Guest Posting Is A Waste Of Time

Guest posting is the craze that's created a pandemic on the Internet at the moment. If you do a search for "guest posting" you'll find more than 77 million results. All the big lads and lasses are extolling the virtues of guest posting. Darren Rowse from Problogger actively encourages guest posts and even adds his 'voice' to these posts on his site.  Bluedelta said about guest posting: One of the methods that professional bloggers use to gain more traffic is guest posting... SEO Moz said: Guest blogging is a great way to build relevant links to your website from authoritative websites within your niche. Andy Bailey from ComLuv has actually built up his PR6 site with high-quality guest posts.  Well, here is what I think.

guest posting - a time consuming journey. Is it worth it?

What is guest posting?

Simply put, guest posting is writing a  free article to be posted on someone else's blog or website. If you're a good guest poster, you'll submit only your best articles. You'll subscribe to the post so that you can answer the questions or reply to the comments left on your guest article. You will also share the post on all your social networking sites.

Why guest post

There are some advantages (I do admit) to guest posting. Mainly, a guest post may get you new subscribers, more traffic and a back link(s) to your site. If you guest post on a site with a higher PR rating than yours, (which is advisable) this of course counts for Google ratings. This - in short - is why people guest post. But what about the disadvantages? No one ever talks about these, and it's not because they don't exist

Why guest posting is a waste of time

1. Many serial guest posters spin their articles and submit them to several sites. You won't be aware of this when you write your well-researched article for one of these sites and will be tainted by association, to sites with bad practices. 

2. One of the things you should do as a guest poster is to submit your best articles to other sites as guest posts. After a while, your site will become less than what you've worked so hard to achieve. Eventually, all your works of art will be elsewhere. You'll be enriching other sites with traffic for years, and diminishing the value of yours. Sure, you'll get a few subscribers here and there, but what will you have to keep them coming back? Your best works are no longer where they belong.

3. You don't get paid for your articles - nuff said!

4. Guest posting is not a good investment of your time. You first of all have to search for blogs that accept guest posts. You have to make sure they're in your niche and they've got some sort of decent PR. Next, you have to research their past articles to see what they publish and their theme. You also have to make sure they haven't recently published the article you have in mind. Then you have to write or outline the article, send them a message and wait for their reply. You could be using your time more effectively researching your own great article, writing it and putting it on your own site; or researching real writing jobs that pay for your hard work. 

5. You have to spend time answering questions on yet another blog. Some readers don't usually read the tagline where it says the article is a 'guest post' and address the questions to the owners of the site (a big let down).

6. If you're doing your job well as a guest blogger, you should spend time sharing these guest posts - yet more hours you could be writing an article for payment.

7. What happens to all the ad revenue generated by your guest posts? Yes, what happens to them?

8. You could lose subscribers if your content suffers as a result of your galavanting (guest posting) ways.


I have used guest posts for all the advantageous reasons stated in my third paragraph above. I will continue to guest post because I'm aware that it can be beneficial for bloggers/writers like myself who need to build up traffic and buzz about their work and e-Books. However, I'm also aware that guest blogging can be bad for my own blogs, and that my writing time can suffer from doing too much of it. 

I'm all for guest posting if we understand that it has as many drawbacks as it does, advantages.  Are the advantages worth the discomfort? Sometimes, but it depends on who and what are involved, obviously. 
I also accept guest posts on all my sites and will continue to do so. However, I always, always look at the guest bloggers' previous work and never publish submitted articles without first editing them. 

Now, what do you think about guest posting? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in your experience? Other helpful articles like this one can be found on this page: How Do I Blog.


Icy BC November 22, 2011 at 12:19 AM  

I don't do guest posting since I saw the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I rather have my best work on my blogs..

There are other ways to get your blogs or name out there without doing guest posting. But you know, to each its own!!!

365SM November 22, 2011 at 5:39 AM  

I agree with LEY BC also I am sure mostly people don`t do this but if they still then they need to update them selves because now a days there are much more losses then only this....!!!!

Anne Lyken-Garner November 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM  

I see what you're saying Icy. Many have extolled the virtues of guest posting and I understand that there are advantages (which is why I'm going to continue doing it).
As you said though, to each his own.

