Guest blogging is one of the best strategies for marketing new websites, businesses or products. Especially when your own audience is still small the chance to „borrow“ an audience from an already existing website or blog is invaluable.
Here are 5 guest blogging examples and case studies for you to learn from. They show the variety of benefits you can get from guest posting – and there is much more to guest blogging than link building and search engine optimization. The examples will give you some tips and tactics on what to keep in mind to get some major benefits in return for all your invested time and effort – and it is not all about getting organic traffic.
1. Buffer – Take your Business From Zero to 100k Customers
When the social media scheduling app Buffer was new to the market, Leo Widrich the co-founder wrote approximately 150 guest posts. And managed to grow the customer base for Buffer from zero to 100k customers within 9 months. Leo went the classical way. He started posting on smaller blogs that did not drive a ton of traffic to their website.
But with more experience and growing success, the blogs he posted on got bigger, and as his name got more famous, it got easier for him to get guest posts accepted.
Buffer focused more on signups for their app than on traffic. But nevertheless the traffic certainly also grew which was to a large part due to the guest blogging efforts and the inbound links they acquired with each post:
Image Source: Cognitive SEO
Leo Widrich gives some great tips on how to learn to write great posts and get more successful with guest blogging in this interview with Eric Siu.
2. Danny Iny – The Freddy Krueger Of Blogging
When Danny Iny started his marketing business „Firepole Marketing“ (he rebranded his company to Mirasee in 2016) he was not a famous blogger or marketer. Their traffic was nothing to get excited about at 30 visits per day. He was in debt from a former venture, and he simply had to make this work fast.
And he turned to posting on other blogs that already had an audience.
Danny was lucky, he landed his first guest post on Copyblogger.
Landing a first guest post on a huge blog like Copyblogger is not open for everyone – if you do not know someone at an authoritative blog to open the door for you, it is often easier to start guest blogging on smaller blogs and work your way up. Once you have some references, it gets easier to get your guest post published – even on larger blogs.
For Danny Iny, his post on Copyblogger was just the first step on a journey to fame. He wrote 80 guest posts in a couple of months. His traffic grew – but what is even more, he managed to grow his email list in a fairly short time – enabling him to build his own audience and community that is the foundation of his online business success up to this day.
Image Source: Mirasee Blog
3. Gregory Ciotti – Growing Email Subscribers for The HelpScout Blog
Gregory Ciotti is a marketing strategist for HelpScout, a startup that provides email support software for small businesses. He used guest blogging to grow the HelpScout email list to over 36k subscribers in only 14 months.
Image Source: Gregory Ciotti
He shares the key aspects he concentrates on that helped him turn his guest posting efforts into a huge success:
- Make sure you get your call-to-action to the audience and „Avoid Byline blindness.“
- Don’t just guest post: Pick the right topics for your copywriting
- Don’t give away all the best topics: Re-purpose topics that you successfully ran on your own blog
- Try to focus on creating evergreen content: Lifetime of a post decides on the impact
The success of a new book often strongly depends on whether you are able to give your book sales an initial push. There are multiple ways to achieve this initial push.
Some authors use their own email list and a limited period of time where they offer the book for free in exchange for a review on Amazon to get their new book into the Amazon Bestseller lists.
This gets even more effective when you combine it with guest blogging as John Jantsch did when he released his book „Duct Tape Selling — Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar.“
Image Source: Copyblogger
John Jantsch wrote 7 guest posts – not an overly large amount of posts. Using his connections, he managed to get the book on some of the major marketing blogs like Copyblogger, Brian Solis, Convince and Convert and others. In most cases, he simply mentioned the book in his author bio. Getting your book (or product) mentioned on another person’s blog also helps to grow your credibility.
This example shows how valuable it can be to build relationships with other bloggers. One way of building these relationships is guest blogging.
5. Silvio Porcellana – Guest Blogging for SEO
A while ago Google declared war on guest blogging for SEO. So, the interesting question is if guest blogging for SEO still works.
An answer gives this example of guest blogging. Silvio is founder and CEO of Mob.is.it. And he used guest blogging to boost traffic from search engines to his site by 20% due to improved search engine rankings.
He published 44 guest blog posts in 5 months. And here is what happened:
While the direct traffic from the guest posts strongly depended on the hosting blog and did not last, the search traffic increased by 20%.
Apart from the search traffic other numbers also improved that will most likely have more of a long-term impact:
- The Domain authority increased from 29 to 34/100
Image Source: Ahrefs Blog
- There is a steady increase in referring domains
- The Ahrefs rank shows a steady increase
- Organic keywords went up significantly
Guest blogging is by far not dead for SEO – if you write quality guest posts on quality blogs this technique is still a white hat link building strategy that will tremendously improve your search engine results.
Note: Keep in mind to vary your anchor text for the links back to your website. Especially when you are using the same author bio multiple times, it is easy to use the same backlink multiple times. Keep in mind that you are looking for a natural link profile.
Learn from these guest blogging examples
Guest blogging is powerful, and guest blogging is open to everyone who is willing to invest the time and effort. But there is also a lot that can go wrong. The wrong topics on the wrong blog can be utterly wasted. Relevancy is key to making a guest post count.
Optimization of every post should be a must. Neglecting to optimize the posts and everything around it as for instance the author bio, the call to action – and the page you direct your readers – can result in total frustration. Start your content creation with thorough keyword research. And never look at guest blogging as a cheap chance for SEO link building.
Not every niche is the same when it comes to guest blogging. In some areas, it is still fairly easy to land a guest posting opportunity. In some niches, it gets harder by the day to find blogs willing to cooperate with writers they do not know. This is mainly due to spammy SEO tactics from shady “SEO experts.” Your best option to get your post published on a quality blog is to provide outstanding content about a topic that fits the blog but is still not covered multiple times before.
If you want to use guest blogging as a marketing strategy, spend some time on research and get everything right that you can influence. Your results will sure pay you back for the effort put into your guest blogging strategy and you will see much more benefits for your online marketing than increasing traffic from organic search.
We have used guest blogging to build two businesses.
We published guest posts on major marketing blogs like Social Media Examiner, Jeff Bullas’ Blog and Hubspot.
We have used guest blogging to multiply our social media followers, get more signups, grow our search traffic and build our brand reputation.
And we have created an ebook to pass on our knowledge.
If you want to get the best results from your guest blogging efforts, check out our ebook “Write. Publish. Grow. The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging!”