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How Guest Posting is Like a Personal Loan

This guest post is by Frank Angelone of SocialTechZone.com.

Have you ever lent a friend money? If so, was this someone you thought you could trust? If you answered in the affirmative, as they say in The Social Network, than you will want to keep reading.

The thought may already have crossed your mind, “how does lending money to a friend relate to blogging?” Well, I’m glad you asked because when it comes to guest blogging, the blog owner is lending you their blog just like when you lent money to your friend.

Let’s start off with a story and we’ll bring this all together later on.

The perils of lending property

Let’s dive right into this personal story of mine and I’ll show you the best practices to take when using my experience in your guest blogging ventures.

A friend of mine, who I once considered my “best friend” had been in multiple financial jams when it came to paying rent, bills, or (let’s be blunt!) anything with a due date.

So, like any friend would, I decided to lend him the money to help pay his half of the rent and any other bills.

Little did I know that this pattern would continue down a path of destruction. What started out as me helping out a “brother” turned into me supporting him.

There are two things to point out: I shouldn’t have been so oblivious that he was taking advantage of me, and I’m not the only culprit on his list of lenders.

My friend swindled me out of about $1,000. It became so bad that it was starting to affect my financial situation and the best thing that happened to me was finding a way out of that terrible situation by returning home.

When a friend takes advantage of multiple people who lend their resources, they’re obviously not a friend, but someone who gets by through manipulation. The bottom line, as the saying goes, is “If you want to lose a friend, lend them money.” It’s safe to say I don’t talk to this individual anymore.

Guest posting? You’re borrowing a blog

I mentioned in my story above that I loaned money. Well, when it comes to guest blogging, you need to be aware that the blog owner is lending their blog to you. Their resources, whether that be their audience, their reach in the blogosphere, or even their own reputation, are made available to you when you share your voice on their property.

The resources the blog owner gives to you are like a personal loan. You need to pay the blog owner back for giving you the opportunity to share your insight with his or her audience. Obviously you’re not paying back a monetary value, but you should still be looking to give back in some way.

I know most people are going to feel that you “pay back” the owner of the blog by writing a high-quality article for their audience. That’s not enough. It’s too generic a way to give back. Writing a great article should be understood as a basic part of the exchange, not an added bonus.

The last thing you want to do is disappoint the owner of a blog after they decide to publish your article on their site. This can ruin the relationship and ruin your personal reputation, just like my friend did by taking advantage of many of his so-called friends. Also, if you don’t return the favor of the individual who lends your their blog, that news can spread like wild fire among the popular bloggers—especially if you have an article published on an A-List site.

I want to pay back the blog owner. What should I do?

First and foremost, I always email the blog owner directly after seeing my guest post go live and thank them for the opportunity. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the strength of the the emotional connection you will hit with the blog owner in doing this.

They are expecting that you are using the guest post as a marketing strategy to bring traffic back to your blog. That’s understood because that’s what everyone is doing when it comes to guest blogging. However, you can take it a step beyond the publicity that you are being given, and work on continuing to build the relationship with that blog owner.

A personal email would be like the old-school version of mailing a letter. People like the written word, not a “thank you for the opportunity” message on Twitter. That’s not showing the effort, nor are you “paying” the owner back.

The personal email means more. Just think how you feel when someone emails you and thanks you for commenting on their blog. It sends a powerful message.

You can also ask the blog owner in the email if there’s anything you can do for them! Maybe they have a new product or post coming out and they need help promoting it. They may even have a service that they’d like you to test out. Anything of this nature that shows you are trying to make an effort to “repay your lender” is great, but do it in a genuine way—not just because you feel you have to.

Gain opportunities and build the relationship

There aren’t enough people who give back, in my opinion. My friend never gave back the money he owed me, nor did he really ever do anything to show our friendship meant something. The blog owner is looking for this same feeling of being your friend.

Everyone always wants more friends, and to develop new relationships. When you give back to them after they lend you their resources, then it can strengthen the friendship or business relationship.

You run an almost 100% guarantee of ruining the relationship if you screw over the blogger by not responding to comments left on your guest post or refraining from continuing to keep in touch with that blog owner. By doing so, they will know you were “using” them for one thing … one-time self promotion.

My friend used me and I was gullible enough to allow myself to be taken advantage of. Hopefully these insights along with the integration of my personal story paints a clear picture of how to give back to those who help you out.

What have you done after having a guest post of yours go live to “repay” the blog owner? What were the outcomes of those actions? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Frank Angelone provides social media strategies and tech tips through personal stories on SocialTechZone.com. His goal is to help and give back to people from his own experiences. He would love to exchange personal interactions with you, so please subscribe to his newsletter and receive his free blueprint to improve the speed of your computer.

