Guest blogging is the hot thing now; from newbie bloggers to top brands, everyone has realized how powerful guest blogging is and are doing it as a result.
There’s a right and wrong way to do it, however.
I started a guest blogging campaign a year ago and the results have been impressive. Just a year after the campaign, without actively doing anything to increase traffic, I’ve gained an additional 120,000+ visitors to my blog.
Here’s a screenshot of my traffic a year before the campaign:
Here’s a screenshot of my traffic a year after the campaign:
If you compare both screenshots, you’ll notice I’ve gained exactly 123,322 visitors a year after the campaign. That’s over 340% traffic increase and something very impressive; here are the lessons I learned along the way.
1. Guest Blogging for Links is the Most Profitable form of Guest Blogging
Of course, I’ve written guest posts on individual blogs that have sent me over a thousand visitors that eventually resulted in hundreds of subscribers.
I’ve written guest posts for several A-list blogs with great results. However, guest blogging for links seems more effective on the long run than guest blogging for traffic.
Did you take a proper look at the above two screenshots? They’re actually not screenshots for overall traffic to my blog but screenshots for search engine traffic to my blog.
Other than by writing great content and building links with guest posts, I do nothing else to improve my SEO.
Based on my calculations, in a span of one year, by guest blogging for links instead of direct traffic I’m able to get more than 2,000 visitors each from every single guest post I wrote with the purpose of improving my search engine rankings.
2. It is not about How Much but how well
The 120,000+ visitors I gained as a result of my guest posts can be attributed mostly to some 30+ guest posts I wrote in a particular month.
I wrote those guest posts solely for the purpose of building backlinks to my blog so that I can increase my rankings.
I wrote in more details, a case study about the campaign here.
If you examine my campaign, you’ll notice that my aim wasn’t to write hundreds of crappy guest posts on sub-standard blogs like most people do today. Instead, I had a goal to write quality guest posts for a select number of quality blogs; the result was impressive.
3. You Won’t Get Results without an End in Mind
You’ll only get results from guest blogging if you have an end in mind.
In other words, even before you start you should know what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.
I knew I wanted to guest blog for links and I had an idea how much traffic increase the campaign will result in at the end of one year.
I knew what I was doing.
Before this particular campaign, I’ve written hundreds of guest posts to promote the same blog with little to no results. This was only because I didn’t have a goal for my guest posts.
4. Guest Blogging for Links doesn’t have to be done the Way Most People are doing it today
When you talk about guest blogging for links today, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is all the crappy guest posts you see online and all the crappy guest blogging emails bloggers receive in their inbox.
It doesn’t always have to be this way.
Most of the people publishing hundreds of crappy guest posts on other blogs are not doing it because it works; they’re doing it because others are doing it and that’s the worst way to run a business.
When guest blogging for links, the more focus you have on quality the more results you will get.
5. The Guest Blogging Game will only be won by those who have a Strategy
Do you know a sure-fire way to fail at guest blogging?
This is it: Start writing a lot of guest posts because you heard guest blogging works, without any strategy or plan to help you get results from it.
There are several ways to benefit from guest blogging; you can get direct traffic, backlinks, and exposure, you can build relationships and more. Which particular approach you take will depend on what you want.
For me, my strategy was based on guest blogging for links because I didn’t want a huge influx in traffic but gradual, consistent and stable traffic growth.
You can bet I got what I wanted, and that’s because I had a strategy.
6. The Guest Blogging Game will only be won by those who can wait
In my case, the 30+ guest posts I wrote directly resulted in less than 50 visitors combined in the first month I wrote them, but that wasn’t what I wanted.
What I wanted was increase in search engine rankings; that takes time, and I started seeing results a few weeks after my guest posts was published.
I’ve heard stories from people who started guest blogging because of the buzz around it, who eventually gave up after a few tries because a certain top blog didn’t send them the traffic they expected.
Guest blogging is not an avenue for your instant ego boost. It’s a valid marketing strategy being effectively leveraged by those who can wait.
Even if you want direct traffic, it takes time to find the blogs that will work for you and that can give you the results you want; you won’t get to enjoy this after giving up on guest blogging a month after you start.
7. Guest Blogging is a Huge Part of Content Marketing
Guest blogging on its own = marketing failure!
You probably won’t hear that again anywhere, but that’s the most important point in this article.
You won’t get great results from guest blogging by using it to promote a static website. No. Instead, the best way you can get results from guest blogging is by having a blog or a content marketing hub, with quality content relevant to your guest posts.
Instead of linking to your homepage, you link to your content; this leads to increase in direct traffic, search and social traffic to your content and more readership and engagement for your content.
When people read and enjoy your content, they check out your business. That’s how it works!
8. You Don’t Always Have to Do it yourself
While I mainly use guest blogging to market my websites, I also actively guest blog for clients.
Guest blogging isn’t used only by individual bloggers; it can also be used by big brands and startups. In a situation like this, you don’t always have to do everything yourself.
The amount of trial and error it will take to get things right can cost you business; an alternative approach is to hire a guest blogging professional to help you write your guest posts or a guest blogging consultant to help you develop your plan.
It’s all about finding out what the best use of your time is and how much you will save if you outsource the task.
9. You Don’t Always Have to Write for the Top Blogs
By taking a look at my traffic screenshot above, you’ll think I wrote guest posts for big blogs like Problogger, DailyBlogTips and the likes.
That’s far from the truth.
In fact, most of the blogs I wrote for were small PR2 and PR3 blogs that resulted in little or no traffic; in other words, I didn’t have to wait for weeks for my articles to publish nor do I have to spend 4 hours on a single article.
Yet, the result I got beat any direct traffic I’ve ever gotten from a guest post on any big blog.
I’m saying this as someone who has once written a single guest post that resulted in over 2,000 visitors and around 500 subscribers before.
Like I said earlier in this article, it’s all about having a strategy and knowing what you want to achieve.
10. Everything I told you above is either Effective or Ineffective
There are no golden rules.
Most of what I did to get the results I got was the exact opposite of what I was advised to do two years ago when I started guest blogging; I learned them mostly by accident and I kept experimenting to see what works.
The above is from my own experience and it is not set in stone. It might work well for you if you try it and who knows, it might not be your style.
Don’t restrict yourself to a set of principles or certain golden rules. Experiment and test as much as you can, because that’s the only way to get results.
Share Your Guest Blogging Success Story!
What guest blogging success story do you have? I’d love to hear them. Please share them in the comments below.