It appears that what didn’t become part of your decision making to guest blog was the fact that guest blogging became super popular because of its utility as a ranking exploit in Google’s search results and, as with all exploits that become mainstream: 1.Google begins negating its value 2: web marketers don’t often understand the nuances that made the exploit work in the first place and 3: web marketers tend to continue to (mis)use the exploit long after it is no longer effective (and has become potentially harmful).
Today, guest posting is effective on a very “local” level between marketers (webmasters, website/business owners) who have strong business relationships between themselves, develop strong joint marketing campaigns with each other, have a deep understanding of how and why guest posting may help each other, and who don’t abuse the value of it.
Develop content with a complimentary business or even a competitor — I mean, if you’re a new site and way down in the search results, partnering with a competitor who’s way down there with you is an effective strategy. A well thought out content campaign with other sites within your broad niche will double, triple, or more the effectiveness of a mere post to your blog — and can remain well within Google’s best practices.
You know that as a new site, there is a lot to learn and there are a lot of variables to sort through. But there’s one thing that is for certain, if you don’t keep trying, you’re not going to make it.