The 3 Essential “Don’ts” of Guest Blogging – Make it Work for You


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This is a guest post by Ann Smarty who is an Internet entrepreneur and blogger and expresses her love for guest blogging at My Blog Guest

Guest blogging is becoming a mainstream tactic to promote your resource and reach out to the targeted audience. The more people talk about guest blogging, the more misinterpretations of the concept occur.

This is why it is so important to keep reminding people what guest blogging is really about and how to do that to get the maximum benefit.

Let me share my own list of important things you must not do when guest blogging.

1. Don’t Treat Guest Blogging as Link Building

If you view guest posting as link building, the quality of your posts suffers. Trying to stuff your guest post with links to your own properties you are unable to focus on the post itself and other (much more important) benefits of guest posting:

  • Networking: think about valuable connections that you build. People who are involved in the Internet marketing long enough realize that traffic and rankings are unstable. Networking with people is what really matters. Your friends and partners will be the foundation of your future online success and guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to build those connections and strengthen them.
  • Reaching out to (and influencing) the influencers. A-lister bloggers are those who have authority and voice. It is not easy to get into contact with them. What they really value is your unique perspective and sincere opinion – and a good thoroughly-thought-over guest post is the best way to reach out to them.
  • Recognition and authority. Guest posting positions you as expert, builds your brand awareness and authority.

2. Don’t Focus on Yourself

While building your personal brand is an essential benefit of guest posting, don’t overdo. By focusing on yourself and your by-line you risk:

  • Being rejected – remember bloggers agree to publish your work and give you recognition and all they want is just your unique and quality content. They don’t need you telling everyone how good you really are.
  • Screwing relationships with bloggers – the moment the blogger realizes you are using him to self-advertise, he stops appreciating you as contact. No one likes being used.
  • Sounding pathetic – even if the blogger feels uneasy to reject and publishes your post, your readers will notice and laugh at your attempt to advertise yourself.

3. Don’t Focus on A-List Bloggers

Your wish to make the most of your efforts and only guest post for high-authority and high-traffic blogs is easy to understand. However consider the following benefits of the active guest blogging strategy (which means sharing your work on various blogs of various topics and power):

  • You have time and platform to learn: Guest blogging (like anything else under the sun) requires some skills and experience. Lower-authority blogs are easier to contact and are more eager to accept the post – this means you are able to guest post frequently enough to get the experience adapting to new audiences and styles.
  • You build more contacts. Let’s face it, A-list bloggers are not easy to stick with. That’s bloggers “of your level” who are most likely to become your closest friends and people you can rely on. (Besides that, don’t forget, chances are, some of those blogs will eventually grow into “A-list” resources as well).
  • You broaden your outlook. Think of plenty of various blogs, topics, styles, etc you come by while guest blogging. That’s an awesome post of inspiration.


Any other really bad things to do when guest blogging to add to the list? Check my list of what guest blogging is NOT and also add yours in the comments!

Post image by radiant guy

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33 Responses

  1. Murlu

    05/28/2010, 01:26 pm

    Excellent suggestions Ann,

    I agree, guest blogging shouldn’t be just about link building. You should be using your guest blog as a way to develop a relationship with the blog owner so possibly at a later point you two could work together on a project or help another out in promotion.

    Like you said, these don’t have to be A-List bloggers because there are thousands of smaller blogs that are more than willing to publish your guest posts. Also, it’s great to start with someone where you can continue to build up and go with them every step of the way.

    Another thing is being exposed to the community. Guest blogging is great to reach out to new audiences and share you knowledge.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)
    .-= Murlu´s last blog ..Business Insights I Learned From Omaha Steaks =-.

  2. Mark Thompson

    05/28/2010, 01:55 pm

    Some really good points Ann.

    I try to save some of my best content for when I guest blog, especially if the blog has a large readership and following. This is one of the best ways to get people to start reading your content and subscribe to your RSS feed.

    I think the point about don’t just write for a link speaks volumes. You can easily tell by just a glace of looking at the article if someone actually spent time on the post or if they are looking for just a link back to their site.
    .-= Mark Thompson´s last blog ..25 Free Marketing Resources, Because Who Doesn’t Like Free? =-.

    • Sam

      06/07/2010, 10:26 pm

      Hey Mark,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

      Reserving your best content for guest blogging is absolutely a very good technique and is one that I have always used. In doing this, I have been able to push my writing to a higher level of quality this way. I realize that if I can write quality content for guest posts on other blogs, then I can step up the quality at home too :)

  3. Dragon Blogger

    05/28/2010, 05:19 pm

    Fantastic article and exactly right, you want to provide content value to the original blog and only in passing give the readers access to your blog and content experience. You are writing a post of value, not to promote yourself specifically unless you are doing an interview on another bloggers site.

