You might have heard a lot that guest posting is dying, or it has lost its role as an effective SEO agent for your business.
In fact, Google is giving warning against spammy, low-quality guest posts for a long time.
But the reality is that guest posting is still kicking and thriving.
And to find it’s proof, you don’t need to struggle much.
Search out the website of any content writing services providing company or any digital marketing agency, and you will find…
… that ‘Guest Posting’ is also the part of their ‘services’ squad.
Why? Because people are looking out for them.
And why are people looking out for them?
The reasons are:
- It still works (the answer can’t be any simpler than this!).
- It is way more than just a link building technique.
You might have been stuck right now on the second point.
What does it mean that guest blogging is more than just a link building technique?
So here is your answer.
- Benefits of Guest Posting – What Makes it the Best Inbound Marketing Technique?
- Guest Posting Guidelines – Everything You Need to Know
- Step # 1: Determine Your Goal
- Step # 2: Find Guest Blogging Targets
- Tips for Searching TARGETED SITES for Guest Posting
- STEP # 3: Get Ready to Get Down to Work
- Homework # 1: Vet the Selected Sites
- Homework #2: Check Blogger Guidelines
- Homework # 3: Read their Content
- Homework # 4: Get On the Radar
- Homework # 5: Find the IRRESISTIBLE Topic
- STEP # 4: Gig Your Pitch
- Step # 5: Pen Down Your Guest Post
- Step # 6: Follow Up is a Must
- You May Also Like:
Benefits of Guest Posting – What Makes it the Best Inbound Marketing Technique?
If you have been thinking of guest posting as just a link building technique, you have missed the core idea of guest blogging.
It is way more than just a backlink provider for your website.
You can find hundreds of guest blogging services providing companies that fancily jot down benefits of guest blog posting.
We all know that websites sell themselves by making out-of-the-world kind of magical claims.
But, here, let me admit that they are not lying.
It’s true that the guest posting service can do all this for your business.
The only difference lies in the way you do guest posting.
In case you don’t know:
Not all guest posts are the same.
If someone asks you what is guest posting, you might answer it without thinking much:
“Guest posting means to write and publish your article on someone else’s website or blog.”
Yes, that’s what guest posting is.
- How you create content
- What you write
- Where you choose to publish guest posts
…make the difference.
It defines whether Google will consider your guest post as a white hat practice or black hat practice.
Knowing how guest posting works and how to turn it into a warrior in shining armor for your business is your safe haven.
So keep on reading because I have the key to unlock the right guest posting code.
Guest Posting Guidelines – Everything You Need to Know
You just can’t get up one day, thinking that okay fine, from today, you will start doing guest posting.
You need first to know everything about it to make it work. That’s what this ultimate guide is going to do for you!
Step # 1: Determine Your Goal
Most of the guest posting guides you read begin with finding your target site.
Or they tell you how to write the best content.
Both of these things are important components of getting the most out of your guest post efforts.
But before all this, don’t you think that it is important to determine your goal first?
You are doing guest blogging to get high-quality backlinks, sure, but we have already discussed that it can do much more for your business.
So you have to first set your goal, like whether you want to…
- Enhance brand awareness
- Get exposure to a targeted audience
- Get more qualified traffic
- Establish credibility
- Become an authority
- Grow social media profile
- Increase your revenue
…and this goal will guide your whole guest blog posting journey.
Your goal sets the base for building a robust guest blogging strategy that delivers desired results.
So defining a clear goal should be the first step in every guest blogging guidelines.
Step # 2: Find Guest Blogging Targets
Obviously, you can’t randomly pitch every site to guest post on.
You can’t go all out, knocking mailboxes of every site owner, saying: Hey, I have a guest post. Will you accept it?
And there are two reasons for this:
Reason 1: Not every site is worth guest blogging for.
Reason 2: Not every site accepts guest posts.
It means that you have to consider these two criteria while targeting guest blogging sites.
Criteria for Selecting WORTH-BLOGGING Sites
Let’s solve the equation of reason number one:
Which sites should you target?
To find its answer, let’s go back to guest posting services providing companies.
They are desperate to convince you.
So honestly, nobody elaborates this better than them.
Based on these examples, we can clearly determine what makes a blogger site your best pick.
1. Choose High Domain Authority Sites
Google doesn’t consider all links as equal.
