Guest posting is a popular yet misunderstood strategy for building links to your website.
It can be an effective way to build links because you’re providing valuable content to another website.
This can help you attract new readers and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Nevertheless, guest posting can also be a time-consuming and challenging process. It can be hard to find websites that are relevant to your topic and willing to accept guest posts.
And even if you find a website that’s a good fit, your article must be well-written and interesting enough to get published.
This guide will teach you how to guest post effectively while presenting a simple, repeatable, and logical pathway for finding quality guest posting opportunities. Keep reading to learn.
- Key Points
- What is Guest Posting?
- Prospecting Best Practices
- Outreach Best Practices
- Writing Best Practices
- Promotion and Monitoring of Best Practices
- Conducting market research, creating relationships, and choosing topics wisely are some of the effective strategies to use.
- It’s better to master getting free guest posts instead of paying for them and ending up in bad link neighborhoods.
- Style of writing matters in the end; quality content means content will be published and traffic back to your website.
What is Guest Posting?
Simply put, guest posting is a way of publishing an article on someone else’s website in order to build new relationships, backlinks, and search rankings.
However, getting started with guest posting can be challenging because it is very competitive, and there is a lot of spam to sift through.
The best way to make it easier is to build a repeatable process that you can follow for each new website that you want to guest post on.
This process should include steps like finding relevant websites, contacting the website owner, and writing a great article.
By following this process, you will be able to consistently find high-quality guest posting opportunities and write great articles that will get accepted.
Prospecting Best Practices
1. Find and select topics aligned with your guest blogging goals
You should have a plan before you start looking for potential guest post topics, such as determining your overall post campaign or topics and the SEO keywords you are aiming for.
This will be the foundation of your prospecting search. To find potential guest post topics that are aligned with your goals, you can use keyword research tools like Semrush or Ahrefs.
These tools will help you develop better keywords for your guest blogging and posting.
Once you have a list of potential guest post topics, When researching, it’s good to focus on content by blogs and not publications such as journals and books.
This will help prevent failure and ensure that the right audiences see your guest posts. It’s true that certain publications have a more significant reach than others.
But, if your goal is to improve your SEO, then you need to focus on creating quality content that uses the right keywords instead of writing for popular sites that might not use your keywords.
2. Assess target sites personally to experience it firsthand
A lot of the work is already done when you filter out sites with low domain authority and any rival websites using analytic tools, but you can still take a short glance at the website to refine your options further.
Here are a few things to remember and ask for when you are directly checking and evaluating your target websites:
Do they have a blog or resources page?
No matter how great a website is, check to see whether they have a blog or resource area where they provide editorial material.
Is the blog updated frequently?
It is conceivable that the site is no longer being utilized if there have not been any recent modifications.
Do they have any recent guest posts?
A website that regularly features guest blogs is more likely to respond favorably to your submission.
Do they include links in such guest posts?
Ensure a link is included in your guest article to increase link popularity. You can insert it in the body of the text or in the author bio.
Are the links Dofollow?
You can use the NoFollow tool to identify unfollowed links on any website, where this Chrome plugin automatically highlights the links. Contacting the target site is probably not worthwhile if all or almost every link is not followed.
Do they follow any editing rules?
Many websites make their policies for guest posts available online. Whether relevant, go through them to determine if your content complies with their rules.
Does their content apply to your industry?
Make sure you can contribute anything worthwhile by briefly checking the website’s content.
3. Focus on specific blogs or industry
Try to be as specific as you can when searching for guest posting opportunities.
This will help you save time by not having to sift through irrelevant websites and increase your chances of getting your content published on a high-quality site.
A few ways to narrow down your focus include:
- Content on the sites must be pertinent to or inside your field: This is important because you want your content to be as relevant as possible to the site you’re guest posting on. The more relevant your content is, the more likely it is that the site will accept it for publication.
- Website visitors will be curious about your business or industry: When you’re writing content for a guest post, you want to make sure that the site’s visitors will be interested in what you have to say. If they’re not interested, they’re not going to read your post, and it won’t do anything to help promote your business.
- High engagement level: The more engaged a site’s audience is, the better. An engaged audience is more likely to read your post, comment on it, and share it with friends.
- Site owner utilizes social media: This is another good indicator that the site’s audience is engaged and that the site is actively promoting its content. If the site owner uses social media to promote their content, they’re more likely to be interested.
You can also create a list of your targeted websites to track your choices and be more organized easily.
While doing that, ensure that you check or filter by date to rule out inactive sites and assess and prioritize sites that display:
- Domain authority not lower than 30 or 40
- Spam score not higher than 3%
- Comprehensive editing procedure
You may check a website’s domain authority using Moz or Ahrefs and view data about specific sites in the SERPs.
Once you have a solid list of targets, continue by attempting new keywords and advanced searches to maximize your prospecting process.
