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"Guest blogging" is a pretty common strategy in online marketing. But how do you know if you're succeeding at it or failing miserably? What are your KPIs? I did a small research to study ROI across 273 different guest articles. And I'm afraid it's no good.

  • DM

    David McSweeney

    about 5 years ago #

    lots of work in this one Tim and some interesting takeaways. Great job!

  • MF

    Mohammad Farooq

    about 5 years ago #

    Interesting as always. Although I'm still relying on Guest post to pump up search rankings, which in-turn will bring organic traffic.

  • SS

    Samuel Scott

    about 5 years ago #

    I'll leave the same comment here that I left on another forum in which this article was discussed.

    The reason that the ROI seems terrible is because your assumptions are wrong.

    Contributing articles to other publications is not a marketing strategy; its a PR and publicity strategy. The goal of writing for other outlets is to increase brand awareness and build brand associations. It is not about getting traffic, leads, and conversions.

    (And if you're doing it first and foremost to get links, then you're probably a spammer. If links are your top priority, then you are probably filling the Internet with crap because the quality of the article will be low.)

    You need to use PR-based metrics, not marketing-based ones.

    Plus, "guest post" can refer to a link-filled post with 500 words of saying nothing, or it can refer to a proper by-lined article in a major news publication. How can you quantify the difference?

    • DK

      Devesh Khanal

      about 5 years ago #

      Lots of "probably"s in here Samuel. :)

      1) Tim's assumption is not wrong: there are a ton of articles and "experts" that write about using guest posts for traffic.

      2) The assumption that guest posts for links = bad content is just that: an assumption.

      3) (side note) the internet is not finite, thus it can't be "filled". Existence of shitty sites doesn't mean it's somehow "taking away" from good sites or "filling" or getting in your face at all.

  • RT

    Roman Temkin

    about 5 years ago #

    Great post! Thanks :)

  • SH

    Shell Harris

    about 5 years ago #

    This makes me sad about wasted effort involved with lots of guest posting and the hours trying to find a good place to post. Writing for my own site is challenging enough. I think the article gives some weight to marketing your own site after publishing original content. Guest posting can be exhausting, but the almighty backlink keeps me in pursuit.

  • WJ

    Willie Jiang

    3 days ago #

    I agreed! Guest posting might be a good way to get more exposure, but IMO is one of the worst ways to get backlinks.

    • WJ

      Willie Jiang

      3 days ago #

      However, if you're a site owner, accepting incoming guest posts can be beneficial.

      I used incoming guest posts to grow our organic traffic by 300% in 10 months (from 12,000 to 36,000 uv/mon).

      Here's the story: One day in 2020 April when looking into the best-performing landing pages, I was surprised to find that many top-performing blog posts were actually written by guest authors. We were already receiving 1-2 pitches per day from guest authors mostly because we rank well on Google for keywords like “solar energy guest posting”, “solar write for us”, “renewable energy guest post”, and etc. Like any true believer of the “80/20 Rule”, I doubled down on what was working:

      I rewrote our guest post guidelines,

      I created a reply template in Gmail,

      I listed topic ideas in a shareable Google Sheet,

      I inserted “Write for us” banners on the website,

      I answered their requests more politely and patiently (Let’s face it, there are so many spammy inquiries in broken English that I still hate to reply).

      There are “three key things” when managing guest authors: 1) Getting enough guest post requests 2) Providing an easy-to-follow SEO guideline 3) Having a list of popular topics for them to choose from.

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