Why your guest posts aren’t growing your email list

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find guest blog opportunities

Here is what happens to most people when they try to find guest blog opportunities.

They Google for blogs around their topic. After hours of hard digging, they only find a few that seem to accept guest posts.

But they pitch these blogs anyway. Only to not get much of a response.

Then finally after months of trying, they manage to get one or two guest posts out there.

One guest post even gets lots of likes and shares. But it does absolutely nothing to grow their email list.

At this point, three to four months have passed and they are frustrated they don’t have more to show for all their effort.

What happened?

They pitched the wrong blogs.

But what are the right blogs? Well to answer that we will need to talk about the two types of blogs for guest posting.

Want to find guest blog opportunities? Know thy blog types 

There are two types of blogs the credibility building blog and the list building blog.

Here is a quick summary of the differences:

When it comes to:

Credibility Blogs

List Building Blogs


Mass Market


Audience Reading Purpose

People looking for quick answers or entertainment (less likely to join your email list)

Passionate fans often looking for in-depth practical advice aka likely to join your email list

Credibility Markers

Other guest posts at comparable blogs + quantifiable results (revenues, list size, well-known clients)

Other guest posts and results matter but so does unique value that would help their audience

# of Decision Makers

Many (large editorial team) aka slow acceptance

Few or one aka fast acceptance


Huffington Post, Business Insider, Mind Body Green

Using online business example:

NavidMoazzez.com, Marie Forleo’s blog, Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers

Most people try to guest post at both at the same time. And as a result never really succeed with either of them.

What you should do instead is pick a single goal at a time–either credibility or list building. Then move on to the other goal after several wins.

Otherwise, you end up wasting a lot of time and effort on guest blog opportunities that won’t give you the results you want.

So what goal are you finding guest blog opportunities for?

Are you trying to build credibility with an existing audience?

Then you should find guest blog opportunties at credibility blogs while keeping in mind that acceptances will be slower and take more work.

Or are you trying to build an email list of your audience?

Then you shouldfind guest blog opportunties with list building blogs which will give you faster acceptances and the subscribers you are looking for.

If you are just starting off with guest posting my recommendation is to: focus on list building first.

Here is why.

Why should you find guest blog opportunities for list building first?

It’s easier

Credibility-building blogs need a lot more social proof before they will let you guest post. Something that is harder to come by if you are just starting off your guest posting journey. Once you have several strong list building guest posts published first, it is easier to show social proof.

It’s faster

List building blogs tend to have fewer decision makers. This means you get accepted and published a lot faster.

The pay off is better

Audiences on list building blogs are looking for in-depth practical solutions tailor-made for them. And since that is exactly what your guest post is, you will get more people joining your list from a list building blog.

Wrap Up & Next Steps

Still unsure about whether you should guest post for list building or credibility? Drop a comment below and I will help you figure it out.

  • About the author
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Guest posting since 2009, Sana’s posts have been seen on places like Adweek, VentureBeat, byRegina.com and many others. She is on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you grow their brands, credibility, and email lists by getting their guest posts published.  When she isn't writing posts like this one you will find her meditating somewhere beautiful or pondering the meaning of life over a cup of tea.

P.S. Learn how to get 80% of your guest posts accepted with this free roadmap

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