Ever since Matt Cutts published an article in 2014 about the “decay” of guest blogging, people have pretty much assumed that guest blogging is dead.
Even though Matt Cutts was mainly addressing guest blogging being abused as a link building tactic at the time, many people agreed that guest blogging isn’t just dead for link building, but for other purposes as well. Is guest blogging really dead, though?
I have been guest blogging for 5 years now, and I’ve noticed a sharp and steady decline in the results I get from guest posts; a few years back, I can easily get hundreds of visitors from the author bio of my guest post on an average blog.
Not anymore! It is now a struggle to get 20 visits from a guest post on a high profile blog. Does this mean that guest blogging is dead? Not necessarily.
Guest Blogging Has Evolved
In 2015, I changed how I approach guest blogging. Here are some screenshots to show the result I have gotten since changing my approach to guest blogging:
Here’s a screenshot showing one month traffic from my guest post on JeffBullas.com:
Here’s a screenshot showing one month traffic from my guest post on ThePennyHoarder.com:
Here’s a screenshot showing one month traffic from my guest post on BloggingTips.com:
The above screenshots show direct referral traffic from 3 guest posts I did in 2015; this didn’t include traffic that came from feed readers, or from email that was sent to subscribers of these blogs, so the actual traffic is much more than what you see in the above screenshot.
While many people claim that guest blogging is dead, I’m still able to get good results from guest blogging by changing my approach. Based on an analysis of my most successful guest posts in 2015, I’ll be sharing some tips to help you make guest blogging work for you in 2017.
Step 1: Find the Right Blog
Many people wrongly assume that all guest posts are equal. They are not. A guest post on a site with a million monthly readers has more potential than a guest post on a site with hundred monthly readers.
A quick look at ThePennyHoarder.com, one of the sites from my examples above, show that the site has 1.9 million active followers at the time of writing this article (this includes Facebook fans, Twitter followers and email subscribers).
The site also gets around 2 million unique visitors monthly. In other words, it isn’t just another blog from my friend who wants me to contribute a guest post. It is a real, authoritative blog with a lot of readers.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with writing for your friend’s blog. However, if you want to get results from your guest blogging efforts you need to make sure that the blogs you’re targeting have a lot of readers.
My guest post for The Penny Hoarder ended up getting shared over 2,600 times, and the link back to my website in the bio resulted in hundreds of subscribers to my blog.
Another example is my guest post on JeffBullas.com. JeffBullas.com has hundreds of thousands of monthly readers. It doesn’t have as much readers as The Penny Hoarder, but it publishes significantly less content. As a result, my guest post there got more exposure and resulted in over a thousand visitors the month it was published.
One thing all the blogs I used in my examples have in common is that they are very popular blogs. As a result, my guest posts on these blogs were read by tens of thousands of people.
Step 2: Ensure Relevancy between Your Blog and Your Target Blog
Once you’ve established the blog you plan to guest post on, the next step is to establish relevancy between your blog and that blog.
Just because a blog has millions of readers does not mean you’ll be able to get their readers to pay attention to you; if you run a marketing blog and decide to guest post on a sports blog, you will get little results no matter how big that sports blog is.
If you’re guest blogging for a completely unrelated blog, you can increase your chances of success by linking the topic of your host blog and the topic of your blog.
For example, as someone who owns a writing blog, if I wanted to write a guest post for an android blog, even though the blog is completely unrelated to my blog, I can still ensure guest blogging success by writing an article titled “20 Writing Apps for Android Users.”
This way, a segment of the blog’s readers who are writers, or who are interested in writing, will like my article and I can get some of them to visit my blog.
Usually, it’s best to only guest post on blogs that are related to yours but, in case you have an opportunity to guest post on a bigger blog, make sure there’s relevancy between the topic of the blog and the topic of your blog.
Step 3: Make Resource Articles a Priority
Of recent, I’ve gotten the most results from my guest posts that were resources. I’m not surprised, because I’ve had great experience with resource content on my blogs as well.
The average resource article on my blog can get up to 10,000% more views compared to the average article on my blog, so I wasn’t surprised to see resource articles perform really well as guest posts.
Resources work because they give people reading your article the solution they need instead of tips. As a result, they get more shares, links, and traffic. Here are good examples of resources in different niches.
Here are signs that your content is a good resource:
- Instead of giving people tips, a resource gives them resources that makes it instantly possible to implement those tips
- A good resource is very specific. It focuses on providing solution to just one problem
- It gives people a lot of options. The more options the better; a resource that features 30 items is usually preferred to a resource that features 2 or 3 items. On my blogs, resources that include a lot of options usually get more shares than resources that include fewer options
To ensure that more people like and share your resource, it also helps to include additional information that can help people decide on which of your resource is best for them. Don’t just give them a list. Give them information that makes it easy for them to decide what to do with your list.
Step 4: Create a Content Upgrade to Accompany Your Resource
To really benefit from your guest posts, make sure you accompany them with content upgrades. A content upgrade is something extra you present to readers of your content, which is related to what they just read, usually in exchange for their email address. Brian Dean goes into details on how content upgrades work in this article.
Usually, your content upgrade can be a PDF version of your resource, or a checklist, or something else similar to your guest post. It is important that it is relevant, though.
The below screenshot shows me presenting my content upgrade in my guest post on JeffBullas.com:
I introduced the content upgrade after the conclusion of my article, and before my author bio. This particular content upgrade has so far resulted in over a thousand visitors, so it’s a massive success.
What is working for you in terms of guest blogging? Kindly let us know by commenting below.
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