A while ago, I opened WriterSanctuary.com up to guest blogging. At the time, there was very little interest. In fact, it seemed brands were more interested in paying me for sponsored posts than writing a guest piece for free. But lately, I’m thinking I might bring it back.
And not just for WriterSanctuary, either. One of my goals in 2021 is to see a growth in traffic for all of my websites.
However, it may not be feasible for all of them to gain traction.
Before you ask, yes, I recycled the header image from the YouTube video today. I’m too lazy to take another.
How Guest Blogging Works
For the most part, guest blogging is pretty simple. You find a website you like that is relevant to your own, write a blog post, and get a backlink.
Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much for the actual blog owner, though.
Need Relevant Content
First of all, I need to make sure all of the content is relevant. And I’m not just talking about on my own websites. Google penalizes sites that link out to others that have no real bearing on the topic.
For instance, what if someone’s backlink from the ColoradoPlays.com gaming blog sends users to a site about wedding supplies? That is an irrelevant link.
In reality, there are a ton of bad links that can harm any website. So, blog owners need to be vigilant when accepting guest posts from writers.
Most Bloggers Prefer Popular Sites
Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to letting people guest post to my sites is the lack of popularity. Most bloggers I’ve talked to and engaged with say they won’t even bother if the site has fewer than 10,000 page views per month or ranks a certain level in Domain Authority.
Only two of my sites are nearing the 10k mark, but all of them don’t have a high enough DA to tempt a blogger.
This is because backlinks from sites more popular than your own or with a much higher DA rating may improve search rank.
So, popularity is quite coveted to many professional bloggers. And the sites I need help with are either relatively new or don’t have the popularity and authority just yet.
Checking for Plagiarism and Links
Next up, I have to spend a bit of time verifying the content to make sure it’s not published anywhere else. I also have to verify the links are going to legitimate sites.
For instance, if a writer quotes statistics and links back to a source, I need to verify that source is an authority on the topic.
Bob’s blog that pushes conspiracy theories is not a good fit.
So far, I’ve only had to turn down two guest blogs because of copying content. Usually, the links are spot on, though.
Why Consider Guest Blogging in the First Place?
If it’s such a hassle, why consider guest posts? Because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Especially when I’m trying to get four sites grinding out some posts this year.
It’s Free Content, for the Most Part
Now, some website owners pay for guest blogging. Some may just simply tip the writer for a good post. But for most of the platforms I’ve seen online, guest posts are free forms of content.
Yes, I’ll have to spend a bit of time reviewing the article and making sure everything checks out. But it’s still shorter when compared to writing the posts myself.
If I can collect some great bloggers to add a few posts without having to worry about paying them, all the better.
I can barely afford the one writer I just hired.
Keeping a Site’s Schedule Intact
Having a publishing schedule can do incredible things for any website. Making sure I have content to put out during those time frames will only benefit the blog in terms of visitor traffic and searchability.
Because I have so much on my plate, only one website gets absolute priority when it comes to the schedule…WriterSanctuary.
But if I want Google to start showing the other blogs in search, I need to keep them active. And using guest blogging can help me achieve this.
Less of a Burden on Me
Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, guest posts ease a great deal of burden on me. Instead of stressing that I need to write three blog posts for XYZ site today, I can rely on guest posts in the wings.
This means I can spend more time working on videos, creating content for the other blogs, or properly maintain the sites.
This, alone, is far worth it for me to add guest blogging as an option. Though, as I said before, I highly doubt I’ll get much interest from the lesser websites.
What Will This Do for Sponsored Content?
I’m not sure if I want to add guest blogging to WriterSanctuary.com. Mostly because I kind of like the money I get from a sponsored post.
However, there is something to be said about getting quality articles that I don’t have to worry about writing.
Besides, I made more money with the guest blogging option available from sponsored posts than after I shut it down. Oddly enough, one sponsor even turned guest posting down after I informed him of the option in favor of paying me for the post.
Each to their own, I suppose. Perhaps it was part of their marketing budget, or maybe they thought guest posts don’t get as much attention. Either way, it is more money for me.
The other sites, though, need a lot more attention than I can give them on my own. So, we’ll have to see how everything unfolds over the next couple of months.
I may just pay my new writer to add content to the other sites as well.
How Often Do You Blog as a Guest?
I’ve only done a handful of guest posts. Most of which were for my clients. And although a backlink can do wonders, I often don’t have the time to write content on someone else’s site.
I’d rather keep what I create for myself. It’s a convoluted set up I have here. Let’s just hope it all works out in 2021.