It’s a pain, isn’t it? You pour your heart and soul into guest blogging on a site that doesn’t belong to you, writing for an unfamiliar audience that may be no more than apathetic to your work. Sometimes it can seem as though you’re speaking in an empty room. Or perhaps you’re able to guest blog content that brings in plenty of traffic but without much recognition for yourself or your own blog in return.

Here are seven arguments as to why your guest blogging may suck, as well as some tips on how to avoid falling into the trap of producing ineffective blog posts as a guest blogger:

1. You’re guest blogging in all the wrong places

Perhaps you feel that targeting a popular blog would give you a better chance of exposure and in turn, better traffic back to your site. However, this isn’t always the case.

Guest blogging on a second tier site away from the masses of other authors clambering for recognition can work wonders for reaching a strong and relevant audience. Many renown bloggers steal the limelight on top tier blogs. Developing a dedicated band of readers elsewhere can be an ideal early step towards Blogosphere domination.

Furthermore, don’t fall into the trap of guest blogging for a website that isn’t a good fit for your content. Just because a target blog has good traffic, it doesn’t mean that it’ll also boast the sort of crowd you want to engage with. Carry out an extensive research to find relevant websites with a similar audience to yours.

Arguably the biggest flaw in modern blogging is the blurred lines between the significance of a ‘popular’ post and a quality post. Just because your contribution has gotten lots of shares and comments, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve won the respect of your audience, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can expect them to subscribe to your own blog automatically.

It’s important to remember that shares and comments on a guest blog post work wonders for the blog owner, but they don’t really do much for you. Concentrate sharing your knowledge and your writing technique before angling for hard-hitting, populist content – it could be the key to gaining a dedicated readership.

3. You don’t aim to engage your audience

Remember to respect the people you want to write for – just because you think they should like your post, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will.

Be sure to always keep your audience in mind. A useful tactic for this is to spend a little time browsing your target blog. By looking at which posts have engaged readers in the past, you can gain an understanding of the personality of your target audience, which can make all the difference in producing well-received content for them.

Bloggers are a very proud breed. Nobody in the business of blogging will admit that their site sucks, and there are masses of the Blogosphere that are desperate to gain recognition for their work. If you’re eager to get your blog noticed, then you could be prone to falling into the trap of guest blogging for the sake of link building.

While building backlinks is a key part of guest blogging, you risk neglecting your audience and undermining your work if you begin writing half-baked or spammy articles in a bid to drive traffic back to your site.

Remember to have faith in your ability to bring visitors back to your blog through quality guest blogging. Appearing as a guest writer elsewhere is a fantastic opportunity to put yourself in the shop window of the Blogosphere – you’ll want to be seen as a strong writer, not a spammer.

5. You haven’t bothered setting up an alluring Bio

Your Bio can effectively be the pitch that brings readers back to your site. It’s the perfect way of showing off yourself as the person behind the piece. But many bloggers still neglect their Bio as an irrelevance.

Make sure you craft your Bio as a way of showing off your personality while innocuously selling yourself to your audience. If a reader likes both a post and its author, then they’ll be all but guaranteed to want more.

Here is a great example of a well-crafted bio:

Bio Example

Check out more at HubSpot.

6. You haven’t tried standing out from the crowd

Guest blogging is vastly popular. It’s vital that you stand out from the sea of other keen writers out there.

Blending into an industry like this is disastrous for bringing traffic back to your site. In order to rise above the rest, you’ll need to make sure your content is either refreshingly different, or better than the competition.

Take some time to share unique insights into the subject you are covering, make your work easy to read, and don’t be afraid to use images to keep your audience engaged throughout.

7. You’re not helping your target blog’s exposure

The art of guest blogging is that you’re tapping into an established audience. But that doesn’t mean the job of promotion is done for you.

Make sure your article is available to your own audiences through social media channels. The more traffic that you can source for your piece, the higher the chance of the guest blog owner noticing the strong visitor numbers and promoting it themselves.

Be sure to promote your work via relevant networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ at a time where people might have the spare time to indulge in your post. Don’t be afraid to promote it on your blog also – if you’re proud of your work, it deserves to be seen.