One of the wisest things I’ve read about the art of guest blogging came from Blog Me Famous in “Five Guidelines to Guest Blogging”:
* Do not guest blog until you have content!
The first mistake I made was jumping into guest blogging too fast. Three days after my blog was launched I wrote an article on a high traffic industry leading blog only to loose all benefits that it would of brought to my blog. It’s not something I would like to see repeated especially after you’ve created such great content for the guest post. So please, at least wait until your blog has around 20-30 posts, and you are going strong with at least one post per day. If you don’t, the users will come but are unlikely to return.
…To conclude it’s important for a new blogger to ensure that they have enough quality content to back up their blog for the expected users coming through and to ensure that the quality of the post they are using reflects your blogs ideals.
Guest blogging is fun, as we’ve explored in this ongoing series on Learning the Art of Guest Blogging. It is a great way to promote your blog, and yourself, and invite a lot of new readers to visit your blog.
Ah, but that’s the point. They are going to come for a visit.
Are you ready?
Preparing Your Blog For Visitors
There are three things you need to look at on your blog to prepare it for visitors from your guest blogging gigs:
- Does it speak well for me?
- Is there enough content to let them look around for a while?
- Is there enough of the right content that makes them want to come back for more?
Does Your Blog Speak Well For You?
Imagine you’ve just wowed several thousands blog readers on a top blogger’s blog. They are so impressed with your brilliance, they are coming to visit your blog.
What does your blog say about you when they open the door?
I’ve found brilliant blog posts by guest bloggers, and couldn’t wait to check out what other brilliant things they had to say – and their blogs looked like their bedrooms when they were 14 years old with mother standing at the door enunciating, “Look – at – this – room!”
Does your blog resemble that description?
It’s more than a first impression. Your blog must speak for you. It must immediately tell invited readers what you blog about and why you blog.
Check out your blog title and header art. Are the two in tune with each other or does it say “Technology Blog” with a photograph of a sunset behind it? Does that mean you blog about dying technologies or past technologies?
What other graphics and visual design elements do you have on your blog? Do they complement the blog and its content, or are they clutter? Is the first thing they see ads?
Eliminate the distractions so the emphasis is on the content, the part that really matters on your blog.
Is There Enough Content To Let Them Look Around For A While?
How easy is your blog to navigate? Can they quickly find the links that will take them deeper into your blog to read more?
It’s important to help your visitor know more about your blog than the first post they find. Place navigation links in easy-to-see and find locations to encourage them to relax and stay a while.
Are your categories clearly visible, using keywords and search terms which define immediately what the posts within are about?
Are your Pages visible with a well-written About Page, contact, and other information that helps the reader known more about who you are and what you are blogging about?
Do you have the most recent blog posts, featured blog posts, related posts, or other post lists featured that help the reader access more content on your blog?
As you look at the front page and any page on your blog, let your eye scan the design to look for clues that there is more to this blog than meets the eye.
Is There Enough Of The Right Content That Makes Them Want To Come Back For More?
Besides opening the door to the deep content within your blog, do you blog about what they want to know?
When I blogged about blog writing for Problogger, I had a lot of requests for more articles on writing and blog writing. Luckily, my blog features a Writing category of posts, so those who arrived from the Problogger post might be very interested in what I had to say about writing in that category.
Having content on your blog when your visitors arrive from a guest blogging gig means having content similar to what you blogged about. If you blogged about WordPress tips and techniques and they come visiting expecting you to have more information on using WordPress – do you think they will be disappointed to find out that you blog about computer games with maybe only two or three posts on WordPress?
Take care in choosing your guest blogging topics. People expect you are the expert on the subject, which you might be, but if your blog says otherwise, do you think they will come back for more?
The Art of Guest Blogging Series
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.