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How to Maximize the Benefits of Guest Posting

Keeping You Posted by Skellie.Publishing guest posts on popular blogs is a tried and tested way to get inbound links and traffic. There are certain things you can do to make this experience even more rewarding.

In this post, I want to share a number of methods you can use to maximize the rewards of any guest post you publish.

A note: This post will tell you how to get the most out of guest posting once you’ve got a blogger who’s willing to publish you. If you want more information on getting to that point, I’d suggest you read Darren’s tips on pitching to bloggers.

Do your research

A little bit of research is essential before you submit your guest post to be published. It will help make sure you’re properly rewarded for your work and that you produce something that will be well received by the blog’s audience.

Does the blogger give adequate credit to guest posters? If the blog you’re writing for doesn’t allow an in-post byline for its guest-authors, don’t bother. If you write a post including a byline for this kind of blog, the author will most likely remove the byline and publish your work without it. I’ve had this happen to me before — it’s not fun!

What kind of posts work well on the blog? Take a look at some of the blog’s most popular posts to get an idea of what worked well. Could you create something with similar elements?

Are there any gaps waiting to be filled? I wrote my first guest post for ProBlogger on drawing StumbleUpon visitors into your blog because I noticed it was something that hadn’t been covered much before. It went on to become one of this blog’s most popular posts. Ask yourself: how can I use what I know to bring something unique to the blog?

A stunning albino peacock.
The ideal guest post will show off your skills and impress. Photo by lightgazer.

Optimize your post for greater rewards

What you write and how you present it can influence how rewarding your guest posting experience will be. Here are a few tips to help you optimize your posts.

Link to yourself and others. If you’ve written something that relates to the guest post on your own blog, find a way to work in a link. You can link out to other sources as well if you’d like to take a more democratic approach. A note: if you haven’t written something vitally on topic, don’t link out just for the sake of it. This will look like you’re putting self-promotion above relevance.

Put in a real effort. It’s easier to have social media success with your post on a popular blog because there’s a bigger pool of readers to vote for what you write. More traffic to the post means more click-throughs to your site. In other words, it’s not actually worth it to write the minimum required just to get a link back to your blog. Writing a great guest post will drastically increase the rewards.

Participate in the comments section. One of the metrics whereby bloggers judge the success of a post (as you know) is the comment count. You can raise this and make a good impression on those who’ve commented by responding to questions and feedback on your guest post.

Call in favors. Use your connections to bump along the success of your guest post. You can contact social media users you know, link to the post from your own blog, or pitch the link to other bloggers.

Crafting your byline

The byline is where you’re credited for your writing. You can see an example at the bottom of this post. Most bloggers will give you the freedom to put whatever you like in your byline (within reason) — as long as it’s not too long. The byline is the place where people will decide whether or not to click-through to your own blog, so it’s important to get it right.

Create a byline to suit your goals. If you mainly want feed subscribers, include only a link to your feed. If you want feed subscribers and traffic, include a link to your feed and your site. If you only want traffic, drop the link to your feed. If you want to sell a product, mention it instead.

Appeal to your target audience. If you write for a certain type of people (for example: bloggers, dads, Zen Masters), include that information in your byline. It will capture the attention of the kind of people you want reading your blog.

Explain the benefits. If you want people to visit your site or subscribe to your feed, explain what they’ll get in return. Useful advice? Hints and tips? Free stuff? Give people a reason to do what you want.

Points to review

  • Take the time to research the blog you’d like to write for.
  • Write with the blog’s target audience in mind.
  • A quality post can help you just as much as it helps the blog’s owner.
  • Craft your byline to compliment what you want to get out of guest posting.

Skellie is a regular writer for ProBlogger. Subscribe to her feed for more useful blogging advice.

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Comments

  1. BW says:

    Thanks Skellie

    A lot of ‘food for thought’ in this post – I can see why you have become a regular on here :o)

  2. Guest posting has been difficult for me to slide into as of late. The topics that I usually chose to archive aren’t really linked to many of the blogs that I frequently visit and take notice of. Knowing me, I like to be picky with the sorts of bloggers whom I follow. Things like a good head, the ability to run with an idea even if it takes 3 weeks to write the post an even out the positives and the negatives at the end of each informative post.

    Topics like how to write crazy poetry don’t really go well with the design blogs that i read, and those design blogs don’t really follow a random structure of blog posts that I would prefer. If anyone would like an unusual guest on their blog give me a call :P

  3. An excellent round-up (once again) Skellie, thank you.

    Participating in the comments afterwards is a great way to distinguish yourself – and was what first drew my attention to you and your blog.

    One thing I was wondering about – how much do you hold on to your own ‘voice’ when you’re guest posting elsewhere, vs adapting your style to the host?

    Joanna

  4. I’ve had a bad experience with quest blogging before. I was promised x amount of dollars for each post I did. I spent loads of time polishing each post, putting my best foot forward. I did around 8 or 10 posts and each got published. Then when time came to collect money for my efforts, no emails were returned and certainly no promised compensation was ever sent.

