The Internet has become a part of our life and a lifeline of our businesses. Just like marketing in the real world, marketing in the virtual world is no different. A connection here, a link there, an advert on the banner of the biggest website and you have created buzz.
But is that it?! Have you just created buzz or have you created a viral loop?
One thing that differs online marketing from real-world marketing is the consistent organic loop. How is that possible? Simply build organic traffic to your website through search engines. For this, you will need to write quality content and tons of high quality backlinks to your website.
One way to get these many backlinks is by writing guest posts. Though Google has a love and hate relationship with guest posts, they still work. In fact, they work brilliantly well as is shown by Backlinko in his all-favorite guest posting guide. He says that while searching for the best guest posting opportunities online, he was stunned to find that most top ranking websites like Sumo, Orbit Media, Search Engine Watch, have ranked higher in their respective domains by writing high quality guest posts.
Surprising, isn’t it?
- What is Guest Blogging all about? Do you even need it?
- Benefits of Guest Blogging/Posting
- How to do Guest Posting in SEO – Latest Tips & Techniques
- Google for Keywords
- Criteria for finding high quality domains:
- Reverse Image Search
- Twitter Guest Post Search
- Find Competitor Backlinks
- Find Guest Posts through Social Blogging Websites
- Finding Guest Posts through Comments
- Facebook Groups
- Freelancing Websites for Guest Posts
- Writing on Trending Topics
- Make Epic Pitches
- Read Guest post guidelines
- Monitor Traffic
- Ranking through Guest Posts
- Anatomy of a Guest Post
- Paid guest posts 2019 – Do they work?
What is Guest Blogging all about? Do you even need it?
Think of guest posting as door-to-door marketing. Instead of marketing through billboards and advertisements, you are writing content on other websites that are of value. It doesn’t matter if you doing it on your own or using some blogger outreach services to reach these websites. In short, you are creating a presence about your brand by answering a user problem that is the most simple answer of what is guest posting.
These are some examples of how to do guest blogging.
A Guest Post on Ahref by the owner of Empire Flippers.
These are some solid guest posts by the owners of some of the top brands. The reason is simple, GUEST POSTS STILL WORK!
In this post, we will discuss some of the best ways to create guest posts. Also, we will focus on how to find guest posting opportunities that can help you create backlinks on a regular basis.
Benefits of Guest Blogging/Posting
If you are still not sure about the power of guest posting, then here are some benefits of guest posting and how it helps your website in marketing online.
Boost in rankings
The first benefit of guest posting is obvious. You get organic traffic to your website because of the backlink you post in your guest post. This is one way of building quality backlinks as well.
Build subscriber base
Many people are confused about how to do guest blogging. Guest posting is a great way to build a subscriber base through lead generation hooks. We will discuss this in more detail below, but for now, just know that guest posts can help you increase your email subscribers for free.
While guest posts help improve your domain authority and rankings in SERPs, they also provide a steady stream of referral traffic back to your blog.
Become an expert
If you want to be an influencer in your niche, you will have to start somewhere. And, guest posts help you do that. You don’t need to be a professor or years of experience in the field. You just need to be aware of what is going on in your field and have an opinion about it.
Improve Brand Awareness
One reason many people submit a guest post is to improve brand awareness. For example, we gave an example in which the owner of Empire Flippers wrote a guest post on Ahref website. The reason he did that was not to increase rankings in search but to build awareness about his company. By reading about what he has written more people will know what his brand is all about.
Get Feedback from Community
Guest bloggers cannot write all the time and that’s why it is important to guest post on popular websites. Other bloggers will be able to comment and share their opinion about the post. In most cases, you as a writer will be able to engage with them and build solid connections. You may also get great ideas about your next guest post – one never knows.
How to do Guest Posting in SEO – Latest Tips & Techniques
There are many ways to find guest posting opportunities. Some work, some don’t. Here is a compilation of guest posting opportunities that have always shown results. Let’s read these guest blogging guidelines.
Google for Keywords
Simply search for guest posting opportunities on Google. First of all, enter Google ‘Country’ and then open it. You don’t want to find US based websites while searching on Google.com.in.
Here is a list you can try to search for guest posting opportunities in your domain – courtesy of Backlinko guest posting guide.
You will find multiple blogs for guest posting this way. Make sure you only pitch those that have a high domain authority. The reputed agencies put their effort into targeting high domain authority sites while providing guest posting services to their clients because they know that this is the only thing you need to get ranked rapidly.
