What, So Google REALLY Killed Guest Blogging, Right?

Google on guest blogging

Since 2011 when Google launched its new battle against webspam through the release of its algorithmic animals, so much has changed – whether you are talking about content marketing generally or search engine marketing in particular.

As much as some of us applauded Google’s move to “sanitize” the web, one of Google’s moves was however really “controversial.” It was actually earlier this year that Google’s head of spam, Matt Cutts came out with his, “Stick a Fork in It, Guest Blogging Is Done” blog post. Since then a whole lot of theories and insinuations about guest blogging has taken over the web.

But Is Guest Blogging Really Dead?

Since the fear of Google has become the beginning of wisdom for internet marketers, Matt Cutts’ post has since become the reference point for those who want you to run for your dear live when guest blogging is mentioned.

A closer look however will reveal one common link among those who have continued to ramp up this rhyme: they are sleek internet marketers who have some “alternative” product to sell to you!

It’s true that when Matt published the above post on guest blogging, he was dead angry at what guest blogging has grown to be – an internet marketing monster!

Hear him:

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”

And then, to show how angry he was about this issue, he warned:

“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”

However, following the outcry that followed that post, Matt was quick to make some clarifications. He even went as far as editing the title of the post to read:

“The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.”

By adding, “for SEO” to the title Matt has shown that Google was not totally against guest blogging. This is clear with his additions to the blog post:

“I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.

I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.”

Unfortunately, despite these clarifications, many of these sleek internet marketing practitioners have continued to trumpet the “guest blogging is dead” tune.

Should Google Be Blamed For This Guest Blogging Is Dead Song?

I must say that I have always been a fan of Google when it comes to its stand against webspam. There is no doubt that their efforts have helped, in no small measure, in weeding out the bad and not too good.

Besides, Google’s stand is not different from what I have always believed in and preached on this blog. Having published a good number of guest posts on this blog I know the pains I go through in my bid to ensure that only the very best guest posts were published here.

Unfortunately, not many guest bloggers really appreciate this stand since many of them were “commercial” guest bloggers, paid to build links through those posts.

After trying to bring in some form of sanity by re-working my guest blogging terms a number of times, I took the initiative back in 2012 to do a series on guest blogging which, in every sense clearly outlined the stand of Google even though it was published almost a year before Matt Cutts came out with his “stick a fork in it” death blow on guest blogging!

So, Is Guest Blogging Really Dead?

My Verdict? No!

It is apparent that Google does not have an automatic bad guest post algorithm that is designed to place a spam penalty on you because you do guest posts. It is however, clear from Matt’s explanations after that Google, as usual, has an eye for quality and valuable content. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing a guest post or doing a post on your own blog.

The rational is, if you are thinking of doing guest blogging as a marketing strategy you must do it well. Seek to please Google by doing it right and you can be sure that guest blogging can become a great tool in your online marketing arsenal.

In closing this post let me reference the guest blogging series which I know is still very relevant today even with Google trying to “stick a fork in it” 🙂

Ensure you read these posts for you will definitely thank me for them;

  1. Strategic Guest Blogging Tactics That Gets Results!
    Let’s get the party on track. Read this to get thrust of the series.
  2. The Secret to Getting Hordes of Endless Free Traffic as a Guest Blogger!
    Do you want to craft monumental guest posts empowered to generate endless traffic for your business? Then start from here…
  3. Ignore This Essential Element and You’ll Fail Woefully as a Guest Blogger!
    Do you really want to know the secret recipe for creating guest posts that will guarantee your success? You have it right here..
  4. How to Guarantee a Continuous Flow of Traffic with Your Guest Posts!
    Finally, here is how to optimize your your guest post to ensure a continuous flow of traffic for years to come. It’s what you have always thought…

If you want to download the series as an ebook there’s no problem. I have published it as a pdf download available on my content writing site. Click here to download it for free.

Over to you: So, what is your stand on this “guest blogging is dead” mantra?

[ALERT] Guest Blogging Set For A BIG Surprise From Google!

Google ready to penalze guest posts links

From all indication it does appear that it is time to braze up for another big surprise from the almighty Google! And when I say “big” that might just be an understatement!

A few days ago, Matt Cutt, the head of Google’s webspam team, again shook the SEO world when he wrote on his personal blog that he “expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

Of course, that assertion drew the ire of the SEO community and Matt had to quickly add an update some clarifications. But that notwithstanding, it is clear from the tone of Matt’s post that Google is definitely up to something!

Stick A Fork In It: Guest Blogging Is Done!

I personally want to look beyond the clarifications.  His message is clear enough. Hear him:

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”

Going further, he said,

“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”

I’m sure the warning signals are clear enough.

Will Google Really Go On With Such A Threat?

Considering the fact that Google had issued some form of warning in the past (like the warning against content farms before the Panda update, we just need to take this one real serious.

For sometime now Google has being giving some form of warning against guest blogging. For example, take a look at these ones issued through Matt:

I’m sure you can clearly see the handwriting on the wall!

