Having Guest Posts On Other Blogs As A Traffic Strategy

Guest posting is a strategy that you might have read about on some blogs or in other online spaces as a way to drive traffic to your website or blog. It can be, but I’m not one of those people who thinks it’s as good as having great content on your own site. Still, with the right type of guest post on the right blog in front of the right audience, it might not be a bad idea across the board.

Wind farm and greenhouse gas farm, together
Kevin
Dooley
via Compfight

To guest post, you have to be willing to follow the rules of the site owner. I used to allow guest posts on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, and when I did I had some rules. Unfortunately, so many people weren’t following the rules and I didn’t have time to keep up with what I was seeing that I had to stop taking them.

Anyway, here were the main rules: one, if someone requests a guest post, they had to put my name in the email so I know they saw the guest posting policy; two, the topic had to be financial; three, the post couldn’t be blatant advertising; four, I got to decide if the post would be free or had to be paid for based on my criteria; five, all guest posters must respond to comments within 2 weeks, otherwise any links in their posts would be deleted.

My rules were tough, but that blog made money for me and I set the standards for its use. I think every person allowing guest posts needs to have standards; otherwise, you end up with a lot of junk and a blog no one ever wants to visit.

You need to be ready to really give your all. A guest post isn’t a reason to write a throwaway post that you’d never put on your site If you’re hoping to drive people back to your site it needs to be top quality.

If you have someone else writing for you, that’s fine as long as you look at what they’re submitting in your name. If you trust your writer it’s all good. What I see happening most of the time is the person reaching out to a site to submit a guest post isn’t actually the writer but a marketer for a content company of some sort. They almost never read the posts either; if they did I’d never have to edit anything. Those guest posts are a reflection on your business so be careful.

If your website isn’t up to snuff, or your blog’s content is weak, then you’re just wasting your time linking back to it. I’ve seen some horrid sites that people want to link back to and sometimes I just said no without even allowing someone to send me an article.

If you have some standards, don’t accept anything you don’t agree with, even if the other party is willing to pay you. I disagree with the concept of payday loans, so anytime I received a pitch with that as the topic and it wasn’t a negative piece about the subject, I turned it down. I would also turn it down if the subject is fine and the article was well written but it linked back to one of those sites.

Guest posting to drive traffic isn’t a bad strategy but it comes with its own issues. If you have problems writing your own blog or web content, do you really want to spend the time boosting up someone else’s traffic with the hope of getting some residual traffic back? Pick your spots and it can work out; get it wrong and you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

Why We Must Create Content

To some folks who visit this blog, it probably looks like I’ve slowed down in creating content. There’s both truth and non-truth to this statement.

Picture 26

While doing my consulting out of town, I find that I get back to the hotel and I’m just exhausted. I have two different biorhythm schedules, depending on where I am and “when” I am.

When I’m home, on Eastern time, I stay up until 2:30 or 3 in the morning and sleep usually until 9 or 9:30 and take naps whenever I feel the need. Because I keep irregular hours, I can work at any time of the day and also have lots of time to blog and all is good with the world.

When I’m on the road, on Central time, from Sunday night through Thursday night I “try” to get to bed by midnight because I have to be up at 6:30 to be at the office by 7:30. Of course there’s no naps coming, so I get really tired, have to find ways of staying awake in the afternoons, and often come back to the room and then take a nap, rush to dinner, and literally try to stay awake until later so I won’t wake up too early the next day.

On the weekends, I revert back to my “norm”, only an hour behind when I’m at home… sometimes. Sometimes I stay up later, knowing I probably wouldn’t stay up so late at home, sometimes I crash because I’m just exhausted.

Either way, it’s taken a toll on blogging, but that’s not the only thing going on.

I’ve finally started making a more concerted effort to edit my second book on leadership. I’m committing at least a little bit of time each night to it because I want to get it done some time within the next couple of months so I can get a couple of people to read it.

I’ve also committed myself to trying to do a video every day this month for my business channel on YouTube. This is new content and it’s me putting in time to build up the portfolio there. If you’d like an example, here’s last night’s video on communicating with irate people:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cNM1bg68WA&feature=share

 

I’ve also been creating videos on my other YouTube channel, though not as often; here’s the latest video from there, which prompted me to write on this topic:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lorAQJVxtLk&feature=share

 

Two other things. Today I was interviewed for a radio program that was turned into a podcast by a guy named Fasil Khan, who owns Khan Coaching, and the hour-long podcast is here: http://lawandorderoflifeddv.com/leadership-mitch-mitchell. And a few days ago a guest post I wrote for Jessica Peterson of Customer WOW Project went live, and since I don’t think it’s getting much love I’m going to link to it here, as it’s titled Business Tips From Mitch Mitchell, though I’d titled it 10 Things To Know If You Want To Go Into Business For Yourself.

