If you are a blogger, one of your primary goals should be to create as many backlinks to your content as possible, because having them is a top-level ranking factor when it comes to your blog’s Google ranking. Now, in the olden days of the Internet, when SEO was still young, the practice of setting up backlinks to your blog was rather simple. All you had to do is inject your content with a bunch of different links and keywords, with the quality of the content taking a back to its quantity. More was more. More comments, more generic or downright useless satellite sites, and more posts.
And then it all changed. Google changed the game yet again when it rolled out updates which started favoring websites aimed at providing quality content to their audience. As a result of this, guest blogging has become extremely popular, and extremely effective, and it doesn’t take much analysis to figure out why. It allows you to establish backlinks to your blog or website, but in a way that favors great content, which benefits you and the website you are posting for.
Speaking from my own personal experience as a guest blogger for EduGeeksClub for more than 6 months, as well as having published guest posts on Lifehack.org, Business.com, Jeff Bullas and Business2Community, I’m here to tell you that guest blogging is alive and well and that you can do it, too. More details below.
Quantity vs. Quality
As I have pointed out before, Google has changed the way it ranks pages, and because of that, focusing on increasing the volume of your guest posts might not be the best tactic to employ, especially in the long run. To see why quality trumps quantity in this case, let’s look at the main reasons why bloggers seek out guest blogging opportunities in the first place:
- To drive traffic to their site
- To improve their reputation/establish authority in the niche
- To get backlinks
The first two are enough to illustrate the advantages of relying on the quality of your posts, and the third is a direct result of that. Yes, you are free to create as many backlinks as you please, but you’re not going to get as much traffic as you would get guest posting for a high-quality blog, and it will do nothing for your reputation, either. Even the biggest brands have been able to see the potential of high-quality guest posts a few years back, and guess what: that still hasn’t changed, even though it’s not quite the same. Still there is plenty of data that shows its benefits.
Now comes the cool bit, where you will learn how to do it properly.
Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities
The prospect of finding the most reputable places for guest blogging may seem daunting, just because there are so many websites and blogs out there, but there are a few clever ways you can narrow down your search.
It all starts with a simple Google search. For instance, you can use your niche as a keyword and do the following Google search queries:
“keyword” + “write for us”
“keyword” + “guest posts wanted”
“keyword” + “guest post written by”
“keyword” + “looking for guest bloggers”
“keyword” + “submit an article”
“keyword” + “write for us”
You get the idea. Any combination of your keyword and terms which are generally used to describe a guest blogging opportunity or an invite.
It’s not exactly uncommon for bloggers to brag a little bit about their guest posts, especially if they are really proud of the work they have done, or if it’s an authority website. And how would you do this? Of course, you would together a list simply named “My Guest Posts”, “My Posts on Other Blogs”, or anything similar to that. I am sure you are already familiar with all the rock stars in your niche, so why not google their name along with the words “my guest posts” and see what pops up?
Trust me, the results are a real goldmine of high-quality blogs you can turn to for guest blogging. Another nifty feature is Google’s reverse image search. You can either right-click on the image of a particular author and search for it on Google, or you can simply drag-and-drop the image into the image search box. You will get a list of all the websites where that particular blogger has been published, which means, even more, high-quality places for you to check out.
SEMrush to the Rescue
You’ve got a neat little pile of links you can turn to, but there is still more you can do. I suggest using SEMrush, which is an amazing tool you can use to analyze what your competitors are doing, discover their backlinks and the way they drive traffic to their websites, as well as to narrow down or expand the list of websites you will contact for the purpose of guest posting. Because SEMrush is such powerful and versatile tool, it deserves an entirely different article, and there is a great one written already, which you can check out here.
Pitching Your Idea
If there is a particular post on an industry influencer’s blog that you find brilliant, let them know about. You can do it by being active in the comments section, or even by sending them an email. That way when you actually reach out to them, they might be familiar with you already.
You can also get in touch with them on Twitter, and leave a meaningful reply that will get their attention.
Before you actually contact them and pitch your idea, think long and hard about what sort of post their website and their audience might benefit from. If it fits their blog like a glove, you’re in. Read their other posts and follow the writing guidelines in order to get a better idea of what they are after.
As for the pitch itself, make it short and sweet. Introduce yourself, and let them know which article of theirs impressed you. Then let them know you would like to contribute with a guest post which addresses certain topics which their readers might find useful. You can also let them know about your previous work by leaving a link. This way, you politely introduce yourself, acknowledge their good work, and reach out to them, without overselling yourself.
As for the post itself, make sure to follow the guidelines and turn in your best work. After all, authority blogs are reputable because they post high-quality content, not generic filler. This means you need to be ready to write in-depth pillar posts that can be over 2000 words long.
After you get published, take the time to respond to user comments and engage in a debate. Also, do your best to promote the guest post you have worked for so hard. And last, but not least, don’t forget to thank the blog owner for the opportunity. Don’t just post and run. It’s rude, plus you don’t want to close the door on guest blogging for them again in the future.
Although you may come across bombastic posts claiming the death of guest blogging, it is anything but. But it does require a lot more work nowadays, especially if you are after guest posts on reputable sites that reach out to a wide audience. I hope that this post will help you boost your guest blogging efforts and receive all the perks that go along with it. Good luck!
Disclaimer: All images are provided by author.