The Guest Blogging Snafu: Critical Info for Blog Owners

 The Basics:

guest blogging penalty flag

Accepting guest blog posts might soon result in Google penalties.

Google’s anti-spam chief Matt Cutts started an explosion across the SEO and Blogging worlds when he announced in mid-January that ‘Guest posting for SEO is dead.”  Since then, other Google officials and Cutts himself have revised this assessment – but it is still clear that Google is getting ready to pay a ton more attention to blogs that host guest posts – and it is clear that there will be SERP penalties for blogs that intentionally or unintentionally allow spammy backlinks in guest posts.

If you own a blog that gets requests involving offers of guest blogging – this could obviously be a huge problem, especially if you do not understand the nature of the problem from Google’s eyes.

At the core, this is a dispute about backlinks, so you will need to understand how links work and how to respond to requests post-Google’s Guest-blogging crackdown.

This post will:

  • Review what happened to get Google so fired up about a seemingly innocuous practice (guest blogging)
  • Explain all the details about how to understand and police your backlinks (especially from Guest Blog Posts)
  • Explain why you should still allow guest bloggers/blogging with conditions
  • And, explain how you should answer requests from potential guest bloggers.

What Got Matt Cutts so Grumpy?

You may be saying to yourself,

“um….self, why in the world do I need to understand anything new about guest blogging – I have a blog, I sometimes get someone new to post on it….it seems to be good for my blog and for the guest poster – right?”

Sadly, the answer to your question may often be – “wrong” – even when your heart is totally in the right place about why you want to accept guest blogging posts.

In theory, and for many people in practice, guest blogging is a mutually beneficial activity contracted between a blog owner and a guest writer.  Guest posts add additional content from a new voice – they potentially bring in new readers – and they can add to your blogs search engine rankings.

And therein is the rub…

That last point – helping SEO – is what has created this massive amount of new drama.

Black-hat SEO geniuses are in many ways like hackers – they keep probing until they figure out holes in Google’s anti-spam policies and then exploit those holes to help their clients SERP – often at the expense of people unintentionally in the crossfire.

We have seen all kinds of tools go from good SEO strategy to possible SEO penalization as a result of these tactics (for instance blog rolls, comments, Wikipedia, etc.)  In the series of posts that Cutts has posted on guest blogging he broke it down like a frustrated parent – he said basically that SEO’s are not capable of having nice things.

Cutts sometimes comes across like that guy that holds his anger in and lets it build until finally it explodes.  He is like a tea kettle that builds to a good boil then makes a TON of noise.  He started posting about spammy link practices in 2005 – introducing the nofollow and dofollow concepts for links (we will talk more about this in a few minutes).  Since then, he has slowly identified, warned, grown frustrated with, and exploded on most of the spammy SEO practices mentioned above.

His current annoyance is spammy guest blogging for SEO and he has reached his breaking point – it seems clear that there will be Google consequences for spammy guest blogging.

But, how is Guest Blogging spam?

Over the last few years black hatters have exploited popular blogs by offering to provide to those blogs with guest blogging services –even often offering to pay for the privilege of providing guest posts.  This offer is, of course, a Trojan horse – allowing black hat firms to pass page rank to their client sites through backlinks in the guest blogging posts.

One of the ways Google determines the importance of a site is by evaluating the backlinks that it generates.

If you have a popular site and you link to another site, Google assumes that means the other site is important too.  When you bless another site by linking to it you are giving it your seal of approval in the eyes of Google.  Google calls this “passing page rank.”  As in you pass the rank of your site on to the other linked site.

One of the primary no-no’s in Google’s list of webmaster guidelines is paying for, or accepting payment for, passing page rank.

Google does not like paid links.  They feel it corrupts their ability to determine which sites actually are quality sites that provide valuable information to Google searchers and which sites are unhelpful sites that provide spam filled nonsense.

web-master

Google wants webmasters, and if you run a blog or website you are technically a webmaster, to alert Google’s bots (or Googlebots or spiders the algorithms that determine site value crawling the web looking at sites) to links that are really advertisements (spam) as opposed to legitimate organic links.

