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7 Phrases That Make Me Ignore Your Guest Post Query


Doesn’t it just make you cringe when you see a subject line about a guest post?

No, don’t get me wrong. I love guest posts. The world of guest posting might be changing, but here on the NMX blog, we’re guest-post-friendly! But the problem is that 9 out of 10 people who send me queries about guests posts are unoriginal and off target. What can I expect from a guest post if you can’t even write a 100-word email properly?

I do try to reply to everyone, even these poorly-written emails, but there are only so many hours in a day. So, if I don’t reply to your guest post query, it probably included one of the following phrases and made me wrinkle my nose.

“Our writers will create…”

If you’re not the person who will be creating the guest post, I probably don’t want to talk to you. I want to talk to your writer. Now, occasionally, I do work with agencies and others who relay information to a writer…but most of the time, people who email me regarding what their writers will do submit horrible posts from a team of “writers” (I hesitate to even call them that) who clearly do not have a grasp on the English language.

For a guest post to be beneficial to me, it has to be your BEST work. Your best work. If you’ve hired a team of writers to create 100 guests posts a week, I’m not going to get something high-quality from you.

“We are offering this to you free of charge…”

I didn’t come to you asking you to post on this blog. You came to me. Noting that what you’re offering is free sounds extremely arrogant, almost like you expect me to say, “No, no. Let me pay for it.” If you approach me, you aren’t doing me a favor by guest posting. I’m doing you a favor by giving you access to my audience.

Some blogs paid for guest posts, but it’s our philosophy that guest posts are freely traded in exchange for promotion. If you think you deserve to get paid, apply for a freelancing job or find a blog that pays guest posts. No hard feelings. We all gotta eat.

“All we ask is…”

If you’re asking me for a guest post spot, please don’t make demands. That’s like asking a neighbor to feed your fish while you’re out of town and then saying, “In return for getting to feed my fish for a week, all I ask is that you also clean his tank.” Yes, I know that there are benefits to having guest posts on my blog. But you are approaching me. You don’t get to make demands.

Furthermore, we have rules. If you cared enough to read my guidelines, you’d know that. Most of the time, what the person is asking for breaks the rules. No es bueno.

“Please reply in…”

I receive this “threat” all the time. If I don’t reply in x number of days, then they’re taking their ball and going home.

Listen. I’m a busy gal. I try my best to respond to all guest post queries in a week. If I don’t respond to you, by all means, follow up with me, and note that if you don’t hear from me you’ll be pursuing other opportunities with the proposed guest post. But giving me a deadline in your initial email when you have no idea what my schedule about is just rude. I almost certainly won’t reply if you make a demand like that. It just tells me that working with you will be too stressful, and I hate stress.

“Let me know what you’d like me to write about…”

I have no idea what you’re an expert on. The biggest advantage of having you guest post is that you’ll provide insight into a topic that I haven’t covered (or perhaps don’t have the skills to cover). If you don’t know what you want to write for your guest post, it tells me know of two things:

  1. You aren’t really an expert on anything in this niche.
  2. You haven’t reviewed the blog at all to see what kind of content we publish.

Usually both. If you’re pitching me on a guest post, PITCH ME on a guest post. Don’t half-hearted ask if you can write something for me and then expect me to tell you what you are capable of writing.

“…high-quality, well-researched article…”

First of all, they are blog posts, not articles. Second of all, if you have to say something is high-quality and well-researched, it usually isn’t. The vast majority of the emails I get regarding guest posts include this phrase (or something very similar) and it is always a red flag for me.

“Dear sir/madam…”

This is ridiculous, but I get it all the time. If you can’t be bothered to find my name, am I really going to believe that you read through the blog to see what kind of content I publish? Half the guest post queries I get don’t even know if I’m male or female. Come on, people.

Beyond telling me that you didn’t care enough to read my past posts, it also tells me that you’re taking the “spray and pray” technique to this whole guest blogging thing. Which means you are probably writing crappy, quick posts for everyone and maybe even “spinning” low-quality copy to take one piece of content and create dozens of versions, each worse and more generic than the last.

So those are my seven most hated guest post email phrases. What would you add to the list?

Can Guest Posts Make You a Better Blogger?


Laptop3 Over the past year, fewer blogs have been open to accepting guest posts. Kristi Hines talked about this shift in the blogging world early this year in her post entitled, “Guest Blogging in 2013: The End of Unsolicited Guest Posts?” and why it is happening. Bloggers can still guest post, but these opportunities are not as abundant as they once were, especially if you’re not well connected to others in your niche.