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Comments

  1. Sarah Arrow says:

    Good post Frank, I enjoyed reading this. Even when I issue guest post guidelines I still have people who “blog and run”, they never answer any comments, they don’t share the post and generally expect me to do *everything*. I do do the *everything* part anyway, but when you have a guest that answers comments and takes pride in promoting their post you can’t help but want them back again.

    • I like the way you phrased that, Sarah…”blog and run.” There is definitely way too much of that going on today. Guest posting wasn’t intended to be that way, but it seems a lot of people have went that direction. To get the true value out of guest posting, you need to promote and respond. Ultimately, those that go above and beyond will see the true benefit. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. David says:

    An interesting article and a unique analogy to explain the concept. I’ve been thinking of trying to guest blog for a little while and these are useful tips.

    • Glad to hear you liked the analogy, David. Guest posting is one of those things that you just have to dive into and take a stab at. It can be tough in the beginning as you try to find which writing style and voice the blog owner wants, but once you come up with something creative, it all flows into place from there. You’ll start to notice that it becomes easier to write guest posts for more and more blogs.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the interesting article Frank. Since I am launching a new blog, this information is great for when I offer to write guest posts on other blogs.

    Having written a post, and then not sticking around to answer the comments that come in is bad karma in my opinion. If someone did that to me, I’d probably look at taking the blog post down. Why should I support a person who doesn’t want to support themself?

    • Very interesting point, Andrew. I haven’t heard of someone taking down a guest post for not being there to engage, but I believe that’s a great way to get the “karma” point across. This may be a great way to weed out those that guest post for the wrong reasons! Glad my tips could help.

      • David says:

        I often wonder about replying to comments on a blog entry. As a blogger you have had your chance to comment so it is now the opportunity of the reader to respond. However I have reflected on that as I ‘grow’ and agree that it is important to be available to respond to your readers

  4. Hey Frank,
    Great points here in your post. I have only written a few guest posts but I have gotten over a dozen on my own blog. I always tell the guest poster to like my blog on FaceBook and follow me on twitter.

    Number one is to make sure that they reply to comments. I always email the guest-poster when their post goes live.

    • Thanks, Justin. So many people who choose to get involved in guest posting always seem to ignore the comments left. I think it’s smart to email the guest poster to let them know when their post goes live. I do that as well with guest posts on my blog. The more structured the guest posting guidelines are, the better the chances of the writer putting in the effort!

  5. I think replying to comments is very important too – I always do this, many people don’t. Like you said, a personal thank-you email is a no brainer, that’s a matter of being considerate and courteous in your relationship.

    Hey, on a different note, have you noticed how same bloggers produce guest posts of ‘varying’ quality depending on the blog they are targeting? Like they reserve their best posts for problogger, copyblogger etc and feel like they can get away with less than awesome material on others? I just find it really unprofessional behaviour that reflects badly on their values. I have a simple rule I stick by, I never publish anything, anywhere that I am not happy to put my name on. If it’s not good enough for problogger, its not good enough for others.

    • Phenomenal outlook here, Marya. I think that whenever you submit a guest post, it should be your best work possible. However, I do agree that even if you’re not published on an A-List blog, that wherever else you post should be just as awesome! You never know who you’re going to reach or who’s reading that post.

  6. Belinda Hutchinson says:

    Great points! There is so much power in saying thank you. A little thing that should NEVER be overlooked!

    • I agree, Belinda. Too many people I feel overlook saying thank you. It’s like it has become a chore or just the norm and the meaning behind it has lost value. Although, people know when you’re sincere and that’s when that little thank you goes a long way.

  7. Thanks for this. Its a very good analogy. I’ve been considering doing guest posts but have been shy because I don’t know the etiquette. This helps me a lot.

    • I appreciate it, Chris. Most blogs list their etiquette and guidelines for guest posting on their sites. There are times when the guidelines can be intimidating and draw people away, but the best thing to do is to take a shot. You never know what will happen. Hopefully after reading this post, you’re going to give guest blogging a go! Let me know how it all works out.

  8. L Raquel says:

    Several good points in this post.
    I’ve only seriously guest blogged one time, and this was a few months ago. I never thought to “offer” anything in return, and having read this post, I now feel selfish. Thus said, I’m going to reach out to them again and see if I can. I definitely love that blog, and I think this is an excellent post. More people should try to consider going above and beyond in their respective community and see what they can do for the “neighbors” who help them out!

    • If I can change one person’s perspective of guest blogging, then I feel I’ve done my job. You have the right attitude and mindset going forward with going above and beyond. Trust me the owner of the respective blog you post for will take notice and appreciate your efforts. I always have believed that doing more than the previous guest blogger is one way to strengthen the relationship with the blog you’re posting for.

