Guest Posting Guide – Why & How to Do Guest Blogging?
Building an interested audience for your blog isn’t a walk in the park. It is the #1 obstacle for a lot of bloggers out there. But with a good content marketing and social media marketing plan in place, you can reach out to your future audience pretty fast. You have the possibility to build a powerful brand awareness and boost the traffic of your website through various long term strategies. Yet it’s important that you build your momentum as well by using one of the most reliable methods of building traffic: guest posting.
Guest posting has been a tool for bloggers for many years and it is still a powerful way to be appealing for a fresh audience. It also incorporates plenty of other benefits that make it worthwhile to do consistently. Doing it right, definitely requires a bit of research and foresight. You want to know who and how you should reach out to, which is why we have written this post. There is more to guest posting than meets the eye at first. We’ll examine every aspect of guest blogging in detail, to help you get a better understanding and to get your website some much deserved traffic. Without further ado, let’s get down to it!
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Reasons To Do Guest Posting
Investing time and energy into writing a high quality post seems much more reasonable to do on your own website. I mean, why would you give it to someone else for free, let alone pay for having your post on their site? Because of the returns on investment of course, which are the following:
Attract a Fresh Audience
If people can only see your writing on your own blog, the chances are much lower that you’ll attract fresh people to your site. So targeting sites that are an authority in your niche and already have an engaged following is a pretty good idea. If you manage to provide them with a post that they’re willing to share with their audience, it will help in establishing you as an authority in your niche. It will also drive some interested traffic to your site.
Earns You a Backlink
Guest posting is one of the most common backlinking building strategies that people use to boost their website’s SEO performance. This will also raise your site as an authority in your niche. It’s important that you’re mindful of this strategy, because a lot of people abuse it. Once your blog has got some traction, people will reach out to you to provide them with a guest posting opportunity.
Keep in mind that it’s getting harder to make it to the top of Google’s search results. Building a solid link portfolio and establishing yourself as an authority website is what will get you there in the long run.
Generates Additional Traffic
Guest posting is an awesome opportunity to build a steady stream of unique hits to your website. If your post is successful, it won’t just generate traffic on the day it has been uploaded. The link pointing back to your website will drive traffic there for months or maybe even years if your post stays afloat.
How To Start With Guest Blogging?
As I mentioned, having a strategy is important. You don’t just want to jump blindly into guest posting, rather do it with clear goals in mind. Although there are basically three main goals you can set for yourself, which one you choose will influence who you reach out to and what kind of post you create.
Set Clear Goals
Typically, there are three main goals you can pursue with guest blogging. These are:
- Establishing yourself as an authority and being well-known within your niche.
- Boosting your SEO with backlinks from other authority sites.
- Gaining traffic for your site.
Determining which one of these goals you would pursue, is most important when you’re looking for blogs to publish your posts on. Besides creating awesome content, the next best thing you can do is either work to build your authority or SEO. In that case, look for blogs with a strong root domain authority. You can do it with the SEO MOZ Toolbar.
Or you can also just build a steady stream of traffic that will get you more exposure or conversions. In that case you can go out and find blogs that have a big and engaged audiences.
The Kind Of Blogs To Contact
Writing high-quality posts can be a really time-consuming task, so you’ll want to get the most out of them. In order to get the highest results out of your guest blogs, you should pitch the right blogs. Here are a few tips to finding them.
Look Around In Your Niche – Make sure you’re posting to an audience where it makes sense for you to post. It doesn’t have to be within the same niche as your own. If you’re writing mostly about car parts than it only makes sense that you write a guest post to an auto mechanics or auto enthusiast website.
Go For Larger Blogs – If you just started your blog, pitching massive authority sites isn’t a smart move. There’s no reason for them to accept you. You should always have at least 10-30 blog posts before reaching out to larger sites. When you have them, search for blogs that are larger than your own and that are likely to accept your posts. You should always aim for blogs that are higher on the food chain, because in case of smaller blogs, you’ll be helping them, not yourself.
Ignore Your Competitors – This might seem obvious enough, but it’s important to mention. You shouldn’t try to guest post for another blog that you’re competing with. Instead, think about other niches that are related to your blog. Think about what other places your audience might be hanging out and target them.
Always Check If They Accept Guest Posts – Most blogs that are hungry for guest posts, have a guest posts category. They also probably state it on their website if they’re looking for guest bloggers. Only contact the websites that actively state or confirm that they do indeed accept guest posts.
Read Their Comments – A good way to get a feel of whether your content is compatible with the blog you want to reach out to is by checking its comments. You’ll see what kind of audience it has and what kind of people you’ll be writing for.
