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Why Your Guest Posts Don’t Drive Traffic To Your Blog (and What To Do About It)

  • Tom SouthernTom Southern

You’re excited to start your online business, and you’ve heard from experts that guest posting is the best way to build your blog. You followed the experts’ advice and combed the internet to come up with a list of blogs that are a good fit with your own blog’s niche.

You worked hard to pitch these blogs, and when your pitch was accepted, you were ecstatic. You wrote great content for the blog owner and waited impatiently for publication day.

And when publication day did arrive, you couldn’t stop checking your subscriber stats to see how many new readers you’d gotten for your blog.

But . . . . your excitement didn’t last.

The flood of readers you expected after your guest post was published never came.

Sure, a few people left comments. A few more tweeted or shared a link to your guest post. But your traffic stats didn’t lie. Your hard work and increase in traffic, readers, subscribers and income just never materialised.

What’s Gone Wrong?

Could it be that guest posting actually sucks? That it’s just another tired old traffic tip that has passed its sell-by date?

No. Guest posting is still the best strategy for growing your blog. It’s not easy. But then, nothing easy works, does it?

Could it be that you just picked the wrong time to guest post?

No. Apart from New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving there’s never really a wrong time to guest post.

Could it be that your list of target blogs to guest post on is wrong?

Maybe, but probably not. After all, your research is solid: you know these blogs are writing to the sames kinds of readers you’d like to have on your email list.

The truth is, if your guest posting hasn’t generated the results you expected or wanted, it’s because you didn’t do the most important thing you need to do as a guest poster.

You didn’t promote your guest post.

Sure, you tweeted and shared a few links to your guest post.

But it’s not enough.

It’s not enough to get accepted, published and sit back and enjoy your spot in the limelight that guest posting for other blogs gives you.

You need to promote your guest post too. And, I mean PROMOTE it.

It’s not enough to sit back after your guest post goes live thinking that all the host blog’s readers and its reputation will do all the promotion for you. It’s not enough to tweet or share a few links (and pop by to respond to comments).

What The Pros Do That You Don’t (and Why Their Guest Posts Get More Traffic Than Yours)

Remember those experts we talked about earlier? The ones who told you that guest posting is the best way to build your list? They weren’t wrong, but what they may not have told you is that they do this one thing that 80% of guest posters don’t do:

They create a plan for promoting the hell out of their guest posts.

To get the most mileage out of your guest post (no matter which blog you’re publishing on), you need to have a promotion plan of your own. And you need to follow this plan. And keep on following it days, weeks, or months after the post has been published. If you’ve created timeless pillar content, you might even be promoting it years later!

You see, getting your guest posts accepted and published is only a small part of what makes your guest posts successful.

Your guest post’s biggest value is in the connections you make as you’re promoting it.

Now, you may be thinking: “I have promoted my guest posts and I don’t just tweet a few links.” That’s great –Β  it means you’re one step ahead of the 80% of guest bloggers who never promote at all.

But, you still aren’t seeing the flood of new subscribers that you dreamed of, which means that you are probably making one – or more – of these 5 big promotion mistakes.

5 BIG Mistakes to Avoid When Promoting Your Guest Post

Before I get into some simple and highly effective ways to promote your guest post that will pay dividends for you (and the blogs your write for), I want to stop for a minute and talk about the 5 ways that most people try to promote their guest posts. Like many online marketing tactics, it often helps to see what you shouldn’t do, before we get into what you should do.

BIG Mistake #1: “In It to Win It” Mentality

Yes, you want traffic. Yes, you want readers. And yes, you want to sell as much of your product as you can. Working with other people to help you do this is great. But it’s a two-way process, with a heavy dollop of giving back. If the people reading your guest post feel as though your only interest in them is how much money you can make off them, your guest post will never attract the kind of long-term subscribers you’re looking for.

BIG Mistake #2: Being Spammy

Nobody wants to be seen as spammy. Nobody wants to get spam. So, promote your guest post with care and authenticity. Realize that, although *you* think everyone in the world should read your post, not everyone else sees it that way. Choose who you contact to promote your blog and having something meaningful to offer them in return.

BIG Mistake #3: Forgetting to Connect with Influencers

In the excitement of sharing your guest post links on social media, you may have forgotten that 90% of promotion is building relationships connecting and engaging.

Most people spend too much time on social media tweeting and sharing links, thinking that this is what promoting their guest posts is all about. In between they may email an influencer in their niche.

In truth, 90% of your promotion should be focused on building and engaging with a network of influencers who will promote your guest posts to their massive and loyal audience.

When they tweet links to your content they’re making a recommendation to their audience that they should check out your content.

Here are 8 steps for how to connect and engage in a friendly and authentic way that will make you stand out.

BIG Mistake #4: Not Knowing Who Will Promote Your Post, and Why

Whenever you write a guest you should have a clear plan for who you want to promote your guest post, and why they would want to do so.

In other words, which influential blogger on your particular topic would love to send people to your guest post? You should have this in mind as you’re writing the post, not after. Remember to think about influential bloggers in your network with whom you’ve cultivated relationships: would their readers benefit from the guest post you’re writing?

Then you need to think about “why” you want them to promote your guest post. It’s not enough to just respond with “Because I want them to promote my post.” Of course you do. But it’s a trap to think simply about what you can get out of connecting.

To stand out from all the other people contacting influential bloggers for promotional content, you’ll have more success if you can provide a specific reason for that influencer to feature you. It could be because their recent post on the topic raised a lot of questions that your post will solve. Or it could be because your area of expertise in this topic is deeper than theirs, and they’re happy to share the best resources with their audience. The exact reason will differ for each influencer, which is why many people often ignore this process.

BIG Mistake #5: Forgetting About Pre-Publication & After-Publication Promotion

To get the most out of any promotion you do, you need to start before your guest post goes live. And you need to keep on promoting it after the publication date. You’ve worked hard to create an awesome post for your host blog. Why not treat as pillar content? In other words, why not be sure that the post continues to work for you (as well as your host) in terms of generating traffic and readers, and spreading the word about you (for both of you).

