Why I Quit Blogging (and What to Do If You're Struggling)

About four years ago, I quit blogging.

It wasn't anything dramatic. I didn't get drunk, delete my blog in a fit of rage, and tell everyone on twitter to go to hell (although I've been tempted).

No, I just kind of walked away. I stopped posting, let the blog go stale, and then canceled the hosting account.

The best way I know to describe is it was a kind of "learned helplessness."

I wrote lots of great content, but no one linked to it. I optimized for search engines, but I couldn't find my site anywhere in the first 100 pages. I tried submitting my posts to social bookmarking sites like Digg.com, but I couldn't pick up a single vote.

Eventually, you just get fed up, you know?

You do everything popular bloggers tell you to do, but it doesn't work, and so you feel like, "What's the point?" Obviously, you're doing something wrong, but you have no idea what it is.

And so you quit.

At Copyblogger, I've called it the glass ceiling of the blogosphere. If you do everything people tell you to do, you can get up to about 100 visitors a day, but then it's like you hit an invisible wall, and you can't go any further.

For me, it didn't just happen once. It happened three times in two separate niches. At first, I thought it was just the topic, but then when the same exact thing happened to me with a different topic, I knew something else was up.

And the honest truth?

I never figured it out. Big, fancy pants "traffic genius" Jon Morrow couldn't put two and two together.

After about six months of licking my wounds and thinking about it, I finally decided to hire Chris Garrett (co-author of the Problogger book) to look at everything and tell me what I was doing wrong.

Here's what he told me:

Nobody knows who you are.

At first, I didn't get it. I said, "Yeah, but isn't that the point of publishing great content? You write lots of great stuff, and then the word spreads, and popular bloggers find out about you?"

"No," he said. "Popular bloggers find out about who you are, and THEN they read your content, and THEN they link to you. Connections come first. Great content comes second."

You see, I had it backwards.

I thought great content led to connections, but really, it's the other way around. Feeling like an idiot, I decided to give it a shot.

I wrote about the same topics. My writing didn't improve at all. I promoted my posts in exactly the same way.

The only difference was I made some friends with popular bloggers first, and then I asked them to help me promote it. Here's what happened:

Within one month, I was averaging 1000 visitors a day from StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Digg. Why? Because I got to know Brian Clark, and he connected me with social media power users who promoted my posts.

I got nominated for the Best Business/Money Blog in the world. Guess who was on the nomination committee? Yep: Chris Garrett. I'd love to think it was a coincidence, but I know it's not.

I got linked to by Lifehacker, one of the most popular blogs in the world. How? Brian introduced me to Tamar Weinberg, who wrote for Lifehacker at the time, and I wrote posts I knew she would be interested in.

One thing led to another until, nowadays, I know almost everybody.

The Power of Connections

Sure, I've improved as a writer since then, but what really makes it possible to get so much traffic is all of the connections I've picked up over the years. Recently, I helped a consulting client launch a new blog, and we picked up something like 200,000 unique visitors within two months, starting from nothing.

How?

Connections.

I'm not saying great content is superfluous. It's not. You just need connections before it matters.

The cool thing?

Guest blogging helps you get both

Everyday, popular bloggers wake up with tens of thousands of readers hungry for something insightful, fresh, and amazing, and they have to keep them supplied. Privately, we call it "Feeding the content beast."

And so what's the one thing you can offer them that they'll always be interested in?

Guest posts.

They don't just want them. They need them. And if you can become a reliable provider, most will want to get to know you and do everything they can to help you, including introduce you to other powerful people.

Also, your content gets better the longer you write for them.

For the past three years, I've written for Copyblogger, and Brian Clark has edited my posts and given me feedback. Do you think that helped my writing? You betcha.

I go through my posts word for word, line by line and look closely at what he changed. It's taught me more about writing than a degree in English Literature.

The coolest part is the price. For three years now, I've been mentored by one of the best writers in the world, and it didn't cost me a dime. In fact, he paid me.

Of course, you might say, "Well, that's easy for you to do. You're in the blogging niche where there are tons of huge blogs. In my niche, there aren't any big blogs to write for, so obviously this won't work for me."

But listen to this:

My first popular blog was about lessons I learned from investing in real estate. Guess how many popular real estate investing blogs there are? Zero. If you don't believe me, Google it. The closest big niche is personal finance, and I didn't write for any of those blogs either (although I should have).

The truth is, it doesn't matter. You're targeting readers, not topics. I wrote for Copyblogger because most bloggers are interested in learning how to make more money. The same thing for Brazen Careerist. Your career is a big part of your income, and so I wanted those people.

You can do the same thing for any niche. I've had students who focused on drawing stick figures, vegetarian fitness, and even a blog about nothing but tomatoes. We found related popular blogs for all of them.

The point?

You can do this.

If you've been struggling, it isn't because you're a bad blogger. It's because you're trying to do it all by yourself.

Getting your blog going isn't about learning yet another traffic strategy. It's about surrounding yourself with powerful people who can support you, and the best way I know to do that is guest blogging.

Granted, maybe you're stuck in the whole "learned helplessness" phase, and you can’t believe it'll work for you. If that's the case, here's the deal:

I'm probably going to regret this, but if you're wondering whether guest blogging will work for your topic, leave me a comment below, and I'll take a look at your blog. Try to keep it as short as you can (no more than three paragraphs, please), telling me what your blog is about, who your readers are, and what you're hoping to accomplish.

If you'll do that, then I'll do for you what Chris Garrett did for me: I'll personally respond back to you and give you some ideas. Free charge.

Fair enough?

Well then, what are you waiting for? Get started writing that comment! πŸ™‚

Please note - comments are now closed

Since early 2011 we've been diligently responding to comments on this thread, answering your questions about guest blogging (and indeed many other topics!) But at the end of 2014 we decided the time had come to shut it down. Call it growing pains. Call it the end of an era. But at close to 3,000 comments this thread just became too much for our small team to handle.

If you've posted a comment and you're still waiting for a response we're truly sorry but we're probably not going to get to it. Yes, it sucks, I know. But there's some good news. This thread is a treasure trove of information, and chances are your question, or one very much like it, has been answered by us before. You'll just need to do a bit of scrolling. πŸ˜‰

In the meantime, if you'd like to be part of a supportive community where you can get feedback from other bloggers and interact with members of the Boost Blog Traffic team, please consider joining our membership program Serious Bloggers Only.

Warm wishes,

Jon.

2,833 Comments

  1. Flora M Brown, Ph.D.
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:34:54

    Hi Jon,

    You continue to delight me with your kindness and generosity. Thank you for offering to give your take on our blogs and for continuing to encourage us to guest blog.

    My blog is older than it seems because I actually lost a whole year of posts when I changed hosts once. Boo hoo! That was a discouraging experience and I haven't written with the same consistency as I once did.

    My blog offers tips, encouragement and inspiration. I want readers to realize that they can have the lives they want if they are willing to make the choices that lead to their goals.

    Setting an ideal client has been tough for me. I think the 40-55+ year old woman seeks personal growth more than most, but I've had a number of men say that my blog resonates with them as well.

    What do I want to accomplish with my blog? I want people to take control of their lives, in spite of their background and circumstances, to create the lives they dream about. Too many people (especially women) spend their lives helping other people reach their dreams at the cost of discounting and neglecting their own.

    Thank you, Jon, for your input.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 19:21:24

      Well hello again, Dr. Brown. Encouragement and inspiration is always a popular topic. I think I've answered about five different bloggers on that exact topic, just today. πŸ™‚

      The good thing about it is it connects with everything. You can overlap "taking control of your life" and so on with just about any topic and craft it into a guest post. If I were you, that's what I would be doing.

  2. Lisa Kanarek
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:30:01

    Jon-

    Thank you for your incredible offer and for your honesty.

    My site offers tips and guidance for home-based business owners and corporate employees who work from home. I cover a variety of topics including home office productivity, home/life balance, gaining more clients and other challenges that home office professionals face.

    You helped me realize why my traffic isn't consistent. Now I know that great content isn't all that will bring in loads of visitors.

    I've written a few guest posts but now I'm going to put that at the top of my list. Thanks for that tip.

    Any advice for connecting with blog heavy-hitters? I'm sure they're approached daily by bloggers around the country.

    Thank you, again.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 19:18:05

      You're welcome, Lisa. With your topic, there are loads of guest posting opportunities. Freelance blogs, entrepreneurship blogs, web design blogs, tons of them. There's even Web Worker Daily, a blog about exactly that subject, and I'm pretty certain they accept guest posts.

      As for connecting with heavy hitters... you should sign up for my class. That's exactly what it's about. I'll email you some more information. πŸ™‚

  3. Sarah
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:35:16

    What a nice offer! I blog about knitting and crochet in hopes of selling more of the patterns I design. Most of my traffic comes from links in a couple of free-patterns sites--which may not be the best way to attract people who are willing to pay for patterns.

    I can think of a bunch of ways I could improve the site (better organization and photography come to mind) but mainly I'm wondering if I should focus on knitting/crochet specifically in hopes of getting the serious yarn-users or branch out more widely to other crafts in hopes of attracting a wider audience. It feels like there are SO many of both kinds of blogs. It's hard to know how to stand out even a little bit.

    Thanks!

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 19:14:30

      Hi Sarah. I think you need to reach outside of the knitting and crochet niche. Like I recommended to another blogger up above, maybe write for some parenting blogs, because they're so many mothers who are into it. You might also be able to find religious angles, personal finance angles, all sorts of things.

  4. Eileen O'Shea
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:24:53

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for your generous offer of feedback. I started my blog with the theme that it's possible to be happy regardless of our external circumstances.

    I've done 2 guest posts:
    One was for a blog called Loving Nature's Garden by Allison Kerr. The title was: 6 Ways To Find Happiness In A Garden. http://lovingnaturesgarden.com/2010/06/finding-happiness-garden/
    The other was for Mary Jaksch's blog Goodlife Zen. The title was: What Is Your Temperament: Are You A Stabilizer, Improviser, Catalyst or Theorist? http://goodlifezen.com/2010/09/10/what-is-your-temperament/
    Both guest posts came as a result of my membership in Leo Babuata & Mary Jaksch's A List Blogger Club, which supports your point about the value of connections. Sadly, I ran into some heavy duty financial and health problems and couldn't keep up the $20/month membership in that club.

    I think that discouragement and isolation have combined to make me lose focus. Lately, I've been writing less and less and writing about whatever strikes my fancy rather than sticking with my theme.
    I'd love to hear your reaction once you've had a look.

    • admin
      Mar 01, 2011 @ 16:08:09

      Hi Eileen. First off, congratulations on the progress you've made. Your blog looks nice, your writing is pretty good, and you're getting at least a few comments on every post. That's much, much better than most folks are doing. πŸ™‚

      Speaking to a theme is big, though, and I think "being happy regardless of our circumstances" is a good one. It's another one of those topics you can connect to pretty much every topic.

      You could talk write a post for Problogger about how to stay happy with your blog, even when you're not making any money. You could write a post for lifehacks about 31 ways to stay productive when your life is in shambles. All sorts of things.

      So, I definitely think you have opportunities. We just need to work to exploit them. πŸ™‚

      PS: Welcome to the class.

  5. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:24:44

    Hi Jon,

    I just launched my new blog yesterday. It's a soft launch, still perfecting it and will have a big launch in 2-4 weeks.

    I can so relate to the glass ceiling. I've been there a while:) Despite guest posting on Copyblogger, Zen Habits, Problogger and many more.

