Guest posting is one of my top traffic strategies for the last year and half, but it isn’t always easy to get your guest articles published.
Early on in my guest posting career, way more of my guest posts wound up in the trash rather than on the popular blogs that I thought would be the biggest benefit to my sites.
Don’t take me wrong here. Guest posting can be really easy when you do it right, but if you make some of these critical mistakes (which I will get to in just a minute..) your guest post is more likely to disappear into someone’s garbage bin than spreading across the web like wildfire.
Over the last few months, I have started accepting guest posts on my own blog. Ever since I posted my guest posting guidelines, I have been getting requests almost on a daily basis. Sadly, only a handful have actually made the cut and been published on my blog.
Doing this has helped me to open my eyes to what it takes to be a good guest poster, and many of the mistakes that people make. I find that I even made quite a few of these myself in those early days of guest posting, so don’t freak out if you are making them yourself.
So, if you are struggling to get your guest posts found, you need to approach it the right way. Avoid these critical mistakes that send your guest posts into the trash.
Affiliate Links Are a No-No
One of the worst things that you can do is to try to use your guest posts to get an affiliate link in. When people see the links in your guest post they need to be relevant to the topic. You don’t need to be using it as an opportunity to get out another link to a product. Instead, direct people to your own site and other interesting blogs within your niche.
One of the first things I look at when reviewing a guest post is the links. If any of them are affiliate links, I won’t read any further! It immediately goes into the trash, and I don’t give it a second thought.
Spinning Trash Doesn’t Work
Article spinning is something that gets a ton of debate around the web. It has its uses, when used properly (although most people fail to do that due to laziness…), but at the same time a guest articles need to be completely unique and original.
Don’t use PLR, spun content, ghost written content or anything else. Guest articles need to be written in YOUR voice, and you need to be able to respond to comments (we will get to that one in a minute…) which means you really need to have done your own research into the topic anyway.
For a really great article on using PLR content, I recommend you read Holly’s guest article on Drive-by Guest Bloggers.
Your Website Looks Like a Disaster Zone
When you approach someone looking for a guest post what are they going to see when they look at your site? If your website looks spammy, or is way too confusing, they will often just ignore your guest post request.
Remember, people can’t control who links to them, but they know Google can penalize them for who they link to. If they think your site looks like a garbage dump, they will trash your guest article before you even get a chance.
You Are Going To the Wrong Blogs
The other day, I got a guest post request from someone who wasn’t even related to the IM niche. They wanted to guest post on my blog, and share dating advice. On top of the fact that the article they sent me was complete BS ( I happen to have a new blog in that niche as well..) , and was obviously hastily written by someone who didn’t have a clue what they were talking about, their guest post was totally irrelevant to my niche.
Now, if it had been a good post, I would have considered using it on my new dating blog, however it wasn’t relevant to my IMRelations blog, where they submitted it, and it wasn’t at all worth the time of day to post on my other blog either.
Thinking outside the box is okay. I do it all the time myself. However, the guest post that you submit has to be relevant to the readers of that blog. Otherwise, they won’t even bother to give you the time of day. If you want to post on a blog about dating, and share dog training tips, you’re not going to get your guest post read.
Nobody Knows Who You Are
Going right out the biggest blogs in your niche is a surefire way to get it in the trash. If you went to Problogger or Mashable to get a guest post right off the bat, they would probably never even read your email, much less post your guest post.
Instead, you need to network with other people in your niche first, and then get into the guest posting game on their blog. Do some guest posts on smaller blogs, and start networking with the people who run the bigger blogs. Get to know them, and they will be more willing to set you up.
You Bore People to Tears
I am no master of writing. I don’t pretend to be some amazing word smith like Holly Jahangiri, (If you don’t believe she is awesome, check out her writing at the race to the Hugo that she is working on…).
However, you don’t have to be an amazing writer to create good content. Your content needs to be relevant and informative. It also helps if it is entertaining, and stirs people’s emotional buttons a bit. You need to grab peoples’ attention, and keep it through your page.
The web is chock full of boring articles full of facts and no life. Write first, and then edit your articles to spice them up a bit. Again, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but it does need to be worth the time for people to read.
You Can’t Read Simple Instructions
The funny thing about blogs that allow guest posting is that almost all of them have a page for their guest posting guidelines.
As a blog owner, I am often frustrated by the number of people who DON’T READ THEM!!!
I get guest post requests just about every day, and if you can’t even bother to follow my guest posting guidelines, I am not going to bother to read your article, much less post it on my blog.
Your Blog Doesn’t Have Enough Original Content
The other day, I posted on Basic Blog Tips about when to start guest posting. Often, people with no content on their site try to get guest posts and fail. Unless you know the blog owners already, it can be difficult to get someone to let you post on their blog if your own blog is bare and lifeless.
If you really want your guest posts published, you need to have some content for their readers to read on your own blog (or website…) first. Make sure it is interesting and engaging.
Also, if your website is just like 1000 others, and is full of PLR, or non engaging content, you will struggle to get people to trust you. You really need to have something original to say to your niche.
People will assume that you will reserve your best for your own site, so if that isn’t up to par, they can’t expect your guest posts to do any better.
You Are Too Self Promotional
Some blogs will allow you to be self promotional, brag in your guest posts, and talk all about your own business. However, unless it is really relevant to the niche in question, this is often a killer for getting your guest post published.
Although you need to share your expertise, and show off why people should listen to you, if you get too self-promotional in your guest post, you won’t get the benefits that it can bring to your blog.
You Ignore the Comments After Your Guest Articles Get Posted
Once your guest articles are posted, that isn’t the end of the game. Many blog owners will remove your links at best, or even your entire post at worst, if you don’t show up for the comments at the end. People will be asking questions, sharing their own advice, and giving out value. These people are worth your time to reply to, and most bloggers won’t let you post again if you don’t share your thoughts.
Start Publishing Awesome Guest Articles Today
Now that you know what to avoid, publishing guest articles should be a breeze. Don’t put off guest posting too long. It can be one of the best traffic sources, and ways to engage your niche that you will ever find.
Share your thoughts about guest articles, and why they get rejected in the comments below!