I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy!Tash

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Make your offers relevant

Whether it is a direct email, marketing campaign or even a cold call on the phone, it’s really important to make the offer relevant to the other person – if you want results anyway!

Guest blog approaches

If you want to do some guest blogging and have found some potential host blogs, your next step is to contact the blog owner and offer your posts.

Today, I received a pleasant email offering me some guest blog posts. She wrote clearly, openly told me which site her bio would link to, provided samples of previous posts and offered to write on a topic I suggested.

Sounds good, right?

Yes, up to the point of looking at her URL and sample post topics.

She is representing a housing construction company (the name Word Constructions does mislead at times!) so was offering posts about building topics which is obviously completely irrelevant to my blog.

Check for relevance

alphabet building blocks

Letters are Word Constructions’ building blocks

It all comes back to knowing your audience and your purpose.

If I know my audience are people running a business, then they are not coming to me for building tips but could be interested to read a business book review.

If the purpose of my blog is to share writing and communications information, there is little point writing about the best time to prune a lemon tree.

A little bit of research on the part of the would-be guest blogger would get her posts into more blogs – you don’t have to read much of my site to learn I am a writer, not a builder, and that my name is Tash. I (and therefore my readers) are not her audience so her posts are not relevant and she wasted her time emailing me.

So for every piece of business communications, know your purpose and audience so you can make the message relevant.

Have you considered the relevancy of your blog posts to the people reading them? Are they at least relevant to the audience you want to attract?

Recognising an ineffective guest blog post

Good guest blog posts can be a great tool in your blog. However, as I wrote last week, low quality posts can be detrimental.

So what makes a low quality blog post low quality?Fail key for bad content

Here is a list of errors and faults I have seen in recent blog posts:

  1. the post is simply poorly written – I’ve seen poor sentence construction, multiple ideas squeezed into one confused sentence, changes of tense (future to past, etc) and lack of flow from one sentence or paragraph to the next
  2. poor use of sub-headings and bullet points – one I recently saw had bullet points appearing as sub-headings that didn’t actually make sense (maybe that is another blog post for me to write!)
  3. rambling – we all ramble a bit when we’re talking to friends, but rambling in a blog post wastes people’s time and often indicates you don’t know the topic well. It certainly shows you didn’t plan the post nor edit it well.
  4. using unnecessary, impressive words or misusing words makes the post very hard to read and understand
  5. rehashed content that is boring – using the same content over and over is not interesting. The post needs to contain new information or a new perspective on it
  6. using inaccurate data is not good for credibility at any time, but using incorrect data that the audience will spot as incorrect is just stupid or lazy. If you get the basics wrong, why should anyone trust your ideas and opinions?
  7. support of illegal/immoral/stupid things to do. I don’t like reading blog posts encouraging spinning articles (using the same content over and over with just enough changes to make them appear different), spamming people or using black hat (i.e. generally disliked by search engines and people) SEO tactics – there’s no way I would let a guest blogger put something like that in my blog as I value my honesty and credibility.
  8. A combination of the above! If one factor makes it look bad, imagine my response to multiple factors…
What other things have you noticed in poor guest blog posts? Or poor blog posts in general for that matter!

Linking from a blog post

Recently I had a conversation with another blog owner about the number of links included in a blog post; we were specifically discussing guest blog posts but the concept really applies to your own blog posts as well.

links within a blog

Links between blog posts are like a mini internet

He stated that he only accepts two links in a blog post and that having multiple links to one blog from within a post is of no real benefit. Do you agree with the lack of benefit? I don’t.

To me, including links is a means of giving more depth to whatever I am writing about. For example, if I am writing about good business communications I may link the terms good spelling, using capital letters and consistent style rather than explaining the value and meaning of each.

Of course there is also the advantage of potential additional traffic through increasing the number of links to and within my own blog. Even if only one link works for search engines, multiple links give a human more opportunities to visit my blog which is also important.

So for search engines, one link in a post may be sufficient but I see other reasons for adding links and judge the correct number of links by the content of the post (if you look through my blog you will see some posts have one or no links while others have many links).

Side note: limiting the links allowed for guest bloggers is a reasonable strategy, however, to avoid someone trying to spam your blog rather than providing quality content. I respect such limits and live to them when I supply guest posts, even when I think there are more links of value to the reader.