social media viewpointsWhat’s smarter? Putting all your eggs into your own blog basket or placing a few real fine blog posts on another person’s blog?  If you’ve pondered these thoughts, keep reading…

Guest blogging has been around for a long time, but it’s an especially hot topic now. With the concept becoming even hotter daily, it’s quite natural that myths emerge.

This post looks at three myths around guest blogging that have been actively discussed recently.

Myth #1: Guest Blogging Is a Waste of Time

“Why would I spend so much time arranging, discussing and writing a post to get just one or two links from the very bottom of my article?”

Those who think guest posting is done for link-building—and measure the guest posting campaign by the number of links—completely don’t get it. There’s so much more to it, which you’ll miss if you focus on links. In fact, I’ve been discouraging guest bloggers from thinking about links overall: just stop building links while guest blogging. Period. Focus on other benefits of guest blogging.

The most important benefit of guest blogging is building influence. It’s a long-term asset which is almost impossible to measure, but is absolutely priceless.

One thing you need to remember is that when you’ve built influence, you don’t need to care about links at all. Once an influencer creates anything, it will acquire links by itself. When you become an influencer, your followers and followers of your followers will link to and share your content eagerly without you ever asking them.

Guest blogging is by far the most effective way to build influence. Look at any influential blogger out there—most of them started by guest blogging. Moreover, they now admit that they’ve achieved online success due to guest blogging.

leo babauta guest post

Leo Babauta, creater and founder of Zen Habits, built his influence via guest posting. Here's his guest post at that dates back to 2007.

However, if you start trying to build links (and thus get the instant benefit), you fail to build influence (long-term benefit of guest blogging). In this perspective I very much like the logic of Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence: The Science of Persuasion: If you want to build influence, give a lot. This example from the book describes how giving increases your influence in the workplace:

Because people give back what they’ve received, it means that you can increase the level of whatever you want from your coworkers and employees by giving it first. If you want more information, you provide it to them. If you want to create a feeling of trust, you offer it first. If you want to foster a cooperative attitude, you show it first. By acting first, you get to set the tone for the type of workplace relationships you want.

Guest blogging is by far the most powerful way to give. You give high-quality content, share your expertise and people start following you in return.

myth bustedMyth #1 busted! Guest blogging is only effective when you focus on long-term benefits (i.e., influence-building, networking, branding, etc.) and not on instant results (traffic or links).

And just for a change, here’s a fun little citation about guest blogging from Aussie Mummy’s interview:

I love guest posting, it’s like going on a little bloggy holiday.

Myth #2: Guest Blogging Is Frowned Upon by Google

Yes, it’s about linking… again.

Guest blogging myth #2 popped up once Google webmaster trends analyst John Mueller said in answer to a reader’s question that he would rather work on his own site than contribute to another:

Q 11. I have launched a new blog and it obviously won’t rank in Google because none of the reputable blogs are currently linking to it. Therefore, I am actively writing guest posts on other blogs as that gives me a chance to get a link from them. Is Google fine with guest blogging and do links ‘earned’ from writing guest blogs matter?

John Mueller: Making and promoting a new site takes time and effort. In general I would recommend putting that work into your own site, instead of creating content for other people’s sites.

It’s much better to create great content for your blog and to let other sites refer visitors to your site on their own. Good luck!

The fact that John hasn’t directly said that guest blogging is good resulted in hundreds of posts elaborating further on that:

guest post byline

A guest post usually contains the author’s byline with a link back to his or her site. Google is rumored to devalue these links because they “were not built naturally.”

Now, let’s make it clear:

  • Nowhere on the web will you find a direct statement that Google thinks guest blogging is bad.
  • Guest blogging can’t be considered bad once you emphasize quality. (Therefore a link is well-deserved because you got it by providing quality content other people appreciated, demonstrated by lots of sharing and links.)

Here’s my way to deal with all the “Fear Uncertainty Doubt” around Google: If I do a good job, Google will never be able to ruin my business (and most probably will never attempt to).

myth bustedMyth #2 busted: If you write high-quality guest posts people eagerly share and link to, you will be loved by everyone (including Google).

