Guest blogging is one of the most-common and successful link building strategies being used right now after the Google Panda and Penguin updates. This guide will help teach you how to find guest blogging opportunities and how to make the most of them.
What Do You Want to Get Out of Guest Blogging?
Knowing what your intention is when it comes to guest blogging would be a useful place to start. Are you looking to build links to improve your search engine rankings? Are you looking to become an authoritative source within your industry? Do you want to increase traffic to your website via third party websites?
I suspect "yes" will be your answer to at least two of those. Guest blogging is certainly a way to help you with any or all of the 3 scenarios mentioned above, if done correctly.
- You can build great authority within your industry through guest blogging
- Major brands have benefitted from guest blogging (Tesco & Next just to name 2 examples)
Once you have determined your goal from this exercise we will start to have an idea of the type of blogs you will be looking to guest post on. If it's authoritative status and/or traffic you're looking for, you should look to target blogs with a good following and engaged audience. Whereas if you're guest blogging from a link building point of view, strong domains will be your focus.
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
When searching for sites to guest post on, aim for sites that are relevant to your niche or industry.
Google is a good starting point to find these. The following searches can be entered into Google to help you find sites that accept guest posts:
[Keyword] "Write for us"
[Keyword] "Submit article"
[Keyword] "Submit a guest post"
[Keyword] "Guest post"
[Keyword] "Submission Guidelines"
More advanced searches would include:
Replace [Keyword] appropriately...
Use Majestic SEO to download the link profile of your competitors. You can scour through this to find places where they have previously written to give you a list of sites for you to begin guest posting on also.
Frequent Guest Bloggers
If you read blogs in your industry you are likely to have seen a number of the same authors appearing on more than one website. This is because they're doing guest blogging too. You can search Google for each of those frequent guest bloggers individually alongside "guest post by" to reveal a number of the sites they have guest posted on.
Social Network Shares
Many guest bloggers tend to share their latest work on social networks. Searching the likes of Twitter for [Keyword] "guest post" will help you find their work to find blogs which are accepting third party articles.
Preparing the Pitch
It's not recommended to jump straight into contacting the website or blog requesting to guest post for them. Taking your time to some research/preparation is well-advised. After all, you may only get to pitch once for an opportunity to write on their blog.
- Get to know the blog's content
- Understand who the audience is they are targeting
- Get a feel for the content that they produce
- Read their guidelines
Once you have done your research you can prepare your pitch.
- Send them a personal email
Therefore no "Dear Sir", "Dear Webmaster" or even "Hi". If you've had just a quick look around their website you will have learned their name.
- Introduce yourself
If the website is accepting guest posts from bloggers, it may be worthwhile introducing yourself as a blogger. And if your blog is of relevance it's well worth dropping that in.
- Give them an incentive
Your incentive is to get a link/traffic/status. The website owner at the other end will most-likely want something out of this too. Are you a fountain of knowledge on that specific subject? Can you share your post to a large audience on your social networks? Give the webmaster some incentive for you blogging for them.
- Format your post similar to the one's on the site
Having looked at a few blogs on the site already, try to match your post to look similar to theirs. Number and layout of images, usage of headers, bold text or other formatting.
Tracking Your Work
If it's traffic you were looking for from your guest blogging, this can easily be tracked using Google Analytics. If you were looking to improve your ranking for a particular keyword or phrase, presumably you will have snuck in a cheeky anchor text link within the guest post, and once again is easy to track via searching for your keyword in Google.
Now you have all you need to become a successful guest blogger!