Guest Posts Increase Your Odds Of Having a Successful Site
A little birdie told me that I have a guest post on Problogger. This is great news. With over 15,000 visitors a day Problogger is the biggest blog for bloggers. And with a Page Rank of 6 this website will receive a great backlink along with the exposure.
Exposure and a great backlink should give this website a much needed boost. Unfortunately ‘should’ is not good enough. What if I get a traffic boost for a couple days and then things settle back to normal – back to 60 visitors a day. I want proof that a guest post on Problogger provides a long term benefit for this website.
Without a bubbling cauldron and a dash of bat wings it is difficult to determine with certainty whether the guest post will help in the long run. The best I can do is figure out statistically whether sites with a guest post on Problogger are doing better then sites without a guest post on Problogger.
Question: Do people who have done a guest post on Problogger have more success with their sites then those who have not done a guest post?
Most Sites Fail
In a previous post (What Are The Odds Your Site Will Fail) I tried to determine the success rate of sites by taking the URL’s of Problogger commentors 3 years ago and seeing how their sites are doing today. The current state of the sites where put into three categories:
- Dead (0-500 visitors/day)
- Serious Injury (500-2000 visitors/day)
- Alive and Well (2000+ visitors/day)
The results where humbling but promising. Popular lore is that 99% of sites fail. But according to the results things are not that terrible. Here is the current state of site owners that commented on Problogger 3 years ago:
Serious Injury: 12%
Instead of 99% failing only 72% are dead three years later. Grim, but better then expected. Commenting on Problogger does seem to give you a statistical advantage.
Most Guest Posters Succeed
A commentor on Problogger has a 72% chance their site will be dead in three years. But now I am guest poster. I have advanced from commentor to guest poster, what are the odds that my website will fail?
Determining the answer is simple. Thanks to the great archive on Problogger I can go back in time and gather the URL’s of all the guest posters. Then run them through a traffic estimator and see how the guest poster’s sites are doing today.
So with Vivaldi blasting out of the speakers I spent the day going through the Problogger archives gathering guest posters URLs. From January 2007 to June 2009 I collected all the guest posters and put their URLs in a table. If the post started off with something like “this is a guest post from…” I grabbed the URL.
After a few hours I accumulated 63 distinct guest posters. Then I ran each one through a traffic estimator (webtraffic24.com) and noted how much daily traffic they currently receive.
With all the data collected I broke the results up into the same three groups – dead, serious injury, alive and well. Here are the results (download table):
Serious Injury: 22%
54% of Problogger guest posters have a successful site. And only 24% ended up dead. This is a big difference compared with people that only comment on Problogger. I have drastically increased my odds of success with my guest post. Now it is a coin toss – heads I win, tails I lose.
Why Does Guest Posting Increase Your Chances Of Success?
Answering this question bumps against the classic problem of causality. There is no way to tell what causes what. Do people with guest posts on Problogger end up with successful sites, or do people with sites that become successful guest post on Problogger? Do people who smoke end up with cancer, or do people with a cancer gene end up smoking? There is no way to tell.
All that can be argued is that if you belong to the group that smokes then you have a greater chance of having cancer, and if you belong to the group with a guest post on Problogger then you have a greater chance of having a successful site.
How much of the success can be credited to the guest post and how much can be credited to your site? Again, no way to tell. Most likely it is a tangled combination of the two. Here is how it works:
- You create a site. You think it is good but are uncertain because with little exposure not enough people have seen it to judge it.
- You write a guest post for Problogger. It gets accepted – this confirms your suspicion that your writing and content is good (at least Problogger thinks it is good enough for his blog).
- Your guest post goes live and exposes your site to a lot of people. Because your site is good, the visitors stay and tell their friends.
- Your site becomes a success.
Your site becomes a success for two reasons: it is a good site and exposure. To get the exposure you need a good site. You cannot have one without the other.
It is not the guest post by itself that increases your chance of success, it is the fact that you have a good site and you get exposure. It has been said a million times, in a million different ways – before anything else, before thinking about SEO, social networking, promotion, backlinks etc. make sure you have a good site. Without a good site you are simply digging a hole to China – you will drown in a pool of hot lava.
Will This Website Become A Success Because Of A Guest Post?
I do not know. But I have dramatically increased my odds by being a guest poster for Problogger. Now I am hanging with the right crowd. Mingling with winners. Chess club is great for playing chess, but if you want the cheerleaders you need to join the football team. Of course, there is still a 50% chance of failure – high, but a lot less then 84%.