So what is the scam?

Black-hat SEO experts offer their guest blogging services – and even pay you to provide this guest blogging content.  They then load these posts up with spammy links that pass page rank to their clients.  The posts that they deliver might be well written and even have decent content germane to your readers – but they are done to pass page rank from your popular site to their clients sites through the spammy backlinks contained in the body of the post.

For any of you who once received phishing scam emails offering to “gift you” a large portion of a distressed Nigerian Princes wealth (only under the condition that he could be given basic access to your bank accounts) you may have smelled something “phishy” when you got your first guest blogging offers.  But for many blog owners, these guest blogging offers have been taken as both a way to earn a bit of extra money and a way to get more content to their blog.

Google thinks that the whole purpose of what they do is to identify value through providing search results that matter to the searcher.  It is easy to see how Google gets mad because often the links will attach to a site that has nothing at all to do with the subject in the post itself (Cutts has detailed a litany of examples – once he gave the example of a post on linux with links to online casinos).

Ok, but how do links work for Google exactly?

There are two kinds of backlinks in Google’s eyes.  The first kind is called “dofollow” and it is the default – in other words, any link unless noted otherwise is considered a “dofollow” link.  This just means that the link creator wants bots to be able to follow the link when they try to determine where the link goes and the value of where the link goes.

The second kind of link is called “nofollow.”  If you do not want bots to follow your link to determine where the link goes and the value or where it goes you can add a “nofollow” attribute in the html coding (links are set off in the htmll by the href attribute – so the nofollow goes after the href attribute and the link url – you add the text rel=nofollow> at the end of the string).

A dofollow link would look like:

<a href=www.imadethisup.com>I Made This Up </a>

A nofollow link for the same thing would look like:

<a href=www.imadthisup.com rel=”nofollow”> I Made This Up </a>

Googlebots examine the text and determine what they should or should not follow by examining the html.  Google wants webmasters to treat the bots like newspaper editors treat readers when they explicitly identify areas of the text as “advertising.”  Nofollow links identify to Google bots that a link is advertising and should not be followed.

What you should do – Part One – Policing your Backlinks

guest-blogging-police

As a general rule, you should get in the practice of making all links in your guest posts “nofollow” links.  You should start to go back through your back catalog of posts and add “nofollow” to any guest blog links.

This is really important to you!

Once Google gets rolling on policing Guest Blogging spam they will punish webmasters not the writers.  In other words, the site that hosts spammy links through guest blogging will be the sites that Google penalizes.  And the Penguin update to Google’s algorithm was all about being able to identify exactly these kinds of spammy links.  In other words, it is in your interest to start protecting yourself.

What you should do – Part Two – Continue to Accept Guest Blogs but With Conditions

In Cutts’ addendum to his original outburst he explicitly mentioned the potential benefits of guest posting, “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…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 think Cutts over-generalizes all SEO into black hat SEO but given that he spends all his time dealing with creative black hat trickery – he can certainly be forgiven.

Even if Guest Posting is not done for the reason of passing page rank – it can still be of SEO value.  For instance, if linkage between two popular sites creates more reader-ship for both that will eventually convey an SEO benefit.

Guest posts can also be directly beneficial to your blog. A nofollow link is still a way to connect two popular sites and create increased readership by linking two popular sites.  Readers are not Googlebots – clicking on “nofollow” links does not stop their journey.  Links still create visibility for both sites.

What you should do – Part Three – How you Should Respond to Guest Blogging Requests

I believe most of this whole snafu could be cleared up with one simple blog owner response – “Yes, I would love to consider posting your content as long as you do not mind that I insist on all links being “nofollow” links.”

If everyone who hosts a blog used this response – every single time – guest blogging for spammy SEO truly would be dead.

