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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?

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: Pitching Your Post


You can write all the guests posts you want, but it doesn’t matter unless you can do a good job pitching your ideas to other bloggers. This is where a lot of really talented writers fail. You have to understand how to connect with other bloggers so that they’re more than happy to publish anything you write.

So let’s talk about pitching your posts.

Write First or Pitch First?

One of the most common questions people ask me about guest posting is this: should I write my post first and pitch it to bloggers or should I pitch my ideas to bloggers and then write. There’s no one right answer to that question – it depends on the situation and on the blog.

If you know the blogger enough to have conversations via social media occasionally and meet up at conferences, I suggest pitching them first. You have a working relationship – simply ask if they’re accepting guest posts and go from there. When you have a relationship with someone, you can develop ideas for guest posts together or even consider posting something from them on your own blog.

If you don’t know the blogger personally, though, it might not make sense to pitch ideas if you don’t have the post written yet. Check out the blogger’s guest post policy if they have one. Some prefer to receive ideas, while others just want to see the full post. If they don’t have a guest post policy, here are a few tips to help you decide if you should send the full post or simply send ideas:

  • A-listers who get tons of traffic and lots of emails don’t have time for lots of exchanges. Send your full post unless their guest post policy says otherwise.
  • Do you see other guest posts on the blog? If not, the blogger might not accept them, even from friends. Ask first.
  • If you see a blogger mention an upcoming vacation on Twitter or Facebook, reply and ask if they’d like guest posting help in the meantime. It’s simpler than an email, and you can get a quick yes or no before you spend time writing a post.
  • Is the blog more personal or more informational? The more personal the blog, the more likely it is that they want to exchange guest post ideas via email first, because their blog is more branded around their personality.

When in doubt, send the guest post in full. If it really is perfect for their blog, they’ll accept it. I’ve even placed guest posts with bloggers who don’t normally accept them because the post I sent was such a good fit.

What’s in it for Me?

When you pitch a guest post to a blogger, you want to make the email short and sweet. So, don’t spend what precious space you have talking about what’s in it for you. Talk about what’s in it for the blogger.

Be realistic. Don’t say that your post is going to send them tons of traffic because you really can’t be sure that it will, even if you’re the most a-list blogger out there and wrote the most search engine optimized post in the world. Instead, simply make offers. Will you promote the post on your social networks? Will you blog about it?

Also, make sure that the post makes sense for the blogger – and mention that. Don’t get post if you aren’t familiar with the blog, and definitely do your research to make sure they’ve never published a post on the exact same topic in the past. Even if you’re a fan, do a quick search to make sure they didn’t post the same thing you’re hoping to post before you were a reader or in a post you missed while sick/on vacation. Don’t be afraid to mention where you think the post would fit in terms of category, especially if the blog covers a wide spectrum of topics.

Your Pitch Doesn’t Need…

As you’re writing the email to pitch your post, there are a few things you don’t need to include:

  • A Deadline

Bloggers are busy. If you don’t hear back in a week, you should definitely follow up, but your initial email doesn’t need some kind of imposed deadline. It comes off like a threat. If you don’t get back to me by the 15th, I’m going to approach other bloggers. You know what that makes me think? Go ahead. In reality, your post might fit on a few different blogs (though avoid being too generic). But giving a deadline makes it seem you’re just going to offer your post to blogger after blogger until someone takes it. It makes your post sound…well, not very good.

  • Warnings about your Links

You can also leave out the part where you say that you want a link back to your site. That’s why people guest post. Just include your bio with the post itself, along with the link. Otherwise, it takes up space and looks like you’re just interested in the benefits you’ll get if they post what you’ve written. I once received a request from a blogger who spent an entire seven-sentence paragraph talking to me about how if I used his post, I had to include the bio exactly as written with links in tact. He even said that if I didn’t, he would consider it steal. Um…you’re asking me for a favor. Stop being a guest post diva.