  9. Keri says:

    Wondering how or if things change if I am specifically asked to guest post for someone. Who’s doing the borrowing and who’s doing the lending?!

    • Hey Keri,

      Very interesting question. Personally, many bloggers have to pitch an idea in order to be published on someone else’s blog. It takes time to build your online personality and your reputation as a writer before a “big time blog” asks you to write a guest post for them without you having to pitch them. Although, it does happen, but I do think the roles of borrowing and lending reverse, in my opinion. What are your thoughts?

      • Keri says:

        Thanks for your response, Frank. I definitely don’t have a “big time blog” by any means, but I’ve found that the more community I develop in blogging, the more I am asked to guest post. When it’s someone I have a relationship with, I don’t see it as “lending” or “borrowing”, but more helping out a friend or at times even returning a favor. I have also written guest posts for others that had nothing to do with my niche, but were a serious help to the other blogger. I wrote them because I had something to say that didn’t fit my blog topic, but fit the topics of the other bloggers. In the end, it helped out those bloggers MUCH more than it helped me (traffic wise), but I was still happy to do it. In a way, I guess I was still “borrowing” their blog space because it was an opportunity for me to grow my online presence. But, in effect, I lent them a great deal, too. Maybe I’m reading way too much into this. Nevertheless, I like your tips here and definitely will take them to heart. :)

  10. sibin says:

    Thank you.Nice Post,And thanks for giving a Guide line for Guest Blogging

  11. James Greg says:

    Frank! The post is just fabulous. The idea working in the background is manners, I think it is great to refresh the readers on this side of the picture too. The world is becoming cold hearted if not by choice but just becoming too busy to pay attention to such minor things. These minor things can lead to great friendships or the breaking of great friendships. Overall the idea is great and it was a pleasure to read this useful informative stuff.

    • Thank you for the kind words, James. You’re right, the world, to an extent has become cold hearted and I think it is because people are so wrapped up in their own things and to a point are self absorbed. Giving back is how you show that you are warm hearted and that you’re trying to help others.

  12. Witty Prmt says:

    Hi Frank

    First of all, I like the way you used the concept of “lending money” to establish a base here. I haven’t written any guest posts lately, but I have received many. It would suffice to say that a great many of them did not ‘hit the note.’ And as my blog is based on the health and lifestyle niche, I need good posts. (No compromise!)

    A guest post is more than lending resources and audience, it’s about how a blog owner is willing to put his/her own creation (the blog) at stake for someone relatively new to them. They expect the same respect and loyalty from the writer as well.

    Sometimes, a blogger might try to scam a guest post; and at other times, they give you useless duplicate content. It’s about how far we are willing to work on a relationship. The field of blogging depends upon the author-audience relationship that is based on the quality of information that is exchanged between them. This is why blogs are unique and intimate!

    In the end, a guest post must have quality; and respect to the author who is willing to risk taking that chance.

    Best regards
    Witty Prmt

    • Hey Witty,

      See, I like that you’re on the other side where you have received a lot of guest post submissions. It’s true, those that are just looking for a “quick in” to gain exposure to your audience can be spotted a mile away. They are the one’s that aren’t going to bring anything to the table. It’s great that you look for well written posts because your audience is looking for that.

      You’re also 100% right in regards to the author-audience relationship being based off the quality of information. If what you’re producing doesn’t connect with the reader, there’s no relationship. Thanks for the well thought out comment!

  13. I am amazed at how you managed to tie both of what seem like a whole different level of issue together.
    Your comparison made me realize the importance of having a serious 2-way interaction with other similar bloggers in field.
    I do understand the part where we should always ‘build relationship’ and network but it never did occur to me that it could be THAT important.
    By comparing ‘money’ with ‘blogging’, it does impact me. Money to me has always been a ‘sensitive’ object and should always be handled appropriately. Now I know blogging works the same way too. :)

    • When I was putting this post together, I wanted to be able to tie two separate ideas together that could relate. To really connect with the reader and show the sensitivity of certain situations, I felt I had to find something that everyone could have a genuine reaction to. Like you said, money is so precious to everyone that you can’t overlook it.

      I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on the post with me and I’m happy to have helped :)

  14. Hi Frank,

    Super tips here.

    I like the personal touch of sending an email. I either send an email, a message on Facebook or a DM on twitter. Either way, I offer the blogger a private thank you in addition to a public Thank You in the comments section too. I think that’s a nice touch.

    I also intend to respond to every comment. On some of the more well read blogs this is difficult as I run a series of online businesses and have a personal life, too ;) That being said, stick around and answer all you possibly can.

