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Finding New Readers for Your Blog with Guest Posting

Blog-Promotion - Guest PostingThis week I’m looking at five ways that I’d promote a new blog to new readers if i was starting out again. Read the introduction to this series here.

Perhaps one of the most powerful ways of exposing your writing to a new group of people is to put some of your best content on other peoples blogs – and not your own.

Guest Posts have long been a feature of blogging but it has been in the last year or two that I’ve really seen some wonderful examples of bloggers launching their own blogs and raising their own profiles through focussing their attention on writing guest posts on other blogs.

Names that come to mind of bloggers who I’ve seen do this brilliantly include Leo Babauta from Zen Habits (who has been a prolific guest poster and who has grown his blog to 37,000+ subscribers), Skellie from Skelliewag.org and Anywired and ChrisG. These three bloggers (and many others) have consistently put some of their best content on other people’s blogs over the last year and have seen tangible benefits from doing it.

Giving Your Best Content Away

While it might seem a little odd to put your best posts on another person’s blog it is something that does pay off.

Keep in mind that last week we talked about the best way to get people to convince people that you’ll write great content in future is to show them great content now. While you can keep showing your regular readers great content on your blog – the best way to show people who’ve never heard of you your best stuff is to go where they’re already gathering – on other people’s blogs.

Keys to Successful Guest Posting Campaigns:

I’ve seen a lot of people attempt to use Guest Posts as a means to promote their own blog with varied rates of success. Here are a few tips that I’d give for doing it most effectively:

1. Pick Blogs Strategically – one of the best things that you can do to increase the effectiveness of a Guest Post campaign is to choose the right blogs. The key is to find blogs that have the type of readership that you want and that are on topics that will have some sort of cross over with your blog. Obviously blogs with large readerships are good – but I would argue that a smaller blog with a more relevant readership would be more effective than a large one with little relevance.

2. Repeat Posts - build a relationship with the readers of the blog that you’re writing for my writing regularly for it. Of course this is not always easy (and depends upon the blogger who you are writing guest posts for being open to this) but each time you write a post on another blog you reinforce your own brand, expertise and authority in the mind of their readers.

3. Multiple Blogs – a lesson that we can learn from the three bloggers that I’ve mentioned above is that they each have blogged regularly on multiple blogs in a niche. In doing so they exposed themselves to a wider audience but also reinforced their brand as many of those blogs would have been read by the same readers.

4. Defined Time – one thing that I’ve noticed particularly about Leo’s guest posting is that he seemed to engage in the practice for defined times and in ‘bursts’ of guest posting. He used guest posts to launch his profile in a niche but then drew back a little in order to work on his own projects – then went on another ‘burst’ to launch his next project or give his older ones another round of promotion. This makes a lot of sense to me.

5. Keep Working on Your Own Blog – it is absolutely essential that you not only focus on producing exceptional quality posts on other people’s blogs but also your own. The key is to put great content on other people’s blogs to get attention and to have them check out your own blog – but to have content on your own blog that engages them and gives them reason to subscribe to your blog. I’ve seen a number of bloggers do brilliantly at writing for other people’s blogs but have seen their own blogs suffer as a result. It could be a wise thing to plan the posts on your own blog before you start a guest posting campaign.

6. Don’t Burn Yourself Out - another mistake that I’ve seen from a few guest posters is that they end up burning themselves out by overloading themselves with guest posting appearances. The result of this is that their own blog can suffer but also they can run out of ideas for new posts if they are posting on too many blogs in a niche. The key is to walk the fine line between being prolific but also keeping yourself fresh and able to sustain your posting for the long haul.

Have you tried guest posting on other people’s blogs? What did you learn?

I’ve explored this topic further in posts like How to Get Guest Blogging Jobs and How to Be a Good Guest Blogger.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Hey Darren – it has been my experience that guest blogging not only increases your exposure, but it is also a FANTASTIC way to network!

    Also, I recently did a post about Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss, “According to Seth Godin Tim Ferriss is a LIAR.” And while I thought it would make a good guest post, I decided to keep that one for myself :)

    Really, it’s a balancing act.

  2. Mark, I probably would have kept that one to myself too! It can be tough to give away posts you’d rather keep. But if another blog is somewhat different from yours (though still related), sometimes you can come up with posts that just work better on the other blog. Then you don’t feel like you’re giving up anything.

