What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting, also known as guest blogging, is the act of writing content for another website(s) or blog(s). Guest bloggers write guest posts for websites or blogs that are within their niche industry.
Guest blogging offers plenty of benefits to websites that practice it. It brings relevant referral traffic to your website from the site where your guest post is published. As more people read your content and visit your website, your brand awareness increases along with your credibility.
When you add contextual links from your website to your guest post, it adds value to your site and boosts the domain authority. With time, search engines notice that your site has received/is receiving plenty of quality backlinks from high-authority niche websites, which further help your website rank higher on search engines.
Before we discuss the do’s and don’ts of guest posting, let’s explore the endless benefits that guest posting activities can bring to your site.
There is a common misconception that guest posting is a mere link-building tactic that’s fast getting outdated. Even though it’s a link-building strategy, guest post offers a lot more, and let me clarify it to you, it’s not going to kick the bucket anytime soon.
Even though guest posting helps in securing backlinks from relevant websites, it can also get you brand recognition, referral traffic, and authority on the web.
Link building is essential because Google considers it as one of the crucial factors to rank your website on the SERP.
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities?
If you are about to start with guest blogging, you need to spend the initial days creating a repository of niche-specific blogs that accepts guest posts.
One of the biggest challenges that you can face while looking for guest blogging opportunities is getting your guest post accepted.
There are several ways through which you can find guest blogging opportunities. We’ll discuss some of the most effective ones below:
Searching for “your niche+blogs” on Google search is one of the simplest ways to find guest post opportunities. Once you find a list of blogs that accept guest posts, check their websites to see if they accept content similar to what you want to write.
Find the domain authority and domain rating of these blogs to determine where posting on these sites will add value to your own website. Shortlist the blogs that will satisfy these criteria and contact them to pitch your guest post ideas.
Master the Advanced Search Operators
There is a long list of Google advanced search operators that you can utilize to find guest blogging opportunities. Most of these search commands are a combination of words or phrases that are related to guest blogging opportunities. Check this list of commands below:
“[your keyword]” +”write for us”
“[your keyword]” +”write for me”
“[your keyword]” +”become a contributor”
“[your keyword]” + “guest post”
“[your keyword]” +”blogging guidelines”
keyword + “guest post guidelines”
“[your keyword]” +”contribute”
“[your keyword]” + “guest column”
“[your keyword]” +”submit a guest post”
“[your keyword]” + “accepting guest posts”
“[your keyword]” + “Now Accepting Guest Posts”
“[your keyword]” +”contribute to this site”
Guest Posting Communities
There are many online communities created to help guest writers connect with niche bloggers. While you may not be able to connect with the biggest blogs in your niche on these platforms, they can be a great place to start your guest blogging journey.
Blogger directories are another useful source for guest bloggers to find the best and most relevant blogs in their niches. These directories also mention the total traffic received by their list of blogs each month, which makes your task of shortlisting even easier.
Interact With Blog Commenters
Once your blog is published on a site, you’ll receive a lot of comments from the blog readers. This is a great opportunity to network with the followers of the blog you’ve posted on and at the same time, build your authority in front of them. This helps in opening more avenues to earn backlinks in the future.
Social Networking For Guest Posting Opportunities
Take advantage of social networking to find guest post opportunities. Be it Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter, keep seeking guest posting opportunities. You can join various groups on these social networking sites to get in touch with relevant bloggers or webmasters willing to accept guest posts.
Nudge Your Personal Connections
This is perhaps the simplest way to find guest posting opportunities for yourself. Most people have connections with a handful of bloggers in their niche. This can be their starting point to seek out proper opportunities for guest blogging.
Get in touch with your blogger friends and share your requirement who can, in turn, connect you with relevant bloggers and get you going with your link-building strategy through guest posting.
Analyze Competitor Backlinks
Just like you, your competitors will also find guest blogging opportunities to build their backlink profile. You can analyze their backlinks to determine where they are getting the backlinks from. Tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush are very useful in extracting backlink profiles.