Most blogs that accept your guest posts will give you a publication date. This is usually a few weeks to a month after you receive notification that your guest post has been accepted. For bigger blogs, it can sometimes be a few months. Use this time from notification to publication to start putting your promotion plan into play.

After your post has been published, don’t run off to the next guest posting opportunity and forget all about this post. Keep promoting your guest posts. There will always be influencers and other people who will be interested in the topic of your guest post. Your job is to keep track of them so that you can let them know about it and they can promote it to their audience for them.

7 Tiers To Powerfully Promote Your Guest Posts

Now you know what mistakes to avoid when promoting your guest posts, you can concentrate on developing a simple and highly effective plan for powerfully promoting them the way smart bloggers do! Each of these tiers will work by itself, but I recommend you do as many as possible to get the most mileage out of each guest post.

Tier #1: Influencer Promotion

Who did you name or talk about in your post? Email them, or send them a tweet to tell them about about it. Everyone likes to be recognized for their expertise, so this is a natural place to start promoting your guest post.

The first place to start is by thanking the owner of your host blog. Show your gratitude. “Knocked out to have this guest appearance on [insert name of host blog].” is a good start.

Thank the blog editor too if your host blog has one. Because he or she has been your first point of contact and have helped and advised and edited your guest post for you.

Then, think about who you mentioned in your guest post. Email or tweet them and let them know you mentioned them. Add a line or two about why you mentioned them and ask them for a link or comment, like this:

FM promotion1

If you’re connecting via email instead of social media, take a look at this example from an email I sent Jon Morrow of and a former Associate Editor of

[Subject line]: Because you’re a Stephen King fan …

Hi Jon,

Thought you might like to check out this presentation I’ve created. It’s my first one. It’s about what Stephen King can teach bloggers about creating compelling content.

Oh, and I tribute you and your post about him as one of my inspirations behind this presentation. Stephen King being the other πŸ™‚

Here’s the link:Β

If you like it, please tweet it.

Have a great weekend.



Simple, polite, friendly and to the point. He’s busy and so is every influential blogger. He’s also generous like a lot of influential bloggers are. Jon emailed me back with this response: How could I resist?

Your last set of influencers to contact are bloggers who’ve written about the same topic. Send them a quick email or a tweet (it’s a good idea to follow them on Twitter too and keep up contact with them) to let them know about your guest post. Don’t forget to include a link, and any specific promotion actions you think would best suite their readers.

If you choose to send them an email, say something like this:

Hi [blogger’s name],

You wrote a great post on your blog a few [days/weeks/months] ago called [insert blog post title] and I loved it and tweeted it out to all my followers. [if they responded add this next line] You wrote a great response to my comment/tweet [delete whichever one does NOT apply] too. Cheers!

I’ve just written this guest post for [name of your guest post host blog] which I think and your readers will like. Here’s a link so you can check it out:

[insert link]

If you do like it and you think your readers will too, please tweet them the link. And if you’ve got an extra moment, I’d love you to leave a comment too.


[Your name]

[Your @twittername]

If you don’t know of anyone who’s written about your topic, do a quick search on Google for blog posts that (especially) influential bloggers have written, or have published as guest posts on their blogs.

You might not get many responses from this last group. Perhaps you won’t get any responses. But the payback when you do is worth the effort!

Tier #2: Email Promotion

If you’ve got an email list, then you absolutely send an email (or two!) telling your subscribers about your guest post and including a link to it. Ask them to leave a comment and tweet or share a link to it too.

Don’t be shy. If they’re on your list, it’s because they’re interested in what you write about. Whether it’s on your blog or someone else’s won’t matter to them, as long as you’re writing stuff that they’re interested in. Appearing as a guest poster will give them social proof that you know your stuff too.

It doesn’t matter if your list has 20 members, 200 or 20,000. Promote your guest post to them and ask them to promote it too by sharing that link.

Tier #3: Social Media Promotion

Before you start posting links all over your social media sites, take a minute to write down everywhere on social media you’d like to share your guest post.

Do you belong to one or more Facebook groups? Tell them about your guest post and include a link. Ask other members for their support in sharing this link with their other groups, Facebook friends, fans, etc.

You want to do the same for your LinkedIn groups. Don’t go overboard though. You don’t want to become known as a spammer and thrown out of your group. Use a little discretion, such as:

Just got a guest post go live on [name of host blog] – Yaayyy! Would love your feedback. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

[include link to guest post].

Don’t forget Google +. And Twitter.

You can probably guess that Twitter is my favourite social media platform. I love it. But you might love Facebook. Or Google+. Or LinkedIn. Whichever one you love, use it to good effect in promoting your guest post.

Using TweetDeck to Promote on Twitter

One thing I love about Twitter is TweetDeck. It’s a free and really useful tool because it lets you schedule tweets (and retweets) and lets you add columns for the different types of people you want to follow on Twitter, like so:

FM promotion2

This is vital for keeping up-to-date with what influential bloggers are tweeting about (and are therefore interested in). This will help you build up connections which in turn, will let you ask them to tweet links to your guest post and hopefully get one or two promotionsas a result. Here’s how that worked for me:

FM promotion3 (2)

Each influential blogger with their huge Twitter following and influence means that if one or more of them tweet a link to your guest post, they can send a lot of readers to your guest post.

I recommend that you use Twitter. If you’ve not signed up yet, sign up today. And sign up to TweetDeck too and start adding columns for those influential bloggers you want to get to know.

Tier #4: Peers and Newbies Promotion

It’s not just influential bloggers who can promote your guest post. Your blogger peers, friends, accountability or mastermind buddies and even newbies can do wonders to promote your guest post. You can reach out to them directly by email or social media. Be explicit that you’re really excited about your guest posting opportunity, and ask them to share the link with their own audiences.

