How to Guest Post and Influence People?

how to guest postIf you follow trends in search engine optimization (enhancing your website’s rankings in search engines like Google), one of the hottest trends lately involves submitting guest blog posts.  If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, don’t feel too bad.  Of the various blog niches, it’s most popular among the typical marketing, SEO, ‘make money online’ crowd and not as well-known for health and fitness bloggers.

In short, guest blogging is a great way to build relevant authoritative links for your website, increase your blog’s traffic, and to expand your readership.  It can also be a great way to build your online presence and brand.

A win-win scenario – In many ways, guest blogging creates a near-perfect win-win scenario.  For publishers, they get access to free, quality content, written from a unique perspective.  For guest bloggers, they benefit by enhancing their online exposure and reputation.


Sample content from guest submission

Notice anything wrong with the above content?


Guest Blogging Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes that I’ve experienced is that people confuse guest blogging with article marketing.  Article marketing was a popular trend two or three years ago.  Basically, you could recycle your old blog posts by submitting them to sites like Buzzle, Ezinearticles, and others.  It used to be a decent way to build backlinks for your website.

Why Article Marketing Is Dead?

Google’s algorithm is getting increasingly complex.  The basic premise is to increase the relevance of sites that rank well and to combat spam.   Duplicate content is considered spam and Google no longer passes PageRank from duplicate content.

In other words, one of the common questions that we get asked here for the guest blog posts that we accept, is “I’ve got some great articles on my site, you can publish some of those if you like.”  The problem in this case is that duplicate content gets flagged by Google and won’t rank well at all in search engines.

Yes, there are some sites that generate massive amounts of traffic that entirely composed of duplicate content such as Zimbio, Facebook Networked Blogs, Wellsphere, Feed Aggregators, and others.  Google does seem to make some exceptions, but if your blog is filled with a substantial amount of duplicate content, it will get flagged as spam.  Consequently, it won’t generate very much search engine traffic.

What’s Wrong with Cross-Posting Articles?

Cross-posting of content involves publishing your article on multiple sites, typically your own blog as well as the blog that you write a guest post for.  In this case, whichever site is credited with publishing the article first based on publishing time, how frequently the site is crawled by search engines, and other factors will rank substantially better.  Cross-posting is just one way to create duplicate content.

Why Is Duplicate Content Considered Spam?

Think of it this way, there are so-called scraper sites that take content from other blogs and republish the content on their own site.  If duplicate content was okay, you could create a high traffic blog simply by republishing articles from article marketing sites or by scraping content from other blogs.  No fuss, no muss.

In a nutshell, if you’re hoping to recycle your articles for guest posting it’s a very bad idea.  Most sites that accept guest posts will check the content with Copyscape to start with.  Even if your article does slip by, it won’t benefit you from an SEO perspective since the article will be flagged as spam.  Once the owner of the blog finds out, they’ll be unhappy to say the least.

Part of creating a successful blog is building relationships and you probably won’t make too many friends by cross-posting, or submitting duplicate content.

Guest Posting Arbitrage

If you’ve considered using guest posting to improve your blog’s traffic, one of the first problems that you’ll notice is that it cuts into your own time to write for your blog.  To solve this problem, one thing that many bloggers do in other niches is that they operate under, for lack of a better term, the guest blogging arbitrage principle.  What does this mean?  Basically, you write compelling content for blogs that are more popular and authoritative than your own.  In turn, you then accept blog post submissions from other sites at the same time.

Tips for Guest Posting on Blogs:

Needless to say, you’ll want to use some of your best, most compelling content when you submit your articles to high-authority blogs.  To start with, the article will get more exposure than it would on your own blog.  As well, blogs that have built up authority tend to have discerning tastes when it comes to accepting posts.

Killer titles which are “Digg” worthy can also help get your post accepted.  It’s also often advised that you included a link in your article to another post from the blog that you’re submitting your article too.  The guest blogger will appreciate the gesture.

Start small and move up – You’ll probably want to get your feet wet with guest posting to start off with.  For high-profile A-list blogs, like Darren Rowse’s Problogger, you probably won’t be accepted until you’ve already established your brand.

Images – Higher profile blogs are often conscious of using images which violate copyright laws.  For some high-profile blogs, you may want to consider purchasing an image to include with your submission or else finding a creative license picture.

