Article by Wendy McCance
Professional Blogger Series part 4
Over the past year as I have worked on my blog, I have done a lot of reading about what does and doesn’t work to increase traffic and what might make your blog relevant to other readers. One of the pieces of advice that I read over and over was to guest blog on other sites and to allow guest bloggers on your site as well.
After a year and a half of blogging, I have come to some conclusions about guest blogging and I am definitely in the minority with my views on the subject.
If you are going to do a guest blog, don’t expect a big surge in traffic on your own site unless:
a. You are writing for an incredibly well known blogger.
b. The blog you write for has a good-sized loyal following.
c. The author of the other blog really knows how to advertise their site and pull in a strong amount of readers each day.
Of course, what you write needs to be a topic that fits in with the blogs theme and you will need to do your own advertising as well.
If you have a blog and decide to allow bloggers to do a guest post be prepared for the following:
a. There is a good chance your traffic will drop on the day the guest article is posted.
b. The other blogger might do a bad job of advertising that they will be appearing on your blog, or worse, there is not a mention of it at all.
c. The guest blogger might not answer comments directed at their post which will turn off the readers who took the time to write. It becomes a reflection on you as well.
d. The writing might be dull, poorly written or more off topic than you anticipated. This leads to you having to correct grammar, ask for revisions, or just dropping the guest blogger (none of which is comfortable to do and might make for some bad feelings).
Overall, I have come to a conclusion about the way I handle guest blogging. If I guest blog on another site, I will only:
- Write a post for a blogger that asked me if I was interested in writing for them. I just haven’t had the time or desire to search out places to guest blog.
- I will only write a post if I feel I can come up with a topic that fits their blog.
- I won’t accept the opportunity unless the blogger knows how to advertise the guest post.
- I also won’t commit unless I know the blogger has a strong following.
This might sound awful, but I have become so busy that I don’t have much time to write a post on another site. If I was just starting out, I think I would have different expectations. I would just want to get my name out there.
I do worry about the way other blogs are presented and I put a lot of thought into what I feel comfortable having my name attached to.
If I do decide to have someone guest blog on my site, I have a few things that must be in place:
- The guest blogger needs to know what they want to write about. Getting an email saying that someone would love to write for my site and will write about whatever I come up with isn’t going to work. I can’t take the time to figure out what someone else will write about. Email me with an idea. Maybe the idea will be tweaked a little, but it will definitely make me more interested in what you are proposing.
- I won’t take on a guest blogger that tries to throw in what ends up being an advertisement unless you want to do a sponsored post. A guest post is offered to help other bloggers and writers get their name out there.
- I expect you to advertise to your social circles that you will be featured on this blog. I also expect you will answer the comments of others once your post is up. I remind guest bloggers of this before I give them a post date. If I am going to go to the trouble of advertising you and give you a spot on this blog, please understand and help yourself out as well. It’s embarrassing when comments aren’t answered. It’s not the way I like to run this blog.
- Please include a bio with links to your social media sites. This is your opportunity to promote yourself. I am always stunned at the number of times I have had to request a bio because one wasn’t given. Honestly, it’s the most important part of being allowed to guest post. If you write a good article, readers will want to know where to find you. Help them out by telling them.
What I have found is that unless you find a heavily trafficked and well-respected blog to guest post on, guest posting in general tends to be more trouble than it’s worth. If getting your name out there and hoping for more traffic is your goal, my best suggestion is to comment on other blogs.
Believe it or not, I have gotten some great traffic from some key blogs because of some comments I have made. I only comment when I have something truly relevant to say. I never leave a bunch of links either. I comment because I truly feel passionate about the article and have something to add. It’s remarkable how many people will check out my site when I am able to truly add to the conversation.
If you leave comments just to have your name seen, you are wasting your time. The only bloggers that will check you out are the ones whose blogs will vanish within 6 months time.
So there you have it. This article might seem harsh, but it’s what I think about and how I handle this topic. What are your thoughts? Have you had similar experiences or are you pro guest posting? I’d love to hear what you think about this topic, so leave a comment and let’s get a discussion going.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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