And don’t forget your fellow students! If you’ve invested in a training programme such as Danny’s Audience Business Masterclass or Write Like Freddy then you can share your guest post with them and ask them for a tweet or share too. Again, discretion is key.

Don’t expect that because they’re fellow students that they will all fall over themselves to promote your guest post. Show them all you’re a good egg too and share their guest posts (and posts) as often as you can.

Tier #5: Other Guest Posters On Your Host Blog

Chances are good that you’re not the first guest poster to post on your host blog. This is great news, because it means that all of your host blog’s previous guest posters are potential promoters for your guest post.

Search your host blog for guest posts that cover a similar topic to yours. Email the writers and let them know about your guest post. In your email to them you can say something like this:

Hi [fellow guest poster’s name],

You wrote a great post for FM a few [days/weeks/months] ago and I loved it and tweeted it out to all my followers. [If they responded to a comment you left add this line] You wrote a great response to my comment too. Cheers!

I’ve just written this guest post for FM which I think you and your readers will like. Here’s a link so you can check it out:


If you do like it and you think your readers will too, please tweet the link to them. And if you’ve got an extra moment, I’d love you to leave a comment too.


[Your name]

[Your @twittername]

Almost no one does this in order to promote their posts, so even if you only find a handful of guest bloggers with posts similar to yours, they’ll probably be chuffed that you reached out, and happy to promote your post.

Tier #6: Influencers in Other Niches (Not Necessarily Related to Yours)

Many guest posters fall into the habit of promoting their guest post within their own niche. But the odds are good that other niches, some of which aren’t directly related to yours, would also benefit from your post! You’ll want to do a bit of research to find these niches, and then locate the influencers in each niche.

First, start with your guest post topic? Draw a circle like the one below and write your topic title in the middle. For example:
FM promotion6Now, think about at least ten niches that relate to your topic. Here are just a few examples:
FM promotion7You might have to take a bit of time to think of how your niche might relate to others. But it’s worth the time you spend coming up with these 10 niches. Later on you can increase your related niches count.

Once you’ve got up to 10 related niches, it’s time to think about who the influential bloggers are in each of them.

You might find drawing circles like those above and inter-linking them helps you. Or you might find creating a table in Excel or similar programme helps you.

The example Excel table below gives you an idea of how you can use it to keep a record of your research into niches related to your niche and the influential bloggers in each related niche.

My Niche Related Niche #1 Related Niche #2 Related Niche #3 Related Niche #4
Real Estate Parenting Finance Marketing Copywriting
InfluentialBlogger #1 InfluentialBlogger #1 InfluentialBlogger #1 InfluentialBlogger #1
[enter his/her name in these boxes]

Blog name

Blog name Blog name Blog name
@twittername @twittername @twittername @twittername
InfluentialBlogger #2 InfluentialBlogger #2 InfluentialBlogger #2 InfluentialBlogger #2
[enter his/her name in these boxes]

Blog name

Blog name Blog name Blog name
@twittername @twittername @twittername @twittername

[enter his/her name in these boxes]

Blogger #3

InfluentialBlogger #3 InfluentialBlogger #3 InfluentialBlogger #3
Blog name Blog name Blog name Blog name
@twittername @twittername @twittername @twittername

Make it a priority to discover their @twittername. Then follow them on Twitter.

Here are the 2 essential ways to do this:

1. Go to their blog and look for their Twitter contact details. Usually you’ll find it included in a banner of all their social media platforms details.

2. Add a column in TweetDeck to follow them as mentioned in Tier #3: Social Media Promotion.

Now that you know who these influencers are, follow what they tweet about and what they link to. This will give you insights into what interests them, and what topics they’re most likely to promote through their social media accounts (especially Twitter!)

This is how I discovered Chris Garret is a Pink Floyd fan. After we’d shared a few tweets back and forth about this band, I emailed him about a post that used Pink Floyd as an example of marketing and asked if he would tweet out a link to the post if he liked it. He did. And he tweeted a link.

Following what influential bloggers are tweeting about on Twitter also helps you start up conversations with them. Or to tweet them a link to a fellow guest poster’s guest post. Whenever you do this be sure to include your fellow guest poster’s @twittername. This will make sure they see that you’re promoting them. The more you do this, the more you’re likely to get fellow guest posters doing the same for you.

Why Influential Bloggers In Other Niches Can Be Excellent Promoters

Now that you know how to find and connect with influencers in other niches, take another look at the circle examples I included above. Real Estate is interlinked with Parenting because parents with children want homes for their growing family, right? So, an influential blogger with a blog about parenting would be a great asset in your promotion network if you were a Real Estate Agent who had just published a guest post on a big site like Firepole Marketing.

It helps if you’ve already built up a connection with them before your guest post goes live. But even if you haven’t, you can tweet a message to an influential blogger outside your niche about your guest post if you know that it’s related to their niche.

Taking our influential parenting blogger example, let’s say that your guest post is about creating a family-friendly home office that will increase your productivity as a business blogger. You could tweet this parenting blogger and say something like:

@twittername [of influential Parenting blog] check my guest post on @FirepoleMRKTNG about creating family-friendly home offices: [include link to guest post].

Or …

@twittername [of influential Parenting blog] this might interest your readers if they want a family-friendly home office: [include link to guest post].

Of course your tweets won’t have the words in brackets taking up the 140 character spaces. And remember to leave space for retweets in your tweet for influential bloggers to add something too when they retweet. Space encourages retweets.

Tier #7: Write a Related Post on Your Own Blog

Writing a related post on your own blog is an added tool in promoting your guest post. You’ll get the best promotion power out of this tactic if your related or follow-up post is also a very strong post.

You can expand on the points covered in your guest post by including additional valuable resources or tools, steps, etc.

Make sure you include a link back to your relevant guest post on its host blog. This is essential.

