Why Guest Blogging?
To effectively answer this question, let’s look at one of Matt Cutts quote, “while Google’s gospel has always involved a grain of salt, it generally seems to follow along with what we’ve known or suspected about authorship: trust and quality signals are increasingly reliant on the content itself and the people who write them.”
In a gist, this quote is saying that Google is increasingly attaching authority to not only the websites, but also personalities or individuals. For example, if Elon Musk wrote an article about building electric cars on an entirely new, unranked, domain, Google would generally be inclined to ranking the article higher. While the domain doesn’t have the authority signals, the individual authority of Elon Musk ideally makes the article worth being ranked to the front pages.
This idea is aligned with Google’s core mission: providing value to their users. In fact, this mission is so important to Google that they even penalized the Wall Street Journal when it stopped providing value. So, the question is, how can you build this authority as an individual?
Well, simply put, guest blogging. Think of it this way, if you consider yourself a “marketing expert” and your content only appears on one site (your site), your claim is automatically suspect. On the other hand, if your content appears on a number of authoritative marketing publication, then your claim gets a higher level of legitimacy. This is similar to how the number of citations on a research paper indicates authority in academic research.
Aside from the backlinks, this is the key reason why guest blogging is important. The more the sites your name and content appears on, the more authoritative Googles finds you. Of course, there are other benefits including:
• Getting more targeted traffic
• Guest posts can be used to capture leads
• Developing social proof
• Generating quality backlinks from authority domains
• Developing name recognition for you and your business
Furthermore, effective guest blogging is difficult enough that it keeps out all but the most motivated of your competition. Guest blogging works. In the following section, we’ll look at a few examples to show you how guest blogging works for SEO. We’ll also look at how you can use guest blogging as a link building strategy for your SEO.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
There are many reasons you’d want to consider guest blogging, and your reason for putting up a guest post will influence the type of post you write, and the site that you write for. Here are some of the main reasons why guest blogging is essential.
Top-notch Traffic: in most cases, this is the main reason why people guest post. And as you’re going to find out, guest blogging is one of the best ways to generate high quality traffic that converts into returning subscribers. For instance, I recently put up a guest post on ProBlogger, which sent me over 1000 visitors in under a week with quality time on site and minimal bounce rate. Most of these visitors went on to engage with my content on other platforms. For me, guest blogging is one of my most important sources of traffic.
Gaining Subscribers: the best thing about guest blogging is that you don’t have to deal with traffic that won’t stick. In my blogging efforts, I’ve gotten as much as 2,000 visitors from StumbleUpon alone in a day, however, none of these visitors subscribed to my blog. Keep in mind that my guest posts on the big blogs send me about 400 to 500 visitors on average, and I still get more than 100 subscribers from each and every post.
Building Backlinks: I once did an experiment (now paused) to find out how effective guest blogging is for link building. Well, guest blogging is the most effective and often the easiest way to build authoritative, high quality backlinks to your blog. Through it, some of my posts rank on the first page of Google for certain keywords, and most of my posts are now ranked and indexed as soon as I publish them. As of now, I get 4000+ visitors from Google alone monthly. Guest blogging is undoubtedly the best way for building authority backlinks to your site and your domain name, making it the easiest way to become an authority in your niche.
Gaining exposure: Sites receives as much as 400k+ visitors on a daily basis. Let’s assume I was able to get my guest post published on a large site. In a matter of a week, at least 10k visitors will have viewed my guest post. That’s the number of people who’ve seen my name and probably the name of my blog. While you might not see the value in this, especially when you consider that people typically have to see a brand for 7 or 8 times before they’re really familiar with it. Nonetheless, you will certainly gain a lot more exposure and build your brand by repeatedly being feature in the top sites in your niche.
Helps in Building your Brand: although I get thousands of visitors from organic traffic every month, my name and my blog name are the most searched for keywords by my readers on Google. That’s mainly because of my guest blogging efforts – I often get the most searches when I put up a guest post of mine in a big blog. I’ve also noticed that the people who arrive from search by searching my name or my blog’s name are those who end up spending the most time on my site. As such, it doesn’t matter what people think about guest blogging; it’s still one the most effective way of building a great brand.
Gaining Credibility: how do you start making lots of sales as soon as you launch a new product? Or, how would you go about to get lots of affiliate marketer to jump on board? Although your traffic counts, a lot, the big players will only work with you to promote your stuff if they know they can count on you. And, is there a better for people to know they can trust you than for them continuously seeing your work being published by some of the biggest blogs in the industry? Guest blogging will help you strengthen your credibility and make it easier for people to trust you and do a better job.
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Now that you’re convinced on why guest blogging matter and you want to make it happen, it’s time to learn how you can find the best blogs and websites to work with. Don’t worry, it’s not all that difficult. In my case, I find a lot of my guest blogging opportunities by sending an email to the sites I like and blogs I’ve already read.
For some specificity, there are two simple ways to find guest blogging opportunities:
• Google: check both the Google search as well as the blog search. For instance, if you want to guest blog in the blogging niche, you can type in blogging + “submit a post” and don’t forget to include the quotes (“”). You can also exchange “submit a post” with “write for us”, “submit an article”, or “bloggers wanted”.
• Ask: many blogs don’t have a write for us page, meaning that you have to contact the owner and ask. In most cases, you can assess whether they accept guest posts by going into their archives and searching for any guest posts. In case there aren’t any, it’s up to you if you want to ask or move on.
