Will guest blogging provide results you need to meet your objectives?
That’s a difficult question to answer, and no less difficult than whether marketing channels like paid ads, press releases, email marketing, affiliate programs, or any other channels will help your business.
Each marketing channel requires certain steps to be followed in order to bear fruit. The fact is, guest blogging can be an extremely powerful method of sending authority and credibility signals for both your prospects and the search engines.
Guest Blogging is not that complicated, it really comes down to three things:
- Finding authority blogs
- Creating great content
- Pitching very well
Why should you guest blog?
When you start your own blog, it might take a long time in finding its feet. However, with guest blogging, it’s just a matter of getting guest posts on a few authority blogs to get visibility.
Influencers who like interesting and informative content prefer guest blogs over other sources. With guest blogging, you get an opportunity to improve your authority while creating content that gets widely published and read. On the other hand, there are bloggers who are influencers but don’t have enough time to write consistently. These “gurus” require someone to update their blog with interesting content on a regular basis.
Moreover, the way you build links has changed in recent years. The old fashioned ways of building redundant and irrelevant links not generating the results that anyone is looking for. In this competitive world where search engines have become extremely intelligent, websites need to have more social mentions and brand power. Generating these signals require you to participate in serious brand building and one of the ways of doing so is by guest posting
How to find guest blogging opportunities?
When looking for a blog to guest post on, your main goal should be finding one that is relevant to your industry. The blog should fit the following criteria.
- The content in the blog should focus on your industry
- Check for Domain Authority, ahrefs Domain Rating and more importantly GP SCORE.
- The blog should be active in social media.
- The blog should have an engaged audience (this means more comments in the posts)
- How frequently the blog is updated?
- Who has contributed to the blog in the past?
- Does the blog’s readership align with your customer base?
Finding Guest Blog Opportunities using Google Searches
Search engines are a great place to start the search for opportunities. The searches will lead you to a guidelines page, submissions page or the actual guest posts. See our huge list of search queries to find guest posting opportunities.
Piggy-Backing On Guest Bloggers
Know any famous guest bloggers in your industry?
Using Google searches for their names with the phrase “guest post by” will reveal all the sites they have guest blogged on.
For example; “guest post by James Agate” will give 1,850 results in Google, even with a 30% percent success rate we can get “555” opportunities.
Most folks typically use BuzzSumo to come up with content ideas, but you can also use it to find guest blogging opportunities.
By doing a search in BuzzSumo for the keyword “guest post” and limiting the time range to the recent past, you can find new guest post opportunities. BuzzSumo also gives you social shares and statistics. By seeing how many times a post has been shared on Twitter, you will know which opportunities provide better visibility to your brand.
BuzzSumo does a very poor job of showing a shared link in Google+, even after using an all-time filter. But, when you run the search on Google+ itself, you will get more results. This means that you might get guest blogging opportunities where no one else is looking.
Yes, there is another search engine apart from Google!
Do you why you should care about Bing: It ranks web pages differently than Google. This means that when you use the same query in both Google and Bing, you will find very different search results. You might find guest post opportunities that your competition hasn’t discovered yet.
How to create great content?
Bloggers are not satisfied with free content, they want great content. The basics of good blogging apply to guest blogging as well. So, it is important to note a few of them here.
- Write content that is unique.
- Write your best work. They are your portfolio to show off.
- Provide as much value as you can
- Break the post with headings, bullet points, and images
If you write great content for others, you will reap benefits from your efforts. However, if you put minimal effort and produce poor content, you will have done nothing but wasted your time. Even if the content gets published, nobody will take the time to notice you (the author)
You need a plan for each phase of guest blog content life cycle: strategy and creation.
If you have been accepted for guest contribution for a blog, or have just started to pitch a blog, don’t start creating the content right away – “feel it out” to see what the blogger wants to cover and what’s interesting to his/her readers
How much time can you dedicate for writing? Writing requires patience and dedication and possibly someone guarding the door to wave off the distraction. Write only when you feel like it, write only when you have inspiration.
What do you accomplish? Think about the overall goals. Is your goal to increase the users by x amount? Do you want your company to be the go-to resource for your industry?
How do you accomplish the above goals using guest blogging? If you want to grow your user base, you can create a particular strategy to utilize guest blogging to achieve this. For example, if you want to be seen as an expert in inbound marketing, you’re going to have to cover interesting topics that nobody else has! Your guest blogging plan has to match up with every goal that you have.
What type of assistance do you need to finish the content? Do other people in the company review your content? Does your content overlap with another team’s goal? Does your content need approval from the legal department? Maybe you are a great writer, but you need an editor to refine your content.
You identified your business goals, you have approval from everyone that matters and have a solid content marketing plan. Do you need to start writing now? Don’t touch the keyboard yet. You can’t start with a 1000 word article. You need to start small and build from there. Start from your strategy document and start filling the pieces.
Brainstorm: This is when you call people from other departments and come up with article ideas. Start small, as the readers get to know you, you can begin writing well researched, in-depth articles. This can also work with bloggers: you can start pitching topics, or a series and they will count on you for a well-researched article for later.
Audience: Write every article with an outline, who you think will find value in the content. By doing this, it will make the process of finding the right blog for your content easier. You will be able to tailor your content for the specific target audience.
How to create a great pitch?
“Content is king” is true, but a little misleading. Good articles are available in plenty, so any great content is of less value to bloggers. To put it in another way, bloggers don’t need your content, but you need them. The first step is to know a little bit about them and what they are trying to do.
Treat your outreach like you’re networking in the real world. Think about whether the blogger would smile or run away from you, based on your approach, and you’ll do a lot better. Don’t send out impersonal emails because you can. At least take some time to think about whether you can contribute to the site or not. If the answer is yes, explain what you can offer. Free original content is not enough. The Blogger should know who you are, how you can provide value and what you are about. On the whole, he should not feel like you are just another stranger asking for some help. Another tip to keep in mind is that, if you are sending emails to a new contact, send the mail during business hours. Your message has more chance of getting viewed, while they are looking at it.
People are overwhelmed with emails. Think about it, a popular blogger will get at least a few hundred emails every day and half of that might be from people wanting to blog on their site – it’s impossible to see all the emails in a given day. Instead, create a relationship with them on Twitter or Facebook and let them know you are a legit person and start pitching there.
The After Effect
If you have chosen the right blog, and the content is original and interesting, then it might have a good chance of getting viral. But you can improve the chance of success if you promote the guest post by yourself.
- Involve your clients, encourage them to share the content.
- Let your contacts know about the post
- Highlight the guest post in your website
- Respond to comments, tweets about the post
- Browse your previous articles and link to the guest post where it makes sense