This does mean you’ll need to do some extra schedule planning, especially if you want your guest post’s publication to coincide with your related post. But the publication date your host send you via email once your guest post is accepted should help you schedule both posts to coincide.

Before you start writing your related post and after you’ve been given the green light your guest post has been accepted, email your host (or his or her blog’s editor) and check that it’s okay for you to write a related post. Include in your email a brief description of what your related post will cover so it’s clear it’s not just a copy or a thinly disguised rewording of your guest post.

If you don’t have a blog yet, don’t worry. You’ll get plenty of mileage out of the 6 other tiers to promoting your guest post.

Get Out There and Promote Your Posts!

What you get out of your guest post depends entirely on the effort you put into promoting it. It’s up to you whether you get 7 comments or 107. The more promotion you do for your post, the more engagement you’ll get.

The same goes for how many people click through to your blog or your email opt-in “give-away” and join your list of subscribers.

By following this the seven tiers that I’ve laid out here, you’ll get more engagement and create a larger audience for your own blog.

If you get more comments, tweets, shares than other guest posts it because you are more active in promoting your guest post than they are. Pat yourself on the back. It’s proof you’re doing a great job!

Now, it’s time to get busy promoting your guest post. Start by following me on Twitter here and tweet me a link so I can retweet it out to my followers.

Leave a comment below to let me know how you plan to use this guest post promotion plan to drive more traffic to your own blog!

78 thoughts on Why Your Guest Posts Don’t Drive Traffic To Your Blog (and What To Do About It)

Amy Dunn Moscoso

Hi Tom,

Very timely for me – I just used several of your tips (influencers/social media) to promote my guest post on Jon Morrow’s Boost Blog Traffic.

Thanks for the tips!


Tom Southern

Hi Amy,

Wow, Boost Blog Traffic? that’s quite a feat. Congrats! Proves you’re a great content writer which is half the battle of getting others to promote and share your guest posts.

Glad to hear these tips are timely for you and that you could put them to work for you straight away. Let me know how they pay off for you, won’t you?

Thanks for stopping by, it’s good to hear from you. I’m off to read your BBT post πŸ™‚


How did you know this was exactly the post I needed to read today? I’m working on a pillar post and developing my promotion strategy right now. You’ve given me all the tools I need to promote this project…thank you!

Tom Southern

Ha-Ha! Glad this post is useful to you, Jessica. I hope you can use it and keep as a resource to power your promotion strategy. What’s your pillar post about? Let me have a link when it goes live.



Once again, what a tangled web we weave or are forced to weave. And as usual with online presence development, it’s loaded with chickens and eggs vying to see which comes first. The original idea behind guest blogging was to build a presence through others and stand on the shoulders of giants or at least on the shoulders of the tallest short folks in the room for exposure. That would in turn lead to the growth of an organic audience of our own to whom to promote content, books, thought leadership, etc.
But now it appears we need to promote our posting to our following or audience. Oh, wait, that doesn’t really exist yet, remember? Hmm. I’m also as usual one of the only ones left gnashing my teeth over what look to be inherent contradictions. I might as well go back to building that list through “magnets” and “offerings” parked out in the asteroid belt somewhere. Do I sound cynical? Or just like a real world soloist attempting to sift through all the hype and misdirection out there for something with a basis of logic and leverage. Still listening and sifting away, K

Tom Southern

Hi Kent,

Standing on the shoulders of giants is still the idea and purpose of guest blogging (or guestposting – whichever term you use). I’m all that, 100 per cent. The purpose of
promoting your guest posts is not only to drive traffic to your own blog but also to bring in readers for your host blogs.

If you don’t have an audience yet, guestposting is a great way to build it.

You don’t sound cynical Kent. You raise the need for caution when setting out on a
guestposting strategy and the need to always remember that it’s a win-win strategy.
If your overall motives for having a blog and wanting to give your skills, experience and know-how are sincere, then so your motives for guestposting (and the promoting them) will be.

Martin Edwards

You make a very good point here Kent and I hope you don’t mind me jumping in and having a go at untangling the web a bit. As you say, the idea of guest posting is to gain exposure for your writing with a much larger audience than you can get on your own blog. However, the idea is that you are helping the host blog by providing valuable content which is tuned to the host audience and seeks to address their desires and problems. It is not just and advertisment for your own blog. As part of the deal you do get a link to your own landing page or blog which readers may follow if they are touched by your writing and want to find out more about you. So long as what they find when they get there fits with their expectations then the more people who read your article the more chance you will have of getting people who sign up to your email list. What Tom is saying is that firstly, getting more people to read the post helps you and shows the host blog owner that you are proud of your post and want to tell all your contacts. Secondly that getting your content published on a highly authoritive site makes it far more likely that anyone you contact will share the link with their followers. You don’t have to have a huge following and some of Tom’s tactics fit that situation. Jon Morrow is far more likely to share a link to a post mentioning him on Firepole than to a post on your own blog. People tend to only share content with their followers if they are comfortable with its perceived authority and most simply do not have the time to read in detail, check facts etc. Getting a post published here gives your writing that seal of approval and enhances its shareability. You are not cynical at all, this is healthy debate and we all need to be ready to hold ourselves to account for the things we say in public.

Tom Southern

Thanks Martin, couldn’t have put it better myself.

Debbie Stuart

Very timely and helpful, thanks!

Tom Southern

Thanks Debbie, glad to hear this post has helped you out. Are you working on a guest post at the moment? Or planning to promote some you’ve already had published?

Thanks for the heads-up re: the link error.

Marcy McKay

Tom – you are a lean, mean trafficking machine! Great to see you here. This post ROCKED. As you know, I’m guest-posting out there, so you have several useful tips for me. I really like writing a related post to my blog. Thank you!

Tom Southern

Hey Marcy, thanks for stopping by. I like that description πŸ™‚ .