Myth #3: Blogs Accepting Guest Posts Lose Identity

…Therefore guest posting is bad.

While the previous two myths were about writing guest posts, this one is about accepting guest contributions. Some people believe and eagerly state that they would unsubscribe from blogs if they see guest posts published there (“If a blog can’t provide high-quality content on its own, then it’s wiser to subscribe to other peoples’ blogs directly.”)

I call this one a myth because it’s just an opinion, and moreover, it largely depends on the quality of the guest posting.

I’ve just taken a look at my feed reader: Social Media Examiner, Mashable, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal—I, along with hundreds of thousands of other people, subscribe to those blogs exactly because they feature guest contributions daily or weekly. Guest posting is what makes those blogs so powerful. It’s what adds variety of perspectives and styles.

Guest contributions make a blog’s content captivating: I’m forced to check those feeds daily (unlike other feeds I have in my reader) because I’m excited to read something different: different opinions, different news, different advice.

Of course, it all comes down to strict editorial standards, but featuring quality guest posting is doable and well worth the effort.

guest post variety

Now, I don’t mean to say all blogs should start accepting guest posts now. There are many personal blogs reflecting the blogger’s identity that have built a following exactly due to that personal touch.

personal blogs

That being said, there’s no definitive answer to whether guest contributors may make a blog lose its identity. What’s for sure is that guest blogging will really change your blog, make your audience more varied and probably change your blog’s future.

myth bustedMyth #3 busted: Guest blogging may make your blog less personal, but for most blogs, adding variety is not a bad thing.

What are your thoughts on guest blogging? What other guest blogging myths are you aware of? Share your comments in the box below.

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  • Ann,

    I love guest blogging!

    A myth / view that a few of my clients have is ‘why would I want to give away my best writing?’

    They feel their best writing should be published on their own blog.

    But my view is…let’s say you get 100 visitors a day on your blog and you published your best writing. Only 100 people see it…right?

    Get it published as a guest post on a site that gets 1000 visitors…voila…more people see you brilliant post!


  • Perhaps I’m young and naive (young definitely, naive hopefully not) but during the 13+ years I’ve been marketing online, I’ve never view guest blogging in a negative slant at all.

    After all, it simply reinforces what the Internet was meant to be about – the sharing of quality information.

  • Okay, I am not young, although at times naive, but I’m with Barbara, guest blogging is about sharing quality information with your readers. It’s like linking to a great post, only better – because it’s right there on your site.

    As a business writer, what I also like, is it allows me to step outside my business writing blog to some other shared interest with a fellow blogger – or to share my business writing topics outside my little world.

    All that being said, there was an interesting discussion on LinkedIn about seeking regular (I think it was monthly) guest-bloggers for no compensation. In other words, the same blogger would submit monthly guest posts.Would I draw the line there – definitely..I think guest blogging is great, but like any activity, you need to watch activity that take you away from being productive – in one form or another.

  • Ann – Great stuff.

    A few thoughts from blood, sweat and experience:

    1. Don’t be afraid to write the post THEN approach the blog (as opposed to the other way around). Both work.

    2. Bloggers love bloggers…but hate product pushers.

    3. Don’t be afraid to try some things outside the box. For example: A guest video blog.

    Keep rocking!

  • I want to delve into guest blogging, but have not done so yet. I had been torn for quite some time, as I’ve always thought a branded blog should be from the person who started it, but it seems guest blogging has come into its own, so I am looking into it more seriously.

  • Great post, Ann. Very timely as well. Just coming back from my first blog world, my head is swimming with new ideas to share. The question was where to share them.

    Andrew makes a great point about the fear to let your best ideas end up on someone else’s site. I’ve had that fear, but when I see another person’s guest post do well on my site, I know the truth. That a good guest blog drives good traffic for the host site. And makes the host feel good.

