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What Sites to Look for: The Guest Blogging Guide Part 2

Over the years I’ve had my content featured on hundreds of different websites across the web. Some did ridiculously well and brought in thousands of new viewers, subscribers, and buyers, while others completely tanked.

I’ve learned a lot from my experiences guest blogging for countless different websites and media outlets and would like to share some of my thoughts with you today.

In case you missed it, in Part 1 of my series on guest blogging, I covered in detail, how the topic of guest blogging has become so controversial, what factors contributed to making guest blogging somewhat of a taboo subject, and why it really shouldn’t be.

In Part 2 of my series, I will be showing you what websites you should be reaching out to for guest blogging opportunities as well as some added advice on what it will take to succeed.

Here are a few lessons that will hopefully help you create a guest blogging campaign that ignites interest in your brand and overflows your pockets with new consumers.

The Biggest Site isn’t Always the Best

I think we can both agree that there are some really big fish out there; websites that dwarf most others in comparison, that receive a mind boggling amount of traffic.

How awesome would it be to be able to get a guest post on one of the behemoth media outlets? A spot on The Huffington Post would surely be the best guest posting opportunity because they easily receive tens of millions of unique views every single month, right?

Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, I’ve landed guest blogging spots on many major media outlets in the past and none of them converted to creating new subscribers or impacted sales in any major way.

Just because a site can provide the most traffic, does NOT mean that it is the most relevant. For instance, CNN.com is one of the top 100 viewed websites in the world. The amounts of traffic they receive is absolutely staggering. But let’s say that my website is geared towards helping women improve their ability to run long distance, would CNN.com be the most suitable place to siphon visitors from?

Probably not. Most people that visit CNN.com are looking for updates on local and world news. Sure, it would be one hell of an ego boost to say that you were featured on one of the world’s top media outlets, but that doesn’t mean that it will be the best choice from a business standpoint.

Their viewers are likely comprised of a broad demographic of people with varying interests, so if I were to land a guest blogging spot, I’d probably receive a flood of traffic from their enormous audience, but the majority of the traffic will not fit what I consider to be my ideal potential consumer.

On the other hand, let’s say that I somehow received an opportunity to guest blog for Runners World. The potential for traffic is far less, but the traffic that does funnel in, will be far more qualified.

The point I’m trying to make is that the relevancy of a site far outweighs the size or potential traffic that it could provide.

Here’s another example: Let’s pretend for a moment that I run a website that sells snorkels. Would it be better to approach a massive website that features news and information on swimming, or would it be more beneficial to seek out a smaller, niche site that is about scuba diving?

The website about swimming may send me the most traffic, but much of the traffic will not be interested in purchasing a snorkel, whereas those that come from a niche specific scuba diving website will be more inclined to buy.

Don’t Expect to Hit a Home Run with Your First Guest Post

There are a select few business owners out there that will seemingly strike gold after their very first guest blog post, launching their brand into the stratosphere of popularity and becoming an instant hit virtually overnight.

However, the majority of us simply aren’t that lucky. It’s ingenuous to expect outstanding results from only a small amount of guest posts. Instead, it’s more of a numbers game.

The more guest posts that you create, the more qualified traffic you will see. When a guest post is originally published, you may only see a small bump in the amount of traffic and leads. This will likely fade away once that particular website posts more content, pushing your blog post further back into their archive.

For some, this can be rather frustrating. After all, they’ve spent a lot of time and effort crafting a perfectly worded guest blog post, but have seen limited results because of it. However, those that guest post consistently will eventually reap the benefits.

Over time, you may notice that guest posts you wrote 6 months prior will begin to rank within the search engines for highly sought after keywords. This is when you’ll begin seeing the best results.

What do you believe is better for your business; an initial guest post that draws in 30,000 viewers in the first week, but eventually fades away into obscurity forever, or a blog post that receives 5,000 initial viewers, but then several months down the line ranks for a keyword that brings in an additional 10,000 viewers a month for the next several years?

Obviously, that is a no brainer. Guest blogging is NOT about fast results. Although some will see immediate results, the majority of us will have to wait.

Of course, this is where consistency comes into play. Try writing at least one guest blog post every week for 6 months (even if the initial results are disappointing). Over time, those guest posts could easily become your most beneficial source of traffic.

Also, the more consistent you are, the more opportunities will open up. One of the untold benefits of guest blogging is that it provides you an outlet to network with different writers, editors, publishers, and site owners.

Once a relationship is established, you’d be surprised at how many additional doors will open up for you. Other writers may begin to reference your site in their work. Other highly sought after websites will be open to the idea of featuring your guest post on their site after seeing how well your other posts did on their competitor’s sites. The possibilities are endless.

Of course, none of this will likely happen overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your online empire.

Seek Out Sites with High Viewer Engagement

You only have so many hours in a week to get work done, so it’s always best to be as efficient as possible with the time that you have. Often times when reaching out to numerous websites for a potential opportunity to guest blog, you’ll receive several replies in return.

You may not have the time to carefully craft a blog post for every website, leaving you in a bit of a dilemma. Which website would be the most beneficial to guest post for?

Obviously, relevancy is the number one criteria, but what if every website that offers you a guest spot on a specific timeline is relevant? Should you choose based on traffic?

Not necessarily. Look for viewer engagement. How many social shares does their content receive on average? How many comments to they have?

It doesn’t matter if a blog gets a million visitors a month. If none of them share the content via the social web or comment on it, it means these visitors aren’t engaged.

If a person isn’t willing to share or comment on a particular post, do you think they’re likely to click through to your site and become a subscriber? Probably not.

Engagement shows a higher interest in the content that is presented. I’d gladly take a guest post that receives 100 comments and only 1,000 views over a guest post that receives 10 comments and 10,000 views.


I remember when I first started out with guest blogging, I would choose to write for any website that would allow me to. I found that was a monumental waste of time, leading me to be pickier with the websites that I approach.

I also learned that guest blogging isn’t a one and done project, and may take months of consistent posting to truly pay off, but when it does, the results can be astounding.

Hopefully you were able to take something away from what I covered today. In Part 3 of my guest blogging series, I will get into the more technical details of how to convince other site owners to allow you to guest blog for them.

I’ll even provide a script for you to follow

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

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