Guest Posting: The Secret of Successful Online Businesses

October 11, 2017 by Will Robins0
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For the past years, I’ve been writing articles for different websites, most of it has been published on some well-known sites.

According to The Social Ms, “Guest blogging is one of the best strategies for marketing a new venture, business or product. Especially when your own audience is still small the chance to “borrow” an audience from an already existing website or blog is invaluable.

I have to admit that guest posting wasn’t in any way easy for me when I started but eventually I learned great techniques that made me a successful guest blogger.

Today, some entrepreneurs consider the concept of guest blogging as dead and outdated. But little did they know that most marketers today use guest posting as their #1 marketing technique to increase traffic for backlinks.

I know, I know. You’re most likely wondering how guest posting can still be effective despite Matt Cutts proclaiming that it’s practically dead a few years ago. As you can see, guest posting is still alive and well. That’s why in this blog post, my goal is to explain to you how guest posting can unlock the secret of successful online businesses through the case studies I’ve researched and known.

As an entrepreneur and a writer, my business goals have always been to increase the size of my audience because without it, you really don’t have a business. At best, you’re just an entity trying to be a business. This is something I stress a lot on my Content How videos because it doesn’t matter how great your content is or how wonderful you are at SEO if you’re not translating the said things into results. None of those will matter until you have an audience.

The Power of Paid and Unpaid Guest Posting

In Ahrefs’ blog post: How Paid Guest Posts From Premium Content Sites Boosted A Marketing Site’s Rankings, David McSweeney points a few case studies that prove the different benefits of guest posting to various people and their business.

Silvio Porcellana, an online entrepreneur, was one of those who tried his hand at guest posting. Since he needed more traffic for his business, he set out to execute a guest blogging campaign for a period of five months. The result? An increase of 20% in his website’s traffic and an additional 5 points on his domain authority score. He managed to achieved the feat by having 44 of his guest posts published on 41 different blogs. And here is what happened:

There is a steady increase in referring domains

The Ahrefs rank shows a steady increase

Organic keywords went up significantly

Overall, Domain authority increased from 29 to 34/100. Nice!

As we can see, guest posting can indeed have a tremendous effect in terms of search traffic as well as domain authority. It’s no doubt a long-term strategy but one that’s definitely worth it. If you’re not willing to do all the work yourself, you can also go the route of paid guest posting. Below, we discuss two case studies of paid guest posting from the same post by David.

The first case study for the paid guest post is for a travel site who order 5 guest post links that would be published on DA 20+ sites with a trust flow score of 10+. All the guest posts have been placed within 10 days and were all placed on blogs with the promised metrics. The results were amazing since it got the travel site on the first page of Google for its target keyword.

Another example mentioned in the post is not necessarily a case study but a site that used a premium paid guest posting service. From December 2015 to March 2016, the said site got links from sites such as tech.co, inc.com, business.com and entrepreneur.com. These 4 sites are classified as premium sites which mean they all have a DA of 70+.

From there, we could see how building links through guest posting—whether paid or not—is an effective way to increase organic traffic and improve search engine rankings.

This just goes to show that creating links to your site is the biggest influence of all the ranking factors in Google. Why? Because these votes are what Google base on when determining whether to show one site higher over another.

How Guest Posting Helps Build Business Success From the Ground Up

Another case study we can look at are the ones outlined from this post from The Social Ms. In one such case, the brand Buffer was able to take their business from zero to 100k customers—all because of guest posting.

The founder of Buffer, Leo Widrich, wrote around 150 guest posts on smaller blogs. This might seem counter-intuitive to most but even if those blogs didn’t drive a ton of traffic to the Buffer website, the campaign still managed to grow the customer base for the brand to over a hundred thousand within 9 months.

What Wildrich did for Buffer was to focus more on sign ups for their app than on traffic. But nevertheless, the traffic certainly also grew along with it which was to a large part due to the guest blogging efforts he has done for the company.

Another great example from the post is Danny Iny’s case. He’s the founder of Mirasee and is pretty well-known as the Freddy Krueger of blogging. He actually had the same experience with Leo Widrich who started with nothing. In fact, when he started his company, his site was only getting around 30 visits per day. Imagine that!

But then, he turned to guest posting on other blogs which already have amassed their own large following, one of which is Copyblogger. With this strategy, his traffic grew in a couple of months after publishing about 80 guest posts. Amazing results indeed!

But what’s even more amazing is that he managed to grow his email list in a short time. He was able to build his own audience and community and that became the foundation of his success up to this day.

Both Leo Widrich and Danny Iny were new to the market and had businesses that were getting very minimal traffic. But through guest posting, they were able to accomplish building their audience and brand to the level you now see.

They both published a lot of articles with superb content that readers loved so they were able to turn their brands as authorities in their niche. As a result, it opened many doors of opportunities for their businesses and established a solid foundation for their businesses even after they’ve stopped publishing on other blogs.

More specifically, Leo was able to generate more leads from his target market and a higher quality website traffic while Danny was able to build his own audience and community as well. Plus, he managed to grow his email list in a short time.

These are just the few benefits and success stories of guest posting. But if you think that’s it, we’re actually just getting started!

More Testaments to the Effectiveness of Guest Posting

Let’s move on to our next case study which tackles the case of Jon Cooper who is the founder of Hyperlynx Media, Inc. In his case, he published a guest post on SEOMoz.

Here’s a graph of his referring traffic when his post got published:

At the very beginning of this graph, there’s a slight jump in referring traffic. This is when his post got promoted in the YOUmoz section (SEOmoz’s community blog area).

Feedburner stats:

The green line is the number of subscribers and the blue line is reach, his post jumped from about 20 to 80 RSS subscribers from this one event.

Jon lists 4 takeaway reasons that this guest blog was so wildly successful:

  1. The post was on a relevant blog
  2. The post was on a popular blog
  3. The content was of high quality
  4. He had an awesome byline

Jon stated that his guest post sent some serious link love & traffic to his blog, all because he took the time to find a relevant & high trafficked blog to post on, create an awesome piece of content on a highly popular topic, and write an awesome byline. Guest blogging is the epitome of where links & traffic meet beautifully.

Another online entrepreneur who became successful because of guest posting was Bryan Harris. He’s the awesome guy behind Video Fruit, a web-based marketing consultant business. His website states that in less than a year he built the Video Fruit concept into a full-time business generating over $15,000 a month. I’d say he’s probably worth listening to.

Here’s a quick summary of the initial numbers his guest post generated:

  • Daily site visit average: 285
  • Site visits in the first two days following the guest post: 1,782*
  • *73% were new visitors. Here, I’ll do that math for you. That’s 1,300 people!
  • New site subscribers: 215 (a 12% conversion rate)

Bryan pulls out three takeaways from this experience:

Lesson #1: Spend 20+ Hours Writing

According to Bryan, his guest post was long. Like 4,000 words long. The challenge he faced from guest posting was that very specific step-by-step information is limited. He also added that the internet is full of generalizations and broad sweeping uneducated opinions. What is missing is specific actionable steps to execute a proven plan.

I have to say that writing that type of material is freaking hard. No wonder he spent over 20 hours writing guest posts.

Lesson #2: Comments Supercharge Traffic

Bryan loves replying to comments because not only it builds his brand but it gives readers another opportunity to click on his name and link to his site.

Plus, it drives a huge number of traffic!

The result? 523% increase in traffic. That’s insane!

Lesson #3: Reverse Engineer It for Your Site

Once you have a platform, share it.

Another case study would be from Bamidele Onibalusi, from Nigeria. His works have been published in Forbes, Millionaire Magazine in Italy and on several popular blogs online. He has also interviewed in Digital Journal. He believes writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. His blog offers practical advice to help writers become truly in charge of their writing career.

He wrote a guest post for Maxblogpress.com and it was the first most successful guest post he ever wrote. He was able to achieve 0 to 1500 Comments in 4 Months!

His guest post got over 1,000 unique visitors the day this guest post went live and became one of the most popular websites as ranked for that day. It also had an average of 80-100 visitors daily when the guest post went live.

Here are some key facts about the guest post:

  • Total number of visitors: 783
  • Average time on site: 3 min 4 seconds
  • Bounce rate: 40.74%
  • Number of comments on guest post: 38
  • Average number of subscribers gotten from guest post: 250

One of his more recent guest posts and also the guest post that sent him the highest number of visitors was from Problogger. The 3 Tweaks That Helped Double My Blog Traffic Almost Overnight.

The conversion rate in terms of subscribers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and reader email messages the guest blogger received a GREAT number of visits.

Here are some key facts about the guest post:

  • Total number of visitors: 1308
  • Average time on site: 3 min 32 seconds
  • Bounce rate: 37.54%
  • Number of comments on guest post: 74
  • Average number of subscribers gotten from guest post: 400

His guest post, How I Started Making Thousands of Dollars From My Blog in Less Than 8 Months, was also published on DailyBlogTips in April and was also well received by the community there. One great thing about the guest post is that it still keeps on sending traffic today even months after it has been published.