This simply reminds me of a saying among my people that when the hen repeatedly pecks the head of the cockroach, it would definitely swallow the cockroach! 🙂 So, if Google has repeatedly warned against guest blogging, we cannot expect anything less.

We must also recall that Google issued this type of warning against content farms before releasing the Panda update.

How Will This Affect The Blogging Community?

Though we cannot clearly say for now what the outcome would be if Google made good its threats (Google has always been unpredictable), one thing I can say for now is that like the Panda update that affected both the “good and the ugly”, any harmer on guest blogging will definitely affect many blogs.

My reasoning here is the fact that nearly every blog that accepts guest posts usually rewards the guest blogger with a dofollow link. It’s kind of expected. And thus far there is no indication if Google has the tools to differentiate between guest posts that were done “purely” for SEO purposes and those that were not. If this is not in place, any penalty targeted at guest blogging would definitely have wide sweeping effects!

Is There Anything We Can Do About This?

For now, I think we need to carefully study Matt’s post especially the update he was forced to add after the many reactions from the SEO community.

Here’s the addition:

“It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.

I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.”

If you it reading carefully, it is clear that multi-author blogs might just escape the harmer if it ever fell! But for the rest of us, the recommendation is, be skeptical and cautious!

Very elusive you might say!

Final Thoughts

In the recent past Google has shown that it’s indeed the almighty when it comes to search engine marketing. They set the rules and they enforce them. Internet marketers and content marketing practitioners have always been at Google’s mercy. I think what we just need to do right now is to prepare our blogs for this update. Trying to fight or live in denial mood will not help.

Over to you: What is your take on this new move? Do you think Google would be doing the blogging community good if they hit at blogs that accept guest posts just because those posts have dofollow links?

Guest Blogging Insights from A Content Marketing Ninja – An Interview!

Hi, it’s yet another time for our community timeout. However, instead of throwing a topic open for our general discussion as we normally do, today I’m bringing in a friend who I regard as a maestro when it comes to guest blogging. With the interest content marketing is generating amongst businesses online today, I think this is a topic that will be of interest to us all.

Of course, this is my first ever interview here on the Web Income Journal and I’m hoping that you will not only enjoy it but also gain some insights from it.

Our guest today is Michael Chibuzor, a web content writer who has written quite a number of guest posts and has been featured on most popular blogs. I’m very sure that most of you may have met him somewhere around the blogosphere.

WARNING: Every line from this interview has something you wouldn’t want to miss. So, commit yourself to read through this very carefully. Skipping through it will only deprive you of the nuggets of wisdom hidden within!

And so, let’s get on with the show!

guest blogging interview image

Chadrack: Hi Michael, it’s really a pleasure to have you as my first guest on the Web Income Journal’s interview series. And so, let’s begin by meeting you. Who is Michael Chibuzor?

Michael: Firstly I must say, I’m excited to be here. I’m sure you know me too well but for the sake of those who don’t know much about me, my name is Michael Chibuzor. My blog is contentmarketingup.com. I started my writing journey online in 2007, during the Bum marketing era. You know about it, right? Ok, I later realized that using tricks on Google would only result in pain, over time and so, I made a decision in 2010 to make a change. I hope that is enough for an introduction. Lol!

Chadrack: Yea, that’s great to know. I was sometime into the bum marketing of a thing also. I only changed strategies when article directories like Ezinearticles.com changed their policies and stopped allowing direct links to affiliate websites. Also I discovered that having a website of your own where you can build your own list was better than linking direct to affiliate products. That was when I built my first website sometime in 2006. It’s really interesting that you were also involved in bum marketing.

Ok, Michael, I’ve known you for some time now and I can say one thing about you and that is, you are very passionate about guest blogging. Can you let us in why you are so this passionate about it?

Michael: I love this question Chadrack. I discovered the power of guest blogging in 2011, and dived into it wholeheartedly.

As I write this, guest blogging is the only strategy I’ve used so far to grow a successful blog. I’m not very active on social media networks like many other bloggers. In my first 3 months of starting my blog (i.e. contentmarketingup.com), I was able to land my first client through guest blogging!

I was so excited, at the time, that I was yelling at the top of my voice. Lol!

And you know what? Guest blogging has improved my organic traffic and off-page links as well. In fact, I’ve benefited so much from guest blogging that all I can say is, if a system works for you, FOCUS your entire energy on it and become a cognitive expert. That’s the key!

Chadrack: Hmm, great to hear that. Now, let’s go back again to when you first got started with guest blogging. What was it that really motivated you?

Michael: Okay, let me see what really motivated me… All right I got it. I first came into contact with a content marketing blog – copyblogger.com. One faithful morning, I visited the blog and read a fabulous guest post that changed my perspective about article marketing.

I saw the number of comments that a single post got. And I did realize that the author (a guest blogger) was making a lot of money as well. You know one thing? I was broke man… I needed a saving grace. And so, the kind of money I could earn if I do it heartily was my first motivation. Second, I was also motivated by an excellent spirit (The Holy Spirit).

Chadrack: That’s really an honest way to put it. You know some people really believe you shouldn’t be motivated by the money! Lol!

Anyway, let’s try and be specific now. Can you remember how many guest posts you have written so far?

