What Makes a Guest Post Relevant To Your Readers?

Content and Link RelevanceToday, one of our publishers, the owner of a scuba diving blog, emailed me politely stating that he wouldn’t be publishing an article we’d delivered to him about exotic scuba diving destinations. The reason? The contributing author’s website is about selling and chartering sailboats. To him, the contributing site isn’t relevant. After exchanging several lengthy emails debating the subject of relevancy, I thought I’d write a blog post about it.

….but first, a primer

For those who are unfamiliar with Content BLVD, we are in the business of helping bloggers grow their blogs by connecting them with contributors with valuable content to offer. All content is curated by Content BLVD, run through Copyscape, and flagged if it doesn’t meet our quality standard, saving you, dear blogger, from the hassles of sourcing content from contributors (aka guest authors) directly.

Ok. Back to the story.

I took a closer look at the sailboat website who contributed the article. To the publisher’s point, the boating website does not mention scuba diving at all. But how much does the content on the contributing blog really matter? (You’ll find out later on in this post).

After a second look, we still conclude that the guest post was highly relevant and the decision to deliver the post to the publisher was a good one. But why did the recipient blog who specifically requested the article about scuba diving have an issue with posting a relevant article contributed by a boating expert? After all, it seems fairly obvious that there is a high degree of relevancy between scuba diving and boating. But one thing we’ve learned is that the term relevancy has a unique definition for everyone.

What is Relevancy?
The honest answer? It depends on who you ask. The range of opinions on this is highly varied. But we can learn from the publishers who are just killing it – pumping out quality content all day every day. The only way a blog can grow and begin generating meaningful ad revenue is to have repeat visitors who keep coming back from more.

The way to get those visitors in significant numbers is to publish quality content around topics they care about, and do it often. The effort to produce at high volume is a burden, which is where large numbers of contributors come into play.

What do contributors have to do with relevancy? A contributor is someone with industry knowledge related to the theme of your blog. If your blog is about scuba diving, then ask yourself – who is qualified to contribute interesting informative articles about scuba diving? Should the purview of your contributor base remain limited to only scuba divers or owners of dive shops? How about contributors with expertise in the same ecosystem as the scuba industry? Would the owners of a carribbean tour company be out of her element contributing an article about scuba diving? She likely deals with travelers interested in scuba all day long, and would be smart to know a thing or two about diving in the region. How about the owner of a boat charter company? Boating and scuba are inextricably linked. After all, its hardly possible to scuba dive without a boat! When searching for contributors to help you grow your blog, a good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not they have some overlap with your readers’ demographic in the course of their day to day business. If he or she does, chances are they’ve got something of value to your readers.

Content and Contributor Relevance 

We’re Here to Help You Grow Your Blog
Our goal at Content BLVD is to help small to midsized blogs become power publishers by connecting them to a large base of contributors. The biggest difference between smaller, unprofitable blogs and their profitable counterparts is fact that successful blogs leverage a diverse crowd of contributors, some of whom contribute frequently, some of whom may only contribute one post. If you look at a blogging powerhouse like SocialMediaToday.com, with very high traffic and meaningful ad revenue, you’ll see the range of contributors that publish on their site. Its in the thousands – from people with a wide range of expertise. That is the model for blogging success.

If Your Blog is Struggling, its Time to Expand Your Horizons
Expanding further using Social Media Today as our exemplar blog, you’ll notice that many of its well regarded contributors are in loosely related fields, contributing articles that tie in social media. But these tie ins from a range of unique perspectives give the blog more breadth than would be possible if the owner of the blog wrote all the pieces herself, from only her perspective.

What Do Readers Think About the Relevancy of the Contributor?
The question on whether or not readers would stick around if you publish a relevant article (the article in the example above is about scuba diving which means the content is relevant to his blog) by a contributor in the maritime industry is best answered by looking at the publishing habits of the larger blogs in just about any niche. This article contributed by Deborah Sweeney to Social Media Today has received has been shared 62 times via Twitter, 64 times via Google Plus, and 21 times via Linked In in just a couple of hours. Clearly, readers are enjoying her contribution, despite the fact that her business is legal filings for business, a topic only loosely related to social media.

Similarly, I cannot imagine readers of a scuba diving blog being put off by an article about scuba diving destinations contributed by a boating company. As mentioned above, boating and scuba diving are inextricably linked.

Today’s exchange with this publisher caught me off guard because 99% of the time, bloggers are happy to receive an article on the exact topic they requested from a contributor in a related industry, without the hassle of sifting through loads of low quality submissions. If you’ve got a respectable blog (PR2+) and are interested in growing your contributor base, then register here. Its free.

If the publisher who contacted me today is only open to receiving articles from fellow divers, he’s going to severely limit his ability to grow his blog. If growing your blog is not your goal, then this blog and this service is not for you. If becoming a power publisher is your goal, then stick around. We’ve got some good stuff coming down the pipe!

Mike is Co-founder and CMO of Content BLVD, a marketplace where product companies and YouTubers meet to get more products into more videos. He's written for, been quoted in, and kicked out of many fine establishments.

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Posted in Building a Better Blog
One comment on “What Makes a Guest Post Relevant To Your Readers?
  1. theano says:

    What I call it is relevancy by association. Your method allows diverse perspectives and interesting angles. People from different walks of life use different phrasing and language broadening the possible demographic audience that would like the article. People intuitively understand language levels. If an expert is what they seek then they will go to sites with credentials apparent. But in most cases people want an informative interesting article that gives them a bit of information in a delightful way. By adding high quality links in the article that may go to more expert sites, one gets the best of both worlds. With the Penguin update May 22, natural linking to high quality websites results in more clicks, more money, and more writing opportunities.

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