    I know not all people try to pull something like that but it certainly leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

  5. Good tips, guest bloggers should add an additional perspective and personality to the blog that compliments the other bloggers.

    BTW:

    That photo of the albino peacock is stunning.

    In person they must be breathtaking to watch.

    Once made a video YouTube video of the most gorgeous images you’d ever want to see set to classical music

  6. Great article skellie, I think all of these are very important when it comes to a proper guest post.

  7. I have found guest-posting to be an invaluable boost to my visitors and subscriber count. Plus the exposure and the new people I get to meet are great.

  8. SpicePuppy says:

    “Participate in the comments section” is my favorite tip here. Like Joanna, I noticed that Skellie did that in a previous guest post here, and I thought it really stood out. I also noticed when Tim Ferriss did it. It’s just a way to show that you’re not done once you get your link, but you’re willing to go the extra mile.

  9. Young says:

    Great! I will translate this into Chinese on my Essential Blog soon.

  10. Mark says:

    Skellie ~ this is a very interesting post and a topic that I have been dealing with a lot lately.

    Recently, after guest posting on both Zen Habits and Problogger, I did an analysis of the traffic that got driven to my site in a post called, “The ProBlogger and ZenHabits Effect A Look At Guest Post Traffic.”

    Happy Holidays!
    Mark

  11. Sangesh says:

    Well, I also started guest blogging in my blog quite some months ago. Actually, at first, I did not think that this would also bring traffic to my site. But to my amazement, I found out that this brought quite a good amount of traffic flow in my blog. One of the guest blog almost brought traffic which hit record high in my webstats.

    My other guest blog also brought considerable traffic in my website.

    Bloggers, like me, or other blogger, if they use guest blogging then I think will certainly, in the end, benefit oneself.

    Cheers.

  12. RitzBitz says:

    I’m not interested with skellie’s generic advice. While well-written, it’s too fluffy and insubstantial. A better topic would be: how does one guest post on Darren’s blog?

  13. Stephanie says:

    I’ve noticed that you comment when you guest post at least some of the time Skellie. It makes a lot of sense when you put it that way. Rather like being responsive to the comments on one’s own blog.

    But I do like the tips. Guest blogging is on the goal list for early next year. I get to enjoy the holiday season first!

  14. Mark says:

    @RitzBits – You ask, “how does one guest post on Darren’s blog?”

    The answer – you submit one of your home run posts, that is relevant to the topics covered here, for Darren’s review (or at least that is what I did).

  15. Post On Fire says:

    Hi Skellie,
    I like the idea also of responding and being available in the comments area…
    I would also add that when getting the post approved to at least ask the site owner for a link back without nofollow tag…

    Several of my articles were published in other blogs with the nofollow tag to my original site…it’s Ok if you don’t want a long term benefit. But …for a unique, quality and long article I would make sure of this point too..
    Thanks great tips…

  16. Thats some very good points in your article.

  17. m says:

    Thanks again for another great article. There’s no better way to say than with a guest post. I’ll refer back to this one when I pitch guest writers for my blog. Thanks so much.

  18. John Frost says:

    I have been asked to guest blog on a site that I consider a competitor. Seems like a great opportunity. Should I insist on a return link or just be happy to build cred and hope my readers find me elsewhere?

  19. vineet nair says:

    nice post skellie,
    you are living your article.

    vineet
    http://vineetnair.com

  20. Kayla says:

    Great post – great advice – being a guest blogger has worked really well for me with other blogs – your post reminds me that I need to ask for some guest posts for my blog – happy holidays!

  21. Rebecca says:

    I wish I had read this before guest posting! Great tips. I especially like the tip about including your feed in your byline. Never thought about that… thank you!

  22. Skellie says:

    @ Blog Angel Team (Joanna): I think you should use your own voice, but try to adhere to the formatting standard of the site. It kinda allows you to blend in while standing out :-).

    @ Complete Geek: I think that experience is every freelancers fear — that’s pretty terrible! When dealing with a new client I insist that multiple posts be paid for in advance. Alternately, you can arrange to have the first payment made after a week to establish that they’re genuine.

    But I’m sure that’s not news to you now. I’m sorry about your experience :(.

    @ John Frost: You really must be given a link in your byline. It’s not a fair exchange otherwise.

    Thanks for the comments everyone :-).

  23. Kayla says:
  24. Ben Cook says:

    It’s crazy how often people come up with similar ideas at the same time. A guest blogger recently wrote on a very similar topic on my blog: http://bloggingexperiment.com/archives/maximize-your-guest-posting-efforts.php

    Great post, especially crafting a quality byline. That’s critical.

  25. Eric Berlin says:

    While reading this post I kept thinking about the recent ProBlogger series with regard to mind mapping (a great idea that can be applied to so many things!). So I suppose I’m thinking tangentially at the moment, and would love to see a post something to the effect of Great Guest Posting Stints in Blogging History, which gives examples of how blogger-guest blogger teams have worked successfully together for mutual benefit.

  26. Darshana says:

    Great article Skellie, may be a little early for me. I am just starting out. Must say that this is the second time I’ve come across a great post from you. A friend directed me to one of your post on how to add value to any type of content which solved some of my initial writer block. I will definitely read your blog regularly.