As someone who manages the guest post emails we get here on the NMX blog, I know how crazy some potential guest posters can be. Posts are poorly written with little to no “meat” on the bones. They’re fluff. Or they’re stuffed with keyword links and self-promotion. Or the grammar is so bad that I would have to rewrite the entire piece to prepare it for publishing.

I’ve even had potential guest posters be rude or downright nasty to me when I’ve asked for changes or decided not to publish. Word to the wise: if you want to have a guest post relationship with someone, don’t speculate on their mother’s weight.

But the silver lining is that working with guest posters has made me a better blogger. Here’s why:

  • I’m pushed to raise the bar on my own posts.

It isn’t fair for me to ask of guest posters what I don’t do myself. When someone is interested in guest posting, I typically send them a list of directions to follow, which include things like, “link back to relevant posts from the past” and “use headers or bullet points to make the text more readable.” Having this set of rules sets the bar for posts on the blog, my own included.

  • Editing makes you a better writer.

Like many people, I’m a horrible editor of my own work. But I think I do okay editing others’ posts, and practicing this skill makes me a better writer and self-editor for my own posts.

  • Guest posts give you a break.

Although I do subscribe to the notion that you should only blog when you have something to say, I also know that post frequency does affect your traffic. With guest posts, a weight is lifted because you’re not pressured to produce X number of posts per week. Editing and preparing a guest post is still a lot of work (sometimes even more work than writing a post yourself), but you don’t have to be wearing your creative writing hat when doing it. You’re less likely to burn out if you allow guest posts on your blog.

  • Guest posts can inspire future content.

I’m always inspired when I read other blogs, and the same is true of guest posts. Even when a post isn’t well-written and I ultimately say no to publishing it, the topic can help me brainstorm future ideas for my blog posts. And, if I do publish because the guest post is up to par, I can link back to it in my own post. One of the great things about blogging is that you can build off each post to tell a comprehensive story. I like to think of blog posts like stories in an anthology. They all work together on some level, despite being stand-alone.

Accepting guest posts isn’t for everyone. Some bloggers don’t want to make time to deal with the copious number of poor requests. Others worry that guest posts will lead to a weaker brand. But before you say a blanket “no” to guest posts, think about the advantages as well. I believe guest posting can make you a better blogger, despite the extra work you have to be willing to do if you accept them.

Guest Blogging in 2013: The End of Unsolicited Guest Posts?


I love guest blogging. As a matter of fact, I got my first freelance writing inquiry thanks to a guest post on Social Media Examiner. I know how powerful guest blogging is for building your reputation and increasing your business.

If you have been looking for guest blogging opportunities lately, you may have spotted a discouraging trend. Here are some examples of what I mean.

Mashable’s former guest writer guidelines pages now goes to a cute 404 error page:


Copyblogger closed guest post submissions:


ProBlogger, well known for publishing a high volume of guest posts, just recently announced their halt on guest post submissions:


And they are not the only ones. If you search accept unsolicited guest posts, you’ll find 2,000+ results from sites that no longer accept them.

Why Blogs Are Closing Guest Post Submissions

I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can share some examples of why I closed unsolicited guest post submissions on my own blog. First, there were the bad pitches.


Then there were the unrelated submissions. This guy stole an image of Chase Crawford to “personalize” his Google account and auto-submits posts like this daily through my contact form. Yes, I said daily.


This one was about a taxi booking service.


Then there were the responses when I rejected submissions that didn’t fit the guest posting guidelines I had set.



You can see more bad examples in The State of Guest Blogging presentation. I can’t even begin to imagine what sites like Probloger, Copyblogger, and Mashable were receiving on a regular basis. I still get about bad five requests a day even after clearly noting on my guest post guidelines page and my contact form that guest post submissions are closed.

If bad requests weren’t enough, then there’s the video of the head of Google’s Webspam, Matt Cutts, talking about Google’s feelings towards guest blogging for links:

If Google doesn’t like the guest blogging for links strategy, they probably don’t like the blogs that post those guest posts either.

How to Increase Your Odds of Getting Accepted

So how do you increase your odds of having your post published on quality blogs? Here are some tips.

Be a real person.