Anne Lyken-Garner November 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM  

365 SM. Not quite sure what you meant...

Scott November 22, 2011 at 8:33 PM  


Is it ok to guest post every now and then if you are not making it a common practice to do so?

I guess I feel it as an honor to be asked to post on another site that has a higher PR ranking than yours.

Thanks for the thoughts to ponder. Hope you have an excellent week!


Anne Lyken-Garner November 22, 2011 at 9:19 PM  

Scott, Of course it's an honour to be asked to guest post on a higher PR blog. Like I said in the post. I'm all for guest posting if we all understand that it has as many drawbacks as it does, advantages.

Are these drawbacks worth the risk? I think sometimes they are - depending on the circumstances at the time (and who's involved).

The thing that made me write this post was the fact that everyone is talking about guest posting plusses, but no one is talking about how it can harm your personal blog output. Thanks for visiting.

Dev November 23, 2011 at 6:36 PM  

I think guest posting is great way and has a lot of benefits/advantages. I've been successfully doing guest posting from a year and have a great success with it.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

Anne Lyken-Garner November 23, 2011 at 8:54 PM  

Dev, it's obviously great to have opinions from both sides of the coin. Thanks for your input and congrats on your success with guest posting.

Kalen November 25, 2011 at 2:34 AM  

I think you made a well-defended argument but have to disagree. You mostly emphasized how guest blogging is a lot of work, but that doesn't mean it is a waste of time. You compared it to writing an article for a fee, but those are two completely different goals. One is to be compensated, but the other is to market yourself. I know a lot of big name bloggers and commercial sites that use guest blogging as a core marketing tactic. I have worked as a paid guest blogger, with one client paying me $75 per guest post to promote their sites. Others have posted jobs for $100 a guest post. If it didn't work for them, why would they do that? I think you either never tried guest posting or didn't want to make it a priority for marketing. That's fine, as it's by no means necessary. There are plenty of ways to market your site, but most who have used guest blogging have been impressed with the results. It helps with SEO, drives traffic and builds a community. However, you have to be dedicated to it. I do agree that you don't want your own content to suffer because you are guest posting. Although it's tempting to say your best work should be on your own site, the truth is that all your work should be your best. Everything you post is a reflection of your brand image and needs to be pristine.

Anne Lyken-Garner November 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM  

Kalen, thanks for your detailed reply. I'm sure your point of view can help others looking into guest posting for their own sites.

As I said in the article. I have actually guest posted and will continue to do so. My points (as I've already covered in my previous replies) remain the same. Thanks again for your visit and input. I do appreciate it.

Darren November 25, 2011 at 2:51 PM  

I think this is a realistic take. Some people act like guest posting is the next big thing. As you pointed out, it's also a lot of work so you to consider it.


Admin November 26, 2011 at 11:45 PM  

To guest post or not to guest post - that is the question! I never had - as I worked out at least a few of the reasons stated above for not doing so! Anne has pointed out some new ones here, so thanks Anne!

Guest posting, IMO, is too inward looking. Guest posts often have limited appeal - a kind of read my work and I will read yours deal. At my most cynical I would say it's akin to pop eating itself only in terms of blogging (if you get the reference).

Page Rank is important - and yes, links in to your site are important here. Equally so, however, are great and consistent content on your own site, its longevity, layout and the meta tags you use. Oh and dot com it! Pronto!

Don't spend too much time engaging other bloggers if you are in search of hits (and we are all click whores to a greater or lesser extent!). If your site is about blogging, like this site, then of course! If your site is about animation, engage animators, contact them, love them. If you site is about photography - do the same, write to photographers and ask to include their work on your site. And so on. Much better to ask them than other writers,IMO!

The great shame of it is that many bloggers are interested in only one thing - the content of their own site. Hands up if you have had your work ripped off recently? I guess being asked to guest post is a much nicer way of saying can I use your stuff but essentially if you are asked to guest post it is generally for selfish reasons!

