What Happened After I Closed Guest Post Submissions

While many popular blogs have trended away from accepting unsolicited guest post submissions, not many have shared the results of this strategy.

A lot of people are curious – does having less content really hurt in regards to traffic and subscriber rates?

In this post, I thought I would quickly share the results of taking over sole authorship of Kikolani since March, comparing eight months of analytics and subscriber data.

Analytics Comparison

First, let’s look at the Audience Overview in Google Analytics for the first four months without guest writers with the previous four months with guest writers.

The blue represents March through June without guest writers, while orange represents the previous four months with guest writers.

visitor-comparison

Next, we’ll look at mailing list conversions tracked by Google Analytics.

mailing-list-subscriber-comparison

Now, here’s the numbers breakdown showing number of posts on Kikolani, visits, unique visitors, and mailing list subscribers per month.

overall-comparison-guest-bloggers-vs-no-guest-bloggers

What Changed

While the traffic didn’t change that much, mailing list opt ins doubled. Of course, this isn’t just because I started writing the posts myself.

The key difference between these two periods is that I became more involved in my blog again. In particular…

  • While accepting guest writers, I had posts scheduled for months ahead of time. When it was just me, I had the ability to write about anything whenever I wanted to, including some trending topics while they were hot. Those posts generated a huge influx of traffic, which led to new subscribers.
  • I took the time I used to spend editing and publishing guest posts to write a free incentive for mailing list subscribers – an 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging. This boosted opt ins greatly, as seen by my June 2013 numbers.
  • I started engaging with my readers again, both on my site and on social media, which strengthened the community.

Conclusions

As far as this blog is concerned, having guest writers and a larger number of posts did not make a major difference in traffic. What did make a huge difference was the amount of attention I gave it once I stopped accepting guest posts.

Therefore, your decision to have guest bloggers will not affect the influx of traffic or increase in mailing list subscribers. Your personal attentiveness to your blog and its community will. Unless your blog was started as a multi-author blog in the first place, your subscribers are mostly there for you. So be sure to give them what they want often. :)





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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Kristi !
    One important point that you’ve mentioned is that you’ve become more involved in your blog again which is important not only for you but also other bloggers (who allow guest posts) as people subscribed to this blog just because of the invaluable information you shared through your posts and your fans like me would love to see more of your presence :D.

    -Pramod
    Pramod just posted Motorola Droid Maxx, Droid Ultra, Droid Mini: Specs, price and features

  2. says

    Hey Kristi, great post. I was considering going back to writing for BGB myself back when you first wrote about doing it, and I hadn’t yet. It gets way too easy to rely on other contributions when you’re a busy mama.

    Definitely considering it more seriously now though, because it’s just becoming more time consuming than it really needs to be, and doesn’t really seem to be doing much to increase my readership. I’d rather focus on writing myself me thinks. :) Anyhoo, thanks for sharing your stats and congrats on the new subscribers.
    Cori Padgett-Bukowski just posted Common E-Commerce Mistakes = Lost Sales

  3. says

    Kristi, it really does my head in when SEO people say that you should blog as often as possible – for instance 3–5 days a week.

    I personally prefer blogs that avoid slavishly sticking to this rule and post only when one of the authors has something genuinely new, informative or powerful to say. (As it happens, this is more or less the subject of the post in my CommentLuv link below.)

    In other words, it totally makes sense why you’ve stopped accepting guest posts on your own blog.

    You may not be able to achieve the same level of output, but at least you’re back in the driving seat, can avoid having to sift out all the chaff and can steer your blog exactly in the direction you want it to go.
    Kevin Carlton just posted 5 reasons why rookie copywriters should only blog once a month

    • says

      Kevin,

      The key to content is like you say to have something useful to write about. Whether it’s 3-5 times a week or twice a month, what does it matter how often you blog? As long as it’s useful, write as much as you want!

      This whole guest blogging thing is quiet interesting to follow. Some say it’s not valuable. Matt Cutts says to avoid multi author posts. Others think it’s still the holy grail of link building. It’s enough for me to pull my hair out!