Michael: Wow…! This is serious. I’ve written a lot of guest posts for clients and for my own blogs. The total I’ve written so far is 531 quality guest posts. (75% published in A-list blog, 20% published in B-list blogs and 5% on fresh blogs). See where I shared my 531 published posts and lessons.

Guest Blogging Challenges and How to Overcome Them!

blogging success tipsChadrack: Wow! 531? Hmm, that’s really serious. Now, from my own experience and from what I’ve gleaned from other bloggers’ experiences, time management is a major issue with bloggers.  How do you as a blogger, running a couple of your own blogs, find the time to write so many guest posts?

Michael: Trust me, time is precious. If you waste your time in the early hours of the day, you’ll desperately struggle to get it. So, what I do is simple. When I wake up in the morning, and set out to work, I don’t check my email or try to see who is on Skype. What I do is just write, write, write and write until I’ve written 3 guest posts (1000+ words count each). I practiced this for 4 months, nonstop.

Despite the time constraint, I still discipline myself to write for other blogs. Now listen to this: there can never be any ideal time to write. You’ve got to plunge yourself into it. Seriously, I write like a maniac. I don’t waste time on Twitter or Facebook, I just write and that’s why my success has been tangible. Please, don’t get me wrong, social media marketing can work for you, when you learn the tenets. Without a thorough grasp of the pros and cons, it’s a time waster.

Chadrack: Yea, I do agree with you on that. Social media without a strategy can be a real time waster! But let’s move on.

Hmm, let’s see, apart from this time management issue which from all indication you have disciplined yourself to overcome, do you have any other challenges as a guest blogger? And if so, can you tell us which is the biggest and how you have been able to handle that also?

Michael: No, not at all. If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, everything come to you like brushing your teeth! Most times, you’d feel like taking a nap, but you must brush your teeth. Writing is my hobby, my passion and the thoughts I think. Sorry, but I want to stress that writer’s block doesn’t exist, except in our imagination. You can kill writer’s block forever, by reading and writing – that’s the only permanent cure to it. NO OTHER CHALLENGES WHATSOEVER!

Guest Blogging and Content Marketing – the Connection!

Chadrack:  Hmm, another interesting one there; “Writer’s block doesn’t exist, except in our imagination!” I wonder how many of our readers will agree with you there. Lol!

But frankly, I think I also want to agree with you there. As a writer myself, I want to agree that we are really the ones who create what we regard as writer’s block because when you allow the weakness of the body to overrule your mind, then you would have set up blocks that will cut off the inspiration. I can attest to this from experience.

Alright, let’s look at this guest blogging thing in a wider perspective. At the moment there is a buzz amongst online businesses about content marketing. What advantages do you think guest blogging has as a content marketing tactic?

Michael: Hmm, the truth is, content marketing is already taking the web by storm.

And guest blogging goes beyond getting traffic and backlinks. It’s the perfect brand builder. In fact, I no longer write guest posts for traffic or backlinks, but I do it to push my brand to the top. I use guest blogging to build a formidable portfolio. Sure, in the process of building my brand, the traffic and backlinks, happen automatically.

You would recall that my earlier domain name (blast4trafficnow.net) was all about content marketing. But when I realized how much profit I was missing, I quickly registered a new domain name and did a 301 redirect to the new one – contentmarketingup.com.

And something extraordinary began to happen. Prospects began to contact me for content marketing advice. Overnight, I became a consultant. So, guest blogging is a great tactic for pulling down your content marketing walls and moving on to success!

Chadrack: Wow! You know I’ve also analyzed the potentials in guest blogging and have come to the same conclusion that it is the perfect brand builder. You remember I did a blog series on guest blogging sometime ago? It was because I truly believe that guest blogging can be done better than what many are doing today.

Right now, for my web content writing service blog, I’m putting finishing touches to a special guide on how e-commerce sites can use guest blogging to push their online visibility and improve their brand awareness. So, your describing guest blogging as the perfect brand builder is truly confirmation for me that I’m not progressing in error!

Alright, Michael just want to ask this, seeing how passionate you’ve spoken about content marketing, do you encourage businesses to be more involved with it?

Michael: Read my lips. Every marketer who wants to make her website a go-to resource for her  target audience should be involved with content marketing from the word go. To be more specific, I recommend that they start with guest posting first, and then diversify to video marketing, Infographic, podcasting and so on.

How to Choose Blogs to Guest Post on!

Chadrack: Ok, now Michael, I’m sure most of our readers would love to have you briefly tell us how you decide on the blogs to guest blog on?  Are there some certain criteria?

Michael: It depends on your blogging objective. Now when I started guest blogging, every blog was my target; I like to call them the A-list (PR 4 – PR 8 Active blogs), the B-list (PR 2 – PR3) and the C-list (PR 0 – PR1).

If you want targeted traffic and quality backlinks, focus on A-list. If you want to diversify your links and make it natural, combine A-list blogs and B-list.

But I’ve made a decision to stick with only the top blogs. My advice to marketers who are getting into guest blogging is to have the confidence. Believe me, the same creativity and hard work that it takes to get an article accepted on B-list blogs is the same thing for authority blogs.