Google has stated that they are only concerned with spammy “dofollow” links in Guest blogs.  If someone is fine with all links being “nofollow” links they are probably ok.

Another good rule of thumb is to accept Guest blogs mostly from people you have a relationship with and/or trust.  If you are going to accept someone you do not know, do some research, read other things they have written and see if they are involved in selling links.

Summing it all Up

Google is going to penalize blogs that they identify as accepting guest posts with spammy links.  It is in your interest to:

  • Take control and look through all your guest blogging content – police your links and be alert to the scam.
  • Don’t pass page rank for money.
  • Learn to use the “nofollow” link in your html code.
  • Only accept guest posts that agree to only “nofollow” links in that content.
  • Be willing to play detective and look into the kind of content people offering their blogging services have provided to other sites.
  • Pay attention to what Google is saying about being a webmaster.  A great place to start is reading Matt Cutts blog.

If you are ever approached by someone offering to pay you to post something they have written (guest blogging offers) you should now know exactly what to do – ask them a simple question, “Sure, as long as you are ok with all links being nofollow.”

If you never hear from them again – you will know what they were after.  Forewarned is forearmed!

Josh

Grow Your Blog’s Traffic With These “Off The Beaten Path” Ideas

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably tried some of the traditional marketing methods out there, such as  advertising on various sites. However, by keeping an open mind to “off the beaten path” marketing ideas to grow your blog traffic, you can generate more blog traffic and build a blog brand’s credibility even faster with less competition. Another advantage to marketing in unusual places is that you will reach customers you might not come across in other forums and get a leg up on your competition, who may not have a presence in this out-of-the-way  online venues.

Breaking New Ground

When you’re ready to add some test markets to your promotional plan, there are a handful of unique promotions that you’ll want to start with. These sites and methods get high traffic and have been successful for other entrepreneurs.

SlideShare

According to SlideShare, about 3 billion slides per month are viewed on this website. That breaks down into 1,140 views per second. The majority audience at SlideShare is made up of professionals, such as business owners and executives. If your blog is one that would appeal to this demographic, then creating a slide or two on topics you’re an expert in can be a good way to introduce your business to new people.

The slideshows are similar in nature to a Power Point presentation. In fact, if you create a slideshow in Power Point, you can then upload it to SlideShare and allow it to serve a dual purpose. The site is different than other social media networks, because it is less interactive. However, it is very informational, so you can teach people about what you do in a fun way.

As a blogger, you’re probably aware that Google’s algorithms have changed drastically in the last couple of years. The new Google appears to favor information that has high value and is quick and easy to read. SlideShare covers both of these requirements, so the site ranks well with Google’s search engines. This means that your slideshow may rank better on this site and you’ll get more browser mileage out posting a slideshow here than you might elsewhere.

You will want to make a couple of changes to get the most traffic possible from your posted slideshow. Most importantly, you’ll want to add a clickable hyperlink to your website at the end of the slideshow. You’ll also want to use the embed feature to embed the slideshow onto your own website.

Pinterest

You likely already have a presence for your business on Twitter due to the massive numbers of visitors using the site. According to Pew Internet Research in their Social Networking Use report (May, 2013), about 18% of online adults use Twitter. However, Pinterest is within reach of Twitter’s coat tails at 15%.

With that many people actively using this interesting website, this can be one place where your blog can have a presence and reach new users that the competition may have overlooked. Pew states that 68.2% of the users on the site are women. If your blog would be of interest to women, then this site may be of particular interest to you.

The site is driven by images. Most people going to Pinterest are looking for crafts, recipes and interesting sayings that they can then share on other social media networks or save on “pin” on their boards to share with friends on Pinterest or use later. To take advantage of this site, you might want to:

  • Create some motivational quotes and combine them with beautiful background images.
  • Come up with a how-to article that relates to your blog’s theme and share it on Pinterest.
  • Offer a recipe each week that ties into your blog. For example, if you write a blog with golfing tips, you could create a recipe called “Golf Day Stew” that golfers could allow to cook in a crock pot while out golfing.

