Ask the Readers: Is it Better to Guest Blog or Post on Your Own Site?

  • August 16, 2012 by Caleb Wojcik
  • 58 Comments

The feedback and insightful comments on the ask the readers posts have been phenomenal lately (and if you are newer to Think Traffic, check out them all out here). Today I want to hear your answer to a question we get all the time:

When you have a particularly great post in mind, is it better to publish as a guest post, or is posting it on your own site better?

I’m not talking about doing a crazy 50 guest posts in 50 days spree or planning a successful guest posting campaign, I’m just talking about a single post that you put multiple hours into creating and has the potential for going viral.

Now, there are a lot of potential interpretations for what “better” means to you, but I’d love to here in the comments what you think. Where is the best place to publish an epic post?

Last Time on “Ask the Readers”

Previously on “ask the readers” we asked, “if you had to start over online, what would you do differently?”

The answers ranged everywhere from starting earlier and doing more guest posts to focusing their niche more and having a stronger call to action.

My favorite answer came from Jared Akers. Here is an excerpt:

Do more and analyze less…

Spend more time writing laser focused actionable content.

And at the same time, I wouldn’t have done anything differently as I learned something from all of it.

There are some really great comments on that post, so if you are just starting out online, go learn from their lessons and mistakes here.

***

Back to today’s question: Is writing a guest post or posting it on your own site better?

Let us know in the comments below.

Written by . Caleb Wojcik is one of the 3 C's at Think Traffic and Fizzle.co. He writes at CalebWojcik.com and hosts the Cubicle Renegade Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @CalebWojcik.


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Jade Craven August 16, 2012 at 5:53 am

It really depends on what your goal is. Do you want to build your blogs brand or your personal one? Really, that´s what it boils down to.

Beth Hayden wrote about Pinterest on Copyblogger. She got a book deal.

I write the list of bloggers to watch as a guest post series on problogger. That has a lot more traction then if I wrote it on my own site.

I wish that people would stop trying to be everywhere with poorly written posts (I know one marketer that does this and it is embarassing to watch). I wish people would put effort into any post.

I also wish that people would stop using guest post positions as a type of endorsement. There is barely any vetting to get onto a lot of the top blogs. My 2c

Charles Tutt August 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

Good comment. Makes a lot of sense and I agree with the ‘quality’ point.

Carmelo August 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I can’t imagine putting crap out there. Jade, are you saying that even the bigger blogs accept crap? In my research I’ve seen that they have strict guidelines and further, i’ve seen that many of them don’t accept guest posts anymore because of getting so much unpostable stuff.

Am I missing something here?

Jade Craven August 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Sometimes they will accept posts that are average, from average writers. For example, I know a blogger that recycles the same content and subheadings at every blog he guest posts at. And, often his posts are about his successful guest posting strategy and how you can do it do if you just visit his blog.

It is good content at that blog, yes, but it´s not a particularly useful article.

Ellie Di August 16, 2012 at 5:54 am

Oh, how timely! I’ve just set my first monthly guestposting goal, and I’m pondering this very thing. My natural inclination is to farm out B-class material for guestposts – but my biz brain is telling me that’s a terrible idea because it’s attracting the wrong people back to the site.

It seems that if the differentiation is based on the quality of the material, then the logical thing to do is ONLY write epic shit; then it doesn’t matter where it goes.

That’s my new plan, anyway.

Carmelo August 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I would agree with you Ellie. Why not attract the best audience you can? And further, it would stand to reason that even better blogs would eventually be more inclined to come to you and ask you to post for them too.

Ryan Cruz August 16, 2012 at 5:58 am

I would say it depends on the content that you are writing. If it’s pillar content then it should definitely go to your blog. This content should be consistent with what your readers wants and what your brand is all about.

But if it’s content that would benefit most of the readers of another person’s blog, then it would be best if you use it for guest posting.

Cheers!

mantic59 August 16, 2012 at 6:29 am

For me posting on my own site is definitely better. Guest posting on other major sites have given me disappointing results.

Erica Lane August 16, 2012 at 6:32 am

Not quite sure which is better, but I do believe that if you guest post epic content that goes viral then you better have some epic content on your site as well. You might as well be fabulous in both locations!