    How soon do you think a new blogger should attempt to do a guest blogging?
    What do you think is the best way to approach a seasoned blogger?

  27. coolthought says:

    Hey Skellie.
    This pretty much sums up how, why and what to guest post. Yah…. I was tempted to loudly shout out….this will be my one and only, all and final (sustenance on this subject), and no any other piece of advice on this matter will better…… (maybe until you or someone else got a real big brainwave and wrote something even better)

    I simply just want to say. Good job. Great post.

  28. These are some great tips and certainly some that I need to start using. I am serious about blogging, but I have been having a hard time getting more traffic to my site. Writing guest posts is only something that I have considered and tried once, but I have not actually been able to do it. I think I am more in the find a way to pitch yourself to a blogger stage, but thanks for the great tips once I get to this point.

  29. Skellie says:

    @ Darshana: Congrats on your decision to start blogging :-).

    How soon? It’s never too soon to start. In fact, I suggest you get started straight away.

    I’ve written a post on how to get guest posts. I hope it answers your second question:

    Guest Posting Secrets: How to Get Published on an A-List Blog.

    @ Coolthought: What a compliment! Thank you :-).

  30. This article is a great resource, although I’m new to the blogging world I have just recently met people who I’d like to exchange content via guest posts with. These guidelines will really help me out.

  31. Hmm…this is awesome. I’m going to try this out on my blog.

    THanks!

  32. Dan Cole says:

    It really can’t be said that blogging is easy or quick for most of us. Just look at how much work you should put into a guest post, O boy!

  33. Peter says:

    I included a link to my feed in a recent guest post byline and it worked great – I would say I picked up at least 50 new subscribers. Can’t believe I didn’t think of it earlier! Great post Skellie.

  34. OldSailor says:

    Nice post. My doubt is whether the guest post is published as it is or it is edited or modified by the blogger who publishes it.

  35. You have to believe Skellie’s word on this.

    She and Leo both built really solid blogs off of guest posting.

  36. Abie Padilla says:

    Guest posting is something that is hard for me because there are not many blogs (that I can find) that fit my topic.

    I am thinking of using this in reverse however and invite guest posters to post to build traffic. So this article really helps out a lot!

  37. Dee Stewart says:

    Nice article. Another benefit of guest posting. If the blog belongs to a blog team. You could eventually become a team member. I belong to a blog team of Christian writers, editors, and journalists. When I joined that team not only did my subscribers increase, but I received more blog ad requests.

    I’ve also guest posted for bigger blogs, which later turned into editing assignments for my editorial service. Also getting exposure on bigger blogs could translate into writing opportunities with print publications. This month alone I have three editing assignments, two magazine column invitations, and a host of book review requests. I just signed a contract and was paid immediately for an assignment because of Christian Fiction Blog. So I’m off to Toys-R–Us to blow it on my daughter for Christmas.

    If you’re a new blogger, i encourage you to keep writing unique content for your blog. The opportunities will come to you.

  38. great advices..will try this…

  39. Alex Ion says:

    Guest blogging is one of the most important things if you want your blog to connect with other readers, but the problem is can you spare a great article to give it to other blogger? Many thing that if it’s very good you should keep it.

    Remember that a blogger with great content that no one reads is not an option if you want to make it big.

  40. Skellie says:

    @ OldSailor: I’ve never had a guest post modified by the blog’s owner (except to work with the formatting of the blog). I don’t think that’s because they’re perfect guest posts, but probably because the blogger just doesn’t have the time ;-).

    @ Engtech: Thank you :-).

  41. Giada says:

    Seriously Darren, do you have spysense or something? I’m guestblogging next week! Great tips as always.

  42. Open English says:

    Once again, thanks for the sound advice. Thank you.

  43. Dr. Chetan says:

    Thanks for the cool list :)

    Very well explained!

  44. Emma says:

    There is no one more qualified to create this post than you Skellie. You are a blogging machine. I only wish I had your tenacity.

  45. Kayla says:

    One last comment – had to say thanks for the motivation to ask for guests…I put up my request and just got an email from a magazine editor today – it just so happens that someone big in my industry is releasing a book in January and would I like to have them as my guest? Of course! This really works and will be a great thing for my blog in the new year – thanks again!

  46. Skellie says:

    @ Emma: Aw, thanks! :-).

  47. Skellie:
    Well written and much food for thought. You’ve also given me the first item on my new year’s resolution list.
    Thanks

  48. Thanks for the advice! Helps a lot!

  49. KiwiPulse says:

    Explain the benefits. I’m clueless, my blog talk about a variety of subject. I may work on it on the new year. Giving tips it’s something I didn’t try, because I consider myself as a dream seller. But I guess is not enough to have readers to subscribe to my feed. Thanks for the tips :D

  50. ITrush says:

    Commenting is one of my favorite too! Thanks for this very informative article, I guess I have to start guest posting to gain the benefit of having a very good traffic to my site!

    Nhick
    http://www.itrush.com

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