When it comes to Pinterest, if your blog doesn’t naturally fit into the crafting and recipe type format, you may have to think outside the box a little to come up with a way to reach new customers through this format.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging isn’t exactly a new idea. However, you can take this concept off your typical course and reach out to new markets. What businesses are related to yours that are not competition? For example, if you write a wedding planning blog, can you guest blog on sites about floral arrangements, shoes, cake decorating and photography? Think about topics you can write for each of these types of blogs that would tie into what you’re already doing but still be unique. Example, you could write an article about simple floral arrangements for a country themed outdoor wedding for the floral arrangements site and an article about choosing the best photographer for your wedding for the photography site.

Another unique concept is to create a “blog tour” that lasts 30 days. You will need to find 30 blog owners willing to let you guest blog and come up with 30 unique posts.

You may feel a little uncertain about guest blogging. After all, Matt Cutts, Google Spokesperson, recently stated that using guest blogging to drive traffic to your site could potentially hurt your overall ranking. However, if you seek out quality blogs and provide quality content, you will gain new visitors through these posts. So, it just depends on what your overall goal is. Keep in mind that Google doesn’t like backlinks just for the sake of backlinking. Make sure you choose quality websites to guest blog on and that you only link to your own site once, if it even makes sense to do so.

There may even be occasions where you guest blog simply to increase name and brand recognition and don’t include a link back to your site at all. The choice is yours. The important thing is to be smart about making those choices. Stay away from ad-heavy blogs that might be flagged as spam sites or take a hit from Google. It is important which sites you link to or that link to you with new Google algorithm changes, so just be aware and make linking decisions accordingly.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of those sites that pulls up in Google often. You’ve probably noticed it when you’ve searched for various terms. It holds prime real estate value. It would be nice to get a piece of the 116,835,000 visitors it claims. However, Wikipedia is tricky. If you go over there and start adding links to your own site in the hopes of getting visitors from them, you’re likely to get pinged by Wikipedia editors and blocked from the site.

Essentially, you have to spend a little time and get involved on Wikipedia. Talk to others in the community. Edit articles without any self-interest and without adding your own link. It’s smart to stick to educational and government resources when doing this as they are seen as extremely credible. You can thus establish yourself as an authority on your topic and someone else in the community may begin to use your articles as references.

This process can take time, so this isn’t a quick fix to get on Wikipedia. However, having just one article linked to on there can help your website traffic increase.

Liveblogging

Liveblogging events has taken on a life of its own. Nielson announced that during the 2013 Super Bowl 26.1 million tweets were posted. The year before it was around 13 million. There is a definite uptick in the number of people micro-blogging about an event as that event goes on. However, your blog can take advantage of the popularity of this trend in a number of ways.

  • Install a live feed on your own website with WordPress plugin LiveBlog.
  • Place a feed in your sidebar and utilize a service like Feedjit.
  • Use Pirate Pad and invite your customers to get involved in reporting on the event.
  • Host an event, such as a guest speaker, and then live blog about that event on Twitter.

The other thing you’ll want to do is try to find an event that makes sense for the theme of your own blog. For example, if you blog about daily soaps, then liveblog about the Daytime Emmy Awards. You may even want to line up an interview or two ahead of time with some of the newer stars on daytime soaps and include a link to those posts within your liveblogging feed.

Become a Trend Watcher

Ultimately, to benefit from ideas out of the norm, you have to become a bit of a trend watcher. What are the latest social media sites people in the age demographic you are targeting are frequenting? For example, if you are targeting readers in their teens and early 20s, Instagram seems to be a favorite. How can your site get involved there and gain a following?

On the other hand, if your demographic is senior citizens, you’ll want to seek out what is trending in that age group. What current topics are of concern to seniors and how can you tap into that with your blog marketing?

Be open to new ideas. Pay attention to what other blog owners are doing as well as what they aren’t yet doing. Be a trend watcher, so you can become a trend setter with your marketing plan and forge a new path that puts you ahead of your competition.

