Are You Making These Guest Posting Mistakes?

Guest Blogger Wally Brown

Are you blogging passionately about your favorite subject in the world and you still don't have any readers?

If you are great at what you do, but nobody is finding your blog, keep on reading to learn how to get some great exposure for your blog.

So how can you not only get some great links to your blog so that it starts ranking higher, but also get some legitimate traffic at the same time?

Guest blogging!

“But wait, Google says that guest blogging for SEO is dead!”

The type of guest blogging that I am going to show you how to do is not what the folks at Google are trying to stop. Before I get to it though, let's talk a little about how SEO's ruin everything on the internet.

I don't think SEO people mean to ruin everything, they just get greedy.

The second that an SEO guy or gal figures out the newest trick to rank a website, they package their method up, sell it to 10,000 other SEO's and flood the internet with junk. After a period of time Google catches onto this and puts a stop to it, and then another SEO finds a new loophole and the process repeats endlessly.

And this is exactly what has happened with traditional guest blogging. In the early days of guest blogging people would write for other blogs to gain exposure, share information and get new fans. The link that they would get to their website in exchange for the post was certainly valuable, but it was not the only motivation for guest blogging.

Those days are mostly gone now though. SEO firms and so-called guru's have set up networks of junky websites advertising “guest blogging” opportunities and everyone seems to be jumping on board. The major problem with this method though is that it is not going to last. 

What I am going to show you is not junky guest blogging for SEO. It is publishing real content on real websites for real exposure for your blog. Sure, you will (at least you should) get a link back to your website, but in reality you should be getting so much more than that.

If you are truly passionate with your guest posts, you can get recognition, new fans and notoriety. So how can you make sure you are finding some great blogs to guest post on? This can be tricky, but using some tools and some common sense will really help you a long way in your efforts.

So let's get to it already…here is how you can find some great places to guest blog.

1) Search For Blogs 

There are many phrases you can search Google for to find guest posting opportunities, and this is my favorite. Simply substitute “your niche” for whatever you are wanting to write about. If you are a fitness expert do a search for ~fitness expert “write for us”

What you are searching for here are blogs that are actually looking for guest writers. While some of these are going to be garbage sites, you can find plenty of truly great sites to submit a guest post to. With the phrase “write for us” in quotes you will easily be able to find blogs looking for guest posts from you!



Once you select a few, it is time to take a closer look at them.

2) Due diligence

As I stated before, you do not want to just start writing tons of guest posts to go on any old site, you want real websites with real audiences reading them. So how do you make sure you will be writing for great sites and not junky websites? You can do a little bit of research and get a really good idea of who the better sites are and which ones may just have been set up to make money by charging people to publish their guest posts.

3) Majestic SEO (Or the tool of your choice)

For our needs today, you can sign up at for a free account to get all of the metrics you will need to study your guest posting prospect.

Majestic SEO is a great tool for looking at website metrics. As with anything there is never a guarantee, but you can get a really good idea of the quality of your site by looking at these metrics.


3.1) Trust Flow/Citation Flow 

You can learn more about what these metrics mean at the Majestic SEO website, but they are basically measuring website trust and quality in a sense. If you look at the image above you can get some really valuable information about the popularity of the site.

These numbers are on a scale from 1 – 100 with 100 being the highest, and with Google itself being a 99 in both trust and citation flow, and with the Huffington Post being in the high 80's for both. You may not find many sites quite that high, but look for a trust and citation flow metric above around 20 or 30.

3.2) Backlinks/Referring Domains

To further see what kind of a site you are looking at posting on you want to know how many other websites are linking to them. Low quality sites may have very few links and high quality sites will typically have many links and referring domains.

Personally I would look for at least 40 referring domains and a few hundred links in addition to the trust and citation flow metrics from above. This is not foolproof, but it will give you an indication that you are going to be writing a guest post on a blog that may have some authority, both in Google and among its readers.

4) Social Signals

This is really important, and maybe even more than looking at any metrics. Go visit the site that you are wanting to post on. Do the articles have social shares? Do they have comments and interaction? That is really what you are looking for. Sites that have a lot of interaction have a passionate audience, and that is going to work for your efforts.

There is nothing quite like spending hours on a really great guest post and having it published on a website that nobody reads.

5) Read The Rules

When you do your initial search, the results will typically send you to the “write for us” page on the site in question. Most every site I have ever seen that is looking for guest contributors wants you to be very clear on what they want and what they do not want.


Some sites are more relaxed than others, and some will really want to make sure you are paying attention so read carefully! If you spend a lot of time on your post and forget to add your bio, some sites will simply not reply to you and your hard work will be for nothing.

6) Write And Submit 

Write your best content here! There is no reason to hold back and write a sub-par post when you could really have an opportunity to impress some people and bring them over to your blog as new fans, so let loose and have fun!

And there you have it! Guest blogging is not dead unless you do it in a spammy way. If your goal is to provide the very best content you can write there is not a single thing wrong with guest blogging on some great blogs to get more traffic, fans and even some links for your SEO efforts.

Guest Blogger Wally Brown owns Vexcom Solutions marketing. He enjoys helping local businesses and website owners find more traffic on the web using the safest white-hat techniques possible so that they can grow their brand. (Sue Anne: “By the way, I have used his services and he does a great job!”)


  1. says

    Hey Wally,

    I hear you on the whole SEO folks ruining things for others and they may not mean to do, but we have to face the facts that Guest Bloggers have to be careful about their Guest Blogging strategy nowadays – what’s done is done!