  • Anything Else

If you send me an email with a guest post pitch, don’t also include other requests or information. I like to keep my inbox organized and I get easily distracted. Name your email something like “guest post” so I don’t miss it and save everything else for another email.

Have you received any good or bad guest post pitches? What did the other blogger to right or wrong? Leave a comment! And don’t forget to check out the other posts in this series:

Guest Posting 101: Link Like a Champ


Yesterday, I talked a bit about Penning the Perfect Post if you want to start guest posting, but there’s one element I left out – adding links to your post. When it comes to linking, especially when talking about SEO, someone could probably write a whole book on the different linking theories and practices. I’ll just tell you what works for me – and if you write guest posts, add a comment at the end to tell us all what works for you!

Some SEO Basics

Before I get into the meat of this post, let me first go over a few SEO basics for beginners out there. When you include a link in your guest post (or in your posts in general), it is important to pay attention to the words you actually link. These are your keywords, and they should be the words you’d imagine someone typing into Google to actually get to whatever page you’re linking. So, for example, say I wanted to promote this post in a guest post I was writing for someone else. I might link using the words “guest post linking” or “using links in your guest post” since those are words people might type into Google that are relevant to my post. Some people spend a lot of time doing keyword research. If you want to do that, great. If not, even being a little mindful of it and using keywords instead of stuff like “click here” or “my blog post,” you’ll be ahead of the game.

Link Overload

When you’re writing a post for your own site, you might want to include tons of links back to your own work or to blog posts that you’ve read and enjoyed. When you’re writing guest posts, you have to be a little more discreet. Everyone knows that guest posts are all about promoting your own blog, but if you do too much promotion – even if your links are relevant – you’re going to have a hard time placing the post on another blog.

Bloggers agree to post guest posts because they want cool content for their site. Most are happy to give you credit and even some links back to your site, bit too many links starts to get unattractive to them. Remember, every link you include is sending people away from their blog. If a post is full of extremely good information, but includes tons of links, most bloggers won’t accept it.

So how many links should you include? Consider:

  • Length: In general, the longer your guest post, the most links you can include.
  • Niche: Some niches are more link-friendly than others.
  • The Proposed Blog: Some bloggers are more link-friendly than others.

Your Bio

Almost all guest posts include a bio at the end (or at the beginning – depends on the blogger’s formatting style). Your bio is your chance to shine. You want it to entice people to learn more about you and what you do on your own blog, and from a linking perspective, you can go hog wild.

Well, kind of.

You still don’t want to include a billion links, especially since bios are typically only about two sentences long. Still, it is more than acceptable to include two to three links. Some bloggers who post guest posts actually request that you not include any links within the body of the article, giving you only your bio for linking. I actually recommend at least two links: one for SEO purposes and one that appeals more to actual readers who might want to visit your site.

Want an example? Check out the bio I include at the end of my BlogWorld posts. It might change in the future, but here’s what I have right now:

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner of After Graduation, a site for career advice and motivation. She works as a freelance writer and would love to connect with you on Twitter (@allison_boyer). Allison is also working on a super secret blog project, which you can read about here.

After Graduation is my site name, but also the keyword that a lot of people use to find the site, so that makes sense. “Freelance writer” is linked for SEO purposes. I want people who are looking for a freelance writer to get to my freelance writing site. The other two links, to my Twitter and to my blog project, are not going to help me with search engines, but they (hopefully) appeal to people reading my content who want to learn more about me.

Four links is probably the top I’d include in any kind of guest post bio (these are not exactly the guest posts here at BlogWorld, but it’s the same basic concept). Splitting them evenly between links for SEO and links to entice readers is what works best for me.

Okay, that’s my best advice for linking within guest posts. Check out the other posts in this series and give us your best tips in the comments below!

Guest Posting 101: An Introduction


I get a lot of questions to my inbox about guest posts. I actually do a lot of guest posting on behalf of a client of mine – I’ve help him build a great blog, and now I’m helping him spread the word through guest posts. Guest posting is a way to get some major traffic to your blog – if you do it correctly.

