Few days ago I read an interesting article that presented in detail the total income of a freelance writer and the figures make me think twice about the actual job I have. Yes, working a lot in addition to a smart strategy of gaining more clients could bring a serious income. A good percentage from the total income was made by writing guest posts on various blogs.
A guest post is nothing more than an article written by anyone different from the blog administrator or the team hired to write articles. To quickly recognize a guest post is recommended to search for the personal bio, a small text box, usually at the end, but also it may be at the beginning of the post, where the author is presented.
Web design and development related blogosphere has weekly hundreds or even thousands of guest posts, hence a regular user of these kinds of blogs is common with these articles. The great number of guest posts makes anyone wonder why people prefer this solution and which its advantages are. Here are four great reasons that make a blogger chose guest posting:
Having many quality guest posts published on highly visited blogs assures to the author the recognition of the readers. Apparently a worthless task, on long-term perspective, the results are impressive and the reward satisfactory. The recognition of the people is the first step in creating a serious brand and this is undoubtedly a great achievement, no matter, which are the efforts. Many designers & developers write guest posts to reveal their arsenal of acknowledgement and in this way, the possibility of getting new clients is high.
Some blogs use to pay for a quality guest post and the payment is sometimes enough motivating. The best-paid type of articles are the tutorials, some blog owners offering more than 100$ per detailed and original ones. Contributing regularly to many blogs and writing really interesting articles is the base of an income which can pass the imaginary, but important, barrier of 1000$ per month. The main source of worries of the bloggers that gain money from publishing guest posts is to assure a better quality than the rest of the articles. It’s a clear idea: nobody will pay for something that isn’t better than what he can realize.
The personal bio I mentioned before doesn’t seem to be such a very important entity but in the hands of smart people, it may bring unimaginable advantages. If someone imagines that real advertising means only paying to appear highlighted in the results of the search engines, he is wrong!
A wise designer submits an article but asks for having in the bio barely a link to his portfolio, therefore anyone can access it. Publishing a very good article, showing the good practice and skills are enough to make people curious about you and your portfolio. The chances to visit it are considerable increased when it is a click away, than searching for it using Google or other search engines.
On the other hand, multiple links from web design blogs are helping the portfolio to appear on the first positions in search results which is very important. The common user of Internet is almost 100% content with the results of the first page of results of a search query hence you understand why it is better to have the search engines as friends.
The links from the personal bio can be useful for not only the portfolio, but also for web design agencies or other companies involved in the www medium. Link building is a challenging task for any SEO specialist and the links from the personal bio are very good opportunities. It’s a sin to not use them. Generally speaking, having guest posts assure both the recognition of the people but in the same time improve the position in the results of the search engines.
Posting on your own blog is still different than writing guest posts. First of all, nobody will publish an article written by someone who isn’t in his team and that is bellow his standards, usually the post must be more qualitative. Secondly, it’s more difficult because a guest post should have a similar structure and style with the articles of the blog and that means each new guest post must match with the others posted. More pragmatically, a guest post needs incomparable more time and resources than a post on the own blog.
In order to help the guest authors I created a complete guide to becoming successful in guest posts campaigns. No matter the purpose of it, this guide will prove to be useful, but by far, it can’t be perfect and all your opinions and suggestions are welcomed.
I start this guide considering that you have a clear purpose by writing guest posts and your campaign is conceived to obtain a specific advantage. Also, I will prefer to offer examples from web design blogosphere, but all these may be successfully applied to all other fields.
The first step in having a wangled succession of guests is to identify the potential blogs that are interesting for you. If you are a web designer then search for the blogs treating this subject. Use the aim of the search engines and it’s very simple and efficient. A smart solution, once you land on a good blog, is to search for “Friends” or “Blogroll”, there are links to pretty similar websites and so on you can find hundreds of interesting blogs only navigating from “Friends” to “Friends”.
In case you, as guest post author, want to impress the visitors, I highly recommend to search for the blogs heavy visited; to make an idea about the traffic of a website there are few possibilities:
In the second case, where the guest blogger is interested in SEO advantages there are more complicated things. Firstly, the study of audience and the traffic obtained is also mandatory. Secondly, the principles of SEO should be applied and the help of specialists is highly recommended. Anyway, it isn’t rocket science and a little endeavor is enough to get the advantages desired. Thirdly, the main items that are important in link-building are the topics debated, similitudes in approaching, the main audience, Page Rank , etc. Google and other search engines have complicated algorithms and much more, these are secret therefore, almost any statement in SEO is deduction and can’t be 100% sure. Anyway, the recommendation from the heads of Google is to build “naturally” links, on a constant ratio and gain these from similar websites. Paradoxically, very many links from well-quoted websites aren’t agreed by Google so treat this carefully.