Here are some key facts about the guest post:

  • Total number of visitors: 546
  • Average time on site: 3 min 27 seconds
  • Bounce rate: 40.66%
  • Number of comments on guest post: 25
  • Average number of subscribers gotten from guest post: 150

Bamidele was just like any other guest blogger who has always dreamt of getting his work published and one of the websites he was eyeing was on SmartPassiveIncome.com and he was very happy when his guest post, How to Write Blog Posts That Go Viral, went live on the site.

A guest post that has been published on SmartPassiveIncome.com and it end up bringing in a lot of traffic.

Here are some key facts about the guest post:

  • Total number of visitors: 996
  • Average time on site: 4 min 35 seconds
  • Bounce rate: 34.44%
  • Number of comments on guest post: 83
  • Average number of subscribers gotten from guest post: 200

This guest post, 101 Ways to Get Quality Backlinks to Your Blog, was quite different from all Bamidele’s other guest posts.

The guest post was published on Shoutmeloud.com and just like the other sites, it was warmly accepted by the community. It got great traffic from the guest post and still get traffic from it to this date. In fact, while you might only see 300+ visitors in the screenshot above, that guest post actually alone has sent me over 1,000 visitors.

Here are some key facts about the guest post:

  • Total number of visitors: 347
  • Average time on site: 2 min 15 seconds
  • Bounce rate: 72.62%
  • Number of comments on guest post: 52
  • Average number of subscribers gotten from guest post: 100

Clearly, Bamidele was able to build and improve his author rank. Author Rank is how Google calculates the credibility of the author of a particular page, affecting how well that page ranks in search. He’s considered to be an expert in his niche because of the articles he wrote. Not only that, he was able to strengthen the awareness of his website and he was recognized by Forbes, Millionaire Magazine, Digital Journal and more popular blogs.

Also, by providing advice or solutions to problems, he is now known as a trustworthy source for further help which generated his site higher leads and traffic.

For Skimlinks’ guest blogger Ryan Robinson, guest posting is a win-win solution because the blogs he wrote for are still getting unique and high-quality SEO-driven content. Plus, it didn’t require so much effort and time for him because he simply published content & concepts that he already created.

A perfect example would be his guest post in Skimlinks, How One Guest Post Generated 630 Email Subscribers in 5 Days.

A screenshot of the Mixpanel event tracking on Skimlinks’ website. The first column is how many page views (2,652) were driven directly from Inc, over the course of the 5 days after the post was published, and the second column is the number of new email subscribers from Inc (630), that Skimlinks generated within that same time frame.

It has an extremely high conversion rate (23.76%) for the new visitors that Inc was driving to Skimlinks’ website.

Joseph, a guest blogger from Problogger, said that by focusing on using guest blogging to build links instead of direct traffic—he was able to triple traffic to his blog in one year. To be specific, he experienced a 340% increase in search traffic—over 100,000 visitors—in one year.

Unbelievable? Check out his blog: Triple Your Traffic by Guest Blogging for Backlinks.

Here’s a screenshot showing traffic to his blog a year before he started his guest blogging campaign:

Here’s a screenshot showing traffic to his blog a year after the guest blogging campaign:

John Doherty, published a case study on his website titled, The Power of Guest Blogging. It was about his friend’s guest posting on Distilled blog.

Josh Giardino guest posted an article entitled Quit Playing Google, The Jig is Still Up! That day, the post hit the front page of HackerNews again, where it stayed in the #3-#4 position for the rest of the day, and was still on the homepage the next day. For those of you not familiar with HackerNews, hitting the homepage with an article is not easy, and staying there is even harder.

Here are the traffic statistics for the first week in December. You tell me which day Josh’s post was published on:

Josh’s post sent 13,075 visits to the page in the first 3 days, and thus far the article has earned 75 links from around the Internet, according to Majestic SEO’s web index:

THIS is the power of guest posting and allowing guest posts.

Josh understood the power of guest posting. He knew that it can be extremely beneficial to increasing his presence on the internet and the amount of traffic to Distilled and HackerNews’ site. Not only that, he was able to build a lasting relationship that surely helped his career in more ways than one.

One of the greatest advantages of guest posting is generating high-quality traffic. I know that you’re already aware of this but did you know that when a guest blogger publish a blog on a website, the traffic that gets generated is usually high-quality traffic? In addition, bounce rates can be low.