      Thanks for sharing the results Kristi.
      Jordan J. Caron just posted Save Time Posting On Your Social Networks

  4. says

    Great post Kristi, Thanks for sharing the result of your research. Strange but true. I always liked commenting on posts written by the blog owner. And used to stay away from blogs that focus more on guest posts. Especially because while posting a comment on a blog where only one person solely writes the content, you are sure to interact with the blog owner than any anonymous guest.

    I made a decision to keep my blog exclusively for content that I create. My belief is that every visitor that comes to my site wants to get in touch with the me, not my blog brand or my guest writer.

    Naturally people want to interact with people and that helps bring more traffic.

    Dr.Spencer Jones
    Dr.Spencer Jones just posted How To Make A Million Dollars Online – Being A Good Farmer

    • says

      Carol, I’d love to be in a position to accept guest posts on my own website – as mixing it up on each other’s blogs is, ideally, great for all involved.

      But after you said that you were restricting submissions to your Den members only (because of the sheer number of junk pitches) you got me thinking.

      Will I see a similar pattern to Kristi’s – albeit on a smaller scale?

      Love the editor idea – if you can get one you can trust. Although I gotta say the nature of your own blog is that it’s perfectly adapted to guest posts anyway.
      Kevin Carlton just posted Are your web directory listings one big waste of time?

      • says

        I thought that too, Kevin…but then I realized there were about a dozen basic things I was doing to every guest post to make it conform to the style of my blog and the content I want, and that I could train up someone else to do it. I created an editorial guide in about 10 minutes flat once I had that insight.

        Fortunately, I already have a great relationship with my writer/admin for Freelance Writers Den and I know she will do a great job.

        I would not want to stop guest posts because I think the variety of voices and experiences is important. After all, I’m not breaking into freelance writing right now…so I need some writers who have that fresh experience to add to my been-doing-it seasoned advice. ;-)

        It seems like Kristi’s pretty happy writing her own again…but all of our policies do continue to evolve.

        And remember I also take pitches from Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging students. Between the two programs it’s several thousand writers…I think there’s plenty of good stuff in there, and it does really cut down on the chaff compared with leaving it wide open. Part of me would love to take all comers…but the hassle factor was just too huge.
        Carol Tice just posted 7 Simple Fixes for the Writing Mistakes that Brand You an Amateur

    • says

      Carol, your idea about hiring an editor to take care of the numerous guest posts that are sent to you really caught my attention. I think it’s what I’ll try and implement.
      @Kristi
      I think guest bloggers don’t really care much about any blog they’re trying to guest post for, since a lot of them are just gunning for the links. That’s why you saw significant increase in your traffic and sign ups.
      I learnt a lot from this post, thanks for using images to convey your feelings into the post.
      Kingsley Agu just posted The Ultimate Guide: How To Set Up a Facebook Page From Scratch

  5. says

    That is pretty interesting to note especially since you are such a popular blog.

    It would be interesting to see the stats of your guest bloggers during that time. Did posting on your blog increase their subscriber rates and traffic?

    I just started tracking my efforts and although I do see a spike in subscribers, I still need to go deeper to find out what exactly they want. i.e. patterns, blogging tips or business tips
    Sara just posted How to Properly Use Other Blogger’s Photos & Free Images for Your Blog Posts

  6. says

    I’m not at all surprised with your findings Kristi. As a reader there are a few blogs that I used to follow faithfully but stopped because they posted one guest article after another. As a blogger I’ve only published 2 guest posts and neither experience was a good one. After regularly receiving “pitches” from people wanting to write about topics that were completely unrelated to my blog I finally posted a notice explaining that I don’t accept guest posts.

    As far as posting frequency – I’ve tested this forward and backward and 2 new posts a week works best for my blogs. Occasionally I’ll add an extra if there’s something special going on. I’ve unsubscribed from blogs that post too frequently during the week – take Seth Godin for example. Brilliant and highly prolific guy but I don’t want his multitude of posts filling up my inbox so I just added him to Feedly so I can just glance at all his stuff and see what I want to check out.
    marquita herald just posted When Life Challenges You in Uncommon Ways

  7. says

    Hey Kristi, its good to be here. While I admire your decision to cut off guest posts, I must point out a big disadvantage of blogging solo which is having your blog lose its dynamism as the only voice and thoughts heard here would be yours. Why not consider carving out more time for your blog instead of refusing guest posts altogether? It seems its the lack of time for your blog that is the problem not the guest posts. Think again, Kristi.
    Terungwa just posted 10+ WAYS OF DRIVING TRAFFIC TO A BLOG

  8. says

    I was just discussing this with a friend. At the risk of sounding like a snob – I am often turned off by blogs with too many guest posts.

