When it comes to blogging, when you start guest posting will determine how fast you can succeed with your business. No matter where you turn now days, you will find loads of people, myself and Ileane included, talking about how guest posting is a great way to build your blog traffic, especially if you are brand new.
But, I got a question the other day about when to start guest posting. How much content do you really need, and how much harm can you do to your site by guest posting too early?
Generally, I find that when people ask a question like this, there are a lot of others who have the same thought, but never say anything, so I thought I would explore this today, and talk about when to start guest posting.
“How Much Content Do You Need?”
Although you can get some traffic with little content on your own site, most sites simply won't let you guest post if you don't have any content up yet. I would recommend getting at least 15-20 pages of content on your site before you try to do a guest post.
However, I have gotten guest posts before with a 3 page site, so you don't HAVE to have that much. A lot of that will depend on the guest posting guidelines of the blog you are guest posting on.
Networking Helps You Start Guest Posting
I just started up my Relationship Marketing Conversations Blog, and don't have a whole lot of content on it yet. I have about 6 posts as of writing this, plus a few pages in the background. The main purpose for that particular site is to host my members area where I am working on developing some of my own products. The blog is mainly just to drive people into the members area as well as updating members with news related to the niche.
However, because I have spent 2 years networking with people in the niche, and I have a lot of contacts already, I was able to start guest posting early on. I just did my first guest post over at Attraction Marketing Online, where I discussed How to Get Traffic From Product Owners, and it is leading some really great traffic into my new site already.
So far, it is doing Amazing. I got a ton of free traffic to my new blog within the first day of the post going live, and a lot of new leads. It also is helping me with incoming links to my blog, both from the post itself, and the CommentLuv links in the comments.
But, I wouldn't have even been invited to guest post if it wasn't for the relationships that I had built through networking.
Join Guest Blogging Contests
When I started guest posting, I started by joining a contest. I didn't do all that well, but part of that was because I was trying to build my following. I didn't have one in place to promote my contest entry for me.
However, that contest led me to more guest posting opportunities, as well as helping me build my email list and my reputation. The good news is that there are loads of contests going on all the time, you just need to look around and find them.
Often, even if you aren't blogging in the IM niche, guest posting on a few of the contests about blogging will help you get exposure with people in the business. Although they won't necessarily be relevant leads for your site, they can be beneficial because you can make contacts with other bloggers who ARE in your niche. These bloggers can help you start guest posting on relevant blogs!
Also, you never know how you will do. I had an entry in a contest that got me $100 in cash just for writing a post and sharing it on a few social sites. Even with my small following, I was able to make a little cash. I didn't put on airs, or try to be a blogging expert. Instead, I just shared some of my own insights based on the limited experience that I had at the time.
“Does It Hurt You To Start Guest Posting Too Early?”
This is a really popular question that almost all of my consulting clients ask me when I start discussing guest posting.
Really, it will depend on how your site is set up. Whenever I start a new site, my focus is to build an email list first. I usually set up an autoresponder with at least 1 weeks worth of emails and an opt-in giveaway before I do anything else. A simple squeeze page is all I generally set up with a brand new site before I start promoting it. Later, I will set up a blog and start posting regularly, once it has had some time to age a little.
If you have your opt-in funnel set up, and provide a good reason for people to sign up, you can build your list pretty quickly through your guest posts.
However, if you just send them to a site with a few articles and heavy advertising, you can damage your reputation. In fact, this is where most people (especially those building affiliate marketing sites) go wrong.
You might get a few sales, but you will drive most people away.
Instead, focus your efforts on list building and creating a relationship of trust and value with your new leads first. This will get you a steady flow of traffic that not only read your post once, but come back time and time again to see what you have to say.
Overcome the Fear of Rejection
Guest posting can be really hard on you if you fear being told “NO!”, especially with a new blog. Many people will not want to share your new blog if you have little content, or no name within the industry. However, the more you try, the more chances you will have to succeed.
Learn to take rejection as a way to improve yourself, and get over your fear. If you just keep trying, start networking with the right people, and get involved with other bloggers, you will find that you get a lot of benefits for yourself and your blog.
Don't hesitate to get your blog seen in your niche. Start guest posting today, and start seeing the results that it can bring to your business!