    Don’t write for a link is perfect, (thats what dofollow comments are for)
    .-= Dragon Blogger´s last blog ..Why Become a Video Blogger? =-.

  4. Kiesha @ We Blog Better

    05/28/2010, 07:42 pm

    Thank you! Now let’s hope this one goes viral, because everybody needs to read this. You should add this to the list:

    #4: Don’t try to use your logo as your Author Bio pic – people need to see the real you. If you want to remain anonymous, save it for your own blog. Bloggers who don’t want to reveal who they really are when they guest post, really make me uneasy.
    .-= Kiesha @ We Blog Better´s last blog ..The Simplest Guest Post Contest II =-.

  5. Dev | Technshare

    05/28/2010, 10:33 pm

    Hey Smarty,

    Awesome Post. Glad to see you here. These are some awesome tips. I have seen many people who just to guest posting for there own profits. I think anyone doing guest post should follow these “Don’ts” of Guest Blogging. Nice Post. :) !!

    Thanks for sharing this great posting.
    .-= Dev | Technshare´s last blog ..10 Best Internet Marketing Blogs =-.

  6. Hesham

    05/29/2010, 01:05 am

    You already know my opinion about this Ann!

    I got a few bloggers coming from A-lister blogs after rejection, probably those guys won’t have time to edit any article, and I actually accepted their articles, it doesn’t mean I am not picky, but I am always opening the door especially for the new bloggers who are seeking exposure, so I like to help them by introducing them to our blogging community the right way, and also because it’s a win win for both!

    This is why I didn’t have to reject a lot of guest posts on FamousBloggers, although I hate it when someone cross the red lines, but I prefer to spend some extra time to edit the posts to match our criteria which is mentioned on the article submission information page!

    And, of course I have received great articles from bloggers who really appreciate our blog and our efforts and I have good connection with them and they all my friends now, this makes me believe and agree with you that guest blogging create a better relationship and strong connections between bloggers!

    mmm… I wonder who invented guest blogging! really!
    .-= Hesham´s last blog ..This is How Powerful Bloggers Schedule Successful Blogs =-.

    • Sam

      05/31/2010, 12:16 pm

      Glad to see you here Hesham :)

      I share the exact sentiments. Every genuine blogger should be given a chance to shine even if it means taking the time to tweak and help them write better articles.

      We may never know who first started guest blogging. I think people have been doing it before it was even called guest blogging.

      Thanks for commenting. Hope to see you here again!

  7. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella

    05/30/2010, 12:10 pm

    I agree most heartily that guest blogging should not be pursued solely for the purpose of link building. It’s a form of networking and site promotion to be sure. But think about it. The people who read your guest post are potential word-of-mouth advertising.

    Write like you mean it. Impress them with your best stuff. Then people will not only talk about you, but they will seek you out in the networking community.
    .-= Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella´s last blog ..Have You Ever Thought About Flipping Blogs or Websites For Profit? =-.

    • Sam

      05/31/2010, 12:08 pm

      Thanks for commenting Joella :)

      You’ve made some good points. Awesome guest blogging definitely provides word-of-mouth advertising. Some bloggers tend to forget that there is also an offline world that they can take full advantage of when promoting their work.

    • Sam

      06/01/2010, 04:48 pm

      Hey Colleen,

      I think it may be because of the niche that you blog for. I don’t see many real estate bloggers who post frequently. I assume that its the line of work and they may not have realized the true value of networking and prospecting through blogs. You are the most active real estate blogger I’ve seen so far :)
      .-= Sam´s last blog ..12 Easy Ideas For Making Money Online Through Blogging =-.


    06/04/2010, 09:19 am

    You got the point Robb. I love guest posting but since I still consider myself as newbie (sometime novice) I usually target those related blogs having a near level in my current capabilities.

    Guest Blogging is also a great link building strategy but if you overdo it, it really hurts your reputation as you only think of your own.

    Most of the time, I used to do comment and email contact to those people and blogs I want to target for guest posting to build a good connection with them.

    - Felix Albutra
    .-= BLOGGING ACCESS´s last blog ..Things to Remember in Choosing a Domain Name =-.

  9. r4i

    07/22/2010, 06:21 am

    I came over from ModPodge. Great site here which I will explore fully. I tried to find a email addy for you b/c I wanted to ask if you sell those little crocheted bears … I know 2 twin baby grandsons who would love them !!!