Dustin W. Stout August 16, 2012 at 6:34 am

I am definitely torn with this one, but ultimately I would probably go with this:

If it has serious viral potential, then I would keep it on my site. If it’s just a super excellent piece that will be of great value somewhere else, I would guest post it.

While guest posting is a win-win (not only do you get in front of a new audience, but you can always publish a teaser/brief summary on your own blog pointing people to it) having something really brilliant published elsewhere is a good thing. However, if I feel it’s going to go viral, I want to keep that tied to my site as closely as possible.

Carmelo August 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Do you have any way of knowing what is really epic and if it’s going to go viral Dustin? I suppose you can always snatch it back into your own blog … ha!

Lain Ehmann August 16, 2012 at 6:34 am

No blanket answer. It depends on what your goals are, where you are in your blog’s lifespan, who the host blogger is, how different their audience is from yours, and how much you want a backlink from another site.

While there are general principles to follow, creating a successful blog is not a recipe type activity. “It depends” is the answer more often than not!

LindaCaroll August 16, 2012 at 6:36 am

I agree with Jade – depends on your goal. If you want to get it in front of a bigger audience quickly, then guest post. Course, the alternative is to post it on your own blog and then guest post consistently to increase your exposure, but that’s a slower process.

Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging August 16, 2012 at 7:02 am

You can Guest post some, and post others in your blog.

If it was amazing, and you submitted it as a guest post, and it went viral, then you have made a relationship with that blogger “forever”.

As an example:
Tommy Walker of Tommy.ismy.name
He had created a viral post on chrisbrogan called 106 excuses that prevent From you Ever Becoming Great.
Chris had got 38,000 views in 2 days. What if you were Chris, and there is one who guest posted and did this for you.
Tommy had got a testomonial from chris as a small thank you, which I am sure increased his subscribers no.

Also, think about how many visitors he got after this post.

I can’t say that you need to guest post all the times, but guest post some, and post the others on your blog.

I hope you liked the answer.

Regards,
Ahmed Safwan
ToStartBlogging.Com

Jade Craven August 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm

The other thing to think about, as you mentioned, is the social proof from having the post on a bigger blog.

That blog has an existing audience and there is a lot more potential for it to go viral. You can then say ¨I wrote a post that had x result¨. You can also ask for a testimonial and put ´as featured on´ in your bio.

It can be a lot better as a point of leverage if you are smart about it.

Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging August 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Yes, you are right Jade.

If you have a testimonial from darren rowse or brian clark, this worth a lot.

Nick Ruiz August 16, 2012 at 7:05 am

I’m just in the process of starting a blog right now so I don’t know much. From the research I’ve done, it seems that it depends on what stage of your blogging career that you are at. In the beginning, it looks like guest posting is what really will catapult your readership. There is my 2 cents :-)

PS…Can you guys do a post on whether or not it’s better to put your whole post in your emails or just a portion and then making them click to your site to read it in full?

Charles Tutt August 16, 2012 at 7:07 am

I would want to post a high quality/high value article with viral potential on my own blog first then post and/or reference it on other blogs so that both my blog and my name get the recognition they’ve earned.

Carmelo August 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I suppose this is possible but most of the better blogs would never speak to you again if you posted something on their blog that you’d already posted on your own……. or did I misunderstand you?

Jade Craven August 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

The bigger blogs definitely look down on it and may not accept another guest post from you. Referencing is fine and often encouraged :) Include a compelling call to action in the byline with a link to that guest post and voila!

Dave Gutscher August 16, 2012 at 7:15 am

Unless the content is time sensitive, good writers can do both. An idea can be presented in multiple ways. One article could be written as a guest blog and another could be written for your own site. It might make sense to post them on different days so that those who link to your site from the guest post will see something different.

Jamie Alexander August 16, 2012 at 7:21 am

I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s better to use it as a guest post. Even Jon Morrow did on the guest blogging course I did.

But now I’m not entirely sure I agree with those people. Not that I think it’s a bad thing, but definitely not the best idea.