A link coming from a high authority site is more powerful than many links coming from low DA sites.
Yes, that’s how important is the quality of the linking site for Google.
The reason is simple:
Backlinks are like votes.
Links from high authority sites = High-value votes
Links from low authority sites = Low-value votes
It is as simple as that.
So no matter why you are doing guest posting, always go for high-authority sites.
It will unleash the true potential of guest blogging for your site.
But unlike people’s popular perception, you shouldn’t stick to just this one criterion.
Check out other factors as well.
2. Go for Relevant Sites
Choosing niche-specific sites is essential due to two reasons:
- To prove Google that your guest post is not a black hat practice
- To get access to the targeted audience
Google is smarter than you think.
It has established parameters to determine if a guest post is legit or not.
And one of them is definitely that the link should be coming from a relevant site.
Obviously, someone will link to your site only if your site has anything to do with its content.
You can’t expect a technology blog to have any connection with the dessert recipe.
So always search out the relevant site if you don’t want Google to tag your guest blog as a sneaky practice.
Besides that, your purpose of guest posting is also to expand your reach to the targeted audience.
It’s a no-brainer that your target audience will be present on relevant sites, not on irrelevant sites.
So don’t just stick to the DA of the site.
It’s useless to post your content on a site if it has nothing to do with your website.
In a tough market where every second count, you don’t have time to waste on useless things, right?
So choose relevant sites rather than struggling to make a connection between marketing blog with your home décor business…just because of the DA.
3. Select Sites with High Organic Traffic Flow
Okay, high DA is oh-so-good. But ignoring high organic traffic flow metric is not-so-good.
Having high organic traffic is an indicator that: Google loves a site and considers it credible and trustable.
To understand it, let’s decode this formula:
Key Point 1: High organic traffic goes to only high ranking sites.
Key Point 2: It is not easy to grab top-ranking positions. You have to fulfill many (more than you know!) criteria to rank higher.
Key Point 3: If you have ranked higher, it means you have fulfilled those criteria.
Key Point 4: First, congrats! Second, it indicates that you have become an authority in the eyes of Google.
Conclusion: If a site is getting high organic traffic, it is an authoritative site. And if it has given a link to a site, it transfers its authority to the linking site as well.
The linked site also becomes authoritative for Google.
The best part?
You just have to search such niche-specific, authoritative sites with high organic traffic.
You just have to enjoy a free ride on the hard work of the guest posting site.
4. Check Readers’ Engagement
There are two ways to check the level of readers’ engagement with the blog.
- Check the number of social media shares
- See the number of comments
You can see that this blog’s number of social media shares are HUGE.
He doesn’t accept guest posts, but Backlinko is a perfect example to show what readers’ engagement seems like.
Now you might be thinking, what does readers’ engagement have to do with the guest posting?
Well, there is another formula behind the connection between doing a guest blog posting on sites with higher readers’ engagement.
But let’s cut it short, and come to the point:
Blogs with higher readers’ engagement give a sign that their readers are active, not passive.
Guest blog posting on sites with high organic traffic, but the passive audience also doesn’t do much to send your site awesome referral traffic.
Passive readers’ reading habits are different from active readers.
So, which types of readers do you want to encounter?
I hope now you know why you should go for guest posting sites with the high readers’ engagement.
In case you end up meeting passive dudes, they might not even bother clicking your link.
You don’t want this to happen, right?
5. Pick Sites’ Offering Contextual Links
Google likes links that are editorially placed within the content.
It means that the placed link is surrounded by relevant content that gives the placed link thrust and meaning.
Forced, shoved, and randomly placed links are just too obvious to be not caught by Google.
So if you are placing contextual links, that’s great.
But here is a problem:
Some sites that accept guest posts don’t allow you to put in contextual links.
They either ask you to put a link in the sidebar or the author’s bio.
Google doesn’t give value to both these types of links.
So always pitch sites that allow placing editorial links.
Otherwise, the whole effort is just useless.
Tips for Searching TARGETED SITES for Guest Posting
Now you already know what kind of sites are worth targeting.
But things don’t end here.
Finding these ‘best guest blog posting’ sites is itself a whole lot of struggle (and actually time taking!).
But I have made things easier for you.
Here are some tips and tricks that can save your day.