If your business is outsourcing a guest blogging campaign, find real people to help you with it – not cheap link building services that are likely using $5 writers who use celebrity photos and fake names to pitch your content. Preferably real people who have an established reputation in the industry you want them to write for.

Work your way up.

Unless you are already an established, well known writer or have an amazing blog, you will need to start building your reputation. Most people can’t go from unknown to Mashable right out the gate. Start with smaller blogs in your industry, create great content for them, and then work your way up. Use your best guest posts as examples along the way.

Create a relevant portfolio.

Most blog owners and editors will want to see a sample of your writing beyond the piece you submit to them. The best place to create samples are on your own blog. You can even create a portfolio page that lists your latest contributions to other blogs to let people where else you have been published. You can create this page manually, adding links to your latest post as you go.

If you have a WordPress blog and regularly write for blogs that offer an RSS feed for your post, you can use the RSS Agregator plugin to publish your feeds into one page. You can see this plugin in action on my own portfolio page.

To make this work, you will need to find your author page on the blogs you write for by clicking on the link to your name in the author bio. Some blogs, like this one, have an RSS icon linking to the RSS feed for on the author archive pages. If it doesn’t, you can add feed to the end of the URL (http://domain.com/author/yourname/feed/), test it, and grab it as your author RSS feed.

Once you have a strong portfolio page, you can include it anytime you inquire about a guest blogging opportunity.

Build relationships.

You might have noticed that while a lot of sites are not allowing unsolicited guest post submissions, they are still publishing content by multiple authors. If you want to be one of those authors, you’ll have to know someone on the inside to make it happen. The best ways to get to know a blog owner and its writers are the following.

  • Actively follow the blog’s latest posts. Subscribing via RSS using Google Reader is one of the easiest ways to keep things organized and not blow up your inbox.
  • Read the posts and when you feel you have something valuable to contribute, comment.
  • Share the posts on Twitter and include both the blog’s main Twitter handle as well as the author’s.
  • Interact with the blog owner and authors on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Aim for the network where they are active but get the least attention – usually that’s Google+.

Get Introduced

Once you’ve built up a strong relationship with a regular contributor to a site, see if you can get them to introduce you to the blog owner or editor.

Look for golden opportunities.

If you can’t get an introduction, then look for golden opportunities to request a guest post spot. For example, if you get listed as one of Social Media Examiner’s top social media blogs or ProBlogger’s top bloggers to watch, that is the perfect time to approach the blog to become an author.

You can also take advantage of other opportunities. Say you find a broken page or error in a post. Submit a contact form and let the blog know. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and get a response from the blog owner or editor themselves. They’ll know that you are familiar with their blog and that might be your in to ask if they are accepting guest posts. Better yet, say that you have this great topic in mind and wish the blog still accepted guest posts so you could submit it. Sometimes that works too!

Do you still accept guest posts on your blog? Are you running into lots of sites that don’t? What is your take on the future of guest blogging? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Guest Posting isn’t Dead (…Yet)


Early this month, I was having a conversation about guest posting with a friend of mine. This is a topic I have personally been examining over the last year, so when he asserted that “guest posting is dead,” I had to voice my opposition.

I do, however, think that guest posting expectations bloggers have are sometimes a bit out of whack. Guest posting isn’t dead any more than blogging itself is dead, but the way some bloggers go about guest posting is certainly putting it on life support.

(If you’re new to guest posting, you might want to check out our five-part series on guest posting, which will help you write better posts and place these posts on great blogs, as well as our beginner’s guide to guest posting.)

Guest Posting the Wrong Way

Guest posting started as a simple theory: if you write a free post for another blogger and his/her readers like it, they’ll come back to your blog via the link at the end of your post and become a member of your community as well.

I can tell you from tons of personal experience that this doesn’t usually happen, at least, not at a rate that makes your hard work worthwhile.

Even if you write a guest post for a well-known, popular blogger, that traffic isn’t going to translate. Readers are fans of certain blogs because they like that specific blogger. You’re someone new, unknown, not to be trusted. A small percentage of people who read your post – even if they like it – will actually click the link in your bio, and an even smaller percentage will actually become long-term readers on your blog.

If you go into guest posting with the expectation that you’re going to get tons of traffic and new readers to your own blog, you’re likely going to be sorely disappointed.

Guest Posting = Branding, Not Immediate Traffic

I still recommend guest posting, however, because if you do it properly, you can end up with tons of new readers. It’s about being strategic.

