4 Compelling Reasons to Make Guest Blogging a Priority

November 12, 2012 · 10 comments

Next month I’m offering a free webinar on the magic of guest blogging. Sign up to join us! My plan is to spend most of the hour on HOW to get your posts placed on popular blogs, how to get editors to say YES to your guest posts.

Guest blogging

Think guest blogging might be a good idea? You’re onto something.

But I realized while putting together the content for this event that some of you might not know WHY you should bother with guest blogging. So here are four reasons it’s worth your while:

1. Gives you credibility. Being able to say I’ve written for popular sites like Problogger, Mashable, Lifehack and Copyblogger helps me land clients and writing gigs. After all, if you’ve written for those outlets, you must have something valuable to offer, right?

Once, while evaluating pitches for Brazen Careerist’s blog (which I manage and edit), I nearly pressed the “delete” button on an idea that sounded kind of shady… until I noticed the bottom of this wannabe-contributor’s email, where he mentioned he’d written for a site I knew and respected. Because of that ONE mention, I clicked over to his piece and gave it a read — and it was good. Good enough to run on our blog.

Letting me know he’d written for a well-respected blog gave this contributor credibility in my mind. It got him in the door. And it could do the same for you.

Of course, this is one of those chicken-or-egg scenarios: how do you convince editors at big blogs to run your posts if you haven’t written for another big site already? The answer is this: work your way up. Start at smaller blogs, and use those bylines to land opportunities at bigger and bigger outlets. Work your way up the guest blogging ladder. (We’ll talk more about this in the webinar.)

2. Boosts your SEO. When other sites — especially sites Google views as credible — link to your site, that boosts your ranking in the search engine, which means more people will find your site through search. This is SO powerful, because it translates to new eyes on your site, eyes you could convert to loyal readers.

Some sites won’t allow links back to your own site within the post, but you can almost always include a link in your byline or bio. When you do link, use smart SEO practices. One of the easiest ones to remember is to link relevant anchor text. That means adding your link to vital keywords like I just did with “smart SEO practices,” rather than “click here.” Linking relevant anchor text helps Google send people to your site. Which brings us to…

3. Brings traffic to your site. Or your newsletter or newest product or whatever you want people to see. Because if you write a valuable post, readers will want to know more about you, which means they’ll click whatever link you included.

Choose that link wisely. When I first began guest posting, I linked to my home page, and then I went through a phase where I linked to one of my guides that was most relevant to the post. Now I almost always link to my newsletter, since that’s what I most want to grow for the coming year.

The coolest part about all this traffic you’ll bring to your site is it will include people who haven’t visited your site before. That gives you the potential to drastically increase your readership. It’s why new bloggers who have relationships with big-time bloggers who let them guest post on their site tend to grow their followings so much faster than new bloggers who don’t guest post at all. This can be HUGE for your blog.

4. Leads to more opportunities. You never know who will see your guest post, especially if you contribute to sites that reach different readers than your own blog. That post could bring you a client, speaking opportunity, interviews and more.

Guest blogging, of course, isn’t the easiest way to get the word out about your site; it takes a lot of effort. But if you’re willing to put in some time to make your own luck, this is a smart way to go about it.

Have you used guest blogging to reach your goals? What benefits did you experience?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jana November 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

One of my goals lately has been to do more guest posting. I had slacked a bit but I’ve started picking it back up again. While I mainly guest post on smaller sites, I did guest post on a fairly big site in my niche and I’ve submitted one to another one in a different yet related niche.

The hardest thing for me is getting over the nerves of having that kind of audience on my writing. It’s a good thing, and I welcome the new readers and exposure for my site but it still makes me nervous!
Jana recently posted…Good meeting habits to practice nowMy Profile


Michelle Cusolito November 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I need to kick it up and start guest blogging more. Thanks for the virtual kick in the pants, Lexi!

I’m actively seeking guest bloggers on my blog, if any of you are interested. I don’t have a huge following (my most popular post got 862 hits as of today) but I have dedicated, loyal readers. I’m especially interested in posts for my “Travel Tuesdays” series, so some of you here may fit the bill. Learn more on my guest blogging page.

Please keep Lexi’s tips in mind when pitching me. Know my blog. Make sure we’re a good fit. Know what kind of posts I’m looking for and craft a pitch. If your’e just in it to link to your products I’ll delete your email without responding.
Michelle Cusolito recently posted…Seeking Reader InputMy Profile


Alexis Grant November 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Hope you get some great submissions, Michelle! Anyone else looking for guest posts?


Michelle Cusolito November 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Thanks, Lexi. I got one awesome one form the Travel Memoir Writers FB group and another that needs a little fleshing out to suit my blog. Still seeking others…
Michelle Cusolito recently posted…Travel Tuesdays: Be a Tourist in Your Home RegionMy Profile


Elizabeth Groeschen November 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

Thanks for this push! I need to do this! My blog is largely based around videos of my trip around the world. Are any bloggers interested in videos? This is something I need to look into! I’ve gotten lots of compliments on the idea (“day in a minute”) but haven’t figured out how to promote it to a larger (than my immediate friends and family) audience!


Joe Cassandra November 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Great tips Alexis! I just started reaching out for guest posts, it’s exciting when you finally get accepted for one, I always just get caught up being unsure where to best guest post or just try and post everywhere. Great article!
Joe Cassandra recently posted…2 Intelligent Ways to Invest $100 a MonthMy Profile


john December 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I love your work and look forward to your guest blogger seminar. I bought your eBook on working part time in the social media industry maybe a little over a year ago. I struggle with really kind of tying everything together. Any how just wanted to say thanks and I love your work. Can you suggest a basic book or article on writing (blogging)? I get basic SEO, but struggle on staying focused and on topic. Sorry for rambling, happy holidays, John


Alexis Grant December 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

Thanks for the kind words, John! I haven’t read this particular guide, but I have read some of this author’s stuff, and she’s excellent: http://bit.ly/TxK42o (full disclosure: that’s an affiliate link).

See you at the webinar!


Financial Samurai December 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I remember getting rejected for my 2nd ever guest post, and after that, I didn’t write a guest post for perhaps 18 months!

It worked out OK though, as I focused on writing all on FS. It was very motivating to get rejected. Now, I can guest post at will, but I still don’t do THAT much b/c my platform is already at around 200K visitors/300K pageviews a month. Hence, I need to go find other sites in other niches.

Financial Samurai recently posted…How To Reduce 401K Fees Through Portfolio AnalysisMy Profile


Mike March 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

Its a very nice post. I did not till now think of guest blogging for the purpose of SEO, though I write a few articles and promote them. I will now try to promote my websites through blogs (guest-blogging).


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