Guest blogging: the act of publishing your writing on a blog belonging to another in an effort to spread your name, talents and links to a wider audience that you may not otherwise reach.
Guest blogging is a fantastic way to get your writing, no matter its niche, out to the masses in a hurry, avoiding the long wait you may face in building a substantial audience at your own web address. Blog owners are typically very open to the idea, obtaining fresh content for their website in return for your backlink, author biography or other plug, as the benefits going both ways can be substantial.
Deciding to guest blog in order to enhance your presence with your chosen audience is the first step, and making an agreement with the owner of the blog in question is the second step; the final step, the writing itself, is the most crucial. Before you get started on your latest guest blogging piece, whether it’s your first or 50th, take a look at our outline of five guest-blogging mistakes to avoid:
1. Stale Topics Make for Boring Reading
Given the unique opportunity that guest blogging offers for you and your future as a writer, be sure to take as much time as is necessary to identify a provocative and engaging topic in order to best endear (or vilify) yourself to your new audience. Whether you have the freedom found in constructing an opinion piece or you’re limited by technical parameters, such as those required when writing a product review, use your writing talent to give your readers a good reason to add you to their list of subscriptions!
2. Not Unique? You’re One in a Million
When writing for the web there are two kinds of copying: blatant stealing of content and what is sometimes referred to as “intellectual theft.” While very few of us are likely to simply copy and paste content from another site for our guest blog post, very many of us are guilty of borrowing a topic, theme or style when creative juices are running sluggishly.
Never forget the many people who write and offer online content; your readers have, quite literally, millions of websites to visit, and the only path to subscriber success is making sure that your content stands out from the crowd; this translates to being unique in your topic, approach and writing style.
3. Unedited Articles = Unfinished Articles
The statement made with this title is true in two ways: Being an integral process, editing is no less important a step in truly finishing an article than the writing itself, and publishing a messy article containing spelling or grammatical mistakes is a sure way to lose your readers before they ever finish reading the piece you’re presenting.
4. Avoid Ugly Plugs
While the point of your guest-blogging piece is, ultimately, to lead visitors back to your website or blog, be very careful not to cross the line into spam territory. Usually a single link, contained at the top of your article or in an author biography below, is enough to move truly interested visitors to your corner of the Internet; go overboard with backlinks and other shameless plugs, and you risk looking desperate and spam-happy!
5. Only Guest Blogging Occasionally? You’re Not Doing It Enough
Those who have successfully guest blogged previously and have seen the positive benefits are unlikely to not indulge again, but, as happens with many good intentions, that fire can fade and leave guest blogging far from your mind when you need it most. No matter what niche your blog occupies, you can bet that you have many colleagues around the web who would be happy to have you guest post at least once, giving you an entire network of websites on which you can supply guest content regularly, allowing you to reap the rewards of exposing yourself to a new audience over and over again.