Yes, you sure are a great example of how to guest post. Can’t wait to hear how these tips help you increase your guestposting reach and drive traffic to your blog. Let me know how they work for you, won’t you?

Marcy McKay

You bet, Tom. I’ll definitely keep you posted on which of your tips helps me the most. Thanks again.

Tim Soulo

Hey Tom!

Loved the tip #5 – reaching out to other guest posters πŸ™‚ Genius!

Actually I think the guys that do guest blogging should be the friendliest of all… because they know how hard it is to get traction.. so I’m sure reaching out to them should work like a charm!

Will try that soon πŸ˜‰ Thanks for an awesome idea!

Tom Southern

Hi Tim,

Yes, reaching out to other guestposters is a good promotion strategy for just the reasons you mention. I think it’s all about supporting each other in getting our message out there. Often, even if our blog topics are not related, there’s a lot we can learn from each other.

Let me know how tip #5 works for you.

Thanks Tim. Great to have you add your thoughts here.

Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing

Great post, Tom!

I have to say, I think I was slow to catch on to the power of tapping other guest posters for a big blog to help promote your guest post. But over time, I found that was a great way to network, and I’ve made a lot of great relationships that way.

The other thing I’d say is — invite some of those other guest posters to post on *your* blog, or offer to post on theirs. Keep building those relationships further. I’ve had quite a few bloggers I met as fellow guest posters on big blogs end up guest posting on my own blog. People who’ve gotten to guest post for you often share your stuff for months or years to come.

Tom Southern

Thank-you Carol.

Yes, you’re right about the great networking potential of getting other guest posters to help promote your guest posts. I’ve got to know brilliant people this way.

That’s a great idea about inviting these fellow guest posters to write for my blog too. I’ve thought about this but thought I’d wait a while because my blog’s new. However, you’ve got me thinking that this is a strategy that can be implemented at any time in a blog’s life.

Thanks for taking time to add to this great tip.


Hello Tom,
Just a quick thank you for this comprehensive, clear and creative post.
Like Kent, I am overwhelmed so was glad to read your reply to him.
I shall keep your post and consult it when my times comes and take things one step at a time.
Thank you again.
Kindest regards.

Tom Southern

Thanks Zarayna,

I understand how you feel because blogging can be overwhelming, especially with all the advice out there which sometimes contradicts itself, like Kent talked about. The trick is to take it slowly, like you say, one step at a time. Find bloggers whose style and message match your own. Listen to them and read through their content and start contacting them to let them know how you like their content.

What in particular have you found overwhelming? Are you still struggling to get to grips with it, or are you working it out?


Landing a guest post and only getting a hand-full of new subscribers is exactly what happens to me. I remember one going live recently and I got like one new subscriber. Stopped me dead in my guest posting adventure.

Hmm… I had no idea that I also had to do all that promotion.

Thanks Tom, I’ll definitely try this out the next time I land a guest post

Tom Southern

Hi Jevon,

Your experience is not uncommon. What I’ve learned is that it’s vital to chose the right blog to guest post for. That’s a big part of your pre-promotion strategy.

You might find this post handy for some tips on choosing the right blog to guest post for (check out the Step #1):

Promotion is a big part of your guest post’s success too.

Let me know how you get on using this promotion strategy.


Hi Tom,

Very kind of you to reply and enquire as to the road bumps on my journey.
If I am honest (and it’s hard being honest!), it’s my own hypocrisy which is my No. 1 foe.
I have to get over myself! (Same problem all my life). But once I get going, I keep rolling.
Thank you for your encouragement – allow me to wish you much further success.
Kindest regards.

Tom Southern

Thanks. No problem, Zarayna. Just keep your goal in mind and keep on going.

Rob Newman

Well done, Tom – and very timely for me. I just had my guest post accepted by a popular blog. Now I think I’ll go back and edit it by adding some links other influencers!

Thanks for the tips

Tom Southern

Hi Rob,

Glad to hear you got your guest post accepted. Tweet me a link, I’m @CopyByTom and I’ll share it with my followers.

Yes, this post does seem to have come at the right time for people and rekindled their enthusiasm for getting their guest posts really working for them. I’m glad I could help with some useful ideas.

You should check with the owners of the blogs before editing your guest posts though (or asking for them to edit for you). They could probably be open to making these changes for you, so long as there’s not a lot of them. You can explain why you’re making them, e.g. to add to their interest to relevant influential bloggers, etc.

An alternative would be to simply let some influential bloggers in the fields your guest posts cover know about them and use these steps here for your future guest posts.

Sonia Thompson

Hey Tom – thanks so much for walking us through this!

Guest posting is definitely a great strategy, but it sure is a lot of hard work. And because we put so much work into it – we’ve got to fight and push to make sure our ideas get in front of the people who need it most.

That’s what I have to remind myself of every time I cringe about needing to email someone to ask them to share a post I’ve written. I’m working on getting better at it, and implementing a consistent plan to do so.

Thanks for the blueprint. πŸ™‚

Tom Southern

Hey Sonia, good to see you here and thanks for stopping by to add your thoughts.

You’re right about guest posting, it’s hard work and after putting all that effort into getting accepted, it’s vital to make sure you get the maximum results back.

And yes, sometimes it can be a little daunting asking for support in promoting guest posts, or any content for that matter, but remember, it’s about getting your solution or your idea to as many people as possible. If you can help people that’s a good reason for someone to accept your request, right?

Thanks for naming these tips a blueprint. I like to think that’s what they’ll become for people.

Cheers Sonia!:)

Marcy Axness

Oh my gosh, Tom, sooooo timely for me! In January I was invited for a 5-day guest-post gig at a big site and was expecting not just new subs but way more of THEIR traffic to the posts… and was disappointed. No engagement, no comments, nada. Yes, I promoted via Twitter & FB but reading your post here, I could have done so much more. To be brutally honest, I was bummed and just sort of bagged it. (I ended up repurposing it into content emailed to my ~3500ish list, which helped me feel a little better.)