Some guest bloggers can even get one-fourth of those visitors to be your subscribers. Especially when the readers loved the guest post. The subscribers keep on increasing with regular contributions by the guest blogger to the site.

This was proven by Basic Blog Tips through their post: Does Guest Blogging Really Build Traffic? The Stats Say Yes!

Look at the stats for a period of about two and a half months, from June 1. They saw a 9% increase in visitor numbers, an 8% increase in visitor actions and a 15% drop in bounce rate, as well as a small increase in feed subscribers. (The overview for the longer period contradicts my initial analysis of Cloudflare stats, though I don’t know why.)

There was also a whopping increase in visitor engagement as well as the time spent on site for those staying for up to 30 minutes. Direct traffic to the site also increased by 41%. They surmise that it’s because of people following the link to their blog in their guest blogging bio. The 7% increase in home page visits seems to support that.

You’ll also notice that:

  • Their blog’s rank on the Invesp Writing and Freelance lists increased.
  • More of their old content was stumbled.
  • There were huge increases in traffic to some of the outgoing links, which means other bloggers also benefited.
  • Their about page and sitemap had a 999% traffic boost, which means more people are researching them and finding out about the content they publish.

Some of the sites who also used guest posting to increase their traffic and build backlinks are:

These 3 sites have gained a total of 35,880 Visitors per month from Google with only 57 backlinks.

I’m going to be honest with you though, this is not the usual case since results usually take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, but thanks to employing standout tactics, 1trikes.com owner, Ken, managed to bring his first keywords to the Google Top 10 in only one and a half month. During the next 6 months he was able to get 128 keywords in the Top 20 and 81 keywords in the Top 10 on Google.

The organic-traffic stats provided by SEMrush show that 1trikes.com gets 35,880 visitors from Google per month. I’d like you to note that SEMrush shows only traffic from Google and doesn’t include any traffic that comes from advertising or any other sources.

Here is the screenshot from his organic keywords according to SEMrush:

According to AuthorityLabs, Ken has even more keywords in Google Top 10.

These great results were achieved by Ken with only 57 PR1 to PR6 backlinks, acquired at Links Management. Did he purchase some magic backlinks? No! He purchased quality backlinks, available in our Buy Links inventory in a timely manner and tried to follow the rules, described in our SEO Rules on How to Get Top 10 on Google.

Learn what Ken told us about his strategy.

Note: backlinks were purchased slowly, but steadily during 4 months. If you want the same results, you can learn about other rules you need to follow to achieve the same results.

Why Guest Posting is Not Other Link Building Tactic

Although there were times in the past few years guest posting has gotten a bad rap, time has showed that it’s here to stay and that its advantages are still a force to reckon with. From the information above and what I’ve personally experienced and seen from others, guest posting has genuine worth that’s also sustainable.

Don’t make the mistake of treating it as another link building tactic by creating low-quality content for just any blog who would care to accept you. There is a method to all this madness and one that will pay off in the long run if you take the path less traveled.

This is something that I often see in a good number of guest posting campaigns. On the top of my head, I think about 2 out of every 10 guest posts published on the web have no real value at all and are just adding to the ever growing noise common in the world wide web.

The foremost reason why guest posting isn’t just another link building tactic is that it serves a twofold purpose: as a relationship-building tool and as a business growth tool.

As a relationship-building tool, it allows you to expand your audience reach and to interact with blog owners. Both are no doubt crucial when it comes to building a solid foundation of authority and influence.

As a business growth tool, guest posting allows you to increase your traffic as well as your Google search rankings. These then lead to more people coming to you and a bigger audience also means more business for you. This won’t just grow your bottom line but will also help you scale your business so you can cater to more customers.

The Real Benefits of Guest Posting

From the above cases, there’s no doubt that guest posting is, and continues, to be one of the most powerful ways to develop a strong and distinguished business. Moreover, publishing guest posts is a great way to connect with industry influencers and attract highly qualified visitors to your website so it’s good for your brand and your bottom line.

Judging from my own experience, guest posting has indeed made a lot of difference for my online ventures. Not only was I able to build a DA 70+ site from scratch but it made me more knowledgeable about so many other aspects of making a business work.

Since writing is my passion and I’ve been doing guest posting for quite some time now. I can assure you that any business owner or professional can gain a lot from guest posting.

Although many other online entrepreneurs and freelancers are still confused as to whether to start guest posting, just looking at the above statistics and results can no doubt cement the advantages of undertaking such campaign. If that’s not enough, we’ve also drawn up some of the most compelling benefits of a guest posting campaign below!

So why should you do guest posting?