    So I am keeping an eye on my ideas – especially ones that would be good for my site but especially good on someone else’s. Perhaps I can stretch my writing wings a bit this way.

    My new challenge is to prioritize guest post writing for all the reasons you suggest. And to remind myself of the value . . .

  • Cwbrantner

    Great article. I need to start accepting guest posts for my blog!

  • Great post Ann, I have never guest posted, or accepted a guest post, but not because I believe any of the 3 myths, it’s been mostly out of a lack of time. I decided recently to start accepting guest posts at a couple of my sites, and started gathering sources of places to guest post at.

    One thing that’s important, as the content you create is precious, make sure you are publishing somewhere that will be worth it, meaning not only that they are a website with a lot of traffic, but targeted traffic to your field.

  • Great advice David!

  • Thanks, Mike 🙂

  • Interesting that I read this article today, as we were just trying to rein in our first guest blogger this past week. I’d never considered guest blogging myself though, so thanks for the idea.

  • We just had a discussion about if guest blogging is worth it. Perfect timing for this informative article!

    Lb, Social Media Intern @3birdsmarketing

  • I have guest bloggers on my blogs all the time. The thing to remember is to invite good writers. Also, be sure the content of their posts are compatible with your site and the message your trying to get across.

  • Hi Ann.

    I love your Myth Buster approach here. And guest blogging is one of the elements I that will focus more on. Beside the great advices here from David, what are some of the key points to consider when starting out guest posting?

    Cheers.. Are

  • Agreed. Thanks for the comment. I found that the most important thing is to maintain high-quality standard and not to be afraid of saying no to a low-quality or unrelated submission.

  • Great! I hope the write-up will turn useful and answer some of your questions!

  • You are very much welcome, Mark! Like I said, it’s a hot topic, so many people are discussing it!

  • Targeted traffic + active community = win. I never focus on the actual traffic of the blog I am considering for guest blogging. What really matters is how active the community seem to be (and hence how active the response and the feedback are going to be).

    Thanks for th comment, Jamie. If you are looking for guest bloggers, try MyBlogGuest 🙂

  • Yay! I love it when my writing results in some actions – so please do 🙂

  • Exactly, guest blogging lets more people see your content, so give your writing a chance to get REAL exposure!

    Your best content might be just buried on your own blog!

    Thanks for the comment, Andrew! and for myth #4 🙂

  • Yes! The only reason there’s so much rumor and misunderstanding around it is that it starts getting popular and used by marketers. People started abusing the concept and this post was an attempt to protect it.

  • I think guest blogging is a fantastic idea! We have used guest bloggers on our websites to bring in expertise that we don’t have as well as to bring in alternative views. For example, on which is a site dedicated to helping people manage their transition, we are trying to get people to write about their experiences with transitions and to present ideas on how they handled them. Different people have different approaches and someone else’s approach may resonate with someone that was just laid off, for example. We are just getting started but we hope to write guest blogs on other sites as well.


  • Thanks for the comment, Cathy. I can’t fully agree with you though. I am a regular unpaid contributor at a number of blogs related to my niche. If the blog is the niche authority, it is totally worth it.

    Active communities are vibrant, they change and evolve daily. By contributing a monthly post to this changing community, you meet new and new people and opportunities each time.

  • Thanks for the great tips, David!

  • Yes, sometimes it’s just the lack of time that forces us to start accepting guest posts. Adding new “columns” and expanding your initial blog scope might be a solution: it would add some spice without you losing your voice at your own blog.

  • Great! I hope this post will get you started! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Sure, I’ve done tons of posts about how to guest blog (this is why this article does not list those, as I thought I talked about that enough).

    Here’s one of my write-ups listing the process step-by-step. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

  • Guest blogging for some wesbite is a necessity. It is difficult to come up with content… say 5 times a week. trust me I’vr tried it. Also it’s always good to have other perspective and opnions. As owner of the site you can pick and choose which submissions you use and if they are credible for your audience.

    As a writer myself it is important to have my material being read by as many people as possible. Blogs using my material through submitters or asking me personally is flattering. If you have value as this article suggests, you’ll always have an audience.

