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Guest Post Hosting: the Surprising Traffic Driver

This guest post is by Shari Lopatin of ShariLopatin.com.

We’ve all heard how writing guest posts for other blogs can increase exposure and drive traffic to your site. But what about hosting guest bloggers as a way to increase traffic?

New concept, huh?

Before we move on, I want you to stop right here and clear your mind. Then, repeat after me: “Inviting others to my site will not help my competitors. Inviting others to my site will not help my competitors.”

Benefits of hosting guest bloggers

Several months ago, I was experiencing a major lull in my blog, “Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer.” Literally, I averaged 15 visits a day. Then, I invited another published writer and teacher to craft a guest post. The day she published … bingo!

My blog’s views soared from 15 to 200—in less than two hours. And it only climbed from there.

After inviting others to guest post in the coming weeks, I started seeing a trend. Every time I hosted a guest blogger, my page views more than doubled. Sometimes, they quadrupled. And this was good traffic, too.  People commented. They followed me on Twitter. And, some even subscribed to my blog.

How to drive traffic with guest bloggers

Here’s the key: you can’t invite just anyone to write for your site. You have to find the “influencers” within your niche.  If you want to be successful, here are the steps I recommend following. They haven’t failed me yet!

1. Find potential influencers

Start by using Twitter’s search feature, or other social media search tools, such as SocialMention.com or Topsy.com. Use terms that correlate to your blog’s niche, such as “social media” or “photography.”

2. Identify the true influencers

These are the people whose followings are not only large, but engaged. Some points to look for: consistent blog comments, regular (but not necessarily frequent) blog posts, more Twitter followers than they are following, and consistent responses to Facebook comments.

3. Be reasonable in choosing your influencers

I say this because if you’re a lesser-known writer, you cannot expect Seth Rogen to guest post on your blog. Even another writer with 2,000 Twitter followers could be a great pick.

4. Court your influencers

Like them on Facebook, subscribe to their blog (and then comment), follow them on Twitter. Get to know their writing style and understand how they interact with their readers.

5. Reach out and invite them to guest post

If you courted your influencers correctly, they may already know your name by now. So email them, or send a direct message on Twitter. Ask them to write a guest post for your blog … and tell them why you’re asking (i.e. do they generate great discussions, or perhaps their composition blows you away?).

6. Cross-promote!

This is vital. The whole reason your blog will benefit from hosting a guest, is because of cross-promotion. On the day you publish, ask your guest  to:

  1. post a few links to Twitter
  2. promote their post on Facebook
  3. run a teaser on their blog, driving traffic to your site
  4. and don’t forget: you do the same to promote them!

Give it a try, and I promise you’ll see results. If it works, I’d love to hear your success stories (I might even blog about them), so find me at the virtual hubs below and let me know. If you’ve already used this technique to boost traffic to your blog, let us know your story in the comments.

Shari Lopatin is an award-winning professional writer, journalist, and media strategist who’s been published regionally, and nationally. Find her on Twitter @ShariLopatin, follow her on Facebook, or visit her at “Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer,” where she blogs every other Thursday about writing tips, funny stories, industry news, and media strategies.

 

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Comments

  1. This is such a great reminder and before I was finished reading I put out invitations to guest post on Keep the Tail Wagging. Thank you so very much for the guidelines and sharing how beneficial it can be. I’ve slowed down on accepting guest posts, because I was getting so much spam content from people who wanted to promote links to businesses that have nothing to do with dogs. Now I’m excited again!

    Kimberly

  2. Justin Mazza says:

    So true Shari. I have been going after influential bloggers to come to my blog and write a guest post for me. It can work well if the guest poster places a link on their blog telling their readers to go to your blog and check out their guest post there.

  3. Nice tips and suggestions. I think this is a strategy I need to start looking into. I feel like I’m producing pretty high quality content, but the reader base is staying pretty steady. Granted we don’t have a ton of content yet, but I think I might give this a try soon. Thanks for posting!

  4. Sean Chang says:

    Hi Shari, that’s a refreshing perspective. We usually read about how guest posting helps to drive more traffic to a blog but seldom hear of the story from the other side.

    With regards to ’3. Be reasonable in choosing your influencers”, while it is unlikely that bloggers who are already leagues ahead would be likely to do a guest post on a much smaller blog,would you think it’s possible to do a “Guest Post” by preparing a list of questions and doing a quick email interview with the influential bloggers instead?

    I haven’t tried this method personally yet but have seen it done to great effect on some other websites (especially outside of the IM/blogging niche). Most of the time, the influential blogger will even link back to the interview post to share it with their own set of readers.

    I’d think it’s worth a try especially if there’s already been a good relationship with the blogger through comments, guest posts on his/her blog etc.

    • Tammi Kibler says:

      That’s a good point, Sean. I have also seen some do a round-up style post where they collect responses from several high profile bloggers. I imagine once you have one big name on board for such a post, it is easier to entice others.

    • Linsey K says:

      You nailed it, Sean! We do this all the time at our blog. We interview Moms who have successful businesses as inspiration for our readers. The questions take less time for them to answer within an email, at their leisure, than a formal guest post or over-the-phone interview would. Also, it’s easy for me or my VA to write up. You get the benefit of cross-promotion without the risk that an article may be poorly written or too over-promotional. More control and less risk, while still getting the ultimate reward.

    • Hi Sean,

      I definitely think that the “Q&A” is a viable compromise for bloggers who are leagues ahead of you. :-) I actually did that on my blog while working to build my audience. I emailed Jane Friedman, the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has a Twitter following of 700,000+, etc. Anyway, she said she didn’t have time to write a guest post, but she WAS open to answering a few questions via email.

