Guest blogging can be a powerful marketing tool, as long as you avoid common guest blogging mistakes. It can drive direct traffic, improve your search rankings, and it can help generate social media following. However, blogger outreach needs to be conducted properly, if you want to enjoy these benefits. As with most forms of digital marketing, the more effort you put in, the greater the rewards you reap in return.
The following are some of the more common guest blogging mistakes that are made. If you want to improve your blogger outreach campaigns, drive more traffic, and improve your authority by publishing guest blogs, avoid these and hone your guest blogging skills.
#1. Guest Blogging Without A Purpose
Guest blogging can improve your search ranking position. It can also drive direct traffic. It can be used to swell the size of your subscriber base. Alternatively, the primary aim of your guest blogging may be to increase website authority and increase rankings. Or, to directly increase sales of a particular product.
Guest blogging aimlessly means that your posts are unlikely to be properly targeted, they are even less likely to be pointing to a single money page on your site, and they can’t possibly have the desired result if you have no specific goal in mind.
Decide whether you want to drive traffic or improve search rankings, whether you want new subscribers or Facebook followers.
#2. Pitching Irrelevant Sites
There are likely to be thousands of blogs within your niche, or general field, that offer guest blogging opportunities, or that could be persuaded to do so. As such, you can and should get picky about those that you pitch to. In particular, you should be targeted relevant blogs.
Posts can take different angles, too, which means, for example, that if you run an outdoor activity centre, you could guest post on family adventure blogs, holiday blogs, and even business blogs (team building days). This means relevance is less about the specific niche of your site, and more about the topic niche of a particular post.
Pitching family holiday sites with your team building post will not yield good results.
#3. Pitching Any And Every Site
With a little imagination, it is possible to find dozens of different angles for possible guest posts, and this means that you could end up with a curated list of thousands of websites with guest posting opportunities.
Rather than pitching every single site, measure the value of guest blogging opportunities and pitch at those that give the greatest benefits. Look for social media shares, community activity, and whether or not the site offers dofollow or nofollow links.
Use any metric or, better still, collection of metrics, to determine the potential return that you will gain from publishing a guest post.
#4. Using A Generic Pitch
One common mistake that is made by guest bloggers, especially if they are just starting out or if they are attempting to pitch thousands of guest blogs, is to use a generic pitch. Worse still is if you use a generic pitch that you have copied and pasted online.
Webmasters of popular sites will receive dozens or hundreds of guest post pitches every week. If they see the same email content cropping up regularly, they will be a lot less likely to give your pitch the attention it needs.
Personalise the pitch, try to use the name of the Webmaster, include specific details of the piece that you want to write, and ensure that your email matches the website topic and what a website’s visitors are likely to be looking for.
#5. Sending Poor Quality Pitches
If your pitch contains spelling and grammatical errors, then this does not bode well for the Webmaster. Even if your posts are actually immaculately written and on-topic, if your pitch is littered with errors, then this is the opinion that a website owner will have of your work.
Spell check and proof every pitch that you send. Ensure that it is targeted, that it is free from errors, and that you haven’t left any template sections unchanged from your last pitch email.
#6. Not Following Guidelines And Instructions
You should always read the pitch instructions that might be found on the website. Some sites may not even want a pitch, and may only accept full submissions. Some may want to choose between three topics. Others will dictate where links can appear and whether you can use keywords.
Check to see whether a site has guidelines, which they usually will if they advertise the fact that they accept guest posts. Follow pitch instructions and post guidelines to the letter, include any additional information and files, and you will enjoy a greater chance of publishing success.
#7. Crafting Generic Posts That Are Not Targeted To A Specific Audience
If you throw together a generic post, then it is quite possible that a site will accept it and publish it, but the best sites are those with strict editorial and topical guidelines. They want specific information in order to provide to their readers, and they won’t publish pieces that do not offer some value to their audience. Popular sites will have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of almost exactly the same post and unless yours offers something unique or something different, it is unlikely to get published. What’s more, generic posts will not enjoy the same social shares or the same community discussions as more guided pieces.
Read existing posts on a site, try to find gaps in the content, and even use tools like ahrefs.com to identify other posts that have performed well for a site. Use this information to create something highly targeted to a website and its readers.
#8. Not Targeting Suitable Pages On Your Website
Everything about your post should be targeted. Pitches should be targeted to the individual that will read them, and posts targeted to the audience that will see them. What’s more, your link needs to target the best possible page on your website. A common mistake is to direct all links to the home page of a site, even if the home page has not been designed as a landing page.
Target links to pages, posts, and other content assets that are most relevant, and that will have the greatest chance of converting any visitors into sales.