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A Guest Posting Strategy for Bloggers Who Really Want Results

This guest post is by Alexis Grant blogs of The Traveling Writer.

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of guest posting and know how to create content editors want, it’s time to ask yourself: am I really getting as much as possible out of my guest posting efforts?

Most of us guest post as an after-thought, making time to pitch a post here or there when we can scrounge up a few free minutes in our schedule.

But you wouldn’t approach your blog without a plan, would you? And you wouldn’t approach your job without a plan either! Since most of us are aiming to make money from blogging, why be lackadaisical about your guest posting strategy?

When I first began guest posting, I was in that same boat, brainstorming guest posts whenever I could squeeze an extra few minutes out of my day. But once I realized just how much guest posting was helping me sell my eguides and gain new subscribers, I decided to take it more seriously. I decided to actively take my guest posting to the next level.

Rather than submitting guest posts in a once-I-finish-all-my-other-work fashion, I created a plan that would help me keep better track of my ideas, pitch more editors and bring more eyes to my site.

The master doc

How’d I go about creating this strategy? With the king of all planning tools, Google Docs.

Using a spreadsheet, I created a column for each one of these phrases:

  • Publication
  • Editor at publication
  • Contact info for editor
  • Topic of post
  • Date I pitched the editor
  • Editor’s response (whether the pitch was accepted)
  • When I submitted the post
  • When the post was published
  • Outcomes (like traffic peak, new subscribers, sales of products).

Not only will organizing your guest posting efforts in this way help you keep track of where you’ve pitched, the response you’ve gotten from each editor, and which pieces you need to write, it will also help you zero in on what’s working.

By tracking outcomes from these posts—even if they’re somewhat anecdotal or vague (example: you gained ten subscribers when a certain post went live, even if you’re not certain all those subscribers came from that post)—you’ll be able to recognize which blogs are helping you reach your goals.

This is important because you might expect the blog with the most readers to give you the most results, and then find out that a different blog—one that focuses on your niche, for example—is actually better at helping you bring in sales.

It will also help you see weaknesses you didn’t know you had. Once I set up this doc, for example, I realized I needed to better track where sales of my eguides were coming from. That prompted me to finally learn how to add tracking codes to my links, which is helping me become even more effective in my blogging efforts.

And here’s one more plus: know all those random ideas for topics and target blogs that hit you while you’re driving or in the shower? Now you can add them to your strategy doc, so those brilliant ideas don’t disappear.

One more way to optimize

Now that you’re on board with taking a strategic approach to guest posting, here’s one more idea for getting the most out of your guest posting strategy.

Once I decided to make this a priority—because growing traffic to my blog and increasing sales is my ultimate goal—I assigned one of my part-time business team members to the project. “Hold me accountable!” I told her.

Having an employee (or intern, or writing buddy, or someone you found on oDesk) oversee this process could help you keep on track, so you’re sure to hit your goal of submitting however many guest posts you’ve decided to write each month.

But even if you don’t have someone to hold you accountable, this strategy doc will hold you accountable to yourself. You’ll easily be able to see who you’ve pitched, which ideas have worked and which haven’t, and whether certain posts have brought the results—traffic, product sales, subscriptions, and more—you hoped for.

Could this system work for you? Could you approach guest posting in a more strategic, more organized, more effective way? Share your ideas in the comments.

Alexis Grant is an entrepreneurial writer, digital strategist and author of How to Create a Freakin’ Fabulous Social Media Strategy.

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Comments

  1. Interesting method – I’ll be using it. How long do you track the outcomes? 3 – 5 – 14 days?

    • Alexis Grant says:

      Usually just a few days, since that’s when you’d see the most results. But one post in particular (for Mashable) continues to bring significant traffic and product buys months later, so I certainly notice and note that!

  2. Good use of using a strategy doc. I’ve actually created one similar for myself!

  3. Ben Troy says:

    With Guess post, we can building Backlinks,Brand Exposure. When putting a guest post on Building a Brand Online, your name,face and style,the aspects that combine to make your personal brand . Morover, it can help to increase Traffic piggyback and expand audience. Building a brand online’s team and fan base heavily promote every article across the social web .

  4. SUPREME says:

    Your discourse I learned a lot, Thank you very much!

  5. Bidify says:

    thanks for sharing your brilliant strategy.I am really happy now I will be able to make popular my blog . . .

  6. I always use Google doc spreadsheets to organize my thoughts, plans and to do. A VA is indeed very useful especially in keeping track of things. Makes you more focused on things that you should be focused on.

  7. Saad says:

    if I write 5 articles on my blog in week how much should i guest post in a week ?

  8. Rajneesh says:

    Thats a great post about guest posting. However apart from tracking the results of a guest post, another challenge is to find a similar niche, where it can be proposed!!

  9. Kristen says:

    This is a great post. I have such a hard time writing and NOT using it for my own site. I start a post as a random post to use somewhere else and end up liking it so much I want it for my own site. What do you recommend to make the process better for me?

  10. Ayaz says:

    Hi Alexis! this post has come out at the right time and you mention great strategy of using google docs and I almost working on the same strategy and google docs really helpfull working online.

    Thanks for sharing great information :-)

  11. keywordxp says:

    Great strategy there. No wonder I received few guest bloggers for posting into one of my niche to get just one way link in return.

    I know this is a win-win solution and fully support guest blogging.
    However, using Google docs for tracking and follow-up is awesome strategy.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Great strategy. I’m too looking to tweak my guest posting strategy as I have seen an increase in traffic through gurst posting on other parenting blogs

  13. Great article, Alexis. I’ve been trying to pump myself up for guest posting, but I haven’t had the guts to do it quite yet. I think that approaching it in a very methodical way is great. I love the ideas of keeping your progress documented. I’m definitely visiting your blog and bookmarking this post.

  14. Ed Forteau says:

    Very informative post. I will be launching a series of books this Fall and will add guest posting as part of the promotional mix.

  15. Tech Moo says:

    Very Very Informative, “Guest Blogger” the method you have talked about Guest Blogging is fantastic and informative, one question. Is Google Penguin update is OK with guest blogging (Link Building)?

  16. Thanks for the post, Lexi! Great stuff here. It may be the kick in the butt I need to start pitching more guest posts. I always am happy when I do, it’s just the getting around to it that I struggle with (as I’m sure is the case with everyone).

  17. Great strategy, I just created my own guest blogging Google Doc as well. I want to take a more strategic post to it starting right now. Thanks so much for the great tips!

  18. How do you track the analytics of your guest post?

  19. Malds says:

    Awesome post. I’m also going through the guest posting stage of my blog. It has become rather difficult to do though coz I’ve submitted pretty much to all the local blogs in a similar niche to mine. I’m mainly targetting local blogs coz my target audience is pretty local.

    Quick question though, to anyone who’s able to read this, is there any SEO benefit/penalty with links from guest posts comming from blogs that have a different niche all together from mine? I figured as long as it’s a local blog I’d have a chace to get new views and subscribers if I get a good guest post in but I’m a bit worried about how this might look from an SEO perspective.

    Will it look like I’m getting spam links since they’re from an unrelated niche?

  20. This is great system everyone should be using Alexis. I just recently became a fan of google docs… now google Drive. It seems a lot faster and more organized than having all the spreadsheets stored locally on my computer.

    This way, even if I am out I can still add notes and follow ups while I am out. Gread spreadsheet. I just added a few new columns to mine.