  • Thank you Ann!

    When presenting new ideas to those who aren’t in the know, blog mythology can often prevent a potent idea from reaching its potential. So thank you Ann, for providing a strong, easy-to-understand article that we can point to when espousing the virtues of guest blogging. Clients usually look at the risks first (which is understandable), but the rewards can often exceed the negatives.

  • That’s good advice. I like the idea of “adding new columns”.

  • @Ann-this was one blog with regular monthly posts, as opposed to a number of blogs. But, I am a big believer in everyone doing what works best for them. For me, I enjoy guest blogging -in my niche and outside of it – but I wouldn’t want a monthly gig on the same site. But, that’s just me – different strokes. 🙂

  • Thanks Ann!!

    I will digg into your info.

    Cheers.. Are

  • I’ve done quite a few guest blog posts. I think they are way more more to write, as the host of the blog thinks highly enough of my writing abilities and insights to let me post on his/her property. 1. You’re reaching a new audience, where you can test how your content resonates. 2. You are establishing relationships with other bloggers. 3. And of course, backlinks are nice to have.

  • Hey Nick, thanks for the comment! Yes, guest blogging has way too many benefits to be ignored!

  • Thanks, Mark. It would be great if this article became a point-to resource!

  • Hey Elliot, yes, I personally NEVER deny any single guest posting invite (even though I am really swamped). I feel so flattered being invited that I can’t help!

    I wish I had time to do everything I would love to though!

  • Yes, Silvia, the variety of perspectives is the huge advantage of accepting guest bloggers!

    The only thing to be aware of is that many people are trying to use the concept to camouflage their link dropping and we should stay away from those and only accept contributions from authentic bloggers and experts.

  • Offering a comment is a great way to create an enviroment to get perfect stranders to Know, Like and Trust you. Sometimes you want to offer a contrary comment. When doing this, use the LCS approach. First stae what you LIKED, then share what you had a CONCERN about and then offer a SUGGESTION on how to overcome your concern. This approach is thoughtful and respectful.

  • sabrina

    Sounds like I should try it, how do I find out who is looking for what I know?

  • I was actually surprised that “guest blogging” was considered negative by anyone. I suppose that’s because I don’t go out and post just for the sake of linking. I’ve posted on websites (and Facebook pages) with content that have nothing to do with my business! If it’s interesting and thought provoking and I have something valuable to add (in my humble opinion) I comment.

    That’s what this whole social media networking thing is all about!

  • I like to guest blog, and I regularly publish posts from guest authors on my own blog at One gripe I have, though: many bloggers demand “all rights” to guest posts — in other words, they want me to grant them the copyright to my article and I can no longer use it anywhere else (not even on my own blog). Why this trend?

  • Stephanie Trahd

    Now I understand why I see everywhere (in a good way!) 😉 I love your stuff on,, and – it’s great to see you here too!

  • I think guest blogging is a great way to “be seen” elsewhere in the community. Although, as stated in this post, it’s better for someone with a new blog to focus on getting content on there, before posting as a guest on other blogs.

  • I have had a few people approach me but have been apprehensive about it. However, it does appear to be a good way to get links, advertising ( as the guest blogger will likely tweet and share their post on your blog to their followers and friends), I beleive I have been apprehensive mostly because of the identity issue. Then again my blog has a lot of variety so that may not be e worst thing. I do have another nurse I work with that had mentioned that she may want to write on my blog, I would really like to get her content on there but I am still unsure about others.

  • Great post Anne, I am very appreciated that so many bloggers have guest post for me, you included. I think it is a great way to get links.

  • It was my pleasure to contribute to Blogger Talk, Rose!

  • Yes, guest blogging is great for generating immediate attention to a new blog to jump-start a new project!

  • Hey Stephanie, thanks! What can I say, the power of guest blogging in action! 😉

  • Hey Laura, the reason is the duplicate content issue. Google won’t be able to identify which article is the source, so it may filter the guest post out. So it may harm your Google reputation as well.