This will help you find sites that have recently given backlinks to your competitors. If they have accepted guest posts from your competitors, chances are, they’ll also accept your guest post proposal.
Why Do Guest Posts Get Rejected in General?
Usually, outreach specialists target websites that have very high authority. There are many ways you can analyze the authority of a website.
Some use DA as the metric to understand the authority of the website while others might use DR. Ultimately, there is a lot of effort put in by these websites to gain authority.
These websites have shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get into Google’s good books. In addition to this, there are fan-followers of these sites who look forward to reading content that has set a certain quality benchmark.
So, why would such a website accept a guest post from someone who is a total stranger?
A majority of the guest post opportunities are denied because of the fear of losing the hard-earned credibility, both with Search Engines like Google and the target audience.
Is Money the Only Reason?
No. Money is indeed a big factor. But things are a little different if you’re reaching out to genuine websites that are there to serve the audience.
These websites, though they might ask for money initially, may accept a free guest post if you can prove the worth of the content that you’re going to offer.
These are the sites that want to add a lot of value to the content they provide to the target audience. At Stan Ventures, we are well-versed in making such website owners understand the worthiness of the content that we provide. It isn’t rocket science- all you need is the credibility and authority that these site owners are looking for.
For example, we would never reject a guest post by Marie Haynes or Barry Schwartz in Stan Ventures. We know they are experts in SEO and we have no reasons to turn down the offer.
What About the Credibility of the Author?
Definitely! The credibility of the author is something that all website owners look for before accepting a guest post.
With Google now using E.A.T (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness) as one of the major ranking factors, websites are looking more for content written by experts and not somebody who is doing it just for the sake of links.
How can someone become an expert or have a profile that can excite the website owners?
Ideally, the outreach specialist must be someone who is knowledgeable in the niche that she/he is doing outreach services.
Is There Some Kind of Magic Dust?
SEO is no magic. It’s a pure strategy. We have over ten years of experience doing blogger outreach and have live connections with over 70,000 bloggers.
Each one of them was manually contacted, and the relationship has been built with a win-win perspective.
The interesting part is most of them keep asking for blogs as our content drives a lot of organic traffic to these sites.
The first time we contact a blogger, we ensure that the language used while pitching for an article is not salesy.
To be frank, it spoils the broth. We identify the websites and do in-depth research on their existing content and target audience.
Once we understand this, our outreach specialist drafts a series of emails, which usually talks more about how our content can add more value to their business.
Generally, the dofollow link just comes as the by-product of building a relationship, and we usually don’t have to ask for it as it’s naturally placed within the content we provide.
Do Site Owners Accept Your Guest Post as Soon as They Read the Pitch?
Ideally, this is what all the outreach specialists want to happen, but in reality, the final YES comes only after following up with the website owner at least twice. This is why you shouldn’t lose hope if you get an initial negative response.
This also doesn’t mean that you pester these site owners with emails. You need to sense the opportunity lying behind each reply that you receive and carefully craft the follow-up emails. Yes, this requires some creativity.
Google has laid out specific guidelines regarding the quality of guest posting and backlinking activities, according to which, it will penalize any site that executes low-quality guest posting or link building activities.
Therefore you must carry out guest posting activities with proper precaution and care. Of course, there are guest posting guidelines to help you with it, which we will discuss below
Here’s a 7 step guide for you to secure links, traffic, and authority from high authority niche-specific websites.
Step 1: Determine Your Guest Posting Goals
Before you learn the guidelines for guest blogging, you need to determine why you want to do guest blogging in the first place. Generally, website owners carry out guest post activities to position themselves as an authority site in their niche or to build quality backlinks to generate leads.
If you are trying to accomplish any one of the above goals or trying to meet all the targets, you first need to find high-quality blogs that have a vast audience base and are open to accepting guest posts. If you are more focused on building backlinks, you can check the Domain Authority of a given website using Small SEO Tools or Website SEO Checker. Doing this will help you to shortlist blogs where you can carry out your guest posting activities.