 

Email Template Ideas: Get Your Guest Posts Published

plasma with lightbulb

Guest Blogging is one of the most effective ways to promote your blog. Creating great content isn’t enough. The first hurdle you’ll have to pass is getting your email read.  Everyone has experienced moments where their pitches failed to meet a site’s standards.

If you experience this a lot, there could be a problem on how you craft your email.  As a fan of email marketing, here are ideas on how to create an email that will increase open rates, replies and get your guest posts published.

Create Killer Subject Lines

subject

Learning how to create subject lines will prevent your email from being sent into the spam folder in the future and increase your open rates. Here are a few pointers to consider when creating subject lines:

  • Get straight to the point – Sending emails with subject lines like “Guest Post Inquiry” or “Blog Post Query” states your email’s content to the editor immediately.
  • Make it short and simple – Put yourself in the editor’s shoes. People receive tons of emails within the day. The subject line should take at least below 3 seconds to read and be written below 50 characters.
  • Consider it a headline – A great way to increase open rates would be to place your headline on the subject line. An example would be: “Guest Post Query:[Headline]” or “Guest Post:[Headline]”. Make sure to learn how to create amazing headlines. Here are a list resources on how to create killer headlines.
  • Leave a bit of mystery  – Reveal a bit of information on your email’s content on the subject line. This increases the editor’s interest on your email. A few examples of these are: “I can help your site out”, “Your Site Lacks The Topic [headline]”, or “There’s a problem on your site”
  • Ask a question – Start by interacting with the editor. Ask something about them or their site. It’s an effective way to engage the editor and create an opening to send a pitch.

Start With An Introduction

Email-Template-Greetings

Editors and Publishers value greetings. It’s what makes them feel special. I mean, who doesn’t? Make sure to try your best to find out the editor’s name. They would prefer their names over informal lines such as “Yo Editor,”, “Hello,”, or “Heya!”

email-template-introduction2

An email’s second paragraph is the room for the Guest Poster’s introduction. Introduce yourself by stating your name, your niche and your site.

Do your Research

Email-Templat-Research-1

Take your time to research the blog’s content before sending an email. Bloggers prefer written guest posts from people who have read their site. Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging program recommends reading everything on the blog. Do this by reading their archived content, their guidelines, and comments. This should help you get an idea of what the readers want to read.

Another great idea would be to let the editor know your name by slowly introducing yourself. You can do this by interacting on their site, their comments section, their twitter, emails, and tools such as Triberr. This is a method that requires you to invest a lot of time. But don’t be depressed, this increases your chances of getting published ten fold.

Come Up With A Topic

email-template-ideas-8

Once you’re familiar with the site, don’t expect anyone to spoon feed you. Asking for topic ideas is an amateur mistake. You are the content creator; provide topic ideas that the editor or the blog can not offer themselves. Make sure that you also leave an excerpt or summary about the topic. It gives the editor an idea what you’ll be writing.

I recommend sending three topics. This gives the editor more options to choose from. The idea of giving more topics reduces your chances of being rejected.

Build Credibility

Email-Template-Credibility2

Always include a list of your previous published posts. It helps the editor know your writing capabilities. Don’t be afraid to use published posts on your site. Although, I do recommend placing published guest posts because it shows that other sites are willing to publish your articles.

If you lack published guests posts, you can start by pitching to smaller blogs. You easily find these through search engines and social media. You can even make a proposal here at Learn To Blog.

State Your Intentions

Email-Template-Intentions1

Let them know that your intentions for Guest Blogging are simple. If you follow their rules on Guest Posting. I don’t see why they wouldn’t consider your offer. You can find out what type of writers they want on their site by reading their site’s rules and guidelines.

End Pitches Properly

Email-Template-Call-To-Action

I’ve found out that most editors don’t usually know what to do with your email. End your emails with a call to action; otherwise, you’d be lucky to get a reply. Here are great ideas on how to end your pitches.

