This guest post is by Timo Kiander ofProductive Superdad.
There you are with a big smile, after slapping together another 400-word post. It took you 30 minutes to write, and now you are ready to submit it to some random blog.
Although you didn’t really put your mind to the post, it got published anyway. Quite soon after this you start to wonder why you aren’t getting any great results in return: no visits, no subscribers, no nothing.
You make the conclusion that guest posting is just a waste of time. You also decide to move to other, more compelling traffic methods that have the potential to drive massive amounts of visitors to your site.
In fact, a certain marketer just published a course that shows you how to get floods of traffic to your blog—by spending just ten minutes per day with his technique.
You figure that’s a much better use of your time than the overhyped guest posting thing, which isn’t working for you anyway.
I’m sorry to hear that you feel this way about guest posting. However, if you let me, I can at least try to change your mind.
Guest posting is more than a simple list post
Too many times people think that a great-performing article is just a simple list post that, after being submitted to a blog, will bring a lot of traffic and subscribers. Then they become frustrated when they fail to get the results they wished for.
This frustration is caused by a lack of persistence. Guest posting is a long-term strategy that requires commitment—not just doing a random post here or there.
You’ll also need the focus properly when you’re doing the actual writing. Your goal should always be to produce as valuable and meaningful stuff for your readers as possible.
Unfortunately, if you are not focused enough, you end up offering some superficial advice that has been said elsewhere many times over.
The more time you spend on guest posting, the more certain you can be that you’ll get the big rock rolling—and you’ll get great rewards in return.
On the other hand, if you expect the results fast or you are not willing to put enough hours in, then you should definitely start figuring out some other promotional strategy that suits your better.
Mindset and success are connected
The lack of success is traceable—to your mind. In other words, you might lack the proper mindset to succeed at guest posting.
To succeed, you’ll need to be consistent and persistent with your efforts. You also have to be ready to test and tweak different things related to guest posting: headlines, landing pages, and the blogs you submit your posts to.
Unfortunately, guest posting is not for the person who wants to reach the big figures in this very moment: the traffic, the subscribers now, and the sales. Sure, you’ll get those, but only with enough commitment and intense work.
If you don’t own the right mindset, guest posting is just another way to get some random traffic to your site. A lack of focus is going to give you a lack of results.
Becoming a guest-post ninja
Do you want to become a guest-post ninja? Well, I have good news for you—it’s totally doable!
Instead of jumping around like a real ninja warrior, I want you to develop a proper guest posting mindset. You can do this using the steps I’m about to tell you.
First, don’t hold back on anything!
I remember the time (when I started writing guest posts) when I was always thinking, “Is this post too good to be given away, or should I publish it on my own blog?”
If you are feeling like this, then stop. Don’t hesitate to give your best stuff for other blogs.
My blog doesn’t have tens of thousands of readers (at least, not yet!), so it’s useless for me to publish all my best content over there.
Instead, I try to get my content published on those blogs which already have those tens of thousands of readers and who will (at least partly) come back to my blog for more.
Second, writing is just one part of guest-posting.
Guest posting is also about interacting with the readers of the guest blog’s audience. If you think that your job is done after getting your post published, you are wrong.
The worst thing to do is to stay quiet during the conversation. This just proves to the blog’s author that your posts are not worth publishing in the future.
Third, the biggest fear in guest posting is about rejection.
I can totally understand this—especially if you are just starting out. However, the more posts your write, the less you’ll experience this feeling.
You can always offer the rejected post to another blog and, unless it’s badly written, it’ll be published elsewhere.
Fourth, systematize your work.
When you start writing posts on a regular basis, a good system will help you a lot. This means that you have certain guidelines to follow whenever your write a guest post, and you’ll be able to produce great posts easier and faster.
Finally, plan ahead.
Never start writing your posts without outlining or planning them in advance. This becomes especially important if you are building your blog while you have a day job and a family.
Every minute counts! The more effective you are, the more you get done with your available time, and the better the results you are going to get.
Put that black mask on, and become a guest-post ninja!
Now that you understand the guest posting mindset, and how to become a guest-post ninja, it’s time to look at the action steps that you can take next.
1. Give away your best stuff
Don’t save the “good stuff” for your own blog—give it away, especially if you are just starting out. Your blog gets more exposure that way, and so do you.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be writing awesome stuff on your own blog—of course you should! But you should publish your great content where the people are, rather than posting it only to your blog.
2. Reply to comments
There are really two parts to this piece of advice.
First, I batch process all post comments at once, on a daily basis. This way all the comments get a reply. This is also what the author of the blog you’ve been a guest on expects.
As soon as I know that the post is live, I’ll let the author know that my comment policy is to reply to all the comments once a day. I also let the blogger know if I’m travelling and I can’t reply to comments right away. This way the blogger is informed and knows that eventually the comments are going to be replied to.
3. Kill your fear of rejection
To feed your fear of rejection, write your first guest post and try to get it published on a big blog.
A much better way to kill that fear is to get your stuff published on smaller blogs first, and then, once you’re more confident, to go after the big fishes.
This is exactly what my strategy was in the beginning, and the fear of rejection is nowadays pretty much non-existent.
You should use this strategy too: start on the lowest steps of the ladder and then proceed upwards, one step at a time.
4. Create your system
I have a certain way of writing posts and this system works for me. On the other hand, you’ll definitely want to put your own tweaks to existing systems, so that they suit you better. It’s the best way to create quality guest posts that get results on a consistent basis.
5. Plan and execute
Finally, there is the planning part, which shouldn’t be underestimated. In fact, the planning is critical part of my system, but I wanted to bring it up as a separate step.
Every Sunday, I outline my posts for the coming week. This ensures that I’m ready to start writing as soon as I wake up.
Mornings are technically the only part of the day when my home is quiet enough for writing. Besides, writing stuff after getting back home from work is not practical for me as I want to spend time with my family or with my hobbies.
Like me, you’ll have to find the optimum time for you to write. Then, plan and write around that schedule.
Are you a guest-post ninja?
Guest posting works, but you have to concentrate on it properly if you want to get good results. To get that concentration, build a strategy and a system for your guest posting efforts. Take these steps as a starting point or implement your own system if you want.
Have you done any guest posting? What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?
Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to improve your blogging productivity, grab his free e-book, 61 Ways for Supercharging Blogging Productivity.