I’m Calling BS on Guest Posts

This past weekend, I went to BlogWorld Expo and devoured every bit of knowledge I could about new media. I look forward to checking out even more sessions with my virtual ticket. Of course, one of the topics that came up from time to time was guest posting. Now, I love guest posts…if they make sense. But as a traffic strategy? I’m calling BS on guest posts.

Later, after BlogWorld, I was talking about guest posting with Jordan Cooper, who has guest-posted on some pretty popular blogs, including Problogger and Copyblogger. What you won’t see him do is guest post willy-nilly on every blog out there. Why?

Because guest posting doesn’t lead to tons of monetizable traffic.

Sorry to burst your bubble, because I know a lot of “experts” out there encourage people to publish guest posts. And it can be beneficial. It’s just important to understand exactly what a guest post can do for you:

  • A guest post can give you a backlink.

Having links coming into your own site is one way to increase your value in the eyes of Google and other searching engines. Guest posts help you achieve this linking without spamming other bloggers. BUT…it really only makes sense to put in the work if the guest post is published on a site with a fairly higher page rank. For Jordan, it makes sense to guest post on Copyblogger, for example, because that blog has a page rank of 6/10 (which is fairly high). If you’re posting on a site that has a page rank of one or two, it doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of a backlink.

  • A guest post can help you say “thank you.”

I regularly guest post on my friends’ blogs when they ask me to do so. In fact, if we’re friends, it is unlikely that I’ll say no as long as I have time. At the risk of sounding like Bea Arthur, it’s my way of saying thank you for being a friend. I’ve posted on Kirsten Wright’s blog. I have an upcoming guest post on Chris Ducker’s blog. I would love to guest post for you as well – if we already have a working relationship. Don’t come out of the woodwork and request that I write a guest post for you like it’s some kind of sacrifice that you are making to help me.

  • A guest post can help with name recognition.

If your blog gets a lot of traffic or (even more importantly) reaches the exact crowd that I’m hoping to reach, it might not bring me much traffic in return, but it will help to put my name in front of your readers. This can be important if I’m applying for speaking gigs, hoping to sell products, and more. It legitimizes what I’m doing in my career. But really, you have to have the traffic numbers for this to be a benefit. If you don’t, writing a guest post for you simply isn’t worth my time. UNLESS…well, the other reason to write a guest post for name recognition is to get on the radar of the blogger him/herself. I may not notice your tweets or remember your name after just a brief meeting just because there is so much noise in my life. But if you submit a guest post? I’m much more inclined to check out your blog and follow what you’re doing.

The bottom line? Stop looking at guest posts as a monetization strategy. I sincerely used to think that guest posts were great for blog traffic, but I’ve since been disillusioned. You might get a little traffic through the link, but a very small percentage of that traffic will actually buy anything from you or subscribe. I think there are better ways to spend your time if you’re hoping to drive traffic that really will convert.

Please don’t read this post and think that I’m saying you shouldn’t guest post at all. Guest posts have value if you think about them the right way. Personally, I will definitely guest post more in the future – it just has to make sense for me and my blog.

So what do you think? Have you guest-posted with success? What made it successful?

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Head zombie wrangler here at Blog Zombies. Obsessed with all things social media. Lover of shenanigans and pancakes. Definitely not a ninja.

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  1. [...] few months ago, I wrote a post on my personal blog called “I’m Calling BS on Guest Posts” that I highly recommend you check out before spending lots of time seeking out opportunities and [...]

  2. [...] few months ago, I wrote a post on my personal blog called “I’m Calling BS on Guest Posts” that I highly recommend you check out before spending lots of time seeking out opportunities and [...]