If you wanted to grow a new blog quickly, or give a boost to an existing blog, one of the best ways would be to guest post on relevant, popular blogs that are read by people who will probably want to read your blog too.

For example, Darren Rowse’s Problogger is one of the most popular blogs in the world with well over 100K subscribers. Darren blogs regularly but many (most?) of the posts on ProBlogger are guest posts written for Darren by people like you and me who are simply trying to get exposure to such a large audience. And it works; I can think of a number of bloggers that I began following after discovering them on Problogger.

Why does this work?

Let’s take a look.

How guest posts build your personal brand

Location of the guest post

By choosing the right, personal brand-relevant blogs to guest post on, readers will come to associate you with those blogs and their niches.

The right blogs are ones that:

  • Accept guest blog posts. If the targeted blog has guest posting guidelines, that’s a good sign.
  • Cover topics relevant to your personal brand
  • Have a large audience, or at least a small, engaged audience that comments a lot (this shows that they’re action-takers)

Topic of the guest post

Regardless of how wide a niche or industry is, everyone has their specialty for which they’d prefer to be known for. Reinforce that idea by putting out guest posts that are directly related to those specialties.

Search the targeted blog to see if your topic has been covered before. If not, you know what to do. If yes, cover the topic from a different angle.

Quality of the guest post

To build your personal brand, you need to impress. The only way you’re going to impress is if your guest blog post is good because Good + Audience = Popular.

If you’re not sure what “good” is, search through the targeted blog(s) to see which blog posts were most popular and try to understand why. You can also ask someone (the main blogger? an editor?) at the targeted blog for suggestions, although they’re most likely to be receptive if your first message already has a good guest post attached.

If you’re not very confident in your blogging skills but are confident in your other skills, try to come up with a way to leverage those other skills in the guest post, like making a video of yourself.

Byline of the guest post

Sometimes, the best way to build your brand is to simply say what it is.

Whenever you guest post, insert a short byline about who you are, including your personal brand tagline if you have one, and mention a recent achievement you had that is relevant to your guest post. Link to your main brand-building web presence, such as your own blog or LinkedIn profile, and explicitly given instructions how to contact you about the guest post or anything else.

If the targeted blog won’t let you include a byline, don’t guest post there. Also, make sure they don’t forget to add your byline and double-check that all the byline links are working.

Success of the guest post

If you’ve successfully covered the above 4 points, you’re almost guaranteed to get this one too.

The more popular your guest post, the further it will spread, and each sharing is a recommendation of something you just did achieved, which implicitly recommends yourself too.

Better, the guest post will usually stay in the blog archives forever, continuing to impress and growing your brand with each visit.

Best of all, you don’t even need to have your own blog to leverage guest posting, but you do need to follow my recipe above if you want personal brand-boosting guest post success.

Here’s your first opportunity

I just announced my 4th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest and this year’s edition is bigger then ever with over $1500 in prizes. There are a limited number of guest blogging slots, so join in now.


Jacob Share, a job search expert, is the creator of JobMob, one of the biggest blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor.