sly : marketing

The New Rules of Guest Blogging in 2013

I wrote a few guest posts in 2012, and I will most likely continue to more this year. I am not sure how many, but I really enjoy writing, and to me, there are many benefits of writing guest posts. There are at least five reasons why writing guest posts is a good idea. Guest posts will help you:

Basically, you’ll be able to reach a new audience if you guest post on other blogs.

But, if you’re going to start guest blogging, you shouldn’t just be looking at the five reasons above, you should look at it from a different perspective, combining the reasons into one major benefit.

The one thing you are missing about guest blogging

I am focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) for my blogs and as part of my business. I am doing it, to get more exposure, and to get more clients, and especially, to test it for my clients. I need to know what I’m doing in order to help my clients to the top of the search engines.

To me, the formula I am teaching my clients is this:

content + relationships = trust

We need to start by creating high quality content, and we will use this content to create relationships with people who are interested in what you do, and because of the content and the relationships, we’ll eventually create trust. When we have trust, we’ll get customers for life (or at least for a very long time).

But, we need to start out with a single goal in mind for our guest posts.

The thing is that, it’s not that hard to find the right keywords for your business, but it’s a lot harder to get to the #1 spot at Google. And, what you need to know, is that if you’re not at #1 you won’t get the maximum effect of the SEO. It’s going to be a huge difference of being #1 and #10 (or even further down in the results). That’s why you should look at your keywords again, and compare them with the articles that are already bringing you traffic, how are you ranking in Google (and the other search engines)? If you’re not #1, and the competition isn’t that hard, you should implement the articles into your guest blogging strategy.

Write guest posts that are related to the articles you’re going to get to the top, and link from the guest post to the articles. That should be one of your top priorities if you’re going to get a lot more traffic and benefits from the search engines.

The content alone will help you create relationships on the other blogs, because I take for granted that if you write and publish a guest post, you’ll follow up and reply to all the comments. This way, it will benefit the owner of the blog, and you, as it’s a win-win situation.

Accepting guest posts on your blog

I have accepted many guest posts on my blog over the years, but I haven’t published any for the past three months. The reason I stopped was that it was too much work. I received a lot of requests from people I had no relationship with. I accepted many of the posts, and the quality wasn’t all that good. And I had to do a lot of rewriting, or just say no to the posts. But, since I don’t like to say no to people, I did my best to rewrite the posts.

I want my readers to get high quality content, and not just some random words written to get a link.

But, 2013 will bring you more guest posts. I want guest posts from people who are dedicated to share their best marketing stories. And, I want to turn my blog into a different level when it comes to be a resource in marketing. That’s why I have created the new rules of guest blogging.

The new rules of guest blogging at slymarketing

I have five rules, and the rules are fairly easy to understand. I won’t accept any guest posts unless they apply to all of those rules. No longer will people need an invite from me, and no longer will they have to have a relationship with me prior to their guest post. But, they need to be following the rules.

The reason why I will only accept posts with more than 700 words, is that I believe that a long post is not only what Google is looking for, but I believe that longer posts are usually of much higher quality. I will still do my best to ensure that the posts are of high quality, and I will still rewrite the posts if I feel that I need to. But, if people write and send me posts with more than 700 words, I believe that they’ve done their best writing.

I am saying no to links in the body, to prevent what I believe is too many people who are eager to write guest posts just to get the extra links to please Google. And, since I really want to get to know the author, and I want my readers to get to know the author as well, I am saying that they need to include a byline, where they write a few sentences about themselves.

I have been thinking about adding a rule about replying to comments, but I haven’t. I really want the authors to reply to all the comments, but I don’t want to say that they need to. I will send them an email and let them know about the first comments, but that’s it. I will join them and reply, and do my best to keep the conversations live and updated.

Your thoughts on guest blogging

I have a few questions for you, and I would love a discussion.

Are you writing guest posts, and are you accepting them on your blog? And, do you have any rules that are similar to mine?

33 responses to “The New Rules of Guest Blogging in 2013”

  1. Annetta Powell says:

    Hi Jens,

    really good to see that you have st some ground rules for your gust bloggers.

    I haven’t really opened my blog for guest posts. I have got several requests and I had to sadly refuse them from publishing those articles. I am setting up some ground rules for my site too for guest authors. No.1 The author should be a real person. I really do not want to host the articles of some marketing companies. Well, I can post the articles under your marketing manager’s or your social media coordinates name.