Don’t believe most of the lies online. Guest blogging isn’t difficult once you know the audience you’re writing for.

The Guest Blogger’s Mindset!

Chadrack: Ok, Michael, there is one area I believe our esteemed readers will want to have you talk about also, and that is the issue of mindset as a guest blogger. What should be the mindset of a guest blogger? Do you think this is really important for succeeding as a guest blogger?

Michael: Haven’t I touched on mindset in this interview? Yes, I said something about confidence. Now listen, every step we take online isn’t accidental. It’s well orchestrated in the mind. Whether we accept it or not, our mindset can make or mar us.

If you want to succeed as a guest blogger, you’ve got to feed your mind. You’ve got to plant seeds of value, seeds that are evergreen wherever you go. Don’t allow inferiority complex to take over.

On the 23rd of February, 2012, I realized that fear was killing my business gradually. I was afraid to pitch guest post ideas to popular blogs. The mere thoughts of writing for authority blogs made me want to puke. I thought I wasn’t qualified. But I was WRONG.

Let nothing stop you. It’s your choice. If you want to get featured at problogger, freelanceswitch or copyblogger, just do it. The worst answer you could get is, “No!”

If that happens, cheer up and start again. If you fail, stand up tall and do it again, and again, and again. In the real sense of it, “NO” doesn’t discourage, it challenges you to become better. That’s your mindset pushing you beyond limits. Go for it.

Chadrack: Oh, Michael it’s been a wonderful time. I’m very sure that our readers have gleaned some nuggets of wisdom and useful information from you. Thanks so much for your time. We look forward to having you some other time. Stay blessed!

Over to you: And so, dear friends I’m sure you’ve heard Michael Chibuzor very well there. Did you learn anything from this interview? Is there any idea expressed that you did not agree with? Is there something expressed in the interview that you want to comment on? Whatever is your take, share with us in your comments below.

And please, I’m sure you will want to help promote this post by sharing it with your friends and online connections. May the law of karma work for you as do so!

An Innovative Way How Blog Commenting Can Make You an A-list Blogger!

Blog commenting make you a blogging superstar? I’m sure you may have said, you’re joking to that right? But the truth is that blog commenting is can sure give that status if you will use it wisely.

Now hear this, “Build it and they will come” is dream you just have to come out from if you are thinking of building a superstar status as blogger

I honestly hope you are not still swallowing that version of ‘wisdom,’ or are you?

The truth is, blogging is no longer the ‘shoot and you will hit something’ stuff it used to be. There are now hundreds of millions of blogs out there, almost 80,000,000 powered by WordPress alone.

That means there are probably thousands of related blogs out there, a lot of them with ideas as strong as yours.

So, how do you get your ideas to stand out and have a chance to breathe?

I know your lack of comments, tweets and shares likely has nothing to do with the strength of your ideas. Your posts are of high quality, and may hold their own in the company of the best of the best – it’s just that no one seems to bother reading them.

How do you get that initial audience for your new blog and save yourself from the curse of post after post without audience interaction?

Simply put, you need people. People to love, hate, agree, disagree, tweet, share, stumble over and upon your posts.

The question is, where can you find an audience that fits that profile?

Blogging commenting tactics for success!

Need Comments? Comment on other Blogs!

Remember the golden rule?

If you need an audience, you have to look for bloggers in the same dilemma as yourself and help them solve their audience problem – by sharing, tweeting and commenting on their posts.

It is as simple as that.

That is how to kick start a relationship that will sustain your blog for years to come.

Think about this: Who is more likely to notice your comment on his blog, an A-list blogger with 70+ comments per post or a new bloger with about 10?

The answer should be obvious.

In implementing your blog commenting strategy, you want to keep in mind that your blog is a kingdom, and you are an ambassador seeking strategic alliances with future investors.

How should that realization affect the quality of your comments?

Make a rule never to leave a comment that adds nothing to the discussion. Your strategy should be far north of going about telling people how you agree with them, or how great their posts are, or how pretty their site is.

If you want to be treated with respect, you have to earn it. Leave comments that show the author of the post that you took time out to actually read the post and that you have something to add.

Of course, that will require that the post itself inspires a response, so make it easier on yourself by choosing blogs you will comment on wisely.

In my experience, it is easier to make friends that become readers of your blog from blogs still on the same growth stage as your own blog. So search out 15 to 20 of such blogs and leave insightful comments on them regularly.

Every comment counts as an investment and before long, those blog owners and some of their readers will notice and seek to correct the ‘balance of trade’ by commenting regularly on your posts.

At the same time, continue commenting on a handful of A-list blogs that you love. This will get you name recognition with the A-list bloggers in your niche, and that is important if they are to make way for you in their exclusive space.

Tip: Target CommentLuv blogs for quick results. They are usually patrolled by bloggers who take their commenting strategy seriously.

That would mean leaving insightful comments on the blogs of commenters on your target blog.

How to Get a Huge List of Commenting Blogs

My number one strategy to gather blogs for my comments list is to scout the comment sections of popular blogs.

