3 Lessons I Learned From my First Guest Post (and all my traffic numbers)

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

Every since this post, it has been popular to write about how guest posting really isn’t (or is) dead. Just take a look at the top results for “Is guest posting dead” in Google.

guest posting

The only problem with all of these articles is that no one is testing their assumptions. At the end of the day, isn’t the point of guest posting is to drive traffic from one persons website to yours?

Buffer built their entire business around guest posts. Could I copy that method today?

So I tested it.

I wrote my first ever guest post for Noah Kagan on Okdork.com this past Wednesday.

How much traffic did I get? 

Over the last 30 days this site has average 285 visitors per day.

On the day of the guest post it received 1,086 and 686 the day after. Of those 1,782 visitors 73% of them were new visitors.

The traffic influx was from loyal readers of the Okdork.com blog that heard about me and came here to learn more.

But they didn’t just checkout my site, they became members. In the two days since that post 215 new people have subscribed to this site, an overall conversion rate of 12%.

So, yea. guest blogging works.

I learned 5 valuable lessons from this experience.

1. Spend 20+ Hours Writing

My guest post was long.

Like 4,000 words long.

I hadn’t written that much in one sitting since college (I’m not 100% sure I ever did it in college either).

The #1 take away from this post was that very specific step-by-step information is rare. The internet is full of generalizations and broad sweeping uneducated opinions. What is missing is specific actionable steps to execute a proven plan.

Writing that type of material is freaking hard. It’s exhausting and insanely time consuming. I spent over 20 hours writing the post.

Here are a few comments that were left (not meant to be self aggrandizing but an example of what you are looking to provide the sites readers):

comment-2

comment-3

comment-4

2. Comments Supercharge Traffic

The comments section is one area that is often neglected by guest posters. I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen for me. My goal was to engage with every question and comment and it paid big dividends in the form of traffic.

One unique thing about many comment systems is that your username is directly linked to your website.

How_to_get_your_first_100_email_subscribers___Noah_Kagan_s_Okdork_com

I intentionally sent all of this traffic back to my root domain (which doesn’t get much traffic normally) so I could monitor the amount of traffic clicking over directly from the comments section.

I commented 29 times in total which provided 29 more opportunities for Okdork readers to click over to my site.

The result was a 523% increase in traffic.

resut-commented-okdork

Here are a few tips to help you:

  1. Use UTM parameters inside of your username link in the comment section. This will make it possible to track the exact number of times that someone visits your site from the comment section.
  2. Set Up a IFTTT recipe like this. This will prevent you from hitting refresh 500 times on the day of your post. Instead it will send you a text every time a comment is left. This enables to to be engaged without killing your entire day.
  3. Manually reach out via email to each person you mention in your post. Doing this got the article mentioned by Neil Patel, Andrew Warner and others.

3. Reverse Engineer it for your Site

My biggest revelation through this process was that I need to be publishing guest post on this blog.

By Noah inviting me to interact with his readers it helped me tremendously. I realized I have a responsibility to help others that are starting out as well. Although there aren’t near as many people reading Videofruit.com as there are Okdork.com there is someone that is launching a blog today that I could give a huge boost to by showcasing them to you.

Coming soon you’ll be hearing from some of those people. Hint. Hint.

“So what? You got traffic why should I care?”

I am 100% convinced that the best possible way to grow your online business is through guest blogging. If you have 0 readers on your site, quit writing for yourself and go write a 4,000 word article for someone else.

Kill yourself making it incredibly helpful.

If you do that, 1,000 people will show up at your doorstep the next day.

  • Do you have an app you have launched and need traffic? Do what Buffer did.
  • Do you have an online marketing agency and need new customer? Do what Neil Patel did.
  • Do you have a local nursing home that needs more patience?  Blog here.

It is applicable to ANY online business and MOST offline businesses.

Giveaway: I want to help one person get their first guest blogging gig. I’ll talk over your business with you, advise you on how to make sure your site is ready for traffic and then help you manually outreach and secure your first gig.

This Giveaway has ended.

PS: If you have questions on guest posting, I’d be happy to help you. Just leave a comment below and I’ll jump in. 

  • Bryan, great post!!! So timely! Are you happy with Disqus? I’ve just put it onto my blog and I really like it, but I’m not sure if people can click on my name and it automatically takes me to my website. How did you do that?

    • I like it b/c it’s super simple. Noah uses another commenting system.

      Disqus doesn’t link directly to your website like others do. I probably need to look into it more in depth at some point. Low on the list right now though 🙂

      What is your blog? Love to check it out.

  • Daniel Reifenberger

    Truer words have never been spoken.

    I went from 0 to 55 subscribers after a guest post on location180.com

    No, website, just a landing page that converted at around 42%, which I’ve been told could do as well as 80% if it better optimized.

    Once I do decide to launch a blog I’ll already have a few hundred people ready to check it out!

    Oh, and the 20+ hours of writing is so true. My post came in at 2200 words, but I likely wrote 4 times that many through all the drafts I did.

    Looking forward to a guest post here Bryan!

  • Thanks for the tip. I am doing Neil Patel’s 30 Days to Double Traffic and Conversions based on your suggestion a few days ago. All of this is very helpful. have an awesome day!

  • Wael Salman

    do you think that this methods will work well with eCommerce platforms??
    All of you guys are always talking about content and content and content!!!

    What about images?? eCommerce?? Shops?

    • Yes it will. What blogs are your customers reading now? Write there.

  • eugenehennie

    Hey Bryan, thanks for post. Do you see yourself writing more guest post on a consistent basis?

    • Absolutely, I have several in the works.

      • eugenehennie

        Are you going for blogs you have personal relationships with or high traffic “X ways to do this” blogs?

        • 1. People I know
          2a. Get references from people I have guest blogged / been interviewed by
          2b. Approach other ppl that have guest blogged on same sites as me
          2c. Approach ppl that have shared my guest post
          2d. Ask for introductions from people I have blogged / interviewed for to other blogs I want to approach
          .
          .
          .
          .
          3. Cold contact

  • Hey Bryan,

    I agree. Guest Blogging Works.

    Here is my two cents:

    I use to have tons of adsense sites that made money. After a few years I decided to get rid of a lot of them and keep some that I felt were in very highly competitive niches. The next step was to find guest blogging opportunities and when I did that, I realized I could make more maintaining a few sites with great content than having hundreds with a few clicks here and there.

    Great work Byran!

    Tony

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  • Hey Bryan.. your article at OkDork ends with a classic “leave your email to download bonuses” button.. but who’s getting the leads? 🙂

    You?
    Noah?
    You & Noah?

    PS: the article is really awesome! You listed everything that I’ve already read here on videofruit, but you went a level deeper 🙂

  • Thank you again for this article. It was nice to read another important informations. On my blog i only post articles that are over 1000 words. In this mode i`m over my concurrence. I always expect new post from you. Thanks!!!

    Regards

    Kathy

  • shwaytaj

    Great post Bryan. I’m building a blog for my mobile product. Is there a strategy that you have in place to identify blogs where you can guest post?