Guest posting is about branding. You want your name to suddenly start popping up everywhere so people start to recognize it. If you write a one-time guest post on another site, you might get a few curious readers coming to your own blog, but if the same readers start to see your name everywhere, they’re going to start to wonder who you are, and if they like your content, they’re going to end up on your blog sooner or later.

So, think about guest posts in terms of groups of posts going out over the course of a week, not just single posts here or there. Immediate traffic shouldn’t be the goal; you’ll see traffic over time as name recognition builds.

Guest Posting for SEO

Guest posts are also great for SEO purposes. You do have to be careful about putting too much stock into a single type of link-building, since Google is constantly changing, but having your link without a post on a popular blog can help your search engine standings. Even better than linking back to your homepage in the bio is to link to specific posts relevant about the topic within the guest post you write. Don’t overdo it or your host will likely turn down the post, but definitely link to posts on your blog when relevant and helpful to the reader.

Relationship Building with Guest Posts

My favorite reason to guest post is to build relationships with other bloggers. If you offer a well-written, interesting guest post for another blogger, you’re giving them free content that they can’t get anywhere else. It’s a great way to get on someone’s radar. Often, I’ve guest posted for someone and they’ve gone on to become a long-term reader of my blog, even though they had previously never heard of me (or just knew me as one of the bajillon commenters on their site). Relationships with other bloggers in your niche are invaluable.

Managing Expectations

At the end of the day, guest posting is simply about managing your expectations. If you are looking for massive traffic numbers, especially right away, this is not an technique worth your time. If you’re taking a more “slow and steady wins the race” approach to blogging and interested in benefits other than traffic, guest posting is definitely a great blog-building technique to add to your promotional activities.

Interested in getting the most out of a guest post – or really any post you write on any blog? Jon Morrow is coming to NMX Las Vegas this January to present a session on the Anatomy of a 100,000 Visitor Post. You don’t want to miss this one!

How to Convince Popular Bloggers to Feature Your Guest Posts


The name Danny Iny is everywhere online, though you might not know him from his own company, Firepole Marketing. Or, at least, that might not be where you’ve first heard his name. Danny’s traffic has grown dramatically in part through guest posting. In fact, in 2011 alone, he published over 80 guest posts.

Like any tactic, guest posting isn’t going to take you, as Danny puts it, “from zero to retirement.” However, if you’re just starting out, you’re probably not getting a ton of traffic to your own site. If you go where eyeballs are, you can start to find your audience.

But how do you get your guest posts featured on popular blogs?

In this video Think Traffic’s Corbett Barr, Danny talks about the art of guest posting — what works, what doesn’t work, and the benefits you can expect from guest posting. Check it out!

Have you published guest posts? Leave a comment with your best tip! What has worked for you — and what hasn’t worked?

28 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Guest Posts


Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Guest Posts

Guests posts can be part of your strategy to build your audience and get links pointing back to your blog. However, it isn’t as easy as just penning a post and sending it off to your favorite blogger for posting if you want to reap the most benefits from guest posting. Here on the NMX blog, we wrote a five-part series about guest posts, which starts here, but today’s Brilliant Bloggers is all about guest posts – and we have tons of links to other resources about guest posting.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

Guest Posting Like A God (Or Goddess!): 3 Experts Show You How It’s Really Done by Gregory Ciotti

In this post, Greg Ciotti talks to three guest posting experts: Danny Iny, Onibalusi Bamidele, and Georgina Laidlaw. You might be familiar with both Danny’s and Onibalusi’s names, as these guys have written hundreds of guests posts. Georgina gives a third perspective as the keeper of the schedule at Problogger.net, which features several guest posters every week. So, before you start doing this yourself, see what these experts in the field have to say about the art of guest posting. After checking out the post, you can follow Greg on Twitter at @GregoryCiotti.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about guest blogging? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: SEO

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Beginner’s Guide to Guest Posting Basics


Guest posting is a technique some bloggers use to increase their traffic. Today, as part of the Beginner’s Guide series I’m writing here on the BlogWorld blog, I thought I’d take some time to talk about what guest posts are, why you should or shouldn’t write and accept them, how to be a guest poster, and other information you need to know about guest posts!

What is Guest Posting?

