Guest blogging is a promising content marketing strategy for those who are in the market to gain targeted traffic and relevant backlinks that give them valuable SEO juice.
However, back in 2014 Google’s former Head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts announced the death of guest blogging saying, ‘Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”
Does that mean that guest blogging is dead?
Thousands of brands and people still use guest blogging as one of the main strategies to build links to their website.
What has changed is the approach towards it.
Today, if you want to get outstanding results from writing guest posts, you need to approach high-quality websites that are sharing truly useful content.
This article targets all the important aspect of guest blogging:
1. How to find relevant targets for guest posting
2. How to write high-quality guest articles
3. How to score backlinks when nothing seems to work
1. How To Find Relevant Targets For Guest Posting
To write a guest post you need a website that is accepting articles and is actively looking for good content.
Beyond that, you’ll have to ensure that the website you are pitching to is credible and will help you meet your goals.
There are multiple ways to find such websites.
One of them is using a simple Google search. Run a set of specific queries to find websites that are happy to accept guest posts. For example:
- [topic /keyword phrase] + “contribute”
- [topic / keyword phrase] + “write for us”
- [topic / keyword phrase] + “guest posts”
Another effective way is to find people in your industry who actively guest blog and run a search query with their name.
It will give you access to all the websites where they have contributed and that you can pitch to.
You can even do a quick Twitter search of “guest post” or “guest article” and that can bring up some websites or guest authors that you can go after.
Search your .store domain NOW!
Assessing the credibility of the website
Finding websites is only one part of the equation. The next step is to ensure that these sites are worth your time and will help you meet the goals for your guest blogging strategy.
The tool will tell you how well your website is regarded on the Internet and if it will provide any value in terms of links and traffic.
Moz’s scale is from 0 to 100 and the higher the score of the site, the better the website.
While Moz doesn’t specify what score counts as good domain authority, SmartInsights created a pretty helpful chart of the average domain authority in different industries.
Another trick is to check for the website’s email subscribers, the average shares their posts get, their social numbers and average social engagement.
Websites with powerful numbers will put them up in front for you to see. It gives you a good idea of the size of the potential audience you could reach.
2. How To Write High-Quality Guest Articles
As soon as you have a spreadsheet ready with the list of websites to target, you’re going to face the next challenge.
How do you come up with that many good article ideas?
It’s easy to brainstorm 5-6 good guest post ideas but if you want to scale this activity and get maximum returns out of it, you’ll need to generate these ideas weekly.
The following three copywriting techniques can help you with that.
1. The Splintering Technique
One of the key aspects of high-quality blogs is that they are long and detailed.
The lengthy nature of the blog means you need to make it easy for the reader by inserting backlinks to the different sections of the article in the sidebar.
The quick jumps are great for accommodating different kinds of readers who are looking for specific information in the article and don’t want to go through the whole thing.
The idea here is to break this lengthy article into “splinters” and create smaller, standalone articles from it.
These splintered posts can then be submitted as guest posts.
The win here is these splintered articles don’t take too long to write. All the hard work and research is already in place. It just needs a bit of polishing and the article is good to go.
This is a great overall content marketing strategy.
- Write your hero piece that is detailed and long with all possible information
- Break this hero piece into splinters and submit each one of them as a guest article to another blog.
2. The Robin Hood Technique
In case you’re not aware of who Robin Hood was; he was a guy who robbed from the rich and gave it to the poor.
Popular blogs are popular for a reason—because they have a ton of high-quality content.
Lesser-known blogs are not popular for the opposite reason—because they don’t have a lot of top-notch content.
So, why not be the Robin Hood and “steal” the great content ideas from popular blogs and offer them to the lesser-known blog?
Don’t literally steal content from a blog because that could get you in legal trouble.
Instead, take inspiration from that content piece and build on top of it until it has your unique voice.
You’d be surprised to know how open lesser-known blogs are to such high-quality content and you can be sure that they will promote your blog everywhere.
Search your .store domain NOW!
3. The Perspective Technique
You can write about the same topic multiple times with a different perspective. For example, a topic on guest blogging can be about:
- Best practices of guest blogging
- How to use guest blogging to enhance your SEO
- Tips to be good at guest blogging
By changing the perspective slightly, the same idea can be covered in various ways depending on the readers of the website you’re submitting the article to.
For each guest post idea that you come up with, you can create a list of unique variations by altering the perspective. This will give you an additional 5-7 unique topics easily.
The best way to write high-quality guest articles is to combine all three techniques:
- Use the Robin Hood technique to find popular content ideas
- Use the Splintering technique and break that big idea into smaller subtopics
- Use the Perspective Technique to cover those subtopics from different angles
3. How To Score Backlinks With Guest Blogging
Learning about how to effectively go about guest blogging is great in theory.
However, as soon as you take all this hard work and great article ideas to websites, you may face a ton of roadblocks.
- Websites might turn down your article ideas
- They may strip your link from the article without any intimation
- The negotiations can go on for months
- The links that you get don’t add as much value as you’d hoped
These problems are common, and often inevitable. But there are a few hacks you can use to solve them.
i) Be very particular about the quality of your content
This is non-negotiable. The whole objective of guest blogging is to get your writing published on legitimate blogs and get a relevant backlink in the bargain.
Some websites will allow you to publish a low-quality article if you pay them, but they’ll never post that article for free.
Paying for guest posts is a direct violation of Google’s guidelines and can negatively impact your site’s ranking in the search results.
This is especially true when it comes to getting your blogs published on some of the industry-leading blogs.
They care about their reputation and are particular about the articles that go on their website.
So, to make it to the top blogs, you must focus on the quality of your content.
Moreover, this will help you build a portfolio of awesome content published on well-known blogs and you can use these as social proofs in your outreach emails.
Search your .store domain NOW!
ii) Pitch for more blogs than you can handle
As soon as you get on the bandwagon of guest blogging, you’ll realize that it’s a long process and it may be a while before your article gets published.
So, while you’re waiting for a reply, pitch the same topic to other blogs. That way you’ll have a queue of bloggers open to publishing your articles.
Meanwhile, if the first website reverts, then tell them the truth:
Sorry, you weren’t responding so another blog took the idea. But I’m sure I can suggest some more ideas that will be great for your readers.
Sometimes this little trick makes them eager to publish your next article because they know other bloggers are looking for it.
iii) Write for blog’s where you haven’t published before
It’s no secret that bloggers are cautious about who they give their outgoing links to.
Some do this because they’re concerned that Google might punish them for linking out too much or linking to not-so-great websites.
Others think that by not linking at all, they might improve their rankings.
So, don’t worry too much if the guest blogging site refuses to accept a backlink to your site.
Editors often don’t approve when guest bloggers link to their own web properties. But they don’t mind if you link to some other reliable resource.
So, take advantage of that fact and add a backlink to your guest posts on other blogs.
Apply PageRank logic—the more links that point to a page, a stronger a link from that page is.
Getting your guest post published is not the last step.
Make sure you engage and make the most of that post by following these simple steps:
- Leverage social media by promoting your posts and engaging with the posts that the website where you published your article shares.
- Ask your friends and colleagues to share your post.
- Respond thoughtfully to the comments on your blog. It’s one of the easiest ways to boost your comment count and improve engagement.