I would put all my favorite posts on my own blog. The could become pillar content that could stand the test of time. And there are plenty of ways you could get creative and use that post to get MUCH MORE traffic and subscribers than you ever would on one single guest post, no matter how big the blog is.

Obviously that depends on your niche and what you can do with it. Take Joel Runyon as an example. His post about meeting the guy who invented the computer was one of his best posts. That broke his site from all the views since it was at the top of Hacker News and it’s even been on the Ophra Wimpey blog.

If he used that as a guest post it would be a waste. And guest posting is becoming much more common now and brings in not nearly as much traffic as it used to, going by figures people post.

jared akers August 16, 2012 at 7:23 am

Wow, thanks for the props.

This is a great question, and one I contemplate a lot.

I think an epic post really has more power as a guest post on a well established site. But then who knows which posts are going to be epic right?

Here’s my current thinking…

I don’t post a lot on my own site. Maybe once or twice a month, if that. However, I do have a podcast that’s a little more frequent. The majority of my time I’m cultivating relationships. Either through email, social media, or commenting and adding value in other places.

On guest posting, I currently have these two killer (I think… LOL) posts that I wrote two months ago that I’m trying to get posted somewhere. Originally I wrote them specifically for one popular site I had a reference from to submit content to. But never heard back “again” so I’ll move on. It can be frustrating because I see content on some of these sites by regular contributors that just seem to have an “in” or something… I’m not saying their content or message is bad, I just think mine is certainly as valuable.

It’s frustrating sometimes as you follow guest posting guidelines for some sites, send them your article and never hear back from them. So I end up sending them somewhere else and waiting. Eventually I may use these articles on my own site, but I write more for my readers on my site and guest posts are usually geared more towards the sites particular audience.

Getting back to the original point of using epic posts as guest posts…

I see my site as a representation of my brand, my name, and the goal is to help people. I do that most effectively by getting them into my email stream where I can communicate with them one-on-one. I need traffic to do that. And being in SEO for a living, there are two ways of accomplishing that.

1) Write tons of content and concentrate on the long-tail.
2) Increase my rankings for some shorter root, high traffic terms.

Prior to Penguin, I was ranked #7 for a high traffic term that brought me lots of traffic. After that I was knocked to oblivion for that term. The reason: even though I was careful with anchor text variation in back-linking campaigns (only using the root term 25% of the time) I got over optimized for my target keyword. So quest posting on high PR sites is one way of increasing my ranking potential. Consequently I also ceased all other back-linking strategies.

Additionally, social signals are playing a larger role in ranking strategies so I spend more time guest posting and adding value around the web than I do on my own sites content.

However, this may all change next week. I doubt it, but it might.

As with anything, guest posting is just one strategy of increasing my reach, awareness, and brand. It’s what do I know will produce results? I know from experience, that a guest post on a popular site can bring in hundreds of new subscribers in a few days.

As others have said, it can also depend on your sites goals. Are you a blogger or an author? Are you a content creator or relationship builder? Do you have an offer and how is your time best spent in order to get that offer in front of eyeballs?

Agota August 16, 2012 at 10:14 am

I’ve noticed that you submitted your guest post and never heard from the editor of the website.

My advice in this case is to e-mail the editor again (..and, if needed, again and again and again..) until you get a clear answer.

I submitted my guest post once to a very popular personal development blog. The editor replied, but then weeks passed and I didn’t see my post published, nor did I hear anything from her. I e-mailed the editor again and my post went live in a day or two. That post did great, brought traffic to my site which I ran at the time and was recently included in an e-book. On top of that, I think I saw the translation of that post into Spanish somewhere around the web.. :D

The point of the story is: Editors are busy people, bug them until you get a “yes” or “no” answer, then if it’s “no”, you can submit it to other blogs or publish on your own blog.

jared akers August 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I like that, “bug them until you get a “yes” or “no” answer, then if it’s “no”, you can submit it to other blogs or publish on your own blog.”

Michael Robinson August 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

The niche I’m in might be a bit oddball. It’s small enough for each of the major blogs to be very distinct, and people from each generally know each other. There’s not much room for personal brand building since you’re already known the first time someone passes around one of your posts.

