If I were to pick the only single tactic to promote my blog, I’d definitely choose guest posting. That’s not even arguable.
And this post is not just a typical “take the damn list and GTFO” sort of thing, that you can spot almost everywhere these days. There’s something more…
I really hate to say obvious things and I rarely do this at BloggerJET, so this part will be very short: Guest blogging is proven to be The Wold’s Most Effective Blog Promotion Strategy and it works equally well for your traffic and SEO. I said it!
Wise Approach To Picking Blogs.
“All blogs are not created equal.” If you want to get the most value for your time and effort – you have to pick the targets for guest posting wisely.
It all seems quite clear when you’re doing this for SEO: just install the SEOmoz toolbar and see which blogs have better metrics. That’s it! Easy as 1,2,3.
But what if your aim is to get some traffic and convert it into your blog subscribers? How can you tell if the blog is good for that? How big is the audience? Are they engaged enough? Are you allowed to promote your own blog in a guest post? Kinda too many questions that need answers… and I think I have some!
This is a RAW estimation of a website’s traffic. The better Alexa of a blog is – the more people will see your guest post (potentially). Alexa is a nice metric, but you can’t fully rely on it.
The total amount of traffic a blog gets may not be in strong corellation with the number of times each new post is being viewed. Think of it this way: some people may come to the website from Google looking for a specific piece of information and they will bounce as soon as they get it. Others may land on a specific post via StumbleUpon or Facebook just because it went viral and may not even stick for 10 seconds. In both cases, “this part of traffic” that I’ve just described won’t see your guest post on this website.
It’s nice to consider Alexa as a general measure of how popular a blog is, but it’s almost useless when it comes to calculating how much value you’ll get from a guest post.
Some say PageRank is dead, but I prefer to think that it’s just another RAW metric and it’s more like a hint of what Google thinks about your website. Sorry, I won’t say anything more specific, as this may easily cause a “SEO Holy War”.
Many blog owners like to refer to PageRank when selling links from blogroll or sponsored posts. So I’ve included this metric into my spreadsheet as well.
Now THIS is the most powerful metric to look after when predicting the effect of your guest post. You must not expect 100% of blog subscribers to read your guest post, but I think somewhere around 60% is totally doable (if you have a catchy headline and all the stuff…).
On the little screenshot above you’ll see the subscriber count of Problogger – even if a tiny 1% of them will read your guest post – that’s 1600 people alone! How cool is that?
I’ve checked 99 blogs for their subscriber count and included the numbers in my super cool spreadsheet of “dazzling blogs”.
Many blogs will hide their subscriber count (I’ve checked more than 100 of them, I know what I’m saying), but still you can get a clue about their audience by looking at the followers count of the official Twitter account.
Imagine what happens when a guy with 90k Twitter followers (Brian Clark on the screenshot) tweets a link to a nice post…
Some bloggers may pump their followers count with quite “shady” tactics: massfollowing, purchasing followers, using “reciprocal follow” services, etc. This way they can achieve quite an impressive number of followers, but the effectiveness of their Twitter account will pretty much stay the same. (I’m guilty for some of the above tactics, and I do believe they are useless)
The trick is to look at the number of lists and compare it to the number of followers. Purchased followers will never bother adding you into a Twitter list, so if the number of your lists is relatively low, when compared to the number of followers – that’s a bad sign. I’ve described this in detail in my Twitter Marketing Guide.
In my spreadsheet I did include the Twitter followers count but did not bother about the number of lists. Those 99 blogs are the most reputable ones and even if they did use some “shady” tactics I don’t really care.
Ok. So there’s some blog with nice Alexa and a decent number of subscribers. But do all those people actually READ all new posts? If you take me, I have 50+ blogs in my Google Reader. Do you think I read every single update? Of course not, that would be 200-400 posts daily!
The best known way to determine if the audience of a blog is engaged enough is by the number of comments. The more of them – the better.
In my spreadsheet I’ve picked the biggest number of comments among the posts that are listed on the front page of the blog. In other words, I only looked at “good posts” for measuring engagement, as I’m not going to contribute any mediocre content to those blogs :) And you shouldn’t too!
Let’s be honest with ourselves – our primary goal for guest posting is to get some exposure for our own blogs. So in most cases we won’t spend our time writing a killer post for a blog, that will not include our author byline at the bottom.
That is why I’ve checked if all those 99 blogs allow a link in the author byline or not. Actually some of them don’t – but I’m sure this can be solved if you are able to develop a close relationship with a blog owner.
So yes, I have a column for this in my spreadsheet.
That’s a no-brainer right? If you’re blogging about kittens, you won’t get much traffic from a guest post on a gadgets blog. And besides it’s quite hard to mix kittens and gadgets in a single blog post.
My list mostly consists of blogs about blogging, online marketing and personal development. And the reason my headline suggests that “EVERY blogger” should guest post there is because literally EVERY blogger has some experience of his own in blogging, online marketing and personal development!
What can be easier than sharing the story of your own blog? Outline the wins and failures, describe the lessons learned, make some strong points – and you’re done! And the coolest thing that “telling your story” is the same for “promoting your blog“, don’t you think?
But why should bloggers “DREAM” of the blogs in my list? Well, that’s because based on the metrics I’ve outlined above those 99 are really the best.
99 Dazzling Blogs Every Blogger Should Dream Of Guest Posting For
Did you seriously think that I will give out almost a week of hard work completely for free? Let me describe the actual amount of work real quick:
- I had to find over a hundred strongest blogs. That’s not easy actually. The first half was easy, but the rest took me quite a while;
- I manually checked PR and Alexa of each blog;
- I checked the number of subscribers of each blog;
- I looked for the official Twitter account to write down the number of followers;
- I had to open all the posts that were listed on the front page to see what was the biggest number of comments;
- I had to browse the blog posts untill I find a guest post to see if there’s a link in author byline or not;
- I had to skim quickly through the blog to see which topics they blog about and categorize it.
And yeah, I did that for a huge number of blogs and then picked the top 99 out of them.
Here’s a sampler of the Top 10 out ouf 99:
Just think how handy is to have all this data in a single spreadsheet.
Like I’ve said, there’s too much work to give it out for FREE! So what I want from you is…
Just click the button below and you’ll be given a download link right after the tweet is sent! That’s it! Almost a week of data mining in your pocket for a little tweet! :)
But still, in my headline I’ve promised you a list of blogs, so here’s the “limited edition” of what’s behind that “Pay With A Tweet Button“:
Isn’t this an awesome list of blogs? Believe me, it’s even better when you have all those “extra metrics” at your disposal: number of subscribers, number of Twitter followers, number of comments, the blog niche, etc.
This post was partially inspired by Gregory Ciotti and Tom Ewer – guys from my mastermind group – they’ve started a thread outlining the blogs they are aiming to guest post for and I thought I can spend some time to create a MONSTER LIST! :)
(To create that “Pay With A Tweet” button I’ve used an awesome service called PayWithaTweet.)
That’s it. I really spent about a week on this whole thing and I really hope you’ll find it useful. Please tell me what you think.