Criteria for finding high quality domains:
- Check Alexa for website ranking before you submit a guest post. If the website has less than 500,000 rank, it is a pretty good website. Now, search for its local rank. For example, if you are looking for US based websites only, then make sure they have a rank in the US. Like this one in the image.
- Search traffic from Similar Web. This website only tells about an estimate of the traffic a website receives per month.
Reverse Image Search
Another great way to find guest posts relevant to your niche is by reverse image search. Let’s say your competitor has written a guest post on a website. So, how can you find where he is building backlinks for his brand? It is pretty simple. You just need to do a reverse image search.
Here is how you can do that.
Search the image of your competitor in Google.
Here is one from Search Engine Land. I did a reverse image search for the image of this author on Google and here are the results
These are all the results where Jamie Pitman has written articles. This way I can find even more competitors and sites where they have posted content.
You might ask, ‘so what? How do I build backlinks?’
The answer is simple. You pitch these websites with an irresistible topic so they can’t say no. The article should be well researched – we will come to this part later.
You may get rejected from some websites but don’t lose hope. Just remember the criteria that I have provided above and keep pitching various websites for guest posting. The other way to
Twitter Guest Post Search
Twitter also offers various opportunities for guest posting. For example, you may want to write a guest post on a health related topic but can’t find any good resource. So, what should you do? Simply search ‘health guest post’ on twitter. The results will have something of significance for you.
So, we have found three resources. In the third one, the blog is asking for guest posts, so we will call this one a LOTTERY!
You can find guest posts like these on any topic of your choice.
- Post a topic with the word ‘guest post’ and see the results
- Once you have the results prepare a personal pitch for each blog after checking out the topics they write on
- The approval rate of guest posts pitches after careful research is almost 50 percent
One way to find guest posting opportunities is by finding competitor backlinks. You can find competitor backlinks either through any paid tool like Moz and Ahref or through Backlinkwatch – a free utility.
The links will look something like this. You can download the full sheet and search the DA of each website.
Small SEO Tools’ domain authority checker lets users find DA of 50 websites in a single go. This is a pretty slick application for anyone finding high DA websites and doesn’t have time to repeat things.
So, once you have the list of website, what’s next?
- Check out the criteria that we provided above and see if you find any websites that fit in that criteria.
- Now start pitching these websites with quality guest post ideas
Find Guest Posts through Social Blogging Websites
Another great way to find websites for guest posting is through social blogging websites like Alltop, Blogarama, and Technorati. These are top blog directories and you can easily find websites that approve guest posts.
Here is how to find them:
Most of these are blogs that accept guest posts. You can simply pitch them about your guest post idea and wait for the response.
Finding Guest Posts through Comments
Another way to find guest posts is through comments. This may not work on all blogs since comments now don’t allow people to add their website address. But you can also search for them through Disqus comment channel.
- First, you have to write a guest post on a website and wait for other people to comment
- Make sure the post is controversial so people can take a side.
- When people comment, simply search their profile and you will see the website they write content for.
- Now thank them for the comment and pitch them if they would like to accept a guest post on a similar topic on their website?
There are many Facebook groups available on guest posting. If you don’t know how to find them, simply search for them by typing ‘guest posts’ in Facebook search. Join them.
Now here is how to find the websites for guest posting.
- Clearly write the type of guest posting websites that you want
- For example, ‘Looking for US based guest posting sites related to health niche’
- You will get many websites from users. If you have a budget, you can also get paid guest posting opportunities from users. Paid guest posts are usually for high DA websites that also get traffic relevant to your niche
You can search for similar guest posting opportunities on other social media websites as well.
Freelancing Websites for Guest Posts
A recent case study by one SEO expert suggests that people can also get backlinks from users on Fiverr. Most people believe that Fiverr is not an authoritative source for getting backlinks. Therefore, they should avoid it at all cost. But this is wrong.
See this guy. He says that he was able to get traffic to his website by spending $500 on Fiverr. You can watch the full video of how he did it.
A short summary is that he was able to rank 3rd for a highly competitive keyword ‘New York SEO’ in the USA by creating a few news article links and tons of web 2.0 links.
While writing of this post, two weeks have passed and he is still in third place for that keyword. We can only see when his rankings will decline.
But, what does it teach us? You can also create backlinks from Fiverr guest posts.
So how to do that?! Find quality guest posting opportunities on Fiverr.
- Search Fiverr for ‘guest posts’ and see what comes up
- Select one that you think looks suitable – Make sure to check its rankings and reach buyer’s review
- Message them to check where they will post your article. What is the DA of that website? And, how much traffic does it get?
- Once you are satisfied, order him to complete the task
Some rates for guest posting on Fiverr. All these are paid guest posts, so you need to make sure that you are publishing your content on a non-spam website.
Writing on Trending Topics
One way to get sure approval when you submit a guest post is by writing on trending topics. Let’s say your niche is digital marketing. Search about what is the top trend in your industry. It can be anything like Instagram marketing, video marketing, anything that you can think of. Now, pitch the websites about topics related to these trends for guest blogging opportunities. They will instantly approve them because they are getting content on topics that aren’t available anywhere else.
This is called exclusivity.
One keyword that is trending during the holiday season.
In fact, you can form relationships with these blogs by becoming their VIP contributor.
- Simply provide them with weekly content on any topic of your choice
- Insert your own blog’s backlinks in between content that you write
- Get a constant stream of traffic back to your blog
Make Epic Pitches
One way to get approval for guest post pitches is by writing high quality guest posts. Just remember that guest posting websites get a lot of requests and they simply ignore them. Why? Because they are providing no real value. That’s where your pitches can make a difference.
How to write epic pitches that will let them approve your request?
- Research the website and hunt for topics that you can write on for guest blogging opportunities
- Be courteous and provide value to the readers of that website
For example, I was to guest post on a website that makes video animations. It had written on almost all topics related to advertising videos such as Youtube for monetization, Pinterest marketing, Instagram and IGTV video marketing.
I searched its website to find some loophole. Something that I can write on. Finally, I found it. The topic was ‘affiliate marketing videos.’
Many people are now making affiliate marketing videos. These are unboxing videos, video reviews, and sometimes simple videos of products just copy pasted on their channels and pages. But these work.
I pitched it three topics related to these. Here is the format.
Subj: You are missing AFFILIATE MARKETING FOR VIDEOS topic – It Can Bring MORE TRAFFIC!
Hi AUTHOR NAME,
I am a keen reader of your blog. And, I love to create and test video ads for my dropshipping stores and affiliate websites. I found a gap in your blog and that relates to affiliate marketing videos. Most readers today want to learn how they can start affiliate marketing. You have not covered that topic.
What if I can write on it as I already have an expertise in that particular niche?
Here are a few topics that I have in mind:
- Affiliate Marketing Videos to get More Sales
- Dropshipping Video Ads – Why they work? How to Make them better?
- Double Your Print On Demand Store Sales with Videos
Let me know which one looks better to you.
Guess what? In two days, I had a reply from the blog owner. She liked the affiliate marketing video topic.
So, what is the lesson here?
- Create value for the blog owner
- Find a gap in his content strategy
- Clearly explain the topics that you want to write on
Read Guest post guidelines
Most people often complain that their guest post pitches are not answered. There can be many reasons for this but one of the most popular ones is guest posting guidelines. These people simply don’t read the guest posting guidelines and the editors reject their requests.
It is essential to read the guidelines of a website properly because only then you can send them what they need. Think of this as a job interview. Surely you would not want to go for a job interview with your intermediate mark sheet. Instead, what you need is a resume. That’s the same thing with guest post guidelines. They help you understand what the websites are actually looking for.
This is a standard set of guidelines by Search Engine Land website. See how they clearly explain what type of topics they want the contributors to write on? You can only pitch them topics that relate to these categories.
Once you have written guest posts on around a dozen websites, it is time to monitor traffic coming from these guest posts. This will help you create a strategy for the future. Let’s see one guest post is bringing 75% of the whole referral traffic. Think about it. Why is it happening? What was the topic about? Why are people interested in this topic?
When you know the answers to these questions, simply create a collaboration plan with the site owner. By this time the guest posting website owner would also have observed that your guest post is driving more traffic.
Here are a few guest blogging guidelines you should follow to amplify the traffic growth. Let’s see what these guest blogging opportunities are:
- Ask the site owner for regular contributions
- Add a lead generation hook in the article
- Make a redo of the same article and optimize it for keywords
Ranking through Guest Posts
One clever technique to improve search rankings is by ranking through guest posting. This is an open secret and even Google allows it. So, what is this secret and how can your business benefit from it? Let’s find out.
Say your website has a DA of around 20 something. You can’t rank for a high difficulty keyword of 50+. No matter how many social signals you get, you will have a hard time getting in the top of the SERPs. But there is an easy way to do it. Simply write a guest post on the keyword that you want to rank on.
The website that you will be writing on should have a high DA and should receive more traffic. When you write a topic on it, it has more potential to rank on that keyword than your own website. Make sure that you link back to your website from the first few paragraphs so to pass maximum link juice.
Anatomy of a Guest Post
While guest posts are no different than the regular articles you publish on your blog but you need to strategically place your link in them to get the most value.
The average length of each guest post should be around 1200 or more. Guest post length is usually provided in the guest posting guidelines by the website where you want to write the content piece.
However, with that said, it is a good practice to write a long-form content piece so that your guest post can rank higher and you cover the whole topic.
Here is a recent study by Buzzsumo showing the average length of each content piece ranking online in searches.
So, go for 1000-2000 words for starters.
Place a link in the first few paragraphs of the content because just like before, links higher in the content are given more weightage by Google.
Even Backlinko recommends putting a link in the first few paragraphs to get the most link juice.
Instead of dropping the keyword alone, you need to link that keyword to your own blog or website to get the most value from the guest post.
Add a lead hook that can bring readers of the guest post back to your blog. Why is it necessary? Because guest posts can be a great way to get subscribers for almost free. Here is how:
Now that you have this strategy in place, you only need to create a special landing page for guest post visitors. Once that is ready, you can get their email addresses by providing them a little more value.
Brian Dean has cleverly done this with a remarkable landing page.
It is a good practice to add the link of your homepage in the author box section. But for each website, you should create a custom author box message that matches with the content that you are posting.
See how Yehuda has shown he is an expert in his field?
Here is another one:
See what Hughes is missing? He could have used the space to market his company in a better way. Don’t miss this out.
Consider the author box an essential marketing banner for your website.
Not many people may read it, but those who will be interested in your website will surely read it. This is your place to shine.
Future of Submitting Blog Posts for Guest Posting
Now that 2018 is passing, most people are concerned about the future of guest posting. Rest assured, it isn’t going to change much. Why? Because if you are doing everything white hat, building links through connections, partnerships, and networking, you have already embraced the future. Here is what you should be focusing on for getting more organic traffic through guest postings in near-future.
Focus on Connections and Networking
We would recommend you to start building connections with companies that complement your products. Work with them for partnerships and promoting your brands through guest posts, giveaways, podcasts, webinars, and mutual marketing activities. Because in near-future, they will become your indirect assets.
Quality will win over quantity. One backlink from a reputed website is much better than 100 backlinks from small domains.
Regular Contributions are a must
Make yourself an authority in your domain. That’s the only way to open up more guest posting opportunities and win in SERPs. In near-future, Google will give more weight to authors who are a regular contributor in a niche, because they know their subject. They will easily win over people who are new to the field.
This will also shut down ghost blogging for good.
Community Managers are the New Brand Managers
The new online marketers are not content marketers or SEO specialists, but community managers. Those who can engage, retain, and convert potential customers. They will become the face of their respective companies.
See how Joshua Hardwick has become the face of Ahref. Similarly, Rand Fishkin is the face of Moz (even after leaving it). Why? Because people believe them!
Paid guest posts 2019 – Do they work?
Yes, they are here to stay. We may be stretching this, but Google has no way of distinguishing paid and free guest posts. They are going to exist for a long time. Why? Because just like advertisements in the real world, paid guest posts are just one way of advertising.
The way people exchange paid guest posts may change. Just like advertorials are provided a separate section, but they will still contribute to link juice.
Purch, the owner of Tomshardware, offer one paid post for $5,000. It doesn’t allow a link in the post but that is enough because the website is visited by millions of people in a day.
How many Guest Posts do I need to rank higher?
It depends on many factors, especially the content on your website, the keywords you are targeting, and the DA of the website where you are posting the content. As an estimate, you need to guest blog consistently i.e. 3-4 guest posts each month to see some movement in rankings. They usually take 1-2 months to rank higher.
How many Guest Posts a month should I publish?
As said earlier, you should continuously build connections with websites where you can submit a guest post. On an average, start with 3-4 guest posts per month and then stretch it to 7-10 guest posts per month.