Posted on June 7, 2013 · Posted in Search Engines

It’s good policy to save your very best work and most thorough efforts for your guest posts. In the wake of venturing out from the safe confines of your own blog and offering up your ideas and information to another website, you want to be sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.

The temptation to slack comes from what is often the primary motivator involved with writing a guest post in the first place; a link back to your own blog.

This is particularly true if you are able to network with a blog that is much higher in rank than you and get them to agree to field your post. The possible traffic from the link in your bio is certainly exciting, and it prompts us to just “get something out there” as soon as possible.

We need to fight this urge, and part of fighting it involves knowing what motivates us to write guest posts in the first place. We mentioned traffic is a motivator, but let’s look deeper into the motivational hierarchy of guest posting:

  • Primary Motivator: Traffic
  • Secondary Motivator: Marketing your name and improving your reputation.
  • Third Motivator: Contributing Great Content

So hopefully the desire to actually contribute something useful to another blog, out of the goodness of your heart, at least makes it into the top three.

The problem with this is that allowing your desire to contribute to take a distant third in terms of motivation, can often cause the quality of your post to decline; thus the results you get in terms of your traffic and reputation-related goals suffers and ultimately leaves you empty handed.

If the guest post you send out doesn’t contribute something useful and offer up a unique point of view that the other blog’s readers are going to find helpful and engaging, than your reputation isn’t going to improve and you won’t get traffic: At least not as much as you would have if you had rearranged your priorities.


Getting Your Priorities Straight

Even if you can’t honestly say that contributing great content is your primary motivator, just give it a try one time. Force yourself to take your time and write something genuinely useful and interesting. You’ll in a sense be rearranging your priorities to look something more like this:

  • Primary Motivator: Helping People
  • Secondary Motivator: Creating and Contributing Great Content
  • Third Motivator: Traffic

Under this system you’ve made it your primary goal to simply help people and as an offshoot of that goal, a desire to create and contribute useful and interesting content.

If you can write this way, you’ll have more satisfactory results in all of the desired areas. Your reputation as a blogger and your traffic will improve naturally because of the high quality and usefulness of your guest post. This way, instead of just throwing a few paragraphs and a link in front of people and hoping that they’ll be curious, you’ve made yourself valuable to them and caused them to want to check out your website.

If you can maintain this type of mentality while writing guest posts, your return and benefit will be far better than it ever would have been if you had left traffic and recognition as your primary motivators.



As a blogger, your job is to offer up expertise or insight into a certain area of life. If you’ve gotten the green light to do that for another blog, take advantage of that opportunity and really put some time and effort into your submission.

Allow your motivations to be pure and focus on how much you can help the other blog’s readers as opposed to how many of them will click on your link.

The more helpful you are the more traffic you’ll generate anyway. It’s always better to come by it honestly.

Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.