Guest blogging can be a phenomenal strategy for getting in front of a wider audience and getting links back to your site, but there are many pitfalls that can derail your chances of getting published. Let’s look at four common mistakes often made by guest bloggers, as well as the solutions to help you succeed.
1. They Don’t Target the Blog They’re Pitching
I frequently get guest blog pitches for my marketing blog. You’d be amazed at who pitches me. People who want to write about furniture. Finance. Furry friends. But as soon as I get one of those pitches that shows they didn’t actually pay attention to what my blog is about—poof—they’re banished to the Recycle Bin.
You should find blogs that target the audience you want to reach. No one will read your post on leather couches on my marketing blog and rush out to buy one from you. And Google doesn’t like it either. But that’s for #2…
2. They Don’t Understand Basic SEO
I’m not saying you need to be an SEO expert, but know this: Google is not going to treat an unrelated link kindly on a website. Let’s go back to that example of a post about leather couches on a marketing blog. When Google’s spiders crawl that blog, they’ll get red flags. “This post is not synonymous with the other content on this website! Alert! Alert!”
That can damage the search rankings of the blog hosting the guest post, as well as the guest poster’s link. If it wouldn’t do either one of you any good, so don’t waste your time on it.
Only pitch blogs that are in line with what you want to talk about. That way, you’ll get Google’s seal of approval.
3. They Don’t Read the Guidelines
On my blog, I have a page of guest blogging guidelines. They’re clear as day, but a surprising amount of people fail to read them, which winds up frustrating both parties.
Before you reach out to a blog editor, see if there’s a page explaining their preferred pitching process. They may want a handful of ideas, or they may prefer the completed article. Following directions will increase your chance of getting your content published.
4. They Don’t Help Promote It
Once you get an editor to agree to publish your content, your work isn’t done. If you want to be invited back, you should always promote your guest post to your social networks. This helps show that you’re eager to get involved with this blog by spreading its reach and sending more traffic its way.
Ask to be notified when your guest blog is live, then schedule several shares over the following week across all your social media platforms. Paying it forward works in real-life and guest blogging as well!