    Another rule I am planing is that, the guest blogger should verify my blog in Google+ and use the link in their profile. I know some may not like it…well we set our own rules right 🙂

    • Hi Annetta,

      That’s the great thing about hosting the guest posts. We set our own rules 🙂

      I haven’t thought about verifying my blog in Google+, but that’s awesome. I am not sure if most people are willing to do it, but it’s worth a try 🙂

  2. Tim Bonner says:

    Hey Jens

    First of all, Happy New Year! It seems I’ve missed out on quite a few of your posts and will need to go back and catch up.

    I’ve only written one guest post so far and that was because I had an invite. I struggle sometimes to write posts on my own blog due to other commitments but I know how useful guest-posting can be for SEO. Something to think about for later in 2013 maybe.

    I’ve had a number of requests to guest post on my blog but for the most part I have no relationship with the people that ask. I don’t like that. I’m not just going to let anyone post and I’m sure I would end up with the same experience as you and need to rewrite things.

    It’s a great idea to set out what you expect from a guest post Jens and something I will certainly consider doing shortly. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to require Google+ verification though. I know I wouldn’t be willing to do that. It was a struggle enough to get myself verified on my own blog!

    • Happy New Year Tim.

      I have been working during the holiday 🙂

      Guest posts are important, it’s a win-win situation if we do it right. But, I have made all the mistakes, and it has taken me a lot of time to keep up with both writing the few posts I have written, and especially rewriting and communicating with the people who have contacted me about guest posts. That’s why I have started 2013 with a different focus. And I especially believe that the 700+ words posts will make a huge difference.

  3. It’s nice to see posts from people who “get” guest blogging. There are too many people out there trying to brute force something that should be about building real relationships and sharing content that you’d happily publish yourself… instead it’s quickly turning into Article Marketing 2.0.

  4. Khaja moin says:

    Excellent idea to have new rules this way you can get some worthy posts. I too accepted only few guest posts, as I think guest post can make me lazy.

    Hopefully this year will allow direct registration for guest posts.


    • I am going to accept more guest posts this year, but only posts that are according to the new rules. This way, they are hopefully of higher quality and my readers will be a lot more interested in reading them 🙂

  5. Sarah Park says:

    Hello Jens,

    I haven’t really tried guest blogging before, though I am thinking of trying this one this year. I am still yet to gather more information about guest blogging,

    • Guest blogging is a great way to get your posts read by more people, and it’s one of the best ways to create traffic to your blog. But, it takes time to write good guest posts, and you need to target the right blogs.

  6. Tracy Oeser says:

    I’m a newbie blogger and have been interested in guest blogging. Thank you for offering an opportunity. There seem to be so few websites with guest posting options. Take care.

  7. Chadrack says:

    Hi Jens,

    Happy new year and it’s good to see that you are laying out your own rules for guest posting on your blog. I must say I agree with you on every point. In fact, you have just laid out what I also have for my blog. I was accepting guest posts of 500 words and more but when Google came out with their updates and the concern for quality content, I reviewed the rules and moved it to 700 words. I believe just as you said that limit will force the guest blogger to do more!

    I also had the problem of re-writing guest posts before publishing but I have also become more stringent on what I accept. There are more things to do with my time than writing guest post for guest bloggers 🙂 I even did a blog series on guest blogging with the mind that those who want to guest post on my blog will do something better but all was in vain.

    I must say if you want to succeed with these rules, you must stand your ground and let anyone who did not meet the terms, so.

    • Hey Chadrack,

      Happy New Year to you as well. I am waiting for the first guest post to arrive, and it’s going to be exciting to see the new rules will make the guest posts better, or if I’ll still receive a lot of posts I will need to re-write 🙂

  8. Bill Dorman says:

    It does take some work; time and effort, so you probably want to make sure it is purposeful as well because there is only so much time in the day, right?

  9. Adrienne says:

    Hey Jens,

    Wow, you’re awfully brave to accept posts from bloggers you don’t even know. See, that didn’t turn out so great but maybe this year will be different.

    I think your rules are great and I agree with the longer posts. I also have a feeling you’re still not going to let something slip by without having thoroughly looked it over.

    As you know I do accept guest posts on my blog since you’re written for me last year but it’s by invitation only. Yep, going to continue that rule through this year too. So far it’s worked out beautifully. Oh and I already have them line up through July. Yay!!!

    Best of luck to you!


    • Hey Adrienne,

      I am testing new things in 2013 🙂

      I believe that if I add the 700 words rule, the posts should be a lot better, and I will still read all of them and re-write the ones I believe is good enough. And I will say no when the quality is not as high as I expect.

      I can’t wait to read all of your guest posts this year Adrienne. So far, the quality has been awesome.

  10. Tommy Walker says:

    It’s funny, I was just published on this earlier today.