A guest post is a post you publish on someone else’s blog. Most blogs do not pay guest posters, but it depends on the blogger. Guest posters typically write about a topic that has a relation to your their blog, but that also fits with the other blogger’s niche as well. For example, if you blog about getting out of debt, you might guest post on a food blog about budget meal planning. You can also guest post on “competing” blogs – blogs that are in the same niche as your own.

Before or after the content of the guest post, the blogger will post a one or two sentence bio, where you can link back to your own blog. Some bloggers will also add a paragraph or two of their own, usually at the beginning, telling their readers that this is a guest post and explaining why it is an important topic.

Advantages to Guest Posting

When you guest post, you have access to new readers to share you opinions or knowledge, since the blog in question already has its own fans. The hope is that they’ll like what you write so much that they click on the link in your bio to read more of what you’ve written on your own blog and, hopefully, become regular readers there too.

Another advantage to guest posting is that you get a link back to your own blog, which is good for SEO purposes. This is especially valuable if you guest post on a blog with a PageRank of 3 or higher. When you write your bio, keep this in mind and consider using link text that makes sense. For example, if you want to rank higher for you blog’s name, use that text to create a link, but if it’s more important for you to rank higher on search engines for specific keywords, use that text as well. For example, on a guest post, I might use the bio:

Allison writes about blogging and social media on the BlogWorld blog.

Or, instead, I might use:

Allison writes about how to blog for BlogWorld’s blog.

The first will help me rank better if someone searches “BlogWorld blog” while the second will help me rank better is someone searches for “how to blog” – make sure to do a little keyword research when considering your options so you get the most benefit from your link.

A third advantage to guest posts is name recognition. Even if people don’t click through to read your own blog, if they start seeing your name pop up on lots of other blogs in the niche, they’ll start to remember it. Eventually, they may look you up. The name recognition also helps you get accepted as a speaker for events like BlogWorld, as well as get offers for not just speaking gigs, but also other types of jobs, like consulting and contributing – and these are paying positions in many cases.

Of course, it should be noted that some blogs will pay for guest posts. The down side to guest posting in these blogs is it is harder to be a guest poster because they usually have very specific requirements and accept a very limited number of guest posts per month.

Guest Posting – A Little Overrated?

Although the advantages of guest posts haven’t be overstated in the above section, keep in mind that writing a guest post – even for an extremely popular blog – is not going to lead to a million new readers on your own blog. Even if your guest post is beyond awesome, readers on other sites as not super likely to click bio links. They’re more likely to click on links within the post itself, but these links are generally discouraged in guest posts unless they are SUPER relevant to whatever you’re writing about.

A few months ago, I wrote a post on my personal blog called “I’m Calling BS on Guest Posts” that I highly recommend you check out before spending lots of time seeking out opportunities and writing posts you could instead use on your own blog. Yes, there are advantages, but don’t believe guest posting is the best use of your time if you’re looking for a huge amount of new readers. Even the spike you get initially will be just that – a spike, rather than long-term traffic.

So, do guest posts…but understand the advantages first!

How to Guest Post

Ready to start guest posting? Awesome! I have a group of posts especially for you to help you get started, even if you’re completely new to the guest posting concept:

And if you have additional questions about writing and placing guest posts, just leave them as a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them!

Accepting Guest Posts

Before closing out this post, I thought I should also cover the flip side to writing guest posts – accepting them. There are both advantage and disadvantages to publishing guest posts on your blog. Here are the advantages:

  • Guest posts can keep your blog active when you need time off.
  • When you publish someone’s guest post, you build a relationship with them.
  • Guest posts bring search engine users looking for posts about that topic to your site.
  • You can publish guest posts about topics in your niche that you don’t know much about, which adds value to your blog for regular readers.
  • The guest poster will likely promote their post on social media sites, so you’ll get traffic from their connections.

There are some disadvantages as well:

  • Since it’s on your blog, you’re liable for what a guest poster writes.
  • Advertising that you accept guest posts (or even publishing guest posts) will open your inbox to an influx of post offers. Some of them will be amazing. Most of them will be complete crap.
  • Publishing tons of guest posts waters down your brand. Experienced bloggers can get away with it somewhat, since people already know them (though I’m still not a fan of tons of guest posts personally). If you’re a new blogger, posting more guest posts than you write yourself can be really confusing to readers.
  • Guest posts might be optimized for search engines using terms that you want to rank for with other posts. You don’t want people searching for something to find a guest post before they find your own post.
  • You’ll be linked to that person, which could be problematic if they’re involved with any kind of scandal or drama in the future.