    That being said, I am all for the original content as well.

  • Always glad to hear good things about guest blogging, as I too think it’s a very valuable activity for anyone being serious about blogging.
    My personal problem is just about finding time to both blog and guest blog, I hope I’ll get there 😉

  • Very creative , you know i have been learning a lot of stuff about this topic , and i as everyone admits , nothing is negative about guest blogging since it’s a very unique way to express and communicate with all kinds !!!!

  • I’ve actually had very good results with guest blogging thus far and plan on continuing to do so. On the flip side, I’ve had a couple of bloggers guest post on my site and was very well received. It also drew in new visits b/c those bloggers aggressively shared that post with their followers.

    It is a win-win situation for all parties involved! And as long as the content is relevant to the site I don’t see how the blog can loose it’s identity, but rather it would enhance it.

    Thanks for the great post Ann!

  • Li Chng Jung

    Since I have no experience in guest blogging I can’t say anything about it, but the information I read so far is fantastic. So many guest bloggers are sharing their expertise with us.
    It is very interest for me to learn guest blogging is not about building link, but rather about building influence. Having people to write about their experiences and to present ideas is the most important benefit of gurst blogging that I learn from this article.
    It sounds like many of bloggers are having fun and good experiences sharing, so I think I will speed up my learning and eventually be one of the happy bloggers.

  • Guest blogging is definitely a win-win. Your guest bloggers bring their friends/followers to your site, and you route your followers to their site. I have even landed new clients as a result of a guest post somebody else wrote for my blog. How cool is that?!

  • Just over a week ago I put out a request for guest bloggers, so I can showcase for a week. I still be doing my morning blogs, but would feature guest bloggers in the afternoon.

  • It is really great, Laura! Thanks for the comments!

  • Yes, the time issue is a huge one. My personal solution is setting up the whole day of the week – when I only do guest posting: finding blogs to guest post, writing guest posts, etc.

    No matter how swamped I am, I put aside my “paid” work to do guest blogging – this way it is never postponed, missed or neglected!

  • Yes, you can start little by little and see if this is something you and your readers enjoy: invite someone you know, then someone you enjoy reading, then someone else – and see!

    Good luck!

  • Until you have tons of marketers to enter the scene. Guest blogging has started to acquire some negative connotation since more and more link builders started to use it to insert links here and then.

  • You are right, Ann! If you do it right, the blog owner as well as the guest blogger might benefit of the partnership.

    I also write articles for other blogs and I can definitely say that my personal blog could benefit of the guest blogging. More people come to my blog and a bigger audience sees that I know what I am talking about.

  • Good job busting these myths Anne. I have to laugh when I hear of yet another “Google doesn’t like … and they will punish you for it” misconception. Google only cares about providing its customers with exactly what they are looking for, preferably at position number 1 on the first page of results. Anything that helps them do that (high quality content relevant to the search terms) is good – everything else is not good. Unless you are writing with the intention of targeting a specific search phrase, then all you need to focus on is quality. Google will figure out what is relevant, the reader will decide if it is quality. Google watches, and learns from user behavior, and is continuously improving its algorithms ability to judge and rank quality. Otherwise we’d all be using some other search engine…

    Regarding the idea that a blog should only contain content from a single blogger – I agree that this really depends on the blogger and their audience – I read the New York Times occasionally, not because it looks like it was written by an individual, but because it is not. Likewise with blogs with multiple authors, hopefully all contributing something different in terms of knowledge, style and personality to the site. It’s like going out to a party versus a romantic dinner for two – the venue you choose will be different, and the same ambiance applies to blogs.