It’s hard to project any norms from my experiences.

Clare J Fitzgerald August 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

Great question Caleb.

I’m with Jade and Jarrett here. The answer for me is it depends.

Big Disclaimer here though – I’m starting a new blog soon so my theory has yet to be tested in the cold hard light of day so watch this space :)

However, I have spent quite a substantial amount of time watching and studying those people who have built audiences quickly (including the mighty Caleb and Corbett) and it seems that most of the blogs who grew their audience relatively quickly, concentrated on trying to be everywhere when they first started and frequent guest posting was a big factor in driving their traffic and ultimately their subscriber numbers.

When you first start out, not many people are going to be coming by your site to read your epic posts until your traffic and subscribers grow – so putting excellent posts out to other blogs (written to meet the needs of their readers) is a no brainer to get people coming along to your site.

You still need some great posts on your site, but probably not too many early on.
Once you grow an audience at some point the pendulum begins to swing the other way – i.e. you have greater numbers of people opening and reading your emails and you need to ensure that your own blog posts are well crafted in order to meet the specific and most pressing needs of your particular tribe.

I’ve also noticed that fast growing bloggers tend to add other ‘be everywhere’ strategies to their arsenal once they have built a library of guest posts around the place like being interviewed by other blogs or media, writing ebooks and putting them on amazon or maybe creating podcasts or videos for a new youtube channel.

So in summary – my theory/research/observations

1. Have some good foundational content on your blog when starting out, but not too much as there ain’t too many people gonna be reading them early on.

2. Guest post blitz each month to steadily grow traffic and subscribers to your blog. The key here is lots of guest posting needs to be backed up by consistency of great content posting on your own site as traffic starts to build.

3. As subscribers start to grow, guest posting continues, and add in other strategies to continue to draw new subscribers.

Thanks Caleb for making me think and articulate my thoughts into my official posting strategy!
Check that task off my list :)

Agota August 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

I think it depends on what stage your blog is at.

When you’re only starting out, guest posting is the best strategy to get your name out there, because you get to tap into huge audiences.

You should really put time and efforts into these guest posts.

Not to offend anyone, but I think it’s a bit delusional to avoid guest posting in an early stage, because the thing is that readers don’t come from nowhere.

You might start a blog, put up great content and wait, but how can people come to your blog and read that content if they don’t even know you exist?

However, if you’re already getting a decent traffic and have a decent e-mail list, then it’s wiser to let your readers do the promotional work for you and to focus on creating great content and maybe building a product.

In the case when you have spent few hours on a post and don’t know whether to publish it on your blog or as a guest post..

Well, it’s best to decide what is the purpose of the post before even writing it, so you wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place.

Ruan | HighTechNovation August 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

I think this is a very interesting discussion indeed seeing I am into guest posting myself. Of course this question have come up in the back of my mind and so has it to many other successful guest bloggers. Here’s my take on it…

I think it really depends on the type of content you are planning to put out there. By type I am not referring to the topic at hand but rather that most likely impact the content will have, the thoughts it will provoke and the response it’s likely to get.

When you are planning to bring something innovative and “new” to the table, something that hardly ever or haven’t been covered elsewhere, then I’d keep it at home as that’s where it will be coming from. If it needs to be spread around then it can be done from base.

However, when the proposed content will be supplementing your existing content at home, in other words if you have been covering the topic in more detail on your own site, and if you’re looking to real in some attention and interest outside of your own network, then I’d go for a guest post on it. Interested parties will be happy to discover that after reading something of much interest or some epic shit in other words, they can find even more in-depth coverage of the topic in your backyard.

By keeping original content at home I am not merely suggesting to hold back on your best stuff going out to other hosts, in fact I’d out my best stuff out there without any hesitation, but I’d much rather compliment my own epic shit at home with content I put out there…

Agota August 16, 2012 at 10:39 am

Also..

A lot of people seem to see guest posting as a losing strategy because you’re giving your best content away, especially if it has “the potential to go viral”.

The only problem with that is that when your only readers are your grandma and your cat, your posts are not going viral anytime soon, really.

