Guest blogging sometimes receives bad press due to the massive number of link builders who take the temptation to settle for shortcuts. But, what if you decide to take it seriously and do it the right way to truly build authority for your business through blogging? Authority pays dividends. There are major brands around the globe which have benefited notably with the help of guest blogging.
This article focuses on how to start your blogging endeavor, and designing a perfect outreach strategy enabling you to get the exposure you had always desired. Warning: this strategy is not for the casual-minded or lazy. Seriously bloggers, read on :)
Setup Your Guest Blogging Goals
Any project begins with a goal, a vision. The first step for your guest blogging project would be to define what you are actually trying to do. Concrete, pre-defined goals will help in determining the forthcoming steps. Our survey has revealed the following as the most sorted after goals for guest blogging:
- Establishing your company or you as an authoritative name in the related industry.
- Driving traffic to your online avatar – your website.
- Earning good backlinks for your website.
- Acquiring more e-mail subscribers resulting into lead generation
- Also, targeting social media websites for a bigger outreach, providing better prospects for lead generation.
Only the right kind of content can help you in attaining the above mentioned goals. If goal numbers 1 and 2 are your targets, you will need to work hard to search for blogs that having an appropriate size of audience who engages in the true sense. If only getting backlinks to your website is your main goal, you could target websites with strong domain authority. You’ll want to end up knowing your target blogs well so you can hit the goal.
The first and most important task is finding opportunities that make sense for your guest blogging endeavor. Your main aim would be to find those guest blogging websites, which are related to your industry niche. While finding the right blogs, you should be looking for the following things in the blog site:
- The content of the blog should be relevant to niche of your industry.
- The audience should be looking for information given in your content.
- The audience of the blog have to be engaged i.e. posts should be shared and commented on
- The blog owner has to be active on social sites.
So if you are selling computer accessories, you will want blogs with audience for technology or computers and laptops. The following definitive ways will help in finding right kind of guest post sites.
Google Search is your Friend
Google – the ultimate digital savior. You could start the search for the right opportunities from here. Using any one of the following mentioned keywords, you could search for the blogs that would accept your guest posts. Let’s suppose that you are looking for websites for mobile accessories, you would search for your guest blogging sites in one or all of the following ways:
- mobile accessories “submit a guest post”
- mobile accessories “guest post”
- mobile accessories “guest post by”
- mobile accessories “accepting guest posts”
- mobile accessories “guest post guidelines”
If successful, you would be directed to the guidelines page of a guest posting website, or the post submission page, or the guest posts page where you will find content written by other writers.
Look out for Hardcore Guest Bloggers
By prolific, we mean that you could search for bloggers who are continuously writing for others. For example any online marketers would have this habit of reading blogs by Matt Cutts, Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, to name a few. With Google Search’s help, you could get a number of websites on which these popular names have posted. They will prove to be good ones for you to request to get your content posted. It will be an added advantage if a guest blogger from your industry introduces you to the owner of a website on which they have posted.
There are chances that you could pinpoint lots of sites by checking your competitors backlinks. You could use a number of tools to check the backlinks like Open Site Explorer, and check on your competitors backlinks to figure out the blog on which they have written. You could also do the link operator on the domain as a query in the Google or Bing search box.
Note that using the link operator only provides a sampling of links. A larger dataset of competitor backlinks is best obtained from third-party tools (Open Site Explorer, Raven Tools, Majestic, AHREFs, etc.)
The easiest platform to search for guest posts is Twitter where you could enter your keyword followed by “guest post” and you will get the latest tweets related to the keyword entered by you. You could follow the links to check out the blogs containing the posts given in Twitter. You could also use an number of other social media platforms on which many bloggers mention about their posts.
Lastly, how could we forget My Blog Guest, which is a community for guest bloggers that has proven a fruitful tool for link builders and others. Sign up is free and you could search for blogs which accept guest posts. One of the preferred ways is to give out your own information saying that you want to write guest posts and are looking for websites which would post the same. This will enable the blog site owners of your particular niche to find you!
Prepare For The Outreach
You are done with finding the guest blogging websites and are ready with a list of these sites. Comes the next step to pitch to the owners to publish your guest post on their website. Now, how do you go about doing this, as this is the most crucial part.
Do not jump to pitching as soon as you find the guest blogging website related to your niche. Finding the right site is not even half the job done, as there is a lot of other homework that you need to do before making that right pitch. So, let’s have a look at what are these things you need to do before making a guest posting proposal.
The Blog’s Content
You have surely selected the website based on your keywords and you know that the website has the content related to the same keywords. But there are some more things that you need to know about the site:
- The level of audience they are writing for. Whether they are experts or beginners?
- The kind of audience they are writing for. If you have a B2C campaign, you need to make sure that the content is read by the right consumers.
- The kind of content that is posted.
Performance of other Guest Posts
While a blog may have guest posts, the question is do the guest bloggers do well? Are the posts on the selected site getting enough comments and social shares? Some sites do take guest posts, but if the visitors are only looking for the posts by the owner for the blogs, your post might not do as well as you had desired.
Note The Authority Of The Guest Bloggers:
Review the bloggers’ bio to see the status of the post contributors. This is vital as you will be introducing yourself to the owner of the blog for pitching. There are also various sources available on how to succeed on blogger outreach including the one from this study by James Agate.