    I read a blog because I trust the author and I want to hear their opinion or “take” on a particular subject.

    I don’t know the guest posters and don’t value their opinion as highly.

    I think that a guest post would have more clout with me if the blog owner wrote a brief intro to a guest post telling me a bit about the guest poster and why he/she values the guest poster’s insights.
    Neena just posted An Organized Computer Desktop …

  9. says

    I recently hire some writers on my blog and as result it didn’t generate anything more in team of traffic or subscribers.

    I think when our blog grow, we want to have more contents, we want to increase the topics we cover etc … but at the end of the day, the visitors want only something from the blog owner.

    I think we should stop worry about producing more contents, we should think how to let other people know more about us. That’s what people want from a blog.
    Santel just posted How Did I Build a Company Website From a Pdf File

  10. says

    Interesting post. I have become more and more selective about accepting guest posts. I now accept posts only from other bloggers I know personally or occasionally through third-party services such as MyBlogGuest. The great majority of unsolicited proposals I receive are a waste of time. When I made the mistake of accepting them in the past, I then received very poor quality work and a range of other hassles. I fully understand why many bloggers have given up accepting guest posts entirely.
    Nick Daws just posted Why the UK Government is Forcing Me to “Opt In” for Something I Don’t Want

  11. says

    Hello Kristi
    I think accepting guest posts on blog is definitely a plus point in regards traffic because in my opinion more content leads to more traffic from GOOGLE, if you are doing proper SEO. Yes Involvement in blog is also must. Without involving in blogs, there are chances that traffic will decrease, if you are an authority writer.
    Rahul just posted Get 100GB of Free Cloud Storage from Shared.com

  12. says

    Hi Krishti,
    Yes, it is true that no one has yet shared their experience after closing guest submission. I am happy to see you sharing detailed analysis. I also agree that the more you involve in your blog the more you get out of it.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    Suhas just posted The basics of Web designing in 2013

  13. says

    I think having a more steady quality and one face on your blog benefits the emotional connection your readers have with your blog. I’d really rather read a blog written by one or two knowledgeable writers than a mix-and-mash of guestposts and other items.

    Just my 0.02 cents! All in all I’m glad the disabling of guestposts has not influenced your traffic in a negative way.
    Nick just posted Can Entrepreneurs Make Good Managers?

  14. says

    I’m really glad to see that reducing the number of guest posts is actually having a positive impact. As a blogger I can understand the purpose that guest posts fulfill, allowing you to have more content on your blog without all the pressure being on you. But as a reader, I have to say, it leaves me feeling a bit…..um, icky…when I see successful blogs that are populated almost exclusively with guest posts and very little input from the original author that made it popular. To me, it ‘cheapens’ the brand of that blog and makes me trust it less.
    Lucy Beer just posted Best Way To Add Blank Lines & Space In WordPress Editor

  15. says

    Hi Kristi,

    The data presented are interesting, indeed. However, the numbers may be tricky. There is a factor that can alter the results and that factor is … you.

    “When it was just me, I had the ability to write about anything whenever I wanted to, including some trending topics while they were hot.” It seems there is a difference between the authors of the guest posts and the owner of the site (you).
    The owner of the site is a well known and reputable internet marketer who knows her stuff very well. The rest of guest posters were not able to rise to a comparable level.

    These kind of experiments are dangerous when the author is at a very high professional level. That’s because the author unconsciously leverage her or his name. Together with the high level of expertise this is enough to alter the data or at least the interpretation of the data.
    I have no doubt that the numbers are correct. Your interpretation is correct but the conclusion is not.

    The conclusion: “You get a higher amount of attention when you stop accepting guest posts” is true but only in your case.
    If you try to extend this conclusion to other bloggers that are not so knowledgeable and skilled like you are, you might be very wrong.