Email-Template-Signature

End your email by being as polite as possible. Guest posting starts a great relationship between bloggers. If you’re rude, arrogant, or obnoxious. I doubt they would do you any favors.

Everyone likes reading a nice sign-off. If you want to seem more human and professional, add more contact information at your signature.

Email Template Alternatives

 

Hello [Editor]

It’s me again [Your name] 🙂

I’ve recently created a new post for your site. Would it be possible to Guest Post on your site again?

Thank you,

[Your name]

This is for blogs you’ve already published a Guest Post on. You don’t have to try so hard if you’ve already established a relationship. Keep your email short, simple, and polite.

 

Hello [Editor]

I’d like to read certain topics on your site such as [Topic #1] and [Topic #2]

I am an avid reader of your site. If you want proof, you can find on your site’s comment section. I adore your topics on [Site Topic #1], [Site Topic #2], and [Site Topic #3].  [topic #1] or [topic #2] can help .

But I know you’re busy. But I will give you an offer you can’t reject. I’ll write it for you.

Just inform me of any guest posting guidelines. [If blog does not have a contribute page]

But if you still doubt my Guest Posting capabilities. You can check out my published posts here:

[Guest Post Link #1]

[Guest Post Link#2]

[Guest Post Link#3]

Let me know if you’re interested

Thanks so much,

[Your name]

This is an example of an effective yet risky alternative email template. It’s something I discovered from Niel Patel’s email templates. Use this for sites that don’t have any pages about Guest Posting or Contribution.

Follow Up Emails

 

Hello [Editor],

[Your name] here, I sent you an email last week and I was wondering whether you were still interested.

Thanks,
[Your Name]

Sending emails to editors is scary, there are chances that the editor might have been too busy to reply to you or that your email was mistakenly sent to the spam folder. But don’t fret, you can still follow-up. Most bloggers tend to forget about this but a follow-up is an email that reminds recipients or editors that you’ve sent them an email.

Important Note: There are some blogs out there that place a warning on their guidelines such as: “If we do not reply within 6 weeks, stop sending us emails” Abide to their rules, stop following up and email them again when you have created better content.

More importantly, organize the people you send your emails to. Always take note of the names and dates of people you’ve sent an email on paper or in a spreadsheet.

Bad Email Templates

vague-email-template

This email disregards every single thing I’ve stated above:

  1. He has not mentioned my name and is obviously unfamiliar with my site.
  2. He didn’t tell me who he was. Don’t expect me to have time to search your name.
  3. I will not give him topic ideas. I do not spoon feed guest bloggers.
  4. He’s overconfident but wasn’t even able to give me links to his published posts. How would I know his writing capabilities?

lazer-email-template

Most blogs dislike getting emails from companies because:

  1. It would be difficult to create a relationship
  2. You can’t trust their content
  3. It’s possible to get a bad set of audience
  4. Emails that are similar to this are usually outside the blog’s niche.
  5. Fellow bloggers are better at creating articles that talk to readers on a personal level

Rushing-Email-Tempalte

I like this better than the previous two. But it still has problems. Here are a list of them:

  1. It’s obvious he didn’t take his time to personalize it. There are a lot typos in the email
  2. He did not give me any of his published works
  3. He did not give excerpts or summaries about his topics

Things To Take Note Of:

  • Personalize your emails. Blog owners want to feel special. We like emails that were not obviously spammed to other sites. Always take your time to personalize your emails.
  • Do not sell your links. Do not pay editors for your posts. Most blogs do not want the impression that they’re buying links.
  • Don’t expect to get paid. Do not ask for compensation unless the guidelines say otherwise.
  • Provide unique content. Do not send copyrighted articles or previously written ones.  No one likes getting posts that have been all over the web. Every blogger wants fresh content. It’s why they’re availing guest posts.
  • Do your research beforehand. Take your time to research the site. Determine what the readers want to see. Check out their Rules and Guidelines before sending pitches.
  • Be careful of using attachments. People are wary of attachments because of possible threats against their computer. Send your attachments as Text Files (.txt).
  • Don’t be intimidated. Editors are considerate people. Don’t let intimidation and fear stop you from Guest Posting.