    Just lately I see so many bloggers scared of Guest Blogging because they are worried about being slapped by Google, but as long as we are strategic about our Guest Blogging strategy…

    And we use the no follow link attribute I don’t think anyone has anything to worry about – unless they are actually spamming with intention of course.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kerry Russell

    • Wally says

      Hi Kerry,

      I agree. The thing about Matt Cutts and Google is they are very careful to not give out any exact things that people can ever do to get any exposure. If they say “Guest posting works” then you know what happens…everything gets ruined.

      So their stance will always be “we don’t recommend it”..but I truly do not think they mean this type of post or any what I call “real” post. I think they mean “don’t guest post on guest post content farms created by SEO’s to make money”…and I’m ok with that.

      When I guest post I look for great sites with real readers. If the folks at Google take away ANY and ALL benefit for someone guest posting on really high quality sites then nobody is going to want to share any information anymore…if you ask me.

      And I think most any person will still be ok with a nofollow link. I have always been of the mindset that Google still absolutely sees these links and gives them a value. And regardless of whether they do that or not, at least people can still click through and learn more if that is their wish!

      Thank you for your comment,


  2. says

    Thanks for the article. How to search for the opportunities was simple, but I hadn’t thought of using “write for us”, I’ve always just used “guest blogging”.

    I looked up my niche and have come across a couple of really good host websites for a guest article, and have already reached out to them.

    Good Tips…

    • Wally says

      Thank you Jay,

      You will still see some junky sites, but that’s why you dig a bit and you can really find some great ones for a totally legitimate post! And if that post is incredible, and it really helps people, Google can never take that away!

      • says

        I found a couple of jazzers. Most of the duds you can spot straight away, but a quick check of the site rankings helps to pinpoint the good options. I just used Alexa to check.

  3. says

    Thanks for giving an easy to understand explanation about Google and guest blogging. Everything else I’ve heard about it has just left me confused.

    • Wally says

      Hi Jodie,

      Yes, it can be confusing. Even more now that you have SEO’s basically creating networks of junk sites for the sole purpose of renting out guest posts. The way i look at it is this. A guest post for credibility and interaction is 100X better than a guest post for links alone.

      My reasoning here is that when you are focused on truly helping someone the links will end up taking care of themselves in time. And when the people out there writing crummy guest posts have their sites or links devalued (which I can almost guarantee WILL happen in the near future) those of us focusing on truly helping people with our posts will be just fine.

  4. Junaid says

    Thanks a lot Sue, for giving us this kind of information. But it’s hard to know that Google has penalized a number of websites due to Guest Blogging in the last few days. So, we must be careful in guest blogging. We must know first if they are not penalized. Am I right?

    • says

      If you follow Wally’s suggestions, you’ll be fine. Mostly. Google was trying to scare the scammy bloggers.

  5. Wally says

    Sue Anne is right,

    Matt Cutts can’t say “legitimate posting is ok” as a definite because his words will get filtered to mean whatever some SEO wants it to mean, further ruining everything.

    But if you read his blog, he actually says that legitimate posting on real blogs with real readers to really help or contribute is going to be ok, and that isn’t something they can ever stop anyway.

    You can read his comments here — http://www.mattcutts. com/blog/guest-blogging

    He kind of dances around it a bit and makes 10 other points, but at the end he basically says “if you do it right you are fine”

  6. says

    Hi Wally,

    It’s neat, because guest posting is going back to the old school approach of building relationships, forming bonds and helping both parties in the process. There is nothing wrong with building links as a natural by-product of adding value and forming connections. Smart post here.

    Awesome tip on #1; I never thought of using it. Such an explicit, simple search, and I’ve already found more than a few sites that may be good matches as I drill more deeply into the metrics side of things.

    Do your homework. Reach as big as crowd as possible. And of course, make sure the crowd wants to know what you have to say because smart guest bloggers hyper target their audience with a strategic guest blogging strategy.

    I used to hit the heavies like for a tremendous networking opportunity, and also, to build bonds with Darren Rowse and his co-bloggers at PB. It sure hasn’t hurt me in the social proof department either, as I’ve received some nice pop for being published on problogger 3 times.

    All techniques make sense here. Put in the legwork to find the right blog to build an intelligennt, effective approach to guest posting. Think about the specific audience you wish to reach before bothering to write a guest post.

    Thanks for sharing the awesome tips Wally. Tweeting.


    • Wally says

      Hey Ryan,

      I’m glad you liked the tips and I hope they work. I was in the other SEO world for so long that I never even knew about any of this a while back. I was just doing blog network links and watching my sites crash randomly…not much fun.

      I love this way because you meet new people and have relationships that will last as long as you deliver.

      One thing that I also try to always live by is to write your best content for the guest post. There is no reason to have the best stuff on your site and junk articles on other blogs.

      If it’s a real blog with real traffic…write an awesome article and make friends I say!



  7. says

    Hey Wally, great tips here for Guest Posters. One thing that I would add is that if you find people are reluctant to take guest posts you should try offering to turn it into an infographic as many bloggers are more inclined to take these along with some supporting text. There are still many bloggers who are wary of traditional guest posting.

    • says

      Great idea, Kostas! I’ve done that myself.


      • Wally says

        Hey Kostas,

        That is a great idea too, that is a great method. Here’s another. You can get addons for Chrome or Firefox that will allow you to scan a webpage for broken links. I use one for Chrome called “Check my links” but there are tons.

        You can simply run it on the page and it shows you if there are any 404 errors for any of the links on a page. If there are, you simply start your conversation with “Hey, just letting you know you have some broken links on your site….” and build some trust right away.



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