    For example, when you are a beginner, accepting guest post from bloggers that are just a little bit higher than you, will definitely help and the situation might be exactly the opposite than what happened to you.

    Have a nice day
    Silviu just posted Blog Commenting Results. Case Study2

  16. says

    How refreshing to see a top blogger’s analytics data! Beginner bloggers don’t really have much of a clue about what they should be aiming for. And your Conversion Rates too. You can’t buy info like that.

    The most interesting fact for me was the huge increase in Subscriber numbers when you published a new freebie – just what I need to knuckle down and get busy publishing.

    And of course, I had to Optin and download the freebie to check it out. How clever is that! Do you have data to show an increase in optins after publishing this article? I bet they go up. Thanks for the great info and marketing ideas.
    Carol Manser just posted Beginner Guide: Easy Install & Set Up W3Total Cache Plugin With Gzip

  17. says

    Hey Kristi, I’m so glad you decided to take control again. This is after all your blog and I know I come here to read your posts and not those of some guest blogger. Nothing against the guest bloggers mind you, just that they’re not you. ;)
    Peter just posted How To Be A Millionaire

  18. says

    This is a very reassuring post Kristi as I have stopped reading some blogs where guest posting is as regular as the blog owner.
    This year I have like you become more involved with my blog my blog and have seen an increase in traffic comments and subscribers I am also enjoying blogging again.
    thanks
    Suzie Cheel just posted Be Celebrating You

  19. says

    Hey!

    Reading your post, always a good treat to knowledge and learning, but till the stats you shared I am not agreed with your view.

    Though, considering your involvement is the sole reason. If you continue with guest post along with your involvement will help you to grow your blog.

    In the mean while, I saw some blogs (not to mention) with a lot of guest post which seems like a magazine. One should avoid these practices, and many well-known bloggers are doing so. Well, Kristi best of luck with your work – we love your work :D
    umer hafeez just posted Nokia Lumia brings “Keep Your Kids Healthy App”

  20. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Thanks for being so transparent and sharing these stats. I’m not surprised that your email optins doubled because not too many people who can write a better blog post than you!
    Featuring guest authors on a popular blog like your’s really benefits the guest more than it does the host.
    This might not be the case for other bloggers who are lacking your level of expertise and notoriety. Their readers might see a guest post as a breath of fresh air – on the other hand, your loyal readers might see a guest post and think – Darn it, I want Kristi!
    Ileane just posted Now That You Started Making Videos Here’s How To Get More Views on YouTube

  21. says

    Interesting statics on when you stopped guest posting on your blog. I wonder why there was an increase in email subscriptions when you stopped guest posts on your blog. The reason why I ask this is because even the guest posters too were replying to the commentators. But nonetheless, its very interesting. Will you be opening to guest posting in the future?
    Shalu Sharma just posted Kumbh Mela 2013 – where chaos meets peace

  22. says

    And with the Google now spitting on blogs with guest posts, you did the right thing at the right timje, Kristi! And anyway, that’s why people like me visit your blog: we want to know YOUR views and get YOUR tips and techniques! Blog On!
    Dave Lucas just posted Should I Publish My Book Online?

  23. says

    Interesting results, indeed.

    I’m curious though: what level of involvement did you have with your blog while you had guest posters? Your post made it sound as if you wrote next to nothing (or nothing at all) and let guest posters do ALL of the posting, and then when you eliminated guest bloggers and became involved again, you were able to write to more trending topics, etc.

    I have to wonder, with guest bloggers covering specific topics you wanted on your blog, why you couldn’t have still handled the trending stuff at least once or twice a week? Why would allowing guest bloggers become an “all or nothing” proposition?
    Patrick just posted Sunday Seven #404

  24. says

    Honestly it is logic, your audience want to learn from you, I am always here and reading, but mostly I am interested with your own content Kristi, because guest posts are more like promotions. You are a good blogger and I am trying hard to get to this level and I am trying to learn from good bloggers like you. Good decision by the way
    jossef just posted Buy Backlinks to Get High PR and Google Position

  25. says

    In other words, it totally makes sense why you’ve stopped accepting guest posts on your own blog.