  • Thanks for the comment, Salvatore. I’d echo your sentiment. All you need to care about is users – users will tell Google what’s good and it will follow

  • When I started my blog early this year I never had any intention of having guests but having drifted into I now find that guests are one of the mainstays of my content. I feel that my guests bring a breadth and depth of content to readers that I could never provide on my own. As long as I ensure that the quality of contributors remains high and that I ensure a consistent format, I think the guest posts attract rather than deter visitors. As a host I also have the added benefit that the contributors promote the post themselves meaning that I can reach areas that I would otherwise miss.The other benefit to me as a host is the satisfaction of seeing the pleasure that a contributor gets from having an article published which achieves a positive response. My latest guest is a good example,( someone who has never written for a blog before but who, having received some excellent feedback, describes the process as a ‘wonderful experience’.Thanks for an interesting post Ann, I hope my input as a regular host has been helpful.Tony

  • Your second benefit is so true! It is really so exciting to get connected with someone and then making him or her happy!

  • I see it as a great opportunity to build credibility in a professional setting. If you have several different experts in the same industry guest blogging and you push it across each others database, it shows your not just interested in them buying a product. Instead you are interested in educating them on growing their business! I market for attorneys and I am getting a group of experts together to do this very thing. I like the post Ann!


  • Link building isn’t my goal when it comes to this…

  • Jeannette Paladino

    I met a new colleague on LinkedIn and we decided to develop a series of guest blogs on improving the elevator pitch. In a Q&A format, I interview Pat on my blog. linking back to hers. And she interviews me on her blog for my take on elevator pitches. It is not exactly guest posting but allows a blogger to invite people to participate in her blog without a byline. The effect is the same, though — a fresh perspective on an important topic. I invite guest bloggers who align with my brand and have something of value to say. I think my subscribers appreciate reading guest blogs with a different slant on a topic.

  • Hi Folks, great post on guest blogging! We are currently looking for new bloggers over at if anyone is interested?

  • I’ve had great success with guest blogging and have the intention of using guest blogging to help me promote a new blog.


  • Hey Niall, I am sure you’ll be able to find quite a few at MyBlogGuest 😉

  • Sounds like a plan – guest blogging works great for promoting a new project. Good luck!

  • Lipgloss Culture

    Thanks for the myth busters! We’re new to this and are absorbing your tips like a sponge.

  • Denisse Marie

    Funny I just found this post – I was researching guest blogging today and some similar niche blogs I can request to guest blog as well as recommend guest blogging to a client I have. And…glad I have the right mindset as far as building influence and not just gaining links!

    Thank you! Great post.

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  • Well, this is the first time I have heard some one say that guest blogging is not good for a blogger, the blog on which guest blogs posts are done and the blog of the guest blogger. And the things to laugh about is, Google doesn’t like Blog posting.

    Well, can some one suggest me how google is going to find out if you are doing guest posting on some other blog. Well, they can look for “Guest Post” as a keyword or something like that. But if there is some genuine, original and quality conttent some one posts on any blog, then Google is bound to rank it high based on their page-rank system. Here I have done a post about the  Top 10 Blogging Myths that bloggers fall for..

  • Well, this is the first time I have heard some one say that guest blogging is not good for a blogger, the blog on which guest blogs posts are done and the blog of the guest blogger. And the things to laugh about is, Google doesn’t like Blog posting.

    Well, can some one suggest me how google is going to find out if you are doing guest posting on some other blog. Well, they can look for “Guest Post” as a keyword or something like that. But if there is some genuine, original and quality conttent some one posts on any blog, then Google is bound to rank it high based on their page-rank system. Here I have done a post about the  Top 10 Blogging Myths that bloggers fall for..

  • I really enjoy crafting out guest blog posts for different audiences and getting my words in front of far more people than my blog would ever see. 

    Although I do have trouble finding good places to post. The only people who seem to respond to me on guest blogging sites are those whose sites are just covered in adsense and poorly spun content. I guess the search continues.

  • I really think that guest blogging isn’t that bad at all and many of those who say otherwise do not understand the works of search engines are or are just too paranoid to really go out of their comfort zones and not venture on new avenue to create awareness about their business and things they do online. Guest blogging is the way to go and it adds variety to the things we do on the web. 

  • manojglobal

    TY for the useful post! I wouldn’t have discovered this on my own!

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