If you are going to accept guest posts, I recommend having a page on your  blog where you can list any requirements you have (beyond “high quality” of course) and tell people how to contact you. Make sure you review submissions carefully before agreeing to publish anything. You want to post only the best on your blog!

A final note: If you’re interested in publishing a guest post here on the BlogWorld blog, shoot an email to me at allison@blogworldexpo.com with your idea and I’ll make sure your information gets passed on to the right person!

Guest Posting 101: After Your Guest Post is Live


Over the past week or so, we’ve been talking about guest posting. We’ve gone over writing the post, linking within the post, and pitching your ideas to other bloggers – but the work doesn’t end there. Many guest posters make the mistake of moving on to the next guest posting opportunity right away, but if you want the most bang for your buck, it pays to take some time to do a little work after the post is live.

Step One: Social Network Promotion

As soon as your post is live, please take a moment to promote it to your network. I get it; the reason you do guest posts is to find new fans, but taking the time to promote it yourself is a “thank you” to the blogger to posted it. I like to promote the guest post at least three times – once right when it is posted, once later in the day when different time zones are awake, and once a few days later.

The added benefit is that your peripheral friends might be really crazy fans of the blog that posted your guest post. If they see you mention it, you create a common bond. Hey, you wrote a post for the BlogWorld blog? I love the BlogWorld blog! We have something in common! Let me make an effort to get to know you and check out your home blog as well!

Step Two: Blog Promotion

Some people announce on their own blogs when they’ve done a guest post. That’s really up to you, and in my opinion, it should depend on your post rate. For example, I only post one long-ish post per week on After Graduation (maybe two if I’m feeling fiesty), so it doesn’t really work well to have every other post be a guest post announcement. If you post several times every day, mentioning a guest post spot might make more sense.

What I do recommend having, in any case, is some kind of “As Seen On” page or list of links on your sidebar. When people who are new to your blog are checking you out and determining whether or not to be subscribers (or even advertisers), seeing that some of the bloggers they already know and trust have featured in you increases the likelihood that they’ll be back. In a non-terminator kind of way.

Step Three: Respond to Comments

One thing that really annoys me as a commenter is when I leave a comment that asks a question and no one responds. I’m of the mindset that bloggers don’t have to respond to every comment, but if you write a guest post and there’s a comment that demands a response, please do so. On guest posts, I actually recommend trying to respond to as many comments as possible, even if you aren’t that response-happy on a new blog. You’re new to the party, and people are introducing themselves. Say hello.

I will say that after some time (about a week in my opinion), the responsibility to respond to guest post comments isn’t really on your shoulders anymore. You don’t get notifications as to when they’re received, so at that point, I think it’s the responsibility of the home blogger to either respond or to email you that you should think about responding. Don’t worry about wasting oodles of time checking every single guest post every single day!

Step Four: Follow Up with the Blogger

Congratulations! You now have a working relationship with the blogger. Don’t let that connection fizzle out. Make sure you’re mutually following one another on Twitter, friends on Facebook, or otherwise connected via social media and keep the love going. Stop by their blog to comment from time to time, and if your first experience did well, consider pitching another post in the future. Bloggers who post your content have already raised their hand and said they like you. Don’t let the conversation end.

That’s all I have for the guest posting series! I’d love to hear about your guest posting experiences. Here are the rest of the posts in this series:

Guest Posting 101: Penning the Perfect Post


Yesterday, I talked a little bit about why you should guest post in Guest Posting 101: An Introduction, but today, I wanted to get into the real meat of this series, starting with some information about penning the perfect guest post. I’ve actually written hundreds of guest posts (on behalf of myself and on behalf of clients) with varying degrees of success. Let’s look at what works…and what does not.

Post Content – Writing for Another Blog

The best guest posts are a fusion of styles. It is extremely important to remain true to yourself and your blogging style when you write a guest post, because you don’t want the reader to be shocked by something completely different when clicking through to your site. At the same time, the post has to work for the blog where you’re posting. Those readers won’t respond well to something completely strange and different (and you’ll have a hard time getting the blogger to agree to posting it).

When it comes to post content, here’s what you should consider:

  • Relevance:

Is the post you’re writing going to be relevant to the reader of the blog where you’re posting it? You want to show off your expertise, but if you write about parenting on a tech blog, you’re not going to be relevant for a large percentage of readers. Beware of mish-mosh blogs that except guest posts on any topic and don’t have a closely defined niche. You can get some SEO juice by posting on these sites, but unless they have a huge readership, you probably aren’t going to be relevant to 99% of the people who randomly land on the site.

