How to Average 100+ New Subscribers Every Time You Guest Blog


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“The best way to build a popular blog is to write for a popular blog.” – Jon Morrow

Did you know that if you work a bit, you can build a popular blog within a few short months?

If you enjoy writing and have great things to say, becoming a popular blogger is as simple as putting your content in front of others.

The best way to expose yourself is through guest blogging. Yet how many new subscribers should you expect from a guest post? Twenty-five? Sixty?

I recently Skyped a good friend, and in the course of conversation, he shared an alarming statistic: He had written three epic articles for Problogger … and had ninety subscribers to show for it.

If Stephen worked minimum wage for the amount of time he spent writing those three posts, he would be paying $1 per subscriber. Kind of steep, huh?

Sadly, Stephen is not alone. While I average more than one hundred subscribers each time I guest blog, the typical writer does not.

What am I doing different? What does it take? Reaching these numbers requires three critical pillars.

1. Write unusually great content

There are countless posts published across the web…how can you break away from the clutter? You need to write unusually great content. This content has three rules.

A. Do not talk to yourself

Instead, talk to your audience. Your writing must hold its own with few first-person pronouns. Only refer to personal stories that enhance your prose. You are bringing your readers along a journey, and this cannot be interrupted with meaningless diary.

Everything you write must be relevant to your reader, or you will lose her.

Failure to talk to your audience is much more common than you think. Study copywriting, and ditch your trash.

B. Keep it sticky

After all, this is what readers are looking for.

State your position in no uncertain terms. Make it easy for your adversaries to criticize you – and for your followers to support you. As Brian Clark once said, the middle of the road is the best place to get run over. Do not sit there.

Refrain writing what everyone already knows. Be controversial. Nobody likes to read an article that anybody can agree to.

C. Write correctly

Otherwise, you are undermining your credibility. It is shocking how many articles with potentially viral content fizzle out because they are poorly written.

Take blogging seriously.

Rewriting good content to make it great is vastly underrated and seldom exercised.

2. Send this to a popular blog in your niche

Blast a brief (but compelling) email with your article the blog owner and wait patiently. Go easy – it was a full 8 days before I heard back from my first major post.

Remember, readers are much more likely to subscribe to your blog if your post appears on a blog in the same niche. Stephen’s example has demonstrated what happens when you do not observe this.

Pick your sandboxes carefully. They must be large, but they must be relevant.

3. Have a seductive atmosphere awaiting your traffic

This involves just two steps.

A. Match the quality of your guest post with your own articles

Your dynamite guest blogging will heavily resonate with readers, but this is all a pure waste if you cannot match the quality on your own estate.

Visitors scan your blog to decide if they will subscribe. Often, they flip through several pages of archives while making that decision.

To win them, your every post must be top notch.

B. Place attractive signup forms in prominent places

Make them as big as you can. Place them wherever you can. Ask for the subscription early and often, and state why readers will profit from this exchange.

Demote the social icons. Place them lower in your sidebar. If you have fewer than 100 subscribers, get rid of them completely.

Make your “call to action” very obvious. You want email addresses, and nothing else will suffice.

If you give more than one call to action, visitors will be less likely to respond to any of them. But if you capture email addresses, they will be back later for the social aspects.

I recently made a Facebook fan page for my blog. I needed 25 people to like it before I could give it a proper username, so I pinged my list asking them to connect. Before nightfall, I hit my goal. This works.

Take a peek at the popular blogs around town (this one included). See how their large, inviting forms are hovering near the top?

Is that it?

Although these three steps are straight forward, they are rarely done well. But with a little determination, you can be busting one hundred new subscribers every time you guest post.

Listen, I get as much bad luck as you do, so I know you can do this.

When will you start writing?

About the Author: Kelly Gloss never publishes an article that could not be easily accepted on an A list blog. This is a tall statement, and you’d better find out if it’s really true by visiting Two Hour Blogger.

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14 Responses to “How to Average 100+ New Subscribers Every Time You Guest Blog”

  • Harrison Li

    This is literally one good piece of content that I have read from DBT, not to mention the others are typical posts with generic information.

  • googler

    While I enjoy reading your article, I am not sure about the validity of your claim. I don’t understand why guest blogging would generate such a number of subscribers. Most often than not after reading an article, readers just go on to the next post without even checking out the author. Well this is what I have observe. Can you give us a valid proof on your claim? That would really validate your great article.

  • Dressage Canin

    Hmm it is not always the case all the time. In the past I wrote a guest post in a highly influencial blog, and my number of new subscriber didn’t get 20. Maybe my blog was not very attractive, or maybe the visitor coming from the Big blod are not very targetted.

    Anyway, for me it depends on your chance. Sometime it works (+100 subs per guest post), sometime not.

  • Amrish SIngh

    Promoting you blog by writing guest post on other blog is the best way to tell reader to you blog and drive traffic

  • Amethyst

    Great article! I’ve been thinking about guest blogging and getting some guests to do some blogging on my page. 🙂

  • Kelly Gloss

    @Gary If you follow my strategy, you’ll get better results. I’ve gotten nearly a thousand uniques from a single Problogger guest post, and I converted over 10% into subscribers.

    @Manesh That’s a great idea! I’m glad to hear it.

    @Rebecca Try guest posting on larger sites. If you guest blog on a blog with 100 subscribers, you won’t get anywhere.

    @Douglas I’m going to be honest with you. The money’s in the mailing list. If you’re unwilling to give your email address, you’re unwilling to spend money. And most bloggers tend to what subscribers that spend money. 🙂

  • Douglas Prater

    You make a compelling case for eliminating the unnecessary social media icons when your subscriber count is low. Having too many calls to action can confuse visitors about what they’re actually supposed to do next. Whether it’s email, rss, or twitter follows, its wise to concentrate on building a single stream until your traffic is solid.

    But, that approach can have a downside, too. I’ve discovered several blogs recently with incredibly well written content that I’d love to follow through a feed subscription, but email was the only option available. It’s very clear that I’m “supposed” to give my email address – but that wasn’t the flavor I wanted, so they missed out on gaining a regular reader.

    Like all things, it’s a fine balancing act, and only time, experimentation, and measurable testing will determine the best strategy for each individual blog owner.

  • Jamie Northrup

    Thanks for the tips Kelly, I’m getting ready to launch a new product, and have written about 10 guest posts already, will make some adjustments before submitting them.

  • Rob @ BROcrastinator

    I think people are beginning to guest post more for back-links than they are for traffic.. Unless you are guest posting for a massive site like ProBlogger, you will be hard pressed to even draw 100+ visitors from your article.

    Although, when thinking about it, every visitor you gain from a Guest Post is one visitor you previously did not have before!

  • Rebecca

    Thanks for the tips. I guest blog but haven’t seen any increase in my traffic. I’ve shied away from writing controversial posts as a guest blogger because I’m not writing for my blog. A blog owner and their audience may not appreciate controversy. They may prefer ‘sunshine and roses’ instead.

  • Graham Lutz

    People spend so much time writing guest posts, trying to make everything perfect, editing, and re-editing – and for get to plan their catcher’s mit.

    A little planning can make all the difference when it comes to the effectiveness of guest posting.

  • Tom

    Thx for the valuable input you provided. I’ll take some of your tips into consideration.

  • Manesh

    Good article. Now, I am thinking of writing one article for me and one for a popular blog – than writing 2 article for me a week. Thanks Kelly .

  • Gary Arndt

    I wrote an article for Problogger that had 1800 retweets and over 500 facebook likes.

    I got a whopping 200 visits to my site.

    Everyone I know has had similar results from guest posting on Problogger. It drives very little traffic.

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