Step 2: Finding Guest Blogging Opportunity
The first thing that you need to do is to find sites in your niche with good domain authority. You also need to explore these sites and find out how is the user engagement and what is the frequency of guest blog posting. Do the audience comment on the posts published? Are the guest posts shared widely on social media?
Relevance is significant while looking for guest posting opportunities. If you are from the automobile industry, you cannot strike a chord with a website that deals with gardening, even if it has a high user engagement and commendable DA. So, here’s how you can begin looking for guest posting opportunities in your niche from scratch.
What could be a better way to find guest posting opportunities then to utilize Google search to look for keywords like “guest post,” “submit a guest post,” “guest posting sites,” “guest posting guidelines,” etc.
There is another technique known as Google Reverse Image Search, where you copy the link of the image of a famous author in your niche (from the author bio) and paste it in Google image search option. The result will give you a list of all the websites where the author has done guest posting.
Connections With Other Guest Bloggers
Are you familiar with any guest blogger in your industry? If you read your niche blogs often, you might know the ones who blog frequently. If you do a quick google search by “Guest post by (insert the blogger’s name),” you’ll discover the sites where these top bloggers have posted their content, and you can contact those sites for guest post submission.
Competitor Backlinks Tracking
If you have ever executed a backlink analysis of a competitor, chances are you’ve found backlinks that your competitor has got from a guest post. Tools like Open Site Explorer also helps you to look at the backlinks of your competitors to spot any sites they have written guest posts for.
Another effective way to find out guest blogging opportunities on different websites is through social media. You can post your requirements on social media and any site that accepts guest posts may contact you if they come across, or you can do an online search to find out if there are any guest post requirements available.
Alternatively, you can also read articles that lists top sites to guest post for various niches. You can then contact them individually and see who is ready to accept and who isn’t
You can find useful communities of guest bloggers online like My Blog Guest, where you can sign up for free and look for blogs accepting guest posts. You can also choose to post about your interest in guest blogging, and relevant website owners/bloggers will find you and contact you.
Step 3: Getting Ready with Guest Post Pitch
Now that you have the idea about how to find guest blogging opportunities, next comes the task to pitch your proposal in the right way. If you are a known face in the guest blogging community, it gets easier for you to get your requests approved as most of the other blog owners in your niche will be already familiar with you.
However, if you are relatively new to guest blogging, you need to study the site thoroughly before writing a guest post to understand what type of content gets good views, shares, and comments on the site. Based on that, you have to decide the topic you want to write about and of course, the format of the content.
The toughest part of any guest blogging activity is the pitching. Every day hundreds of authors approach websites with requests to guest post on their site. If you stick to generic pitches, your email is going to end up in the spam folder or worse; it will never be opened!
To avoid that, you need to write a killer pitch. Some elements that you can add to catch the site owner’s attention instantly are:
- Talk about something specific about the website you want to guest post
- Make your pitch compact and to the point
- Mention your experience and published works
- Try to soft sell
- Give them a list of 3-5 guest post topics to choose from
Step 4: Creating the Guest Post
Once the site owner responds and finalizes on a topic, you can go ahead and start writing your post. Most site owners will reply with guest posting guidelines that you need to follow on their site. This may contain information like the word count of the guest post, what types of links to add, etc.
Incorporate the guidelines within your guest blog and make sure your post has similar elements like that of most guest posts on the site. Guest posts should be non-promotional and must be intended to offer information above all. Add keywords within your guest post smartly and remember to add links within the content. If you quote someone or recommend any product or services, add a link to them as well. End your guest post with a favorable call to action that will prompt users who read it.
Step 5: Acing the Author Bio
Once you are done writing the guest post, you also need to write the Author Bio. This is the only place where you are free to self-promote (subtly) and gives links to your website/published works/ book, etc. It is better to add a maximum of two links in your author bio and to figure out which links would work better, here are some considerations you need to make.
