Writing articles for other blogs can be quite beneficial. And even though you already know this, it is worth mentioning that guest blogging is a great strategy to get exposed and maximize your SEO results.
To be a successful guest blogger, reach out to popular bloggers in your industry and offer great content in exchange for a mention or link on their blogs. It is a win-win situation – the blogger gets great content for free and you get better exposure and visibility along with SEO benefits. However, guest blogging isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Even though you can use guest blogging to generate more traffic and build your brand online, there are certain things you need to know of. Many bloggers make mistakes that destroy their future guest blogging opportunities and maybe you have made them too.
Luckily, these mistakes can be easily avoided if you are careful enough. If you want to know what they are, read on. It is better to be safe than sorry.
1. Sending Cut-and-Paste Emails
When emailing a well-known blog in your industry, know that there are many people looking to get featured on it through guest blogging. In fact, popular blogs get dozens of guest post requests every single day.
This means that you have to stand out from the crowd if you want to have your post published. The whole process, of course, starts with the offer.
Your offer has to be well-tailored. Many people send out generic cut-and-paste emails to many bloggers at a time. If you do this, not only will your email look bad in the eyes of the blogger but your offer will also end up in their spam email folder. Bloggers dislike generic emails and many of them just mark it as spam whenever they receive them.
Take a good look at the blog and try to explain how your proposed article applies to the blog and valuable to its audience. If you pitch your idea well and convince the blogger that publishing your article is a good idea, you are halfway there.
Also, always choose quality over quantity. It is better to reach out to two authoritative bloggers with a personalized email than to reach out to dozens of smaller blogs with a generic message. You should remember even beginner bloggers don’t like generic emails.
2. Not Knowing Who You Are Writing To
It may not seem like a big deal at first, but bloggers don’t enjoy receiving an email with Dear Blogger as the opening line. This is a clear sign of carelessness and many even consider it to be disrespectful.
First, the email sender shows no interest at all in finding out who the person behind the blog is. And second, it is an obvious sign of disrespect. Imagine someone sends you a guest post request and not knowing a thing about you or your blog. Not cool.
Identifying the blog owner can sometimes be a difficult task. Luckily, there are certain websites and software tools that may come in handy. For example, you can use a LinkedIn emails extractor tool which helps you to find out the name and email address of the person you are trying to reach.
In addition, you can always research the website to find out interesting things about the blog and the best way to submit guest post requests. If that yields no results, look for guest posts on that specific blog and contact the bloggers who wrote them to find out the information you need.
3. Choosing the Wrong Blog
Writers sometimes misjudge the website they are writing a guest post for. And if you don’t carefully examine the blog you are trying to get featured on, you might not get the traffic you need.
Do not think for a second that all traffic is equal. You may be tempted by the size and popularity of a certain website but bear in mind that quantity almost never beats quality. At least not in this case.
Consider the relevance of the link traffic. Getting a link from a small, niche-relevant site with a loyal audience is often better than getting traffic from a large website that covers many topics irrelevant to your blog. Also, visitors of smaller websites are more likely to engage with your blog and they are usually interested in what you offer.
4. Writing Content That Is Too Promotional
This is probably the worst mistake you can make when it comes to guest blogging. Getting a shot at writing a blog post for an awesome site and blowing it by creating content that mostly promotes products or services is not as rare as you may think.
Just think about it for a second. Why would a blogger post your article in the first place? Probably not to promote your offer. Bloggers want to get great content before anything else and they definitely don’t want to expose their audience to an overly promotional article.
It is somewhat rude to use their blog to blatantly promote your own business. After all, ask yourself how you would you feel if someone did that on your blog.
It is not impossible to land a guest blogging opportunity with a promotional post but eventually, that kind of content is unlikely to get many views, shares, or links. And these are probably the main reasons you want to do guest blogging. So, what is the point then?
5. Forgetting to Include Backlinks to Your Website
Let’s be honest. SEO is one of the main reasons why many bloggers send guest post requests. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, all the efforts will be in vain if you forget to include a link back to your website.
When there is no backlink, the audience will have a hard time finding your website and reading your content. To be more precise, when you forget to include a link to your website, most readers completely give up looking for you and your content, so you will practically get nothing from the guest post.
There are some websites that allow links within the body of your post and those that do not. If you are new to guest blogging, you should bear that in mind. The vast majority, fortunately, lets you include a link at least in your author bio. This bio, along with the link, is important for generating referral traffic and leads.
If the blogger allows links within the content, take advantage of that opportunity and give the readers additional resources that can relate to your topic. Include a couple of links to your own content besides the links leading to the sources that you would otherwise include.
6. Writing Poor Content
Just because you are not getting paid for writing a guest post does not mean that you should not write quality content.
Guest blogging should encourage you to deliver the best content. Respect the blog’s audience if you want some of them to visit your own blog. That means that you should do everything to meet the high standards set by the website you are contributing to.
What is maybe even more important is the fact that you are showcasing your own talent and skill. Your guest post will represent your brand, your website, and your services. That is why you need to write it even better than the way you usually write for your own site.
Lastly, you should respect the formatting and length guidelines, proofread your content, and pay special attention to grammar.
Many bloggers fool themselves by thinking that guest blogging is easy. And just because it is free does not mean it should be low quality., guest blogging is one of the best ways to display your skills and knowledge and promote your own blog.
Why make a blunder then? Avoid the mistakes mentioned above and write your guest posts at least the way you write for your own blog. That way, you will avoid looking funny in the blogger’s and their audience’s eyes.
David Schneider is the co-founder and CEO of Ninja Outreach, an all-in-one Influencer prospecting, outreach, and CRM software for marketers. Ninja Outreach also offers expert, Done-For-You outreach services for those who want to outsource their influencer marketing campaigns to professionals. (Update – Dave no longer runs these websites, but can be found at lesschurn.io and daveschneider.me).