Tip 1: Have Clear Objectives for your Guest Post
Sometimes, creating content to use on an external website can feel like a thankless task. You might not receive any referral traffic to your site for some posts, and your social following might not change with each of the published posts. You may soon start feeling disillusioned by the static search performance in spite of your numerous posts placement. One key factor that fuels the above is failing to set clear objectives for your guest blogging beforehand.
Here are some examples of guest blogging goals:Get more referring domains. This often requires categorization in relation to opportunity and quality analysis, including domain relevancy/rating, and the likely type of domain (like .org and .edu sites)
Increase the volume of referral traffic: perform a historical and current benchmark of the number of referring traffic and sites from referral traffic and use the result as a medium/source to set realistic goals.
Improving SEO performance. This could be search ranking, organic traffic, impressions, or other areas. Make sure that you’ve a broader link building strategy is place for SEO to avoid relying on only one tactic for SEO gains as it can be detrimental.
Increasing social media presence. You have to be clear about the key accounts as well as the justification for increasing your number of followers. This is because having a greater reach alone doesn’t automatically translate into better success metrics for the core business such as revenue or traffic.
Building Brand Credibility: this might be a personal or business brand credibility, or even a combination of both. Increasing your credibility can support your customer retention, lead to more business wins, and enhance your point of sale.
Tip 2: List your Aspirational Placement Sites
One of the most common mistakes that expert writers looking to place their content on other sites do is that they tend to fall into the trap of writing for everyone that asks. The result of this is that the writers are swamped with unrealistic commitments, which limits them from expanding their writing horizons and being in the websites that they set out to. The solution here is to create and revisit the aspirational content contribution and placement websites.
Creating and re-evaluating your aspirational list of content placement sites for your guest blogging will do two key things:
Setting a high benchmark: make sure you’re honest with yourself about what you intend to achieve with the kind of content you create. This will help to focus your efforts and ensure you stay away from the spammy, low-quality, guest blogging approaches that are inherently doomed to fail.
Revisit, refine, and nurture your content contribution: this could be based on reaching your aspirational goals or if upon reflection, raising the bar you’ve set too modest at the outset.
How to Build an Aspirational List for Guest Posting Sites
• Add the sites that you enjoy reading and are relevant to your niche
• Find the award-winning sites that match your approach and writing style
• Target the authority sites that exist within your niche or industry
• Ask users about their go to sites when it comes to knowledge discovery and keeping on top of industry change
• Look for websites that are regularly cites as great, trusted resources within best/top lists
• Be sure to include the up and coming sites that might have low historical value, but are engaging in cool stuff right now and are getting a lot of social shares or are generating social buzz.
Tip 3: Put More Emphasis on Generating High Quality Content
High quality content and authoritative or relevant websites have certain distinct characteristics that define them. Keeping quality content at the forefront with your guest blogging efforts will keep you on track in creating in depth, insightful, valuable, and relevant content, which will generally have greater returns for your time and resource investment.
Quick tips on Creating Quality Content:
• Thoroughly research about the topic
• Focus on writing about your passions
• Get feedback at your first draft stage
• Tell a story
• Cultivate your own writing style
• Be aware of the latest trends
• Interview others
• Write from personal experience
• Have an option
• Brainstorm as a group
Quick Tips for Discovering Authoritative Sites
Quality and authority can be subjective, but the following tips should help you make better choices of high quality sites:
• Long form content format
• Limited presence of ads
• Unique insights
• Cross-device, web-ready content with usability signals
• High readability levels with top-notch spelling and grammar
• Mixed types of content
• High levels of social engagement and sharing
• Longer date established and higher domain rating
• Fast loading content
• Large volumes of content
How to Improve your Chances
Of course, if you know someone, your chances go up significantly. But keep in mind we’re not talking about sugar coating the person for months. If you’ve had contact with the person once or twice, or the person is already an acquaintance before you ask, it will be helpful. Let’s skip all the talk about not having an agenda and keeping cool, since we’ll be assuming that you already know how to behave socially.
Below are some easy ways to improve your chances:
1. Twitter: Chatting up people on Twitter for quite some time and having fun while doing it can put you on the radar of many blogger. If you keep in close contact with a personality on Twitter regularly over a couple of weeks or months will naturally increase your chances, of course if you vibe well with the person.
2. Comments. Being an active commenter on the relevant blogs you want to guest blog for will also be helpful. Most bloggers usually go through and read all of their comments. As a blogger, I certainly do it. If you leave great comments regularly, you are more likely to be noticed, and you won’t be a stranger when it’s finally time to contact them.
3. Email. If you find helpful content that you like, why not shoot the author a short email informing them about it? Many people underestimate how much of an impact sending a simple can make. No requests, no questions, just a simple email meant to thank the author for the article they wrote, and why/how it had an impact on you.
4. Real life. For those who like going to conferences, you will undoubtedly come across and meet people that run blogs and websites, especially if they are online business or blogging conferences. Meeting someone and shaking their hand in real life and even chatting with them for a while is an awesome way to network.
5. Recommendations. If one of your friends or acquaintances knows the person who runs the blogs you would like to guest post for, you can always seek a recommendation and sneak in via the back door. It will most likely be a lot easier for you as you keep blogging and in the process make more friends.
Over to You
Proper guest posting is not easy. This is precisely why it’s so effective when it’s done right. Very few of your competitors will have the patience and resources to get their content published on the top-tier blogs.
Don’t forget that guest blogging is not viable if done for the sole purpose of building backlinks. However, if it’s used as part of a wider marketing strategy, it can provide immense benefits along with top-notch backlinks. If you’re able to publish even a small number of guest posts on a few authority sites, you’ll surely notice a significant boost in your organic traffic and search rankings.