Method # 1: Use Google Search Strings
Google search strings are marketers saviors on so many levels.
And searching guest posting sites is a part of them.
The trick is simple, use:
“Keyword” + “Google Search Strings”
Here I have made things simpler for you.
These strings will help you find some real gems without much struggle.
Method # 2: Take Help from Google Search
You can find a huge list of guest posting sites by using simple keywords.
Your niche + guest bloggers
For example, I searched for travel guest bloggers, and I got a lot of helpful resources.
I got a good fat list of posts giving the curated list of travel blogs accepting guest posts.
And I also got ‘Write for Us’ pages of sites accepting guest posts.
So besides using search strings, use Google search in the best way possible.
It will sort out most of your problems.
Method # 3: See Where Your Competitors are Posting
If your competitors are doing well in terms of rankings and getting traffic, it means that they are doing something good.
And that good can be: their right guest posting strategy.
So why not see where they are doing guest posting?
And this ain’t difficult.
You can use Moz or Ahrefs to find what your competitors are up to.
Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, and put in your competitor’s URL.
You have found 990 linking sites. GREAT.
But here is a thing. Not every site is a guest posting site.
And not every guest posting site has a ‘Write for Us’ page.
So you might have to vet this list carefully.
But once you invest time, you will find some real gems. It will be worth the effort!
Method # 4: Go for Reverse Image Search
In the previous method, you spied on your competitor’s backlink profile.
Now it’s time to use their image to find their guest post footprints.
Seriously, that’s one of the most amazing (and magical!) methods.
Find out someone who is doing too much guest blogging in your niche.
Right-click on their profile picture and hit ‘Search Google for Image.’
And you will find the list of sites where this person has guest posted.
After that, you know what you should be doing.
Method # 5: Check Out Social Searches
Social media is a powerful platform to enhance user engagement and get your voice out.
So no wonder that most bloggers use it to inform people about their new posts and to drive traffic.
That’s where you can find your broad color strokes for guest post blogging opportunities.
For example, I simply typed in ‘interior décor guest post,’ and I got a good chunk of travel-related guest posting sites.
These simple methods show that finding guest blogging sites is not a hard nut to crack.
But here is an important tip to remember:
Collect as many sites as you can.
There isn’t any surety that you will get answers from all of them.
Because finding sites is not the only headache, you also have to convince them that you are the best writer alive in this world, and THEY NEED YOU.
And this point takes us to our next step.
STEP # 3: Get Ready to Get Down to Work
This step paves your path towards moving the needle for you.
Obviously, you can’t jump to post writing right after selecting sites.
If you need to get your proposal accepted, and want to drive the maximum benefits, you need to work on this step really hard.
Homework # 1: Vet the Selected Sites
Yes, I said collect as many sites as you can.
But definitely, every single site is not worth hitting.
You have to shed extra fats to get the fine meat to make steaks.
For this, step # 2 is going to help you.
Select sites based on:
- High root domain authority
- Relevancy to your site
- High organic traffic flow
- Higher reader engagement
- Strong social media following
- Offering in-content links
- Can drive high referral traffic
Remember that you are not doing guest posting just for the sake of doing guest blogging.
You want to achieve goals and drive results; that’s why choosing the best sites for pitching is your way to go.
Homework #2: Check Blogger Guidelines
Influential bloggers don’t let anyone and everyone post content.
And they also don’t post every type of content.
They have strict criteria for guest post-selection, and that’s what makes them authority.
So make sure to read their guidelines.
These are the basic guest post guidelines that you will find on almost every blog.
But some sites have different guidelines than others.
Like high authority websites have detailed and stricter guidelines than low authority sites.
For example, HuffPost is an authority site with 80+ DA.
Can you guess it’s ‘How to Pitch Huffpost’ guide’s number of words?
Well, around 1091. They are huge for just a ‘write for us’ page.
But they are HuffPost, and they have to keep their legacy intact.
So they have jotted down every minute requirements even for a PITCH.
So always check out what guest blogging sites want from you and what are their standards.
Well, if you really want your post to get accepted.
Homework # 3: Read their Content
You need to read the content of the blog due to two reasons:
- First: Every blog has its own writing style and tone.
At least, high authority sites have it.
A few common writing styles that you will encounter are:
Sticking with the signature writing style is the key that makes a blog as an authority and brand.
