Guest Blogging Guide

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Here at PiggyBankPie we’ve covered a huge range of topics relating to guest blogging. Yet there was no place where we could point people to to discover everything they needed to know about guest blogging. A place where all the articles were rounded-up. A place which could be termed The Guest Blogging Guide.

Here is our comprehensive guide to guest blogging, covering topics from why you should even start guest blogging in the first place to the preparation, research, risks and where you can guest blog.

Why Would You Want To Start Guest Blogging?

Surely if you have good content you want to keep it at home? You’d never write a book and allow someone else to publish it under their own name? Or invent a super new product only to give it away to another inventor? Therefore why start guest blogging?

“There’s so many blogs out there that the competition is very strong and it becomes quite a challenge to create a successful blog if you have limited exposure.”

Put simply, guest blogging creates instant visibility. Unless you’re going to invest in PPC ads there’s nothing else out there which gives you the instant visibility that guest blogging does. You can effectively put your content in the shop window, resulting in highly targeted visitors and a boost to your RSS subscriber count.

The instant visibility isn’t the only reason to start guest blogging though. There are a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased Traffic
  • Free Promotional Technique
  • Highly Targeted & Relevant Exposure
  • Improves Your Reputation
  • SEO Benefits
  • Improved Social Media Visibility
  • Doors Are Opened
  • Long Term Benefits

Guest blogging brings in high quality links, highly targeted traffic and is great for developing relationship. Very few promotional techniques can claim to have such wide-ranging benefits.

Real-Life Experiences

It’s all very well and good to talk about the benefits of guest blogging but everyone always wants to see proof that it works in practice. Guest blogging can talk the talk but can it walk the walk?

We’ve discussed our experience but perhaps the most powerful example is Mehdi’s Story from discussed in our article on how to find new visitors for your blog.

After 2 weeks blogging Mehdi’s RSS counter showed 20. He was new, very few people know about his blog. He needed a way to create visibility.

First up he participated in a contest on ProBlogger which catipulted his subscribers up to 70. One month later Mehdi guest posted on Zen Habits, a post which went on to hit the Digg front page. His RSS counter now reached 200.

At this point he was convinced by the effectiveness of guest blogging. He decided to freelance on Get Rich Slowly. It was a similar story - his post hit the Digg front page, his RSS counter jumped to 450, and to add to this his post was stumbled, resulting in the 650 mark being reached, all in the space of a couple of months.

Speaking in his own words about guest blogging:

“If you can guest post on a big blog, that often hit front page, great. Hitting front page on digg turned in 25k visitors to my blog. The last guest post for Zen Habits that hit the front page got me 7k visitors. Include links in the guest post to your blog (relevant links, no spamming). Also include your keywords at the bottom of the post for Google.” … “Make your guest post better than if it was for your own blog, this is key. I always feel much more pressure when making a guest post for another blog than mine.”

Where To Start Guest Blogging

“If your first gig is a home run on ProBlogger, John Chow or Zen Habits (you get the point), then congratulations! But starting your guest blogging career on these super blogs is like skipping minor leagues and getting straight to the majors. You may want to consider guest posting on smaller blogs at first.”

When you’re starting out you’re probably going to want to steer clear of the super blogs. As exciting as it is to write in front of an audience of thousands there’s a lot of pressure that goes with it. Starting with the smaller niche blogs will ensure that you gain experience, improve as a guest blogger, and avoid many of the pitfalls which can lie in wait on A-list blogs.

For a comprehensive list containing both popular A-list blogs and smaller niche blogs that accept guest posts check out these 52 blogs that accept guest posts.

Moving Up The Guest Blogging Ladder

So you’ve submitted guest posts to a few niche blogs and now feel that it’s time to move up the guest blogging ladder… time to approach a Pro Blogger.

We’ve covered what to do and what not to do when pitching to a Pro Blogger but in short:

  • Approach bloggers one at a time - don’t pitch a potential post to many bloggers at the same time
  • Make your email stand out - try the format ‘Guest Post: Article Title’
  • Personalize the email - use the blogger’s name and try to actually include the guest post within the email.
  • Finally, be patient - you may not receive a reply immediately but certainly should do within a couple of days.

What To Be Wary Of

“While guest blogging can do tremendous things for you and your blog, it is a risky job too, and can potentially hurt your reputation. Especially, when guest blogging on A-list blogs.”

Consider the case of Seopher, a blogger who published a guest post on The article was titled ‘Successful Blogging - ‘5 Tips for Writing With Confidence’ - an innocent, non-offensive title it seemed.

However, he went on to say how you shouldn’t discuss your blogging achievements when starting out, such as reaching your first 100 subscribers, as readers should see you as an expert rather than someone just starting out. The occasional white lie was also advocated.

Where’s the fatal flaw? Seopher was blogging on John Chow, a blog which is read by huge numbers of bloggers just starting out. Needless to say many readers disagreed with what was said and with some of the language within the article badly thought through it generated a very strong reaction, so much so that Darren Rowse wrote the article ‘Writing with Confidence or Risking Your Reputation?’ in response.

All in all it was a lesson learned. If you’re posting on an A-list blog make sure that you double-check your article, including whether your points could be interpreted in a different way, otherwise guest blogging can be a risky job.

Dealing With a Common Myth

Guest blogging is such an effective strategy but it’s yet to catch on in a really big way. Why? Perhaps because of the myth that guest blogging has to be time-consuming.

Put simply, it doesn’t with the strategy of guest blogging swaps:

“Guest Blogging Swaps is the strategy of swapping posts with other bloggers, thereby introducing yourself to a new audience whilst simultaneously keeping your readers at home up-to-date with new content.”

If you don’t have the time to write new content for your blog and simultaneously write guest posts then why not propose a guest blogging swap with a similar sized blog? You both gain visibility with a new audience and there’s no extra time commitment.

Before Publishing Your Guest Post

You’ve approached a blogger, researched the blog, written the guest post, and now it’s ready to be submitted and published. Stop! Before your post is published there’s some essential housekeeping to do - preparing your blog before the guest blogging gig.

“To maximize your return on investment, writing killer content is only half the battle. Once your guest post is online, readers who enjoyed your article will more than likely pay a visit to your blog… this is where the main topic of this article kicks in. Having a bright and shinny home page is the other half of the battle. I’ve put together a list of ideas to help you get the most out of your guest blogging experience.”

Some of the ideas include tidying up your homepage, adding the most popular articles plugin, making your RSS subscription button visible, and publishing a welcome note.

All these techniques will help to convert visitors from your guest post into regular readers and RSS subscribers.

The Realm of the Professional Guest Blogger

“There is another reason why you may want to consider guest blogging: what about making money as a guest blogger?”

Guest blogging isn’t only a strategy to bring in quality visitors. It can also be used as a means to make money, especially once you’ve built up a little experience.

When should you start selling your guest posts? When you’ve built up some experience and written a few killer posts. There’s certainly money to be made if you’re a talented writer. Here are three places to find guest blogging jobs are:

In Summary

There you have it - the comprehensive review of all the aspects of guest blogging. As we delve deeper into certain aspects of guest blogging over the coming months we’ll updated this page accordingly.

In the meantime have you tried guest blogging? What’s your experience been like? Feel free to leave your comments here.

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