Guest blogging is one of the most efficient ways of improving a site’s search engine rankings and is growing in importance as other methods of linking are made less effective with changes in search engine algorithms. The process consists of writing articles with return links to your niche-related sites. This is also a great way to bring in highly targeted traffic.
Additionally, guest blogging can help establish a blogger’s credibility in a particular niche, create brand awareness and network with fellow bloggers. All the benefits of guest blogging make it something worth learning and how to go about it is outlined below.
Set a goal
Keep in mind that identifying a set of goals is a must to achieve success in any project. Site owners should determine the results they need before they go on writing guest blog posts for other blogs. To gain exposure and establish authority in a chosen niche, consider finding blogs with a wide and devoted readership base. However, if the only goal is to build backlinks, then finding blogs with strong root domain authority using the free SEOmoz toolbar or other SEO checkers will be the way to go.
Find the right blogs. There are a number of ways to find guest blogging opportunities. Here are some ways to do it:
- Check with sites you follow: Most successful marketers follow top sites in their niche to keep up with what is going on. Often, these sites will accept bog posts from their fans who have good websites. In addition, if these sites already have guest bloggers, check with them to see if their sites are suitable.
- Do a Google search: One way to find blogs that accept guest bloggers is by doing a simple search using your keyword plus a variety of search terms such as “guest post”, “submit a guest post”, “accepting guest posts” and “guest post guidelines”, to name a few. You can also consider doing a Google search using the name of your favorite guest blogger plus the search terms “guest post by.” Another tactic is to type something like “guest writer” followed by niche keywords.
- Contact guest posters and blog commentators: These people will be in the same niche, and they will likely have related blogs.
- Unravel competitor backlinks: Doing a backlink analysis of your competition will, likewise, give a list of sites that offer guest blogging opportunities.
- Check social networks: Most guest bloggers post their latest articles on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter so you may also consider searching for guest blogging opportunities through this route.
- Consider joining blog communities and guest blogging websites: Sites such as MyBlogGuest, BlogEngage, The Content Facilitator and Blogger LinkUp provide ideal meeting places for content creators and blog owners. This works for both parties involved since it gives guest bloggers an opportunity to establish their credibility and build valuable backlinks to their sites while giving blog owners unique, fresh content in return.
After compiling a list of sites that accept guest bloggers, visit each blog and check if they have been updated lately. Checking the page rank and overall design of the blog is also advisable.
Make initial contact
After finding the right blogs, contact the blog owners and ask if you can write an article for their blog. Let them know who you are and why they should consider letting you write an article for their blog, to include how it could benefit their readers. Blog owners appreciate receiving personalized emails so don’t start it with Dear Sir or Madam or Dear Webmaster and the like. Show blog owners that you have taken the time to get familiar with their blog and the person behind it, and make specific references to what they have on their sites.
It is sometimes possible to establish a relationship with fellow bloggers first before asking if they will consider having your article posted in their blog. For example, comment on their posts or let them know where you have linked back to their sites and shared some of their more interesting articles in social media sites.
Write a great blog post
Try to write articles that are similar to the ones posted in the blog, and the quality needs to be a good as what you would put on your own site. Keep it informative and up-to-date. Include subtitles, bullets pictures and even videos to make the article more useful and easy to read. Remember to do some internal linking by referring to other posts relevant to the topic and encourage readers to comment on the article.
Send the article with a link back to your site as soon as the blog owners give their go signal. Most blog owners will send a feedback within two to three days of receiving the article; therefore, you may consider sending a friendly reminder in case they don’t contact you after a few days.
Note: Do not slip anchor text links that are obviously out of context and do not put multiple links pointing to a single page. This will only reduce your chances of getting your article approved.
How to get the most from guest blogging
To get the most from all your guest blogging efforts, here are some things you may want to consider:
- Make sure the blog is related to your niche: Links from sites that are not related are increasingly being devalued by search engines, and there will be few people following the link if the content is on another topic. Ensure that the site the links will come from are related.
- Get familiar with the blog’s content: Before writing your piece, consider the type and level of audience the blog attracts and the type of content they publish. You should also take note how guest posts fare among the blog’s audience. Do they get as many comments as those written by the blog owner? Taking some time to read the guest posting guidelines, if there are any, is also advisable.
- Find topics that are popular in social media circles: To increase the possibility of getting your pitch accepted by the blog owner, find topics that their audience will appreciate. Base articles on what is being shared and talked about on social networking sites.
- Do not re-use the guest blog post: Do not send the same article to multiple bloggers and resist the temptation of using it elsewhere – even if you will be using it in a different format.
- Promote your guest blog posts: While time and resource restraints will limit how often this is done, it can be beneficial to both blogs – yours and the one that published your guest blog post. This could be anything from posting the article on Facebook to building links with different SEO strategies.
- Reply to post comments: Showing a personal interest and getting a discussion going will greatly increase the chances of people visiting your site.
- Have a clear call to action: Be it clicking on a link or some other action, those who read the article should know exactly what you want them do do at the end.
- Track results: Whether you are doing guest blogging to build traffic or your authority as an expert, consider setting up an Advanced Segment in your Google Analytics account to track the performance of your guest blog posts. This is great to find what works and to show those you contact about guest blogging in the future.
Keeping in mind that guest blogging benefits both parties involved, and you may want to consider opening up the possibility of accepting guest bloggers on your site. To find great guest bloggers, apart from creating a page announcing that guest bloggers are accepted, consider posting a request on sites such as MyBlogGuest and Blogger LinkUp, to name a few. You may also consider asking fellow bloggers and active blog commenters if they are interested in writing a guest blog post for you.
Done correctly, guest blogging can be a good way to build backlinks and attract traffic to your blog while building your brand and your credibility as an expert in your niche. Are you ready to give it a try?