If your focus is to get a link back, remember to add a link to your website in the author bio. If you want to promote a product or service, you can link a particular landing page in the author’s bio section. If you’re going to increase your social media followers, remember to provide links to your social media channels at the end of the bio.
Step 6: Follow Up
Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your guest posting efforts. Once your post gets published on a given website, don’t assume that is work is done. It is only half done. Once the post is live, you have to keep a tab of the comments flowing in and reply to each of them individually. Try to reply to almost all the comments, if not, do reply to the comments you get within 1-2 days of publishing the post.
You should also promote your guest post on social media and encourage people to give it a read. Another unusual practice to follow is to send a thank-you note to the site owner as soon as your post is published. This will make the relationship stronger and help you to get approved the next time you plan to guest post on their site.
Step 7: Track the Performance
Finally, you need to track the performance of your guest post. The best way to do so is through Google Analytics, where you can measure the referral traffic to your site and other essential performance metrics. If you want to have a general overlook of your guest blogging strategy so far, you can also compare all the referrals from the guest posts you have written till now to see how successful you’ve been so far.
Step 8: Bonus Tips for Pro Guest Blogging
You may argue saying guest posting is all about building backlinks and getting traffic to your website, but have you ever considered giving value to building your email list? To create your email list through guest posting, you need to try the Expanded Guest Post, which is a three-step process to follow.
You first need to create a bonus resource, like a video or an ebook, and it should be on the same topic as the guest post you’ve written for someone. Next, create a page for people to read your guest post specifically. This is the page that will give access to the bonus resource in exchange for email IDs. Finally, pitch your bonus at the end of your blog post to prompt readers to visit your page and share their email to access it.
Mistakes People Make When Guest Posting
1. Setting unrealistic / no goals
Before you even go ahead with your campaign, you want to have a blueprint in place. Having unrealistic goals, or no goals whatsoever can cost you time and effort.
You can’t compromise on your goals if you need to build user traffic. Say, if you’re rooting for a specific keyword, your content needs to justify that by creating a write-up that revolves around it.
Start by having your content published on blogs that rank for keywords in a particular niche, and which have a high metric score, like Trust Flow, Domain Authority, Page Rank.
That being said, if you’re looking for richer outreach and increased user traffic, you want to put your money on blogs that already have a huge fan following.
2. Don’t try breaking barriers with the blog’s guidelines
You don’t want to mess things up by overlooking the crucial guidelines of a blog you’re targeting. Ignore this, and you’re already on your way out.
The guidelines will help you come up with an ideal post for that blog. Information such as what to do and what to leave out from your post will help you deliver content that’s perfectly aligned to the blog’s metrics.
Most blogs will only publish your contributions if they are flawless and true to the guidelines. You want to make sure that you have lapped up their do’s and don’ts thoroughly before sending it across.
However, if the blog doesn’t have a set guideline in place, make sure you read through the existing posts to get a feel of what they are looking for regarding writing style, linking policies, and of the sorts.
3. Not knowing your audience
It’s customary that before you get down to writing, you understand who you’re writing for, and who’s your audience?
Unless you understand your audience and their preferences, guest posting won’t be doing justice. It’s the very same theory that holds well in the blogging community.
When you’re posting on someone else’s blog, your audience might differ, and so will their preferences.
This is challenging, but not impossible. All you got to do is align your posts to the blogger’s audience and not your current audience so that they can relate to it.
Say, you provide B2B services, but now you want to take the plunge by taking it to consumers as well. To make this work, you’ll need to tweak your approach and make sure you write with the new audience in mind, which are consumers, and not businesses.
4. Don’t recycle your content
If you think since it is not your blog, you can go easy with the quality of the content you submit, think again!
Quality cannot be compromised on any account; the texture, tonality, and presentation of your content need to be sublime and top-notch.
Guest posting is a way of driving traffic to your website or blog and see them converted. That’s not going to be possible without excellent content that your audience will find useful.
