Guest Blogging Myths and Musts

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If you’re looking into guest blogging then it’s probably for one of two reasons. Either you will be trying to promote your own blog or using guest blogs as an online marketing tool to build links to other websites. Whatever your reasons there are lots of things you can do to make finding guest blogs easy. There’s so much advice about guest blogging on the net that it can be difficult to know what’s right for you. So read on to discover the myths and musts of guest blogging.

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If you’re totally new to blogging then the best place to start is to create a few articles on subjects you feel you can write informatively about and post them onto some article marketing websites.

There are tons of these on the web that you can post on for free but most SEO experts agree that they’re becoming defunct as a linkbuilding tool. However they can help when looking for guest blogs because they can provide you with a portfolio which will give people an idea of your writing style and the things you want to write about.

It’s also really important that you know how to write a html link to go on your post. It’s really easy to find out how to do this – if in doubt, Google it!

MYTH

A lot of the advice you will find on the internet about how to get guest blogs will tell you that you need to tailor the emails you write to each blog you approach and include some information about why you like their blog and why you want to write for it.

I have been guest blogging for a while and in my experience I’ve never found this to be necessary, in fact I think it’s a waste of time. Any savvy blogger will know that you want to use their blog to promote your own or to build links so if they respond to silly false flattery then they probably don’t deserve a guest post from you in the first place!

I send out a generic email which goes something like this:

“I really enjoyed reading your blog and would love to write a guest post for you about (insert whatever you want it to be about here). Please get in touch if you would be interested, or if you would like to see some samples of my previous guest blogs.”

I’ve had a lot of success with this type of email. It’s succinct and cuts out all the crap which I think is appreciated by busy bloggers.

You can email blogs you want to post on individually but I’ve always had far more success using sites like myguestblog.com which allow you to search for blogs that are relevant to your subject more easily.

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You should carefully target the blogs you approach depending on what it is you are writing about. If you’re building links to other websites then the blog you choose to guest post on should be as relevant to your link as possible. Any natural link is a plus but a post about lawn care on a gardening blog will have far more link value than the same post on a sports blog.

MYTH

Many advice pages will tell you that you need to target blogs with lower PageRank or no PageRank before you go for the big boys. This is completely untrue and in my opinion is a vast conspiracy concocted by top guest bloggers to stop other people stealing their thunder.

I’ve been guest blogging for less than a year and have had posts on all levels of blog from PageRank 0 to PageRank 8. My philosophy is that if you don’t ask you don’t get so there’s no harm in approaching very high level blogs, if you believe your writing is good enough. Becoming a respected blogger is all about content not quantity (more about content next) so the amount of experience you have is not particularly important. However I would say that having a few posts on high page rank sites under your belt can help when approaching other blogs.

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If you read up on all things SEO then you will probably have heard the term ‘content is king’ bandied about recently. I agree with this dogma wholeheartedly. Google and other search engines are focussing far more on relevant and useful content than on any other element of SEO so any guest blog you produce needs to be as well written, useful and informative as possible. More importantly it needs to be enjoyable to read.

I can now hear you thinking, “I need to write a guest blog about disinfectant/tarmac/crop rotation/insert boring subject here, how can I possibly make that enjoyable to read? If you’re clever about it there’s always an angle you can find to make your writing more interesting and appealing to a wider audience.

For example, I recently needed to write a blog to promote a website that makes springs for the aerospace industry, not the most exciting subject in the world. After a bit of research I came up with an post about which celebrities had bought tickets for the inaugural space flight on Virgin Galactic – a much more exciting and appealing subject. I found a wider audience, had my blog published and had fun writing it.

MYTH

Some people interpret advice about the type of content you produce wrongly and assume it means you have to care passionately about what you write, or that you need to be an expert on your subject. This is total nonsense! The trick is to write as though you care passionately about what you are saying and research your subject well so anyone reading it would assume you were an expert. Of course if you do genuinely care about the subject you’re writing on it’s an added bonus that will only add to the quality of your writing.

The most important advice for anyone starting out in blogging is to write, write, write and then write some more! Like any skill practice makes perfect and the better your writing is the more likely it is that you will be offered guest posts.

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