Backlinks – Make sure you carefully read the guidelines for guest posts on the blog that you’re submitting your article to.  Some will allow either one or two dofollow backlinks within the article content.

Article style – It’s always a good idea to get a flavor for how other articles on the site are typically written and formatted.  Many SEO savvy bloggers will want you to add appropriate H2 headings within your post.  Most sites appreciate you submitting your post in HTML format too so that it’s easier for them to publish.

Well, I hope that provides you with some useful tips for increasing your online presence by writing guest blog posts. Writing for other blogs can be a great way to expand your network.

7 thoughts on “How to Guest Post and Influence People?

  • October 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Gail, one thing about article marketing that’s changed, in my opinion, is the value of the links. Even if you use unique posts for each site, the article will get republished as a duplicate by sites that use content from article marketing sites.

    Back in 2007, this was the idea to generate innumerable backlinks by even submitting a single article to one article marketing site. Now, less sites rely on content from article marketing directories because of the further diminished value of duplicate content. Even if they do, their links have less value than they used to.

  • October 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    While article marketing that uses the same version of an article on multiple sites does not work much any more, there are article marketers who use unique versions of an article on every single site and that does still work. It is a major headache to accomplish but if someone wants to hire the best have them contact Ron Cripps @AffiliateXFiles.

    Guest posting on quality blogs is far more powerful though because you can select the most related sites and use highly relevant content.

  • September 1, 2010 at 8:03 am

    You’re encouraged to guest post then you’ll give the site owner duplicate content. How’s that as a deal right? Be privilege and put some effort in creating fresh contents for one’s site.

    • September 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      Cole, I’m not quite sure that I understand your comment. The point of the article is that you don’t give the site owner duplicate content.

      • September 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

        Yup! Got your point and that’s my point too. I’m just trying to say that you need to be happy and to feel privilege that the blog owner asks you to do guest posting or the other way around that you asks the blog owner for a chance to post in his/her blog. So why would think of giving them a duplicate content, right?

  • August 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Thanks, Jarrett, this is even more comprehensive than the information you sent us. However, I don’t know what a “do follow backlink” is, nor am I familiar with H2 headings. It would be great if you did a post explaining those. Thanks for this informative article.

    • August 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Alexandra,

      Basically all of these things have to do with getting traffic when people search for topics with Google. As a rough analogy, think of Google’s PageRank measure as water. When other blogs or websites link to your website, water or PageRank flows to into your site. The more links, the more PageRank that flows into your site and the more authoritative your site becomes essentially.

      PageRank is considered somewhat of a voting system to help Google determine the most authoritative and relevant domains. A domain such as has millions of links. This is one of the reasons why it typically ranks #1 for a very wide variety of topics. As an example, let’s say you and I both write a blog article about how to do crunches.

      Assuming the articles are similar quality and length (even if they the one I write is far worse), if I publish my article on and you publish your article on your blog, the article published on Wikipedia will rank much higher for a variety of search terms and consequently generate far more search traffic.

      Though PageRank is a voting system, not all links or votes are equal. Links from higher authority sites pass more PageRank, water, or votes than those from lower authority sites.

      To combat spam, Google introduced the “nofollow” tag. It allows websites to link to you without passing PageRank (water). Google looks at both the quality of links pointing to a site, but also the quality of sites that a domain links to as well. If I created a website, and linked it to spam sites such as online pharmacies and gambling sites, Google would penalize my site. If I used the nofollow tag for these links, it would prevent my site from getting a ranking penalty.

      However, some sites sort of abuse the nofollow tag in linking schemes to accumulate PageRank. One of my favorite examples is Wellsphere. They encourage health bloggers to join with the promise of getting valuable links to their site from the Wellsphere domain. In turn, they ask bloggers to add Wellsphere badges which link back to Wellsphere from the blogger’s websites.

      Sounds good right? The problem is that all of the badges that bloggers use are do follow links that pass PageRank or water to the Wellsphere domain. Wellsphere, in turn, uses the nofollow attribute when they link out to others sites, so they prevent PageRank or water from flowing back to their member blogs.

      Well, if you use a browser like Firefox or Google Chrome (probably Internet Explorer too, but I don’t use it), you can find add-ons that you check for nofollow links to see if the site is tagging your links with no follow tags. As an example, I think you told me that you submit content to Health Kicker. They add no follow tags to all of their outbound links, so you don’t get any PageRank value from submitting your articles to them.

      Hope this helps.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *