Guest blogging is a hot topic these days.
I can see why. Because it works.
People like Jon Morrow (BoostBlogTraffic), Danny Iny (Firepole Marketing), Leo Widrich (Buffer), Kristi Hines (Kikolani.com) and Ann Smarty (SEOSmarty) have used guest blogging to get huge amounts of exposure for their brands and tons of additional traffic for their blogs and websites. In fact, I’m not as prolific a writer as any of them, but I’ve had nothing but good things come from my guest blogging stints on sites such as Problogger, DeniseWakeman.com, BasicBlogTips and today, my first post on Copyblogger.
Why Guest Blog? The Common Answers
Guest blogging is a great thing for you and for your business. The most commonly used reasons for why you should guest blog include the following:
- Getting your brand in front of a new audience
- Getting traffic back to your site via author box links
- Getting backlinks to your site to help with your SEO
- Getting to know the other big bloggers in your niche
Your Development As a Blogger
I totally agree with the reasons above. They’re why I started guest blogging in the first place. Who doesn’t want more traffic to their site? Who doesn’t want to be more well known in their niche? Who doesn’t want to get to know some of the top bloggers in their niche and have your blog post on their site?? Awesome!
I still find random references to my first guest post all over the web. It ran on Problogger and was about Darwin and blogging. It really struck a chord with people, reached a bigger audience than I could have dug up (even if I had used Google Adwords), brought me tons of traffic and frankly, it felt good.
With all that said though, there’s actually something that I learned through my guest blogging experiences that I’d like to share with you today.
How Do You Challenge Yourself To Grow As a Blogger?
It’s hard to change yourself, by yourself. When you go to the gym, do you sometimes feel like you’re not making progress? The exercises just don’t seem to have any impact? You never really push yourself hard enough? That’s the same feeling I had about my writing before I started guest blogging.
Yes, I was doing okay but I wasn’t pushing myself. I found that guest blogging was like jumping into that first spinning class where the woman (a big Finnish body-builder in my case) yells at you to push through it and to own the pain! Yes, I was sweating my ass off and really straining that day. But it felt good.
Writing for someone else is that thing that forces you to grow and improve. Just like the spinning lady and her orders.
6 Reasons Guest Blogging is Essential for Development as a Blogger
So here’s why I think guest blogging is essential if you want to develop as a blogger. I’d love your feedback in the comments.
With Guest Blogging…
1) You have a deadline and quality standards to meet
When’s the last time you rejected your own post or felt really, really disappointed in yourself for extending a deadline. I didn’t think so!
Writing for yourself, you’re on easy street. No real deadlines. You’ll take a shoddy post from yourself (“you’ll do better next time, it’s fine” signed, Me). Guest posting teaches you discipline.
2) You’re forced to do more research
To find what’s hot on their blogs and what’s not. To see what really resonates with their audience. It hones your senses and research skills.
3) You learn how other bloggers run their ship
I’ve learned about what they think makes a good post, what plugins they use, about their guest blogging policies, and about their blogging schedules. Trust me when I tell you this is valuable information to know and apply to my own blog!
4) You learn how other bloggers market
Just as, if not more, valuable is learning how other bloggers market their posts. Learn where they share, what tools they use and how often they share.
5) Your competitive instincts come out
Who wants to have the least shared, least commented post on the blog?? Not me. Knowing that you’ll be judged against the performance of the other bloggers makes you want to bring your “A” game. Not only that but it helps you find creative ways to promote and gives you incentive to really deliver when responding to comments.
6) You learn how to implement a successful guest blogging system
Many successful blogs allow guest posts. When (not if) you’re successful, don’t you want to have guest bloggers on your site? Well, by actually getting in the trenches you learn what works and what doesn’t about their guest posting processes so you can bring it to your site.
What do you think?
Well, that’s my 35 cents (inflation) on why guest blogging is essential to your development as a blogger. What do you think? Let me have it in the comments! I can take it.
Oh, and I just had Danny Iny speak on Tuesday about how he wrote over 80 guest posts in less than a year and grew his traffic through the roof. Click here to to access the webinar immediately.
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.