How To Guest Blog For Results with Ramsay Taplin
By John Shea
In this interview I reached out to Ramsay Taplin of BlogTyrant.com
Ramsay initially started out online in High School at the age of 17. He created his first fitness blog and even sold a fitness ebook to a guy in Holland for $65. After that first sale online and the realization that he could actually make money online. Ramsay became more serious and started another fitness blog in University that sold 8 months later for $20,000.
With another win, he thought more about the possibility of building 4-5 of these blogs a year with the hope of being able to sell the blogs for a profit. To do this he would blog with the idea to use an unknown persona that would allow him to write content, get guests to write and also be able to sell the site to another person.
This idea followed onto Blog Tyrant which originally was supposed to be a blogging marketplace where you could buy and sell articles, links, blogs and just be a complete package for bloggers online. To begin with though, Ramsay wanted to populate the site with content first to get a good ranking in google.
Through the great article ‘How I Sold a Blog for $20,000 in 8 Months’ though, those plans quickly changed. As this blog post was featured on the front page of popular sites Digg and Delicous. Those features brought a huge amount of traffic in the first week and changed those initial plans quite quickly as he fell in love with the readers and soon to be Blog Tyrant community.
Even though Ramsay was posting anonymously as the Blog Tyrant. He landed a feature in a book of famous internet marketers and also got plenty of guests posts during that time, notably on Copyblogger, ProBlogger and Smart Passive Income. He was able to gradually build an email subscriber list of over 10,000 in just under 2 years!
Eventually an opportunity arose to post on ViperChill through an email from Glen Allsop. Glen didn’t want anonymous posts from the Blog Tyrant though. So the idea to do a big reveal similar to female Copyblogger contributor James Chartrand came up. The reveal post, ‘Unmasking the Biggest Tyrant in Blogging’ was a major hit that received over 400 comments and led to the next phase of Blog Tyrant.
Now that you can see the huge success that Ramsay has had, I hope you will be able to trust his advice and see the opportunities available to you with blogging on your own site and as a guest.
You can check out the interview here or jump to the next page for the write up:
For more interviews like this visit Voices Of Marketing.
How To Guest Blog The Right Way With Ramsay Taplin
Why Guest Post?
In this interview I focused on how to guest post with Ramsay and how he was able to build a large following of over 10,000 email subscribers, build connections with top authorities online and grow Blog Tyrant into a profitable business.
All those successes are great right. But what about you…
Why should you guest blog and why is it important?
- Build consistent long term traffic to your website
- Generate more leads for your product or services
- Connect with authorities in your niche
- Generate more sales for your products or affiliate offers
- To rank your content on Google for specific keywords or phrases
Blogging Isn’t All Easy
First off. Let’s make it clear that Ramsay has worked damn hard. So before we jump into the core of the content it’s good to know our mentor here is not bulletproof and still learning himself. Ramsay explained that blogging is a constant struggle of never ending hurdles. Especially when first starting out.
For Ramsay, once he realized that he was going to dedicate himself to earning money from online. That’s when he started to focus. The guest post rejections, website crashes and emotional trauma of entrepreneurship are just bonuses that Ramsay is learning to deal with.
In the beginning he woke up at 5:30am to clean a gym for 4 hours. This allowed him to pay rent and put food on the table. But more significantly, it allowed him the opportunity to come home and work on blogging for the rest of the day. His long term goal of working from home was the major driver.
So make sure you know what you want for your long term goals and understand what you need to do to find your balance that will let you focus on what’s important to achieve your goals.
Start With The End Result In Mind
When initially starting out with your guest blog posts Ramsay suggests you to start with the end result in mind, take time to understand what it is you want to accomplish when you decide to write a guest blog post.
What outcome do you want?
- Do you want long term ranking on Google for a particular set of keywords?
- Do you want to drive traffic to a particular page on your blog that is selling an affiliate product or your products/services?
- Do you want to promote your mailing list and capture more subscribers?
