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September 20, 2012

Top 4 Reasons Guest Blogging Sucks for Both Parties and How to Make It Better — A SPN Exclusive

No matter where you turn these days everybody’s talking about guest blogging and how beneficial it is for both parties involved. The guest blogger gets backlinks and traffic, the blog owner gets to take a day off and show his readers a different viewpoint. But for the average guest blogger and blog owner it’s all a ruse, another “Make Money Online” scheme, and I’m going to tell you why. Then, I’m going to tell you how you can really use guest blogging to benefit both parties.

You Both Waste Time

As the owner of a high ranking blog you’re probably deluged with guest blog posts daily. Most are pure garbage but you still have to take the time to sift through the rubbish just in case. Then you have to spell check, format and find images, and then load everything up to your blog. For all the time it takes to get one good guest blog post up and running you might as well have written it yourself.

As the guest blogger you have to spend time researching blogs, reading their content so you can get a feel for what they’re looking for. You have to look to see if they have any requirements for guest blog posts and then you have to write not just any old blog post but one that’s going to knock that blog owner’s socks off. Now, how many of your posts have been accepted by those high-ranking blogs? Probably not nearly as many as you’ve written.

Lack Of Mutual Long-Term Promotion

One of the myths about guest blogging is that you’ll gain additional exposure and traffic simply because you’re post is being “featured” on another blog. And blog owners believe that guest blog posts offer their readers additional value which will, in turn, increase their traffic and stickiness. This is true to a certain extent, but only for a day or two.

Guest blogging has no long-term benefits to either party because there’s no inter-linking involved, no mutual promotion. When you publish content to your own blog you typically link to other relevant content, both on your blog and off. Blog owners promote their own older, stronger content regularly, which keeps their readers moving around the blog, but guest blog posts just fade into oblivion as soon as you start adding new content.

Guest bloggers promote their featured posts to their own followers, but only until their next post is published somewhere else. Again, there’s no long-term promotion.

Neither Of You Are Getting A Good ROI

One of the reasons there’s no long-term promotion by either party is because the initial response to a guest post really isn’t what they expected. As a guest blogger, unless you’re an established blogger who’s already made a name for yourself, most of the readers are not going to follow you back to your blog. They’ll appreciate your article, but you’re not going to see the flood of traffic you expected.

As the blog owner, unless your guest blogger has a huge following, you’re not going to see much increase in your traffic. In fact, the increase you do see might, if you’re lucky, be just enough to offset the traffic you lose because you have a guest blogger that day.

What may have been a perfectly wonderful guest blog post thus loses its importance in your promotion rotation simply because it didn’t bring in the traffic you thought it would. And now, both parties have wasted a lot of time for a piece of content that just drifts to the bottom of the pile.

Your Audience Isn’t Engaged

Using a different guest blogger every week does nothing to benefit engagement. That guest blogger is simply a flash-in-the-pan. Your readers see them once and they’re gone, and there’s no opportunity for your readers to bond with a one-shot guest blogger. And unless you’re using high-quality guest bloggers your readers simply think it’s cute that you’re giving someone a chance, they really don’t care who it is.

As a guest blogger, when you post once and then move onto the next blog, you don’t have time to learn what that audience really wants and you don’t have time to let your personality shine through. You really do only have one chance to make a good first impression. And because those readers know you’re doing a fly-by, a lot of them aren’t going to give you their full attention.

A Regular Contributor Makes Much More Sense for Both Sides

As a blog owner, you’d have much more success if you used regular contributors instead of one-shot, flash-in-the-pan guest bloggers. A regular contributor would have time to get to know your readers and learn what they’re looking for. Their content may not be perfect in the beginning, but after a couple of posts they’d hit their stride, just like you did when you first started your blog.

A regular contributor has a more vested interest in promoting your blog because they have more content there, not just one single blog post. And because they’re more familiar with your blog they can use interlinking to promote your content and theirs internally, to help with reader engagement.

A regular contributor on a high-ranking blog no longer has to waste time searching for blogs and sending out guest posts that may or may not be accepted. And blog owners who use regular contributors don’t have to waste time sifting through dreck.

And as a regular contributor you become more familiar with the readers’ needs on the other blog, your engagement with that audience increases and more of them start to follow you back to your blog – and they stick this time because they already know and like you.

The system makes much more sense for both parties. The blog owner and the regular contributor have much more incentive to collaborate and promote both blogs because there’s better reader engagement which leads to increased traffic for both.

Guest blogging, as the system stands now, is great for developing backlinks. But, if that’s all you’re after, there are a lot of easier ways to do it. And it’s been proven time and time again that backlinks should never be your only goal. Quality content that encourages reader engagement is the only thing that’s going to make your blog successful, no matter how many backlinks you have.

Donna Anderson is an online content provider. For more information on how a regular contributor can be beneficial for both parties, read her series of articles beginning with “How To Get More Out Of Guest Blogging.”