Guest blogging has been one of the favorite topics of internet marketers and bloggers for a while now. You’ll get to see a lot of posts describing how guest blogging can help you boost your website traffic and attract referral clients.
However, despite all the guest blogging guidelines, I have come across far too many guest bloggers who are either not sure what they’re doing or have absolutely no idea how a poorly written guest post can destroy the image of their blog and the brand associated with it.
There’s no question about the effectiveness of guest blogging. But when it’s done the wrong way, its not only a waste of your time and energy, but also inflicts some pretty heavy blows to your profile as a professional blogger.
Here are the 5 most bizarre yet common guest blogging mistakes that I’ve come across over the last few months.
1. Targeting Irrelevant Blogs
Nothing can be more off target than guest posting on a blog that has absolutely nothing to do with your niche and your target audience. The mistake is pretty obvious, but I am surprised how widespread it has become.
After my last guest post here on bloggingtips, 3 Things Bloggers Should Learn from Justin Bieber, I was approached by a couple of guys who wanted to hire me as a guest blogger. When I asked them about their requirements in detail, I was surprised to see that they considered website PR as the sole factor in choosing their target blogs. It didn’t matter if the blog was absolutely irrelevant to their niche.
This, in my opinion, is a very short term strategy that will give very low return on investment and will never establish your blog or website as an expert brand in your niche.
2. Guest Blogging for Backlinks Only
This point is an extension of the first one. But I am mentioning this as a separate mistake since it is a controversial subject and many bloggers support it.
In my opinion, however, this again reflects a very short term approach. Bloggers who guest blog only for backlinks get a very low return for their efforts.
I am not saying that backlinks are not important, in fact, they are critical for your search engine ranking. But focusing solely on backlinks while guest posting means you are wasting a lot of efforts for very little return.
The better strategy is to design a valuable post that provides high quality information and creates an urge in your readers to know more about you.
You’ll get the backlinks anyway.
In fact, if your post is really good, a lot of other blogs will not only link back to it but also ask you to guest post for them.
You can achieve a lot more if you’re more flexible in your approach.
3. Low Quality Content
This one is a real brand killer. If goodwill, brand image and word of mouth marketing is what you’re targeting through guest blogging, then low quality content would certainly damage your cause.
An unacceptable number of bloggers, specially the newbies, are ready to pith spun or copied content to other blogs. You might fool one or two editors and get your posts published, but pretty soon someone will identify the loopholes in your content and that will be the end of your brand image.
Remember, guest blogging works both ways. Doing it the right way will get you more readers and potential customers, but low quality content will make you famous for the wrong reasons.
4. Not Engaging the Readers
“I am a regular reader of your blog and absolutely love it…..”
This is what most bloggers write in their emails when they pitch guest posts to blog editors.
However, a large number of these bloggers either have no idea what that blog is about, or have never bothered to see what type of people follow it.
This results in a boring post that does not engage the readers at all and usually gets rejected!
5. No Focus on Your Own Blog
One of the common objectives of guest blogging is to drive visitors from other blogs to your own. However, what many guest bloggers ignore is getting their own house in order.
In my opinion, you should at least have a dozen posts on your blog before you start guest blogging aggressively. Anything less than that would mean that the readers you attract from other blogs would go away disappointed and might never return again.
Make sure you have something valuable waiting for them when they visit your blog.