    Before the problem was my nicheless blog (www.getinthehotspot) I'm hoping this will be all fixed in this new blog clearly aimed at bloggers but my target audience is clear. I want to help normal small business owners, not those who want to be professional bloggers or those who want to be copywriters.

    Am I making that clear on my about page? What are your suggestions for helping me smash the glass ceiling?

    I truly value your opinion and time. You're phenomenal and I hope we get to meet/talk/collaborate/have a cuppa one day:)

    PS. I need to add your guest blogging prog to my resources page!

    • admin
      Mar 04, 2011 @ 18:05:13

      Well hello, Annabel. Always nice to see you.

      I just looked at your blog, and judging from your comments, it looks like you're off to a great start. Congrats!

      Yep, changing topics was probably a good idea. Also, in general, writing only once for blogs like Copyblogger, Problogger, etc. isn't enough. You need to become a regular contributor, maybe writing once a month.

      Then you can ask for favors. Tweets, links, endorsements, and so on.

      That's where the real traffic comes from.

  6. Davia
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:21:20

    You must be CRAZY man! Love your work, way to get a million hits πŸ™‚

    My blog...A BIG CATS LIFE
    Living a life You Love, Powerfully, EVERYDAY!
    Life, love, exceptance,challenges, parenting,creativity,sharing and choice.

    Kind regards
    Davia McMillan

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 19:11:59

      Hi Davia. That's a nice general topic that you can relate to almost everything, so you should have tons of guest blogging opportunities. Everyone in social media, especially, would jive with that, I think. I'm sure you'd also find overlapping topics with career building, entrepreneurship, personal finance, personal development -- all of the big niches.

  7. Richard
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:02:17

    Jon,

    Nice post. From the looks of it, it's something people can relate to quite well.

    Anyway, I have a straight talking blog about politics and economics from the point of view of a political atheist. It's called The Black Sheep Report.

    It focuses mostly on topics of individual liberty & free markets. It takes a hard look at politics and is highly critical of politics of both major parties. The whole idea is to inspire people to think outside of the left / right paradigm and break free from the political herd.

    My traffic is moving int he right direction slow and steadily, but hasn't taken off. Although my time spent on site, bounce rates, pgs/ visit...all great. So I think people like the thoughts offered. In fact, I get email and feedback to that effect.

    Hope you can get past the candid political commentary and offer your thoughts about the blog.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 19:08:15

      Hi Richard. I think there's definitely room in the blogosphere for political atheists. In fact, I'm sure lots of people feel exactly the same way.

      The easiest targets will be political and news blogs. Are you writing for The Huffington Post yet? If not, you should be. From what I understand, it's doable to get a blog there, and it's one of the highest traffic websites in the world. I'm not much of a political junkie, but I'm sure there are several other new sites with similar structures that you might be able get to syndicate your posts.

      With the economic angle, my guess is you could also find topics that would overlap with personal finance, which would allow you to write for some of the big personal finance blogs. You might be able to do entrepreneurship and marketing blogs as well. Not all of them will touch politics (we don't at Copyblogger), but a lot do, and many of them are disenchanted with both parties.

      So sure, I think you have some solid opportunities. Go for it!

  8. Frank Daley
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:58:15

    Jon, bought your course but not done it yet due to medical stuff but I'l get to it. My blog has not been launched--it's under construction but there is content. The suject matter is Self-knowledge with many sub-sets of topics: procrastiation, time management, spouse selection, goals, education etc. Lots of tech things to work out but I'd be grateful if you have time to scan the content. If the response to this has overwhelmed you and you can't do it...it's Ok. Good of you to offer! Thank you

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 19:02:16

      Hi Frank! Good to hear from you again. Seeing that you're a student, of course I'll take a look! Shoot me an email, and we'll talk about it.

  9. Marsha Stopa
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:55:02

    Awesome, Jon!

    Thank you. Hopefully you'll get down this far in the list.

    I'm partnering with two awesome entrepreneurs to create a membership site for business Mastermind groups that offers access to both the larger Mastermind community along with complete, private virtual meeting space.

    Have a group? Bring it in and have your own private forum, chat, document storage, email communication.

    Don't belong to a MM group yet? Come in it, find like-minded souls in the Commons Forum and create your own group based on your needs. Coaches can host groups they are coaching on our site and save themselves the hassle.

    After testing it for awhile we handed it over to a web developer for some customizing and we plan to be open for business March 1.

    Our target audience is online and bricks'n'mortar business people. We ask people to self-sort into four "focus levels" of business experience to help you find your right fit: Creation, Growth, Refocus and Mastery.

    I'm trying to narrow down the long list of business-focused blogs to those that would be most welcome to a guest post on the power of peer group support for your business.

    Your ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks, Jon.

    Marsha

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:59:52

      Hi Marsha! Good to see you, as always. You're a student, so you get a nice, juicy answer. Shoot me an email, and we'll talk about it.

  10. Geoff Stock
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:37:45

    Hi Jon,
    I think there may be too many straws for the camel but I will put my comment in hoping you will get to it.
    I want to help people to be able to shoot great professional looking video.
    At the moment it feels like I might be barking up the wrong tree. What do you think.
    http://video-camera-courses.com.
    High regards
    Geoff Stock

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:55:58

      Hi Geoff. Don't sell yourself short, man! There are TONS of people who want to know more about shooting professional looking video. I know of at least two gurus who are making more than $1 million a year from teaching about it.

      It also ties into lots of niches. You could do posts for blogs about blogging, social media in general, technology, photography, marketing, entrepreneurship, all kinds of subjects. Each of those audiences are very interested in doing video, but they need someone to show them how.

  11. Samar
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:58:54

    Hi Jon,

    This is a very generous offer. Thank you!

    My blog (The Writing Base) is about freelancing and writing and offers rock solid tips for freelancing success (that's my tagline). I recently relaunched my blog after a year of hiatus partly because my blog wasn't going anywhere.

    My readers are new or recently established freelance writers who want to learn how to take their freelance writing business to the next step.

    I'm hoping to establish The Writing Base as the go-to place for new freelancers. I also want to get a big enough readership to release ebooks so that my income is divided between client work and ebook sales. Right now I'm offering a free ebook to newsletter subscribers.

    Ever since the relaunch, I've joined the A-list blogging bootcamp club and am actively seeking guest posts. One is due in March. I pitched an idea to Freelance Switch (How to keep your marriage to freelancing alive) but didn't get a response. Now I'm in the process of rewriting, editing and polishing it to pitch to other blogs.

    So my problem is that while my freelance business is going well now, my blogging efforts aren't paying off and it's very frustrating!

    I hope you can help!

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:53:11

      Hello Samar! Well, you're certainly in a niche where opportunities are plentiful, so that makes it easy. There are TONS of writing and freelance blogs. You could probably do well just from writing for those, without ever having to go outside of your niche.

      It sounds like the problem is getting your guest posts accepted, though. If you're to that point, then you should definitely look into signing up for my class. There's an entire module on exactly how to do your pitch.

      And by the way, I actually interviewed Leo for a surprise bonus for the class. Guest blogging was a huge part of how he became successful. He's also a great teacher, so glad to hear you're a member of A-list blogging.

    • Samar
      Feb 27, 2011 @ 12:00:21

      Thank you Jon. You might not have said it, but reading your response I realized that I should be pitching to smaller blogs first. I have a great relationship with a few bloggers and I should be pitching them.

      I'm already in the middle of another course so won't be able to fit yours in. I'm also travelling. But count me in for your next class! I'll be the first in line πŸ™‚

  12. Janet Oberholtzer
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:54:45

    I almost lost my life ... and my leg in an accident.
    Now I run again ... because I can.

    My blog tells my story, along with information about my writing (memoir is with an editor right now) and my speaking (getting more gigs regularly) At first, my blog was a random mess ... of whatever was in my brain on a given day. In the last few months, I narrowed my topics to body, mind and spirit issues, because the traumatic experience I went through made we aware how connected and complex we are.

    I've quest-posted for two other sites recently and that drove additional traffic to my site. I want to do more of that ... and would love your suggestions how.

    Thanks for offering to help.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:47:50

      Well, hello Janet. Everyone needs more inspiration, and so I'm happy to hear you're blogging about it. The world needs you.

      The thing is, I would bet you could relate your story to all different sorts of niches, right? You could talk about how you've applied its lessons to your career, to your finances, even to your blog. You could probably relate it to just about anything.

      If I were you, that's why would start. Craft your story for each audience, and then do guest posts on big personal finance blogs, career blogs, blogging blogs, all of them. Popular bloggers are always looking for inspirational stories, so I think you'll get a lot of thumbs-up. πŸ™‚

  13. Chad Ferguson
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:37:56

    John,

    This is an awesome article and definitely opens the mind to many different considerations.

    My blog is about fishing for catfish (http://www.learntocatchcatfish.com) and this is a niche I have been fortunate enough to have worked in for ten years or so (see http://www.txcatfishguide.com) I had instant recognition and people do know me. My problem is I am trying to keep pushing and expanding and there really aren't any other credible bloggers in the same niche, although there are many in the fishing niche most focus on bass fishing. Catfish anglers are often viewed as kind of the bottom rung of the fishing world.

    What approach would you take?

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:43:42

      Hi Chad. Ooh, I might have to sign up! When I was a kid, I loved fishing for catfish. I once caught an eight pounder, and I thought I was in heaven. πŸ™‚

      If I were you, I would go outside of your niche and focus on parenting blogs. Lots of dads are looking for something to do with their sons, and I think you could probably grab their interest by talking about that angle.

      You might also be able to find some angles for religious blogs, if it suits your personal style, and you might even be able to find an audience with personal finance blogs. You could quantify how much money you could save by catching your own catfish. It's kind of an amusing angle. πŸ™‚

  14. Peggy Braswell
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:36:04

    Hi: I have a design/lifestyle blog. I started Sept. 2011,it is a baby still. I am an interior designer with a web site and I have a blog that is linked to my website. The name of the blog is accordingtobraswell.com. Thanks for any input you might have. Love the way you write-very human and that is a talent.
    Thanks peggy

    • Peggy Braswell
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:04:25

      I put the wrong address for my blog...it is accordingtobraswell.blogspot.com Thanks peggy

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:38:12

      Thanks Peggy! if your goal is to attract interior design clients, the best way to use guest blogging would be to rank in the search engines for a term. For example, if you lived in Atlanta, you would want to be on the first page of Google for "Atlanta interior designer."

      Guest blogging can help you do that. I'm releasing a video next week on how to do it, so keep your eyes peeled. πŸ™‚

  15. judyofthewoods
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:34:19

    Thanks for your offer, Jon. Hope you won't regret it πŸ˜‰

    I write about self-reliance with a green, creative angle. After 5-6 years I have established myself as a bit of an authority on alternative life style, and have about 450 daily visitors (despite big gaps between posting), but don't sell enough of my cheap foraging guide to live on. I have ideas for big ticket products, but they would appeal to my minority readers.

    I plan on posting more, including guest posting, if I knew which direction to go.

    I could easily come up with some angle to make it fit the theme of a large blog, but the kind of people interested in those things are typically ultra thrifty, i.e. not profitable, or are difficult to deal with survivalists, a direction I don't want to take.

    Can you see a profitable way which allows me to carry on as before, or should I concentrate on the creativity readers, and build up their following, or develop a budding site on giving practical advice on running a greener website? I need to focus more on one area, but which?

