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How I Build Blog Traffic – The Guest Post

by Josh Hanagarne on June 30, 2009

in Uncategorized

traffic jam web

Traffic jam!

Author’s Update: since writing this post, I’ve gone on to do many, many more guest posts. I’m more convinced than ever that for me, guest posting is the right choice for traffic building. I wrote something for Copyblogger that you might get a kick out of if you’d like to see just how much guest blogging I’ve done.

Today’s post is a bit of a departure from the norm. If you don’t get enough of your book and kettlebell fix today, the good news is, I’ll give you a ton of blogs below who will fix what ails you today.

There are two reasons for getting off topic today.

1. Many World’s Strongest Librarian readers have blogs of their own, both for business and pleasure. They have been encouraged by the success my young blog has had, and have asked if I have any advice they could use. They make a grave mistake in treating me like an authority on anything but eating donuts, but I will see what I can do.

2. I’m getting tons of emails from hysterical “experts” who say things like:

  • Your blog is not focused at all. Why is it growing so quickly? It will fail if you keep this up.
  • It seems like you have a lot more traffic than you should. How are you doing it?
  • Your search engine optimization is terrible. Why are you getting so many readers?
  • Your numbers are great, but you’ll never make any money this way.

These are the sorts of questions professional bloggers (or wannabes) ask themselves, and it is the way they think when they read other blogs.

That’s not how I do it, whatever “it” means. To them all, I say “Be quiet and let me be.” I write because I love it and I’ll write whatever I want and you can talk when my readership quits going up every day. All you “rich at all costs” thinkers go hang out together and leave me alone.

If I make money eventually, so be it, but the fun comes first. People can spot a phony, and they can tell when you’re on the hustle, even if you have great stuff to offer. I’m no phony, and that’s probably why I make 50 cents a week from my blog.

But I have a good time and my readers increase exponentially every day. I had 40 more subscribers when I woke up this morning than when I went to sleep last night, and that’s all the proof I need.

The guest post: it’s fun and a good way to make friends

I write a lot. If you’ve ever been here, you know that. What you might not know is that I write a lot for other blogs as well. Then they send me their traffic. This is more labor intensive than writing with Google and search engines in mind, but I don’t care. My Google traffic is building gradually, like it does with everyone.

My traffic from sites sending me their own traffic is absolutely exploding. The guest article is my favorite way to build traffic. It’s fun and it builds community. I’ve made some great friends this way.

So here’s the list of blogs I’ve written for. Some are massive, some are small. Some I have a lot in common with, others I targeted just for a game, to see if I could trick them into letting me write.

All have been great experiences and I’ve got a lot more guests posts coming up. But just because I think it’s fun and it keeps me engaged.

Articles written for:

Copyblogger

Blogging Is A Dialect.  Do You Speak It?

FresheVenture

Some Unexpected Benefits Of Blogging

Internet Business Path

Interviewed by Tyrone Shum

Journal Of Cultural Conversation

Interviewed by Laura Cococcia

Lifestyle Design For You

Interviewed by Gordie Rogers

Raptitude

A Definition of Freedom

The Diesel Crew

Productive Variety

Art Palaver

Tic Tic Boom

Problogger

Better Questions Than “Do I Need A Mentor?” and “How Do I Get One?”

How To Land Big Interviews When Your Blog Is Small

I Heard Blogging Was Dead.  I’m Glad I Didn’t Listen

Straight To The Bar

Book Review: Strength Training Anatomy

Jungles, 12 Steppers, and UFOs

Small Victories

Charm City Kettlebells

If It Sucks, It Probably Instructs: How And Why to Keep Promises to Yourself

The Mighty Mix

Fisticuff Lit For Bruisers And Non-Dainty Ladies

Synergy Athletics

Five Ways To Improve Your Fitness During Your School Day

Average To Elite

Because It’s Worth Doing Right

If you’ve never written a guest post before, it can be a little unnerving. As always, just remember: The worst case scenario is really not that bad.

If you’d like to write a guest post for World’s Strongest Librarian, pitch an idea to me. If I can use it, I will, I promise.

Take care

Josh


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{ 21 comments }

Mark Powell June 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm

In the words of Eric Cartman: “Sweeeeeet!” (Seriously, I totally dig this post! Helps me to keep up the faith!)

Josh Hanagarne June 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Thanks Mark. Have you been doubting all of your beliefs? Welcome back to the fold.

john dalton June 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm

may the force be with you josh!!!!!!! i love you writing keep it up,,

john dalton June 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm

******your writing

Josh Hanagarne June 30, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Ha! will do.