4. Prospecting techniques to use during the search process
One of the prospecting techniques is making use of advanced search queries through a search operator, where you also include your target keyword to look for websites that specifically highlight guest posts. Input example:
- Intitle:” Write for Us”
- Intext:submit a guest post
Another technique is the use of social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, as alternative search engines to input similar search queries.
Google reverse image search is also a prospecting technique, where you insert a prominent guest blogger’s picture into the program to locate areas where they have previously blogged.
Most likely, guest posts are accepted by such publications. The simplest yet effective technique is checking lists of websites that accept guest posts.
Inspecting the origin of your competitor’s backlinks by using Ahrefs to search a ton of guest post opportunities if you check the competitor domains of websites in your field is also a way to go in your prospecting process.
Outreach Best Practices
When conducting outreach, you have to remember to focus on the relationship and not the transaction.
This means your goal is not to get a link or article but to create a meaningful connection with another person.
1. Establish a relationship with the website owner
One way to establish a relationship with website owners is by conducting your homework research before submitting an idea to them.
This means looking over their postings to see if there is anything that has not been addressed or if there is a perspective you might adopt to supplement what they have already said.
Once you’ve researched, design your pitch per their publication policies.
Making the necessary preparations beforehand will demonstrate to editors that you are prepared to put up the effort required to create quality content for them and that you want to provide value to their website, both of which will make you an enticing offer.
It is also essential to check if your guest blog goals align with your target website and verify whether your target website is already ranked for your chosen topic.
Before pitching an idea to site owners, it’s important to build connections with them by understanding their writing style, learning about their website, and knowing their interests and readers’ interests.
You can also do this by following their social platforms to be consistently updated.
2. Send personalized emails to increase your chances of being chosen or noticed
To increase the effectiveness of your email, you should first engage with your prospects to understand them better and for them to notice you.
You can do this by doing the following:
- Leave a comment on their blog.
- Join their social media networks.
- Tag them when you share their content on social media.
- Join their mailing list and reply to their newsletters as they are sent out.
- Check out their “About Us” page.
Personalization involves filling out your specific email template for your prospects, and you may also utilize outreach tools, like a spreadsheet, to help you manage individualized emails.
Personalization becomes incredibly simple once you have completed the pre-outreach engagement activities, even if you use a specified template for every prospect.
Many marketers still manage their contacts and answers using Excel or Google Sheets, which lose out on tracking a lot of important data but are still usable alternatives.
Emails, meeting minutes, and project details may all be tracked with the use of a robust CRM, where you have unlimited access to previous information to jog your memory, like Respona, where you can quickly obtain contact details for your target publications to assist you in content and keyword research and to send dynamic emails.
Ensure that you tailor each email for each prospect that includes your explanation about your interest in them and what you can offer them without overdoing it to prevent it from sounding generic and not genuine.
3. Preparation reminders for a compelling pitch
Keep the following in mind during pitch preparation:
- Read the guest post guidelines for submission
- Verify what they have previously published
- Address them by their name
- Use the post title as the subject line and secondary heading within the email body
- Give examples of your work
- Offer them choices if allowed
- Give a brief introduction to each topic
- Make it short and concise
Think about it: what would you want to see in a guest post if you were on the receiving end?
4. Follow up with a “Thank You” email after your post has been published
Even if your guest blogging efforts have not been successful, it is still wise to follow up with a thank you email. This will show that you are appreciative of their time and interest.
A successful pitch displays that your content is valuable and credible. Here are some ways to show your expertise and credibility:
- Include a link to your current content
- Show how visitors access your post
- A screenshot showing the whole number of social media shares for a certain post
- Mention reliable publications that you have previously collaborated with.
The inability to follow directions may indicate that you are not keen on details and you are not serious.
So be attentive to pitching and writing guidelines for your target sites to ensure that you incorporate all necessary pitch elements.
Writing Best Practices
You have already established a relationship with the site owner and have been given the green light to write your post.
The following tips will help you create a compelling post with which you and the site owner will be happy.
1. Writing tips to remember for a well-rounded guest post
- Use appropriate format and guidelines: Do as they suggest to increase your chances of publication. Long-form, captivating material should be written (at least 1,000 words), and the information should be divided into understandable parts.
- Keep the target site’s audience in mind: Every bestseller speaks directly to its audience’s needs, difficulties, and sorrows. The same holds true for every successful blog post when you identify and address the blogger’s target audience and their interests.
- Attempt to be valuable: When contributing to another site as a guest, make sure your writing is relevant, interesting, and educating and provides useful and practical content to appear valuable and credible.
- Develop a catchy headline: Create alternative headlines for your guest post to narrow down choices that would include the reader’s advantage, use action words, and evoke emotions.
