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I started blogging in August 2014. At the time I had no idea what a guest post was or how to go about "guest posting." I actually didn't find out what a guest post was until after I'd already guest posted on another site. To say I had no clue about blogging when I started would be an understatement.
Dear Debt is a blog I had followed for a while. If you're unfamiliar, the blog share's people's break up letter with their debt. In December 2014, I bucked up the courage to write and submit a letter to the site. To my surprise Melanie, the brains behind Dear Debt liked the letter and published it on her site January 2015.
As a result of her publishing my letter, traffic to my site increased. I had my highest traffic day since I started blogging. 42 pageviews in a day. It was big for a clueless newbie blogger.
A few months later I learned that what I had done was called a guest post. Not only that, guest posting was a strategy to help grow a blog's audience. I started to try and guest post on other sites. I was nervous, and sometimes my guest post pitch wasn't always accepted, but many of them were.
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In case it wasn't clear already, a guest post is something you write that is published by another blog with a link back to your site.
You are usually not paid for this post. If you are a new blogger, it is a good way to show off your writing and get others back to your site.
After FinCon 2015, where Melanie Lockhart's Dear Debt blog won a Plutus Award, Melanie was offered a book deal. She decided that she wanted to include some of the Dear Debt letters in the book. She asked if I would sign a release for my Dear Debt letter. I enthusiastically said yes. I was thrilled to support Melanie and surprised that she would want to include my Dear Debt letter.
A little less than a year later in August 2016, Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up with Debt was released. I picked up my copy and was amazed to see in print, that the very first guest post I wrote, the one I wrote without knowing what a guest post was, alongside Melanie's terrific writing and some other fantastic Dear Debt letters.
You never know what one little guest post will lead to, it might just end up as part of a book.
I'm very grateful that Melanie would include my Dear Debt letter on her blog and in her book. If you are interested in getting a copy of this excellent (in my biased opinion) book, you can head over to Amazon, here is a link to Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up with Debt.
What have been your guest posting strategies for blogging?
Blogging tools i recommend
Bigscoots (hosting) is the hosting service I use. The customer service has been fantastic. When I moved my Squarespace site to wordpress, I had a lot of questions, they had the answers. When I screwed up a few things, they were able to help me fix them. They have been awesome to work with and I highly recommend using BigScoots for hosting your blog.
Hosting starts at just $3.55/month, which is excellent considering how amazing their customer service is.
Bluehost (hosting): When I started blogging, I hosted my blog on Bluehost as it seemed the most recommended hosting service. Bluehost worked just fine when I was starting out but I outgrew it. When I needed help I was able to get it, though it wasn't quite as personable as BigScoots, that being said Bluehost can be a great option to start.
Convertkit (Email marketing) I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page.
One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don't count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. Since pricing is typically determined by the number of subscribers this could drive up your costs significantly.
Making Sense of Affiliate marketing (monetizing your blog): Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while I'm still working to implement everything I've learned, I've already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the Facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.