    If you are able to write about several different topics which can have very different audiences, what criteria should have most weight in making the decision
    - your expertise
    - your existing following
    - your passion
    - profitability?
    I know they are not mutually exclusive, but there is always one area which dominates.

    Sorry if this is a little long and at a slight tangent, but answers to some of the questions may help others too who face a similar conundrum of choice.

    • judyofthewoods
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 17:08:49

      No need to comment on this, Jon, except the last bit, if you think it may help others.

      The answers you gave others clarified things for me - I will go with creativity.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:29:36

      Hi Judy. All of those factors are important, but the most important ones for bloggers are: 1) what do people want to read about every day? and 2) what do people want to buy? If you don't know the answers to those questions, then all of the others are irrelevant.

      Personally, I will only work in niches where there are at least a few hundred thousand rabid readers and buyers. I want there to be at least half a dozen blogs or magazines with over 50,000 subscribers, I want to see at least a dozen products similar to what I'm selling, and I want there to be at least a dozen people making more than $1 million a year from their companies. It's only after looking at that criteria that I began to consider my expertise, following, passion, and so on.

      Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  16. Maryann
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:32:51

    Thanks for the opportunity.

    I'm a registered dietitian and mom who blogs at http://www.RaiseHealthyEaters.com. I write what to feed, how to feed and how to be a healthy role model. I also share my own successes and struggles as a mom of two young children.

    I have written quite a few guest blog posts but if the blogs aren't big enough, I don't get much traffic from them. There aren't very influencal blogs in my niche -- but I know the parenting sites can work too. I am currently waiting to hear back from Simple Mom -- and have a few other ideas. I also have little time but realize how important guest blogging is.

    My goal is to increase subscribers and eventually offer products.

    Thanks!

    Maryann

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 18:16:08

      Hi Maryann. I took a look at your blog, and I think you're onto something. Great topic and well executed.

      I definitely think you're ready for a "bigger stage." Yep, the big parent blogs are definitely a good target, but also look into health and fitness blogs. A lot of the readers will be parents, and you should be able to siphon them off.

  17. Debbie @ Happy Maker
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:31:42

    I have been doing this for over 5 years. Had to learn some technical stuff. Anyway my niche is happiness. lately I have decided to add relationships. Just don't know what else to do. I am now getting maybe 100 readers a day. Help. Would like to set up a membership site for some income before I go broke.
    Debbie

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 17:09:46

      Hi Debbie. Happiness is a great topic! There are already several growing blogs on happiness, and so you could target those for guest posts. But really, the great thing about your topic is it ties into everything. Careers, parenting, personal productivity, personal development, social media, everything. Probably the closest match is personal development, so I would start there. πŸ™‚

  18. Dr Dean
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:31:07

    Hey Jon, Loved your Third Tribe seminar.
    My niche is personal finance for nurses.

    I have made some strides in connecting with nurses on twitter. And have had a few guest posts on bigger PF blogs.

    My desire is to teach a course-in the can already- at Kajabi. My first launch, unfortunately hit at Thanksgiving because of issues with my video editor, and my response was limited.

    I now have about 350 newsletter subscribers in 16 months, and feel I need 1000 to be able to make the course work. Love to hear your input and suggestions.
    Thanks in advance,
    Dean

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 17:07:11

      Hi Dean. You're right, it's tough to sell a product without at least 1000 subscribers. For a full-time income, most folks need about 10,000 or more. Still, 350 is a GREAT start, so congratulations. πŸ™‚

      I would stick with personal finance blogs, but probably pump up the volume. Pick two or three of them and start writing an article for them every month. That way, you can really build a presence in the niche.

      You might also try syndicating your articles to nursing magazines and newsletters. Lots of hospitals and nursing agencies such as Bayada would probably be thrilled to have them in exchange for a link back to your blog.

      It's not just posting, per se, but the process is exactly the same.

  19. Jay Zenner
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:26:42

    Your proposition really makes sense but how many big time bloggers have enough time or energy to do for the masses that want into this game what Chris and Brian did for you?

    I was a marketer before I was a realtor. Realtors get training in marketing themselves to generate leads but little about marketing homes. After the bust when there were few buyers I thought it would be a good time to launch a blog about marketing homes which are now much more difficult to sell. No more stick a sign in the yard, put it in the MLS and call it a marketing plan. Been blogging about it for a while intermittently but now want to go at it hard and turn the site into a forum for best practices and generate revenue from affiliates that have products in that niche. In other words become a distribution point for the best products in the niche from yard signs to visual tours to training to books. I've got two other blogs going besides about the local real estate market in Durham North Carolina that I'm trying to adjust too.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 17:00:40

      Hi Jay. Well, you're right, of course. We don't have time for "the masses." That's why popular bloggers pretty much only mentor people who write for them. And it doesn't matter how many videos I do, that's always going to be a small group. Most people are just too busy/distracted/lazy to do it, and so the opportunities for those who do take action are always there.

      I think it's a great topic. Have you read marketingmonday.com by Dean Jackson? Similar topic, and I hear he makes a great living from it. Somewhere around seven figures a year.

      PS: I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, so not too far away from your stomping grounds in Durham. So, howdy, neighbor. πŸ™‚

  20. Travis
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:07:38

    Jon:

    What a great post! When I got your email today I knew this post was going to hit home and it did. I spent an entire year blogging and despite spending countless hours every week on it and churning out awesome content (so I thought), I couldn't get anyone to tweet my stuff or leave comments. It was like I was writing for myself.

    After a year of frustration and making just a few hundred dollars, I threw in the towel and sold the blog. I vowed to never blog again.

    Now after reading this post I'm inspired. I actually enjoyed blogging but when you don't have an audience, it's kind of a drag. Your post has made me realize I was making the same mistakes you were making. I may have to give blogging a try one more time - doing it the right way. Thanks for the push!

    Travis

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:53:23

      Warms my heart to hear you say that, Travis. You're right, it IS a drag when you don't have an audience. But keep going. You'll get there.

  21. Tammy
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:06:24

    Dear Mr. Fancy Pants (aka - High Priced Guru),

    Vunerable suits you. So does shamelss promotion. Damn good for you! Keep up the good work.

    I'm a newbie and welcome your input. No need to be gentle. Rough is okay too.
    http://www.TammyBleck.com/growing-old-is-a-bitch/
    http://www.TammyBleck.com/socially-unsocial/

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:51:06

      Hi Tammy. I think your blog is great! Sure, I can tell you're still learning, but for a newbie, you're off to a great start. With time, you could be quite good.

      If I were you, I would write for parenting blogs, personal development blogs, maybe even career blogs, anywhere where you can find the connection with your topic. I think you'll find a lot of people who would LOVE a blog like yours.

      PS: I want you in my class. For one, I think I could help you get some results pretty quick, and for two, I want to be all to say you're a student and take credit for all of your success.

      Whoops. There I go being shameless again. πŸ˜‰

  22. Mark Rudder
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:48:19

    I am a sign maker, so I make and sell physical products like banners, trade show displays, and yard signs.

    Even though I don't have a blog yet, I keep reading how sites with active blogs get tons more traffic than sites without.

    So, if I want more traffic, I blog.
    Simple enough.
    But what to blog about?
    That is my problem.

    I've been making signs a long time, so to me, they are pretty simple.
    Words you put on stuff.
    Not rocket science.

    I guess I can't see the forest for the trees.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:40:09

      Hi Mark. For you, I think the main benefit of blogging is probably SEO. Terms like "banners," "tradeshow displays," and "yard signs" are great buyer keywords, many people will search for those topics looking to buy something, and said that's exactly where you want to show up.

      Of course, the biggest part of SEO is getting links, and so I would use guest posting for that. Write some articles for marketing blogs, design blogs, etc., and then link back to your blog with your keywords in the link. I'm publishing a video about how to do this next week, so stay tuned for it.

  23. Joy
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:38:24

    Hi Jon,
    I write about the things no-one wants to talk about, because they aren't supposed to happen: medical challenges, child loss, depression, and crises of faith.

    I didn't choose this niche, life handed it to me. For years, I felt completely alone, because no-one talks about these things. When I finally broke the silence, I discovered that more people than we care to admit have faced disability and medical challenges, lost a child, battle depression, and/or re-evaluated what they believe in life.

    My goal is to build a community, a safe place for people to talk about these things. To find out they are not alone. To find support for their journey. And to offer support to others when they are in their most desperate moments.

    In recent months I landed a regular-contributor slot on a faith blog. I'm guest-posting about depression for a series being published in book. So I think I might finally be building momentum, generating some visibility. I'd love some advice on how to help my target audience find me.

    Thank you!

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:35:15

      Hi Joy! Sounds like you're on the right track, but I would go broader than just faith blogs. The beautiful thing about your topic is it applies to almost everything. Careers, personal finance, relationships, personal development, parenting -- you could probably find intersections with your topic in all of those niches.

      So, I would start writing for as many of those big blogs as you can. Target blogs with over 10,000 subscribers, and see if you can start doing a couple of guest posts a month. I think you'll see your traffic take off. πŸ™‚

  24. Wes Hopper
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:35:22

    Hi, Jon
    I'm writing in the niche of personal growth, life purpose, clean up your thinking, find and follow your dream. Ha! Maybe being more specific would help. I write a short 5-day-a-week newsletter and about once a week blog posts. Get pretty few comments, haven't done many guest posts. Get great feedback from the newsletter. Any suggestions appreciated.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:30:27

      Hi Wes. The personal growth/personal development niche is HUGE. There are at least half a dozen blogs with over 100,000 readers who accept guest posts. So for you, I don't think you even need to leave your niche. You'll have plenty of opportunities right at home. πŸ™‚

  25. Hashim Warren
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:28:26

    First off Jon, you're a champ. Thanks for this.

    My blog helps people in the entertainment industry with their career.

    So, there are plenty of career blogs and plenty of blogs about my industry.

    Two problems though:

    1. the career blogs seem too general. I want a very specific reader.

    2. The industry blogs are very popular and are read by the exact person I want, but they are all news driven. My stuff is evergreen how to content.

    What do you think? Who should I go after, and with what type of content?

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:25:15

      Hi Hashim. Well, you bring up an important question. Is it wrong to target blogs who are much more general than your own?

      In my opinion, the answer is no, and the reason why is a SEO. No, you won't get much targeted traffic from writing for career blogs, but you can use your guest posts exclusively to get high quality links and drive your blog up the search engines for your keywords.

      For example, if your keyword is "music career," you would be the byline at the end of your post saying something like, "This was a guest post by Hashim Warren. Check out his blog for more tips on how to improve your music career," where the term "music career" is the link. Just a few links from big career blogs will drive you way up the search engines, in most cases.

      I'm actually releasing a video about this next week, so stay tuned for it.

  26. Terez
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:25:28

    I am working on an authority site in the black natural hair care niche. I've studied this topic for nearly 5 years, and I think it's time to produce some organized, helpful content. My site will include a Sisterlocks blog because I have Sisterlocks, and I have a lot to say about them.

    I don't have anything live yet because I'm still building. The obvious is to promote my blog on other natural hair care blogs. There are a lot of those kinds of blogs, but there aren't a lot of great ones. So, I want to know how you think I can get on top.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:17:28

      Hi Terez. Hmm, seeing as I'm one of those pasty white fellows, it's not exactly my niche, but my guess would be to target any type of fashion, celebrity, or music blog with a primarily black audience, and then talk about hair. You could criticize the hair of various celebrities and musicians, give people tips to make their hair look like so-and-so, and so on. Then you could link back to your blog for more general tips. πŸ™‚

    • Terez
      Feb 28, 2011 @ 12:45:18

      That's really a unique angle. I like it. Your idea got my wheels turning as to some other out-of-the-box blogs. Thanks, Jon! I appreciate you taking the time to help me... and everyone else!