Example — Grow Mailing List
For Ramsay, he does exactly that. He starts with his site Blog Tyrant in mind and works backwards from there.
For growing Ramsay’s email list, he gives this example, an ebook on ‘How to Increase Email Subscribers by 120% Overnight.’ So for this we look at his offer and see he wants to look for traffic that is interested in growing their mailing list. So he would look for sites that have a large relevant traffic base of people with the interest in the niche narrow topic of growing a mailing list and write something like this.
The ultimate epic posts get traffic long after they have been written. Ramsay gives the example of Steve Kamb’s ‘The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet’ from 2010 that still generates traffic for Nerd Fitness. While this might not be an obvious place to guest post. If Ramsay were to guest post here and put up a related paleo topic, there is the opportunity for his article to be available at the end of the post as a related post. If there is enough traffic, this is an opportunity to generate traffic to his guest post and then back to his offer.
If you are familiar with ProBlogger you will see the ‘Related Posts’ at the end of each article. Definitely a reason why Ramsay’s advice to go after lots of relevant traffic stays true.
Another simple example from our conversation is to do with promoting our made up ‘Ultimate Guide to USB Microphones’ on our site which has affiliate links for readers to click if they are interested in purchasing a USB microphone. For this example it is quite similar and really just looks for sites that rank well in google that will generate relevant traffic. Guest posts on these sites that send traffic to our ‘Ultimate Guide to USB Microphones’ being the goal.
How To Find Places To Guest Post
So remember to keep the end goal in mind. Figure out where you want the readers to go at the end of the guest post. Then it is as simple as using google search to look for blogs/websites that have:
- Traffic that will relate to your offer,
- An active group of readers, and/or
- Rank for a particular set of keywords that you would like to rank for yourself.
Simple right? Well… Then there’s the advice that follows “Build relationships with those bloggers if you haven’t already.”
The Importance of Building Connections With Blog Owners
A lot of people don’t realize that when they guest blog they are not only attracting a new audience but they are also creating an opportunity to build a relationship with the owner of the blog. Ramsay discusses how he has been able to build invaluable friendships with people like Darren Rowse, Pat Flynn, Glen Allsop and Steve Kamb.
A quote from Ramsay about relationships for guest blogging:
“Bloggers often only think about short term things like traffic and subscribers. When they guest post they just want to see the initial results and don’t think about the end-game. It’s a huge mistake.
A guest post is an opportunity to connect with a blog owner as much as it is an opportunity to connect with a blog reader. And while a blog reader can become a loyal subscriber and a brand advocate, a blog owner can become a friend and a partner that will teach and mentor you, help your blog reach new heights and partner with you on projects and products.”
He talks about how it’s easy to bounce an email off one of these guys or send them a message on Skype asking for help with something, this is really quite powerful as these guys not only have an incredible wealth of knowledge but they also have a huge following.
Here is a screenshot where Darren Rowse of Problogger is thanking Ramsay for contributing to the blog:
These amazing people have huge influence that allow you to get noticed, not to mention they have been there and done that. No one else is going to have such great wisdom that you can learn from than someone that has already conquered the challenge. The relationships are invaluable and can become an amazing support network. Otherwise without those relationships you can become quite isolated.
Expanding Your Opportunities
Ramsay also says guest blogging has opened up multiple opportunities for him to meet other successful bloggers and online entrepreneurs. He talks in our interview about how he originally published a guest blog on Pat’s blog SmartPassiveIncome.com that led to Glen from Viperchill.com to discover Ramsay’s content.
Danny Iny from Firepolemarketing.com reached out to multiple entrepreneurs including Ramsay when he was launching his book Engagement From Scratch asking if they wanted to be apart of the book, this opened more doors for Ramsay to reach an even bigger audience and connect with other people featured in the book. This was all possible due to the amount of work he put into guest blogging and building relationships.
Think outside the box to provide ways to help others out before asking for favors in return.
