Guest blogging is one of the most effective and widely used methods for gaining exposure via sites other than yours, and it is one of the least expensive ways to gain access to new audiences, increase traffic to your website, and help create a brand for yourself.

But measuring the effectiveness of a guest-posting campaign is where most people go wrong.

Many online marketers use potential search rankings as the measuring stick for effectiveness. But that is not the most important thing to measure for a guest-blogging campaign.

So how do you more effectively measure the value of your guest-posting efforts?

1. Value for the Reader

If your guest post has added no value to the readers of the blog, then you just wasted not only your time but also the readers' time.

How do you make your guest post add value to the lives of the readers? If you've not created high-value content that gets the readers wanting more, then your guest post is not adding any value.

Your guest post or article should contain at least some of the following elements:

  • It offers something to take away: Readers will instantly forget they read something if there is nothing to take away from it. Your guest post should not rehash what others have written about and beaten to death. Offer worthwhile information or insights.
  • Offers a solution to a problem: Poor-quality content published as a guest post is a plague the Web still suffers from. Your post should aim to solve a problem for your readers, providing how-to advice and possible solutions. Changes the reader: When people read, they read to learn new things. By gaining new insights, new ways of seeing things, they're experiencing a change. If your guest post changes the reader, then you've not wasted your efforts.
  • Helps the reader make a choice: If your reader has been contemplating buying a used car over a new one, and if after reading your post about which cars to buy, he is still unable to make up his mind, then you've not helped the reader. Your post should help him reach a  conclusion.

If you want to measure the value of your guest post, ask yourself, "Has it improved the lives of the readers?" If your answer is "yes," you can pat yourself on the back.

2. Help for the Site's Author/Owner/Editor

Two prevalent reasons people welcome guest posts: they either don't have the time to blog as frequently as they need to, or they want a different perspective on their blog.

Your guest post should add at least the same amount of value as a blog post written by the blog's author. And your guest post should not cause the author of the blog to spend hours editing and rewriting your piece.

How do you know that your guest post has helped the blog owner and made his or her life of easier or better?

  • Little back-and-forth: If there is little to no back-and-forth from the time you submitted your guest post idea to when your guest post goes live, then you've made the host's life better.
  • Feedback from readers: Feedback from readers will help you determine whether you've made the live of the host better or not. Positive reader comments will encourage the host to invite you for another guest-blogging opportunity.
  • Engagement: How did the readers engage with your content? Did it generate comments? Were there Facebook shares and Twitter tweets?

3. Direct Traffic

High-quality guest posts will result in direct clicks to your website. When readers find your content useful and informative, it's only natural that they click over to your website in search of more high-quality content.

If your bio is written well and you have a lot of resource posts on your website, you'll have tons of content to link to (if the blog owner is OK with that) for drawing readers to your website. And you'll have helped set up a metric for measuring the performance of your guest post.

4. Shares and Repost Requests

You want your guest post to generate shares. Take the time to discover what factors cause readers to share a post, and then make use of it in your blog post. For example, studies show that readers feel compelled to share content that induces happiness.

Make sure you're considering the following factors if you want your post to get a lot of shares:

  • Blog about something that makes readers happy.
  • Write shorter posts.
  • Make reading your post easy.

5. Leads Referred to Your Website

Leads referred to your website are another way to measure the success of a guest post. By demonstrating expertise through your guest post, you will be able to attract leads to your website. They might seek out your services or want more information about your offerings. The idea is to show your expertise.

The following are ways to ensure your guest post will attract leads to your website:

  • Blog about how to do what you do daily: You already know just about everything about this subject. It's what you breathe. For example, I would hope that I get leads that inquire about my guest-blogging services.
  • Blog about what you've learned in the course of your job: Chances are you've made some mistakes in the process of delivering a service to your client. Your experience will shape your perspective on the subject and help demonstrate your broad expertise.

* * *

When measuring the success of your guest post, keep your eye on signals such as social media shares, traffic to your website, leads, email signups, and invitation to write for other blogs.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your guest posts? Let me know in the comments.

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How to Measure the Success of Your Guest Post or Article

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image of Ayodeji Onibalusi

Ayodeji Onibalusi operates Effective Inbound Marketing, where he offers various freelance marketing services, including guest blogging and content marketing.

Twitter: @ayoonis