  27. Mary E. Ulrich
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:18:50

    Hi Jon,

    Blogging and business are hot topics.

    Disability, Parenting kids w/disabilities is NOT. Did you ever try to find those niches? I googled and found university articles and mom/pop blogs about their children, but not any about creating change... I'm probably doing everything wrong--but I really can't find them.

    I have tried to make friends in the right places, but not to win their influence--just to learn about writing, blogging and business. I enjoy being around "normal" folks for a change.

    I know, sounds like the old arguments. But I really don't know how to turn it around. I pour out my heart and get some comments and subscribers, but don't have the tech skills to even set up things to sell.

    http://ClimbingEveryMountain.com

    Today was so bad, I didn't even get spam. *laugh*

    Any advice greatly welcomed.

    ps. I'm glad you snapped out of it and are now influencing the world. Best wishes.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:12:37

      Hi Mary! Well... if you look at the evidence, I think you'll see disabilities and parenting kids with disabilities IS a hot topic. For one, there are magazines with tens of thousands of readers targeted at those topics, and for two, every type of disability usually maintains a newsletter with thousands of subscribers.

      So, that's where would start. Instead of writing for blogs about those topics, I would do freelance articles for the magazines and newsletters in exchange for a link back to your blog. All of the principles are exactly the same as guest posting, but you're just doing it more off-line.

      You could also try parenting blogs. No, not all of the parents would be interested, but a huge number of parents of disabled children, and I think they would be delighted to find a thoughtful blog on the subject.

  28. matt stillman
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:12:45

    Jon,

    Thanks for this I am still working through the Guest Blogging course material.

    my blog stillmansays.com is a record of an experiment I started in April 2009 in Union Square in New York City (hopefully to be taken elsewhere) with two chairs, one table and a sign that reads "Creative Approaches to What You Have Been Thinking About" and a smaller one that reads "Pay What You Like or Take What You Need".

    I sit out there with no computer, no cell phone, just waiting to talk with strangers about any subject at all that they are contending with and trying to offer a creative approach to it. No subject is off limit.

    My content is very good but I have a small audience.

    Any thoughts?

    thanks so much.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:07:03

      Hi Matt. It's a cool idea, especially when you're working one-on-one with people, but there's a problem when you do it with blogging: most people don't want to read about other people's problems. By constantly switching from topic to topic, you lose your audience. To keep people, you need to write for a specific audience and no one else.

      If I were you, I would develop a blog about one specific area where you really seem to be able to help people, and then I would guest post about all of the other topics, driving people back to your blog. That way, you're still getting to talk about everything, but you're focusing people in on one particular problem where you're a specialist.

      If you wanted to work with people one-on-one, you could sell them telephone consulting from your blog as well. Might put a little money in your pocket in exchange for all that wisdom. πŸ™‚

    • Steve Rice
      Jul 28, 2011 @ 17:39:56

      Matt,

      I came across your site yesterday (Through Ash at TMF Project). I was doing her worksheets on business case studies...she mentions your work in her program...and I was intrigued.

      I agree with Jon about creating a niche for yourself. I would love to have you guest post for my blog.

      My blog is "daily inspiration." I think that you probably have 100's of stories that could fall under this type of blog.

      Please contact me (through my site) or at steve(at)karmickappuccino(dot)com if you're interested in writing for me.

  29. Joel D Canfield
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:09:07

    Jon, this January I switched focus from the virtual worker 'biz think' coaching my wife and I do (there's a humungous blog at http://ChiefVirtualOfficer.com/blog/) and focusing on my author coaching (http://SomedayBox.com/blog/)

    Yesterday's Copyblogger post about writers is me all over. I know I write great books, articles, blog posts, songs, whatever. My fans are extremely loyal; both of them.

    I'm terrified to the point of hysteria to approach bloggers I respect about guest posts. I know for a fact that a single rejection would be instantly fatal, and I don't wanna die.

    Yeah, right now I'm in the space of chaos between two sigmoid curves, so I'll take whatever you've got about my current blog, or my guest-blog-o-phobia.

    joel

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 15:57:46

      Hi Joel. First off, I think author coaching is a great niche. There are so many people who want to be authors but need some guidance.

      Secondly, being terrified is nothing to be ashamed of. It IS scary. One of the reasons why I teach my guest blogging class is to help folks get over the fear of doing it. If that's all that's holding you back, you should definitely think about signing up.

    • Joel D Canfield
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:49:59

      Super! Where are the details on the class?

  30. Tracey P
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:06:20

    Thanks for this. My blog is about Quilting. It maybe niche but there are infact loads of blogs about quilting. How can you stand out in a crowd? I try to make my posts as interesting as I can but I only have a few followers. My readers are currently bloggers who have quilting blogs of their own in the main. My ultimate aim would be to become an authoritative voice in this genre but probably more importantly within my own geographic location ... The United Kingdom ... and to be in a position where it was big enough to have site sponsors. Thanks for any help.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 15:54:06

      Hello Tracey. I think that's doable. The key to standing out is developing content that not only teaches people but touches them emotionally. Also, don't feel like you have to be totally unique. You can cover the same topics but with your own personality and flair, and people will enjoy them and talk about them.

      You might also reach outside your niche. If there are a lot of people blogging about quilting, sometimes it gets a little "incestuous," where all of the blogs are sharing the same basic reader base. If I were you, I would do some guest posting for other craft blogs and maybe even parenting blogs. Lots of mothers would have interest in quilting, I would guess, and so that's a perfect audience to reach into.

  31. Daniel
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:02:15

    My blog, RenewMyMind.com, is a blog about changing the way you live by changing the way you think. It has a very spiritual focus. I know there are a lot of religious bloggers, but I'm not sure I want to associate with them (religious people and bloggers tend to come across as condemning and unlikeable).

    My readers are mostly people who search for "how do i renew my mind", since I rank at the top of Google for that. Based on past comments, my readers seem to be people who have had traumas and/or life just isn't going the direction they wanted. They're looking for how to change the way they see life so they can live differently.

    • admin
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 15:46:41

      Hi Daniel. For renewing your mind, I would think personal development and productivity blogs would be your best shot. Your ideal readers probably frequent those blogs too. Not all of them will be interested in the spiritual side of things, but probably enough of them will stop by and read that you'll be able to develop a fan base.

  32. Dustin Riechmann
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:57:57

    Great stuff, Jon!

    The site I'd love some advice on is http://www.FitMarriage.com where our topic is fitness aimed at busy married couples. We've had decent growth with the blog and the accompanying podcast, but we'd love to get more explosive growth.

    Our goals are to sell more of our fitness program for busy married couples (Thrive90 Fitness) as well as get more exposure and interest in our podcast so that we can generate sponsorships as another revenue stream.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Also, I loved your interview on The Badass Project (JBT was a guest on The Fit Marriage Show and talked about your interview before it had even aired).

    Thanks!

    Dustin

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 21:17:06

      Hello Dustin. Well… Let's see. Fitness blogs are the obvious choice for guest posting opportunities, but I think it might also be a good match for productivity blogs because you're targeting "busy couples," and it might also be a good match for parenting blogs, because many parents are couples.

      There's three niches. See what I mean about targeting the reader instead of the topic?

  33. Jeri Dansky
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:53:11

    How kind of you, Jon!

    I'm a professional organizer, and my blog is about anything related to organizing - often organizing-related products, but certainly not limited to that.

    I'm not selling any products, and don't really want to. I'm just trying to build awareness of who I am - so people who decide they want/need an organizer (or know someone who does) will think of me.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 21:12:31

      Hi Jeri! Who doesn't want to de-clutter? In fact, I think maybe you should push the branding for your blog in that direction. A "professional organizer" is actually a political position for professional promoters for political parties. But de-clutter is much less ambiguous, and it has the benefit in the title.

      In any case, I think you could do really well with minimalism and productivity blogs. Everyone there is always publishing content about how to be more organized, but they don't tell you about the products to do it. You could pop over to their blogs and do some list posts about the best products to buy or something. I think it would do well.

  34. Jen Johns
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:49:49

    Jon -- Thanks so much for a post that keeps it real, and also for this generous offer.

    I write GoingByFaith.com,and it's a Christian blog about keeping the faith in everyday life. Since I'm a newer Christian, the list is endless. Readers: male/female ages 25 and up, both new and seasoned Christians.

    Hoping to accomplish: a blog that encourages others through the weak moments, trials or just "life in the world." It's kind of like this post you wrote -- how it's vulnerable and people can relate and think, "I totally feel that way!" -- but you offer a solution. In the case of my blog, the solution would be a reminder to trust God, which leaves us encouraged and turning to him.

    Thanks for an awesome class,
    Jen

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 21:07:32

      Hi Jen. Christianity ties into just about everything, so I think you would have an easy time finding guest blogging opportunities. I actually gave a few examples above, if you'd like to see how you can tie it into other topics. Inside your browser, click "Edit," and then "Find," and then type "Christian," and search. Let me know if you have any other questions. πŸ™‚

  35. Steven A. Lowe
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:49:16

    Hi Jon!

    We've not discussed this blog before (or at least not much), so YES I'm taking advantage of your incredible generosity YET AGAIN. [you rock, but you know that!]

    Object-Mechanics.com is a fledgling blog to support a book (in progress) on object-oriented programming. The audience would be programmers who are curious about the OOP paradigm or who did not "get it" from their academics or from one of the hundreds of learn-oop-in-30-days or oop-for-language-x books.

    I ran a PPC test campaign for a week which seemed to indicate some interest (at least in the free first chapter) but did not give me any indication of where to go to find my target audience, or how to go about casting the search-net.

    There are several blogs and podcasts on programming that are reasonably popular, but none of the blogs accept guest posts as far as I can tell. And I don't think I can get interviewed on one of the podcasts until the book is actually completed (and maybe not even then).

    Thanks!

    --S
    P.S. FULL DISCLOSURE: I took Jon's guest blogging course and learned a TON, and can't say enough good things about it or him.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 21:00:32

      Well hello, Mr. Lowe. Nice to see you, as always. I did a quick search and came up with a few dozen popular programming blogs. I'll email you the list, and we can check them out for guest posting opportunities.

  36. Rahul B.
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:43:22

    Thank you for this awesome opportunity!

    Through my site/business I aim to give courageous men the knowledge, support, and motivation they need to evolve into the best versions of themselves so they can eventually step into positions of leadership.

    My reader is a growth-oriented male who has a deep desire to reach his true potential and contribute to the world in a big way with his unique gifts. The focus of my writing is "mature masculinity", so I assume my readers are interested in learning all they can on the subject of being a REAL man.

    Thank you for your help!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 20:53:10

      Hi Rahul. That's a really popular topic right now, especially in the dating niche. Have you read The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida? Great book.

      If I were you, I would write some guest posts for personal development blogs. That's where you'll find men most interested in growth. To some extent, you might also have some luck with career and entrepreneurship blogs, but I think personal development would be the best fit.

  37. Karen
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:42:45

    Hey Jon,

    Saw this posted on Twitter (Jonathan of ByBloggers) and the title intrigued me! I can completely get what you're saying. A few times I've been ready to throw in the towel. BUT, I really want to make this go.