Michael knew Pat was a busy person who received hundreds of emails a day, so he simply sent Pat an email with very direct questions that would only require a very specific answer while keeping his email short and to the point. Once Pat answered the questions Michael sent him a $20 iTunes gift card, as you can imagine this really allowed Mike to stand out from other people who ask Pat for help.
Getting Noticed By Authorities In Your Niche
In my case, I happen to host an interview show and podcast to get noticed by authority entrepreneurs.
John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire is someone I look up to and have been learning from through my own journey with hosting my own interview show.
John recently launched a private membership called Podcasters Paradise where he shows fellow Podcasters how to build their brands with a Podcast. I decided to join because I thought it would be a great community to be apart of.
Since I had some knowledge of using Google Hangouts for conducting interviews I decided to ask John if he would find a tutorial useful for his members. I created a couple tutorials for John which he posted shortly after into his members area.
I then proposed a guest post idea for the Entrepreneur on Fire blog and before I knew it, my post was published — ‘15 Email Newsletters From Top Entrepreneurs You Can’t Miss.’ Because I took the time to create something helpful for John I knew I’d have a much higher chance of proposing my guest blog post to him.
A great quote from Ramsay during our conversation was…
“A big goal for every guest blogging strategy should be to develop a lasting friendship with the owners of those blogs. You need to stand out and be distinctive.”
The Harsh Realities Of Guest Posting
Ramsay recently published a very informative article titled ‘How To Get A Guest Post: The Harsh Realities No One Talks About.’
He discusses the importance of having a reputation and building trust with other blog owners, this is very important to think about.
Put yourself in the shoes of the blog owner publishing a guest blog post. If a total stranger approached you with a guest blog pitch, you would need to consider your audience and if the content being published is a good fit.
Posting another person’s content will impact your reputation with your audience. You don’t want to jeopardize your own reputation by just publishing any content that doesn’t add value to your audience.
How do you build this trust?
Create high quality content on your own blog or through guest posts while mentioning authority figures in your niche. Add links back to their blogs and send them traffic. You can also send them a simple email letting them know you mentioned them in a post.
To learn some advanced tactics on how to do this properly you can follow David Siteman Garlands Shout Out Strategy.
How To Approach Blog Owners To Guest Post
Guest Posting Advice From Neil Patel
I am going to sum up some of the content shared there but I highly encourage reading through his post as well as it covers this topic in-depth.
Prior to approaching someone, take time to research their articles, comments and writing style. Once you have an understanding of what the blog owner publishes and what their readers enjoy you can then take time to think about what it is you plan to write about.
Send off your email pitch, here is an example of what Neil uses:
Following Up After Your Pitch
You should then follow up with another simple email or you can even message them on Twitter.
Here is an example that occurred with proposing this interview.
In order to get this interview with Ramsay, I initially emailed him and got absolutely no response. I then waited a week and asked if he received my email by sending a very simple message on Twitter.
He replied to my email which was back on July 30th stating he would be traveling overseas until November 7th. I told him no problem, then followed up again in the middle of October to confirm and set up a specific date and time for when he was back to do the interview.
I’ve found consistency is key with communication for showing people you are really willing to do what it takes for an outcome, in my case I knew Ramsay was someone I wanted to eventually have on my show and also build a relationship with so I kept in touch while patiently waiting 4 months for an opportunity to discuss his success.
Ready to go deeper into this topic? Download the Blueprint Entrepreneur app to get the full issue. In this issue Ramsay shares all his expertise, so you’ll:
- Get sales and build your list
- Connect with industry leaders
- Find the best places to post
- Engage thousands of people
- Get people to take the action you want
- See an uncommon booster to get your content noticed quickly
- Understand why you don’t need to rely on SEO
- Get feedback on your content
John Shea is a writer for Blueprint Entrepreneur, an Apple Newsstand magazine for smart entrepreneurs that want actionable content to start and grow their business. For more great content like this, you can download the app here and follow John at @aehs01.