- Research keyword phrases: Conduct some keyword research to identify a few relevant key phrases you may use to optimize the content for high search engine rankings.
- Create something unique and original: By sharing a personal tale or including templates that readers may use to avoid repetition of information, you can provide your readers with a fresh perspective or more thorough guidance.
- Add rich imagery: If blog owners do not wish to do this themselves, assist them by sharing or proposing pertinent photos for your guest post and avoid using generic stock images that add nothing to the conversation; instead, use original screenshots or your designs.
- Add internal links: The likelihood that they will delete any links to your site decreases when you include internal links to their blog, demonstrating your thoughtful writing and building your authority.
- Insert links to your site: Incorporate links that are appropriate to the topic of the guest post and prevent linking to pages that do not provide the reader with any value. You could get nothing if those are eliminated.
- Write a standout byline: There should be a compelling call to action at the end of each guest article. Your retention of guest post visitors may be increased, and you can convert infrequent readers into devoted customers by using a compelling CTA.
2. Consider and expect a revision
Taking the time to proofread or examine your writing might help you find grammatical issues and suggest improvements that could make it better.
To further enhance the guest post you have produced, you can ask the editor for explanations and improvements.
Every blog article has flaws, and that is good.
Expect the editor to recommend modifications as needed to conform to their publishing guidelines, but do not take it personally, as they want to ensure that your work is appreciated and that the readers love it.
The editor will be more likely to collaborate with your team in the future if you make the editor’s job simpler and if your guest post strategy is a success.
3. Write a standout byline and bio to attract visitors more efficiently
The reward for your effort in developing your guest blogging strategy is the bio, which you may use to generate a link to your website and other resources.
In a guest bio paragraph, backlinks are crucial. Most people agree that linking directly to your website or blog is the easiest option.
However, having a specific landing page might be beneficial if you want to tailor your visitors’ experience while on your site.
You should remember to include these four essential items in producing a bio:
- Complete name (or your blogging pseudonym).
- Be succinct and mindful of the word/character restrictions.
- Use the third person while writing.
- Add at least one or two links that point back to your website or blog.
Your bio should be short and to the point so that the blog readership will read it and be interested, and it should also immediately catch their attention and pique their curiosity.
What does this mean for you? It means you have successfully contributed to the guest blog strategy, leading to more website traffic.
4. Be authentic in everything that you do
Your writing should be natural, interesting, and engaging. Be personal in your tone and try to avoid sounding like a sales pitch.
When writing for a guest blog, it is important to adapt to their tone, style, and content, express your interest in them, and impress them.
However, the goal is to leave a lasting impression on readers that compels them to look you up, and being your true self is the most effective way to achieve it.
Pay attention to and abide by the rules and customs of the blog. Avoid losing yourself in the process as you try to blend in, though.
Instead of being a ghostwriter, you are a guest poster, where the key to writing successful guest articles is authenticity.
The site owner chose you as a guest poster over all the other candidates because you have a unique solution, area of expertise, or story to tell, that sets you apart from others.
Promotion and Monitoring of Best Practices
1. Maximize guest blog exposure by utilizing relationships
One way to effectively promote your guest content is by sending emails to mailing list contacts and subscribers with whom you already have a good relationship and convincing them to read, comment on, and share your material.
Make use of the fact that people have signed up for your email marketing newsletter if you have connections who have done so by including links to your guest post and asking them to share it on their social media pages.
And, of course, not everyone will heed the call. Some people will, though, as they have signed up for your newsletter after previously indicating interest.
A simple way to advertise your feature is to share it on social media. You may advertise for free to a large audience of readers on well-known platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Make sure to share your guest posts on accounts with a sizable following. This raises the likelihood that readers will interact with and spread your material.
You see, when people share your content on their personal social media pages, it doesn’t just show up in front of their followers but also in front of the followers of the people who follow them.
This is how you can organically increase your reach and get more people to read your guest post.
2. Monitor guest post’s performance, then assess
To effectively assess the success of your guest post, it’s important to check your SEO plan and monitor changes in website traffic, backlinks, referring domains, and other key SEO metrics.
Use tools like Buzzsumo, Semrush, and Ahrefs to track how well your post is doing and compare your results against your starting point.
You know your approach is working if you see significant traffic or SEO gains! If not, you can make changes and try again.
On the other hand, if you see no change or even a decrease in metrics, that’s an indication that something is wrong, and you need to take a closer look.
Check things like:
- The title of your post
- The length of your post
- The quality of your writing
- The topics you covered
- The keywords you used
By now, you should have a good understanding of how to go about guest posting the right way.
Following these best practices, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful guest blogger.
Coming up with interesting and engaging content, personalizing your pitches, and following directions are all key to impressing site owners and getting your guest post published.
Do you have any other tips for success when it comes to guest posting? Please share them with us in the comments below!