19 fatal blogging mistakes that can sink your brand

Guest blogging is one of my FAVE ways to build an audience, increase visibility, get more traffic. It is one of THE easiest marketing ideas out there. Speaking of marketing ideas, have YOU snagged these 50 FREE marketing ideas guide yet? 

However, like most marketing ideas this one, too, can go horribly wrong, just like mixing flaxseeds with your Nutella can. I mean, I love flaxseeds and I obviously, love Nutella but together, umm…not so much. Any ways, back to the point, guest blogging CAN go wrong and not bring you the insanely incredible results you need.

Why? Because well… mistakes.

Speaking of which… {Yes I realize I’ve used “speaking of..” twice in like 10 lines! Sigh!}

Have you ever received an email like this one?

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.21.08 AM

Or maybe like this one?

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.20.43 AM

THESE are just two of the 19 guest blogging mistakes that we’re going to be talking about today.

Mistakes that can potentially damage your brand for life. Nope, not kidding.

Without any further ado, here are mistakes that can burn bridges, your brand name and your positioning worse than that hot pizza slice you just took a bite of!

19 Guest Blogging Mistakes No Business Must Ever Make

To make this super easy-to-follow, I’m dividing the mistakes into the “Pitch”, “Post” and “Promote” stages.


1. Send out mass pitches

Mass pitches are the ones that are sent without any thought or strategy behind them other than the sole goal of getting links to some shady, seedy-as-seed-cake, site.

Never ever start a guest blogging campaign without putting thought into the why, who, how and where.

Mass pitches are nothing but a weapon of mass destruction… for your brand. Stay away from them.

2. Send out a pitch with no personal salutation

Seen the emails above?

“Good day!” I mean who says that?

Worse are the “Dear blogger” or worse still, “Dear Admin” emails.

Please never, ever send out a pitch without learning about the blogger’s first name or if there’s a team address them.

3. Send out a pitch without researching guidelines

Most sites that accept guest posts have clear, well-written guidelines that share whether you need to send a full post, a draft, topic ideas or check with them to see what they’re theme is.

They’d also have guidelines on photos, word count, formatting, linking guidelines, etc.

Pay close attention to them.

Ignore them and your pitch will land in the Spam or Delete folder. Guaranteed!

4. Send a pitch without reading and enjoying their existing content

Again, if you’re emailing a site that you haven’t been a regular reader of already, spend some time getting familiar with their content.

Dig into their archives, soak in their voice, tone and angles, check out how engaged their commenting community is. Pay attention to how they format their content or what topics do really well.

Not only will this ensure that you craft a pitch that’s beautifully tailored but also will help you write a post that’ll delight the host site’s audience.

5. Send a pitch that doesn’t outline why should they publish you

Now why should we publish a guest post written by you? How’ll your take on the topic benefit our readers?

What’s the “win” in it for me?

Share clear reasons why your guest post will be a great addition to the content vault that the host site has.

Guest Blogging Pitch Example

6. Send a pitch that shares nothing about you

AKA Who’re you again?

Does your pitch share why you’re an expert on this topic? Personal experience? Professional expertise? Where have you been published before this?

Pitch yourself when pitching your topic. You are your best brand ambassador.

7. Send a pitch that is filled with typos and grammatical errors

The proof, as they say, is in the proofreading, my friend.

Proofread your pitch before you hit send. Edit ruthlessly and triple-check for typos and sentence structure errors.

Words like, “your”, “you’re”, “they’re”, “their” are prone to getting misspelt and misused so be careful, little eyes.

8. Send a pitch that talks about a topic that’s already been covered

Again, this is why #4 is SO important because sending in post topics that have been done to death on the site wouldn’t be welcome.


Congratulations! Your pitch has been accepted. Now to writing the post! Here are the mistakes you must avoid at all costs.

9. Write a post without adequate research

Guest posts must be as good, if not, better than the posts you write for your site.

Spend enough time researching and crafting a post that is simply stellar. How can you make your content stand out?

  • Add a downloadable PDF checklist or an infographic,
  • Share a moving personal story
  • Provide in-depth statistics and studies on the topic
  • Be insanely, incredibly helpful.

This guest post by Jon Morrow on Problogger is raw, personal and real. A guest post par excellence, indeed.

19 Guest Blogging Mistakes

10. Write a post that doesn’t target the guest blog’s audience

See that’s why researching and strategizing is so important.

You need to know your host blog’s audience just as well as you know yours. Studying the posts already published as well as reviewing and engaging in the comments will help you craft content that’ll resonate instantly with the audience.

You want that. Period.

11. Write a post that doesn’t adhere to blog guidelines

Does the post have to be sent as a Word doc?


Added to Google Drive?

Include 2 photos or none?

Be 1000 words plus?

Knowing the guidelines isn’t good enough. You need to follow them to a T. And when in doubt, ask.

12. Write a post with a bio that doesn’t do you justice

What does your guest post bio look like? Does it interest people enough to want to get to know you more? Or does it make them go “meh!”


Crafting a guest post bio, sometimes, can take as much time as crafting the post itself. I kid you not. I have been there.

Write it well and you’ll be amazed at how beautifully it’ll work!

13. Write a post with a byline link that leads to no funnel

So your bio is brimming with awesomeness but when folks click on the link, they go straight to your homepage and from there, what they do, you have no idea.

So, make sure that the link that you get in your bio/byline leads to the start of your funnel aka opt-in freebie.

And then, ensure that the freebie has  a series of email autoresponders designed to engage the new subscriber and keep him hooked!

14. Write a post with no call-to-action

The worst mistake ever.

A post with a bio and a byline but no call to action. Readers are busy people and if you aren’t clear with your ask or what you want them to do, they wouldn’t go looking for it.

15. Write a post and fill it up with links to your site

No one’s gonna like this one and chances are the post wouldn’t ever make it to the publishing stage.

But even if it did, it would come across as spammy, self-promotional and of little or no use to the reader.

No prizes for guessing how well that’s gonna work out for your brand.


16. Forget to email your list about the post

Guest posting as a brand isn’t just about growing your audience and reaching new people. It’s also about positioning yourself as an expert with your existing audience.

So make sure you email the link or an excerpt from the post to your subscriber list as well.

17. Forget to respond to comments

Don’t just post and run. When comments start to come in, make sure you’re there to reply to them and engage in discussions.

The gold is usually in the comments section. People will like to click through to check out your site and find out more about you.

18. Forget to schedule it out on social media

Sharing your post out on social media shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Make sure you schedule it out to be shared over a period of time.

So, on the day it’s published go for 3 times, then, 3 times in the week it’s been published and from there on out, at least once a week, for the next few months.

19. Forget to thank the host site for the opportunity

Ever been invited to a party and leave without saying “thank you”?

Yeah, I thought so. Point made.

19 blogging mistakes every guest blogger must avoid

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