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Get More Blog Traffic Blueprint [Week 6]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

It’s time for another edition of the Get More Blog Traffic Blueprint.  In this series, I review simple tactics you can use to generate lots of visitors to your site.

In the last few weeks, we’ve covered onsite strategies to increase visibility.  Today, we’ll shift focus and discuss another proven promotional tactic.  Specifically we’re going to talk about the value of guest posting and how to do it the right way.

How to Get More Blog Traffic

Guest Posting…Blah, Blah, Blah

I know what you’re thinking, “Guest posting?!?!  I already know about that!!!”

Yes, I’d agree that guest posting is topic that’s been beaten to death.  But there’s a reason why people love to blog about this topic – It really works!

Without a doubt, guest posting is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your blog.  So today we’ll go over a few basic guidelines and discuss how to maximize the results you get from this strategy…

Clean your House First!

Before writing a guest post, it’s extremely important that your blog is ready for visitors!

Take this blog for example.  Right now, I’m undergoing a massive redesign.  Some of the links aren’t working and a few funky pieces of code randomly pop up.  Personally, I don’t think it’s a smart strategy to guest post right now because new visitors would be turned off by the amateurish appearance.

The lesson here is to make sure your blog is ready for visitors before doing any guest posting.  Here are a few keys for doing this:

  • Have an attention grabbing header and blog design
  • Complete your “About Me” page?
  • Make RSS subscription box easy to find
  • Offer a lead magnet
  • Have a quality/MVP post on the front page

Think of it this way. If you had a party in your home, you’d definitely clean it up before inviting guests over.  In a way, a guest post is like an invitation.  Anyone reading it might come over and see what you’re about.  When they arrive, make sure they’re impressed with what’s offered on your blog.

How to Find Blogs for Guest Posting

You’d be surprised at how easy it is to find blogs that accept guest posts.  Here are a few strategies you can use:

Leverage Existing Contacts: Obviously the first place to start is with the people who you interact with on a regular basis.  These are the people who you talk to using Twitter, blog commenting, Facebook and other social media sites.  Start with them because these are the people who already know what you’re about.

Use Google: Google is way to find sites for guest posting.  Simply type “your niche” + blog in this search engine.  For instance, a few searched I would do is “lifestyle design blog” or “passive income blog.”  Also try “your niche” + guest post.  Ie: “lifestyle design guest post.”

Also, another great tool is the Google Blog Search.  This is a search engine dedicated to blogs.  A great trick here is to punch in your main topic, sort by date, and you’ll discover a wealth of guest post opportunities.

A-List Bloggers: Every niche has a few people considered to be A-List Bloggers. These folks have a large following and get lots of traffic.  Obviously, getting a post on one of their sites will do wonders for your site.  That’s why it’s important to contact them the right way

How to Contact an A-List Blogger

A-List Bloggers get lots of requests for guest posts.  So you need to “get on their radar” before contacting them.  The best way to do this is to be someone who is helpful and engaging.  Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Re-Tweet their content (Be sure to include the @ sign.)
  • Share their content on Facebook and other social media sites
  • Create a dialog through sites like Twitter and Facebook
  • Comment on their blog
  • Send a personal email and ask a simple question (One that can be answered in less than a minute.)

These are a just a few strategies that help you get noticed.  I recommend using them till you achieve a small level of rapport.

Once you’ve become recognizable to the A-List Blogger, send a brief email explaining the idea for your guest post.  Make it friendly, direct, and to the point.  This person is probably really busy.  Don’t waste their time explaining who you are.  Just provide the idea for the article and see if they’re interested.

Do a good job building rapport and providing a great article.  That’ll increase your chances of the guest post getting accepted.

The Four B’s for Submitting a Great Guest Post

As they say, you only have one shot to make a great first impression.  That’s why it’s important to follow what I call The 4 B’s for Guest Posting:

#1. Be Similar: Your guest post should match what’s regularly posted on the blog.  For instance, you might blog about SEO, but you’d be smart to write an article about SEO for small income sites if you’re writing an article for a passive income blog.

#2. Be Awesome: Your guest post needs to be some of your best stuff.  Remember, you’re trying to wow the readers.  And this won’t happen with a plain ole, five hundred-word article.  Give lots of value and people will want to check out your blog.

#3. Be Cool: Your guest post is kind of like trying to win over your friend’s friends.  You need to be the “cool kid” they’ll like.  If they like you, they’ll want to know you better.  Have something unique to say.  Be a little different.  Write about a topic that’s both helpful and interesting.  That’s the way to be cool on a blog.

#4. Be Engaging: Treat a blogger’s readers like your own.  Respond to comments.  Answer any questions they have.  Even better, hop over and start engaging them on their blog.