Unless there is something on your post that’s helpful and informative, people wouldn’t be interested in exploring your handy work.
5. Not giving enough time and ample prospects
Guest posting doesn’t happen overnight! It demands time, in fact, a whole load of time that could stretch over days or weeks.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t get a response at the get-go; publishing a post takes time. Give adequate time, and while you’re waiting for an answer, make sure you’re also keeping busy outreaching to other blogs.
It takes about four to six weeks to get a blog published. Don’t lose hope; keep writing, and make new connections with other bloggers while you’re at it.
6. Follow up with e-mails
Your task does not end with sending across your blog post; you need to follow up with e-mails if you don’t hear from the blogger.
Remember, they are dealing with hundreds and thousands of guest posts, and it’s possible that yours got overlooked.
There’s no harm and checking on the status after about two weeks or so; be sure not to spam the blogger.
7. Not responding to comments
So you think it’s done and dusted after you have submitted a fantastic post? Absolutely not! The real deal demands that you stick around to respond to comments and participate in discussions.
You can’t disappear into thin air when somebody has taken the trouble to leave you a comment. Furthermore, here’s the chance for you to get up, close, and personal with your audience.
It’s a fantastic way of building a relationship and establishing trust. Also, remember to reply to the follow-up comments, they are equally vital for developing a good rapport with the audience as well.
8. Being laid back with maintaining records
Ensure you keep a detailed record of your blog posts; blog title, date of submission, URL, contact details, Page Rank, Domain Authority, and much more, and yes, also the date it was published.
It’s a great way to understand what works and what doesn’t, and you want to work around it. You need to iron out and perfect your posts in such a way that they generate the maximum user traffic.
How to Submit a Great Guest Post?
You may be a seasoned writer, but writing guest posts that wins the attention of the audience and encourage them to learn more about your business needs more than your writing skills.
Once you get in touch with a niche blogger and convince them to get your guest post published on their site, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before proceeding with the content writing process.
Consider Why Editors/Bloggers Want Your Content
Building backlinks and growing authority through content might be your goal for guest posting but what benefits will you be providing to the concerned blogger or editor of the blog?
The common demand of most bloggers or editors is to frequently churn out fresh and relevant content for their audience. Getting fresh content ideas is what most bloggers look forward to when they read an email pitch.
Therefore, you have to ensure that you research well to understand the type of content that is already present on the website. You have to avoid suggesting something that closely resembles a topic that has already been covered.
You should rather try finding new topic ideas that are yet to be covered on their blog. You also need to check the search volume for the keywords related to the topic and analyze the popularity of the topic on Google Trends to understand whether the audience would really be interested in that topic.
Find the right content format
In addition to written posts, video content, infographics, and podcasts are also growing in popularity. So, if you are planning to explore different content formats, ensure that you do it with utmost expertise. For example, if you want to create video content, you need a good video editor to do the task along with HD video clips.
Avoid Over-Promoting Your Brand
While writing guest posts, many writers tend to over-promote their brand, which might not interest the editors of the blog where you want to post or its audience. When you are writing a guest post for someone, you should focus on writing about the shortlisted topic and subtly write a line or two to contextual place your site link within it.
Respect the Editor’s Time & Privacy
Sites that accept guest posts often get flooded with tons of emails. If the editor of the blog works independently without a team, it might take them some time to filter these messages, shortlist the genuine ones and reply back.
Once you send your pitch to a blogger or editor, don’t send reminder emails to them every day. Wait for them to reply, and if they don’t reply back within a week, you can send a gentle reminder to them. Spamming inboxes of editors may lead them to blacklist you permanently.
This step-by-step advanced guide to guest blogging is going to be helpful for all marketers who want to ensure maximum success in it. The guest blogging guide takes you to the basics of guest blogging, starting from what it is and why is it essential to how to do it the right way. Read through this advanced guide to learn about the small tricks and tips that will make your guest blogging efforts successful. If you are unable to implement the strategies due to lack of time and resource, contact a guest post service provider to assist you.