Here’s my question, vis a vis the idea of continuing to promote it long after it originally goes live: how does that work, say, promoting to field influencers and other bloggers? “Hey, I wrote this series of guest posts about ‘How Childhood Builds a Healthy Brain’… 3 months ago!” [I hear a needle-scratch in my head right there, lol!] While I’ll confess that I don’t really know what “pillar content” means, I have a feeling these 5 posts ARE that, so I’d love your guidance on using these wonderful tactics when one was a little…um…slow on the uptake!


Tom Southern

Hi Marcy,

Great to hear this post found at the right time.

Yes, your experience sounds pretty rough, and after all the work that you must have put into those guest posts, it’s understandable you felt bummed. Glad to hear you found a way to repurpose it though.

Good question regarding how long after your guest posts get published should you continue to promote and ask influencers to share them. I would say you could do this up to 12 months after, maybe longer. Of course, if you’re writing about a topic that’s seasonal, or a one-time only occurrance like say, an event then maybe up to 3 months after is a good time frame.

Using your example of “How Childhood Builds a Healthy Brain” that sounds like a post you could promote for 12 month & longer. Of course, you could update it to include any new research.

Pillar content is content that never becomes obsolete because it stays relevant. This 2011 post of Danny Iny’s here on Firepole Marketing is a great example:

Thanks for asking this, Marcy. I think a lot of readers are probably wondering these things too. Does this help you at all? Let me know. Cheers! πŸ™‚

Don Karp

Very comprehensive and useful article. Being a beginner with only a couple of guest posts, I would never have considered promotion, so I am glad to have read about it. On the other hand, the writing, finding proper blogs to post in, linking to other similar posts, correct formatting for that particular blog, etc., etc.–the list goes on and on–and now, oy! another big set of tasks! I think I need to take several big breaths.

Tom Southern

Hi Don,

Yes, it can be a little intimidating to think of what goes into a guest post in order to make it drive the traffic you want back to your blog (and your host’s blog). The trick is to take it step by step, tier by tier. Begin with defining what you want to happen as a result of people reading your guest post. Once you know that, write your guest post using it as your compass.

All the other things will fall into place.

Nicki Lee

Great post, Tom! Promoting a post when you have no real list seems so overwhelming, but you gave me so many great places to start. I especially like the idea of reaching out to previous guest posters on the host blog. Would never have thought of that!

Tom Southern

Hi Nicki,

You’re right about it seeming overwhelming when first starting out. I began guest posting with no list. I used the tiers included in this post to starting building one.

Yes, reaching out to other guest posters on the host blogs you write for can be very productive. Plus, you can create connections that last too.

Antoniya KZ

I couldn’t agree more with this post! The thing that almost everyone in the content marketing niche often forgets is that if it takes you 1 hour to create content, you need to take at least 4-5 hours to actively promote it. This is my rule of thumb but it varies of course – if I have a rockstar content I would even take 20-30 hours to promote it.

Thanks for the swipe emails/tweets, they are priceless!

Tom Southern

You’re absolutely right Antoniya! That’s the ratio that produces real content and real results. You’re amongst the few who are willing to put in the hours to produce really great content. This post took me about 30 hours. Not all in one go. It took about 4 drafts too.

Glad to hear the swipe emails/templates help you out. Let me know the results you get, won’t you? I’d love to hear about them.

Martin Edwards

Great work Tom, I saw your links to this post shared in my various timelines even though I wasn’t following you! So that is a pretty good demonstration of how this works πŸ™‚ . Big mistake #1″In it to win it” is in exactly the right place in this post. So many people give up on guest posting or fail to get their submissions accepted purely for this reason alone. What you write and the subjects you choose have to be completely consistent with the style and expectations of the host blog audience. If you are just promoting yourself no one will care to find out more about you. The same goes for social sharing, you need to understand what your audence values, not what you think is should be valuable.

Tom Southern

Thanks Martin. And it’s good to get your feedback on how the Twitter promotion is
working out, so thanks for that too.

“What you write and the subjects you choose have to be completely consistent with the style and expectations of the host blog audience.” You got it in one, Martin. It’s all about understanding what your audience values and what it is they want to know about and how helping them through the overwhelm.

Thanks for adding this awesome point to this conversation, Martin.



Awesome round up about guest posts. Well during these days bloggers aren’t taking much care about guest posts. But you’ve shared some important things to note.


Tom Southern

Thanks Ashish. Glad to have you stop by.


Tom – thank you for this outline of promotional ideas! The timing couldn’t be more ideal. I needed the reminder that it requires the extra effort to get the most out of guest posting. Now I know what to try. It’s also refreshing to hear that the guest posting that I’ve done already can still be used to grow my audience. Thank you!!

Tom Southern

Sure, you bet, Aaron. Great guest posts don’t have shelf lives, they’re evergreen. Good to hear this post found you at the right time. Cheers!


Tom – I bookmarked your post for future reference as I take action.
You have expressed in depth what should and should not be done to successfully promote a guest post, so my job will be to change my focus and get to work. I thoroughly appreciate all of the actionable specifics and how you explained them. Many thanks!

Tom Southern

Your welcome, Charlene. Pleased to hear this post has given you steps you can use to promote your guest posts. In what way will your focus change from what you’ve learnt here. Could you share a little bit about that maybe? Cheers!