Rob June 30, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Great post Josh!

I love your style of writing. Very inspirational! My posts end up being snippets and nothing else really but a bit of concentrated information.
Maybe you should start a mini writing course, now that would be grand.

All the best mate!

Tim July 1, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Josh:

Great post. As someone with an “unfocused” blog, it is encouraging to learn about your success. I have enjoyed reading your blog and your guest posts and I really respect you for writing for the love of writing. I feel very much the same way about my blog. At this point, my blog continues to be an experiment for me – something that will continue to evolve just like I do.

Besides being a very good writer, I think people enjoy your authenticity. I believe that is what, ultimately, is the secret to building a following. In other words, as bloggers we should concern ourselves with content (and being ourselves) first, then traffic. O.K. I’m off my soapbox now.

Josh Hanagarne July 1, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Wow, thank you Tim. I’m going to start printing out all of these compliments. When I get down I’ll print them all out, strew them on my bed, lie down in them, and say “Everyone loves you, there there.” Much appreciated. Your summer appreciation post was great. If everyone read Kinky Friedman the world would be a better place. Or maybe it would be worse. It would definitely be more spirited, I’ll say that. Kerouac’s descriptions of jazz pianists and jumping joints still give me goosebumps when I read them. Nobody does it better than Sedaris. Have you heard the big fat live box set he put out? It’s great and the live impromptu stuff is pretty cool.

Mark Powell July 2, 2009 at 5:43 am

Ah ha! A fellow Kerouac fan! He had a HUGE impact on me in the early days. Then Henry Miller. Then Hemingway. Lately I’ve been grooving on old timers like Liebling and Mencken. Badasses all! Salut! To them and you!

Josh Hanagarne July 2, 2009 at 7:37 am

I’ve been reading A Mencken Chrestomathy before bedtime. he gets better every day.

Mark Powell July 3, 2009 at 8:15 am

Holy smokes! I can’t believe you dig Mencken! Most people have never heard of him! What a master! I also love A.J. Liebling (‘specially on boxing), Orwell, Huxley, Wilde, Edmund Wilson and Jacques Barzun.

Josh Hanagarne July 3, 2009 at 10:06 am

Agreed. I’ve yet to find someone to talk about Mencken with. It gets lonely.

Zoltán Cserei August 11, 2009 at 12:32 am

Hey Josh!

What I liked in this post is that you stated that you write because you love it and that’s cool. My blog is also spread over some different topics, even if I try to keep the central theme aligned. I write on “personal development”, yet I often do spin-offs, the latest being music, which still can be considered part of personal development, but anyway.

That’s not what I initially meant to say. Your blog is awesome. :D It’s fun, yet serious. It’s in a niche, and not. I like it.
Another subscriber you just got! :D

Josh Hanagarne August 11, 2009 at 7:38 am

Zoltan, thanks! Are you doing any guesting? Music fan here as well. Are you listening to anything good that you can demand I check out?

Place For Bloggers September 20, 2009 at 6:04 am

Hi Josh,

Count my visit as a referrer from problogger ;-)

I totally agree with you when you say “I write because I love it and I’ll write whatever I want”.

Too many bloggers limit them self in writing. It takes the fun out of writing make them think only about money.

More people should read it Iwill retweet it.

Shay

Josh Hanagarne September 20, 2009 at 9:39 am

Place For Bloggers: Once you’re making money, I assume that’s really fun too:) In my case, I just think one will lead to the other, no way around it. If I tried to write with money in mind, I would be a horrible writer.

Deb September 24, 2009 at 9:37 am

Will be linking to this post! Setting new – and old – bloggers free from the status quo is always welcome advice, (especially with the baby boomers).

I must disagree with you on something, though. Your popularity doesn’t just come from your diligence in guest posting, or the fine selection of blogs you’ve gleaned traffic from, but from your fresh and natural writing style. It’s what separates the ‘must read more’ blogs from the ‘must I finish this’ blogs.

Thanks for the advice.

Josh Hanagarne September 24, 2009 at 9:39 am

Deb, that’s a wonderful compliment, thank you. Good luck to you with PB. Let me know how it goes!

online stock trading advice January 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your feeds too now, Thanks.

I’m Out! :)

mk akan February 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm

guest posting is the bomb….i should be sending one your way soon….

Josh Hanagarne February 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Awesome!

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