Those who take the time to leave insightful comments on the blogs of others usually have something important to say on their own blogs.

I typically open the blogs of commenters who leave insightful comments, and if the posts on the blog are as good as the comments of the owners, I add them to my “comments network” list.

It is better to focus on smaller blogs with an average comment count of 10-15 per page. This is so as to give your comment maximum visibility as opposed to having it tucked away in a post with 78 comments.

Final Word

We all want to have insanely popular blogs, so we love reading popular blogs.

Our success however lies in how far we take the small-time but quality bloggers along. Identify bloggers with something to say and help them on their way to blogging stardom.

As you show them the way, therein will you find yours!

Or, what do you think? Would you rather concentrate on a-list blogs where the comments run into pages or you would invest your efforts on blogs where you will be noticed and your kind gesture reciprocated?

Share you views with us in your comments below.

Photo credit: Flickr user  Ed Yourdon

How To Create Content That Engages and Drive Traffic As a Guest Blogger!

{This is a continuation of our series on guest blogging strategies that was halted because of the unpleasant occurrence that led to this blog being down for over a week. Now, that we are back it’s proper that we continue with it and bring it to a conclusion! 🙂 }

Let me quickly refresh our minds by saying that so far we have covered:

1. The Secret to Getting Hordes of Endless Free Traffic as a Guest Blogger! – Here I talked about the need for a strategy built on a defined purpose if you want your guest blogging venture to pay the right dividend!

2. The Essential Element that Will Lead to Woeful Failure as a Guest Blogger! – In this article I mentioned that focusing only on your desired goal in your guest posts will only lead to failure since “every guest post you’ll ever write is not about you but about your target audience.”

and then,

3. How to Guarantee a Continuous Flow of Traffic with Your Guest Posts! – This post showcased one secret that empowered some of my guest posts enabling them to stay afresh as they have continued to pump free organic traffic to my blog 3 years after they were published.

Now, if you have not read any of these posts, I encourage you to do so. They will not only help you better understand the flow of this series but you’ll definitely gain a whole lot of knowledge from them!

Engage your site visitors with ease!

Inculcating the 3 Most Vital Elements of Good Content in Your Guest Posts

In this article my focus is the actual writing of your guest post – what you need to craft a guest post that will both engage your readers and drive targeted traffic to your offerings. Let me quickly say that you don’t need a degree before you can write good valuable guest posts.

However, like every other content marketing tactic, writing a guest post goes beyond putting your thoughts into words. Your guest posts should be able to capture the attention of your readers and pique their interest.

It will interest you to know that there are actually 3 vital elements of good content that will help you do this. These are compelling content, focused content and refined content. Once these elements are in your guest post your dream of driving the right traffic will definitely be fulfilled! Compelling content is what will hook the reader’s interest and guide them to do your bidding.

As a blogger I know one of the things you do every day is creating content for your blog. But that not minding, a little more effort must go into your guest posts if they are to accomplish your purpose.

Here’s how you can inculcate the 3 vital elements of good content in your guest posts:

1. Write To Interest Your Readers

Whatever the topic you are handling, create your post to pique the interest of your readers. You should understand that people like to read “light” stuff most of the time. When people log on to the internet, they are not only looking for information – they are also looking for information they can obtain easily and in a relaxed manner. So, to attract more visitors with your guest posts, it is very important to add a human touch to your articles. Use humor by adding funny comments in your articles where suitable.

2. Write To Entertain, Educate And Excite

There have always been arguments on how long or short an article should be. Many argue long posts are boring and will never be read. However, it bears down to knowing your target audience. If you have taken the time to study the host’s blog articles (we mentioned this earlier Engage your site visitors with ease!) you will know the direction to take.

Nevertheless, no matter the length of your guest post, you can actually make it a hit if you can find a way to entertain, educate and excite your readers with it. The powerful way to ensure that your reader stay glued to your article is to, use your guest post to anticipate and answer all of his questions and overcome all objections that pertain to your subject matter. Of course you don’t need to throw in everything you can think of under the sun. You only need to include as much information as you need to excite your reader.

3. Write To Be Scanned

Your use of the space available to you is very important. You want your post to look inviting and refreshing to the eyes. In short, you want your prospect to stop whatever he’s doing and read your guest post to the end.

However, if there are no breaks in the text, no white space, and no subheads; if he sees a page of nothing but densely-packed words, do you think he’ll be tempted to read it through?

Not likely.

But if you do have ample white space, short sentences, short paragraphs, subheads, and an italicized or underlined word here and there for emphasis, it will certainly look more inviting to read.

Here’s something worth noting:

When reading your guest post, some will start at the beginning and read word for word. Others will scan through your, noticing the title and the various subheads strategically positioned throughout the post. This will help them decide whether to read the entire thing. And, some may never read the entire post.

You must write for every one of these prospective readers. Write interesting and compelling long copy for the studious reader, and short paragraphs and sentences, with enough white space and subheads for the skimmer.

4. Write To Get Attention

On the internet attention span is a fraction of a minute. As a result of information overload people will only be ready to take a second look at your articles if only they perceive there is something for them in that article.

But how can they perceive that value?