McDonald’s has a particular tone and style. You watch their ads, and you know: Okay, yeah, it’s their ad.
That’s what authority sites want.
So if you want to get your guest post published on authority blogs, you need to read their content and analyze their tone and style.
Need some understanding?
Let’s dissect the styles of a few authority bloggers.
There is a huge difference in each blog’s style.
So you should come up with content that follows their writing style.
- Second: You need to come up with a different idea.
If you end up creating something that has already been covered on the blog, without any doubt, the blogger will reject your pitch.
So it is always better to go through the content list of the site to avoid creating something that is no more than clutter for the blogger.
That’s why you should do detailed homework if you want to come up with content that has higher chances of getting approval.
Homework # 4: Get On the Radar
How many gigs do guest posting sites get, any guess?
Well, more than you can imagine.
There are so many companies offering guest posting services, and their outreach team is all the time busy finding new prospects.
Besides that, some solo bloggers are willing to do guest posting to boost their authority and ranking.
So authority bloggers and sites accepting guest posts are all the time flooded with gigs from different people.
In this deluge of emails, what are your prospects to catch their attention?
Quiet thin, right?
So it is always better to catch the eyes of blog owners before bombarding them with your gigs.
Here are a few ways:
- Comment on their blogs: Appreciate or share your thoughts.
- Share their posts on social media: Tag them with some nice words.
- Follow them on social media: Try to comment as well.
- Email them: Praise their work and tell how you benefited from their content.
Following these tactics will help a lot in saving your gig from becoming a blink and miss case.
Homework # 5: Find the IRRESISTIBLE Topic
Once you know what you should not be writing.
Your next step is to know what you should be writing.
And this is not an easy task. Well, not easy enough that you search a few related keywords and land on a topic.
- You have to satisfy the blogger’s audience.
- You have to deliver your message, as well.
- You have to come up with an innovative topic.
- You have to create a topic that works.
Here is how you can come up with a topic that satisfies all these points:
Technique # 1: Check Out the Most Happening Posts
First, check out the taste of your targeted audience.
You don’t need to work much to find it.
Head to the site’s blog’s main page, and see the most popular posts on the site.
Here is an example:
It gives you an idea of the best hits on the blog.
Technique # 2: See Top-Ranking Articles of Your Keyword
Next, find the top ranking sites for your targeted keyword.
If you are targeting niche-specific sites for guest blog posting, it means your audiences are the same.
So the site’s audience is likely to like what is ranking high for your keyword.
For instance, I searched for ‘guest blogging marketing’…
…and I found top-ranking blogs on different topics related to the keyword.
It can give you a pretty good idea about the topics people are liking, and… different dimensions associated with a keyword.
So it’s a double jackpot!
Technique # 3: Don’t Go Too Out-Of-The-Box
Obviously, you don’t want to write content that has already been published.
And you definitely want to create something different, something groundbreaking.
But don’t become too overwhelmed and end up creating something that nobody likes or needs to read.
Still, feel like giving an edge to your content?
Here is the trick:
- Write a better version of a popular topic than others.
- Add a new point that others have never mentioned before.
- Create engaging and valuable content with a different writing style.
It will do the trick.
STEP # 4: Gig Your Pitch
Once you have done your homework, in other words, you know…
- What are the guest posting guidelines
- What blogger’s audience wants to read
- What is trending in your niche
- What type of topic you should choose
…it is time to take the bull by the horns: Pitch your idea to the blogger.
Believe me, this is the most difficult part.
It is just like:
You have to ring the bell, make it heard in the buzz of already ringing bells, and convince the owner to open the door only for you.
Well, it really is.
That’s why you have to be very careful.
From your subject line, selection of words, the way you pitch your idea, and close your email, each and everything matters a lot.
To ease out things, here is a sample template for you:
Hi [insert name],
I have been reading your blog [insert site’s name] for a long time, and I must say that you are really doing a great job.
Considering the standard of your blog, I would love to contribute a guest post on your site.
For that, I have thoroughly read your guest posting guidelines and come up with a few awesome topics. Don’t worry, they are unique, and your audience will love them.
[Idea # 1]
[Idea # 2]
I will make sure that I abide by your standards and provide super valuable content to readers.
