Guest posting has recently become all the rage in building backlinks towards ones’ sites. The reason for this is simple: Google’s latest SEO updates heavily favor those who can provide honest, solid content and guest posting allows webmasters to provide that content to each other and market their site in the process.
However, many experts fear that guest posting is becoming too mainstream and in doing so, their effectiveness is being diluted. The worry is that the tactic is going to turn into something like content mills which were heavily used a couple of years ago and have since fallen by the wayside. To get more value out of your guest posting and hopefully stave off that future, here are some ways to make your guest content valuable, useful, and done in such a way that they will last.
Find the Best Opportunities
Before you even start writing your blog or even the outreach email, you have to find the best places to put your pitch! Guest posts are wasted if they are placed on blogs with no audience, no traffic, and no direction. To get quality backlinking, you have to go with quality blogs!
There are some pretty easy ways to find these opportunities. Track down blogs in your niche simply by Googling your primary keywords and looking for blogs. Then sift through First, are there blog comments? The more comments the better, but make sure they are quality comments: no spam. See what kind of dialogues are being done, how responsive the owner is and what people are talking about. Both you and Google should want the rich commentary that comes with an active and useful blog.
Does the blog owner have social media and if he does, how active is it? The more active it is, the better. Then you can check out Compete.com, plug in their URL and see what kind of traffic they get.
And finally, is your competition guest blogging there already? If they are, you know you have a quality blog on your hands! And it’s easy to find even more opportunities using the competition; simply Google their Author’s bio. Since most writers won’t bother changing their bio every single time, Googling it is a great way to find more places they’ve already been and thus uncover opportunities for you.
Interact with Those Blogs
Well, you’ve found a handful of blogs that have quality content, lots of traffic, a good audience and they accept guest posting. Good job! But don’t start writing anything yet. Instead, take some time out to read several of the posts in the blog so that you can write content geared towards the readers and write in a way that it will fit in with the tone of the blog. Many guest posts are declined, not because they are poorly written, but because they didn’t fit with the blog.
Once you’ve read through some posts, comment on a few pieces you liked, engage the readers and the webmaster and become more than just a voice in the wilderness. This will help to ensure that not only will your work be posted, but you’ll also get good ideas of what to write on based on what is needed.
Write a Great Blog Piece
Time to write! You have to write a blog post that is geared towards your readers, meshes well with the overall blog, and will help you to build up your brand, traffic numbers, relationships, and authority. You need to have an amazing piece of work that the webmaster and his readers will love.
You have your blog post and you have your blog. But now you have to bring the two together and you do that through a great outreach email. It’s important to spend almost as much time on the outreach email as you did on the blog post, at least until you get used to writing them. The important things are to be credible, well written and polite. What does this mean?
- Use a company email address, not a generic one. Generic ones either hit the spam filter or get ignored
- Make sure you let the webmaster know that you know what their blog is about. Make references to it, talk a little about how you liked it and then how you can add to it. Don’t be a suck-up obviously, but do make sure that you are more than just a random passer-by.
- Don’t think for one moment that you’re doing the owner a favor Be humble, offer up your skills and then hit them with your blog piece.
- Remember to say Thank You, use real names, and be friendly
- Follow up a few days later, politely.
Like the shoddy resume belonging to a fantastic employee, it doesn’t matter how great your blog post is: if your outreach stinks, no one will ever see your post. So take some time with it.
Be a Good Guest Poster
Getting your piece published is not the end of the journey. If you want to ensure that you get a good reputation and that you’ll be welcome to post later, it’s important to be a good guest. First, make sure to share your new blog post around through social media-Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. Not only will this help you (obviously), the webmaster will be happy to have the additional traffic.
And then make sure to properly thank the webmaster. Do things like them guest blog on your site, mention their site in one of your posts, send a card, a gift card for your products or other things which show your gratitude and will help to ensure that you always have a place in that blog.
Guest posting runs the very real risk of being abused by marketers who don’t understand how to use it properly and everyone would suffer for it. Make sure to guest post appropriately, be a polite and useful addition to sites, and take care of everyone’s reputation. Not only will your site benefit, but so will the sites you post to. Good luck!