See How Well Other Guest Posts Perform – Did other guest bloggers write posts that are currently doing well? Some blogs have really good guest posts that succeed among the audience. They get many social shares and comments as well. At other places, the readers are only there to follow the blog owner’s posts. This isn’t a biggie, but it’s definitely worth knowing how open the audience is for guest bloggers.
Find Guest-Blogging Opportunities
First things first, you’ll want to make sure that the blog you’re targeting is relevant within your niche or industry. Otherwise why would you even consider each other? To make sure that you’re targeting the right blog, follow the criteria below:
- The blog has an engaged audience that comments and shares the posts on their social media page.
- The blog’s content is based around your niche and is well-written.
- The blog’s audience is likely to be interested in your posts, based on the posts you’ve already read.
- The blog’s owner or administrator has an active social media following. You’ll to have your post shared with them.
If you’re selling cars tires, you’ll want to write for blogs that have an audience of car owners and enthusiasts.
Here are a few searches you can use to find guest blogging opportunities. All you have to do is replace the keywords with your own:
- Keyword “guest post opportunities”
- Keyword “guest posts wanted”
- Keyword “this is a guest post by”
- Keyword “submit a guest post”
- Keyword “accepting guest posts”
The Kind of Blogs To Guest Post On
There are two main factors you should take into consideration when you’re looking for a blog to post on.
- How they can relate to your niche
- How much traffic they have
You’ll be putting some serious work into writing your guest post and you can only publish it on one site, so you’ll want to make sure that it pays off.
Other Guest Blogging Opportunities
Check Out MyBlogGuest – MyBlogGuest is a guest blogging community where you can find plenty of opportunities. All you have to do is sign up and start searching for blogs that accept guest post. Fill out your personal profile and you’ll also make it easier for other blog owners to find you.
Search On Social Media – There are plenty of groups made for guest bloggers on Facebook and you can easily do a search on Twitter with the keyword „guest post”. You’ll easily find the latest tweets and posts about guest posting and maybe you’ll even find someone searching for guest posts too.
Find Out What Posts Do Best and Pitch With Those – Browse through the blog and see which posts are most successful among the audience. Once you know, see if you can write a similar one and pitch the blog’s owner with the post’s title.
Check Pre-Made Target Lists – You shouldn’t spend too much time with searching for guest blogging opportunities when someone else has done it plenty of times before you. There are numerous lists online that share guest posting opportunities. Take this one for example. If you do a thorough search, you’ll definitely find lists that have guest posting opportunities within your niche.
Pitching Blog Owners
Tailor Each of Your Emails – Don’t just write a template email and send that to the blog owners. Almost every blogger will be able to notice it and will ignore it just as fast. Remember, your email is the first impression you make. Don’t make the impression that you’re just some guy or gal looking for a backlink. Use your personality and unique writing style instead.
Write Them Once, Edit Twice – I always trust my gut feelings when I write, but that doesn’t mean I’m always using good grammar or the exact sentence structure I’m supposed to. I just know what I want to say and how I want to say it, which is why it’s good for me to review each of my emails twice. Seeing a grammar or spelling error within an email is a major turnoff and there’s a 90% chance that it will be deleted by the editor. Even if your content is good and your blog is awesome, you’ll just end up getting ignored if the grammar, spelling and sentence structure of your pitch isn’t perfectly tidy.
Be Yourself – It’s important that you start off with a human to human conversation. Remember that you’re reaching out to a person, even if it’s the owner of a massive blog. You don’t have to be overly friendly or be a really huge fan. Just be respectful and relatable and go onward with the unique value you’re looking to offer. Avoid being too formal or robotic, that just turns people off and makes them think that your writing is boring as hell too.
The Shorter The Better – Less is more when you’re pitching a blog owner or an editor. They are busy people and they want to spend as less time as possible with reading something that they’ll potentially not like. Your pitch should only include the most important things such as:
- An introduction
- An explanation to why your writing might benefit them and their audience
- A few unique topic ideas
- What the readers will learn from the content you write them
Show Off Posts You’ve Written – Blog owners will want to know what they’re getting into and what kind of content you’ll be providing for them. They won’t let you guest post if they don’t have any reassurance that your post will be high-quality. Just include a few samples in your pitch. It will show that you have experience and that you have a solid background in content creation.
Tell Them If You Have a Unique Post Idea – A line like „hey can I post to your website” won’t land you the opportunity. You shouldn’t pitch to a blog owner without including some unique ideas first. This is where your previous research comes into play. You’ll want to see what kind of style they write in and what audience they have. If they post listicles most of the time, then try to write a list yourself. If they write stories, than come up with your own story. Just think about what kind of unique value you can offer for the site.
Prove Your Value – A good guest blogger keeps the target audience first. They tell the blog owner what they can bring to the table and how their content will benefit the audience. It is extremely important to include what kind of value you will provide at the start of the pitch. You have to prove that you can help the perspective blog owner with something and definitely don’t include how they can help you.
