5 Common Mistakes People Make when Guest Blogging

“Guest blogging is a great way to get exposure.”

“Guest blogging is too much effort for not much reward.”

“Guest blogging is dead.”

We’ve certainly heard all sides of the argument in the past 12 months. But the fact is, guest blogging is still a good way to build your brand and get more traffic to your site – if you do it right. Besides, Seth Godin is still doing it and he knows what he’s talking about.

Done well, guest blogging can be a powerful PR tool that can get you and your brand in front of people who may never have heard of you otherwise. Done badly, it can be ineffective, and even harmful.

Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid when guest posting.

1. Writing a sales piece on your business

If you’re lucky enough to get a guest posting opportunity on a great site, don’t blow it by writing a long blog post about your business or products. Most likely, the blog owner won’t even accept your post in the first place. They know their readers don’t want to read an ad or promotional post, and won’t be thrilled that you tried to use their platform for your own purpose.

Even if your post does make it on to the blog, a promotional post is unlikely to get many views, shares or links; the very reasons you’re doing it in the first place.

2. Contributing low-quality posts

There can be a temptation to contribute sub-par content when you’re guest blogging. Don’t. Firstly, it’ll guarantee you never get asked to write another guest post on that site. Secondly, the blog owner is unlikely to promote a poor-quality post to their audience. And finally, those who do read your post are unlikely to click through to your site anyway.

In other words, if you’re not going to write a high-quality post, you might as well save yourself the time and effort and not do it at all.

3. Not linking back to your website

While SEO shouldn’t be the main purpose of your guest blogging efforts, including a link back to your site is still vital. Without a link, readers will have no way to find you or read more of your content.

Keep in mind that sites may or may not allow links within the body of your post. However, the majority of sites that are curating content will at least let you include a link in your author bio. This link will be the key to generating referral traffic and leads.

4. Your strategy relies on doing one-off posts instead of building relationships

There’s nothing wrong with contributing one or two posts to a site, then moving on to bigger and better things. However, if this is your entire strategy, you’ll probably find it’s not as effective at building connections. A better strategy is to figure out which sites send the most targeted traffic and leads, and become a regular contributor. This will allow you to build your reputation through repeated exposure.

5. Not writing with the blog’s audience in mind

Ideally, the target audience for your guest post should be the same as the target audience for your own blog. However, in some cases there may be differences in demographics, topics-of-interest or even niche.

When writing a guest post, it’s important you’re true to your own voice and style. However, you also need to be aware of the needs of the audience, where they’re coming from, what they’re interested in, and their level of knowledge/interest in the topic you’re writing about.

If you’re unclear on any of these points, don’t be afraid to ask the blog owner for details about their audience.

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