Whole Email Template:

 

Hello [Site Owner],

[Your Name] here, I am the owner of the blog [Your Site] My blog’s content centers on niches about [Site’s Niche]. I also specialize in niches about [Your Niche]

I am an avid reader of your site. [Reasons Why You’ve Read Their Site]

The posts on your site [Site Post #1], [Site Post #2], and [Site Post #3] [were extremely helpful] or [were great reads]. [Explain here why it’s great]

I made a list of topics that you and your readers would love to read. But I know that you’re busy with work, so I’d like to write it for you. Here are the list of topics:

[Topic #1]

[Summary or Excerpt For Topic]

[Topic #2]

[Summary or Excerpt For Topic]

[Topic #3]

[Summary or Excerpt For Topic]

If you want to see my writing and blogging capabilities here are my published works online:

[Site Link #1]

[Site Link #2]

[Site Link #3]

I only intend to inform fellow [Niche Readers]. All I ask are relevant links on your site to help promote my blog. I can easily abide to your site’s content and writing style.

Let me know if you’re interested,

I look forward to hearing from you,

[Your Name]

Be Human…

Remember that editors are humans too. Treat them like one and I’m sure they’ll give you a chance.

Mastering pitches takes a bit of trial and error. But luckily for you, It only takes a few steps and a bit of research to create a perfect pitch for Guest Posting.

Why don’t you try it out? If you’re confident of your writing, send us an email.

A Proven Way To Take A New Blog To Superstardom In One Month Flat

Anybody having one of those days where you go,Oh, YES! I got five whole visitors to my blog today – I’m a superstar!”?

Not quite superstar.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and we’ve all had those days – the excitement and adrenalin when you hit up Google Analytics and see that you’ve got five whole new visits in the past 24 hours. The first day, you’re over the moon with excitement. The second day, you’re wondering why your traffic hasn’t increased, but you pass it off as nothing and you’re still over the moon.

By the end of the week, you’re tearing your hair out in frustration. Fast forward a month, and you’re just about ready to quit, convinced that this whole “blogging” thing is only for the pros.

In short – new bloggers often have a hard time getting traffic. A very hard time. That’s probably one of the things you didn’t know when you started blogging.

But wait – there’s hope!

Here’s The Truth – Traffic Isn’t As Hard As People Make It Out To Be

That’s just the plain truth.

Fact is, most people start out pouring all their time into SEO, backlink building, and the like. What they don’t realize is that what they’re working on are long-term traffic strategies. By the time their SEO work actually begins to show results, they are frustrated at not seeing any traffic and just about ready to throw the towel in.

Newbies need results to keep motivated. And they need them fast.

Fortunately, there’s a proven way to get those desired results quick – quicker than what most might think. Don’t believe the blogging “gurus” out there who say that traffic only comes after a year of hard work, because the truth is that you can get thousands of visitors to your blog within your very first week without even breaking a sweat.

Wanna know how?

Guest Post

Guest PostGuest posting is undisputed as the quickest way to grow any new blog into a superstar in one month flat. In fact, guest posting is the only way to grow a new blog into a superstar in a few weeks.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, here’s how it works:

A popular blogger who has tens of thousands of readers is having trouble finding time to create fresh content for his blog regularly. He opens his blog up to guest posters who post to his blog in exchange for cash or a couple backlinks.

Seizing the opportunity, you send that popular blogger a guest post pitch telling him about how you want to submit a post on his site. He accepts your pitch and you spend a few hours working up the most amazing piece of content, and you submit the post for review, waiting with bated breath.

The popular blogger loves your content. He shares it to his 50,000 strong Twitter tribe, his 25,000 Facebook likes and to the 10,000 e-mails subscribed to his mailing list.

