Guest blogging is when you write an article for someone else’s website. With 60% of blogs writing one to five guest posts a month, it’s safe to say that guest blogging is hugely popular.
Apart from the SEO benefits, guest blogging also lets you create awareness about your brand, product or service while reaching out to a new community of readers and establishing authority. If you are new to guest blogging and not sure how to do it right, using a professional guest posting service is the best way of ensuring success while using this popular SEO strategy.
However, a poor guest blogging strategy can do more harm than good. Let’s take a look at 10 guest blogging mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.
1. Targeting the wrong websites
The most important question about guest blogging is which website do you choose to guest blog on.
You can write hundreds of guest posts without getting any significant traction to your blog but if you adopt a targeted approach and guest blog for the right website, you’re sure to see significant results.
The first step is determining why you want to guest blog – do you want to position yourself as a thought leader, attract traffic to a newly launched eBook, improve search engine rankings or just create awareness about your blog?
Once you establish the goal, do your research and shortlist the websites you want to pitch to. The idea is to reach out to credible websites that speak to a similar audience.
2. Sending generic pitch emails
Do you use a template-like pitch email for guest posting? If yes, you’re doing it wrong.
Blog editors get umpteen pitch emails a day. If yours sounds like just another copy-paste job, there’s no way it’s going to get read or considered. So, if you need to capture the editor’s attention, you need to send a personalized email.
Take the effort to find out the relevant point of contact and find out their email address using a tool. Start the email by addressing them by their name and insert a greeting.
For instance, with the COVID-19 outbreak, why not start the email by asking them if they’re safe. It just shows you care and are sensitive to what’s happening in the world.
It’s also a good idea to reference a recently published article on their website and tell them why you enjoyed reading it.
Taking these small steps projects you in a more positive light and increases your chances of being considered for a guest post.
3. Forgetting to do timely follow-ups
While guest blogging, you need to be prepared for not getting responses first time round. That does not mean you drop the ball on it.
Make sure you keep track of the websites you’ve written to and those you’re yet to hear from. If you haven’t for 4-5 days after sending the initial pitch, send a follow-up email.
Sending follow-up emails isn’t the most pleasant experience but you should follow-up at least twice. For all you know, your email might have got missed and your follow-up email might just remind the editor to reply.
While drafting follow-up emails, don’t copy-paste the initial email. Always strive to insert additional value in your emails. It can be in the form of work samples or even proposing a partnership.
4. Pitching irrelevant topics
If you have written about a travel destination and pitched to a blog that is into health and wellbeing, your article will be outrightly rejected.
So, do your homework – browse the different categories and articles the website hosts to understand the topics they cover. Brainstorm topic ideas that they haven’t written about and that would apply to their website.
Lastly, present these ideas in your pitch email, telling the editor why you feel the topics would be relevant to their readers.
5. Not abiding by the guest post guidelines
From the tone of voice and number of words to the kind of links and formatting – every website has a unique set of editorial guidelines they follow to maintain consistency.
As a guest blogger, it’s essential to give those guidelines a read before you start drafting the article. Make sure you abide by every little point to increase your chances of getting accepted.
If you don’t see the guidelines on their website, ask them for it.
The last thing you want to do is make all the effort and have your article rejected because you failed to follow their guidelines.
6. Writing overly promotional articles
Did you know that 79% of editors say guest content is too promotional?
A guest post is not about you or your business but about the audience who reads your post.
One of the biggest reasons for rejection is overly-promotional articles that come across as too ‘salesy’ or pushy. Due to this, most websites do not entertain such articles.
So, pay attention to the links you insert to your website and your language. It needs to be unbiased, informative and engaging.
7. Having a poor linking strategy
One of the biggest benefits of a guest post is the ability to insert links in the post to drive traffic to your own website.
Think of the blog posts or landing pages you want to promote and integrate them into your guest articles in a natural manner.
Ideally, you should be using the keywords you want to rank for as anchor text and link it back to your website. If you are not doing so, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your SEO.
So, next time you begin writing a guest post, have your inbound link strategy in place. Just remember, you shouldn’t go overboard or else your post may get rejected. As long as you’re doing it in line with their guidelines, it’s fine.
8. Not engaging with comments on the published posts
When people engage with your article and leave comments on it, it’s a very good sign. This also has a positive impact on SEO. Search engines see your post as engaging and boost your ranking.
So, always set some time aside to read and reply to the comments you receive on your guest posts. This enhances your credibility, boosts visibility and helps you grow your community of readers in the process.
9. Not keeping a record of outreach efforts
Your outreach efforts are going down the drain if you are not keeping a track of it.
Use Google spreadsheet or an app like Trello to track your outreach efforts and progress. You can create columns such as ‘name of website’, ‘website category’, ‘date of outreach’, ‘pitch tile’ and ‘status’ to name a few.
You should also use Ahrefs to conduct a backlink analysis and understand how much traffic each of your guest posts is bringing in.
This is a good practice and will help you keep track of acceptances, rejections and published work.
10. Placing an ineffective author bio
An author bio is a must for any guest post that you submit. The host blog may or may not ask you for it specifically, but your post should always be accompanied by an author bio.
The key to an effective author bio is to establish your credibility in 2-3 sentences. Write in the third person and make sure you insert a link to your website and social media channels.
Remember, after reading your article, people are would want to know more about the person behind it. So, ensure your author bio crisply conveys your expertise while sharing the social media platforms they can engage with you on.
So, don’t let your guest blogging efforts go waste. Make sure you don’t make these 10 deadly mistakes and write effective guest posts that skyrocket your traffic and search engine rankings.