Do Guest Posts Actually Rank, Get Traffic and Make Money?

Free content written on a blackboard

Can guest posts you publish on your site get traffic and make money?

You bet they can.

I have a good number pulling in traffic daily.  One is a top 100 article on my site, which is great.  Here are a handful of guest post articles I published during a 2 month stint in 2017.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Guest post #1:  542 organic search visitors last 30 days
  • Guest post #2: 88 organic search visitors last 30 days
  • Guest post #3: 94 organic search visitors last 30 days
  • Guest post #4: 37 organic search visitors last 30 days
  • Guest post #5: 33 organic search visitors last 30 days

In total, 5 guest posts attracted 794 visitors via Google search in the last 30 days.  That’s 9,528 visitors per year.

Suppose over the next year I publish 50 guest posts, which is only one per week.  Assuming similar numbers above, that’s 10 times the traffic which is 7,940 visitors per month (95,280 visitors per year).  That’s a couple of thousand dollars per year in revenue.

Guest post publishing background

I started accepting high quality guest posts in earnest for 2 months (April and May) 2017, stopped, then started again 1 month ago.  I stopped because I was focusing on a large restructuring of my site, but now that that’s done, I’m back to accepting guest posts because it’s worked out quite well.

During that first 2 month stint in 2017, I was tough on quality, but didn’t put much time into keyword research so while all the content was excellent, a lot of it didn’t target solid keywords.  In 2018, I’ve put together a long list of article topics that target decent keywords (most are long tail) so I expect results to exceed results to date.  That said, for the batch I published in 2017, I’ pleased with the traffic results.

While the first batch of guest posts I published in 2017 aren’t generating hordes of traffic, they are generating traffic which means they’re making me money… a couple of hundred dollars to date.  While not life-changing money, it’s a really good ROI because it cost me nothing.

How to do it right

The key is having strict quality guidelines for what articles you’ll publish on your site.  It’s easy to publish a pile of junk.  I place orders to guest post requests just like I place orders to writers.  I stipulate the topic (now based on keyword research), word count, formatting, image requirements and outbound links.  At the end of the day, a quality guest post submission is the same quality as if I paid for it from a quality writing agency.

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It takes more work to scrutinize and communicate your guidelines.  But if you put in the effort managing guest submissions, you will get quality articles that can perform really, really well.  That’s the goal.

I wrote an expansive article on my exact requirements for guest content here.

3 More ways to make money from guest posts on your site

Affiliate links: Request article topics that promote products and input your affiliate links.  I stipulate in my guidelines that affiliate links may be added to the content and that those affiliate links are my affiliate links.  It’s done at my discretion.

Social / email blasts: Request guest posters promote the article on social media and their email list.  You could make this a condition of getting a guest post published.  This can be an influx of immediate traffic.

Your social / email blasts:  If social media friendly, promote it on your social media channels and to your email list for more traffic.

How to get a lot of guest post requests

1. High DA/Good Site Metrics

It does help if your site has a decent domain authority and traffic.  Guest posters want traffic and high DA promotion.  If your site is new, it’s harder to attract guest posters.  Moreover, the outreach services have various site metrics they require.

Which leads to an interesting additional benefit of buying an existing site with decent DA (as opposed to starting a site from scratch).  If you like the idea of building out part of your site with free content, it may be worth investing in an existing aged site.

2. Get listed on lists of sites that accept guest posts

There are lists of websites that accept guest posts for many niches.  Some of these lists span multiple niches while others focus on specific niches.

Here’s how to find them:

Google SERPs websites that accept guest posts

Here’s an example of articles that list fitness sites that accept guest posts:

Fitness Websites that accept guest posts

3. Publish a good “guest post guidelines” page

I set out how to do this here.

4. Contact outreach services

Outreach services (aka SEO agencies that do guest posting outreach), are always looking to expand their network of sites that accept guest posts.  Contact them and ask to be included in their rolodex.  Again, it helps to have a decent DA and traffic.

How to scale this up big time

If this content model appeals to you, establish relationships with outreach agencies that are willing to meet your guest posting requirements.  Many won’t because they have low word count budgets and won’t deliver all that great of content.  But there are outreach outfits that will provide excellent content to your specifications.  If you connect with a couple of these, your content needs can totally be met.

Just remember, don’t compromise quality for quantity.  I still reject far more than I accept.  I also get plenty of guest posters who are turned off by my requirements.  That’s okay by me.

If you’re having a hard time getting guest posters willing to write 1,500 to 2,000 words, one solution is to come up with a list of topics that don’t require such lengthy articles.  There are plenty of topics in any niche that don’t require a novella length article.  In fact, this is my latest strategy… I found dozens of long tail keywords that don’t need more than 900 or 1,000 words of content.

 

Fat Stacks quote from Breaking Bad by Jesse Pinkman
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