I have still been writing here and on my other blogs as well, just not as often. So you see, I’ve still been following on my never ending quest to continue creating content, but I’ve been spreading myself around. Still, in my own way I keep trying to prove why we all must create content if we hope to keep our names out in front of others, even if it’s not always in our own space.

Why must we create content? Let me highlight the reasons…

* new content helps keep our websites or blogs fresh

* new content lets people know we have things to say and helps encourage them to keep coming back for more

* new content helps you build up a credible portfolio that you can always direct people to

* new content helps you to learn how to become more creative and to hone a style that works well for you

* new content could potentially help make you famous, ala getting a video to go viral

* new content can enhance your status as an expert/specialist/rock star; take your pick

For me, new content means someone’s always finding me for something, and I get interview opportunities. On my regular YouTube channel, I’ve had the opportunity to interview other people as well, and hopefully some of them have used their interviews to promote themselves, as I did with the interview above. Even if it’s not my content specifically it’s still me, and any chance I get to promote myself more, and it’s free… no brainer!
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Fussing About Guest Posters Again

Yes, another minor rant about guest posters, and this time I was so moved that I had to do a video. Therefore, I’m not going to write a long piece, but I am going to say a few things before the video because, after all, just having a video doesn’t help with SEO all that much now does it? 🙂

Annoyed Isaac, Julia - Cocoro
Alpha via Compfight

Here’s the overall deal, if I may. Unless someone specifically asks you to write a guest post for them, whenever you do so it means that if someone publishes your post they’re doing you a favor, not the other way around. Yeah, I know that some people think the owner of the blog is getting something out of it, mainly free content so that they don’t have to write all the posts themselves, but so what.

If you come into my house to paint the walls and you’re going to get something out of it on the back end (maybe not money like a painter but guest posters are getting something), it means you don’t have to clean up when you’re done? You’re going to leave your drop cloths, dirty paint brush, stupid paint tray and tape all over my walls?

In that case, you were called and asked to do something, the rules change some when that happens. But if you called me and asked to paint one of my walls because you wanted to highlight your work, and I agree, does that mean that because you feel you’ve enhanced my space that nothing else counts? When you leave you leave a mess and you never come back?

That’s the basic premise behind what’s in the video, as I address an issue that came up yesterday with someone who wasn’t pleased that I yanked his links from his post when he didn’t fulfill the qualifications of my guest posting policy on my finance blog. People, if you’re looking to promote yourself in someone else’s space, whether it costs you or not, and it leads you to request the right to submit a guest post, follow the rules of the site, plain and simple. And before anyone who’s not familiar with this blog asks, no, I do not accept guest posts from anyone I don’t already know; let’s hope that at least was read. lol

And now, on with the fussing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxUkoTMZqx0


 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell

The 5 Lies Of Guest Posting Requests

I allow almost no guest posts on this site. In the 4 1/2 years I’ve had this blog, and almost 1,300 posts (I’ll pass that moment next week probably), I’ve had 14 guest posts on this site. Some of the people who’ve written guest posts I’ve asked to write them, and I love that they did and appreciate those folks. The rest asked me, and here’s where I’ve had some kind of issue for the most part.

Why you ask? Well, let me name them and tell you something brief about them:

Diego Norte – actually wrote 2 guest posts, but never came back to respond to any of them and has never come back to the blog again. Heck, he never even left a comment on any posts previously.

Barbara Whitlock – She wrote a post supporting Helium, whom I later trashed, after seeing one of my posts talking about some early problems I was having trying to figure them out. She never responded to any comments on the post and obviously had never read anything else.

Christian Arno – Another one and done who reached out to me to write a post on language translation services. I thought it was a cool topic so I went for it. It only got 2 comments but he never responded to either of them and I’ve never seen him again.

Tom Walker – wrote a post on a topic I knew something about and he also reached out to me. But he’d never commented on anything previously, never responded to any of the comments on his post, and never came back.