    I'm a coach and the topics I tend to write about are wellness and career. Both of which can be rather large - but my goal is to get people to a point where they are ignited - on fire with excitement about their own life. Any/all suggestions are appreciated. I'm currently trying to get my newsletter off the ground so that I have a bigger list when I release my first product in April.

    Thanks!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 20:46:49

      Hi Karen. Writing about wellness and careers, I think you would have a really easy time writing for career blogs and also personal development blogs. For example, Zen Habits covers quite a bit on the subject, and it's one of the biggest blogs in the world (200,000+ subscribers).

      There are also a growing number of happiness and mindfulness blogs you could target. They are a bit smaller, but it might be really easy to get started there and work your way up.

      If you're launching a product in April, this is definitely something you want to get started on right away. Watch out for the announcement on Monday for the guest blogging class and take a look. From what you've said, something like this could be a good way to prepare for your launch.

  38. Ainslie Hunter
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:42:19

    Hi Jon,

    Do you know another about the sport of cutting horses?

    My father and I have created a niche blog to promote the sport in Austalia. You can see it at http://cuttinghorselink.com

    Our readers are those involved in the sport in Australia (1000 people) and international readers as well.

    We are trying to get more traffic, to then go after bigger advertisers. So we either have to go for other readers in different horse sports here in Australia, or overseas.

    Cheers

    Ainslie

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 20:41:50

      Hi Ainslie! For you, I think the best approach would be to use guest blogging as an SEO tactic. I'm releasing a video about that next week, but in the meantime, it looks like "cutting horse" and "cutting horses" collectively get about 35,000 searches a month in Google. If we could get you ranked number one for that topic, then I think you would pick up quite a bit of traffic and probably have a much easier time getting those advertisers. πŸ™‚

      We'll work on it together over the next few weeks. Sounds interesting!

  39. DorleeM
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:41:54

    Thanks so much for your kind offer to look at my blog and offer your expert guidance!

    The purpose of my blog is to be a source of career development information and support to current social work students and new social workers.

    To that end, to further clarify my blog's purpose, I changed my blog's name from Social Work Career Transition to Social Work Career Development.

    I am most grateful for my current community of career and mental health experts who visit my blog and offer their guidance and support; they essentially make my blog what it is πŸ™‚

    In light of your blogging experience, I would be most appreciative of hearing what advice you would give me in my particular niche.

    Thanks so much,
    Dorlee

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 20:36:48

      Hi Dorlee. For you, I think the best thing to do would be to target newsletters. I would guess lots of social work organizations have regular newsletters, journals, and magazines right? You could write articles for them in exchange for a link back to your blog.

      A lot of it will probably be off-line, so it's not technically guest blogging, but all of the principles are exactly the same. You never know, they might even offer to pay you for your articles. πŸ™‚

  40. Kasey
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:39:28

    Jon

    First - it was encouraging to hear that even a top blogger like you has struggled in the past.

    I manage a personal finance & economic news blog that's connected to an eCommerce site that sells business and personal checks.

    One thing I've run into when trying to create guest posts for popular PF blogs is that the authors tend to want to strike up an advertising relationship when they find out I'm connected to a business as opposed to typical content marketing.

    Unfortunately - that's not in the budget for us - and my manager is a big SEO guy who's all about building links organically (not paying for them).

    Any advice on how to break that barrier?

    Also would love for you to take a quick look at http://blog.checkadvantage.com/

    Thanks again for the great advice so far!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 20:08:00

      Hi Kasey. I took a look at your blog, and your content is actually pretty good, much better than the traffic it looks like you're getting. So yeah, I definitely think we need to focus on getting you some connections.

      I'd have to see your individual guest posts to tell you why you're getting that kind of response. Just to guess, are you promoting your business in the post? If you are, that's probably why. In your guest posts, you need to give 100% content with no pitch at all except the byline. Once you have the relationship established, you can then come back and develop a special offer for their readers, which they'll promote because they like you and you've been giving them such great content.

      Does that make sense?

    • Kasey
      Feb 28, 2011 @ 14:23:27

      Yeah it does make sense. You're probably on to something.

      Thanks for the compliment too!

      At first my posts were somewhat related to the product - and I realized that could be a turn off. Then I would just pitch myself as a writer - or maybe a title.idea.

      But I think what I need to do is start sending the content instead of just a pitch/synopses. I was avoiding that because I was trying to pitch one idea to a handful of popular blogs at once and I thought - "What if both these guys post my stuff at the same time? They'll be ticked."

      Of course - I was dreaming - and having two popular bloggers want your content would be a nice problem to have.

  41. Francis A.
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:38:57

    Hello!! I am at that point of thinking of shutting down my blog! I had focused on "Inspirational People" events and the one's that caught on were really not my most inspirational ones!! Here is one of the one's that got the biggest response: http://thisinspires.me/social-media-is-not-for-you
    along with:
    http://thisinspires.me/be-the-sumarai

    I am a stay at home mom and wanted a fun blog that focused on positivity and inspiration. I don't want a Mommy blog or Fitness blog even though that is the majority of friends and twitter followers.

    Is inspiration overrated? I'm thinking of starting all over again in a new direction but curios to see what you think! Hate to admit that I am sick of not growing and not building my audience *pout* Appreciate your feedback!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 20:01:29

      I think it's a great topic, Francis. People are DESPERATE for inspiration. I've been blending it into a lot of my posts at Copyblogger lately, and it's been getting a great response. Take a look:

      http://www.copyblogger.com/author/jonmorrow/

      The beautiful thing is that inspiration blends with everything. You could write inspirational posts for bloggers, parents, small business owners, all sorts of topics. Bloggers are always looking for inspirational posts too, so I think you would have lots of opportunities.

  42. Dawn
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:36:56

    Thank you for this nice offer. I am a humor writer, and I've recently been thinking of writing "spritutal humor." I think I would have a good audience for that.

    My website looks amateurish, and that frustrates me. My readers are friends and family and spammers. I get a lot of comments from "strangers" who talk about singing lessons, which means they have not read my blogs, because "singing badly" is a metaphor.

    I feel like I should be more technically-savy to be sucessful with this, even though I know this is not true. I can't even figure out how to attach my picture to this comment.
    Dawn

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:57:38

      Hi Dawn. To make your website look better, the easiest thing to do is to buy a premium WordPress theme. I'm using one from http://www.elegantthemes.com. To get rid of the comment spam, you should also install Akismet. It's built into WordPress, and it does a nice job of stopping it.

      As for the topic, humor can work, if you're able to adapt it to different niches. Technically, it applies to everything, so you have lots of opportunities. It's just a matter of blending your style with theirs and coming up with a viable guest post.

  43. Michelle
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:36:04

    Hi Jon!

    I can't miss out on this opportunity! My blog is about family fun on a budget. My main audience are moms. I post everything from games, crafts, recipes, fun challenges and anything else that is fun and on the cheap. The problem I have is that there are so many craft blogs, etc. and they all promote each other. I don't want my blog to be just another craft blog. I feel a lot of craft blogs leave moms, and especially those on a tight budget, frustrated with not being able to do all. Sure it may look cute, but when you are trying to make sure food is on the table crafts are not a priority.

    I want to promote families spending time together and to show that we don't have to go out and spend a lot of money to really enjoy it. I want my readers to be able to read the post/activity and be able to do it with what supplies they have.

    I've heard people say you have to post everyday to go somewhere. I hate it when I look at my reader and missed 10 posts from a blog in 3 days. It's too much. I don't want to overload others! Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:51:04

      Hi Michelle. Two words:

      Personal finance.

      For one, PF bloggers are all obsessed with frugality, but they also love crafts. Some of the most popular posts are about making your own soap, cooking recipes, simple stuff like that. I think crafts would fit right in.

      So take a look at all of the big blogs in the niche. Get Rich Slowly, the Simple Dollar, Five Cent Nickel, Consumerism Commentary, among others. I think they would all be interested in guest posts from you.

  44. Piper Larson
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:34:23

    Wow - this post resonated with me on all levels. Thanks for your generous offer of checking out my blog.

    PiperLarson.com is a place where entrepreneurial business strategies and personal development come together. Readers are entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, bloggers & business owners.

    My blog is an extension of my coaching services. I'd like to create a community of entrepreneurial-type people for an exchange of ideas and coaching referrals for my business.

    Thanks!
    ~Piper Larson

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:47:09

      I think you'll have lots of opportunities, Piper. Personal development and entrepreneurship are two really big niches, and so you'll have lots of opportunities without going outside of them. Ittybiz, Dumb Little Man, Zen Habits, Copyblogger, Problogger -- all of them might be a good fit.

      So get cracking! πŸ˜‰

  45. Tweets that mention This post is getting more than one comment per minute, and I only sent it to about 3000 people: -- Topsy.com
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:30:26

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jon Morrow, Bud Hennekes, Laura Click, Rick, Christine Livingston and others. Christine Livingston said: RT @JonMorrow: This post is getting more than one comment per minute, and I only sent it to about 3000 people: http://bit.ly/hhw6zK [...]

  46. David Stoddard
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:29:26

    Hi Jon,

    David here. The Unmotivated Motivational Writer. For me and my blog, we are both still going through a transitional period (which has never seemed to complete its transition into something focused. Part of it is because I continue to live up to my title of Unmotivated far more than I care to admit.

    I started off being what I called the low-budget Tony Robbins of the motivational industry. (and by industry, I mean I have a space on the web where I ramble/rambled on about motivational stuff. There have been various points where I kept thinking to myself how am I supposed to motivate folks to do what they want to do when I myself may and yet may not be doing the same.

    Long story short, I started thinking more about the writing aspect to things as opposed to the motivational end of things (though the motivational stuff is still there). In an effort to help folks get to writing for themselves, I tossed together a list of 200 β€œprompts.” And this is what seems to be of interest to folks… more than the motivational stuff. And yet, the motivational stuff actually took more work and dedication than the prompts did.

    I guess my question(s) are can the 2 areas of writing (getting folks to start writing/get back to writing) and motivation (start doing more, being more, becoming who they feel they want to become), exist in the same blog structure?

    --David

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:44:01

      Absolutely! I frequently blend the two in my posts at Copyblogger, and I always get great results. Take a look:

      http://www.copyblogger.com/author/jonmorrow/

      So yeah, I think it's a great mix. You could do guest posts for both writing blogs and personal development blogs, which are two of the biggest niches there are. Sounds like a winner to me. πŸ™‚

  47. Illiya Vjestica
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:24:33

    Hi John,

    I always take note and listen when ever your e-mail arrives in my inbox and I also greatly respect what Chris Garret has got to say on the subject of blogging.

    This post is so spot on, I keep reminding myself everyday to do more guest posts. I think there is definitely a fear factor for a lot of people in approaching the top bloggers in the industry.

    My fear if I'm honest is what if they think your guest post is rubbish or it's just not up to scratch? I guess it's the age old fear of being rejected. Have you got any advice to manage this fear better?

    My blog is about teaching and helping businesses to learn more about online marketing in a friendly, passionate way. I've received positive feedback from my clients and readers about the posts and I'm confident my content is good.

    Keep up the great work.

    http://www.smartdogdigital.com/blog

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:40:43

      It's funny you ask, because getting your guest posts ready for the big leagues is actually the exact focus of my class. It doesn't officially open until Monday, but I'll e-mail you a link for more information so you can check it out.

      You definitely have lots of opportunities in online marketing. Copyblogger, just to name one. πŸ™‚

  48. Sheryl Schuff, CPA
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:21:54

    Hi Jon,

    I’m a CPA and my blog is about successful business startup. My target audience is women Baby Boomers who want to change careers and/or establish part-time or full-time passive income streams. They need help getting their finances organized and creating web sites and blogs to market their products and services.

