If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably realized that it takes a LOT of time to make it work. Sure, technologically, the blog will stay there as long as you pay your hosting fees, but if you want a thriving, engaging blog that brings lots of traffic (and lots of money) you have to keep feeding it with new content.
The problem for many bloggers is that they don’t have time to frequently and consistently write quality posts. I’ve been there. Having (or building) a successful blog is a full-time job, and for bloggers who are trying to make a go of it on the side will almost certainly run into this problem.
Here’s a critical overview of why I think they suck.
Web Traffic Control
This website is based on the idea that people who have something to advertise will pay people with a blog to publish a guest blog post about the product or service they are advertising. Web Traffic Control is the “service” that brings the two parties together. The advertiser pays WTC $30 per post. WTC keeps half the money, publishes the post on your blog, and gives you, the blogger, $15.
That doesn’t sound too bad, right? So why does Web Traffic Control suck? Several reasons:
- You have to be at least a Google Page Rank 2. Realistically, if you are any good at blogging, this isn’t that hard to do, but it does take time.
- You have to have a self-hosted WordPress blog to participate. Though WordPress is one of the best blogging software options available, not every blogger uses it, and not all the bloggers who use it are self-hosting (even though they probably should be if they hope to make any serious money).
- You have to grant WTC login credentials as an editor. Though the system appears to be set up to publish blog posts automatically, that is without someone from WTC personally accessing your site, the idea of giving login credentials to an outside party certainly creates a sense of uneasiness.
- NO ONE IS USING IT! The first three issues might not be such a big deal if Web Traffic Control actually worked. The problem is that they don’t have enough advertisers participating to supply the bloggers with any content to publish. I’ve had an account set up with WTC for a few months and haven’t had any posts show up. Until more advertisers start using it, WTC is a waste of time.
Blogger Link Up
The Blogger Link Up network is low-tech in comparison to WTC. It’s essentially an email newsletter sent out to everyone on the list three times a week. Users who have guest posts to give away or blog owners who need a specific blog post written enter that information on the website, and the offers and requests get sent out to the people on the list.
Each newsletter starts off with a brief message from the webmaster (which is sometimes useful and sometimes not so useful), and then the list of offers and requests.
On the positive side, I think the BLU is a great concept for networking with other people in the blogosphere. And if you keep your eye out, you can come across some good opportunities (I had an article published on a Page Rank 7 site through a connection I made with it).
The problem is there is no quality control. Just like any other free-to-use ad site (cf. Craigslist) the offers are only as good as the person behind them. This usually means a lot of junk posts. The offer in the newsletter might seem good, but when you get the final product, more often than not it turns out to be a poorly-written, barely grammatical piece of fluff content with no substance and a link in the author byline to a site that is not related to the actual blog post at all.
I regret some of the junk that I’ve published on my sites through shady offers on Blogger Link Up.
My Blog Guest
Similar to the Blogger Link Up, My Blog Guest is a network of writers and publishers. Instead of being a newsletter, it feels more like a social networking site where there is actually the possibility of interaction between the two parties.
My Blog Guest has one up on BLU because they review the articles in the offers to make sure they are original, and for the most part they are of higher quality than BLU. The ones I’ve received are grammatical, have substance, and are usually written by someone with experience in the field they’re writing about.
The problem? The articles lack panache. They are informative but impersonal. You might get some search engine traffic from these, but dry content isn’t going to connect with your readers.
Back to the Basics
After my brief sojourn in the safari of guest blog post hunting, I’d like to think I’ve returned a wiser blogger. By and large, it’s a barren wasteland, filled with ghost towns, sickly game, and jackals.
I’m sorry to my regular readers for publishing some of the refuse that has been on my blog recently. I’ve realized the error of my ways and will be more selective in what is published from here on out.
If you are running a blog of your own, hopefully this post will help you learn from my mistakes. Don’t publish fluff content just to keep the search engines happy; your readers are more important. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to post quality content as frequently as you planned, reduce your frequency, not the quality of your posts. Don’t partner with just anyone willing to throw you a bone — publish good content by people with authority in your niche.
Do it well, or don’t do it at all.