    You may not be able to achieve the same level of output, but at least you’re back in the driving seat, can avoid having to sift out all the chaff and can steer your blog exactly in the direction you want it to go.
    chris just posted Google Penguin 2.0: Reasons to celebrate

  26. says

    Funny, I am not surprised with results at all. I stopped taking guest posts awhile ago and didn’t even pick up the posting myself, yet, the traffic is still about the same. Not to mention that of all the guest posts I’ve ever gotten, I can say there are maybe 5 I am really happy with. Most people use guest posts as a way to build links and in the last year, except for ONE post, I got nothing original from potential authors. Now, your blog attracted great guest posts but I know how much time it takes to vet the author adn do all the things related to approving the post. Not to mention how many times I had people with fake names submit posts.
    Brankica just posted How to Add Google Plus Comments to Genesis Theme

  27. says

    Hi Kristi,
    Its been long since I have visited you blog and seems like many things have been changed. Well I have enabled guest posting on my blog once. It do provide free content but it is really messy to manage all the posts. probability is low of good posts.
    Well you have removed the guest posting and now posting for yourself
    Good luck for that, Keep up the good work. From now on I will visit your blog more often. I think I would learn new things from you.
    Have a great week ahead
    Regards
    :)
    Ashi just posted iPhone 5 C is The New Budget iPhone

  28. says

    It’s great to see the strong correlation between your own time investment and site traffic. You really do get out of it what you are willing to put in. It just goes to show that success, be it online or otherwise, comes from hard work and commitment. Guest blogging can be a great asset, but you cannot allow use it as an excuse to lessen your attention to your site. A good lesson for everything, regardless of what they are trying to accomplish.

  29. says

    Guest posts with footer links just drains link juice away from your website. That’s why places like Ezine Articles are dropping for all the keywords their seo efforts were focusing on. I’d personally rather have the messages come from the company even if they were paying to have them written, at least it would be their ideas.
    Bruce Jones just posted 16 Inbound Marketing Tools Your Company Can Use

  30. says

    Thanks for the analytical data Kristi. I enjoy having guest bloggers share on my blog as it gives the content a fresh perspective. That being said, I too have fallen victim to laziness when it comes to sharing my own thoughts and opinions when I am already getting a steady stream of content from others. A good mix is definitely healthy for your blog though.

    Thanks for the share!
    Josh Nadeau just posted Social Media Management Services That Fit The Bill

  31. says

    Kristi, it’s great to see such good stats analysis. And I absolutely trust your solution and suggestion: traffic increased because you focused again on the blog.
    That’s the secret, whatever you choose to do, guest blogging or not, always focus and be present in your project. Visitors can feel it, amazing!
    Jake just posted CommentLuv DoFollow Blogs

  32. says

    You finally made it to the point I was thinking about all through the article.

    Most people read/subscribe to your blog because of you. While I’m sure guest posts are well-moderated to ensure quality content, there’s just no replacing the original.
    Matt just posted Double Trouble Trouble

  33. says

    Hey, Kristi.

    I just recently started blogging and haven’t gotten into the guest post realm, but I’m thinking about it in the future. Your data gave some great insights. It would seem to me that a guest post every now and then is okay, especially if you need a break, but like you said to keep your readers engaged you need to make sure you are active. After all, you are the one with the vision for your blog. Thanks for this.
    Christopher Gunn just posted Comment on How to Capture Every Idea You’ll Ever Have by Christopher Gunn

  34. says

    Interesting findings, Kristi.

    I think the more popular the blog gets, the more eager the readers want to hear from the blogger him/herself and not the guest writers. I always get a lot more traffic and engagement on posts that I write for Traffic Generation Café vs guest posts.

    Glad you are able to make more time to write posts for Kikolani; I surely always enjoy them!
    Ana Hoffman just posted 404 Not Found Errors: Do They Hurt Your Site?

    • says

      I have to agree with Ana. I know when I get emails from Carol Tice at makealivingwriting.com (she commented above) I am all excited and start reading her latest post only to discover it’s another guest blogger. Mind you, those posts are usually quite good, but I am there to learn from Carol herself. As I’m reading I’m always a little disappointed.

