Is Guest Blogging All That It’s Cracked Up To Be?

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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.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
Wendy McCance

19 thoughts on “Is Guest Blogging All That It’s Cracked Up To Be?

  1. I agree with you on guest posting—I don’t search out opportunities, for the most part I’m only interested on posting to my own blog. I also don’t allow guest bloggers on my own blog. But I’ve struck up a relationship with a fellow blogger and she loves me to guest post to her blog…so every month, I chug out a post for her. It works out, and she has a fairly large following so I sometimes get a bit of traffic my way.

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  4. Hey Wendy! Can I just say I started following your blog a month or so ago and I have found an ENORMOUS amount of useful information here, so thank you so much for making your posts not only helpful, but as direct as this post has been! 🙂

    As a beginning blogger, I find my self taking in lots of information that promises certain results and have only gotten better at weeding through the things I should actually take my time to do. I have not yet guest blogged, but what you said is actually what I have begun to expect from what I’ve gathered about guest blogging, and your criteria absolutely makes sense! It is most certainly a privilege to guest blog on a credible blog!

    What really made my ears perk up is how you said for you, it proved more beneficial in terms of traffic, to have valid comments and conversation on other blogs! One thing I have learned is that building these relationships is very important! I am not surprised, but very excited to hear that that is something that worked for you and gives me a little hope! I only believe in valid commentary also and try and stick with that, but am always open to learning something new from the pro’s as well!

    Thanks again Wendy!

    • Your comment made my day!!! Thanks so much. It’s great to hear that my posts have been of value to those reading them. If there is ever a specific question you have or a topic you would like to read about, please let me know and I would be happy to cover it. Wishing you all the best. 🙂

  5. I completely agree with you, on all fronts. I have guest posted four times in as many months, and have discovered the same results. I have also had guest posters on my blog.

    I think that people should realize that it is an honour to be considered for a guest post. Not everyone knows this!

    I noticed that you didn’t mentions anything about including relevant images in the posts. This should be a requirement, in my opinion. I now do this, if I guest post, and require it of my guest posters.

  6. Great stuff Wendy. I am guest blogging on a very popular Nigerian online magazine, but I still haven’t seen much traffic coming from them. However, I have only started two weeks ago. Maybe its early days? Thank you for mentioning replying to comments when guest blogging, I haven’t been doing that. Love u and have a great weekend 🙂

  7. When I first started blogging I did guest posts with the hope and anticipation more people would get to know my work as an author and drive an audience to my book. You don’t get paid and you are assured you will get all sorts of visibility and traffic to your own site as a result of the guest post. While I don’t regret the times I have done it, I rarely do guest posts anymore because they take an incredible amount of time and effort and you rarely get the attention you are hoping for. I only do them now when they truly resonate with me and my readers – for example, I enjoyed doing a guest post on your blog, Wendy, because I wanted to make new friends and I also wanted to thank everyone who had supported me to be voted one of their favorite inspirational blogs. I also did a guest post for World Spay/Neuter Day a couple months ago because the subject is so important to me.

    I agree with Wendy that there is a certain protocol – if you do guest post, you should help to promote the post via facebook and other social venues and you should always make a point of interacting with comments as a common courtesy. But, it is a two way street. I have found many blogs that ask you to guest post, then they don’t do any cross-promoting on your behalf which is not fair.

    I don’t disagree with what you are saying, Wendy, and appreciate your honesty.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your point of view. I think the way you are handling guest posts makes a lot of sense. Pick and choose according to what you are passionate about and what makes sense for you to choose. By the way, I’m still thrilled you did a guest post on this blog. Your post was wonderful and you were incredible when people commented. 🙂

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