To give you some idea of my content style and approach, here are links to some of my published guest posts on authority sites [URL # 1] and [URL # 2].
Let me know if you are interested. I am already working on them, so I am all set to show you how I can bring value to your blog.
[insert your name]
Can you point out the key features of this blog?
- Has personalized content.
- Contains subtle selling pitch or tone.
- Is to-the-point and comprehensive.
- Touches emotional appeal.
- Shows what you have got.
- Gives a guarantee of your experience.
Obviously, you will customize it as per your requirements.
But this template at least gives you an idea of how to ring the bell that convinces the blogger to open the door for you.
Step # 5: Pen Down Your Guest Post
Let’s hope for the best that this awesome pitch template will end you up with a happy ‘yes.’
So after that, it is time: to show what you have got for them.
Definitely, if you have claimed that you will add value to their site, you have to prove it through your content.
But here is a thing:
You can’t burn your midnight oil for every article.
For example, if you are writing for very authoritative sites like HubSpot or The Huffington Post, you can’t end things with a simple hi-bye of 500 words.
You have to come up with…
- A lengthy content of 2500+ words that provides value.
- Well-researched content that justifies the topic.
- An edge that satisfies their audience expectations.
- Content (charts, screenshots, tables) to support your content.
Here is an example to make things understandable for you:
If you check out this guest post, you will see that this post qualifies all the parameters mentioned above.
- It has 2541 words = lengthy, valuable content
- It has around 12 points = well-researched content
- Bonus tips = an edge
- Screenshot = proves to support content
So, it easily got placed on HubSpot.
But you don’t need to do this with your every post.
If you are initially pitching a normal DA site that isn’t considered as a premium site, you don’t have to go through all this hassle.
But make sure that you still stick to these rules:
- Create something valuable and worth posting.
- Be precise, but still justify the topic.
- Follow the blogger’s given guidelines.
- Create something that is worth including in your portfolio.
In short, never write any guest post just for the sake of writing a guest post and getting a backlink.
Your motive should be to create high-quality content and provide value to the reader – rest will come as perks of your hard work.
Step # 6: Follow Up is a Must
Here are three main parts of this step:
Remind Blogger to Publish Your Post
If you think that the blogger is eagerly waiting to post your content, you are wrong.
Come back to reality and let’s face it:
Any authority site has a huge pile of guest posts that are waiting to get a kind glance.
No wonder that your content might get buried in the pile of pending guest posts.
So always send a follow-up email in case your post doesn’t flash within one week.
It wouldn’t hurt to add a few more kind words to persuade the blogger. But DON’T START BEGGING.
Be gentle, to-the-point, and have some patience.
Here is a template that you might like to follow:
Hi [insert name],
Hope you are doing well.
Just chimed in your email to remind you that I emailed you my guest post [title of the post] on [date].
I know you are busy and have many things to create (that I love to read by the way!).
Still, I will be glad if you let me know whether you are interested in publishing my guest post.
This email might help you push your buried content to the top.
Once your post gets published, it is essential to get the words out.
And you know, nothing can be better than social media for this purpose.
So share your post on social media to get more referral traffic and get the word out about your post.
It will encourage people interested in your niche to share it with other people.
And a chain of retweets will form that will boost your post.
Don’t Forget to Reply to Comment
In today’s age, consumers of anything want a personalized experience.
They want brands to make them feel special.
Here replying to comments of the people can play the ace card.
It is a small gesture that shows that you care and value their time spent reading and commenting on your blog.
And their presence and involvement are valuable for you.
It will also be a great way to build a loyal customer base that happily looks out for your content.
Send an Email of Gratitude
If you want to…
- Be remembered
- Build a good relationship with bloggers
- Remain in their good books
…then do send a thank you email once your email gets published.
It is not only a matter of getting published on a blog but also building long-lasting relationships with influential bloggers.
Sending a thank-you email will pave the path for you.
It will leave your good impression on them.
Guest posting is not dead. It will keep on breathing until there are people who want to read unique and fresh content.
Guest blogging is not going anywhere. It is here to stay until there are websites that want quality content from different people to boost authority.
It is you who have to learn how to get the most out of your guest posting efforts.
Once you get the hunch of the underlying trick, you can use it as your business booster on so many levels.
So what are you waiting for?
Get started because a whole new world is waiting for you!