Your Goal this Week

Guest posting is a critical strategy for building traffic to your site.  That’s why you should block time on your publishing schedule like you would with your own blog posts.

My advice is to create and submit one guest post per week.  If you’ve been following this series so far, you’d see that’s a total of 4 posts for your blog, plus one guest post.

Think you can do that?

Yes, this requires hard work.  But it’s doable if you’re willing to give 110% effort to your blog.

I’ve only done about ten guest posts, but each time I did, I experienced a spike in traffic.  Imagine what kind of long-term results you’ll get if you write a guest post every week.

Like I said in the introduction, guest posting is often discussed because it’s something that works.  So make that commitment to writing at least one a week. I guarantee you’ll like the results!

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 41 comments }

Brankica @ Live Your Love

Although I am reading this week 6 post (missed all of them before) I can see there is a bunch of value I can use here.
So I am going to snoop through previous weeks (hope to find them easy).
Oh, and going to download the book. I love subscribing to nice blogs.
Great article but you don’t need me to tell you that 🙂

Steve Scott

Glad you liked it Brankica. 🙂

There should be a link to all the other post on top. I am going to through (or will be soon) a site redesign so things can be a little harder to find than they should (will) be

The Vizier

Hi Steve,

Great article! You are as brilliant a strategist and tactician as they come.

Setting your house in order is fundamental before you do anything else. This has always been a common idiom for the Chinese which could refer to the household literally or the state. I love your ideas for making sure that our blogs are ready for visitors. It is high time I do something about my front page.

I love your 4 Bs. I think it is important to always give great content even if it is a guest post. This is also a form of respect to the blogger who has graciously allowed you to guest post on their blog.

I also agree that it helps to be engaging and respond to any comments on the guest post. This is the proper way to see things to the end and to do a good job.

Thank you for sharing this awesome article! 🙂

Irving aka the Vizier

Steve Scott

Thanks Irving.

TBH My own ongoing site issues are bugging me. Specifically since I want to be out doing 2 guest posts or so a week, but I know that I should not do that until the site is all “aj squared away”

Guest posting is something that every blogger needs to do, and can really be huge both in the early stages and the when you have a good base and want to grow.

Regardles though no matter where anyone is traffic wise, guest blogging drives butt to seats.

The Vizier

More haste less speed Steve. The year is drawing to a close and everyone is more concerned about the holidays anyway. Now would be the perfect time to get things right with your site issues. Then when the new year begins, your site will be ready for new visitors and you can guest post all you want. 🙂

Devesh - Blokube

Awesome Post Steve. I think doing commenting, retweets and sharing on social sites is the best way to connect with A-list bloggers.

I like the 4 b’s about guest posting. Responding to comments is very important, i see many people ignore this!!

Thanks for sharing! great work steve.

Steve Scott

You would know too, since you have an awesome site for people to guest post on!! When I get my site and issues all nicely fixed up technshare will certainly be a place i will be looking to quest post on! (and return comments of course 🙂 )

Ryan Renfrew @LifestyleDesign

Hey Steve,

Cool beans man.

bLAZE yOUR tRAIL

Jimi Jones@PersonalDevelopment

Hi Steve.

Great points, I think preparing your own blog is critically important. The last thing you want it to be unprepared there. Great analogy on the house party. 🙂 Guest posting is a really good strategy and I plan to continue that in 2011. I’m quite a bit more strategic about it now.

Steve Scott

I WANT to be be guest posting today, but waiting is best.

Once people get an opinion it is hard to turn it around. I do not want the opinion to be “juvenile”

at this point 2011 is a good goal for me too!

Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

Methinks 2011 will be the year for me to guest blog as well. I’ve heard so many good things about it that it only makes sense to give it a shot.

And best of skill with continuing your site remake! It sure is a hero’s journey to make certain everything works the way you want….

Steve Scott

LOL,

Between work, family, and ongoing projects I feel like I am up to my ass in alligators right now. busy busy busy

Guest posts are the thing to do, they certainly help a lot of new people find you. Hardly any better ways to achieve that.

Fran Aslam

Hi Steve:

Another blog post for traffic that tells me to clan up the blogging act first. Great idea. I want to do that too and really before I start guest posting, which is my first goal in 2011. So,
I better start thinking of the changes I need in my blog. Steve don’t worry about your blog as a visitor will not find any fault with it.
Take care
fran A

James Pruitt

Great post Steve. One thing that I have found with getting guest posts is that most people try the A list bloggers first, and often wind up getting rejected, so they give up.

Rather than going straight to the big name blogs, go to some of the smaller blogs that still get a lot of traffic. This way, when you contact those A list bloggers, you have some guest posts on other blogs that you can show them, so they can see how well you engage the comments, and your writing style.

Guest posting is one of my favorite ways to get traffic.

