Despite what some social media pundits may tell you, and despite what you read in seemingly every “blogging best practices” list ever written, guest posting can be a complete waste of time—in certain industries.
Before I show a few examples, let’s quickly take a look at the main benefits to guest posting:
1. Exposure of the author/blog to a larger audience.
2. An inbound link from another blog (preferably one of a high page rank (PR))
3. A strong call-to-action so as to build your list subscribers, lead them to a product, etc.
Knowing these 3 benefits, if you’re considering guest posting as a blog growth strategy, but you don’t think you’ll achieve the above mentioned goals, then I would suggest you look elsewhere or attempt another strategy that is a better use of your time.
Looking at Your Industry
I bring this up because just the other day I had a client ask me if he should start doing guest posts. This gentleman is the owner of a successful retail kitchen appliance company in Boston and he has been embracing the principles of inbound marketing for about a year now.
Naturally, as he has been learning more and more about growing his site’s traffic, leads, and sales–he has read in various places the “imperative” need for guest posting.
Again, let me stress this is a total farce in certain industries, including my client’s.
Here is the problem—In the kitchen appliance industry, there are almost no blogs that are good.
Basically, there is no one out there that’s passionate about teaching the public regarding kitchen appliances (via the web). So considering the dearth of quality blogs, it would benefit my client very, very little to spend his valuable time on a guest post that will likely lead to no benefits at all.
Plus, considering he owns a location-based business (retail store), this makes the idea of guest posting on another site (out of his area) even less sensible.
Small Blogs and ROI
As most of you already know, I run the most trafficked blog in the inground swimming pool industry. Since March of 2009, we’ve written hundreds of blog posts, which has led to thousands upon thousands of visitors we never otherwise would have had, many of which have converted into leads and sales.
But saying I have the most popular blog in the swimming pool industry is a bit misleading, as the competition has done a very poor job in producing good content.
For me, if I had tried to find a blog to guest post on in the industry 2 years ago, I likely would have had no luck whatsoever even finding another platform. Today, many pool companies have followed our example and started blogging, but still, with their small audiences and low page rankings, guest posts would have an extremely low ROI (return on investment).
Keep in mind that I do not write this article in an effort to say guest posting is a bad thing. With The Sales Lion, I’ve done many guest posts on other sites, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m very selective on which sites I will post. Because of the finite amount of time and content I have (just like anyone else) to dedicate to other sites, I want each GP to produce the most fruit possible.
To give you an example, I contribute to the very popular Social Media Examiner once every couple of months. Because of the extreme editorial guidelines for the site, each post takes about 4-6 hours to properly write. Although this is a huge time investment for me, the results are well worth the effort, as each post typically adds about 100 new subscribers to my list, plus an inbound link from a high PR site with a strategically focused anchor text. (The following is a snap shot from the end of a recent SME guest post I did. Notice how the anchor text of the link is focused on the two main themes of TSL—Content and Inbound Marketing.)
Like every other strategy and “best practice” in this world of social media, the supposed “rules” change from niche to niche, company to company. So before you jump into the world of guest posting and start spending hours of time giving your content away to others, make sure you have a clear purpose. Make sure the potential ROI is there. And make sure your time wouldn’t be better spent elsewhere.
Do you agree with me that guest posting is a waste of time in certain industries or do you feel the ROI is well worth it? Also, what has been your experience guest posting? Have you tried it with your business and what have been the results?
Jump in folks, feel free to leave your thoughts and if you have any questions about guest posting (and your industry), we’re here to help.
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