Guest Posting In A-List Blogs: What Works And What Doesn’t?

by Jane | Problogging Success on March 9, 2011 · 31 comments

Guest Posting In A-List Blogs: What Works And What Doesn't?

Apart from various other benefits of guest posts, one of the main reasons all of us write quality guest posts is to get noticed by someone else’s traffic for free.

Other benefits that I like the most are the following: Writing guest posts shapes me as a blogger, improves my writing, makes me more accountable, makes me more popular, increases my blog’s authority via high quality backlinks and so on.

Now that I have some good quality guest posts lying around the blogosphere, I have learned something in the process. As with any blogger who wants to generate traffic through guest posting, I am sure that you must also be interested in submitting guest posts to A-List blogs.

With my experience in submitting, getting rejected and getting published at various A-List blogs, including Problogger and DailyBlogTips, I want to let you know what works and what doesn’t work.

Without wasting your time any further, lets dive in.

No theories please

Theories are everywhere. It is easy to write a theory based post. If I am a great reader of many popular blogs I can tweak someone’s theory and make my own. But giving your theory like a plain cake in your guest post won’t work.

People are not interested in reading theories anymore. The blogosphere has changed a lot. People want to see proofs; they want to see things in action.

So top up your plain cake with some icing and cherry. Don’t propose them a strategy without a proof. And, do you know what works great for guest posting in A-List blogs? Your own example. That is why I am writing this post after learning from a tough process and not before.

People want to know if you have tested your theory first. They want to know if you have had the guts to test a new theory.

If you have had the guts, you can share your story in a guest post and it will become viral. It doesn’t even have to be a success story. You can share failure stories as well. But what is needed is the proof.

Tell people that you have tested some theory, proposed either by you or by someone else, show people how you have succeeded in using that theory. Alternatively you can also tell people how that theory didn’t work for you by telling your own failure examples.

Only a story with proofs, and more specifically a test run on your own self works while guest posting in A-List blogs.

Another important benefit of writing your own example is that you can tear the situation apart into bits and pieces and present an analysis rather than a report; because you know everything about the issue.

In summary:

Have you applied that theory? Do you have the guts to try that by yourself in the first place? What results have you got by trying the theory out? Did it give you expected and great results or is your theory a big flop? Be naked (not literally ;) ).

Tailor your guest post; Don’t just write it

I know what you think. Writing guest posts is not your only job, you have your own blog to update. Now I am telling you to do something more than just writing, which can be quite hard. But if you are reading this post, till now, I can surely say that you are interested in guest posting. As with any other methods of traffic generation, guest post too works only if it is done effectively.

Now, “effectively” doesn’t just mean a killer content. Of course, you will submit only your killer content as guest posts to A-List blogs; I am sure you know that much. But have you just written your killer content or have you tailored it?

Let me explain.

So I assume that you have a list of A-List blogs on which you are planning to submit your guest posts. Of course, your list contains the blogs in some order of your preference (say, page rank, alexa rank, blogs with commentluv, blogs older than a year etc.). So you write a great guest post, submit it to the first blog on your list and wait.

BAM! It gets rejected, so you move on to blog #2 on the list, submit your post and wait. This goes on.

Sorry my friend. It won’t work.

Your guest post must be tailored for the host blog. Don’t write random guest posts and keep on submitting to blogs on your list.

When you start to write a guest post, first pick a blog from your list, research that blog in terms of interests, readership, content already explored, writing style and voice etc. Now write your guest post for THAT blog. Tailor your guest post to suit that particular blog.

Every blog is different, and you get the most out of your guest post (if not rejected in the first place) only if you tailor your posts for target blogs.

I am not telling that you can’t use the rejected posts. Just make sure you rewrite your rejected post to suit the blog you are targeting next.

My point is- choose the blog first and then write a post. Don’t write a post and then find a place for it.

And, I am not telling these to you as theories. I have tested these methods and I am telling what works and what doesn’t work purely from my own success and failures with guest posting.

Now, if you have not started guest posting yet, you should start asap. And tell me what strategy you have got. What works and what doesn’t work for you? I’d love to hear from you.

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Riya March 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm

You’re really true here – Jane!