Wes Towers – Wes used to comment often, disappeared, then showed up one day asking if he could write a guest post, which I went for because he’d been a contributor. He wrote is his piece and, to his credit, at least responded to the comments on the post. But he’s never come back.

Murray Newlands – Murray had done an interview with me years earlier and even though I was reached asking to write a guest post for this blog, the person who wrote me had no idea who I was, nor had known that I’d even been on his blog. Still, I allowed the post to come through as a sense of obligation, even if I wasn’t so sure of the topic. Murray also responded to one of the comments, which I appreciate, but overall he’s never come to the blog before or since.

Do you see a pattern here? Sure, I understand that everyone has their own goals in mind, and for some those goals are to help spread the word about what they do, or try to drive traffic to their websites. I also understand how, in many cases, guest posts can help a website or blog to grow, as is the case with my finance blog. Still, even with my finance blog, I have as a criteria that people must respond to comments left on their post, otherwise I will remove all their links and contact information.

Why do I do that? Because often people write guest posts on a topic that I don’t know all that much about, and thus I can’t respond to the comments with any real knowledge. As we all know, the best way to grow a community with a blog, which helps to keep regular visitors, is to respond to them when they write a good comment. If guest posters don’t respond, they don’t deserve any boost their guest post was supposed to give them. And that’s why I almost never accept guest posts on this site unless I ask people to write one.

IMAG0364

Having said all of that, I still get a lot of requests to write guest posts on all of my blogs. And I’ve noticed there are 5 main lies that these requests have that immediately let me know that there’s a major problem with their request. Here they are:

1. They’re a long time reader of the blog. That’s a lie because they can never tell you anything about the blog. Often they’ll include a link to a blog post that’s a new link, and not have a comment on that particular post. It’s because they didn’t read it; they’re just trying to flatter me.

2. That they’ve read my guest posting policy. I know that’s a lie because at least half the requests I get don’t have my name on them; this is for my finance blog. That’s actually a qualification for me to even read the email, so if I don’t see my name on it I immediately delete it.

3. That they’ll “write” a quality guest post. Truth of the matter is that most of the people who contact me aren’t writing the articles at all. I know that because most of the people reaching out to me are actually advertising people trying to get their clients links on my blog. Come on, I’m not an idiot; if your email address or company name is different than the link you’re showing me that you’re going to link to, I know you’re not the one writing the post.

4. That it will be a quality post. If you saw some of the email I get, even when they put my name in the email, you’d shudder. The language is horrible, and I know these aren’t all foreign writers. If the email is written poorly then I’m not even going to bother looking at any kind of guest post.

5. That they love my writing style. Remember how I mentioned earlier that some of these people will put a link into the email from a post on the blog? Often it’s a link from a guest post, which obviously means I didn’t write it.

By the way, let me quickly thank those people whom I’ve asked to guest post here; and yes, they’re getting their names bolded:

Sire

John Dilbeck

Connie Baum

Carolee Sperry

Scott Thomas

Rachel Lavern

Mitchell Allen

I’m certainly not trashing the concept of guest posts. I just want to see more honesty, better writing, and of course responding to comments. For this blog, if you’re going to ask me if you can write a guest post you’d better have a history of some kind with either the blog or with me. That’s how I roll; how do many of the rest of you see guest posts on your site?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

10 Things People Do Wrong Concerning Blogs

Often when I write one of these types of posts it seems like I’m picking on one particular group of some kind. Today this is a little bit different. I’m picking on a group, but the group isn’t as specified except for one thing; it concerns blogs. And it’s what I see “people”, and when you see what I’ve written you’ll understand why I went that route, doing, well, wrong, or badly, or whatever; just not good. lol Here we go.

1. If you’re not trying to live what you write about then you’re wasting your time blogging. Now, that sounds harsh, but I’ll tell you what I mean. Right now, if you look to the right of this post you’ll see a post I wrote on my business blog about “trust leadership”. In that post I highlight 9 blogs I visited on Sunday. I found it interesting that all of those blogs talked about leadership in some fashion, some of them talked about building trust, yet 8 of them moderate comments, one of them adding captcha to the mix. To me you reap what you sow, and if you’re telling people up front that you don’t trust them, then why should they trust your content?