90% of the time, it’s through your TITLES!

It is a confirmed fact that five times as many people read the title than the body of your post and so making the first impression with your titles is important. One way you can do this is to write the title as an ad for the post. Use the title to promise a benefit plus some news. This is because people won’t stop their busy lives to read your guest post unless you give them a good reason to do so.

5. Write To Have A Conversation

Your readers want to connect with you. They want to be treated as humans. They don’t want speeches. And so, stimulate a conversation using your guest post. Write the post as if you’re having a conversation with a personal friend. This will make your reader take you more as a friend rather than a person of higher authority simply to be listened to!

Besides, you should understand that people connect more easily with people they like, people they empathize with. So let your personality shine through in your guest post as this could spark some curiosity in your readers and naturally they would want to know as much about you as the information you’re offering them.

6. Write To Tell And Not To Sell

It is unfortunate that many guest bloggers misunderstand the promotional and marketing value of guest blogging. Yes, guest blogging is a content marketing tool. However, one sure way to kill the effectiveness of that tool is to write your guest post purely with monetary value in mind.

Instead of focusing on the immediate financial gains of your guest post, write to leave behind content that transforms. Content that speaks to your readers. Content permeate the deepest cellars in their hearts. Let your content fill them with a vision and prompt them to action.

Instead of using your guest post as a medium of selling use it as a medium to help your readers. Provide helpful expert tips.  Use your knowledge to create the content that specifically answers a pressing issue.

Freely give of your expertise, knowledge and skills in your guest post. As you do this more of your readers will readily click on your links to receive more from you. Of course they would reason that if you can offer so much free information in your guest post then you definitely have more to offer on your own site!

Guest Blogging Takeaway: Guest blogging like every other form of here will readily build your online visibility and improve your brand loyalty. However, you need first of all to provide high-quality, relevant, and valuable information to your target readers and prospective customers.

Implement the above essential elements of good content in your guest posts and you’ll be able to attract, engage and acquire the right traffic that will achieve your objectives.

So, what you do think of this post? As usual I’d love to connect with you in the comments. So share your views with us in your comments.

Ignore This Essential Element and You’ll Fail Woefully as a Guest Blogger!

[This is a continuation of our guest blogging series. If you’ve not read the previous entry please click here to read it now to get the entire scoop!]

In the previous entry for this series, we discussed: “The Secret to Getting Hordes of Endless Free Traffic as a Guest Blogger” and I categorically stated that starting with a purpose in mind and crafting your guest post to achieve that purpose is sure to open the flood gates of targeted traffic to your business blog/site.

As much as that is true, you’ll need to know that that is only one side of the coin!

And, just as a one-sided coin is useless so also is a guest post that focuses only on what you want to achieve!

I don’t have to repeat that for you to understand what I’m saying but you must note that every guest post you’ll ever write is not about you but about your target audience. You cannot afford to be selfish when it comes to content marketing using guest blogging.

Guest blogging success tips

Your reader is the real reason WHY you are writing and not YOU!

It’s the reader who matters, and ultimately it’s only the reader who matters.

Yes, you have defined a purpose for your content but the reader will only take your desired action to fulfill your purpose only IF you can give him what he wants.

This is an essential element in the equation. “KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND NEVER FORGET WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE WANTS!

But what really is it that the reader wants?

It’s information.

>>> Information that will not only empower him but also help him heal a hurt.

>>> Information that will ease a pain in his life.

>>> Information that will help him save time and money.

>>> Information that will help him profit with his business.

The reader wants information but not just any information. He wants information that will be beneficial to him and your job is to provide him with the most useful information you can with your guest post.

When the reader is reads your guest post you  must help him PERCEIVE that you are truly interested in helping him. If in any way he perceives the contrary then you’re success is in jeopardy!

But How Do You Do This?

This is where your attitude comes in. Your attitude coupled with a thorough understanding of the reader’s needs and your expertise will help you craft your guest post that it will be invaluable to your readers.

One error you must avoid here is thinking that the reader’s purpose is the same as yours. Of course, you may want to write an article about how you overcame a particular problem. That is perfect. But the focus should not be just how you did it but how the READER can do it and benefit BIG from it.

So, when you have established the purpose for your guest post as we discussed in the previously, make sure you know WHO your reader is, WHAT he cares about and what PROBLEMS he is struggling with before you ever write your guest posts.

With that let me give you 3 simple ways you can know who your target audience is.

3 Simple Ways to Knowing Your Target Audience

(a) Read The About Us Page Of The Host Blog:

This is important as it will help you have a bird’s eye view of what the blog is on. Knowing this is important as it helps you to know what subject to write about. This will also help you to know the type of readers that frequent the host blog. Writing a guest post on dog training for a blog that is about home business is a big waste of time, except of course, if you can find a way of making it relevant to a home based entrepreneur’s needs!

If there is a “Write for us page”, it is important that you read this also.

I’ve personally experienced situations when some bloggers contact me with the intention of writing a guest post on the subject of pay day loans for the Web Income Journal! This is a clear sign that the person has not taken the time to read the blog to know that the target audience here is online entrepreneurs and not those looking for payday loans!

