Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Jawad Khan, a freelance writer and professional blogger with a keen interest in content marketing, blogging and WordPress. He blogs at WritingMyDestiny.com and you can contact him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.
For many small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, it often proves challenging in the beginning to generate regular web traffic, establish credibility and acquire clients. Even if you consistently post high quality content on your company blog, it may still take a while before you can actually build a loyal following of readers (or prospective clients).
One way I’ve found to be effective in speeding things up and achieving all the aforementioned objectives is guest blogging on other more established websites. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s not. There are 3 very common mistakes that often lay waste to all the hard work you have put into your guest blogging efforts. Here’s how you won’t fall victim to them.
Recommended Reading: 8 Tips To Getting Your Guest Post Published
1. Not Having a Clear Objective
The phenomenon of aimless guest blogging has been especially apparent since Google algorithms started becoming more quality-oriented. Don’t jump on the guest blogging bandwagon just because you see everyone else doing it. For any marketing effort to succeed in the long run, you must first have a clear objective in mind.
Picking The Right Limelight
Let’s say you’re looking to introduce your products or services to a particular market segment. You should then cast your attention to some of the top blogs in the industry that most of your prospective clients are likely to visit. This would help with building a credible image for your brand and generating qualified traffic.
The same goes for client acquisition as well. Submit guest posts to some renowned blogs that your prospective clients will likely visit.
Now, if your objective is to get backlinks, then your selection of target blogs will obviously change. A freelance writer myself, I made the mistake of guest blogging frequently on freelance writing blogs in the hope of getting clients. I did get traffic and backlinks from those guest posts, but not customers.
The reason? My potential clients are small businesses, tech startups and web design companies, and not one of them visits freelance writing blogs. In short, you should develop strategic focus and be clear about your objectives because otherwise, your guest blogging efforts won’t give you much return.
2. Pitching Low Quality & Spun Content
There’s probably nothing more detrimental to your brand image than this one – it’s a real brand killer! You should spend as much time on creating guest posts, if not more, as you would for your own blog as a poor guest post can actually deal more damage to your brand image than a low quality post on your own blog.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of guest bloggers are pitching used or spun content in their writing. First of all, spun content is not that hard to detect these days, and even if it doesn’t get identified, it still usually looks bad enough to be rejected.
Go For Quality, Instead Of Quantity
In my view, this tendency stems from the belief that you need to write a lot of guest posts to achieve any significant results – this is just plain wrong. Ask any content marketing expert and he would probably tell you to focus on the 80/20 rule, i.e. 80% of your results should come from 20% of your most focused efforts.
One high quality guest post on a credible blog is indeed much better than 10 low quality guest posts on substandard blogs.
By credible blogs, I’m in no way suggesting that you should target only the top blogs. Look for the mid-range blogs in your target niche with loyal readers and an active social media following. Unlike the top blogs, these blogs wouldn’t ask you for epic guest posts, but of course they would also not accept any substandard work.
3. Wasting The Exposure
The moment your guest post goes live, you’ll start getting referral traffic to your website from the links in your author bio. However, don’t make that common beginner’s mistake of letting your guard down at this stage. You need to have a clear plan for capitalizing on the traffic and exposure you get from your guest post.
One great way of doing that is routing the traffic to a particular landing page where you can make the visitors take action. For example, if your objective is to get subscribers for your new eBook, then all your referral traffic should be routed to your eBook subscription page. Similarly, if your objective is to acquire clients, then the traffic should be routed to either a dedicated sales landing page or your own services page.
In any case, just bear in mind that getting your guest post published is not the end of your guest blogging cycle – it’s just the first step.
As Google places more emphasis on high quality content with each update to its search algorithm, guest blogging is bound to become more prominent in the near future. But in order to take full advantage of this highly effective marketing channel, you need to set your sights on the big picture instead of merely looking for short-term benefits.
Be clear about your objective(s) and avoid the mistakes we have looked at in this post, and you will increase your chances of success considerably.