      Kikolani, new reader here. I found you through Ana Hoffman’s trafficgeneration.com. I look forward to catching up on your other posts!
      Sylvia just posted Crowdfunding

  35. says

    Thanks for sharing your findings, looks like the decision to stop guest bloggers was the right one. You’re more engaged in your community and that matters and with Google now taking a dim view of guest blogging you’re ahead of the curve.
    Daniel Heywood just posted 5 ways to promote your website

  36. says

    Really fascinating insight Kristi and definitely backs up what I’ve been challenging myself to do as well – get more involved and stay involved in every detail of my blog. Seems simple, but it does become easy to rely on others for content and allow our focus to stray to other details within our business.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Rebekah Radice just posted 10 Pinterest Mavens Every Marketer Should Follow

  37. says

    Awesome post, Kristie.

    It’s interesting to see how your stats changed when you stopped accepting guest posts. It seems that your stats has stayed inline with what I would expect them to be.

    You’re right, you are the first one I’ve seen to share “behind the scenes” of the change.

    I’m glad to see that you’re back actively involved with your blog and creating content. I usually frequent blogs specifically for the blog owner and to read content from them; your’s in one that I visited often to check for content from you so I’m happy to see you back in action. :)

    Ti
    Ti Roberts just posted [VIDEO] TRTT Episode #7 – Should You Swap Guest Posting For Paid Advertising? (subscriber questions answered)

  38. says

    It’s interesting to see how your stats changed when you stopped accepting guest posts. It seems that your stats has stayed inline with what I would expect them to be.

    You’re right, you are the first one I’ve seen to share “behind the scenes” of the change.

    I’m glad to see that you’re back actively involved with your blog and creating content

  39. says

    Very interesting indeed! I think that some of this is because people like to actually know what they are reading and who it is by. They like to grow a sort of stronger connection with the actual author rather than having multiple different ones who write one post and then disappear.
    Martin just posted How to find CommentLuv sites

  40. says

    Hello Kristi, I am fully agreed with you. I was also having guest post submission enabled on my websites, but when I closed that I see a lot of difference in my traffic. Before closing that I got many guest posts request, comments and mails. But after that all reduced. So according me, Guest posts are biggest factor of traffic for a website.

    Regards
    Kshitij Jain
    Kshitij Jain just posted Bigg Boss Season 7 Contestant List

  41. says

    I am totally agree with you. Accepting guest can help to bring traffic to your blog. But accepting guest posts is not only the important part for a blog, the quality of guests are also matters. If your blog is getting requests for quality post then its good otherwise we should take immediate action. Thanks for sharing this case study with Google analytics reports. ;)
    Chetan Gupta just posted How to Use Twitter Analytics to Keep Eyes on Your Followers

  42. says

    Kristi

    I’ve been thinking about doing the same. It is my personal space – and although a lot of the guest articles I get are informative? They took away from what I wanted to do with my site.

    Thanks for showing the proof I needed to help me!

  43. says

    Great article, and your bottom line is spot on: attentiveness is the key to success in blogging and whatever else you’re doing too. I think guest posts are still a good way to offer your readers a fresh voice every once in a while. If the guest author is good, it reflects well on your site. If the guest author isn’t so great, it’ll make the audience really appreciate what they’re getting from you on a regular basis. ;-)
    Ron just posted The Fastest Way to Learn a Language

  44. says

    So it seems that you are happy with not accepting Guest posts anymore. There is hardly any difference in Traffic as we can see. When I first read your the title, the first thing that came to my mind is that- THE TRAFFIC MUST HAVE DECREASED but then I found nothing like that. What about the social sharing ?
    You did not analyse the stats. Was there any major change?
    Sanjib Saha just posted Top 7 Antivirus fоr Windows 8

  45. says

    “The key difference between these two periods is that I became more involved in my blog again. In particular…

    …I started engaging with my readers again, both on my site and on social media, which strengthened the community.”

    Kristi, these are the most powerful lines in the whole post, and especially meaningful to ME.

    I read a particularly confronting post on Copyblogger that in effect said, “You have to give a S–T.”

    In recent times, I’ve become disconnected from the audience in one of my blogs… not one you are familiar with, as it’s a different topic than low- and no-cost marketing for small businesses… but an important audience nonetheless.

