Tuesday February 20, 2018
Guest blogging can be highly lucrative, if you do it the right way and in the right places.
Not only does it boost your search engine rank by creating backlinks to your site, but sharing your expertise with other people's audiences exposes you to potential clients who wouldn't have known you existed otherwise.
I've personally made well over $10,000 as a direct result of my guest blogging efforts.
But as a site owner, I've also seen would-be guest bloggers make mistakes that waste their time and that of the businesses whose sites they want to be featured on, and that scuttle their chances of getting clients through this marketing strategy.
Today, I'm going to share five mistakes I frequently see guest writers make, and I'll explain how you can avoid them, so you can get more clients from your guest posting with less time and effort.
Guest blogging mistake #1: Sending your material to the wrong sites.
I recently received a proposed article from a businessperson who wanted to get featured on my site, and after a few seconds of skimming the document, I told her I couldn't publish it.
It was well written, nicely organized, and generally a very good article... but it was also irrelevant to the primary focus of my blog.
When you choose a website to write a guest article for, it's important that your content matches the topic of the site, for two reasons:
1. When people visit a website, they're usually looking for something in specific.
People on health sites want health advice. People on business sites want to learn more about how to run a business.
If you write on a topic that the primary audience of the website isn't interested in, they're less likely to look at the article.
2. Site owners want their audience to consistently get what they want from the site.
My website is focused on business, so that's what people come to me for. My blog readers and newsletter subscribers want and expect me to teach them how to get more clients and run a business with more ease and joy.
If I stop doing that, and instead focus on outdoor sports, I'm no longer delivering on the commitment that my site and I have made to my audience - though that's not to say I'd be completely closed to publishing an article involving outdoor sports.
If you sent me a blog post on how to use hiking as an employee or customer appreciation getaway or as an element of a live training event, then it would be relevant to my target audience.
But that's the key: it has to be relevant.
Guest blogging mistake #2: Not reading the guest post guidelines.
Many websites, including my own, have a set of guest posting guidelines available. These are designed to help prospective writers to get published on our sites faster and with less work on the parts of everyone involved.
Want to know how many people read and follow them?
In my experience, almost none!
This results in everyone involved wasting time on asking and answering questions that have already been answered.
It can even lead to a guest blogger spending an hour or three writing an article, only to suffer a completely avoidable rejection because it didn't match the website's requirements.
When you want to write a guest article for a website, the first thing you should look for is a guest post guideline page, and the next step is to read it thoroughly BEFORE you send an email.
Guest blogging mistake #3: Not proofreading your article.
On the subject of mistakes that waste the site owner's time and can get your article rejected, failing to check your grammar and spelling is one I see on a regular basis.
As a business owner who chooses to provide my audience with high-quality content, I'm not about to publish your article if it's riddled with distracting and unprofessional-looking typos.
And as a guest blogger who's looking to get clients through your articles, you probably don't want your first impression on your potential clients to be a sloppy blog post that shows a lack of skill, professionalism and attention to detail.
Guest blogging mistake #4: Giving vague, unactionable tips in your article.
I recently read a blog post that included the line, "Find ways to educate yourself and do things the way it should be done."
Um. Wow. NO.
For one thing, that line is not grammatically correct. "It" is singular, and "things" is a plural word. These two do not go together.
And more importantly, this tip is absolutely useless to the reader.
Your blog posts are your first demonstration of your skill as a teacher, and should be treated as such.
If you tell your readers to "find ways" to "educate themselves", they'll know that they need to find a way other than you, because you cannot be counted on to educate them.
If you tell them to "do things the way they should be done", they might not know what "the way they should be done" is, so they have no way of acting on your advice and getting value from it.
When you give instructions in a blog post, or in any other type of educational marketing, make your advice so specific and self-explanatory that even a layperson could act on it.
Your readers should be able to follow your tips and see positive results in their lives, and they should NOT have to guess or figure out how.
If they have to figure it out themselves, they might as well not have even read your blog post - and they might as well not hire you.
Guest blogging mistake #5: Not following up.
Several times now, I've gotten emails from people who (supposedly) wanted to publish a guest post on my site. I replied, gave them the information they needed... and then awaited a response that never came.
When you send an inquiry or article to a site where you want to get featured, make a note in your calendar of who you sent it to and when, and when you should follow up if you don't get a reply.
If you send inquiries to websites, then never actually send a guest article even if they give you the go-ahead, you just wasted all the time you spent finding the sites and emailing them.
Do you have a gem of wisdom that you want to share with my audience?
If you serve business owners, and you want to demonstrate your skills and wisdom to a new group of potential clients, I'd be happy to feature a guest article from you... if you read the guest posting guidelines, proofread your article, and made sure that your content is relevant and actionable. ;)
After all, this could be your first impression on one of your best long-term clients, as one of my guest articles was on mine. Let's make sure that impression is a good one!