      So, she did, I published it, we both cross-promoted, and I gained many blog subscribers that way! Give it a try and let me know if it works for you. :-) Thanks for reading!

      –Shari

  5. Definitely a good read and definitely something all bloggers should consider. There aren’t many niches out there without the ‘top-dogs’ out there so it’s all about networking and proving to the community that your blog is where they should be.

    Once you build that platform, you’ll be surprised as to how many “super star bloggers” in your niche will respond to your request or even get in touch with you independently.

    The cross-marketing and the diversification of having another mind post on your blog can add immense value to your blog and your readers!

  6. Well, Its really a great idea personally, so far I was not doing it in a way as you describing it here but after reading your post I get a feeling to do promotion in a way as you are writing it here.

    Thanks for sharing nice tips about guest posting. I will now certainly work on this.

  7. Tim says:

    I’ve developed guest posting relationships before on my personal blog (both writing on other sites and having them write on mine) but only just recently begun doing it on <a href="http://AndroidTipGuys.com&quot; AndroidTipGuys.com.

    Another benefit that can come with repeated guest posting (and the accompanied cross promotion) is SEO benefits. Links on other similar sized and larger sites can only help in the long run (assuming they’re reputable).

  8. Marc Ensign says:

    Thanks for the tip! It’s funny because I was just tinkling of this the other day. Good timing! Now, I need to find the right bloggers to ask…interested? :)

  9. Love this concept, I have never really invited anyone to guest post, but plan on doing so as soon as the only one of my blogs that accepts guest posts is relaunched.

  10. Hey,
    This is the second time this week when reading about Guest Blogging I’ve come across the term “potential influencers” Not something I know a whole lot about but I’m interested in learning more!
    Sure Guest Blogging is a great way of getting traffic, especially if you get published on relevant, high volume blogs (such as this Bad Boy..)
    Good to hear of your success, thanks for sharing!
    Best – Noel.

  11. Gjivan says:

    Very influencing article , thankx Sari Lopatin for this. Well, this idea was always on my mind and yes i am using it for my new blog but i am using this ,only with my closed friends who are qualified in niche which my post will be targeting. Like for posts related to health, i have a doctor friend, for posts related to fitness and exercises, i have a fren working as a gym instructor etc. But, i have never tried to apply this to people whom i dont know personally. And after reading this post, i think i must try to host other members too. If anyone from here is interested, please do visit my blog. We can mutually grow together by using this innovative idea!!!

  12. Tim Barnes says:

    I run a blog on personal insurance education for Baby Boomers. Most of the blogs I see about insurance are sales driven. I have no problems with that business model but I want to be different. When Baby Boomers search for information about insurance, I want them to have a place to go that is not entirely about sales or politics. I want them to have an educational experience. I only want clients who are well informed before they buy insurance. I figure that the sales will naturally come if I provide quality education. I try to post twice a day on insurance issues and twice a day on Baby Boomer nostalgia. I know that consistent guest post hosting will build the number of visits my blog gets. The traffic is great but more importantly, every quality guest post I get is one I do not have to write

  13. This something I have tried in the past, but didn’t have much success. Your post has helped me realize that my past failure was likely not finding the right influential blogger and also not doing as well courting them as I probably should have. Thanks for the information, it has inspired me to give this tactic another try.

  14. mario monk says:

    Here’s a question. How to get real influencer to guest post on a blog that has 15 views per day?

  15. Joe Boyle says:

    It reminds me of how people can get a lot of free stuff to give away in a giveaway, and then pull in loads of traffic for nothing more than a post. People react to opportunities that aren’t always there – that’s why guest post hosting is so effective. In reality, people will never have the opportunity to do what they’re doing unless they act now – so they’ll get involved immediately.

    Great post!

  16. Gjivan says:

    This concept is much more powerful than guest blogging. When a person having tons of followers or frens writes for you, its by human nature, he will himself eager to promote it and if he is not so tech savvy, you can show the way like sharing, liking, tweeting, stumbling, digging, pinning etc . And i think no one can stop that post to go viral assuming the content must be unique and provides value.

  17. Philipp says:

    Thanks for this informataional post. But what is about guests blogs (sub-blogs)? Do you have informations / facts about that?

  18. planetmedia says:

    I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more…………….

  19. We are not doing as much of this as we should! Thanks for the reminder, we have spent so much time on the free content side of things, we need to more of the reaching out.

  20. Nina says:

    Great advice and great points. I hope I was one of your good guests. :)

  21. This is such a great reminder and before I was finished reading I put out invitations to guest post on Keep the Tail Wagging. Thank you so very much for the guidelines and sharing how beneficial it can be. I’ve slowed down on accepting guest posts, because I was getting so much spam content from people who wanted to promote links to businesses that have nothing to do with dogs. Now I’m excited again!

  22. financefitz says:

    Great post! I like how you detailed the benefits and tactics for accepting guest posts.

    I launched my personal finance blog about 2 months ago and I have gotten great feedback on the content. I have received several requests to guest post on my blog, though I have to learn how to decipher between quality and non-quality guest writers and blogs. To date, I haven’t accepted any guest posts, but I kept a list!

    My question is – For a new blog, will I get more benefit out of guest posting on a popular blog, or from accepting a guest post from that same site? Does the time the blog has been live influence which method is better? If you have any advice for new blogs, I would appreciate it!