    I had come to depend on curated and ‘guest’ work. When all the while my audience was scratching their heads and saying, “Where’s that one guy whose stuff we used to like to read?”

    Der.

    I’m particularly blessed to see that you have numbers that back up your decision to take more control of your blog’s message. After all, it’s YOU that I come to see as well.

    Thanks again Kristi for all that you do in this space.

    Keep Stepping,

    Kurt
    Kurt Frankenberg just posted Effective Marketing on a Shoestring Budget Part TWO

  46. says

    There’s been some great blogs that I stopped subscribing to because the guest posts just weren’t interesting. I think it’s worth it to only focus on writing posts yourself. That’s what people come here for!
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  47. says

    Hi Kristi

    I read your post with great interest because I just decided to open my blog up to guest posts.

    I only post once a week at present so I thought it might help with traffic if I posted more often (even if some of the posts are guest posts). I’m going to test it out at least and see what happens.

    I’m trying to find the best way of doing it though without adding new users to WordPress though. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way without adding a few plugins!
    Tim Bonner just posted Bounce Rate: Are You Happy With Yours?

  48. says

    The key to content is like you say to have something useful to write about. Whether it’s 3-5 times a week or twice a month, what does it matter how often you blog? As long as it’s useful, write as much as you want!

    This whole guest blogging thing is quiet interesting to follow. Some say it’s not valuable. Matt Cutts says to avoid multi author posts. Others think it’s still the holy grail of link building. It’s enough for me to pull my hair out!

    Thanks for sharing the results Kristi.
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  49. says

    Hi Kristi,

    It’s been a while since I commented on your blog. Been a busy gal. I actually read your post via BizSugar due to Ti Roberts. Anyway, I can relate to your words of wisdom about guest post submissions or the lack thereof. Hi Ti,

    Kristie is a jewel…so are you:) Thanks for sharing this. I’m surprised I hadn’t read it yet. Anyway, I can relate.

    I cracked down on accepting guest post submissions by making the guidelines stricter.

    Right now, I’m in the process of only having a handful of regular contributing authors who dish out great content in areas that I’m not specialized in at the moment.

    I have received more email subscribers and since I’m more engaged, my traffic has actually increased!

    I have to admit, it was nice have others contribute content while I focused on other things but my voice was starting to be flushed out completely. Not what I want.

    As always, I thank you for sharing your results.

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership
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  50. says

    I find this interesting, especially when most internet marketing gurus out there tell you “open up your blog to guest blogging!!”.

    It just goes to show that nothing is all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, it sounds like free articles, but it’s also a lot of work to sift through the garbage.

    Great post.
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  51. says

    Thank you for sharing you analysis. I have been going back and forth about whether to continue to accept guest posts. It was the fear of losing readers/traffic I worried most about. I have made my call. I’m going to go with saving my time and not allow them anymore.

  52. says

    Yes I agree that sometimes its not the quantity of posts that you place but the attention you give your readers / clients. They want to know that they are being heard. This is what attracts them to your blog.

  53. says

    Hi kristi Your blog is definitely alluring. Thanks for sharing the result of your research in GA. Strange but true. I always liked commenting on posts written by the blog owner. But I would not say that Guest posting is bad , it is attention grabbing if content is worthy sharing and enticing too.
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  54. says

    Hi Kristi,
    I think guest blogging is definitely the most powerful weapon to make your brand known. I think accepting guest posts on blog is definitely a plus point in regards traffic because in my opinion more content leads to more traffic from GOOGLE, if you are doing proper SEO.

    Thanks for your tips, cheers.
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  55. says

    This is an amazing article. There is so much written about guest posting, but this is one of the first articles I’ve read that shows the real impact on traffic that a blogger experienced.

    You stated that “When it was just me, I had the ability to write about anything whenever I wanted to, including some trending topics while they were hot. Those posts generated a huge influx of traffic, which led to new subscribers.”

