It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of guest blogging simply as a means to generate more traffic. Even if it’s targeted traffic. If traffic is all you’re looking for I can think of a few easier ways to get it and you’d probably get better conversions out of it.
Here’s how I view guest blogging for traffic: You spend a lot of time searching for just the right blogs and you spend a lot of time writing just the right content, and then you’re rejected by half the blogs you submit to.
Now, take a good look at your traffic stats. I mean sit down and put pencil to paper. How much money did you actually make off the traffic coming from your guest blog posts?
And when you break it down by hour, was it really worth all that blood, sweat and tears?
Don’t get me wrong. I believe guest blogging is a valuable tool for building name recognition among readers and goodwill in the blogging community, so don’t completely remove it from your list of things to do. But if you’re in this blogging business to make money – and who isn’t? – then you’ll be interested in my personal guest blogging method. It’s a lot less work, a lot more fun and you’ll see much better results.
Choose Only One Or Two Blogs
I know that conventional methods suggest you fire off a few dozen guest blog posts a week and see what sticks to the wall. However, this is a business and in any business, even the friendly, sociable business of blogging, Time Equals Money.
Choose one blog where you’d really like to guest blog to start with. So many bloggers these days use any guest blogger who happens to submit a good post. That’s great, but you’re just one of the crowd. The readers might follow your link, but you’re a flash-in-the-pan, a one-hit-wonder, and they don’t really connect with you. “Tub Thumping” was a great song but do you remember the name of the band? More important, did you buy the album?
Choosing The Blog
Obviously, you’ll want to look for a blog that compliments your own. However, keep in mind, your whole reason for guest blogging is to attract new traffic, people who’ve never seen you before. So look for a blog that’s a step over from your usual content.
One way to find a relevant blog is to look to see what blogs have linked to you. If they thought your blog was good enough to link to then they’ll probably be happy to let you guest blog.
The blog you choose should be established, but not too established. Quit looking at those big-name bloggers with those high PR blogs. In fact, you’ll make more of an impact on a lower ranking blog. Look for a blog that’s around PR2 or 3. (Don’t worry, I’ll tell you why in a minute and I’ll even share my own success story to prove that this works.)
Approaching The Blog Owner
The reason I say choose a lower or mid-ranking blog is because you want something out of this exchange. You’re going to be supplying this other blogger with top notch content and you want more than a bit of trickle-down traffic. Email the blog owner with an offer he can’t refuse.
- Show him links to the most popular content on your blog.
- Show him links to your most popular guest blog posts on other blogs.
- Tell him how many followers you have in your social networks.
- Tell him about some of your traffic stats – how many and where it’s coming from
And then tell him what you have in mind…
In my case, I wanted a place to guest blog so I could send traffic to my Examiner.com articles dealing with Coast to Coast AM Radio, a nightly talk show about the paranormal. There are only certain topics I’m allowed to write about with Examiner.com but I knew I could attract a larger audience if I wrote about some topics that were a little off to the side.
While researching an article one day I noticed that one of the guests on Coast to Coast AM was a regular guest blogger on a blog I was reading. He had his own page, his own category and they even had a big banner in the sidebar promoting this guy. Hmmmmm…. in my mind, this would solve a lot of my problems. Finding a blog that would give me a permanent guest blogging home would:
- Allow me to write that side content that I knew would bring in more traffic.
- Give me the ability to publish when I had time, instead of having to publish regularly to my own blog in order to gain ranking.
- Give me a permanent site to promote, rather than promoting dozens of blogs who might accept my guest blog posts.
When I approached Greg Newkirk, of Who Forted? Blog, I showed him what I could do for him as far as traffic and stats and promotion. Then I told him what I needed – a permanent place to guest blog, a nice bio, and the ability to link to my own articles and an occasional affiliate item (I rarely do this on his blog, though.)
When Greg saw my writing samples and everything I had to offer he jumped at the chance. My first article was so-so, but since then I’ve learned more about his readers. One of my recent articles has brought in more traffic and comments than any other post on his blog. Greg even includes my articles in his Twitter stream, too.
As a result, I’m seeing new readers on my Examiner.com articles. Readers coming directly from my link at Who Forted? and readers coming from forums and blogs where Who Forted? fans are sharing my links. And every time one of those readers hits one of my Examiner.com articles I make money because I’m payed on page views.
You, on the other hand, might be sending this traffic to an affiliate blog and that works, too. These are people who’ve come to know you and respect your opinion because you’re a regular, featured guest blogger on one of their favorite blogs, you’re not just some flash-in-the-pan.
Link Back And Forth To Relevant Content
To get the most out of this relationship I link freely, back and forth, between my Examiner.com articles and my articles at Who Forted? I have a link to Who Forted? In my Examiner.com bio and a link to my Examiner.com profile in my Who Forted? Bio.
I actually plan ahead for all of this linking and create content for both sites so I can send readers back and forth. I want my readers to enjoy and follow both sites. As an example, here are two recent articles:
- Have You Invited Any Black Eyed Children Into Your Home? – Who Forted?
- Whitley Strieber Has Encounter With Black Eyed Children – Examiner.com
And now, when I do publish content somewhere else, I have even more places I can send my visitors where they can find my fabulous articles!
There’s a bonus in here for Greg, too, one we didn’t even consider. The additional traffic and link juice he’s getting from the Examiner.com increased his blog from a PR2 to a PR3 within the first month.
Here’s Why Permanent Guest Blogging On One Blog Works Better
- If you guest blog infrequently, like I do, the readers see your new post pop up and they come running. They’ve missed you!
- You have an opportunity to get to know the readers so you can really deliver content they want.
- They know this is your home away from home and you must really have something important to say if you’ve taken time away from your own blog to come and talk to them.
- The blog owner loves it because you bring in your own traffic plus you pull in his own followers who might have started to drift away.
- These blog owners are usually happy to set you up with a full bio page, include links in your posts, even put a banner in their sidebar.
- These blog owners are also happy to promote the fact that you’re a regular guest blogger on their blog.
- The traffic you generate for your own blog is more meaningful and converts better because these people have had time to get to know you already.
- The cross-traffic you’re generating increases rank and authority for both sites.