There is a reason why some famous marketers are so active with guest posting all over the place.
Neil Patel does it. Danny Iny built the foundation for his business with guest posting. And there are multiple other examples.
And I admit if I see famous marketers doing something, the least I do is think about it as an option to give my marketing efforts and extra boost.
But I am also aware that not everybody who participates in guest posting will see the results they are looking for. Some get totally frustrated with guest posting and come to the conclusion that guest posting is a huge waste of time.
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Who is right? The fans of guest posting or the critics who never saw the big results? Maybe even both?
The truth is that there is more to successful guest blogging than getting a post published on another blog. Many things can go wrong; many things can be neglected or disregarded. And all these seemingly small mistakes will lead to frustration and failure of your guest blogging efforts.
1. You have no clue what you want to achieve
You have heard that guest posting is great and simply ran for it. And now you are wondering why you cannot see the huge results you were promised.
Did you make sure that you have a clear goal in mind before you ran blindly into guest posting? Did you optimize everything around your guest post to achieve this goal?
Image Source: Charles Ngo
If you do not have a clear goal, it will be hard to optimize our efforts toward achieving it. Just because guest posting is great does not mean that you can expect huge results if you do not even consider where you want to go with your guest blogging.
Make sure you know where you are headed and then make sure you get everything right to get there.
2. You Chose The Wrong Blog
What were your criteria to chose the blog you posted on? Was it famous? Did it promise a ton of traffic? Is it cool? Did you happen do know the blog owner? Did they ask you to contribute?
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While all these reasons may be legitimate, they may simply not be the decisive reasons that make a blog the perfect blog to post on.
Sure, a blog you are guest posting on should have an audience. But in reality, a small but highly targeted blog may give you much better results than a huge blog from a totally wrong niche.
A famous blog may be great for bragging – but if they hardly give you the chance to show who you are and will not let you mention your business in the author bio, the benefits will be small.
Choosing the best blog for your guest post is one of the most important steps towards guest posting success.
3. Your Contact Email Sucks
You wrote hundreds of emails but nobody cares, and nobody accepted your offer to guest post? Maybe you should reconsider your contact email.
Image Source: Quicksprout
Did you mix up names and blogs? Happens all the time, but it is the first step towards rejection.
Did you try to convince the blog owner that guest blogging is great for him? Don’t!
The contact email is for you to tell who you are, what a great contribution you can offer for the blog – and (if you have) to add some links to your previous work.
If the blog owner does not want guest posts – you will not be the one to convince him/her otherwise.
4. Your Topic Is Wrong
I have seen a ton of advice on how to choose a great topic for the blog you want to guest post on. But that is not the only thing you should consider when you choose your topic.
Guest Posting will only be beneficial for you and your business if the topic you write about is close enough to what you usually do with your own blog or business.
The reason is simple: If the guest post topic is too far off your own interests, it will not attract the attention of the crowd you want to reach – and the audience you attract will not be interested enough in your other work.
5. Your Post is Crap
Ok. This should be obvious. If your post simply sucks and fails to deliver great information for your target group – you will never see any outstanding results from your efforts.
Even if you manage to get that awful post published somewhere: If the post is not convincing, your guest blogging will not be a success.
6. You neglected your headline
This is something that is valid for all blogging. But it is especially important for guest blogging:
Your headline can well decide the fate of a post. A great headline will give you shares and clicks. And boring headline will send your post straight to the blog post cemetery.
Image Source: Quicksprout
While some blog owners will recognize a bad headline and simply change it to something more effective, often since you are a guest the blog host will not do it. And once the post is published as a blog owner I may well change the title of my own post – most of the time I will avoid changing something in an already published guest post.
You have it in your own hands to make sure that your post is published with a great headline. A headline that will help to give your post the attention it deserves.
7. You are not following best practices for the hosting blog or guest author guidelines
If a blog gives you exact guidelines for what kind of posts they are looking for: follow them. If they want a post of 2000 words, do not send a short 500-word piece – even if you feel you have more information in the short piece than a long piece would give. If they want images to prove your point: provide them.
They won’t break their rules just for you.
Image Source: Hubspot
8. Your Author Bio Is Boring
Your author bio is the one place where you are fairly free to link to your website or even promote content. It is up to you to make the author bio interesting and a figurehead for yourself and your business.
Image Source: Copyblogger
Crafting great author bio is an art – and may take some practice. But beware: You can only craft the best author bio if you are clear about your guest blogging goals.
9. You Forgot A Call To Action
If you are a marketer you probably know that a call to action can well make all the difference between success and failure. But did you think about using the perfect call-to-action to get more out of your guest posting efforts? Where you ask? In your author bio for instance!
Replace all your boring statements like „Author works at company“ or „Find the author on Twitter“ with call-to-actions like „You can follow the author on Twitter“ or „Check out author’s awesome work on topic“ – and see how much better a call to action will perform.
10. You Never thought about offering a freebie
The author bio is your playground. And many hosting blogs allow you to promote something in the author bio. While trying to sell a product directly via the author bio may not yield the best conversion rates, a freebie is your chance of turning the readers of your guest post directly into signups and leads.
Ever thought about using a freebie? No? You are not alone. But you should!
Think about this: You write an awesome guest post. In your author bio, you offer a freebie on a closely related topic in combination with a call-to-action.
This can easily boost your lead generation to totally new heights!
Image Source: SumoMe
11. Your Landing Page does not Do The Trick
Now, you have followed the advice and even thought about offering a freebie? But still, people do not sign up and your lead generation from guest posting still sucks?
Image Source: Peter Sandeen
You need to make sure that the landing page where you offer your freebie is optimized. Check the traffic to that landing page, if people click but do not convert your landing page needs an upgrade.
Final words on Guest Blogging
I am guilty of committing some of these mistakes with my guest posting efforts myself. While I never had any problem of getting a guest post accepted, I had to learn how to optimize for better results.
I have seen thousands of guest posts. Some I have written myself. Some I have found while searching for great content. I often wonder why some of you make all the effort to guest post and then neglect to optimize whatever you can to get the most out of it.
I sometimes wonder why so few people make the effort to craft an awesome author bio. Why I get contact emails that are plain lazy. I wonder what goals the guest authors have and if they get there with what they do.
Are you active in guest posting? What are your experiences: Is it worth the effort?
Are you struggling with your guest blogging? Are you not seeing the results from your guest posting efforts that you were hoping for? Are you afraid to start your guest blogging strategy?
We can help!
We have grown two businesses with guest blogging. We have published guest posts on major outlets like Social Media Examiner, Jeff Bullas’ Blog and Hubspot (Germany).
And we would be more than happy to pass on our knowledge and experience.
You can find everything you need to know about guest blogging and how to use it to give your business or blog an extra boost in our ebook: “Write. Publish. Grow. The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging.”