On the other hand, if you put that same post on a popular blog which already has a massive audience, you will definitely get a lot of attention, assuming your post is any good (which it probably is if they agreed to publish it in the first place).

And what happens if your post actually goes viral?

You will get tons and tons of traffic to your blog.

You might even get a lot of traffic from it for months or even years to come in case it ends up in “Popular” category or something.

How is that a losing strategy?

Jamie Alexander August 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Hey Agota,

That’s a great point that not much people would see it.

Obviously this depends on the content, but sometimes I can get hundreds of people to my site from somewhere like Reddit just by having a short description and leaving a link to my site.

Also, I think I got 57 people from Hacker News a few days ago with my “Back to the Future” article. But that same article also brought me hundreds from Reddit and some from Stumbled Upon etc.

So I do think you can be creative sometimes with your own pillar content without giving it away. If you gave it for a guest post you might get a few hundred. Just another idea.

Agota August 17, 2012 at 3:52 am

Hey, Jamie!

Interesting, I have never thought about promoting a website on Reddit (..maybe because I try to avoid Reddit , it’s so damn addictive.. :D )

How exactly do you do promote your stuff on Reddit without coming across as spam (..you mentioned short description and a link, but maybe you can go into more details) ?

Also, what are the conversion rates for guest post traffic and Reddit traffic, if you don’t mind me asking ?

I’m really interested.. :)

Jamie Alexander August 17, 2012 at 4:06 am

I’ve only done 2 guest posts. My conversion for one was 30%, but it only brought in about 80 visitors. My other one didn’t do so well. Maybe that’s why I’m bias lol.

I think guest posts are becoming like comments. You should use them to become friends with other bloggers and help them out with a post. Don’t expect magic.

The conversions on Reddit aren’t the same, so I’m not going to say it’s great. But I do seem to get up to about 5-10 depending on what I post. Considering it takes 5 minutes it’s not too bad. But if the article is on your site you can promote it on social networking, social media, forums, plus anywhere else if you get creative.

I just think you can get more subscribers and viewers by pimping out a good article. Plus my site is a baby so I can still use the articles loads in the future to get more traffic.

I gave away my opt-in eBook once on Reddit and I got about 4000 downloads in a few days. People even signed up even though I gave them the link to bypass it. My website link is all over the book. That’s nothing to do with the question, but hopefully you can use it with something.

I don’t know how I appear non-spammy. I guess I just give out some good/interesting information and add a link at the bottom if they want to go check it out. It maybe works really well about 60% of the time. But it just takes 5 minutes. But you can do it with more than Reddit. Let me know when you know where lol.

Agota August 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

Thank you, Jamie, that is really interesting. I’ll have to give Reddit a shot sometime! :)

P.S. “I just think you can get more subscribers and viewers by pimping out a good article” -> pimping out, lol.. that would make a great headline, “5 ways to pimp out your article”.. :D

Darlene August 16, 2012 at 11:55 am

I agree with others in the “it depends” category. However . . .

You can never predict what will or won’t go viral, so you can’t really make your decisions based on that. I agree with Ellie, write epic shit so that no matter where you post it, it’s great!

I’m getting good results from guest posting right now but trying to do equal posts on there and my own site. I know Maneesh says he does two guest posts to every one on his site, so he’s doing more on other sites that his own.

Wade August 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I think it depends on your site. If you have a new site that is just getting established, then I would say that it would be better to guest post on a high ranking, high traffic volume site. Getting noticed, and when I say noticed, I don’t mean just traffic! You can get thousands of visitors per day and no one really notices your blog, or your posts. Having a new blog and guest posting can help you have a better chance in getting “noticed”.

If your blog is up and running and you have regular visitors coming in every day, then it would probably be a good idea to focus your attention on your own site.

However, in my honest opinion, I believe that a mixture of the two is a good strategy to implement in your blog.

Evan August 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I think it depends on what you want to do at the time and the post.

If you need to make sure your blog is solid then on your own blog. If you want to build a bigger audience then someone else’s perhaps.

If the content is a good match with someone else blog then it will be good for a guest post.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Great question and great discussions!