    I think what’s important with guest blogging isn’t so much the seo or the “branding opportunity” that so many guest bloggers get really wrapped up in, it’s the relationships you can build. Write a good guest post, start a conversation, host a webinar with that blogger… know what I mean.

    Or instead of pointing links back to your own site for SEO, leverage their already strong link profile to get a post to rank for a competitive keyphrase you could never do on your own, then make sure there’s a strong byline.

    Love that you’re only doing longer posts for your own guest posts, because that makes people really have to think about what they’re talking about when they send work your way. Have you considered establishing quality guidelines. I’ve seen some bloggers say they won’t accept a guest post if it’s about a subject they themselves could write about. I like that, because it really expands the audience’s horizons.

    • You did? I need to read what you published 🙂

      I agree with you, but a lot of people are looking at the SEO benefits of guest blogging. One of the big opportunities I have had in 2012, was to post on the blogs of people I have been following for years. And, since I have been commenting on their blogs for a long time, I was already a familiar face to most of their readers. I haven’t thought about not accepting guest posts if it was a subject I could write about myself, but that would make the posts even more interesting.

  11. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, Your rules are sound and fair. I agree with you, it’s difficult to accept guest blog posts because they can be more work than writing your own post.

    I have gotten burned before by guest posts from people I don’t know but I also have met wonderful bloggers such as Praveen and Manickam whom I didn’t know before they approached me about writing for The Wonder of Tech.

    Last year, my most popular article was one on an app called Notability which was written by a guest author. She returns to The Wonder of Tech tomorrow with an article on her favorite apps for students.

    I feel very fortunate when people are willing to bring their expertise to my blog because I want to bring the best experience for my readers. I can’t be an expert on all tech and when I find someone who knows a lot about a tech topic, I am excited about bringing their knowledge to my readers.

    I am very grateful to you, Jens, for your wonderful guest post on Spotify at my blog. You even did a video for me, above and beyond the call, my friend!

    I hope you’re able to get some wonderful guest authors here, Jens. 🙂

    • I have had some major issues with guest blogging at my blog, and I had a hard time saying no to guest posts, even though I should have. I feel like 2013 is going to be different, and that, because of the 700 words + rule, and that I going to say no more than ever, that I will get some really great guest posts 🙂

      I am so glad that you enjoyed my post and the video, and watch out, I might send you another one soon 🙂

  12. Susan Silver says:

    I have not had a lot of success getting people to write for my blog. Only one guest post in a year, but I am still on a good terms with that person. Her post also brings in views and I am grateful to have had her.

    I mix up my posts, I am find thing that 300 word posts are more shareable although kind of fluffy. I think Google likes long posts, because they do tend to be higher quality. Just because they are very dense. It is hard to spin keywords for more than 700 words. It just won’t appear right to a reader or a spider if you try it.

  13. I long avoided guest posting because I barely had time to post on my own blog. My big goal of 2013 is to get more out there, not just to promote myself, but to have more fun with my blog. It became too much of a chore. Readership, engagement and challenges from those readers are what make blogging fun – not simply racking up big numbers (though the numbers certainly don’t hurt 🙂 Eager to get back to having fun writing something new

    The new rules look great though – I firmly believe that if you go out of your way to accept, review and publish guest posts, they should be what YOU need for your blog. I don’t yet have guest posts on my own site (need to build up a steady flow of my own content first I think), but probably will soon and I imagine with very similar rules.

    • Hi Anthony,

      It’s very important to have fun when you blog, and that’s something I have been focusing for a long time as well. Now, I write more or less every single day, and sometimes I publish new posts every day of the week, other times I publish once or twice a week. But, like you said, I keep doing it when I am having fun, and I wouldn’t work as much if I didn’t enjoy it 🙂

      I am looking forward to publish new guest posts and I am hoping that they’ll help me move this blog to a new level.

  14. sintu kumar says:

    Thanks for the great tips,i consider this point while writing Guest post and get the positive result….Thanks a lot

  15. Alok says:

    I know form above, building reader relationship is top most priority of every guest blogger, but i saw some blog post that was written for back-links only that will sure give negative to the blog and you will loss your readers. I think avoiding this will help you to engage your guest readers.

  16. I haven’t checked any of the articles with copyscape, but that’s a great advice.


  17. Anne Chan says:

    I am here in your site and noticed that you are accepting guest post and also I have read your guidelines.May I know where will I submit my article?I have here about “Can Marissa Mayer Really Turn Around Yahoo?” which is available for posting. Please let me know if you and your readers will get interested on this and I`ll be happy to send you a draft.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank You,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe: rss | email | twitter | +