An efficient instrument in finding websites considered as having similar “mark” from Google as your online presence is Page Rank; there are few plugins which determine it. In order to help you more, I collected here some of the best plugins that are very useful in establishing an idea about each blog.
Now you made the pre-selection and in the most cases you found few tens or even hundreds of potential worthy blogs, I personally recommend keeping them in an Excel sheet or whatever you want, the main idea is to keep the addresses. Another time consuming activity is to contact the owner of the blogs and let them know your proposal. The most effective way to get in touch with them is via a contact form but some blogs have even rubrics as “Write here”, “Write with us”, and “Write for us”. One of the best solutions is to send a respectful mail to each blog administrator about your proposal; from my own experience I could say that some previous published posts are capital in really getting a reply from them, else I am in doubt about that you are in fair way of succeeding. Anyway, really, no matter the number of replies, you should never be disappointed, i.e. , in my beginning career as guest post writer I emailed once more than 120 blogs and I received less than 10 replies, but altogether with the gaining of experience and branding yourself, the situation will improve substantially.
We entered now in the next phase, any of the next steps suppose that the owner of the blog you proposed to write a guest post for is interested with this affair, else try again the first point. In our assumption we established that both you as writer and the owner agreed with, now it’s time to conceive the post.
The next movement of the blogger is to study more attentive the respective blog. This study means that one should notice the usual length of the posts, the way images are inserted, the style adopted and any other fine-tuning. Nevertheless, the capital points are the quality of the post provided and topic presented.
The faith of a guest post is somehow ironical, it must be more qualitative than the rest of the posts to be noticed; having the same quality and topic doesn’t make it different from others and people won’t see any novelty. Being under common standards makes it to stand apart but surely, you don’t want this kind of “originality”. The same problem is with the topics; these should be different but having enough common elements. The golden proportion is various from blog to blog and it’s pretty difficult to find.
Many bloggers have the tendency to state that since it is a guest post, it is OK to be different from the rest of the posts. It’s true, but the constant readers are visiting the blog because they like it as it is and anything new may or may not have a positive effect. To avoid any issue I consider that reducing the personal touch is better (I bolded reducing and not cutting down); following this trend the blog admin can post many other guest contributions and study the effects. (even by asking the readers, i.e., “Do you consider that our blog needs fresh ideas brought by guest bloggers” is a good question for a poll). The next step supposes that the blogger selects a topic and a title for the next post. Some blog admins are asking for more details of the post and this could be an advantage, it’s lowering the risk of having an unaccepted article.
A few months ago I published an article explaining into details how to write a quality post on Instant Shift, you will find it there. It’s the decisive part of publishing a quality guest post so it’s better to read the article mentioned; don’t conclude that if there is the shortest chapter of the post, it is negligible.
What was most difficult has passed, now everything is a matter of details and patience, the article is emailed to the blog owner and the author waits for his feedback. Most blog owners accept to email them in doc. format but there are some lazier that request it in HTML format. Another category of blog owners considers that it is better for the author to choose the images to insert into the post and they ask the guest authors to provide them. This matter shouldn’t worry the guest bloggers, it’s easy to find free stock images on the Internet.
Other blog owners want to select the images themselves. This usually happens because they have a contract with a photo-selling website and should respect it.
This step isn’t mandatory; it really depends on each situation. While a part of the blog owners are handling the posts themselves and need only the text of the guest post, others ask for the providers to add on dashboard the entire article.
Once the guest post gets the OK of the blog admin, it is scheduled and awaits the day of publishing. Many guest bloggers see the post in the respective day of publishing, tweet this, and maybe post a link on Facebook which isn’t by all means the best approach.
A professional guest blogger is responsible for his work and he must check it frequently to see the comments and the reactions of the readers; we aren’t perfect and it’s a merely possibility to make mistakes. As long as we are capable of accepting it, there isn’t a big issue so I personally consider that this should be applied in blogging and even in our particular lives.
I presented only the “dark side” but in most cases the readers are tolerant with the small misunderstandings or grammar errors, they read the article for the essence of it, not to hunt mistakes. Some of them need additional information and a quick reply from the guest writer is a clear sign of professional approach; this friendly way may assure to the writer a good amount of followers, in the case he is adding the Twitter account, and many friends on Facebook. At the end, it’s polite to email the blog admin to thank him because he allowed the guest post.
By reading this post anyone will make a clearer idea about what a guest post supposes and the advantages of these but the subject is by far ended. There are countless debates about accepting or not of guest posts. Are these useful for the evolution of the blog? By the way, which is your opinion about guest posting, are you agreeing with this or don’t see any advantages in them? I am an active adept of guest posts. As long as it’s quality work I don’t see any disadvantages but I am eager to see what you think.