  3. Well Darren gave me a break in the blogging world by allowing me the opportunity of a guest post on his blog. It took the number of visitors from 0-5 per day to about 100 per day. The important thing is you are not going to get visitors to your blog unless you showcase your talent on other blogs that already have visitors and this is a very nice way of doing it.

  4. Sangesh says:

    Certainly, I’ve also tried guest posting and it adds new dimension and new readers to my blog. What I found out that, this brings quite a lot of traffic than my other posts leaving some few article which tops my blog post.

  5. Dan Schawbel says:

    It’s not just about guest “blogging.” It’s about trying to write for the traditional media as well, which is most cases has more of an audience than blogs.

    Guest posting on a blog translates into some traffic, but mostly branding. The more your face and name are seen the more attention you will get and the longer you will linger in the minds of others.

  6. Lori says:

    I have offered up 2 guest posts. One went really well and the other will be used but has yet to be published;) This is the one that can make some real difference because it’s on a high profile blog. ( I wonder who that could be Darren??)

    I’ll be anxious to see the outcome of this guest post. I hope to learn from the comments (if any:) and either make it better or keep doing what I’m doing.

  7. I’ve done guest posting maybe 5 times on smaller blogs (or at least did it when they were small) and got pretty good results even then. Can’t imagine what it’d be like writing for a blog with a few thousand readers.

  8. cory huff says:

    I have a couple of guest posts planned for my blog, but I’m still looking for the right opportunity to guest post on someone else’s blog.

    Darren’s post will motivate me to find another blog to write a guest post for. Anyone know of any really good relationship blogs?

  9. Seems like a good idea, but I don’t understand how you would approach someone else requesting to post on their site. Does that mean you have to have a popular site before, in order to gain trust in your work?

  10. Guest posters – unless they are well known – sometimes have difficulty establishing a bond with the readers, who sometimes view them as intruders.

    They really are under pressure to bring somehing novel to the plate – and to blog in a manner that immediately assures the readers that it will be worthwhile to give them a chance

  11. .

    Guest posters – unless they are well known – sometimes have difficulty establishing a bond with the readers, who sometimes view them as intruders.

    They really are under pressure to bring somehing novel to the plate – and to blog in a manner that immediately assures the readers that it will be worthwhile to give them a chance

  12. Bob Younce says:

    Well put, as always. I know that, for one of my past blog projects, guest writing has been an indispensable source of traffic. Truth be told, it has benefited both my blog as well as the other blog, in that we both saw traffic boosts. My host garnered some of my readers, and I did the same with some of his. The guest posting for that blogs was actually one of my biggest sources of traffic early on.

    I’ve never lost subscribers after hosting or after making a guest post.

  13. This is something that I have never tried doing and neither have I opened up my blog to guest posts. My style of writing is very personal – I talk about myself a lot and my past experiences and I quite often talk with the assumption that my readers know a bit about me already which is probably a mistake.

    So for me to be able to write a really good guest post I would have to detatch myself from ‘me’ and I would find that really hard! Plus, I just never seem to have enough content ideas to share amongst other blogs!

    The only circumstance under which I could see myself guest posting would be if it was in a different niche. However, that is not likely to pull in targeted traffic so it probably wouldn’t work as a strategy to grow my own blog.

  14. Brilliant – this comes at the perfect time as I’ve just been invited to do my first guest post. Good points. I’m particularly fond of the notes on “Defined Time” – it makes a lot of sense to do guest blogging in bursts, much like you would plan out a marketing strategy for a product… Big push when you launch, then a phase 2, then a phase 3, and so on.

  15. mike says:

    This is another great idea.

  16. NewSunSEO says:

    Hello Darren, this is a very good write-up. Guest readers can make a great addition to your blog, giving it more exposure and bring more active readers to your blog/site.

  17. Sean Hodge says:

    I think it helps to get paid when you guest post. You get the exposure your looking for on popular blogs and your able to make a living. I know Skellie is a freelance blog writer and gets paid for guest posting. I write for popular graphic design blogs.