  • Meet Expectations:

When readers visit a blog, they have certain expectations. If you want to write a successful guest post, you have to meet those expectations. We already talked about being relevant to the reader, but even if you do find a tie-in, the post might not be a good fit. Let’s go back to our parenting and tech examples. As a parenting blogger, you could absolutely write a post about the top ten video games for kids, which makes it relevant for a tech blog (if they cover video game news), but are you meeting the expectations of readers? If the blog never covers kid-friendly material, readers are probably not coming to that blog for that kind of advice, even if they are parents. I’m not saying that it won’t work at all…but proceed with caution. Make sure that when you surprise readers with content they don’t expect, it’s a delight, not a turn-off.

  • Quality

It might not be posted on your blog, but it will be posted with your name on it. It goes without saying that it should be high-quality. If you spent 10 minutes throwing together a guest post, it will show, and that only hurts your brand even if you can find a blogger willing to post it. Keep the quality as high as you would on your own blog.

Establishing Authority

One of the biggest mistakes that I see with guest posts is that the writer doesn’t establish authority. Being a friend of someone with authority is not enough!

Let me explain – this goes back to one of the points I made above: expectation. When a reader visits a blog, he or she doe so because the blogger is an authority in the niche (and also, in the best cases, entertaining or inspiring). No matter how entertaining or inspiring you might be, if you don’t establish the fact that you’re an authority too, they’ll likely just skim your guest post. What gives you the right to move from blog reader to guest poster? They’ve been reading the same blog as you – why are you rising above their knowledge to post something on their beloved site?

Show a little proof. Do you run an extremely popular blog in a related niche? Give us some numbers. Are you talking about making money? Don’t just give us vague figures – give us dollar amounts. Explain to us, either in your bio or in the post itself, why we should listen to you.

Free Milk

You want your guest post to be awesome…but you also don’t want to face the free milk problem.

You’ve heard of the saying, “why buy the cow when the milk is free” haven’t you? They usually aren’t talking about blogging, but it can be applied here. If your guest post is the ultimate resource on a topic, the readers might not really have a reason to actually click through to your blog. Give them that reason! At the end, tease the reader a little, telling them about some of the other awesome content they can find if they decide to visit you.

A word of caution – make sure that you site can back up your guest post. If you’re going to give others amazing posts that people love, your own site better be filled with amazing posts as well. It’s always disappointing for me when I click through to someone’s main site and it’s a lot of throw-away crap that doesn’t live up to the guest posts.

So, that’s what I got for penning the perfect post – what about you? If you’re a frequent guest poster, give us some of your best tips for writing a great guest post. Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about linking within your posts in the best way possible!

Here are all the links in this series:

Review: MyBlogGuest Premium


If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that I’m a fan of MyBlogGuest, a forum run by Ann Smarty from SEO Smarty. This forum was created to help connect bloggers who are interested in writing and posting guest posts. You can get started for free, and I highly recommend signing up for this version if you’re even slightly interested in guest posting in some capacity. For free, you can:

  • Surf the forums for bloggers looking for people to guest post on their blogs
  • Post a guest posting opportunity if you want guest posts on your own blog
  • Post that you’re looking for places to guest post about a specific topic
  • Post/view real paying jobs available around the web
  • Ask for help promoting guest posts via social media
  • Participate in blogging contests
  • Chit chat with other bloggers who are interested in similar topics
  • Access a free email course about guest posting

Yes – all of this is completely free, so you really have nothing to lose in checking it out. I working with one of my clients to secure guest post opportunities, and this forum has been invaluable for me. There’s no guess work – if a blogger posts on this forum, you know they are accepting guest posts. Without MyBlogGuest, I would be left contacting bloggers randomly, hoping they accept guest posts, and that takes a lot of time.

But what about MyBlogGuest premium? There’s an option for you to purchase premium membership for $20 per month, and after months of considering it, I decided to take the plunge last month and upgrade my account. Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about what you get as a premium member and whether not it is worth it for you as a blogger.

As a premium member, you get access to a private forum, where premium members can speak with one another, but to be honest, I don’t really see much value in this private forum personally. The real value in premium membership, in my opinion, is with the article gallery.

