*This is a guest post by Ann Smarty who started building MyBlogGuest.com, the free community of guest bloggers, 11 months ago and is now sharing her story and plans*
If you follow or frequent any resource by a popular pro blogger, you are most likely to have heard the term “guest posting” plenty of times. The thing is, everyone is talking about that, publishing guides and eBooks but seldom would you come across an actual tool that would help you get started.
So once I decided to try to build such a tool…
I’ve been guest blogging for as long as I have had my own personal blog. Actually, all my online visibility I managed to build through the years has been achieved due to guest blogging.
A guest post brought me the position of a permanent blogger and then Editor-in-Chief at Search Engine Journal (and now Director of Media at BlueGlass). Another guest post helped my blog to get discovered by smartest SEO audience. I’ve been promoting all my projects with guest posts and have long been an avid believer in the beauty of the win-win concept of guest posting.
Really, the idea behind guest blogging is genius: the author gets exposure through providing great content and the blog gets a killer post that attracts new readers and followers.
In fact, the idea is so great that it is almost impossible to organize and monetize without screwing the concept… And that was the first problem I was going to face.
I’ve always known guest authors and bloggers need a place to get connected and exchange guest posts. But how should it be implemented? Turning it into a well-organized marketplace was my initial idea. But I never ended up creating the marketplace. I suspected the “marketing” thing could spoil the initial idea.
Guest blogging is about building connections with popular bloggers in your niche – so I decided it would be a community…
I knew most (successful) bloggers were busy and they would hardly manage to frequent yet another community (luckily we have plenty of networks)… And that was the second problem I was going to face.
I decided to stress upon the power of the concept and the innovative features that would help to organize the process without spoiling it.
I had no idea which of the features would turn really popular in the community where the main aim would be to exchange guest articles. So I decided to start with something basic and build new features following the community demands.
MyBlogGuest.com was launched about 11 months ago and has been getting new features ever since. The first year has been exciting. I consider it alpha period when we were developing the site while inviting new users.
We’d been playing and experimenting with various options until we at last entered our beta launch with the following main features:
- The discussion board: Here people can talk to each other, discuss post ideas, build contacts and advertise guest blogging opportunities.
- Advanced search: Users can search each other by tags, forum mentions and blog categories.
- Articles Gallery: If a user has an article he doesn’t know where to publish, he can upload it to the Gallery and wait for the blog owners to come (instead of looking for bloggers himself).
- Watch list: Users can organize new relationships they build using the feature and also set reminders to never forget apply to the offer or send a guest post.
How Can MyBlogGuest Turn Useful?
I didn’t want to turn this article into an advertisement. Instead, I wanted to share how the project had been built and developed. If you know what guest blogging can do for you and your brand, you can imagine how MyBlogGuest can be useful. If you are new to the concept, the most important benefits you should be aware of are:
- Increased exposure (getting your name heard on popular resources);
- Networking (if you are sincere in your effort to provide valuable content, bloggers will highly appreciate it and many of them will become your great friends and partners);
- Positioning yourself as expert (which will help you build trust and become niche authority with time).
Wow, I didn’t Mention Backlinks, Did I?
Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of the backlinking benefit of guest blogging. However I don’t recommend making it your main focus.
Very simple: this will prevent you from getting the idea right.
I know, link building has been a hot topic for such a long time, that it is hard to persuade people not to focus on it. But think about it this way: if you provide value and get well-networked in your niche, you won’t even have to build links anymore: the links will come on their own. People will link to you and cite your work without you even having to ask.
After all, link building is not about forcing links – it’s about getting links flow in on their own. And in this perspective, guest blogging (and MyBlogGuest) is the perfect way to get linked to (in a proper way).
So are you in? If you are willing to give it a try, join MyBlogGuest (it is free and easy!)