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Guest posting can offer many benefits to bloggers hoping to broaden their reach or grow their authority. But, like most everything else, there’s a right way to do it… and then there’s wasting your time. Here’s how to know if a guest blogging opportunity is worth it or not.

Guest posting, also called guest blogging, is a process in which a blogger creates content for another site in order to build backlinks, expand their audience, and strengthen their authority. 

Early on in the world of blogging, guest posts were a hugely popular way to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) and grow an audience. In fact, anyone could write a 300-word post, share it on any other site, and boost their blog’s standing. It didn’t even have to be a good post.

However, in recent years Google (and other search engines) have updated their algorithms to limit the abuse of guest posts.

These days posts need to be both well-written and useful, but also relevant to the blog on which they’re posted… and the site should be in good standing, too.

Still, guest blogging can be a valuable experience if you do it right.

What are the Benefits of Guest Blogging?

Broaden your audience. A guest post can get your ideas in front of new people, ideally those who will click over to your site and become loyal, raving fans. 

Tip: Include a strong call to action in guest posts, and links to other posts on your site (if permitted).

Increase your traffic. When you bring more people into your world, the traffic to your site increases. The return on increased traffic is (usually) proportionate with the amount of traffic the site you’re guest posting on gets. B

Tip: Look for established sites that accept guest posts to get the most bang for your buck.

Build SEO cred. When search engines rank your website, they consider a number of factors – thousands, actually – and backlinks are one such factor. A backlink is any link to your site from another. 

Tip: Consider the authority of the sites you’re guest blogging on. 

Strengthen your authority. When you are granted permission to blog on another person’s site, it is an implicit endorsement of you and your business. You are borrowing the authority of the site owner because their audience trusts them to curate quality posts.

Tip: Look for bloggers who’ve built a loyal audience who trust their guidance.

Expand your web online presence. The more places you are online, the more likely you are to be found by those you can help. Guest blogging provides more access points to you and your content.

Tip: Target your guest blogging efforts on sites that serve similar audiences to yours.

When You Should Pass on Guest Posting

With all those reasons to guest post, it seems like a no-brainer, right?

Not so fast. 

Not all guest blogging opportunities are created equal. You need to closely evaluate prospect separately and make sure that the post you spend your precious time and energy creating is going to provide the benefits above.

Spam sites. The internet is littered with sites that provide little-to-no value and gain traffic by simply pumping out a constant flow of mediocre content. You don’t want to be featured on those sites. 

There once was a time when a site was a site, and Google hadn’t really figured out the difference, but those days are long gone. Search engines now rank sites for quality using an insane number of metrics. They also rank links leading from one site to another, so creating anything for those content mills isn’t going to do much except waste your time.

Too close to your products/ services. You don’t want to guest post for a blog who serves the exact same market in the same way you do, especially if they’re highly established and monetized. The blogs you post on should be related to yours, serving a similar audience, but in a different way. For example, a minimalism coach could work with a home decor blogger (think: How to Embrace Minimalism Without Making Your Home Look Sparse), or a classroom management blogger could partner with a Responsive Classroom blogger (think: 10 Morning Meetings to Reinforce Classroom Routines).

You’d neglect your own blog. As a part-time blogger, you have to be careful about giving too much time away at the expense of your own blog. Guest blogging takes time – you have to do your research, pitch the blogger whose site you want to contribute to, and then you have to write a truly kick-ass post that will inspire their followers to click over to your site and find awesome stuff. 

If life is too crazy to take all that on AND write a weekly post for your own blog, put a pin in guest blogging until the next vacation.

How to Find the Best Sites to Blog For (for your blog)

Research. Do your homework before making contact with any bloggers. First, see if they accept guest posts. If not, and they’re an established blogger, it’s likely their policy not to permit others to share on their site. You can try to reach out anyway, but don’t hold your breath.

You also want to look at the types of posts they share. If they are a step-by-step how-to website, you want to match your proposed guest blogs to that.

Finally, spend some time looking at what has already been written about on their site. Nothing will kill your chances at guest blogging like suggesting post ideas that are already on their blog.

Find a Peripheral Blogger. As mentioned above, the best blogs to write for are ones that serve your audience in a different way than you do. This allows you to offer content that’s of use to the site’s owner, but also guides them towards your blog.

Consider niches that are one level broader or more niched down than yours. For example, sustainable living and bee keeping, natural lawn care, canning food, or even alternative energy. Or mom lifestyle and mindful parenting, meal prep, calendar management, money saving tips for families, or homeschooling.

Consider the benefit (for both of you). A guest post should provide an upside for both the contributor and the site owner. Before you start planning a post, think about what you hope to gain from sharing on this particular site. Of the many benefits I mentioned above, which are your biggest priorities, and does this site provide opportunities to meet those goals?

Similarly, when asking other bloggers to borrow their blog space, you have to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” What can you provide for their audience that they can’t?

If you’ve done a thorough job finding someone who writes about a connected, but divergent, topic to yours, this will be easier to come up with.

At the end of the day, being a guest on someone else’s blog can be a fabulous opportunity, when done right. But it’s not the quick and easy path that some purport. It takes time and effort, and remember that any post you write for another blog should be your A+ stuff. 

Only you can decide whether or not this is a good fit for you at this time.

Please note: Side Hustle Teacher is not accepting guest posts at this time.

Whether you’re considering blogging as a side hustle or just aren’t sure how to get started, this free training is for you!

Together we’ll cover:

  • How to know if blogging is the right side hustle for you
  • What it takes to be a successful blogger
  • My 5-step framework for building a sustainably profitable blog

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To Guest Post or Not to Guest Post
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