Research The Blog You’re Pitching – Most blog owners don’t want hundreds and thousands of writers pitching them on the daily, which is why they might hide their guest post section and guidelines. You should look through each blog you want to pitch and find their guidelines by yourself. But if you’re really good at writing, you don’t need a guideline to know what is necessary to the blog you’re pitching. You should be able to get the feel of what kind of articles work for them.
Respect the Editors Time – Just about any blog that’s worth pitching, has a busy editorial calendar. It takes plenty of time for the editors to write, review and edit the posts they are looking to publish, so it might take time for them to get to your email. Which is why you shouldn’t expect that they have already read and decided whether your article is right for them after the day it’s finished. You should wait for at least a week before following up with another email.
Accepting Other’s Guest Posts
If you go further down the line and build a somewhat successful blog that has a consistent following, you’ll be pitched by other bloggers as well. When that happens, it’s important that you have some strict standards in place and that you ensure that their content will satisfy your audience. These tips might seem similar to the ones I wrote above, only from a blog owner perspective, but they can still improve your framework on guest posting.
Also, the fact that Google doesn’t like guest posts very much is also a factor to take into consideration. A lot of guest posts are spammy and done only as a backlinking strategy. They contain low quality content and plenty of spammy links, which isn’t there with the readers in mind.
A Track Record Of High-Quality Content – You’ll need to affirm that the writer who’s pitching you has great content. If they have a track record of writing awesome guest posts, then you have a major reason to have him/her write a post for you. If not, then you should check out their blog. Because often enough, they don’t even have a track record of writing high-quality content for their own blogs either.
To make it short, here are two major factors you’ll want to consider:
- Spam – Do a Google search for their name and ensure that they don’t write any spammy content on their own blog or anywhere on the web.
- Content Quality and Depth – The more work that goes into a post the better. If the writer has really good writing and takes the time to write long and detailed posts on a certain subject, than you have all the more reasons to accept their guest post. You can’t really put too much valuable advice into a 500 word blog posts, so just skip writers if their content doesn’t suit you. A lot of people just reach out to you for a link, but you shouldn’t accept them if they don’t provide you with a high value.
The Content Must Be Unique – The more attention the writer gives to detail, the more reason there is to accept their post. You’ll always want to have a unique take on the subject you’ve built your blog around, so let yourself be picky. A writer’s content should be at least 1000 words long, written in a unique style and packed with plenty of valuable information. If they want to talk about something you’ve only talked about, that only proves that they didn’t research your site and that they’ll keep on jabbering about the same thing over and over again.
Allow Yourself To Be Picky – The post you accept should be at least a bit better than you have expected. It needs to be great! You have to have some firm standards in place about what kind of posts you accept for your site. Here are a few:
- The post has to be believable, because if it isn’t the readers won’t care about it. Even if it’s well written, you should never accept a post that doesn’t seem completely valid and believable.
- The post should fit within your blog’s overall theme and should be compatible with your writing as well. Not to mention that the topics should also be just right for your blog.
- Their spelling and grammar should be nothing short of perfect. If you see any errors, than you have yourself a surefire way to know that you don’t have to spend any more time talking to the author.
Don’t Give Them Accounts To Your Site – Even though you can create a fresh account that you have control over within seconds it isn’t a smart thing to do. You don’t want a stranger to just log into your site and post from it. They might meddle with your old blog posts, add shady links or do other harmful things. They should just send you the post they’ve written in a Word file and that’s it. Don’t give them more control than you have to.
But if you really want to give accounts to your guest bloggers, make sure you limit their control as much as possible. They should only have the ability to save their content as a draft and you should be the one to decide when their post gets published.
Make Sure You Own The Content You Get – Even though you received the content piece, there is a chance that the writer will reuse it on their own site. You can let the writer include a link to their blog or their social media page, that’s all fine. But if they end up flipping the article, that might be an issue. Google doesn’t like duplicates and neither do readers.
Also, if someone else does want to republish the article, then they can just ask you instead of having to reach out to the actual author.
Guest Bloggers Have To Follow Up With Comments and Replies – A guest blogger’s job isn’t done when they wrote their post for you. Once it got popular among your readers, they’ll ask questions in the comment section and will try to engage the author on social media. Once that happens, they’ll have to support your community and further contribute with comments.
There’s a lot to take in when it comes to guest posting, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Just be sure to remain consistent, know your niche well and write as high-quality posts as you possibly can. Take your time to focus on quality and you’ll attract more and more guest blogging opportunities each time.
I hope you enjoyed reading through this article and that you learnt something new and useful today! Hope to see you in the next one!