Steve Scott

True. A listers could be a misnomer too. Could be strong B list too. One thing that I think is important is that you do target people that are ahead of you -or at least close to the same level- for traffic.

If you are getting 200 visitors a day going for blogs with similar. But doing a guest post on a 200 visitor a day blog when you are getting 1000 visitors a day is a little bit of a waste unless you are doing it as a favor or somesuch for someone you have a relationship with.

Claire Bright

You have a great blog here. Simple , clean and not cluttered.
Great job in explaining the how tos of guess posting. Really convincing and very useful!

Susan@Home Workouts

Hey Steve, I guess you have made some changes to your site! I love thesis, it’s what I use – for some reason I really haven’t done any guest posting yet. I did a few early on and it did nothing for traffic, but I was writing for a brand new site. DUH. Anyway, guest blogging is part of my blogging plan for 2011 and I assure you I am doing everything you suggest to find guest blogging opportunities! Thanks so much for the gentle reminder!

Steve Scott

Susan,

I went to Thesis as a sort of “emergency” tactic. I messed up my main theme and just went to thesis as a backup. Ultimately I am outsourcing a real professional redesign, getting bids from elance now for that.

For you guestblogging on exercise /weigth loss sites is key. As much exposure on tightly related niche sites will kick your targeted visitors into overdrive!

Justin Popovic

Great topic and very true. While blogging is not the main thing I do in my business, the times I have guest blogged have been amazing for my site. The number of people who learned about me through the guest opportunity was phenomenal! Everyone should be doing this!

One tip that seems to be working well for me in terms of getting on the radar of bloggers… do a very personalized post and link to one of their articles. Discuss their post and what you learned from them. Do video if you can because then they will REALLY remember you. When you do approach them for a guest opportunity, they will be way more likely to remember and connect with you at that point 🙂

Steve Scott

Justin,

You make some really good points on ways to people to stand out blogging.

-Your comment itself stands out- 🙂

Anything that goes the extra mile really works. Blogging is also a -relatively- new endeavor for me, but the principle of connection with other people rings true in almost everything you do online. If you make real connection and go out of your way to help others some of it will always come back to you.

There is no need to sit with a tally stick, but in the long run if you do good, good comes back!

Adam

Hi Steve,

I agree with you that guest posting is really a huge traffic generator. If your guest article is great and deliver some useful staff people will be interested to find out more about you and come for a visit. Is there any better way how to engage with that huge number of people from your niche for free?

I really doubt about that.

Awesome article and RT!:)

Steve Scott

Thanks a heap adam,

For both the nice comment and the RT!

I definitely agree. WHen a guest poster does what he should and supplies one of their best pieces to a blog, it really is one of the few true pure win-win-win.

The blogger wins because they get awesome exposure and hopefully new followers, the blog owner gets an awesome piece of content and what should mostly be a “day off” and the readers get an awesome piece of content and perhaps a new blog to follow.

Tristan@Blogging Tips

Great post, Steve. As someone who does indeed write 1-2 guest posts a week, I can say that it really does do wonders for getting your name out there. And writing 1 a week is definitely doable.

For some reason, a lot of people seem to be hesitant about guest posting. I don’t know what they’re afraid of! The worst that could happen is that they are refused. If that ever happens, just submit your article somewhere else. SOMEONE out there will publish it!

Steve Scott

I gotta get out there and be like you man. I need to be guest posting. No fear here at least, I just want my site to be fixed first. I do think I have good content but I want all my site stuff to be smooth first.

From both past experience and knowing other bloggers like yourself that have skyrocketed because of solid guest posts there is not much of a better way to get your name, “out there” and kick traffic in the butt than to do a solid slew of guest posting.

Murlu@Niche Site Strategies

I’m finally getting around to a lot of this Steve – got a ton of awesome guest posts coming up but you could imagine how long each one of them will take because I always want to deliver mind-blowingly great content.

One of my big goals for 2011 is to do quite a few posts each month and really come out with a bang – I plan to make it my breakout year 🙂

Steve Scott

Hopefully it the year for us both. s I said, still getting to the point to push it with some killer guest posts myself

Dia

Hi Steve,

It is funny you write an article on guest posting, just when I made a decision to do one guest post per week last night (to follow your previour advice) 🙂 Hopefully, by guestposting I can reach the number of visitors that I want by the end of next year, which is 3000 unique visitors per day. I know I said I want 5000 per day the other day, but I would be happy with 3000 per day 🙂 Thanks for sharing my friend

Steve Scott

Aim for three and reevaluate in the middle of next year, if need be. 3 would not be bad at all, but you could possibly get 5k.

I am hoping that everyone in the little circle of commentators here will continue to grow and grow. Hopefully all together we will reach and exceed our goals.