(b) Read A Few Posts on the Host Blog:

Another way is reading some of the posts already published on the blog. Some blogs have a way of displaying their top posts, whether the most visited or most commented. If there is such on the host blog, then reading through these ones will also help you understand what the readers of the blog are more interested in. Understand the direction of the top posts and package your post in line with them.

If a subject continuously receives attention from the blog readers it definitely shows that it is a subject they are interested in. Don’t shy away from it because it has been treated many times on the blog. What you will need to do is approach it from a different angle. With a little creativity and your personal touch, you could just make something new from that subject!

(c) Study the Comments by the Readers:

This is another powerful way of having a glimpse of who your target audience is. In fact, this will give you a wealth of tips and ideas on what you should write on. As you go through the comments, have an eye for comments that ask questions seeking for solutions. Note also the comments that build on the main post. All of these will help you to have an idea of the type of readers that frequent the host blog. Writing your guest posts with these readers in mind is sure to help you easily bond with them and your article will not be out of place.

Guest Blogging Takeaway

If I’m to summarize this post for you, I’ll simply say that the only way you can laugh at failure as a guest blogger is to craft your guest posts in such a way that you can achieve your purpose through helping your target audience.

Your purpose and your target audiences’ may actually be different but as a master craftsman you should be able to know how to bring the two together and come out smoking on both ends!

But should you go through all of these to write a guest post? No, no, no you don’t have to. But if your intention is to create monuments that will drive targeted traffic for years to come then you should. Ultimately the choice is yours!

Or, what do you think? Post your comments below and let’s know what you have to say about this. And, what else can I say but remember to share this with your friends. I’ll truly appreciate it!

The Secret to Getting Hordes of Endless Free Traffic as a Guest Blogger!

Guest blogging? To what intent?

Why invest your time and energy to craft some highly informational and useful content and then put it up in another’s blog?

Is it simply to get attention or do you want some free traffic?

Are you gunning for greater brand awareness or is your desire a wider following?

Now, if my guess is right, you’re definitely interested in all of these and much more! But come to think of it, if you’re already guest blogging are you truly achieving all of these with your guest posts?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m starting a guest blogging series that is aimed at helping you craft monumental guest posts empowered to generate endless traffic for you. This one is going to be quite different from any article you have read on guest blogging before now. It doesn’t matter your level of understanding about this topic you’ll definitely love this.

And so, without any further ado, let’s get on with it.

But first, the basics…

What Is Guest Blogging?

Guest Blogging Series

Chances are you’ve written guest posts before or you have heard many times other bloggers talking about it. 

But what really is guest blogging?

Is it something that should be regarded as a work of beauty or art or, is it something to be simply judged for an award or recognition like in a guest blogging contest?

Of course, there have been and there will always be some form of guest blogging contest where the guest bloggers are awarded some prizes for their work. My first guest blogging experience was actually a blogging contest. The good thing is that though I was guest blogging for the first time, I still came with a good prize with my post!

Want to read the full story? Ok, click this link and read it!

But not minding that, I want to say guest blogging is neither a work of beauty or art.

Guest blogging is a marketing tool and a salesman combined! Its purpose is to PROMOTE and SELL. Your guest post would have succeeded only when it is able to persuade the reader to click on your link and visit your blog/site. Any guest post that fails to do this is simply a wasted effort!

Simply defined,

Guest blogging is the art of creating quality and compelling content and publishing it in another person’s blog with the mind of driving warm and targeted traffic to your business site/blog. It is about providing thought leadership and relevant information that will help you get attention and build trust among your target audience.

When it comes to guest blogging if you can combine quality with quantity, you would have hit an income-producing traffic goldmine that is sure to astound you.

So, What Really Is The Secret To Guest Blogging Success?

I know you’ve been eagerly waiting to hear it. And so here it is,

Begin With The End In Mind, Always!

When it comes to content marketing using guest blogging you cannot ignore this very important point. You must be clear from the very beginning what you expect to achieve with your guest posts.

I’ve discovered that 97% of guest bloggers fail in this area. From accepting guest posts on the Web Income Journal, I’ve discovered that many bloggers never care to get this one important element straight on.

Here are a few reasons why many guest blog and my comments on each. Go through them and if you want to succeed with your guest posts, simply pick your choice!

1. Building Back-Links:

This appears to be the most common reason why many write guest posts. But as much as this sounds fine, I’ve discovered that many who guest blog simply for this purpose produce nothing but sub-standard content. Too bad you would say!

Many of them do not realize that there is a great difference between writing articles for submission to article directories and writing guest posts for publishing in blogs.

So, if your desire is to produce monumental guest posts that will get you hordes of endless traffic, you must go beyond building back-links with your guest posts.

2. Drive Quick Burst of Traffic:

There is no doubt about it; guest blogging is first and foremost about driving traffic. It’s because you want to funnel some traffic from the host blog to your site/blog that you choose to take one of your content and get it published somewhere apart from your blog.

Unfortunately, if this is the only reason why you want to write a guest post, then you are going to get a burst of traffic just at the time when that article is published. Luckier still, you may be able to drive some more traffic for another one or two weeks!