Based on my own experience, I think the best thing to do if a post has a REAL potential of going viral is to publish it on your blog depending on how big your blog is.

Sometimes, that post won’t produce a viral effect immediately and can take months or years to deliver results. But you have it there, and that’s what counts!

I’ve written lots of guest posts, for blogs of all sizes and the highest number of visitors I’ve ever gotten from a single guest post is around 1,500 visitors…from Problogger.

I’ve had various blog posts that I knew had potential to go viral…go viral, with tens of thousands of visitors from quality sources.

Sending these posts as guest posts to authority blogs will still have gone viral, but at the end I’ll only get a fraction of those visits.

For example, one post on my blog I wrote (with the intention that it will go viral) has gotten 15k views. On a bigger blog it’d have gotten 30k or 50k views, but then I’d only have gotten around 1-3k visitors in return…at most.

The size of “my” blog also matters here, but sometimes the very best posts are better reserved for your blog. A post I wrote 2 years ago that could have gone viral when just starting my blog didn’t get traction at first but it now gets 3k visitors monthly from Google and other search engines, links on various forums, and links from other blogs. It’s easily the most popular post on a monthly basis on my blog now, but I wrote it years ago when my blog was not even getting the number of visits the post is now getting.

With that said, I think the perspective matters.

If your blog is budding and you want quick growth, send the post to a bigger, more authoritative blog. If your blog is big or you’re growing on a slow but steady pace, put it on your blog!

Carmelo August 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

what a great comment Bamidele. I’m just starting. The blog is up and running with content but it has only REAL spiders crawling all over it. Google’s spiders have better things to do right now.

It’s interesting to see your numbers! I’m encouraged to know that it’s possible that the 20 or so articles I have on my site (pillar type stuff too) can still get some traction once the spider-bots get their asses in gear and tickle my pages.

So, after reading all these comments I’m of a mind to follow Clare’s strategy and get out there and guest post! Even if i get fewer visitors in the long run it’s better than no visitors now. It’s not as if I can’t create more good stuff later, once I’m King of the World, right?

Anyway, thanks everyone for contributing to the conversation.

Agota August 17, 2012 at 3:57 am

Hey, Onibalusi!

Interesting to hear your take on that, since you have a lot of experience on the matter.

I was wondering, by what criteria do you decide whether an article might become popular in the future or not?

Your predictions seem to be accurate, so I’d love to hear how you make them.. :)

Bamidele Onibalusi August 18, 2012 at 2:44 am

Hi Agota,

I’m glad you loved the comment.

Actually, when it comes to an article going viral my predictions aren’t always accurate, but I’ve noticed some trends with my most popular posts.

I also calculate how much effort is involved, and I take into consideration the demand for the subject and how rare it is to find a resource that addresses it.

For example, my list on “30 websites that pay people to write” (which you’ve probably read) – I wrote it for 8 hours straight and knew it will go viral, because it has a lot of demand but little has been said on the subject.

During my research, I also noticed articles of that nature have been popular on smaller blogs so I thought it will go viral. And it did!

Personally, I think you can know if a post will go viral – not necessarily now, probably on the long run – when you calculate how you feel when you wrote it and how much effort you put in it.

Agota August 19, 2012 at 3:04 am

Thank you, Onibalusi! :)

James Clear August 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I’ll give my take.

If you’re serious about building a brand online, then your absolute best stuff should always go on your site. In my opinion, if you’re not demanding that you deliver your best stuff to your own audience, then you’re not serious about becoming an authority in your area.

Additionally, I think it’s easy for us to get caught up in our tiny section of the blogosphere and forget that it’s a really big world out there. 99.9999999% of the people in the world have never heard of Copyblogger or Problogger or Think Traffic.

Here’s what that means: if a post is going to go truly viral, then it should be on your site. The likelihood of a post going viral simply because it was on a “bigger” site than yours is very unlikely. What are the odds that your post goes up on a big blog, a social media power user happens to see it, and it ends up going viral because of that? Why not just post it on your site and email a group of 10 power users who might be interested? That sounds like a better use of your time and energy.

Also, if the post really is good and you do a good job of promoting it, then it should go big anyway.