Well, as I’m new to guest posting (only one post under my belt so far), my focus will change in a way that will not hold me strictly to one particular niche. Tier #6 really stood out for me because I have struggled with what my own niche really is which proved to be quite problematic in moving forward. So, I recently had a free evaluation done on my blog. It’s about four years old and has been lying dormant for a long while during my “niche pin-pointing” struggle. Surprisingly enough, the review was not as bad as I thought it would be (yay), but I also learned that instead of a “mommy blog” (which was not my intention but for some reason I felt stuck there), it was more of a health blog geared toward moms. (Why didn’t I think of that?) So your post has actually helped me in more ways than one as far as guest posting, promoting the posts, and tweaking/re-launching my blog. Anyway, I now feel that I have a bit more breathing room for connecting with influencers in slightly non-related niches as well as more freedom in the topic pitching department. I hope this makes sense, and thanks for asking! πŸ™‚

Tom Southern

Hey Charlene, thanks for responding. Yes, this sure does make sense. A health blog for moms sounds a great niche/topic for a blog. And you’re right, it does give you a bigger space to breathe. You’ve got such a wide choice of related and intersecting niches to guest post for and promote them to.

Your experience is a great example of following your gut where topics are concerned. It sounds like you got your niche right without thinking about it and maybe the blog evaluation just made you aware of it.

Follow me on Twitter so you can keep me in touch with how your blog and guest posts succeed. Cheers!

Leanne Regalla

Tom, great synopsis of what it takes to really promote our posts.

I’m always trying to organize and add to my lists of relationships, influencers, and peers. It’s a process but it does get easier with time.

Thanks for a great reference!

Tom Southern

Hi Leanne,

Thanks. I’m glad you found this piece useful. You’re right relationship building can take time and effort but, as you say, it gets easier the more you do it (and your network increases too).

Angie Dixon

Thanks, Tom.

This is one I’m bookmarking for later. I’m getting ready to restart guest posting, and there are definitely things in your list that I didn’t do before. I appreciate your taking the time to share this with us!

Tom Southern

My pleasure Angie. These 7 tiers of guest post promotion will give you a nice strategy to follow. They each build onto the other. Let me know how it works for you as you start guest posting again.

Good morning, Tom, thank you for this article. It is really enlightening to know that a guest poster have to promote on their own blog. Also it is really great to learn these insightful ways to gain more readers to your blog. Hope you have a great week.

Tom Southern

Hi John, great to hear that you got a helpful tip out of this post. I really hope you can make your guest posts work all the more harder at driving traffic to your blog for you now.


Hey Tom,

Just now getting by here but great share.

I don’t do near enough to continue promoting my guest posts but your tips here have been so very helpful. I’m definitely going to take note of this and get myself in gear this year. Just had a guest post this week as a matter of fact so we’ll see how well I do moving forward and promoting that one.

Cool to see my picture up there and was happy to promote your post here at Firepole Marketing. You both rock and you know how I love sharing great content.

Thanks again and will be sharing.


Tom Southern

Hey Adrienne,

Great to have you stop by to add your thoughts to this conversation. I always look forward to reading your comments because they’re always so cheerful, inspiring and enthusiastic.

Yup, I wanted to include your generosity in helping me get the word out there. One important factor I’m learning from you, which is helping me greatly in writing content like this and in responding to feedback, is how important it is to make people feel part of a community; a place where they can feel respected and comfortable to ask questions and share their thoughts. Because of this, I’m learning so much from the comments readers are leaving.

Tweet me the URL of your guest post so I can share it, won’t you?:)

Cheers Adrienne, always glad to have your feedback and comments.


Ah, thank you for saying that. I really appreciate that .

I’m really happy to hear that because you know what your community will do for you. When people feel they’re a part of something they definitely want to help you in any way they can. That’s the beauty of this so it’s sad that so many people don’t grasp that. We can learn so much from what people share and when they feel a part of something they’re that much more eager to have actual conversations with you in the comment section. It doesn’t get much better than that my friend.

Thank you Tom, that’s very generous of you and I’ll definitely tweet you that link. Thanks ahead of time. πŸ˜‰


Tom Southern

That’s the truth. Thanks for this, Adrienne.

Sherman Smith

Hey Tom,

This was some amazing tips you shared. I just started my journey of guest posting this year and I wrote one. This post gave me some great clues of where to look for guest posting, why I should be looking there, and what tactics I can use to promote it.

I’m quite sure that there are quite a few bloggers that don’t practice these tips. I just scratched the service when I promoted the guest post I did. It seems like it’ll take a lot of time to do all that you mentioned here, but I bet it’s worth it!

Thanks for sharing Tom! I’ll definitely have to bookmark this post and use it as a guideline for my next guest post!

Tom Southern

Hey Sherman,

Thanks so much for your comment. It’s great to know you got a lot of value out of the tips here.

Yes, you’re right, it does take a little time to put all 7 tiers of promotion to use, but it’s well worth it. Some of these tiers take only a few minutes and the payback will greatly increase your response. This guest post you read here is an example. I put more effort into Tier #1 & #3 this time and the results show it’s paid off. For example, this post has already got nearly 20 more comments than the other guest posts I’ve written for Firepole. Of course, it helps if your host blog’s readers are awesome too! πŸ™‚

Sherman Smith

Yes having some great awesome blog readers matters a lot as well. And if the host get a lot of great people to comment, then you are definitely on to something.

I forgot to mentioned that this post was so great that I bookmarked it! Next time I do a guest post, then I’m definitely going to refer back to these tips!

maxwell ivey

Hello; thanks for sharing this great post on promoting guest posts. i was surprised to read your thoughts on promoting outside your niche given google’s recent behavior. I’ve even run across a few people who hesitate to leave comments on blogs if they don’t have a pr of 2 or better and a good bit of commonality in subject matter or target market. and i already share in groups as well as on my main pages. need to do better on multiple tweets and contacting influencers. thanks again, max the blind blogger

Tom Southern

Hello Max,

Glad to have you share your thoughts here. You raise some interesting points. I’m not familiar with what Google’s recent behaviour in regards promoting outside your niche. Could you expand a little bit about that?

I think it’s always beneficial to make an appearance via comments in niches connected to your own. I wanted to make the point that most niches are connected in some way. Or at least, there is always something you can learn from bloggers in other niches from yours.

Yes, from what I know about you, you’re good at connecting with others.

Dee Ann Rice


Great information on promoting a guest post. I have only written one or two guest posts and I did not promote them like I should have.