You first need to choose the blog and then according to its preferences should write a post. Everybody writes a guest post for a reputed blog so it’s readers would be more intelligent and knowledgeable so write your post by keeping this point in your mind.
Riya @ Couponseasy´s last blog post ..GoDaddy Discount Code- Get 20 OFF on Order of 75 or More

Codrut March 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

hi, I wonder if the coupon industry/niche is used/using guest post opportunities. What works for you?
Codrut @ Blog Commenting SEO´s last blog post ..Blog Commenting SEO- How I Get Top 3 Google Blog Rankings and Free Blog Traffic

Joe Young March 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Hi Jane,
I have not done a lot of guest blogging myself. Although I have had guest bloggers on my blog. The points you bring out are very wise and proper etiquette for blogging as a guest blogger. Just the few points about tailored content, how to select a blog and then write for it, excellent advice.

Joe Young
Joe Young´s last blog post ..If Jesus Were A Blogger What Would He Say

Jane | Find All Answers March 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

I strongly suggest you start writing guest posts, Joe. Your Comluv link caught my eye. Checking that out.

Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..How To Add Cool Floating Social Icons in Thesis WordPress Blog

Roseli A. Bakar March 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Great tips Jane. I’ve never do a guest post before and I think I should start soon looking at all the benefits of doing guest postings.
Roseli A. Bakar´s last blog post ..How To Be A Successful Freelance Blogger

Jane | Find All Answers March 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Oh you should start guest posting Roseli. That’s all I can say. The benefits are cool and priceless.

Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..Overcoming Procrastination To Achieve Your Goals

Codrut Turcanu March 25, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hey Roseli, you’re a freelancer, so writers are usually having a knack for creating blog posts, why not move forward on this new path and reap the gains? Trust me. They’re countless, and growing :)
Codrut Turcanu´s last blog post ..Blog Commenting SEO- How I Get Top 3 Google Blog Rankings and Free Blog Traffic

semmy March 10, 2011 at 3:34 am

Hi Jane this is really nice tips. I just collected the information how to become a guest blogging, I’ll bookmarked your post. Thank you very much!
semmy @ Make Money Online´s last blog post ..7 Basic Copywriting Tips To Increase Your Sales

Jane | Find All Answers March 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

Good luck with your guest posting journey Semmy.
Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..Overcoming Procrastination To Achieve Your Goals

Atul Vhale March 10, 2011 at 5:01 am

Good covered point, lots of people simply put something weired theories in front of public. But it doesn’t work i think because know one sure how it will going to happen really. It looks like just coping ideas which someone has already written. I found even on popular blogs guest bloggers bring same theories which I already know. I observed they just try to spice up their article without knowing what really audience want to read.

Atul Vhale´s last blog post ..Twitter- facebook and LinkedIn Contact management Tools

Jane | Find All Answers March 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Atul, very true. I wrote this post because I am so tired looking at theories everywhere by guest bloggers even at popular blogs. Even if the guest post gets accepted and published, what value it gives to the readers and what are the benefits of both the guest and the host blogger?

Bloggers should think about it.

Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..Overcoming Procrastination To Achieve Your Goals

Derek March 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

Excellent tips, Jane. I have the same feeling with you that the theory posts don’t work any more. People today seldom have time to consume all of the information on the net and certainly, something closes to them, like unique experience of another person, will ultimately capture their interest more than a theory. I’m totally with you :)
Derek @ Diablo 3 release date´s last blog post ..Diablo 3 Release Date

Jane | Find All Answers March 12, 2011 at 9:27 am

Personally I would be tantalized by a personal story that comes up with practical and useful tips. Nothing can beat such a post.

Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..How To Add Cool Floating Social Icons in Thesis WordPress Blog

Jasmine March 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

Good tips on guest posting. I have actually learned the art of guest posting through “trial and errors”… haha. Got rejected a couple of times and I learned from there. Now almost all my guest postings are approved!

Jasmine@Top Web Hosts´s last blog post ..GreenGeeks – The Best WordPress Web Hosting

Pinky March 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hey Jane.

Indeed yes, guest blogging works well and is a win-win situation for both the host and the guest blogger. My first guest blog post was a big flop! I have noticed some of my mistakes and hopefully rectified them in my second one which is approved but yet to fly in air!

What I want to tell is what works for one might not work for another but tips given by you for sure are worth giving a try.

Jane | Find All Answers March 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Exactly Jasmine and Pinky. There is no universal rule on what works and what doesn’t. But there is indeed something which is well known universally – “People are not ready to listen to crappy stuff anymore and that too as guest posts”.