    Treat the guest spot like your post, because it is your blog, for the day. Sure, you don’t own the space, but the blogger blessed you with an opportunity to interact with an audience, and in many cases the audience is much larger than you audience.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Frank!

    RB

    • You have all the right ideas and practices put into play, Ryan. Not many people understand the importance of all these points like adding a personal touch.

      I really liked your point of treating the blog like your own for the day. In a way that post and the blog’s audience is under your attention, so if you’re not there to interact, those that comment are talking to themselves instead of the author.

      Everyone wants to be heard in one way, shape, or form, and the way to give back to those that listen to you is to listen to them!

  15. Pablo Gomez says:

    I think that writing on someone else blog is big massive responsibility that I love but also take it very seriously. What I usually do before writing the post is to understand how the blog works, what’s the audience, how I can approach them in my own words without slipping from the blog’s tendency.

    As you suggested Frank, I always write a personal email back to the owner of the blog to thank him/her for the opportunity.

    Another way thanking them is by inviting them to write in your own blog – if you have one of course.

    Excellent post … thanks for sharing it !

    Cheers … Pablo

    • I agree, Pablo. It really is a huge responsibility writing on a blog other than your own. There’s another great point that many take for granted. Also, getting an idea of how the blog runs on a day to day basis is a great strategy. This way you don’t become a deer in the headlights should you have a post published on that blog.

      I’d like to have Darren write a guest post on my blog or any other blogger I have written for. However, many bloggers are busy, so time may be tight. Although, it never hurt to ask!

  16. Simon says:

    I Think you should really stress how important it is for a guestblogger to return back a answer the comments.

    Also – E-mail vs facebook PM – any difference?
    Personally I would rather have my friends write me on FB, e-mail are for business. This is business yes, but I’m thinking about that “personal touch”..

    All the best
    Simon

    • Absolutely, Simon. Returning back to the guest post and responding to comments is very important. I’ve always believed that everyone deserves a response. I not only do it on guest posts, but on my own blog as well.

      I don’t feel there’s a difference between email and Facebook PM. Basically, whichever way you feel is the best way to reach out to the blog author, I would recommend. I personally do email because everyone is always glued to their email accounts.

      Always good to think about the personal touch!

  17. Matt banning says:

    Darren, I agree guest posting is like a loan. I recently had someone paid me to post on my blog. In return, i receive a monthly payment.

    • That’s a different scenario there, Matt. I’ve never heard of someone paying the blog owner to post on their blog, but hey, if it’s bringing income in for you…more power to you!

  18. PlusLocker says:

    The Internet is a selfish place, think about it for a second…

    When you have someone help you it is only courteous to repay with your own form of “help”. That is just old school courtesy which is lacking in today’s society. The “if you wash my back, I’ll wash yours” mantra is still rock solid in business. However it seems there are still folks like your moochy friend who just want to get what they can and always have an excuse when you need their help.

    Don’t be afraid to extent the olive branch of trust every now and then with good intentions. Paying it forward will always come back to you.

    • You’re right. In business the mantra seems to hold true, but in society as a whole it does lack. It’s a shame what my friend did to me because it’s someone I considered to be like my brother. It wasn’t until I realized what he was doing and there was no “thank you.” I was a puppet who had nothing coming back to them, but it’s always good to live and learn.

  19. Courtney says:

    Love it! Also, I must commend you on coming up with an interesting subject matter.

    I am glad that you send out thank you emails. The hand written letter might be almost dead; however, a personal email can be just as meaningful, especially to someone who is online all day!

    • That’s very kind of you, Courtney. I always try to be as personal with people online as I can be. I want them to know that I am sincere and genuine and anything I do is because I want to be helpful. It’s easier said than done since actions do speak louder than words!

  20. Really appreciated this article and your advice. I’ve been dragging my feet on diving into guest posting and the time has come to take action, so thanks for the inspiration on doing it the right way!

    • Thank you very much! Guest posting is an interesting avenue to pursue, whether for the marketing aspect or simply posting content somewhere that doesn’t belong to you. I know many people drag their feet when approaching guest posting, but it has its rewards and gives you the opportunity to meet new people. Glad I could provide some inspiration. All the best :)

  21. anton says:

    Nice post Frank. I’m newbie as blogger and gain lot benefit with read your post.

    • Thanks, Anton. Glad I could teach a newbie blogger some useful tips. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you out with.

  22. tudou99 says:

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  23. Elliot says:

    Navigating the world of blogging can be near impossible. We all hear about the importance of guest blogging, but it’s actually quite difficult to know how to structure the relationship with the blog owner after you hand in your piece. Thanks for the advice.

  24. A fantastic post. I have written as a guest in others blogs and never thought it in this manner. An eye opener. A small gesture but sure can make a lot of difference.