Example: Joel Runyon’s recent post here … http://joelrunyon.com/two3/an-unexpected-ass-kicking

I bet that post would have made an awesome guest post on all sorts of web design, tech, entrepreneurship, and geek blogs. But after almost 50,000 Facebook likes, I bet Joel is glad that it’s on his site. If an article is awesome, people will come to your site and read it. They aren’t ignoring you because you don’t have a brand name blog.

Final note: the truth is that most people don’t have a funnel built that can properly reap the benefits of guest posting. They might get a few hundred visitors, but they don’t convert them to email subscribers well enough to make that awesome post and all the effort worth their time.

I say take a stand and become an authority in your niche. Own your best work and then bust your butt to promote it.

Agota August 17, 2012 at 3:59 am

I like the idea of promoting your content by e-mailing power users about it.

Ricardo Caicedo August 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm

In my case it’s better to guest post, my blog is so new that hardly anyone reads it!

Moses Kerub August 17, 2012 at 2:29 am

All these comments raised a lot of questions to me, so I found myself spending most of the day thinking, what IS the best way to share content – on my blog, or via guest posts?

I came to one conclusion – There is no real answer to this.
It depends on many things, and any way you’ll choose will have its pros and cons

But there is a simple solution; The solution is Planning.
When creating the content you’d want to split it into two pieces:
The core, and it’s expansions
you have one core piece of content which you will post on your blog, and many( as much as you need) expansions which you will post as guest posts.

You need to plan it so the core content will act as a follow up to each of the other guest posts.
and then you can go even further and create a full series – on your blog.
the guest posts will intrigue the readers, and they should go to your blog for further information.

this way you get the audience of the bigger blogs, and saves the pillar content on your blog.
NOTE: Do write the guest post as your best posts! you prove yourself to the other blogger and to their audience.

Ayaz August 17, 2012 at 5:52 am

Hi Caleb! well certainly its all depends on your goals what you trying to achieve and for me as per your niche if you draft a great post and you want to use it on both place than it would be easier to get some tweaks in the content and you can share that on both your blog and guest blogging as well.

But, sharing the post on guest blogging or on your personal blog depends on your goals.

Gemma D Lou August 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I’m with Jade. It really depends.

I also like the idea of guest posting with a purpose. Like how Ryan Holiday did it.

He guest posted all around one theme, and that theme let to a book he had written.
- uncollege.org/how-dropping-out-can-change-your-life
- fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/07/18/ryan-holiday
- forbes.com/sites/ryanholiday/2012/06/15/how-greenpeace-manipulated-the-media-like-a-pro-analyzing-the-shell-oil-hoax

It was very clever. I some how stumbled across Ryan after discovering Tim Ferris, then Michael Ellsberg, then the Thiel Foundation, then uncollege.com, and finally, Ryan Holiday.

It must take a lot of for a top blogger to take a chance on someone to write a post their audience, but when the content is incredible and valuable, then it’s great for everybody. Readers, blogger and guest poster.

As for the Ryan Holiday (everywhere) thing, it could have been all coincidence that I came across him, but eventually, I started seeing him all over the place, on Chase Jarvis’ web show, and on forbes. And he had a new book coming out. I was very interested in what was going on, and what he was going to announce. It was all very good timing!

So guest posting with a purpose is a great idea. I can’t really speak for myself, because I haven’t done a guest post, at least not officially.

Jen Brown ~ Sparta PT August 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

From my experience it also depends on your field.

Mine is one in which ‘blogging’ isn’t that common. There are a few online magazines which (occasionally) accept third party content. But there aren’t a great deal of ‘blogs’ as such. So (needless to say) I’ve seen a much better response to posts on my own site than one others.

Regards
Jen

J. Delancy August 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

This is a tougher question is tougher than it appears at first glance. After years as a speech writer I know:
A) sometimes you write good
B) sometimes you write well
C) sometimes you write really epic sh*t

Here is an actual scenario: You ask a big name blogger to allow you (a meek, lowly newbie) to write a guest post. He/she agrees. You write and it comes out damn good. Its posted, does fairly well, big name blogger is happy and so are you. Two days later, while tinkering with your laptop you mix kryptonite, Kool-Aid and Gamma Radiation, lo and behold a post of epic epicness is born. Do you then:

i) Send it out into the world as another guest post to collect readers, who come to your blog and find some ok stuff but nothing earth shaking
ii) Put it on your blog, and hope that some day, Dr. Indiana Jones will Stumbleupon it and exhume it to the front pages of Digg ?