2. Your blog platform is, well, lousy. Of course this is just my belief, and for once I’m not talking about different commenting systems. Lately I see a proliferation of blogs on places such as Typepad, Tumblr, and other sites like these. I don’t count these as regular blogging platforms, although I know the Typepad people will say it is. Any platform that begins by pretty much telling me if I don’t sign into it you’re not going to honor things from outside such as Gravatar, and that you’re not going to send me messages if I comment unless I sign in (I’m not talking about a different comment system, but in this case it’s a part of the site) then it’s a lousy platform. As for Tumblr, it seems to be set up for instant messaging thoughts; in other words, you’re thinking “kill my landlord, kill my landlord” and thus you say it. Or you saw an image of puppies being cut up and you thought it was neat so you posted it. And the comments you get back are “neat”, “wow”, “cruel”… If that’s basically what’s being promoted it’s a lousy platform.

3. You leave lousy comments. Okay, this one I’ve touched upon before, but in this instance I’m not talking about people having to write great comments, and I’m not talking about spam. I’m talking about people who leave comments that never address what the topic is about. Sure, some of them might mean well, but if it doesn’t advance the conversation then what’s the point? Of course there are times when one can be funny with a one liner that actually pertains to the content, and if you’ve built up that type of equity with the blog writer then it’s fine. And if I put up one of my Muppet posts I really don’t expect anything other than “I love/hate the Muppets”; course, if you hate the Muppets you’re a cruel person. 😉

4. You don’t at least try to do a good job of writing your blog posts on a regular basis. I think I’ve written only one post in all these years that I should have checked over before I put it out, and that was when I used my Dragon software without going back to read everything. None of us are perfect, thank goodness, but most of us are pretty good. If we invite people into our space the very least we can do is have a nice place for them to sit.

5. Don’t leave “please contact me” comments on blog posts. The only time one can validate that is if the person who owns the blog hasn’t given you any contact information anywhere else, and if you as a blogger hasn’t put an email address somewhere on your blog so people can contact you, do it now. I have this type of thing happen to me all the time when people want to write guest posts or contact me for some other reason, but I have an About page on every blog that has at least an email address that you can reach me at.

6. If you read any of the “page” information that people have let instructions on make sure you read it if you have any questions. Of course most people will say they don’t have questions, but sometimes they do. If someone has written a comment policy it probably means you should read it if you’re thinking about leaving a fake name or one of those keyword names to see if the person whose blog it is likes that sort of thing. If not, you may find your comment gone or that you’ve irked the blog writer.

7. Let me expound on the “information” part of pages. I have a high number of people that want to either write guest posts for me or buy advertising on my finance blog. I created a page where I tell people which email address to write me at AND to use my name; if my name isn’t in the email it tells me you didn’t read what I had to say. It’s very simple to follow, and any time I get an email without my name on it I just delete it without reading it. Could I be missing something? Yes, but if you don’t stand by your standards then why have any?

8. By the way, if you’ve written any “pages” that you hope people will see, at least make sure they’re understandable so you don’t confuse people. There shouldn’t be any question as to how you want people to act in your space if you’ve taken the time to put something together.

9. Be nice. So far I’ve popped on some things I don’t like. Just asking, but in saying what I’ve said, have I been anything but nice? I always figure there’s a way to get a gripe across and still be nice. One doesn’t have to be too forward. One doesn’t have to use bad language. One doesn’t have to name call. Yeah, there are things that irritate me, but anyone you meet will tell you I’m a nice guy and, in my own way, a straight shooter. When I work directly with people in more of a coaching or training role, I give them options of things to do and my belief on the consequences of those actions rather than just tell them what to do. If someone asks me an opinion and I know they’re going to disagree (yeah, I often already know that) I’ll rarely be forward and tell them that, unless it’s the only way to get them to leave me alone (here I’m talking about things like religion; don’t go there with me). I want to be treated nice and courteous, and Dr. Phil says you teach people how to treat you by your actions. Yes, I watch Dr. Phil. lol

10. Guest posting; give your best and then try to give something different. I just wrote a guest post for someone I know locally. She said I could write on anything. I took a look through her blog to see the types of things she wrote about, then I wrote this post titled Why I Call Out “Isms”. One of her passions is the rights of others, and I tend to agree with her on this. In my mind one doesn’t “mail in” a guest post. You give it your all, try to turn it into something you might not always do for yourself, and go that extra route. I hope you check it out to see what I mean. It’s a topic I might write about here every once in awhile, but it’s not the type of post I’d write here; at least I don’t think it is.

And there you go; I bet you thought I wouldn’t be able to come up with 10, did you? So, share your thoughts, as always; after all, if I didn’t want to hear them, I wouldn’t put them out there.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell