Guest blogging is a way to grow your business instantly. With this content marketing and SEO strategy, you can increase traffic flow to your site, get additional links back, and acquire social shares from one single guest post.
Guest blogging is a simple activity to undertake. It only involves writing a blog post with relevant content, publishing it on relevant high-authority sites, and getting backlinks in exchange.
What Is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is a digital marketing activity that involves writing and publishing content on other popular blogs. The purpose is to get quality backlinks from these sites.
How a guest blog works
The process goes through a number of steps, including:
- Finding the right contacts
- Sending outreach emails
- Writing drafts
- Pitching topics
- Submission of guest posts for publishing on your target sites
Since you intend to guest blog for other sites, know that you need to have sufficient preparation for the task. First, do in-depth research. This will help you determine the topics your target websites need to fill the gap in their existing content.
The next step is to craft an outreach email to send to your guest blog host. The email should include the topics you want to cover and post on their site. You should craft your outreach emails professionally with a polite tone.
After you receive the go-signal to guest post with them, it is time to draft your guest blog post content, following the agreement you have made with the host. Write SEO-friendly content using keywords and links allowed by them.
Then ask for feedback or possible revision requests that they may send you. Finally, submit your completed content for publication.
These are all the steps you need to take to prepare yourself as a guest blogger and succeed in the guest blogging. This is how the system works.
Guest Blogging Advantages
Guest posting is a digital marketing strategy that has advantages as well as disadvantages. If you are not careful, you can expose your website to the risk and be penalized by Google.
Guest blogging benefits include:
- Fresh and unique content – Bloggers have different styles and approaches, so they are a great source of fresh and unique content.
- Branding – Guest posting promotes your product and brand.
- Expand your network – Guest posting is one of the channels to build relationships and expand one’s network in the online space.
- Increase rank and traffic – By guest posting, you can also optimize your SEO and attract more traffic to your site.
- Quality backlinks – Do-follow links from authority sites can help build your SEO and make your site enjoy better visibility online and on search engines.
The possible risks for guest posting include:
- It takes effort and time – You need to spend time and effort before you see results.
- Regular guest posting can deliver results faster.
- Open spam links to your site – Guest posting may cause your site to be vulnerable to spam links, and if you get spam links, Google will penalize your site and reduce its domain authority. Be extra careful when choosing the website to guest blog on.
- Poor integration –When your target websites offer new information presented in a different style, your audience might feel awkward or unwelcome.
Remember, you can always share the content of your guest posts on other platforms you think can also help you achieve your goals. You can share it on social media, where it is easy to build and expand your network.
What Are Your Guest Posting Goals?
Before you even start to look for contacts, you need to decide the specific goal you want to achieve in your guest blogging.
It can be one or a combination of the following:
- Create an impression of authority in your industry.
- Get traffic back to your blog
- Build backlinks to your site. However, this must not be your main goal because the practice does not bode well with Google.
The best kind of content is able to accomplish these three goals, but if your focus is the first or the second goal, then blogs with a wide and engaged audience can help you achieve such a purpose.
If you only consider the third goal, transacting with websites that enjoy a high level of domain authority will suit that purpose. You can check this on free SEO tools like Google Analytics, SemRush, and Ubersuggest.
These tools give users insight into tactics that work for others so you can copy, adapt, and improve them. In the end, you can come up with your own improved strategies, and with the insights you have gathered, you can gain an advantage in the competition.
Guest Blogging How to Start
How to do guest blogging or how to start it is fairly easy. First, identify your goal for doing it. Every blogger has a goal when they do guest blogging, but for most of them, the main goal is to achieve a higher ranking in search engines or attract traffic to their website.
After determining your goal, identify your target websites and know how to find them. That includes finding guest posting opportunities in the same space where you find the audience you need to target.
To find guest posting opportunities, type guest posting footprints in Google.
- Your keyword + “write for us”
- write for us + “guest posts”
- Keyword + “guest posting”
Use these additional phrases as your search footprints:
- Submit a guest post
- Write for me
- Write for us
- Become a contributor
- Guest article
That is how to find valuable websites that rank high in search engines. Valuable websites are opportunities to get quality backlinks in your niche, and through these sites, you can also discover guest blog networks that you can work with to expand your outreach when the time comes that you need to.
Once you get your list of valuable websites, qualify them. For this, use an SEO toolbar, which is a free extension for browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.
Select the sites with a high domain authority or page authority score, and try to deal only with websites with a spam percentage of not more than 10%. A score between 31 and 60% is considered a medium spam score. Anything higher than that is a high spam percentage.
However, a high spam percentage does not automatically indicate that the site is spammy. It only tells you to do more investigation into the relevance and quality of the site.
From your side, it is important that you have a good level of confidence concerning the mastery of your niche. That is because you want to position yourself as an authority and project that indeed you are.
A good level of confidence entails long experience and sufficient knowledge of the subject or topic at hand. Content is most important, but you will also need first to sell yourself, and selling yourself means providing your target website a brief background of yourself, and every time you do that, you will need to present a convincing profile.
Remember also that every time you sit down to start writing, do as effective writers do, and one of the effective things they do is position themselves in the shoes of their readers. So, write as if you are the reader.
- What are the important things that your readers want to glean?
- What provokes their interest and keeps them interested?
Guest blogging is a channel for you to gain more knowledge and understanding of your readers. So, ask yourself these questions when writing a guest blog post and starting your guest blogging venture.
That is how to guest blog effectively and stand out from the crowd right from the start.
Ways to Find the Best Websites to Guest Blog On
Not all opportunities for guest blogging have the same merit. While it is important to select websites that fit your niche, you also ensure it is profitable to spend your time with them.
When choosing a website to guest post on, consider its domain authority (DA) score. However, such a rating is not the be-all and end-all of guest posting.
A website with a low DA score does not necessarily mean you should dump it outright, though it is always recommended to choose reputable, high-DA websites where a lot of visitors can view and read your content.
The best sites to guest post on are sites that can help you boost brand awareness, build your reputation, get more organic traffic, and establish authority in your niche. These kinds of sites can help you obtain helpful profile backlinks with high metric scores.
Aside from Google Advance Search, here are two ways to find the best websites to guest blog on:
Find bloggers/influencers in your niche
Use this method to find guest blogging opportunities. Check out where bloggers in your niche submit their guest blog posts.
You start by picking a certain influencer or a blogger. Then start investigating the person. Skim through their Twitter account, you might find some of their guest posts.
For example, the niche in question is digital marketing, some of the best guest posting websites that might be in collaboration with the person you are investigating are Woorise, OnCrawl, and SingleGrain.
The niche in question is in the finance field, the top guest posting sites in this area include FinancesOnline, Global Risk Insights, and Money Crashers. If your niche is real estate, some of the big names in this field include realtor.com, guestpostfeed.com, and mippin.com.
Check competition backlinks
To get ahead in the competition, monitor and analyse your competitors, including their backlinks and other SEO tactics. If their SEO is working well for them, one of the probable reasons is that they get quality backlinks from guest posting initiatives.
Backlinks are important for SEO. It is backlinks that tell search engines that a website received a vote of confidence from another site. Ultimately, that means a signal to search engines that other websites vouch for your content.
That is the ultimate benefit of getting backlinks, especially if they are coming from authority sites. Because of that, your competitors must also be using guest post strategies since they also want to attract quality links. So, make sure to take time to check their backlink profile.
It might take you some time to see which of their backlinks are coming from guest posting sites and which are not. However, this exercise alone may result in either finding quality guest posting sites for your business coming right from your competitor’s backyard, discovering other ways to attract quality backlinks, or both.
Tips for choosing a Blog to Post On
When choosing a blog to post on, be precise and scrutinize candidates as much as possible. Here is how.
- Do traffic analysis. Use SimilarWeb for this purpose.
- Use a free browser extension designed to provide geodata, traffic sources, and estimated visits.
- Check the theme of the blog and the topics they cover there. Do these aspects correlate with those of your own site?
- Check if the site is still in operation. Dead sites may have been abandoned for good, but some of them can still generate traffic. Check their latest publication to verify.
- Check them on social media. You know the metrics – shares, likes, followers, comments, etc. Assess their reader engagement.
- Check their links and make sure that they are not using shady or spammy links and anchors. Avoid websites with sneaky redirects and those that are stuffed with pop-ups and ads.
Lastly, examine their guest posting requirements. Check details on the number of words, reference requirements, format, tone, SEO, keyword inclusion, etc.
Tips for Writing a Great Guest Post
How to write a guest blog post that showcases not only your proficiency in writing but also your mastery of your subject area is one of the most challenging parts of guest blogging.
However, those are just part and parcel of what writing a guest blog post is all about. In this particular type of writing assignment, you also need to align your content and style, depending on the webmaster’s requirements.
Here are writing tips to make sure your guest articles get approved and published:
- Write for their audience
When you get the gig, remind yourself that you will be writing for their audience, not yours. Remind yourself of this rule over and over again.
Know who the blogger’s audience is and write content for those people. Know their pain points and needs.
If your content provides value that resonates specifically to their audience, there is no reason for them not to invite you back.
- Align your message with the blogger’s brand
Every author showcases their brand, and so does every blogger. Your host website has a specific audience, expertise, and message. They use a particular tone and a way of presenting ideas.
If the website is written using a light-hearted and humorous approach, do not write a guest blog post with a formal and densely academic tone. Adjust your style and tone to fit in.
- Lead your audience to your offer
For this purpose, it is recommended that you attract your readers directly to your landing page, rather than just your homepage. It is on your landing page where you show them what you offer. This way, you can quickly provide even more value and direct them right into your sales funnel.
Your landing page can offer a free book or a free chapter in exchange for their email address. Or, you can offer a short course that might entice them to buy your full digital course later.
Provide more value as much as you can. That will keep your readers following you.
Think of your guest post as an appetizer. Whatever you serve to these people will keep them at the dining table wanting more.
- Use internal SEO linking
Do everything you can to make a good impression on the blogger. Using internal linking is one such strategy because it can improve your host’s SEO. You take opportunities to link to the content already existing on the site.
The strategy does not only connect content within their site. It also tells search engines of the internal structure of the owner’s website, which establishes a hierarchy in their content and gives the most valuable posts a higher link value.
Also, by including internal links, the effect is you invite users to deep dive into your host’s blog, which eventually improves their metrics. This is pure gold for them, as they also seek to build their following.
Tips for Pitching Your Guest Blogging Post
Here are helpful tips when doing a guest blog outreach.
- Offer options
Spend some time thinking of several topic ideas to pitch and offer to the editor of your target website. Presenting only one topic in your pitch has the risk of being rejected because they already have something in the hopper somewhat similar to what you are planning.
On the other hand, offering several topic options can make the impression that you are versatile on the subject matter and willing to work with them on the best and most timely match for their audience.
- Guest blogging Show that you have enough knowledge of their guidelines.
That is because most bloggers do not share a link to their guidelines, as they do not want to get hundreds of pitches every day. Instead, they want guest bloggers to find the guidelines on their own.
Thus, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the kinds of articles that work for your target website without asking for specific guidelines from them.
To make the impression that you are a follower and a regular reader of their blog, you can try to reference some of their materials in your pitch or express admiration for ideas that they recently highlighted on their blog.
That said, make sure you have spent time reading their content and have taken the opportunity to engage with them even before you have reached out to them asking to guest post on their site.
Some of the things you can do to initiate engagement prior to your outreach are guest blog commenting, sharing links to your posts, sharing new ideas, and posting your questions.
- Include great visuals
When crafting a guest blog outreach email, try to include visuals. That is because the bloggers you are targeting might be very busy, making it easy for them to forget your pitch or your email. This is very true in an era of short attention spans.
Make your pitch compelling and easy to remember by including in it great visuals that your recipients cannot easily forget. Remember, visual content is processed more than 60,000 times faster than textual content.
In your pitch, make sure to specify the reason why you should be a guest blogger. Include a few links to articles you have published elsewhere. That includes your own blog.
Preferably, link to your posts that have gained a good amount of social engagement, so the blog owner can see the benefit their audience can get from you.
Guest blogging on reputable websites is one of the ways to boost your SEO and leverage the power of successful sites already popular in your niche. Make sure to send convincing pitches that highlight your value to the audience you need to target with your guest blog posts.
With every guest post you create, make sure to instill your brand’s voice to build awareness and grow your brand beyond your core audience.
Thus, always write in such a way that your brand’s voice is recognizable and unique. Incorporate this tried-and-tested SEO technique in your digital marketing campaigns.
In the meantime, you can also invite guest bloggers to your own blog. This is a great way to grow your blog without a lot of work through free marketing. That way, you can have more articles to share on social media and get more valuable links in the process.
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