At WordCamp Fayetteville in July, Andy Crofford spoke about writing guest blog posts. Much of what he said was familiar: guest posting can increase your audience, having people guest post for you is a good plan when you’re on holiday, stuff like that. It’s true. There are benefits for both the guest blogger and the blog they guest for.
However, he also told us about Blogger Linkup and My Blog Guest, places where you can sign up to provide guest posts for other bloggers, and find guest posts for your own blog. I hadn’t known about such sites, and they sounded like a good idea. I signed up at My Blog Guest. I chose it because it’s looked after by Ann Smarty, whom I know and like from SEOMoz. I blog for several companies which could benefit from guest posts at related sites, so I signed up, posted the topic I hoped to guest for, and waited for results. I went back after a couple of months and responded to forum requests for guest bloggers, and again waited for results.
After four months as a member, I have yet to find My Blog Guest useful.
Before I share my experience, let’s notice that I said I waited for results. That is, I didn’t become active on the forum, read the blogs of members and find the best fits for my clients, or in any other way put time and effort into my membership at My Blog Guest. Chances are, putting in time and effort is a requirement for a truly satisfying experience at My Blog Guest, as it is in most places. However, seeking out blogs to guest for and emailing the owners of the blogs with a pitch is no more trouble than becoming a diligent member of a blog guesting site, so I felt that the value of such a site would be specifically in the fact that it would cut down on the effort. I was wrong.
My Blog Guest offers premium membership. Premium members can post articles in an Articles Gallery for others to browse, and there are additional management tools and “secret tips.” All members can post their willingness to blog or to post others’ guest posts, and can also contact other members directly with offers. There’s a section of the forum where you can post links to blogs you want others to help you promote. This is generally just “Please post this to your Facebook page!”
I’ve had contact from three other members in the four months I’ve been there. The first was an apparent form request asking to swap guest posts on the subject of “Real estate, Loan, Debt & other various finance topics. ” I don’t currently have blogging clients in this area, so I was skeptical of the writer’s claim that he had found my blog “suitable” for a swap with him. He offered high quality articles for this blog in return. Even given that I could edit out the extra capital letters, this blog doesn’t need articles on Loan or Debt.
The other two offers were for FreshPlans. One included the post, so I could immediately see that it was not the sort of thing we publish there, and one made an open ended offer. I get this kind of offer in my email fairly frequently. I answered two of the three guest post offers by pointing out that the guest posts they had in mind weren’t relevant to my blogs. The third didn’t specify a topic, but the punctuation of the offer was pretty random. When I get those in my email, I ignore them. At My Blog Guest, you’re required to respond, so you also know your recipient will read and respond. I struggled to find something to say that didn’t imply that I don’t want guest blog posts from people who can’t punctuate English correctly.
I don’t, though.
If you’re looking for a way to make guest blogging faster and easier, this isn’t it. If you read discussions in the general chat area of the site, you’ll find people who love the site and have been using it for a long time. I figure it’s like any other online community: make friends, get to know people, be a useful member of the community, and you can expect that in time your shared interest in guest blogging will provide opportunities to help and be helped. You may get better results, though, in a forum on your particular subject.
The best thing about guest blogging sites is probably that you know you’re not wasting your time pitching to people who won’t consider your offer on principle. Everyone at My Blog Guest is open to the possibility.
Other ways to find guest bloggers or spots for guest blogging:
- Spend time in online communities, develop relationships, and keep your eyes open for people whose blogs might be a good fit for yours.
- Search for opportunities. I find that “guest blogger guidelines” plus the topic turns up plenty of blogs looking for guest bloggers. I figure that a blog that posts guidelines will typically be more open to the possibility and also perhaps higher quality than one that doesn’t do so.
- Develop a network. Your business network doubtless includes other business owners. Many of them doubtless have blogs. Approach them about the idea of developing a network of business blogs. Your nursery blog can provide a guest post for my patio furniture blog, and then my cousin who owns a restaurant can do a guest post for you with recipes for the herbs you’re featuring. The larger the network, the more possibilities there are and the better it will work.
If you hire a blogger, you can still use these methods. Some of my clients have clerical support staff do the time consuming task of searching for the right blog to guest for, and I churn out the guest posts (after reading the target blog, natch). You’re better placed to develop the network of colleagues, too.
Have you had more positive results with guest blogging sites than I did? I’d love to hear about it.