    I focus on teaching them how to control their expenses, maximize their tax deductions, and use WordPress and other software and online services to improve efficiency. I also help them understand the importance of their personal credit history and how that affects their business.

    What I hope to accomplish with my blog is to attract more coaching clients and sell more of my own information products. I look forward to hearing your suggestions about how best to do that.

    Thanks.

    Sheryl

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:37:30

      Hi Sheryl. What a coincidence! I actually use a CPA as an example on the FAQ page. Check it out:

      https://guestblogging.com/faq/

      Probably the two biggest opportunities for you would be personal finance and entrepreneurship blogs. There are tons of them, and many of them allow guest posts.

      If I were you, I would do some guest posts for them, build a relationship, and then do a special offer to do a free webinar or a few free consulting sessions for the readers. Just from one blog, you'd probably pick up a few dozen clients. It's some work, but I think it could really pay off for you big time

  49. Karen
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:05:33

    "ElderCaring," provides helpful info to make caring for an elderly person easier (even if it's taking care of yourself first). Some original content, a lot borrowed and adapted (problem?!). Nothing controversial--seems inappropriate for the audience (targeting caregivers of elderly and adult children with an elderly parent).

    I hope to do all the things that blogs are suppossed to do: instill trust, make people like you, AND get readers to visit my website: http://www.CheckInCalls.com.

    I was "Freshly Pressed" once and received close to 900 views but typically I get in the 30-50 views/day AND practically no conversions to the website. Thanks for any/all insights!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:30:33

      Hi Karen. For elder care, I would target personal finance and parenting blogs for guest posts. For the first, planning your retirement years is a huge part of personal finance, and even people who are 20 or 30 years away from it are still thinking about it. And for parenting, I would guess most parents have parents of their own who are 50, 60 or older, and so they're probably thinking about elder care.

      In both cases, you're targeting the type of person, rather than the topic. I think both niches would also be happy to hear from you.

  50. Julie
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:57:42

    Hi Jon,

    I can see your'e about to get slammed, so I'm just going to say 'thanks'. Your advice helped me get more traffic, thanks to a bunch of recent guest posts and retweets from influencers in my niche: which is creativity for fiction writers.

    If you get a chance: how do I keep the momentum going? I want to build my list quickly before an event in May.

    Thanks again,
    Julie

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:20:06

      Warms my heart to get comments like those, Julie. Glad to hear you're learning from it.

      In my experience, momentum is about two things: working your butt off to get things moving and then making connections with awesome people who can help you keep it going. It sounds like you're in the second stage, and so spending some time guest blogging could be really good for you.

      If you're preparing for an event in May, you might think about signing up for my class, so I can work with you and help you get ready. It's not officially going live until Monday, but I'll email you a link, so you can sneak in early, if you want. πŸ™‚

      Jon

    • JULIE
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 20:29:44

      Thanks Jon. I'd love to hear more...

  51. Linda Gabriel
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:56:48

    Hi Jon,
    I just signed up for your course but thought I'd take you up on your offer and get some early feedback.

    I have 2 blogs:

    http://thoughtmedicine.com
    http://diet4yourmind.com

    Both blogs teach people how to transform their lives by changing the way they think.

    Thought Medicine's tagline: Exploring the Power of Mind from Science to Spirituality

    Diet 4 Your Mind is based on the same tenets as Thought Medicine but through the lens of helping people shift their consciousness in support of weight loss. (It will be a membership site soon.)

    BTW I would love to interview you for Thought Medicine - about how you lifted yourself out of that "learned helplessness" - a subject dear to my heart. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks... and Cheers!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:16:44

      Hi Linda! Those two topics are GREAT. I'm looking forward to working with you on them. And sure, I'd be happy to do an interview.

      In the meantime, I think the writing, blogging, and social media niches would be a great place to start. Personal development too. Lots of those bloggers are really into positive psychology, creativity, and anything regarding the mental side of life. You'd need to link your topic with theirs, but that shouldn't be too hard.

      We'll go to work on it shortly inside the class!

  52. Kim
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:40:56

    Hey Jon!
    Thanks for the great post!

    I am a design student and my blog is about documenting how I got into design school and what goes on once in school, things I learn, the projects I do, etc. Before I applied to design school, I wasn't really sure what one actually learned in design school and I wanted to learn more about what types of things design students learned/did. However, I couldn't find a blog that gave specific insight into a design student's life at university so once I got accepted into design school, I decided to start my own blog documenting design school! πŸ™‚

    My readers, I believe, are people who are close to entering university, particularly interested the art/design field, current students, and also people in general who would like to learn art/design principles, techniques, etc.

    Through my blog I am hoping to give other people an insight into life at design school and also help others learn about art/design (techniques, principles, etc.).

    Thanks so much!
    Kim

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:07:25

      Hi Kim. Design is a REALLY popular topic. I suppose you're reading Smashing Magazine, right? You should be writing for them. I know for a fact they have quite a few people who were either students at design schools or would love to attend them.

      And that's only one blog. If I'm not mistaken, there are at least half a dozen with more than 50,000 subscribers, and almost all of them allow a guest posts. So, I think you have lots of opportunities without even going outside your own niche!

  53. Dave Rowley | Creative Chai
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:39:16

    Hi Jon,

    My blog has been sputtering along for almost two years now, bumping its head on that ceiling you mentioned for most of the time. I'm not too discouraged though, because through blogging I've been able to clarify my passion and what I want to do with it.

    I want to live more creatively, and help other people live more creative lives. I'm not talking about just artists, or writers: I want to reach a wide range of people and help them achieve a creativity that infuses their whole life.

    My current readers are mostly women, mostly 30 years+ and interested in some creative activity while not being professional artists. I love my readers, they're smart, creative, and engaging. And i want more of that, I'd like to reach a whole lot more people and build some momentum with this thing.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 19:04:29

      Hi Dave. Creativity is a great blog topic because it connects with personal development, productivity, blogging, writing, social media -- all the big niches. It's also a popular topic. The highest traffic post at Copyblogger last year was about creativity.

      So, I think you're on the right track. I just think you need to go wide and start writing for his many of those popular blogs as possible. The more connections you can make to the more different niches, the more traffic you will get.

  54. Mike Reeves-McMillan
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:39:03

    I think the effectiveness of guestblogging does vary by niche. Copyblogger has what, 100,000 readers? A really big blog in the personal dev space would be 15,000, and there are a few around 5,000. But guestblogging has lifted my traffic (including my search traffic, I assume because with more inbound links comes more authority).

    What I'm finding hard is to get from the level of 4000 uniques a month up into the really big leagues. The upward trend is pretty constant, so I guess what I need to do is be patient and keep up my current strategies.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:56:45

      Dude, personal development is a huge niche. Have you seen Steve Pavlina? Dumb Little Man? Lifehacks? Zen Habits? All of those blogs fall under the personal development category, and they all have more than 100,000 readers, I think. All of them with the exception of Steve Pavlina also accept guest posts.

      Also, it sounds like you've hit the glass ceiling. 4000 uniques per month is only a little more than 100 per day. That means you need to focus on building your connections.

      The great thing about personal development is it also connects with pretty much every big niche. So, if I were you, I would focus on getting to know as many popular bloggers as you can. Don't limit yourself to just personal development bloggers.

    • Mike Reeves-McMillan
      Mar 01, 2011 @ 13:57:28

      Thanks, Jon. Zen Habits doesn't actually accept guest posts any more except by invitation, and given that he doesn't do email it can be pretty difficult to get one.

      I may have to get over my aversion to Dumb Little Man (he edited a past guest post of mine in a way that made it say something far from my intention, and it still rankles, but I still occasionally get traffic from that post and it was a couple of years ago).

      I have blogged outside my niche, with pretty limited response, though I haven't gone after the really big blogs. I'll give that further thought. Thanks.

    • admin
      Mar 01, 2011 @ 14:45:14

      Yes, Zen Habits requires an invitation, but it's perfectly achievable to get one. I have students who have done it. Granted, you'll never get one if you don't believe it's possible. Just based on your two comments, it sounds to me like your beliefs are holding you back more than anything else.

      Also, you don't really get results from writing for a blog only one time. The real benefits kick in three, five, even ten posts down the line. Did you catch the video about how to get links from popular bloggers? That's how you get results. The guest post itself is only the first step in the process.

  55. Allan MacDonald
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:37:47

    Hi Jon, an excellent post and one that really addresses the "but it's different for blogs about blogging" objection. I started our blogging at TheGolfGeek.blogspot.com, and at first it was a personal journal. Then I linked it to my Twitter account & things grew from there. Reader numbers weren't high, but I was getting a lot of public praise from respected coaches in this niche. I'm in the process of readying DrGolfGeek.com for launch, using my medical background to have a look at the theories & assumptions of golfers. I have a couple of guest posts lined up, but I would of course love to have your input, so if you're not too busy I'd love to take advantage of your generous offer.

    Happy Friday!

    Al

    • Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:43:54

      Allan, I noticed that the URL for your blog ends in "dot blogspot.com."

      Don't let Blogspot or WordPress or any other platform host your blog. That's asking for trouble because you don't have any control over it.

      I learned this the hard way. Use whatever platform you wish (I love WordPress) but make sure another company hosts it.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:50:15

      Hi Al. I LOVE your writing voice. Have you been studying copywriting? Sure looks like it.

      If I were you, I would use guest blogging for SEO. I have a video coming out about this next week. If you could get ranked for a few top golfing terms, I think that would be your best bet for traffic.

      For guest posts, you might try looking into the fitness niche. A lot of people who are into fitness are athletic, and they'd probably like to hear a doctor's take on the benefits of it and how to do it correctly. You could also try career blogs. You could do something like, "An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Golfing with Your Boss," or something like that. I think it would be a big hit. πŸ™‚

    • Allan MacDonald
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 22:45:00

      Hi Joan, many thanks for your observation. I totally agree - I'm just about to launch on a self hosted site using WordPress at DrGolfGeek.com, for that very reason. I didn't know anything at all about blogging when I first started, so I've learned as I've gone along...and it became clear pretty quickly that for almost all of the big blogs, WordPress is where it's at, hence the move.

      Jon - THANK YOU. You've put a big dumb grin on my face, for which I'm very grateful. I've read Copyblogger's copywriting 101, and Stanford @ Pushing Social's spectacular posts mini-course, as well as reading almost all of the output from both blogs.

      Your suggestions are great - they have that obvious-now-someone's told me factor, the mark of a significant insight. I'll be exploring these and more, thanks again!

      Al

  56. Lorna Fergusson
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:34:55

    This is a really interesting post, Jon, because I too have believed that great content would lead to connections, not the other way around. My blog, Literascribe - a writer's take on the business of books and the writing life, has been running since 2007. First for fun, then as an avenue to promote my business, fictionfire (creative writing courses, editing, critiquing, mentoring). I've worked hard to use facebook and twitter too and have made contacts (Ali at Aliventures, Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn for example), who've been helpful and have mentioned my name. Still only around 5 visits a day to my blog and my site. Your opinion would be very valued.

    • Lorna Fergusson
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:53:21

      I realise I didn't give the URL of my blog earlier - duh! It's http://literascribe.blogspot.com
      Thanks!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:36:47

      Hi Lorna! The writing niche is HUGE. If I were you, I wouldn't limit yourself to just creative writing blogs. Reach into nonfiction and blogging as well. Most people who write are interested in all types of writing, and most of the lessons apply as well. For example, writers block, storytelling, etc. all apply, regardless of what you're writing about, and those types of topics would make a great bridge between your blog and some of the others.