Lisette Brodey

Terrific blog. I just retweeted it. As a writer who is preparing to launch a blog in 2011, the idea of guest blogging is something I’m considering, but of course, I want to make careful decisions. I appreciate the wealth of good advice in this blog and will bookmark it so I can return again and read past posts as well. All best wishes.

Steve Scott

Glad you liked it Lisette.

I do hope you come back, at least for a link to your new blog. I also checked out your book page real actual published fiction. That is awesome. I would like to get there someday, but I am far behind you on THAT learning curve.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope to see you again sometime soon!

Lisette Brodey

Thank you, Steve. How kind of you to say!

This holiday week has been one of serious organizing. My next job is to organize all of my bookmarks so I can revisit and retweet my favorite blogs. You will definitely see me again.

Have a wonderful Christmas and happy 2011! 🙂

Steve Youngs

Hi Steve!

Just a quick question… would you recommend putting time and effort into wooing other bloggers to guest post for you as well?

Thanks for the continuing awesomeness, mate!

Kind regards,
Steve

Steve Scott

Hmmmm That is a good question.

Unfortunately not sure if I have a good answer. I have been leaving Thursdays open for guest posts, sometimes I get backed up then for a few weeks I get no offers at all.

I could ASK, but I am not sure how effective that would be. I want people who guest post because they WANT to not because I asked.

BUT on the other hand asking may encourage someone who is a bit shy about asking (or asking again) to broach the subject.

So I guess my answer is that personally I wouldn’t look for people to guest post, but I am not sure that you *shouldn’t* ask.

Vuong

That is a not new but useful information too, dear Steve! Preparing your blog, particularly good content and design are must have when your home get more guesses. On the way of blogging career, I have just knocked at the first stage.

Hopefully one day soon I can let my blog exposure by guess blogging. Hope you have a nice day!

Brenton Russell

Hi Steve,

Do you (or any of the other readers) notice any seasonal changes to your traffic over Christmas? I would expect that retail related sites would experience a significant spike but my gut feel (I have only been blogging for a few months!) is that blogs less focussed on selling physical products would experience a drop off in traffic during the ‘busy season.’

I would be interested in hearing opinions/experiences!

lawmacs

Great post Steve i have receive a few request for guest post but the title and content does not fit with my blog i guess they should have seen this post before the main thing i would add is that don’t write guest post just fro backlinks make sure you have something to offer happy holidays Steve.

Steve Scott

Gary,

Great points. Of course back links and having people come to your site is the reason that people want to do guest posts. But if you’re simply fishing for links it will be obvious in a guest post and you will be unlikely to actually get any. In my opinion a guest post should be one of your best pieces of work. For one reason someone is allowing you onto their personal territory and it is important to treat that with respect for the second reason you want people reading it to be impressed that way they will check out your site.

Matthew Needham

Hi Steve, guest posting is a great tool to drive traffic to your website. Although in my experience it’s probably better to get your name ‘out there’ than direct traffic. Unless of course you have ‘added value’ articles to link back to your site.

Better drivers of traffic (IMO) is your Sunday Links / my Wednesday Wisdom posts. Just by looking at the stats, more people tend to open the links than they do follow the blog links on the guest posts (that’s not to say they don’t get traffic, they do, but link love is definitely higher).

Hope that adds to the conversation.

Matthew

Steve Scott

You may have a point. It has been a while since I have done a guest post. The “round ups” certainly are a great way to 1. remind people you are there 2. create a relationship with new people. The way I see it though is that guest posting is a little different. If you target the right blogs (with decentt traffic) you may get the attention of some people who would never have seen you otherwise. It is sort of apples and oranges. The ultimate “boost” in numbers may be similar, but it also expands your reach.

Jimmy/Life Architect

Hi Steve,

I am back again. Need to confess that I have already guest posted on three sites before reading your articles. Did not know that there is so much more to consider before guest posting. Anyway, I am getting better on a daily basis.

Question Today: Besides commenting and guest posting, what are the other more efficient traffic generators? I have been devoting a lot of time just writing articles and commenting, it seems that I had no time to duel into other stuff. But are there one or two more strategies that must be used by effective bloggers?

Cheers

Steve Scott

Awesome Good deal that you are out there getting the guest posts done. (frankly getting guest posts out is something I personally need to do more of)

Well, the whole series goes over just about everything I can think of that actually works. Social media, content, networking, marketing: It all works to drive traffic in its own way, and they all take time and effort to develop. There is a ton of writing to be done… no doubt about it. So no specific recommendations here, sincd different techniques often work better for different people.

(there are people really into Twitter lets say, who drive an insane amount of traffic from a dedicated fanbase there, while others may dabble there and drive next to nothing… some of driving traffic is more art than science)

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