The greatest irony of it all is that guest posts written with only traffic in mind do not succeed in generating the desired traffic. Most of these posts may succeed in creating a burst of activity on the host blog as the readers interact and post comments but none will be willing to click on the guest blogger’s links to see what they have on their site!

I’m sure you may have experienced something like this before. Well, I’m just assuming! 🙂

But, there’s a better way!

3. Promote Your Personal And Professional Brand:

Now, this is another reason why many guest blog but unfortunately only a few truly guest post for this reason!

Those who guest post for the purpose of promoting their brand will always go for quality rather than quantity. These ones treat their subject with depth and expertise. They handle it in such a way that anyone reading the article will be convinced of their expertise.

And this is paramount if you want to generate a horde of endless traffic with your guest posts!

You will agree with me that there is virtually no subject matter that someone else has not written about online. In fact, about 99% of the content you read on blogs is nothing but the same ideas presented in different ways!

Shocking? Not really!

But it’s the truth anyway. So if you expect someone to click on your links and come visiting your blog or website after reading your guest post there must be an incentive. And most times that incentive is the authority and expertise that your article is able to impact on the reader.

So, What Should Be Your Take Away From This Post?

Simple, if you want to powerfully use guest blogging to both promote and sell your products/services online you will need to decide on your objectives. Decide if what you want is to increase your site traffic or you simply want to build links to improve your SEO. You can also decide if what you want is to increase your presence on specific authority sites so that more people will become aware of your brand name.

This is crucial and once you’re able to think this through with every single guest post you write, you’ll be able to guide your readers to do what you have in mind with your guest posts! Besides it will help you stay focused when writing your content.

So, are you itching to craft your guest post already?

Don’t be in such a hurry.  We still have a lot to discuss on this topic. But for now, I’ll be glad to know what you think of this. Post your comment below and if you’re not yet subscribe this blog, do it now so as not to miss any of this great stuff!

To your guest blogging success!

Strategic Guest Blogging Tactics That Get Results!

Content as we all know is the king when it comes to internet marketing. Indeed, no wonder the internet is called the Information Super Highway!

As a business gunning for more visibility, strong brand relationships and client trust, producing valuable and relevant content that helps in solving your site visitor’s problems is a must.

Though may businesses have not realized this but many are already using content marketing to their advantage.  In a content marketing research for 2012, the Content Marketing Institute reported that about 60% of marketers, who are already using content marketing, planned to increase their spending on content marketing over the next 12 months.

Specifically, the report states:

  • 9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing.
  • On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their goals.
  • Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.

This is indeed a testimonial to the importance of content for businesses on the net. Now one of the content marketing tactics employed by many of these businesses to gain online visibility is guest blogging – a strategic content marketing tactic made popular by bloggers.

It’s unfortunate however, that despite the many benefits of guest blogging, a lot of folks who desire to use it to either promote their products and services or to drive traffic through enhanced online visibility, are far from achieving their goals.

Now, various reasons account for this failure. But from personal experience, I’ve discovered that one of the reasons is the lack of truly understanding the basic principles and essentials of successful guest blogging.

This is why I’ve decided to put together a blog series on How to Drive a Horde of Endless Targeted Traffic through Guest Blogging!

I know you have read numerous “How to” articles on guest blogging however, if the ones you have read are anything like the ones I’ve read, you will agree that not many of them go into details. They barely list WHAT you need to do but never care to tell you HOW! But this one is going to be different.

Pushing Beyond the Nuts and Bolts of Guest Blogging

When I planned to do this, I simply wanted to write a detailed article touching on every area of guest blogging. But I soon discovered that a single post will not accomplish what I really had in mind. And that is why I’ve decided on doing a blog series. I know with a series I’ll be able to go into details as I wanted.

Now, you may be wondering why I’ll want to put in some effort to produce a blog series on guest blogging? Of course that’s natural but I truly want to use this as my contribution to the blogging community. Besides, I’m positive that if this succeeds we all will benefit in the following ways:

  1. I will be able to receive more quality guest posts to publish for you on this blog.
  2. Career bloggers offering guest blogging services for businesses will use this to improve their art; and
  3. If you have been thinking of guest blogging and had not been able to bring yourself to doing it, you will receive the confidence to launch out.

The Structure of the Guest Blogging Series

In case you’re not familiar with my blog series, I invite you to read the last one I did on WordPress Search Engine Optimization.

My blog series are always detailed as they touch every area from the WHAT to the WHY and then the HOW!

This one is not going to be an exemption. I’m very certain you will benefit greatly with it. Even if you don’t have the mind of being a guest blogger, what you will receive will help you write better blog posts.

UPDATE: I’ve linked to all the posts in this series below. Feel free to read all!

1. The Secret to Getting Hordes of Endless Free Traffic as a Guest Blogger!

2. Ignore This Essential Element and You’ll Fail Woefully as a Guest Blogger!

3. How to Guarantee a Continuous Flow of Traffic with Your Guest Posts!

4. How To Create Content That Engages and Drive Traffic As a Guest Blogger!

I hope you enjoy them.