As a result, your guest post gets viewed by tens of thousands of pairs of eyeballs, and at least 10% (a conservative estimate) of those readers go so far as to click the link in your author bio and visit your blog.

Bam.

All of a sudden, you’re getting thousands of visitors to your blog, all because you took the few hours necessary to send in a guest post pitch and create a spanking-awesome blog post.

Why Guest Posting Works So Crazy Well

Besides the fact that you can “borrow” thousands of readers from a popular blog and channel them to your blog, guest posting provides quite a few other benefits unparalleled by any other growth hacking strategy.

First of all, you’re not just getting any ol’ traffic. You’re getting targeted traffic – the type of traffic that gets you conversions. They subscribe to your mailing list, comment on your posts, share them, and are overall engaged with your blog. Targeted traffic is the only traffic that will actually make you money.

Then, you’re also building your blog’s authority. Readers figure that if you were able to land a guest post on one of the popular pillow fighting blogs around, you sure must know pillow fighting inside out. They instantly brand you as a pillow fighting authority. Needless to say, this boosts the sales to your pillow fighting e-course like nobody’s business.

And don’t forget those high-quality, relevant backlinks to your site in that author bio. Not only do they serve to drive traffic, but they look pretty good to Google. Just one of those relevant backlinks on a high-traffic blog is worth much more than a few hundred spammy article directory links.

Meeting Other Bloggers
Image courtesy TheTaxHeaven via Flickr.

Lastly (and this is my favorite), you get to create a lasting relationship with a popular blogger. Associating your name with the biggest names in the industry does wonders to increase your popularity. What’s more, people put you on the same level as the industry experts. You know them, they know you – you’re officially an expert.

That popular blogger just might become a follower of your blog, and maybe even subscribe to your mailing list, share your posts to their tens of thousands of social media followers, and comment and interact with you on your blog.

Trust me – when that happens, everything starts to click.

Let’s Look At A Few Case Studies

Of course, generating traffic, building authority, creating backlinks, and making connections all sounds superb on paper, but you might be a little skeptical as to whether this actually works. To clear those doubts, let’s take a look at some examples of how guest posting has made it an impact in other bloggers’ traffic strategies.

Ryan Biddulph from Cash With A True Conscience recently documented the effect a guest post by him on ProBlogger had on his blog. The result? 14,000 page visits in just one day, plus a seven-fold increase in visitor-to-subscriber conversion rates. Remember how we talked about how building authority and reputation results skyrockets conversion rates?

Joseph Oni launched a 6-month guest blogging campaign and came pretty close to doubling his traffic in a few months (at this point, he was already at a thousand unique visitors a week at this point). The added SEO benefit from the high-quality, relevant backlinks also increased his organic (search engine) traffic by 342%.

Onibalusi Bamidele killed it with one guest post on Max Blog Press. He got 1,000 new visitors the very first day the post went live (before, he averaged 100 on a good day). But that’s not all – those visitors stuck around for 3 minutes 4 seconds per, had an incredibly low 40.74% bounce rate, and resulted in approximately 250 new subscribers to his list. Talk about targeted traffic.

Jon Cooper from Point Blank SEO submitted a post on his YouMoz blog (the community blog in Moz), which happened to be awesome enough to get promoted to the main blog (a rare occurrence). He got nearly 80 quality, relevant backlinks (the post was syndicated many times over), a 400 visitor spike in traffic the first day, and an extra 10-20 visitors per day for a few weeks after the post went live.

Don’t Just Sit There…

…and do nothing! Take action!

There’s traffic to be gotten. Subscribers to be subscribed. Conversions to be converted. There’s money to be banked – all with guest blogging.

Four benefits – traffic, authority, backlinks, and connections. Four case studies – lots of targeted traffic, hundreds of subscribers, lots of links, and dollar dollar bills y’all.

It’s time to take action and go out there, work up courage, and submit a pitch to a popular blog. Start with us.