Find Out What Posts Do the Best
Check out which topics works best with the audience. To get some ideas on the topics that are the hot favorites, you could look into the social media website which will give you a clear idea.
Become Known to the Blog Community
Now, you’ll want to get yourself recognized by the blog owner to increase the chances of your guest post getting accepted. Take some time to comment on blog posts of others and share some of the more interesting posts on Twitter too. So, when it’s time to pitch your post, you won’t look like a complete stranger.
The Best Times to Pitch a Guest Post
Seize the opportunity. Make sure that your guest post is where you want it to be. These are good times to make your pitch:
- When you are mentioned on the blog posts or on their posts on social media
- When the blog advertises that the website is looking for guest posts.
- When another guest post is published by the post.
Best Practices for The Best Outreach
The following are absolute musts when pitching a guest blog post to another blog owner.
Go through the Guidelines
Do make sure that your content complies with all the guidelines set by the blog owner. Also, check out the format in which they want the post to be submitted. Does the blog owner want your suggestions on a particular topic, which is rather short, or does the owner want a full post? Know all their requirements and their tips before making any move.
Personalize Your Email
One major turn off for a blog owner is the use of pompous or effusive language, for example, when he/she is addressed as Dear Sir/Madam or stuff like that. It doesn’t take much time to find out the blog site owner’s name on the blog site. You could also freak around some of the social media accounts associated with the blog and you will easily find the name of the blogger.
You already know what kind of guest bloggers are posting on the particular website. Make sure that you know this as there are some sites, which only entertain bloggers are compared to established businesses. So, introduce yourself accordingly. Chances are that you will get more preference if you introduce yourself as a blogger. Keep your business aside for a while and focus on your blogging skills.
Be Prepared for Rejections
Even if your guest post is rejected by a website, don’t consider it as the end of the road. In fact, it is just the beginning. Next time, when you contact the same blogger, make sure that you address the same faults that they had found in your last post and how you have improved on them.
How to Submit a Great Guest Post
Now, you have worked hard on this content and the first question that arises is that should the content be posted on your site or on the guest blogging site. It depends on the quality of the guest blogging website. If the content created by you complies with the quality of the blog site, you could go ahead with it. If you are looking to post to a particular website, make sure that you read more of its posts so that you could get an idea about how the content submitted by you should look. The following tips should help in approaching perfection with your content:
Don’t stress on yourself
Remember, a great post is the one which shares some information with the readers. They should be valuable sources of information and should never look to be intended for link building. If you are looking to provide some information about your business, products or services, it could be mentioned on the author bio. Occasional mentions are fine however, a guest post is only meant to share information and not promoting your business.
Format should be in sync with the blog site
Thoroughly look into the posts given on the site and observe the format of the blog especially the use of headers, bold text, quotes, images or any other formatting. The elements of your post should match with the other content posted on the site. Blog owners won’t be very happy to have to spend lots of time reformatting your post.
Inclusion of Internal Links
Include some internal links to the content of the blog owner’s site showing that you are a regular visitor to their website. You could search for the post on a particular keyword on that website and link the same post within the context of your post.
Call to Action
At the end of the guest post, include a call to action for your readers’ valuable comments. It will prove to be beneficial for your post if it earns lots of comments. Blog owners love it when people engage on their site.
How to Craft a Great Guest Bio
Now to the most important part, the reason for your guest blogging endeavor. You are looking to get your guest post bio at the bottom of your post. This is the most legitimate place to have links included back to your website or promote your blog, products or services. Whatever is written here will reflect your guest blogging goals.
- In case you want quality backlinks, you need to include a link back to your website within appropriate anchor text
- If driving traffic to your website is the main goal, in that case, you would want to consider where the traffic should be led. You could direct the traffic to the landing page of a page which contains info on an important product or service.
- If you are looking to increase your social accounts followers, you could add a line to your bio which says, “Follow me on” and lead to your best social media account.
How to Be the Best Guest Blogger
If you’re aiming to become a regular contributor to a blog, or simply want the blog owner to brag about what a great guest blogger you are, then be sure to do your best to promote your post to popularity through your own audience. The blog owner will love it if you send new readers their way. Also, be sure to reply to your comments. That will go a long way if you are working to win authority in your industry.
Track the Results
If traffic is your main goal, you should be tracking the results of your guest blogging. One of the best ways to do so is creating an Advanced Segment in Google Analytics. If you do some research, there are a lot of tools available online to track the performance of your guest blogs. Some of the best tools that I have witnessed off late are mentioned below:
- tracker.myblogguest.com: This one monitors the traffic to your blog, likes and tweets that your blogs get. In addition to this, it has prioritized on checking out the post deletions or edits, domain expiration to name a few.
- Google Analytics: This allows you to track your blog easily tracking the number of visitors with a number of details related to their visits including their location, the search terms entered by them and which of your posts are most popular.
- Stat Counter: This is also a good choice. It’s free and easily configurable. It will not ask for any ads on your blog. It works almost similar to the Google Analytics. You also get an option to keep a count of unique visitors or all the load of your page.
- Recent Viewer’s Widget:This is a useful widget which needs to be inserted into your blog’s template and you could start tracking your readers. If someone from the BlogCatalog (the creators of this widget) comes in, their online avatar will show up.
Closing Thoughts: I hope that this serves as a comprehensive guide to guest blogging and the same would be used in all the future guest blogging endeavours by everyone looking to gain the visibility online.