Guest blogging is a fantastic way to spread your brand to new folks who've never seen your work before, and it can be useful in earning early links and references back to your site, which will drive direct traffic and help your search rankings (diverse, external links are a key part of how search engines rank sites and pages). Several recommendations for those who engage in guest blogging:

NOTE: This post replaces a popular one I wrote on the same topic in 2007 (and updated again in 2012). This post is intended to be useful to all forms of bloggers - independent folks, those seeking to monetize, and marketing professionals working an in-house blog from tiny startups to huge companies. Not all of the tactics will work for everyone, but at least some of these should be applicable and useful.
When pitching your guest post make it as easy as possible for the other party. When requesting to post, have a phenomenal piece of writing all set to publish that's never been shared before and give them the ability to read it. These requests get far more "yes" replies than asking for the chance to write with no evidence of what you'll contribute. At the very least, make an outline and write a title + snippet.
Try to make sure that most of your content is evergreen. Evergreen content is the kind of content that can live forever on the web and that time won’t make irrelevant. For example, a post about this year’s Oscar nominations will become useless in a few months time. A post about the greatest movie classics will continue to be relevant over the years, making it evergreen. 

Post Panda, Authorship announcements and Google + Your World this post has never had more value. Leave it unread at your peril!There's a piece to add around using more tools to find the very best authorities for that content through outreach (and use of form letters as in Mike Kings Moz post from last year to improve conversion and uptake) but its pretty exhaustive and brilliantly captured. Thanks Rand.


Great post, thank you so much for the information! Finding good topics to write about and even writing compelling blog posts are not the end of the line as I thought they would be; so I was left wondering where the hordes of readers were. The time you took to address the many different ideas on how to increase traffic not only give me some great ideas but leave me with inspiration that simply writing the blog post isn't enough. Thank you for your efforts and what a great read and resource.
I think you have created a great example today on how to increase not only new, but return blog traffic. Revisiting and updating outdated content and republishing it is a great way to get existing users to come back to your site. I wasnt around Moz in 2007 when the first version of this post was published. If I was and remembered that content It would have been one more reason for me to check this post out.
I have to say though, that (like the comment above) my favourite one was #22. Just when my brain was a little frazzled, seeing (and I mean actually visually seeing) your wife's success with her Everywhereist blog is so encouraging! If you've got something to say all you want is for people to hear it and join in the conversation and there's so many of us out there waiting to connect. It's really inspiring.
I think this email also makes quite a brilliant use of responsive design. The colors are bright, and it's not too hard to scroll and click -- notice the CTAs are large enough for me to hit with my thumbs. Also, the mobile email actually has features that make sense for recipients who are on their mobile device. Check out the CTA at the bottom of the email, for example: The "Open Stitcher Radio" button prompts the app to open on your phone.
Just be authentic in your answer, particularly if you're linking. If you'd like to see some examples, I answer a lot of questions at Quora, frequently include relevant links, but am rarely accused of spamming or link dropping because it's clearly about providing relevant value, not just getting a link for SEO (links on most user-contributed sites are "nofollow" anyway, meaning they shouldn't pass search-engine value). There's a dangerous line to walk here, but if you do so with tact and candor, you can earn a great audience from your participation.
When you're first starting out, it can be tough to convince other bloggers to allow you to post on their sites OR have an audience large enough to inspire others to want to contribute to your site. This is when friends and professional connections are critical. When you don't have a compelling marketing message, leverage your relationships - find the folks who know you, like you and trust you and ask those who have blog to let you take a shot at authoring something, then ask them to return the favor.
Testimonials. If case studies aren't a good fit for your business, having short testimonials around your website is a good alternative. For B2C brands, think of testimonials a little more loosely. If you're a clothing brand, these might take the form of photos of how other people styled a shirt or dress, pulled from a branded hashtag where people can contribute.
You provide some really great, detailed information here. We agree that sharing your posts are one of the best ways to make connections. Its also one of the best ways of getting your voice out there. Within small businesses especially, the use of sharing infromation is useful. All the aspects you have covered is essential information for any business in general. Thanks for posting this!
Try to make sure that most of your content is evergreen. Evergreen content is the kind of content that can live forever on the web and that time won’t make irrelevant. For example, a post about this year’s Oscar nominations will become useless in a few months time. A post about the greatest movie classics will continue to be relevant over the years, making it evergreen. 

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