her blood, sweat and tears into their blog. No matter how close they might be with you in the online world, don’t mistake your offline friendship for your online relationship. The two might not always mix. Don’t put your friend on the spot and your friendship on the line over a blog post. Deep down inside you know you’re not ready to start guest blogging – that’s why you sent the post to your friend thinking that they would be “nice” to you and publish it.
If you have a friend who wants to submit a post to your blog and you’re looking for a smart way to let them know they’re not ready for guest blogging, now you can just send them a link to this post 🙂
Advice for every guest blogger
When you are ready to start guest blogging, and your post gets approved on one of the top blogs in your niche, hopefully your content is intriguing and you’ll get traffic over to your blog. When this happens, make sure your blog is ready to make the most of this new found traffic. Take a step back and do an unbiased review of your blog. Make sure it’s clear to your new readers what your blog is about, the type of content they will find there and what you have to offer. It’s important to have a clear call to action, and you want to make it easy for people to connect with you on social networks and sign up for your newsletter. Don’t let your guest blogging efforts go to waste, capitalize on them!
Here’s a presentation I put together that will help those of you who are looking to find great guest bloggers and it should help potential guests also:
Enter a guest blogging contest
Blog Engage offers a monthly guest posting contest. Members can submit their guest posts and win cash prizes if the article is well liked and shared within the community. Entering the Blog Engage contest is a great way to expose yourself to feedback from other bloggers and learn more about the art of guest blogging and blog promotion as well. When you join Blog Engage be sure to take advantage of the Affiliate Lights program so you can earn a recurring commission on new members that sign up with your links.
Tell me what you think – now’s your chance to ask questions or give everyone your best advice on how to know if they’re ready to start guest blogging.