    Do you think you would have had more traffic and subscribers if you took guest post but prioritized your own post when there was an opportunity to catch on to a trending topic? Or do you believe that the quality that comes from focus would still trump the quantity?
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  56. says

    It looked to me like your traffic had gone down, and your ranking has gone down as well, though that’s fairly minimal. But it’s refreshing seeing only your content, though I notice you’re also taking some time off now. You also stopped the Friday links post, which had to be tons of work.

    So, with the extra time, what are you doing these days?
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  57. says

    Hi Kristi !!!

    The main thing is the attention towards the blog. If we leave the blog on behalf of someone else, then it will work but not as we wanted.

    The blog represents the webmaster behind it. And if you just concentrate a little more with some strategy, then it will work definitely.
    Thanks for sharing the way with us.

    Regards
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  58. says

    Hi Kristi

    It was interesting to see the results pre and post closing guest post submissions.

    I’ve recently opened my blog up to guest posts but I can see I really do need to be careful which I do accept.

    I’m finding the quality isn’t always up to what I’d like so I’m having to rewrite chunks of text. That to me negates having them because I’m doing more work not less.

    I currently only publish a post once a week so it made sense to open it up to others during the week.
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  59. says

    Just found this as I searched the web for some insights on whether to pursue guests post for our own blog :)

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Kristi. While no solution is one-size-fits-all, it’s really helpful to see what works for great blogs.

  60. says

    Hi Kristi
    Interesting.
    I struggled for years producing content for tips4pc.com myself. After a while I let some guests in but they didn’t answer comments or they didn’t answer them they way I would. I could not control their opinions and that sucked. Now I have only paid writers and me in there.

    I thought the content my guests submitted was OK, but not great. I do not mind giving away links, but where are all the real people that want to build an audience and not just build links?
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  61. says

    Interesting study, I’ve always accepted guest posts on my blog but am still yet to publish any. This comes down to quality, most of the guest posts I get through just aren’t up to the quality I want for my posts. Your stats prove that it’s not the amount of posts you have it’s the quality of the posts you have.
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  62. says

    Hello again Kristi. Just a small thing: my last comment here is on august 1. Today is september. Well, after one month there is two times the number of comments in this thread.

    But what do you put in your wordpress engine?? :)
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  63. says

    Great post. I appreciate the breakdown because I always wondered if Guest posts still hold their merit. I do like having them as it helps me get stuff done, but I agree about making time for your blog. Once you neglect it, people notice quick. I got behind on my blog once and traffic started to slow a bit and then there were days when it perfect. Your audience wants you no matter what. Great post girl!
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  64. says

    On our own site, we were allowing for guest posts to be submitted for many years. A few months ago, the volume of junky submissions became overwhelming, so we cut it off.

    At the same time, I personally took over all blog content (as founder of the company) and moved heavily to longform content – meaning blog posts of 1,000-2,500 words on average.

    After decent but unspectacular growth over the previous 12 months, we have seen our traffic start to take off again in early 2014. I’m not saying that either of the above is at play with any certainty, but the timing is interesting, to say the least.

    Bottom line – we made a similar change and are also seeing improved performance. Is it possible that Google was already adjusting to all of this months before Matt Cutts came out telling us to “stick a fork” in guest blogging as a topic? Pure speculation there, but worth considering nonetheless.
    Tommy Landry just posted Guest Blogging Is Not Dead

  65. says

    Hi Kristi

    i am totally agree with you on the point of when we will stop guest posting than we can concentrate more on our blog post so we can get more traffic

  66. says

    I always wondered if I would be better off having guest bloggers hence more posts. Your Google analystics stats shows otherwise. Thank you for this invaluable information. I would work on posting articles relevant to my niche.

    Thanks again!

  67. says

    On one of my old blogs I noticed that about 95% of the traffic was headed to only a select few articles that were being shared and that ranked highly in the organic search results. Could this be what’s happening here too? If most of your traffic is coming to the same posts regardless of how quickly new posts are being written or who’s writing them?

    Though I think it’s awesome that you’re writing 100% of the content now!
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  68. says

    when we use guest blogging the problem is some of us forget it is our blog and let other people write there, and that’s OK but this will not have the same result as we wanted and also not the same content we wanted on the blog, also this will give too much power to other bloggers on our blog and we should remember to mange it and look for stuff that is spam, and will only hurt the site..
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