Better Guest Blogging Through Smarter Blogger Outreach
Guest blogging is a strategy that every smart internet marketer and agency is utilising to great effect. It has become particularly popular following Google’s recent algorithm changes, which has emphasised the need for relevant content associated with your site.
It has become a core part of the SEO strategy here at Mesmerised. Join me as I share our techniques so that you can experience similar success through guest blogging.
The Three Benefits of Smart Guest Blogging
When you guest blog you are essentially posting an article onto a blog that you do not own. Now, this might sound like a ridiculous waste of time, but it actually provides three important benefits, making it a worthwhile and rewarding tactic:
Build links- Links, the fuel of SEO! This is the key reason that makes guest blogging such a powerful strategy.
Different blogs will have different linking rules. These rules will dictate the number of links you can have, as well as where you can place them.
The most common place to link back to your website is within the author bio. There are also plenty of blogs that allow links within the actual body of the text.
To determine the strength of the blog and therefore the link, use the SEOmoz toolbar. It will provide you a metric called domain authority. It will rate the website from 0-100, determining the authority that the website has in Google’s eyes.
Getting Exposure and Traffic- You might not have an established website with consistent traffic or an active community. Guest blogging can help you develop this by benefitting from somebody else’s traffic.
If you write a really good post that engages the blog’s audience, offering them tangible advice, guidance or even entertainment, they are going to want to hear more from you.
When they do, they will click through to your website or blog via the link you placed within your author bio. Then, it’s up to the quality of your website and it’s content to retain the visitor.
Become an Authority within Your Industry- It doesn't matter if you are the best performer in your entire industry. If you don’t demonstrate it, nobody will know.
By offering guidance directly associated with the industry that you work in, you will demonstrate your knowledge. The longer you spend doing it, the more credibility you will develop, and the more people will trust you and your brand.
The key to the success of all three of these benefits is directly determined by the quality of the content you produce. Create remarkable content, get remarkable results.
Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities
The main thing you want to consider when searching for guest blogging opportunities is how relevant the blog is to your website. Ensure that the blog’s content and its audience is associated with your industry, otherwise you will see substantially less results.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways to find blogs relevant to your industry.
Using Google- Searching Google is a really good way of finding blogs that accept guest blogs, provided you search correctly.
First of all, think of the most appropriate keyword that describes your industry. If you are a website designer, use website design. If you are a gardener, use gardening.
Now, search in Google with your keyword, followed by these phrases (you need to include the speech marks):
- “write for us”
- “guest post”
- “guest post guidelines”
- “accepting guest posts”
It will lead you to discover a number of blog’s guest post guideline page, submission page, or a guest post written by somebody else. You can then take a look around the blog to work out if it would be an appropriate place to guest post for.
Look at Your Competitors- Have a competitor that has consistently dominated the top positions in Google? You can mimic their guest blogging efforts.
Use a tool such as Open Site Explorer to access your competitor’s link profiles, discovering where they have posted guest blogs. Then copy them.
Additional Resources- There are also a number of guest blogging websites that make it easier to quickly discover opportunities. Take a look at my two favourites.
MyBlogGuest- Without a doubt the best community of guest bloggers I have ever come across. Submit your post and receive offers from blog owners that wish to feature it on their blog, and then choose your favourite offer.
BloggerLinkUp- When you sign up to this, they will send you an email every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It provides you with a list of requests for guest blogs, covering a wide array of niches.
Pitching Your Guest Post Idea to the Blogger
Now that you have found a blog that you wish to guest post for, it’s time to email them your pitch. First of all, you will need to make yourself completely familiar with their blog.
Remember to read the guest blogging guidelines found on their site, if you don’t you may make a mistake, include too many links, or just do something to annoy the blog owner.
Familiarising yourself with the Blog- In order to even get your pitch considered, you need to fully understand their blog and its content. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are they writing for? Pay close attention to the target audience. Work out an angle whereby you can provide something equally or more useful than the current content.
- What are they writing about? Work out if you will need to provide a detailed tutorial or just a basic guide.
Sending The Email- In order to get better responses from your pitch, make the email personalised to the blog owner. Don’t send the same email to 20 different blog owners; you will most probably get ignored.
Remember that these guys are receiving a ton of these emails every day. What are you going to do to make yours stand out from the rest? I suggest you do the following:
- Include links to content you have produced in the past. This will allow them to take a look at your previous writing and decide if they think you are appropriate.
- Pitch a few different post ideas or concepts that you think might be suitable. This gives the blog owner choices, and shows you have put thought into your proposal.
Writing Your Guest Post
So, you have been accepted by a blog owner and now it’s time to write the post. Remember they are still likely to decline the article if it is not up to scratch. So make sure you submit a post so brilliant that they can’t possibly refuse! Take into the account the following:
This is not an advertisement- Guest posts are in no way, shape or form supposed to be an attempt at selling yourself- not directly anyway. You are aiming to provide resourceful information; your only time to sell yourself is within the bio at the bottom.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn't talk about your experiences, or come from a personal perspective when you are writing. I’m just saying that by talking about how great your company is, or how amazing you are at your job, your post will probably get rejected.
Match The Format Of Other Posts- Make sure that you create something similar to other posts. If every post has an image, make sure you do. If posts tend to use loads of sub headings, or bullet points, make yours similar.
Resourceful Links- Provide relevant internal and external links which help readers discover additional useful resources and content.
The blog owner will be impressed if you provide links to other content internally, it shows you have researched the blog, and it will also help the blog retain its readers.
Call to Action- You want to include a thought provoking comment or question at the end of your post. It will encourage readers to comment on the post, which will add benefit to your post and the blog as a whole.
Your Bio- Finally, your chance to sell yourself! Think back to the three benefits of guest blogging that we discussed at the beginning and craft your bio around that.
Link back to your site using an appropriate keyword- preferably one you have researched to be profitable for your business
Remember you want to encourage traffic to flow through to your site. Give them a reason to click through. What does your site offer them that they might find interesting?
Establish yourself as an authority. Talk about your achievements and your business, develop your brand credibility.
Finally, link through to your social accounts so that you can start developing social signals to benefit your future content further.
To finish off, for any of the more knowledgeable and experienced SEO professionals out there, I will leave you with a thought provoking question.
Do you think Google will ever reduce the benefit of guest blog links as they did to article marketing links?
Leave a comment below and we will get a discussion going!
Also head over to the Mesmerised blog where I share more tips surrounding SEO and content marketing. Mesmerised also offer SEO management, blogging services, pay per click management, and social media management if you are interested.
Daniel's internet marketing career began at 17 when he started working for Claire Jarrett. He learned to create ppc campaigns that convert like crazy, and mastered the art of SEO, to drive highly targeted traffic to client websites. You can find him on Google+ & Twitter - @Danblinman