As the name implies, the article gallery is  a section where users can upload posts that need homes. You upload the title, content, and byline you’d like, along with a picture (optional), tags, and a short description. Users who want guest posts for their blogs can browse the articles by category or keyword and make an offer to you if they think your post would be a good fit for their site. As the post’s writer, you can review all of the offers you receive and choose one or reject them all and wait for another offer.

Screenshot of the article gallery. Note how you can click on categories or search for posts via tags. If you scroll down, you can also see the most recently uploaded guest posts.

You can also suggest your post to other users. If you do this, that user will receive an email alerting them that their is a post that might be a good fit for their blog. It’s a great option if you have an awesome post that hasn’t attracted much attention in the article gallery.

Additionally, you can post directly to blogs for users that allow this option. With this feature, you can send your post directly to the person’s blog, so all they have to do is hit the publish button when they log into their dashboard. You can search for blogs that allow this feature by keyword.

Of course, this has been my perspective as a guest post writer, but it all works in reverse for someone who wants to post guest posts. You can browse the gallery for posts that are relevant to your site, add the “post directly to blog” option so you’ll see new posts when you log into your blog’s dashboard, and accept suggested posts that users email to you.

My experiences have been mostly positive. I’ve found that 99% of the time when I upload a new post to the article gallery, I have multiple offers for that post within 24 hours. Occasionally, a post sits in the gallery longer, and when that happens, I like having the option to suggest it to other users or post directly to blogs. Suggestions have worked out great. I have mixed feelings about posting directly to other blogs – when using this function, I’ve found that it’s a crapshoot. Sometimes, the person gets back to me, but just as often, I never hear back.

Final Recommendations:

So, should you upgrade your account to be a premium member? Yes. Well, maybe. It depends what your time is worth to you, your ultimate goals as a guest poster, and the volume of guest posts you do. Let me explain.

What MyBlogGuest premium essentially does via the article gallery is allow people to approach you when they want a guest posts, so you don’t have to spend time researching the blogs out there that might fit what you want to write. However, you don’t necessary get guest post opportunities from top bloggers in your niche, mainly because most of these bloggers are MyBlogGuest members. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t awesome blogs using this service – there are – but they are most small and mid-sized blogs.

I’ve also noticed that some MyGuestBlog users have blogs don’t necessarily have a strong niche. They’ll accept any content. This might be okay if you’re guest posting for SEO purposes, but it isn’t necessarily going to help you if you’re looking to connect with new readers.

Keep in mind that if you want to get your money’s worth, you have to actually be able to devote time to writing guest posts. You still have to write the actual post – the $20 per month that you’re paying to be a premium user is justified because you’ll be saving time in finding guest post opportunities. If you only write one or two guest posts per month, the price of premium might not be worth it to you, especially if you already have a large network of contacts who would be willing to accept your guest posts whenever you email them.

For my needs, MyBlogGuest is awesome. I write guest posts for a client who blogs about and sells insurance, which is much different than my own blog’s niche (and therefore doesn’t really make sense for the network of contacts I’ve personally built). This client pays me based on the number of guest posts I can have posted every week, so saving time is important to me. MyBlogGuest has paid for itself over and over and over again in just the short one month I’ve been using premium membership.

I will say this as well: if you’re someone who needs motivation, paying for premium membership can inspire you to get moving with guest posting, something that can really give your blog a boost. Money is always motivation for me!

Something else I want to make very clear: If you’re someone who wants to accept guest posts on your blog, but not necessarily write them, premium membership is not for you. You can find posts on MyBlogGuest with just a free membership – you don’t get any extra perks as a premium member, other than the private forum access, but as I’ve noted before, I don’t see a ton of added benefit to that part of the forum. Most of the users active there are just as active on the free forum.

I recommend started out with free membership to learn how the MyBlogGuest forum works, and peruse the article gallery for some content for your own blog. If you find that guest posting is something you want to do more, explore the premium membership option. At least test it out for one month – $20 isn’t much of an investment, and in just a month it’s easy to determine whether or not the price is worth the benefits for you.

Disclosure: I did not receive free access to MyBlogGuest premium in order to write this review (I paid full price out of pocket), and I’m not part of any kind of affiliate program, so there’s no financial benefit to me if you sign up. I was honestly just interested in exploring this option and wanted to recommend it to you! I’m not opposed to receiving free review products or affiliate programs with transparency, that’s just not what’s happening here.

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