There are many factors that affect your decision but the biggest factor will be what you think about your writing. If you have an inner Leo Babauta then it won’t matter where it goes because next week or next month, you’ll produce an equally epic piece. If, on the other hand you think of yourself as a one hit wonder who has to “get lucky” each time you write then the decision is fraught with peril.
Until there is some algebraic formula for creating posts that got viral consistently, each person will have to decide for themselves.
As for me, my best writing seems to flow out of me at odd times. I can neither predict, nor control what gets written, much less shape it to the needs of a big bloggers audience. I’ll put it on my own blog and hope for the Dr.Joneses of the internet to show up.

P.S. Sorry for the cultural references but it was late, I was tired and I’d planned to watch a movie.

Steve Warner August 18, 2012 at 12:32 am

If you ask me, yes guest blogging is better, but you have to approve those post which have unique and informative.

Jamie August 18, 2012 at 2:52 am

I think you should do both. At the start of your blogging journey however you must ensure you have enough pillar content to gain the respect of any traffic you send to it. It would be pointless writing your best material on someone else’s blog only to direct readers to your own underdeveloped site. Once that is in place you should start sending out some Epic Shit to other bloggers.
Corbett believes in breaking some rules to make a change in the world and he’s right. But I intend following his rule of Writing Epic Shit like a teachers pet. Make sure every post is the best it can be regardless of its size or subject before you send or publish it. Just don’t write anything less than your best ability in the first place and there shouldn’t be much differentiation in your material. This is what will gain you consistence, authority, readers – and more importantly improve your skills as a writer.

IGBALAYE OLAYEMI August 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm

That question will be determined by the amount of traffic both the site is generating. if your site traffic is low compare to the site you are planning to submit your guest post for, then i will suggest you submit it as a guest post instead of your site post. thanks for sharing

Moe August 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm

My vote goes to your own blog. I HATE GUEST POSTING! The only time i quest post is if someone asks me too, and even then i still might not.

I think a lot of people will relate. Writing doesn’t come super easy to me. When i think of a good post, i now take my time and personalize as much as possible. I want it on my site. I didn’t get into internet marketing to become a full-time writer. If you do everything they say you should that’s exactly what happens,

A guest post can be declined, or removed at any time. Seems like a waste of effort. I suppose if you build a previous strong relationship; then I guess you can trust it will keep a good home.

Ganesh August 22, 2012 at 6:21 am

submit it as a guest post will be better than posting it on your blog if you are freshly starting up your blog or need more traffic to your blog

Craig August 31, 2012 at 8:57 am

The problem with my blog is lack of time. I have lots of ideas/content for my site, but not enough time to get them all written out. This leaves with with a dilemma of using my time to create content for my blog, creating content for guest blogging or social networking the heck out of my blog.

The compromise I made was to post the content on my own blog, I then find facebook pages with lots of likes in the area that I wrote about and that are interactive with their commenters. I post the link on their wall with a catchy headline, and often if the content is good enough they will share it to all their users. It’s less “permanent” than guest blogging but for the free time I have, it works for me.

IGBALAYE OLAYEMI September 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm

They are two different types of thing that you can do to make your site going forward and doing well with other blogs out there. posting on your blog is the first important thing to do before even think of guest post because the reason for guest post is to gain exposure and generate traffic back to your site. but without good post on your site then you are chasing your visitors away….so take care of your own site post first before going into guest post. thanks for sharing

Jeremiah Say December 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I’d rather focus on adding quality content on my own site first before even considering guest-posting.

I mean, what’s the point of having a guest-post if my own site is not-good-enough. People who visits my site will not have a good impression on me (assuming if they ended up on my website). That really breaks the whole purpose of doing a guest-post.

Right? Wrong? Let me know.

Happy holiday:)

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