I think promotion is where most bloggers fail in a lot of areas. Reading this post makes me think about what I should be doing to promote my own blog. I am not doing nearly enough there either.

Great information and ideas on promotion though. Thanks

Dee Ann Rice

Tom Southern

Hello Dee,

Thanks for adding your thoughts.

You’re so right, fail to promotion enough is on reason why bloggers can fail. Glad to hear that you’ve got some tactics for giving your guest posts an extra push. And yes, this promotion can do wonders for your own blog too.

Nisha Pandey

Hi Tom,

This is a great post indeed. Insightful, interesting and effective, the ideas are simply mind blowing.

Though I do a lot of guest post, have never given much thought about their promotion. But with your tips, I shall definitely try now. Thanks a ton for sharing this.

This is useful for every blogger out there. Have a great day ahead πŸ™‚

Tom Southern

Thank-you Nisha, glad you found them useful and I’d really recommend promoting your guest posts. Wishing you well and every success with your blog.


Guest post is a good way to drive traffic to your website and good way to get quality backlink with a good keyword in there.

The main reason that the post isn’t attract much visitors because your content or where you submit your guest post to.

Tom Southern

Spot on, Tech. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

Jay Lemming

Hey, Tom, I just got to your post via a Twitter link. Great post. As Jessica mentioned, it was very timely. I’m about to launch my blog (right now all I have is a placeholder) and have started thinking about how to make guest blogging as effective as possible. You have some great promotional ideas and I really got a lot out of reading your conversations with the people who commented.

Something I didn’t think about so much at the beginning of blogging but which I’m coming to realize more and more is that blogging really is a community-based enterprise. Your sample emails/tweets that you send to other bloggers, asking for some promotional love, really demonstrate how you need to build important relationships first so that they can help you promote your writing as widely as possible.

Thanks for taking time to write such a detailed post.


Tom Southern

Hey Jay, great to hear you’re launching your blog, guest blogging can be a great way to grow your blog.

Blogging really is a community-based enterprise, (I say just this in my post: here on FM. You’ll find more tweet/email samples there too.) and I’ve been moved by how much bloggers are willing to help newcomers. It all depends on how much you reach out to them first. Promote them first and they’ll be more ready to promote you.

Really pleased you were able to get useful steps to launch and grow your blog, Jay. Keep me posted on content you write and I’ll be sure to check it out.



Awesome content Tom!

This is my very first visit.I came across your totally excellent blog post, by way of Sherman Smith!

And man you really laid it out in extremely simple to understand and implement terms!

I really had no idea there was so many more pro-active steps that could be taken, both before, during and after a guest blog post!

Reading your post was the equivalent of attending a one day power boot camp

I really love your idea of thinking of at least ten other related categories to a particular niche!

That process generated a few extremely helpful ideas for a blog post I’m currently working on!

You’ve shared some excellent content!Thanks!

Tom Southern

Welcome Mark!

And thank-you for your brilliant feedback. And a big thank-you to Sherman Smith for mentioning me and bringing you here. It’s this kind of community sharing and spirit that makes blogging such a good business platform to be on.

Glad you got so much out of this post, Mark. Let me know if I can help further (and tweet me a link to your post when you publish it so I can tweet it to all my followers).

Cheers Mark!

Carol Amato

Hi, Tom,

What a wonderful COMPREHENSIVE article about promoting a guest post. I don’t even skim the surface, but you’ve prompted me to do more, that’s for sure. ?

Okay, gotta bookmark this one. I found out about it from Sherman’s round up post. Great stuff!

Talk soon,
Carol Amato

Tom Southern

Hi Carol,

Thanks so much for your kind words and it’s great to hear you’ve so much value out of it.

Promoting your guest posts is so important in driving traffic to your blog. In fact, you’ve done some excellent promoting of Sherman’s post here. πŸ™‚

I’m so grateful to you and Mark for pointing his post out to me so I could go and thank him for including me.

All this just highlights how important promotion is, don’t you think?

Thanks again, Carol. Glad to have you stop by to add your thoughts.


Some great advice you’ve shared here, Tom.

Glad to see influencer marketing take a prominent position – it’s one of the most effective ways to get new guest posting opportunities and to grow an audience.

One of the big mistakes you mentioned caught my eye – “in it to win it” mentality.

Fortunately I don’t see this too much but on occasions I’ve had submissions that are so overtly promotional, it’s baffling.

Like you say, this is a two-way process – like with all things, there’s give and take. And it’s easy to spot those who don’t give back.

By default, I believe a guest post should definitely benefit the author, not just the blog it’s being published on, but the key is finding balance.

Tom Southern

Thanks Adam, great to have you stop by and comment. Really appreciate your taking time to do so.

Yes, influencer marketing is certainly a powerful way to get noticed. Again, it’s remembering it’s all about giving. Guest posting, as with everything you do online, should always be about sharing the spotlight.

You’re right about finding the balance between promoting your blog and your host’s blog is paramount. So many people seem to put themselves first without realising, it’s other people that will determine their success.

Kim George

Wow Tom! This blog post is definitely a home run for me. I am in the process of putting together some guest posts and will def use this post as a guide.

I really love the tip about telling your email subscribers about your guest post…it’s something that I always forget to do (CRAZY right) :-(.

Thanks again for sharing!

Tom Southern

Hi Kim,

Good to see you here, Kim. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to add your thoughts. Yes, it can be really handy tip when creating email messages for your list members to let them know about your guest posts. It can add to your influence and authority in their eyes.

Let me know when your guest posts get published so I can add them to my Twitter links shares. And if you’d like some tips on getting accepted by blogs, promoting, etc, tweet me and let me know. I’ll be happy to help.

Thanks again.

Waqar Ahmed

Hi Tom,
Thanks for this post. πŸ™‚

Tom Southern

Hi Waqar,
Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear you like it.

Comments are closed.