Let’s not dodge the issue.
Your epic guest post bombed. That’s the bare truth.
Everything was perfectly set. A massive host blog with an engaged audience, a supportive editor, and a topic that suited you perfectly. A match made in blogging heaven. And yet, somehow, the mega piece that was supposed to launch your business into the stratosphere tanked.
No signups. No traffic. No enquiries.
That after working your butt off to get everything just right: outreach, promotion, influencer marketing, crafting rich visual content, responding to comments … the whole shebang.
Worse, you had to overcome crippling fear to write the guest post in the first place.
Now your head is spinning.
Perhaps you made some amateur mistakes? Maybe you fell for misleading guest blogging myths? Or, who knows, maybe you’ve been cursed by the Google gods (ha-ha).
Thankfully, there’s no need for you to rack your brain for answers anymore.
To save you from the anguish of guest-post fail, in this post I’ll uncover 3 common guest posting mistakes that blunt the impact. And, more importantly, I’ve included easy fixes to help you quickly solve the problem and start seeing results.
But first, what sort of results are we talking about?
7 Benefits of a Well Done Guest Post
Done right, guest posting can benefit your business immensely. It can:
- Boost your authority in your niche …fast.
- Rapidly grow your list (the money’s in the list, remember?).
- Increase the number of warm leads that get into your funnel.
- Help you directly sell your products or services.
- Help you bond with your target audience.
- Open doors for more guest blogging opportunities.
- Connect you with influencers in your niche.
However, you won’t see any of these sumptuous results if you are doing the wrong thing. Let’s now zero in on the three reasons why most guest posts fail dismally.
Okay, let’s jump right in.
#1. You Hit the Wrong Target
First of all, maybe the problem started before you’d written a word.
How’s that possible you’re asking?
You targeted the wrong blog for your piece. Let’s say you sell geysers. You write an awesome guest post for a gaming site. Even if they like your piece, when they follow your link and visit your site and take a peek at your about page they’ll see this:
Geyser guru has been fixing geysers for 25 years. Amazingly, he restored his first geyser when he was just ten. He has been featured in top publications like Geyser Gizmos and Geyser Ninjas.
Your readers will be baffled to say the least, annoyed even. What the heck does a hot water site got to do with a gaming one? Obviously you will not get a single conversion from your guest blogging efforts.
- Don’t guest post for guest blogging sake … pick your targets carefully to match your niche and business goals.
- Write for niche blogs that are an exact match for your area of expertise.
- Write for overlap blogs that may not deal directly with your topic but intersect with it e.g. if you are a content marketer you can write for an authors site about content marketing for authors.
- You can this handy list of 450+ high-profile blogs that accept guest posts categorized by niche so you target accordingly.
Aaron Orendorff, built a six-figure business in a year by using guest posting to exclusively target hugely popular marketing and business blogs. Check out his Twitter header that showcases the blogs he’s been featured on.
Clearly, his focus is A-one marketing and business blogs. His pricing reflects his target market.
As you can see, you can’t talk to Aaron if your budget is less than $3k. If you are the typical mom and pop store you have no chance of working with him. It’s all about positioning and how it permeates everything he does including his guest blogging strategy and the pricing of his services.
#2. You Goofed up Your Author Bio
Another common misstep that’s tanking your guest post conversions is a poor cobbled up bio.
Most host sites don’t allow you to link to your own stuff in the body of post.
But they do allow and encourage you to link to anything in your bio. Sadly, most business owners don’t give their author bios much thought. What can you possibly get from two to three short sentences anyway?
The answer? A lot.
- Include a photo in your bio. LinkedIn data shows having a profile photo can get you 21x more profile views, 9x more connection requests, and 36x more messages.
- Add zing and personality to your bio so readers are drawn to you and be more likely to connect with you. Massage your brands dynamic voice into the copy.
- Avoid using a one-size-fits-all bio. Tweak your offer and other aspects of your bio to fit the specific audience you are writing for. By so doing, you’ll engage better with your readers and increase your clickthrough rates.
- Make your bio short, sharp and sweet. If you make it wordy, people won’t read. And, if people don’t read, they won’t follow you to your site to find out more about you and what you do.
- Don’t make the rookie mistake of talking on and on about yourself. Focus on your audience and the problems you solve for them.
- Link to a dedicated landing page not your homepage. And, don’t include too many links otherwise readers will bounce off.
Lianna Patch does a superb job with her bio.
First, her beaming smile makes her look warm, welcoming, and likeable. Neuroscience marketing studies show that smiling projects approachability, competence, and authority. Science aside, smiling is just cool J.
Also, she stresses how she serves her target audience. Next, her style is laid back and conversational. Finally, she includes only two links so she doesn’t overload her readers.
#3. You Directed Traffic to the Wrong Place
Picture this scenario.
Your reader has been blown away by your dazzlingly good content. She’s thrilled and wants to find out more about you and your company. She excitedly clicks on your link, and arrives at the busiest page of your site, your homepage.
It’s choke full of options your reader can take like:
- Checking your services or products.
- Having a look at testimonials.
- Finding out more about your company.
- Checking out popular content.
- Subscribing to your list.
In the end she checks out one or two of your posts— and before she commits to anything, vamooses, never to return again. Ugh. That’s the script that’s played out many times over online.
This graphic from Unbounce sums up the problem.
Consider the above diagram, which shows a homepage (left) and a landing page (right). The orange areas on the diagrams represent links on the page. As you can see, the Homepage has 43 links, and the landing page has only 1.
Which page do you think would convert better?
I’m sure you chose the landing page.
When people are given too many options, they become overwhelmed and analysis paralysis is the inevitable result. In the end, they do nothing.
Linking your guest posts to your home page pours ice-cold water on hot hard-won traffic.
- Take traffic to a dedicated landing page especially crafted for the particular site’s readers so they’re more likely to convert
- Make one clear specific offer on your landing page as too many offers may overwhelm your readers.
- Ensure that your landing page copy is similar the message and tone of your bio (or even piece) so readers flow easily.
- Remove all distractions from your landing page like social media sharing buttons or links to other pages.
Here’s an example of how to do it right from Jacob McMilllen
The above author bio from a guest post takes readers to this landing page.
See how the last words on his bio are exactly the same as the first words on the landing page? This joins the two pages perfectly ensuring that the reader’s journey is smooth.
Not only that.
The landing page is simple and distraction free. It has a single offer and one prominent call to action. When a reader lands on the page she can either sign up or leave. This exponentially increases the likelihood of conversions.
Indeed, guest blogging works but only if you sidestep the common mistakes that cause the majority of guest posts to fall flat.
First, make sure you target the right blogs that’ll advance your business goals.
Second, craft your author bio with utmost care and precision.
Finally, take the warm traffic to a landing page not a homepage.
If you do, you’ll get a better ROI for your business. That’s the ultimate goal, right? To get many times more dough than you put in.