So yes we need to go on a trial and error until we learn things completely. And rejected posts teach us a lot.

Congratulations Pinky on your accepted guest post. I’ll be glad to read it; just let me know.

Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..Overcoming Procrastination To Achieve Your Goals

Pinky March 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Hey Jane.

I am glad you are interested in my post. Here it is on blogadda. Do let me know how do like it because your tips and suggestions matter a lot to me.
Pinky´s last blog post ..Japan- What do you see here

Alex March 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Hello Jane,

I have to agree with you, people no longer want fantasies and supposed success stories they want to read materials which has been tested and can be applied as soon as it sinks in. Everyone can take an idea and develop a theory but not many can give you the hidden stories, tips and problems one such theory can have and how to bypass them.
Alex@Jocuri´s last blog post ..Batai

Jane | Find All Answers March 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Hi Alex,

Ya that is the point here. Many bloggers read a lot and know a lot of techniques. So they can share them in their guest posts. But that won’t work without their two extra cents. If they have tested that out and can give a case study report, such a post will go viral.

Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..SEO Chatter And Finding A Missing Blog

Jasmine March 11, 2011 at 1:31 am

Good tips for guest posting!
Jasmine@Top Web Hosts´s last blog post ..CS-Cart Shopping Cart Software and ECommerce Software Solutions

Amit Sharma March 11, 2011 at 2:17 am

I have done some guest posting on popular blogs and got rejected on the best ones. So, I totally agree with you as I have experienced it all. Guest posting on some blogs can be easy but on the biggest of the bunch, you need good experience and moderate success too before you are ready because experience and success gives something to share.
Amit Sharma@Make Money Blogging´s last blog post ..Akismet Letting Me Down

Jane | Find All Answers March 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Hi Amit,

Don’t worry about rejections. They indeed mold you to the best. You can learn a lot from rejected posts.

Good luck with guest posting.
Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..How To Add Cool Floating Social Icons in Thesis WordPress Blog

Peggy Baron March 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Hi Jane,

The benefits of guest posting are huge and I know I should be doing more of it. It’s one of the goals for this year – do more guest posting.

I do like what you say about being tired of posts that are just theory. If I just look at my own blog and see what resonates most with people, I can see it’s the posts where I’ve explained my experiences with xyz or used myself as a case study.

Peggy Baron @PLR Articles´s last blog post ..Internet Marketing Milestones – My Results Writing and Selling PLR

Jane | Find All Answers March 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for your comment. For me, the ones that work best are either rare and new tips (usually shortcuts or cute fixes) and personal case studies.

Jane | Find All Answers´s last blog post ..4000 In Cash Prizes Will Ya Support Me As Crazy As You Can

Kavya Hari March 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Yeah, nice post for guest posting. Great work:). Thanks for given here.

Dean Laster March 20, 2011 at 2:52 am

I would tend to concur with you. We’ve seen our organic ranking increase once we started agressively pursuing guest posting.

Kavya Hari March 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Hello Jane, you did a great job on here. Thanks a lot for given post on here.:)

George March 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I haven’t done ANY guest blogging, even though I am acutely aware of the value of back links. So much to do, so little time to do it.

Seems to me a schedule-oriented approach is useful… in other words, aim, say, to reach out to x# of blogs/ month to offer yourself as a guest poster, and aim to actually do Y# of guest postings of unique content per month.

That way, it gets as “automated” as it can and doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming.

Cosmin Stefan March 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Hello Jane, again some very good points.
Obviously, the host will be very picky about what to accept on his/hers site. It has to make sense for their readers and provide some real solutions, not essays.
Cosmin Stefan´s last blog post ..11 Awesome Blog Rankers You Just Have to Add Your Site To

Codrut Turcanu March 25, 2011 at 9:32 am

I was wondering and I think others would like to know…

How much time do you spend before you decide to write for a particular blog post, or how many related posts do you read/inspect prior writing yours?
Codrut Turcanu´s last blog post ..Blog Commenting SEO- How I Get Top 3 Google Blog Rankings and Free Blog Traffic

Dr. Bob Clarke June 20, 2011 at 1:18 am

This makes so much sense, Jane.

I must admit to being tempted to just go down my list and submit until my post was accepted. but now I am doing it your way — my first guest post is being finalized as I write this and I know exactly where it’s meant to go.

Thanks, Jane. Appreciate the great tips!

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