    One type of guest post that is easy to do that I’m seeing in graphic design blogs is what I would call the advertising post. Its a short summary, portion of an article, or images from an article that points back to your blog. Here is an example http://abduzeedo.com/leaf-font

    Of course that style has to fit the blog your guest posting for. But its a concept that may have some traction. The blog owner gets the benefit of having a new voice. The guest poster gets the traffic without having to write a whole new article. The reader still gets the same level of access to the article. I’m curious what people think about this concept and if you’ve seen it other places and in different blog topics than graphic design. Thanks.

  18. I guest post on my own blog (a single consultant) and on a big corporation which produces software in my niche and I have two voices, on my own blog I can be myself, but find I need, and have been asked to be a bit more distant on the other blog, so the lesson is present your ideas, but match the corporate image if you are blogging for big companies.

  19. holli says:

    It does work well, but I learned I put a lot more time into my posts than I thought I did – and now that I’m regularly posting on other blogs I’m finding it hard to keep up the pace. It’s making blogging seem like a job, which would be great if it was an actual job – but it’s a hobby for me.

  20. Mastahh says:

    This way,you will have more visitors,because some lazy people want to post a comment,but they are to lazy to register(create an account)

  21. I’ve had good experience with guest posting – Copyblogger, Freelance Folder, Itty Biz and more – and I chose the blogs to approach for multiple reasons. Target market, networking purposes, to gain traffic, for fun and friendship…

    But you have to love posting to begin with. If you really, really know that something you wrote is good, send it off. It deserves a better home than you can give it. Don’t see guest posting as a traffic-driving strategy only, because that fake attitude is going to show through.

    And that sucks, actually.

  22. Pras says:

    Hi, I am looking for few guest blogger for my blog. If anybody is intrested please get back to me by either by leaving a comment in my blog or by sending a mail to my id.

  23. Simon says:

    This is all great advice, but how do you actually get to ‘guest post’ on another person’s blog? I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I wouldn’t know where to start! Do I just send an email asking if I can guest post, then send an article? Or do I wait for the blog to send a call out for guest posts, which I then respond to? Also, do I have to write a post especially for the blog I intend to guest on, or can I just recycle one of my ‘favourite’ posts from the past?

  24. Another great post by Darren. Anyway, I cannot help but to answer the question. What did I learn from guest posting on other blogs?

    1.0 As a new blogger (I started around 5 months ago), I learned that I can write, and I really feel great when my guest posts received a lot of commendation to think that the blog where I guest post is big enough – bloggingtips.com

    2.0 It increased my self-confidence as a blogger. Before I just want to write but I never imagine that I can create a space for myself here in this blogging arena.

    3.0 I learned that no man cannot live alone. You will always need somebody else to reach your dreams, no matter how high or low you are.

    4.0 Guest blogging is a win-win situation. That is why guest bloggers should not guest post only to promote himself as a blogger, but also to help the blog owner to maintain his status. You can create a friendship by guest posting.

    5.0 Traffic on your own blog? That will depend on how you treat the readers of blog owner where you guest post. If you ignore their praises towards your guest post, or just make a guest post and leave the promotion to the blog owner, you will not share the traffic that you wish for.

    There are other important lessons that I learned but the above are those I felt that really helped.

    Thanks.

    PS. To answer the questions of Simon who wants to guest post but do not know how to start, I hope my post about it can help.

    http://wherebloggersandhumansmeet.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-to-convince-blog-owners-that-you.html

  25. Albert says:

    Is guest post posting content uniquely on someone else’s site? One thing I notice is that the author’s never have a copy of the guest post on their own site. I always thought guest posting was just giving away a copy of an article on their blog to another to share.

  26. Anthony says:

    sound good…How would a person go about applying to be a guess poster on a blog?

  27. Mandy says:

    I think it’s a case of stepping outside my comfort zone, I always question that my post is good enough.

    When I’ve guest posted once then it won’t seem quite so daunting probably, it’s always the first step that is the hardest.

    Saying that I am working on a guest post at the moment because I think it is the best way to get exposure from your niche and get to know other bloggers quickly.

  28. Excellent idea, my blog is a little different to the usual kind of blogs but these tips should really help.

    Thanks,
    Sean

  29. Thrilled to have the opportunity to guest blog for Liz Strauss – the post ran yesterday.

    Really exciting to be published in a space like hers. My topic? De-mystifying PR.| 7 Secrets to Becoming an Expert News Source.

