I’ve written numerous posts over the last year about how I think that submitting guest posts to other blogs is a great way to promote yourself and to grow the readership of your own blog – however I’ve also noticed a trend in guest posts that could actually hurt you as a guest poster (and as a blogger publishing guest posts on your blog).
The trend that I see is guest posts that seem to have the main objective of finding new readers, driving traffic and self promotion.
This might seem a little odd – in my first paragraph I said that guest posts are a good way of promoting your blog – but in my second paragraph I say that it’s not good to self promote in your post!
Let me explain.
My experience of guest posting both as someone who has written a few and someone who has published quite a few is that constant self linking in guests posts doesn’t pay off. My approach is that my primary concern in writing a guest post is to provide readers with value (and thereby provide the blog that I’m posting on value also). My experience is that if you do this even the smallest mention of your blog with a link in the ‘byline’ will drive the traffic that you need.
However if your post is all about you and drops links quite obviously in the hope of getting traffic then you actually run the risk of alienating readers and the blogger that you’re pitching the post to. I’ve seen this a few times lately on my own blogs where readers gave feedback to me that they felt authors are grandstanding a little too much – this doesn’t do anyone any good.
When is self linking OK in a guest post?
As a blogger assessing guest posts my approach is to allow them when they are relevant and add value to the post. I have no problem with someone linking to an example of what they’re talking about on their own blog (or someone else’s for that matter) however if the relevancy is tenuous I either ask the blogger if they’re willing to remove it or reject the submission. I link prominently in my guest posts to the guest’s blog (in the first paragraph and sometimes the footer as well) links strewn through the post as well don’t do it for me unless they are highly relevant.
If you do want to sell yourself in a guest post I’d much rather someone write a suggested byline with a little more information about themselves than have them include extraneous information and links in the post itself.
What do you think? Do you self link in guest posts? If so – how far is going too far for you?