1. Guest posting will grow your blog’s visibility

When I started to be a guest blogger, I really don’t have any idea what will happen next. After some time of guest blogging, I realized that guest posting on bigger and well-known sites made my career stable.

Plus, other sites and readers started to recognize my name and my works. I received a lot of comments and invitations from different popular blogs to write for them. It opened a lot of doors of opportunities for me.

2. Guest posting will improve your traffic

This is one of the goals of every online entrepreneur: traffic. Through giving business advice or solutions to problems, there’s a great chance that you’ll be recognized as a trustworthy source for further help, resulting in leads and sales.

Besides, if you have a really great content many of your visitors will subscribe – or at the very least, they come back and visit again and again and again. Eventually, guest posting will constantly improve your blog’s traffic.

3. Guest posting allows you to build new relationships

Relationships are the new currency of today’s business realm. In the present business climate, no business can thrive without building a relationship with their customers or building a relationship with other people in different businesses.

In the context of guest posting, you’ll likely be building relationships with the blog owners as well as with the new readers who came your way. This gives you the chance to start building lasting relationships that will form the foundation of how you do your business.

Guest posting can also be your bridge in building relationships with other professionals who can lend their expertise to you so you can share better content and information.

4. Guest posting establishes your credibility

In the online world, reputation has more weight than most other factors. If you have a good standing, business with others and with your audience is much easier to undertake. A good example is when bloggers get enough exposure such as through guest posting, they are then seen as credible and authoritative.

More than just the benefit of improving their reputation, they were able to build and improve their authoritative rank.

This is what happened to Bamidele when he was invited by a larger and well-known blog to post on their blog and address their audience. They saw that Bamidele and his brand got what it takes to improve their site’s metrics. Eventually, he became a trusted author and that’s because from the reputation and credibility that the host blogger has.

5. Guest posting increases backlinks

Backlinks are important to your blog especially if it came from larger and popular blogs. Through backlinks, you raise your standing and visibility in the SEO world because it serves as the indicator of the popularity of your site. Simply put, it’s what Google bases on.

It’s much easier to get a higher ranking when you have trustworthy backlinks pointing to your site!

6. Guest posting allows you to receive free coaching from elite bloggers

When I started writing, I remember that there was A LOT of back and forth email exchange with the blog owner when it comes to talking about post ideas, style guidelines, and revisions.

It might’ve been time-consuming at that time but I really have to say that it helped me a lot to be the writer that I am today. When I was working with different them, I learned a good deal of useful knowledge. The best part? It’s all free and I get to use the information as I continued working on my guest posting campaigns!

7. Guest posting will help you become a better writer

As I have just mentioned, guest posting allows you to receive valuable feedback from elite bloggers and it helps you become a better writer too! The more you guest post for others, the more you get to practice, and in essence, the more you level up your skills.

Plus, I don’t know about you but whenever I have the chance to make a great impression on a larger and popular blog with a huge number of visitors, I tend to make my work even better. As a result, I did not just gain credibility but I also became better in writing.

In addition, researching and understanding the site you’ll be guest posting for will give you an idea about the topic and style of writing you should do to provide the most value to the site’s visitors.

Where High-Quality Links Come From

Now that you’re familiar with all the amazing benefits that come from doing guest posting successfully, the next best thing to know is where high-quality links come from. To that I say, it comes from giving your best. More specifically, your best content to the best blogs in your niche or industry.

To discuss the above more, I believe that it only makes sense that a high-quality link will come from a relevant and a trustworthy source. Make sure that your link is placed within the right context and preferably, close to your niche as well. Of course, a guest post link can be relevant at different levels. A trustworthy site to publish your guest post on is also paramount since it can accord your site a powerful vote of confidence.

Another aspect of a high-quality backlink that you shouldn’t forget about is that it should be able to send you traffic. As expert SEO professionals can attest, the original purpose of a guest post’s backlink is to send people your way. That’s why it’s important that you convey value in your content so that visitors are sure to come consistently.

When you have high-quality backlinks, you can capture a much wider audience and discover business opportunities that you never even thought was possible in the first place.

Wrapping Things Up

Truly, there’s no doubt that guest posting is the key to a successful blog and to grow your online business but it’s not a task to be taken lightly. To be a successful guest blogger and to have a successful guest post, you’ll need to plan everything out and have a knowledge on how to perfectly accomplish that plan.

You might not care about the process itself but there’s no denying that the results of guest posting are significant. There’s no doubt that it’s a superb and effective way to build a sustainable online presence and influence for the long-term!

Will Robins

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