      If you do that, I think you'll see a big bump in traffic. Just for example, a tweet from Copyblogger sends a few thousand visitors, all by itself. And I know for a fact that quite a few of our readers are interested in fiction.

    • Lorna Fergusson
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:52:52

      Thanks, Jon - it seems I need to think about broadening my scope and also getting up the courage to approach people and offer to guest-post! As a professional writer and teacher it's all too easy for me to think that writing comes easily to everybody, and it doesn't - it takes nerve and it takes practice. I'm giving a talk in Oxford next week on the relationship between fiction and memoir so that could be an interesting area to blog about. Thanks again for your time and your comments!

  57. Vicky Alvear Shecter
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:32:14

    I'm taking you up on your offer. I'm a published children's author specializing in ancient history (2 biographies of ancients and a historical fiction novel for teens, coming out this summer). My blog (http://historywithatwist.blogspot.com) is targeted toward ancient history buffs/novices, especially young teens as well as parents, history teachers, Latin language teachers, homeschoolers, etc.

    My aim is to entertain and share my particular approach to history (i.e., what's funny? Amazing? Fascinating? Disgusting?). I would love to grow my readership but can't seem to find similar blogs (written for the layperson/kids versus academics) with which to connect. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:13:55

      Hello Vicky. First, thanks for writing about such an important topic. History is near and dear to my heart, and I'm happy to see someone writing about it. πŸ™‚

      Second, I would start by connecting with the parenting niche. Lots of parents want their children to learn history, and I think they would have a natural interest. You could do a few guest posts about how to get their children interested in history, and I think they would eat it up.

      I'm sure there are other opportunities as well. If I had to guess, probably some of the bigger travel blogs would be interested as well. Lots of folks who travel want to know the histories of various places where they're going. If you had posts about those places, you could probably snag a few fans.

  58. Stacey
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:31:14

    Hi Jon!

    Thanks so much for your kind offer to look at my blog!

    My ideal clients are moms, aged 35-55, who struggle with overwhelm. I help them get clarity on their dreams and traction on their goals.

    My blog is a little over a year old, and I'm at that glass ceiling. I definitely subscribe to the content marketing model - I write a weekly ezine and post to my blog M-F.

    I love giving lots great free content, but I want more paying clients. Is it just a matter of numbers (I had 370 subscribers last I checked), or is there something else I can do to make my blog more "client attractive"?

    Thanks again for a great post and your kind offer!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:09:55

      With 375 subscribers, yeah, it's probably more about the size of your readership than anything else. Although, a lot of other things DO come into play, such as bonding, copywriting, sales funnels, all sorts of things.

      But you'll probably get the most impact from just focusing on increasing the size of your readership. It's hard to make any sort of income with less than 1000, and it's hard to make a full-time income with less than 10,000. Not impossible, and it depends on the niche, but those are some rules of thumb.

      It's a great topic. If I were you, I would start with personal productivity and mindfulness blogs like Zen Habits and Dumb Little Man and build relationships there. You can also reach out to some of the other blogs in the parenting niche.

    • Stacey
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:30:38

      Hello again!

      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on the "number's game." Your comment confirmed my assumption, so I will keep working to connect with my readers. Thanks again for the advice! I really appreciate your help. Stacey

  59. Brooke Musterman
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:30:43

    My blog is an opportunity to discuss stress in the workplace & to laugh at reptilian behavior. I also promote my book, Reptiles on Caffeine....b

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:05:38

      Stress is another one of those great topics that connects almost everything. You could write for career blogs, fitness blogs, healthy living blogs, maybe even tech and gadget blogs (i.e., 7 High-Tech Chairs to Help You Relax at Work). Oh, and DEFINITELY minimalist blogs like Zen Habits. Leo is all about reducing stress and living a more relaxed life.

  60. Mikalee Byerman
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:30:27

    Vulnerable? I think not. πŸ˜‰

    On my bouncing baby blog, a 6-month-old called Me 2.0 (www.mikaleebyerman.wordpress.com), I am lucky enough to have an amazing and engaging conversation going with a good volume of comments and decent traffic (4,000+ on my best day) ... but I don't know what's next. I'm stuck between full-time employment, a passion for writing, not enough hours in the day yet a brain that goes 24/7.

    My niche would most likely be defined by the blogosphere as "personal growth," but I'd rather it be summed up in one word: snark. Seriously. I'm mostly writing about reinvention, post-divorce...but I cover a variety of topics, ranging from the recent NYT Vows scandalous couple to my New Year's Eve penis tiara to my childhood belief that an artichoke was an animal.

    So who needs a guest post on snark? Anyone? πŸ˜‰

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:01:37

      You read Penelope Trunk's blog, right? She's made a career out of snarkiness/brazenness.

      In fact, I think that would be a great place for you to guest post. Ittybiz too. Both Penelope and Naomi are moms, and if you could come up with some good guest posts to get the ball rolling, I think you could make some great connections there.

  61. paul wolfe
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:29:33

    Hey Jon

    I know that my website and the market I'm in has got countless opportunities for guest post opportunities. Hey, I'll be emailing you at some stage soon to see if I can guest post for Copyblogger!

    Without taking your Course though - even though I've barely scratched the surface of it due to time commitments - I would never have got the 'courage' or the 'confidence' to reach out to some bloggers and make connections and ask if they wanted a guest post.

    The first blogger i reached out for a Guest Post accepted - hopefully it will be published in the next fortnight. (And how funny to find him in the comments here above me!!!).

    So a big thanks for what you've done.

    Paul

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:57:59

      Awesome! Email me the details, when you get a chance, so I can brag about you on twitter. πŸ™‚

  62. Kat Landreth
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:27:36

    Hi Jon,

    Thank you so much for showing us your vulnerable side. Even if it is just this once!

    It's been frustrating to hit that glass ceiling with my photography on a budget blog.

    I'm thinking of branching out my guest posts to frugality blogs rather than just photography blogs. Does that make sense to you?

    Thanks again. I love the newsletter.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:56:34

      I think that's a great call. Personal finance blogs would probably love to get some guest posts on frugal photography. You could probably write for some tech blogs as well. Posts like, "12 Cameras You Can Buy for Less Than $500" are always popular.

  63. Carol Thomas
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:27:11

    That's a very generous offer, Jon; I'd love to get your input.

    I write twice-weekly research-based posts on ways to use social psychology to achieve social change. My audience are activists: people who want to change the world but could use some fact-based (not anecdotal) information about the most effective ways to accomplish that.

    What I haven't figured out how to do is attract the attention of the people who could take this information and change the world with it. I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:53:34

      Hello Carol. I LOVE social psychology, so I'll be sure to check out your blog.

      The good news: social psychology connects to almost everything, and so you'll have plenty of guest blogging opportunities. Probably the easiest place to get started is social media. Everybody with a blog or on twitter wants to change the world in some small way, and I'm sure they would love to learn the science of how to do it.

      The bad news: to really get big, I think you'll have to spice up your writing a little bit. I'm not saying you have to take out the facts. Those are essential. You just need to make it irresistible, kind of like how Cialdini did with his book, Yes! The trick is making the science interesting, so people will want to read it. If you can do that, I think you'll have no shortage of readers. πŸ™‚

  64. Marie
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:25:15

    Hey Jon,

    I didn't let my blog die, but I just took a month-long break to get married and move to another country, and I'd like to come back with more energy and focus and get it out there enough to make some money!

    I'm a "mom blogger" (though most of us hate that apellation) and I write about all the many things I do wrong as a mom. My angle is helping other moms laugh about their many slip-ups instead of feeling guilty, and I like the small community we have built so far. Now, how to make it grow?

    M πŸ™‚

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 17:43:07

      Hi Marie. That's a great topic. You're right, I think a lot of mothers do feel guilty, and yet even the best of moms screw things up.

      The parenting niche is huge, and so you have tons of guest blogging opportunities right there, but I think you could also reach outside that topic to several other big niches. I'm betting you could find angles about personal productivity, healthy living, personal fitness, all of which are huge with lots of popular blogs.

  65. Afshan Shaikh
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:24:21

    I have been facing similar situation with my blog. Thanks for this wonderful article.

    Have written some great content but still wants good ranking in google for it.

    nce it start getting good traffic then can go forward with monetization.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:33:04

      You're welcome, Afshan. Tell me a bit more about your blog, and I'd be happy to pass along some ideas.

  66. David FitzGerald
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:23:59

    Hello again Jon

    thanks for the generous offer....

    I seem to have difficulty accessing other Physical Therapy blogs. There generally isn't a collaborative (affiliate) culture. Our professional jourals are restricted access to members only usually with no interactive facility.

    The professional societies have a pitiful uptake of blog / forum use. There are some Linkedin groups and no shortage of physical therapist internationally - with a compulsory requirement for continuing post- graduate training - which is what I provide.

    I struggle to get sales and interaction. Averaging 100 views daily, 2,200 / month @ 1 poat weekly but poor opt-in in rate (list of 220 after 2 years - but keep it quiet!!).

    Wondering if I should offer content to other groups ie chiropractors,osteopaths, personal trainers, alternative health practitioners - although that is not my core skill set.

    Cheers

    David

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:31:39

      Hello David! Always good to see you.

      Because you're targeting physical therapists themselves, I would look more toward direct mail. Buy a list of their mailing addresses, send them a postcard offering them a free report if they sign up to your mailing list, and then use your blog as a relationship building tactic.

      It's pricier, but you have something to sell them, right? So hopefully you should be able to turn a profit, once you have their contact information.

  67. Phil Buckley
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:23:37

    Brilliant post Jon. Why is it that that lesson is so obvious in real life (it's not what you know, it's who you know) but so totally lost on bloggers?

    I think you just inspired me to write a blog post πŸ˜‰

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:15:33

      Go for it! Tweet me a link when you publish it.

  68. Ria
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:23:10

    Great post; thank you for stepping into the world of vulnerability for a moment and I'm ashamed to admit there is *still* part of me throwing my toys out of the pram wailing 'it's all right for you'! I'm pretty sure guest blogging could work for my niche, I just don't know where to go.

    My 'niche' is green living; I cover green tech, natural health and parenting. It might not sound like a 'niche' - but all 3 of those topics work hand in hand because my readers tend to be parents who are looking for solutions to living gently on the earth. I'm stuck at about 200 visitors per day with a PR of 4 after 2 years of regular, fresh content and I would like to accomplish about 50k per month. Hell, I wanna take on TreeHugger LOL!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:14:55

      Hi Ria. Yep, it sounds like you've hit the glass ceiling. Welcome to the club. πŸ™‚

      You have tons of opportunities there. For example:

      You could write for personal finance blogs about how you use green tech to save you money. I.e., How I Saved $64 a Month by Installing Solar Panels (just an example. You could use any type of green tech that saves money and quantified the savings.)

      You could write for fitness blogs. There's a growing group of athletes who are interested in natural health and don't like all of the chemical enhancement drugs.

      You could also write for parenting and mommy blogs. There are tons of them that allow guest posts. Something like, "54 Ways Your Children Can Help Save the Planet (and How to Help Them Do It)."

      If I were you, the first place I would go is the blogging niche. Most people don't know this, but the majority of our readers (90% +) are absolute beginners and they have a lot of problems with the technology.