What I rely on, really (apart from social media, lots of it), is other blog owners who have pretty much a link based blog looking at something I have written and saying hey, that's interesting! and writing a paragraph or so about it with a link... that can get the hits coming just as much as writing an entire post for them. I return the favour by putting them on my blog list (hey, it's a link!).

Why do they do this? Well, many well established link based blogs have been around for years and have page ranks of 6 or 7. My best performing blog has a PR of 5. If they write a fresh paragraph or two about my subject they will almost de facto be above me in search engine results (the main aim of the game rather than the quick fix of sites such as SU). So, people looking for, say, pink elephants, will hit their site before mine. They will then hopefully click on the link. Win win, traffic both ways.

Admin November 26, 2011 at 11:46 PM  

.. more...

Sometimes, though, luck can play a part. One HUGE site asked me once for an entire article I had just published (on US military aircraft that never quite made it off the starting blocks) which had taken me a long time to research, find copyright free images and so on. I was a little taken aback and had reservations about literally giving away something I had worked on for so long but agreed when I was promised a certain amount of hits in a day (more than I was expecting for the entire life of the post to be honest).

Sure enough, the post got 30,000 hits the following day despite being taken in its entirety by the big blog. Well, when you get close to 3m hits a day and slip in a link or two to another site, that site can expect what they see as a tsunami of hits. I was happy that day.

So, that's as close as I have ever got to guest posting. I would like to do some, I guess, but it's a case of time. I'm not a full time blogger and it takes me all my time feeding my beasts, let alone anyone else's!

Blimey, I hope at least some of this makes sense. Essentially, I think it is a good idea but I always wait to be asked... and yes, as Anne says here the first thing I then check is the PR of the site. If it's a 7 it's a no brainer, yes, yes, yes. If it's a 1 or 2 then it isn't worth the time in terms of return (I sound a little cruel there but that's life).

I rarely accept them either. Anne here is one of only 2 people who have guest posted for me.

I would say spend more time setting up a presence on a site like Facebook with a nice looking page. Post links regularly, tie them in to a twitter feed, try not to spam other pages, and make some attempt to engage people there! Most of the big blogs recognised a year or two ago that FB was the future (for now!) for getting new people interested in your sites (=visitors).

What I have learned over the years is that successful blogging does not happen overnight. Ittakes time - lots of it. Often, too, time reaps rewards!

Anne Lyken-Garner November 27, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

Wow! I couldn't say it better myself, RJ. You're right, even if you're a bit brutal. :-)

As I said before. I do see why guest posting is important. However, as you said, links can be built in other ways too. I do accept guest-posting on my blogs and often get requests - some of which I accept. The Internet is awash with guest-posting articles, and I wonder what has created such a buzz about this topic.

I'm impressed by your 30,000 traffic. Boy! I would give away an article in a heart beat if I was offered that. Thanks for dropping by. You've made a lot of sense.

SquirrelQueen December 2, 2011 at 1:50 AM  

A very interesting article Anne. I don't care for guest posts in general but some of the ones posted by my blogging friends are interesting and I know they are probably benefiting in some way from the post.

I have been contacted by various companies asking me to post a guest post, even asking how much I charge. So far I haven't accepted any of them because the products or subjects did not suit my blog.

But with all of that said I do use some guest posts from authors. I have posted several and I'm working with a book tour site right now to obtain a guest post from an author whose book I'm reviewing later this month. Sometimes they are stand alone and other times part of the review.

Published authors, like yourself, do benefit from this type of exposure.

Anne Lyken-Garner December 2, 2011 at 10:59 AM  

Great comment, Judy. Yes, I know that authors can benefit from guest posting. This is only if they post on high-traffic blogs, in their niche. Otherwise, their hard work can all be in vain.

BGM4573 December 3, 2011 at 5:00 AM  

Hi this makes sense if you are a pro writer or even a very good writer.But what about people who just have a few websites to promote and are sick of submitting spun content and would rather write a few bolg posts to get backlinks.I am doing this for one good reason I am sick of spam my
writing is not great but I always try to make a good comment well thought out and on topic. I have3 tried to use microsoft office to clean up my writing and it will work in time. I can use the spell checker now and pay for writing a lot of times but it is not always feasible.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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