This guest post is by Dan Norris of Web Control Room.
Guest posting is up near the top of every list of ways to grow your blog. The problem is, if you don’t do it correctly, you are more or less wasting your time.
I’ve been writing guest posts for a long time as a way to build interest in my blogs. But until recently I’d never really looked specifically at the results. I’d been assuming, like a lot of bloggers, that I could just get published on some big blogs, and readers would come my way.
My new business, Web Control Room, is a free web app that allows tech savvy business owners to track all their important metrics in the one place. So part of my launch strategy is guest posting on popular blogs for small business owners and bloggers.
In the first few weeks of running my beta I was lucky enough to get published on three well-known industry blogs.
But after analyzing the results, I was shocked. The stats are shown below, “conversions” being the number of people who signed up to use the app in its beta stage.
- Total visitors to my site: 67
- Conversions: 2 (2.9%)
Those figures are for all three guest posts combined—about nine hours work for me!
As you can see, these results fall a long way short of what most people expect when writing guest posts. Not only is the traffic minuscule, the conversion rate was well below that from other sources (some were closer to 10%).
Two problems with guest posting
There are two things that are often forgotten by bloggers publishing guest posts.
- It’s hard to understand an audience when they aren’t your audience. This is a problem when you’re writing your first post on a blog—you really don’t know what is going to appeal to the audience.
- People don’t want to leave their favourite blogs to go back to yours—unless they have a really good reason to.
So if you don’t understand what the readers want, and they don’t want to leave the host blog to come back to yours anyway, what do you do?
In this post I’m going to give you five techniques you can use to directly address these problems, and stop wasting time guest posting.
1. Mention your blog or business
The first thing you absolutely must do in a guest post is mention your blog or business, ideally with a link back to your site. A lot