  69. Eric Walker
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:19:43

    Hi Jon,

    It's not perfectly clear what my blog is all about. It doesn't have clarity to me, let alone a new visitor.

    Maybe you could offer insight about that just given what I have written about... what speaks with what is already there.

    I'd like to accomplish respect as a writer, marketer, internet business person, teacher/guide.

    thank you

    http://ericlwalker.com

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:06:34

      Hi Eric. Check out my reply to Kari up above.

      The tough part about having a small blog is you don't get much feedback on what people like. So, sometimes it's a good idea to do a few guest posts for blogs in different niches, because they already have big audiences, and it gives you a lot of feedback.

      Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have a big blog yourself to write for big blogs. As long as your content is good, most popular bloggers don't care if you're just getting started and finding your niche.

  70. Susan Kim
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:18:12

    Jon-
    Loved your post. Now, I'm checking out your offer for free blog advice.

    Our blog is about helping professionals over 40 get their career mojo back. Our readers are smart but they are baffled by all the digital profiles they have to fill out and need a little digital hand holding when it comes to branding themselves.

    My writing partner and I are digital marketing professionals so because we got so many requests from friends for help, we decided to create a blog.

    This is a side thing. Our goals: Give us more street cred as authorities on the 40+ market, use this as a digital lab, if we get enough traffic, eventually sell sponsorships/partnerships.

    Your suggestions?

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 15:03:35

      Hi Susan! That's a great topic. I think you could have a lot of success just writing some basic posts about how to use linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Most twentysomethings would just skip it, so I think you would attract your age group.

      Also, the less obvious choice is social media blogs. I think it would be a HUGE hit if you did some age targeted posts for blogs like Social Media Explorer and maybe Problogger. For instance, what if you did an "Old Duffer" series? For example:

      The Old Duffer's Guide to Facebook
      The Old Duffer's Guide to Twitter
      The Old Duffer's Guide to Linkedin

      I think people would love it. Talk about them from the perspective of someone over the age of 40 and give PRACTICAL advice about how to use them for your career.

      Anyway, I think you have lots of opportunities here. Mommy blogs might be another good niche for you, too. Lots of mothers feel like they've lost their mojo and want to get it back.

  71. Tara
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:15:33

    I've been thinking about places I might guest blog ever since I listened to your seminar at Third Tribe. My blog is called Turquoise Poppy (Turquoise is for Turkey and Poppy is for California) and is about "blooming where you're planted" - i.e., making the most of your circumstances and finding a way to build meaningful work for yourself no matter where you end up in the world.

    My readers are people like me - transplants, expats, third culture kids, location-independents who have lost a connection to their traditional work opportunities and who are looking for motivation and ideas to build creative business projects using the web and social media.

    What I'd love to do in the short term is build may mailing list to offer affiliate products and get paying consulting clients. In the long term I'd like to set up a paid membership site to develop this community even more.

    Thanks for this opportunity!

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 14:42:19

      Hi Tara. Cool metaphors! That niche is full of opportunities. You could write for career blogs like Brazen Careerist, parenting blogs like Free Range Kids, maybe even personal-finance blogs like Get Rich Slowly.

      The whole story about moving to Turkey would catch a lot of attention, I think. Popular bloggers are always looking for interesting stories like that.

      A couple of headlines that immediately come to mind:

      How to Travel the World, Meet Awesome People, and Get Paid to Do What You Love (career focus)

      Why Leaving US Might Be the Best Thing You Ever Did for Your Children (parenting focus)

  72. Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:14:16

    Geez this resonated with me Jon. For the first 12 months of my blog I wrote and wrote and wrote...and was basically shocked to see that no one seemed to enjoy my posts as much as I did πŸ˜‰

    But then I caught wind of this networking concept you've preached so well here. I reached out. Made connections. Have done some major guest posts. On and on.

    Now, even though my content is still the same, people are noticing. Everything seems to be snowballing all of the sudden. Traffic has skyrocketed.

    It's a great feeling, I just wish I'd read articles like this one when I started. But hey, better late than never.

    Thanks for all you do Jon....now enough of the vulnerability πŸ˜‰

    Marcus

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:55:29

      Glad to hear it, Marcus! Keep up the good work.

    • mike kirkeberg
      Feb 28, 2011 @ 14:49:21

      First, Jon, I know I have to go back and watch the videos in the guestblogging series again. I started out hot and then got busy and drifted off.

      I write a blog where my sought audiences are people who are in transition or are babyboomers. The two of them are often the same. My subject is personal development, mastery, and working through transitions. My writing is adequate, but I don't think it is great.

      I have set it as a goal to decide on a business model for monetizing what I do, but that isn't going to help much if I don't have traffic. Whine, whine, whine, I know.

      I am the description you used in your blog. I got it up to where I have about (average) 100 visitors a day. I do have about a thousand rss subscribers and a hundred on my email list.

      I am publishing a "manifesto" tomorrow, but I am afraid I am putting it out there to an empty house.

      Any tips you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

      Now I really am going to go back to the beginning and work on the action steps from the videos.

      Mike

  73. Dave Wilson
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:12:36

    Thanks for taking a gander at my humble little blog.

    It's 18 months old, but can't stand on its own yet.

    My niche? Christian men.

    Thanks,
    Dave

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:33:19

      Hi Dave. This is a great subject to illustrate what I'm talking about, so thanks for chiming in! Christianity ties into almost every big topic.

      For example, you can do a guest post on a parenting blog titled something like, "Abraham's Guide to Dealing with Children Who Can't Get along."

      For a personal finance blog, you could do something like, "Why Tithing Is a Great Way to Learn Frugality (and How to Start)."

      For blogging/Internet marketing, you could do, "Does God Love Affiliate Marketers?" The answer is of course, but it would be a great lead-in to talking about a Christian approach to doing business online.

      That last headline would probably go viral, by the way. Feel free to use it. πŸ™‚

    • Jenn Collette
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 21:55:58

      I read your blog, Dave. I only half hit your target audience πŸ™‚

  74. Kari Wolfe
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:10:59

    I've wanted Imperfect Clarity (http://www.imperfectclarity.net/) to be an amalgam of a few topics. I'm a beginning fiction writer (have been beginning for many years now), I'm a new freelance editor for an e-publisher, I'm a stay-at-home-mom to an autistic four-year-old girl. I'm interested in a LOT of things... and it's hard to focus on just one.

    I've taken a break from blogging recently because I've also felt that no one was reading my blog, that no one cared about what I was writing. And I guess my question to you is: how do I get people to care? πŸ™‚

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:24:30

      Hi Kari. When I click the link to your blog, I'm getting a "Page cannot be found" error. Could you double check the link?

      To answer your question, the hard truth is you can't "get people to care." As a writer, it's your responsibility to talk about topics they already care about.

      Sometimes, if the topic is iffy, you can do a bridge. For instance, bloggers don't really want to hear about guest blogging, right? And so, I start by talking about something they are interested in, blog traffic, and then I segue into how guest blogging helps them achieve it.

      If I were in your shoes, I would do some guest posts on larger blogs for each of the topics you like to write about and see how people respond. The great thing about writing for them is you get lots of feedback in the form of comments, and it can guide you in which direction to take your blogging career.

      For instance, when I was a beginner, I found out people hate reading about the nuts and bolts of real estate investing, but they like learning about the general "money principles," and so that's what I focused on. But you have to have an audience reading it to get that sort of feedback, and so if yours isn't big enough, then you need to go to a bigger blog and see how they respond.

    • Julie Hall
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 00:53:52

      I've just had an "Ah ha" moment from this comment - thanks Jon!

      As a writer, it’s your responsibility to talk about topics they already care about.

      It's so easy when you know how πŸ™‚

    • Paul Mayze
      Jun 15, 2012 @ 08:48:50

      Loved reading this post, and Kari's response rang true to me. There's a bit of a Catch-22 going on when you want to write about all kinds of topics, but you're not well-known. In order to become well-known in blogging you kind of have to stay on topic! Guest posting is definitely a good partial solution to the problem!

  75. Patrick
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:08:24

    I'm one of those people that feel as though my "niche" isn't as easy as guest blogging and what not.

    I run a indie music website where most articles are based on the newest track that's just been released as well as trying to find new acts to write about.

    Indie music doesn't change all that often, sure the music industry is ever changing, but writing a lengthy expose on the faults of the music industry is a blog all unto itself and an angle that we're not really wanting to make the focal point of the blog.

    What advice would you give to someone who writes for a blog such as mine where there is continually new information that has to be posted on almost immediately or else it becomes passe?

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:17:14

      Hi Patrick. So let me make sure I understand:

      You're targeting people who listen to indie music, right? Not the indie musicians themselves, but the fans?

      The reason I ask is the approach would be very different for each of those two audiences.

    • Patrick
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:26:43

      Jon,

      For some reason the reply button isn't working properly and just reloads the page so I'm going to have to answer your question in another comment.

      Yes, we are reaching out to fans of indie music primarily. We also put all of our posts up on Facebook with a link to the band's Facebook page so that it shows up on their wall as well. This has helped quite a bit in getting the band to know that we are writing about them and hopefully keep us in the loop as to news they might need to get out there.

      We also have some good contacts with PR firms that send us albums to review and new mp3's but we're still not getting out there to the masses as much as we'd like to.

    • Patrick
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:27:32

      I guess it did work afterall.

    • admin
      Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:53:58

      The first idea that comes to mind for you is I would be doing some freelancing for some of the major music mags and websites. Most of them allow bylines at the bottom, especially in the print editions, and so people would find your website that way. It's basically guest posting, but getting paid for it. πŸ™‚

      Another approach you might take is writing for some pop culture blogs. Talk about the effect indie music is having on technology, kids, schools, all kinds of stuff. Those kind of topics are usually in demand.

      I'm not the biggest indie music buff, but I'm also guessing there's a certain age group who is more into it than others, right? Most age groups have their on blogs and magazines, and you can target those as well.

      The key is to target the reader and not the topic. So, don't get hung up on only writing for "indie music" blogs. A portion of the people who read pop culture, lifestyle blogs, concert blogs, etc. are all going to be interested in indie music, and those are the people you want to siphon off.

      In any case, this topic is definitely NOT disqualified from guest blogging. You just need to broaden the approach.

    • Terry Smith
      Feb 12, 2012 @ 08:22:44

      Hello,

      Thank you kindly!

      I am a new blogger and I at times wonder if I should give up.

      I write and give advice with a little humor about β€œseeing the gray area in Relationship and clarifying blur and talking about how this world is in a state of emergency needing better Communication”.

      I am a willing listener and student to follow step by step whatever you tell me to do.

      Thank you

    • Becky
      Jan 17, 2013 @ 11:33:57

      I am a holistic health counselor working with women going through fertility issues and pregnancy. I write about pregnancy, fertility and things to help with those two (fitness, yoga, meditation, nutrition etc)

      My blog at http://blog.inbloomwomenswellness.com hasn't started taking off.

      How do I attract people?

      Thanks!

      • Marsha Stopa
        Jan 17, 2013 @ 15:46:34

        Becky,

        Where does your audience hang out online?

        Go there and give thoughtful, helpful advice in the comments. After you do that for awhile and the blogger knows your name, you can pitch an idea for a guest post the audience will love because you've been comments so closely you know exactly what they're questions are.

        You include a link to your site in the bio at the end of your post.

        Look for health and fitness sites, women's lifestyle sites, yoga sites and personal development blogs that write about women's wellness.

        Hope that helps.

        Marsha