So, I wanted to write a short series here at BlogWorld about guest posting based on the success I’ve had in this area. This post is an introduction to guest posting – but scroll to the end to find other posts on writing, pitching, and promotion.

There are two main goals with guest posts:

  1. Gaining traffic through readers who enjoyed your post and want to read more from you.
  2. Gaining traffic through SEO by linking good keywords back to your site.

In my opinion, a good guest post considers both elements. If you write an awesome guest post, but don’t consider SEO at all, you’re missing out on traffic that you could have had without compromising the integrity of the guest post. On the other hand, if you write a crap guest post just for SEO purposes, not only will you have a hard time placing it, but you’re also losing traffic because potential readers won’t click through to your site. If you’re going to the trouble of writing and pitching guest posts, make sure they’re optimized for both types of traffic!

There’s a third benefit to guest post that is somewhat hidden and there’s no way to measure the benefits, at least not in terms of traffic numbers. I can tell you from my own experiences that it exists, though! The advantages I’m talking about is name recognition. As you begin to guest post other places, even if people don’t click through to your site, they start to recognize your name. If you want to be an authority in your niche, people have to know your name. Maybe they don’t check out your site after reading this guest post or that guest post…but if your name keeps popping up with blogs they do read, it is only a matter of time before their curiosity gets the best of them and they become a reader.

Don’t forget that guest posting, at the very least, puts you on the radar of the blogger who posts your work. Sometimes, this is the best way to make an a-list aware that you exist. They otherwise might not realize that your blog is awesome – but if you propose a guest post that is a good fit, they’ll head to your site to check out your other work.

I’ve even gotten jobs this way. People needing writing done in a certain area sometimes peruse the big-name blogs to look for contractors. It’s actually an ingenious strategy for finding up-and-comers to write for your projects.

I hope you’ll give guest posting a try. If you’re new it the idea, stick around – in the next post, I’m going to talk about penning the perfect guest post. When all of the posts in this series are live, you’ll be able to see them at the follow links:

When to Accept Guest Posts…and When Not To


The guest post has become a major part of the world of contemporary blogs, which are rarely written by a single person (and almost never written by a single person if the blog has commercial aspirations). Since blogs can so easily be accused of nearsightedness – featuring only a single writer or a single viewpoint, or obsessing over one thing even within the blog’s more general focus – guest blog posts can prove to be hugely useful under the right circumstances, though it takes careful editing and a good sense of judgment to make sure that the posts you choose to carry actually help your blog.

A good guest post achieves several things at once: it expands your blog’s field of knowledge without going completely outside of your reader base’s interests, it offers potential for audience crossover if your guest blogger has their own pre-established and loyal reader base, and it gives both you and your guest blogger greater exposure.

For example, if you write a blog about music and you think your audience wants to read something about an artist or a genre you’re unfamiliar with, you could have another music blogger who writes on that subject for their blog contribute a guest post. The guest blogger links to you from them, you link to the guest’s main blog (and perhaps provide a guest entry there, too), your audiences cross over, increasing hits, and you potentially get new opportunities to bring up your advertising revenues. Your audience is bigger and better informed and your brand is now more viable than it once was; everyone wins.

However, the key to this model working is simple: your guest posters need to be informative and interesting, able to bring traffic your way, and someone who isn’t going to hurt the image of your blog, either in terms of its brand or its reputation. Irrelevant, uninformative, and uninteresting material will often frustrate and alienate potential readers, which will then do the exact opposite of what a good guest post does. A bad guest post hurts your credibility as much as it the writer hurts themselves; be sure to keep up with your commenters an see what readers think of your guest posters and figure out what is and isn’t working before you give more precious screen space to someone. Do know, though, that the guest post can easily work in your favor, and to take advantage of it.

Andrew Hall is a guest blogger for Guide to Online Schools.

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