    Here’s an article that tells you how to be a great guest blogger: http://tinyurl.com/27lvag

  30. This is great advice. I have one blog that’s pretty established in the SERPS in a small niche, but now I’m working hard at promoting a new blog in a larger market. I’ve started doing guest posts — both accepting the invites I’ve had and trying to cultivate new blogs. So far the results have been really good, and I’m shooting for one per week in addition to my own content.

    I saw your other posts in the series and I think this is one of the most effective of all the techniques. It’s a variation on what you mentioned in the social networking post — thinking of the needs of others first.

    Yet it’s not strictly altruistic. Writing for someone else is in a way counter-intuitive, but if done strategically if you point out, it can be quite effective and a win all around.

  31. Good article Darren. I’ve actually featured you in my presentations as someone who has made blogging work for them (obviously you are probably more famous than most in this world).

    Interesting to read your first point on your first thread on this topic. As with anything with online marketing (in fact ANY marketing) it is all about RELEVANCY. Spend your time in the wrong places or being too general, you decrease your chance of success greatly. Carefully pick your targets and work them, you’ve got a much better chance of success!

    Keep up the good work.

  32. Kent says:

    Great advice! With me new to blogging, it’s like drinking from a fire hydrant, but I can’t wait to implement what I’ve learned from this and the other related posts.

    Kent
    http://www.EducationalToys4Tots.com/

  33. I offered guest posting on my blog and had no takers, but I contacted two people and they were thrilled to guest blog. I assume my readers prefer to read not write.

    I tried guest blogging on another site and will do so again. I am re-thinking my strategy and will look into guest blogging some of my best work.

    When I look at my stats I find people who have put links from my blog on their site, generates hits back to my site. I try to link to other people’s sites too.

    Thanks for your tips,

    Patricia

  34. LusyaSmith says:

    How can I find the main page?

  35. Kent says:
  36. Agent 001 says:

    Hello I am in need of guest bloggers for my blog.So here is the opportunity for you all.What Darren says is all correct.You need to guest post on others blog to get visitors for your blog.
    Damn I need guest blogger.Really no joke.Please visit my blog for more info.

  37. Thank you Darren for your idea

    I am a new blogger…Guest posts can make a good exposure for my blog!

  38. Sean says:

    This is an awesome post and I’m REALLY excited to get to the next 4 parts! I just started my blog about 2 weeks ago and it’s coming along great in my opinion. No haven’t made any money yet or anything like that but I have really enjoyed getting to express myself and getting a few comments from some strangers… that was cool :)

    I have done a little bit of guest posting because I have read before that it was good for promotion of my blog. I’m going to start getting a little more into it. I think that I will have “bursts” as well… sounds like a damn good idea to me!

  39. Roy Davidson says:

    It is great to find useful content such as above. Most searches such as “how to promote my blog” lead to unhelpful affiliate type material. I will certainly be going to search for some larger blogs within my niche.

  40. John says:

    Good article, I’m just starting my blog out. I’m a graphic designer so I talk about all things related, but also talk about everyday life stuff. I’m getting serious about blogging this year and this article helps. You just got to listen to these things and put them into action!

    Hmmm with that in mind, maybe I’ll come back later when I have something more interesting to say and post here again. :-)
    Thanks!

  41. amuletts says:

    That’s really useful! I may be contacting you about putting something on your site, if you don’t mind. At the moment I am participating in something called the webcomic war and this week we have to promote outside that community. I’ve been finding it really tough to come up with ways of doing this. I mean going to random places that have absolutely nothing to do with webcomics and saying “Hey, check this out” just strikes me as rude. But now I think I will email some blogs about posting a cartoon on their site with linking details to my comic, ‘Epic Fail.’ Cheers for this!

  42. malcolm says:

    Thanks for the info! I’ve only manager to read a few bits and pieces so far but its a good start and very helpful. Thanks.

  43. Chris says:

    I never would have thought that posting on other people’s blogs would be a good networking tool. Sure, your name gains some exposure, and you might get a little traffic, but is it worth having your ‘post’ show up in multiple search engine hits (outside your domain)?

    I guess it can’t hurt to give it a try.

  44. Freker says:

    Useful info! I thought that posting too much content on other people’s blogs would affect my blog’s rank.. Anyway I will give it a try..

  45. Klear J says:

    Thank you for this valuable info. This really helped me with my blog and help me get more followers. Come and check out my blog @ klearjsreviews.blogspot.com