Guest blogging is a great way to get your name out there, grow your audience, and build links to your site. But you need to know what it is and what to do to avoid wasting effort.
Today, I’ll share the truth about guest posting, how do you become a guest blogger, and some valuable tips along the way. Make sure to read until the end.
The Truth About Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is an effective online marketing strategy. It’s more powerful than writing articles on your blog. And because of this, many entrepreneurs and writers do it.
Meaning, there is a good amount of competition online, and it won’t be easy to land a guest post.
But don’t give up. There are many blog owners and sites that accept guest posts.
How Do You Become A Guest Blogger
Step 1: Establish a clear goal.
“What do I want to achieve with my guest posts?”
You need to answer this question before doing anything.
Your goal is an essential factor in determining the steps you need to take. All of your efforts should be in line with it.
Another reason you should not skip this step is your goal will serve as a success metric. It will help identify whether your strategy was effective or not.
Not sure what goal to set?
Most people do guest blogging for the following reasons:
- Strengthen their backlinks and increase domain authority.
- Gain better traffic from referring domains.
- Build relationships with other creators, bloggers, and businesses in the industry.
- Establish brand awareness for their target audience.
- Grow email list.
You may get an idea from the list above or do your research.
Don’t forget to make it S.M.A.R.T.
You might have seen this countless times, so I won’t explain it deeply anymore. Make sure that your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Step 2: Search for guest blogging opportunities.
I suggest that you use Google Sheets to keep track of all the websites that accept guest posts. It will come in handy throughout the process.
Prepare your guest blogging spreadsheet.
Create seven columns and use the following categories:
- Website’s name
- Site’s URL
- Contact person/ Expert’s name (blog owner, content marketer, etc.)
- Email address
- Domain authority
- Alexa rank
- Organic traffic data
Search for websites to guest post on.
Option 1: Use Google.
Google can help you find tons of websites accepting guest posts by using the following format:
- [niche] + “write for us”
- [niche] + “guest article”
- [niche] + “become a contributor”
- [niche] + “submit a post /guest post “
- [topic] + guest post guidelines
Let’s say you’re writing a blog for child development. Type and search for child development + write for us on Google. This is what you might see:
Option 2: Discover opportunities through the author’s bio.
I’m sure you’ve heard of writers in the same niche. Create a list and find their author bio. You may find it on their site or where they guest posted for.
The author’s bio is usually located at the end of the article. You may copy the first line and paste it on the Google search bar.
The sites where they guest posted will appear.
Option 3: Search on Twitter
Twitter is a gold mine of guest blog post opportunities!
Go to the search bar and type: [niche] + guest post. I’ll use child development as an example again.
After typing “child development” + guest post, here’s what I found:
Option 4: Use paid application tools.
So far, the options that I’ve given are all free. But if you have an account on Ahrefs or SEMrush, you may use them for Step 2.
With tools, you’ll be able to discover some guest posting opportunities that are not publicly available.
You may use the Content Explorer Tool of Ahrefs to find websites under your niche and SEMrush’s Backlink Analytics Tool to discover which websites your competitors have blogged on.
Step 3: Assess your guest blogging website list.
This is where Domain Authority (DA), Alexa Ranking (A.R.), and Organic Traffic data will matter.
These three are all essential factors to consider when selecting the right website.
DA determines how trustworthy the site is. Organic traffic measures the number of visitors the site gets. And AR defines and traffic and engagement.
Ensure that the website has good organic traffic data, a high domain authority, and a good Alexa ranking.
NOTE: the lower the A.R. number, the higher the ranking
Where can you check these three?
You may use alexa.com/siteinfo for free to determine the A.R. of a website.
Go for websites with a DA of at least 40 and an A.R. of less than 1 million. As a starter, this will increase the chances of your pitch getting accepted.
Some other factors to consider when choosing the right website are:
- Site speed, UX, and structure.
- The quality of published content on their site.
- The percentage of your target audience visiting their site.
Step 4: Look for the best topics to write about.
Before sending your pitch to the websites, make sure your topic choice is engaging, relevant, and valuable.
How to find the best topics? Here are some options.
Option 1: Website’s top-performing posts.
Look at the most popular articles to get a guest post idea. You may choose something related to these articles or choose a unique topic with the same style and format.
Option 2: Quora and Reddit
What problems does the majority of your target audience have? Forums are the best place where you can find them. Choose a topic based on their questions.
Option 3: Google Trends
Google Trends is another excellent free tool. You can use it to find content from current trends under your niche.
Option 4: Answer the Public
You can access this app for free, but if you’d like to get unlimited access, you’ll need to pay $99/mo.
Since you’re just starting, the data from the free version is enough. Type in your keyword/broad topic, and the app will give you more specific ideas relevant to that.
Option 5: BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is a valuable tool for discovering engaging content, trending topics, and linking opportunities. It’s a paid tool, but you can avail of their 30-day free trial. No credit card is required.
The free trial length is enough to collect all the possible topics you can use.
You may also use BuzzSumo to look for a guest post opportunity.
Step 5: Time to Pitch!
Always remember to check the guest posting guidelines of the website before sending your pitch. Some websites give a subject line you need to follow and the style and format of your guest post.
Here’s a sample guest post guideline from Wordstream:
Following the websites’ guidelines will increase the chances of them reading your pitch and accepting your guest post.
Here are some things to do before sending your pitch:
- Think of a catchy subject line. Only do this if it’s not stated on their guidelines.
- Start with a connection. Mention that you’ve read one of their blogs and you loved it! If you already met the blog owner or you have something in common, you can talk a little about that.
- Introduce yourself. Writing a short introduction won’t hurt. It’s also best to include your website’s link (if you have one).
- Take time to read their articles. By doing this, you’ll get to know which type of voice, style, and structure they use.
- Don’t write a novel. You are both busy people here. Try to get straight to the point but always sound respectful.
- Include some options. You may pitch two to three ideas and make sure that you include an outline or a gist of what the content you have in mind.
Step 6: Create your content.
Once a website accepts your pitch, it’s time to create your content. To submit a high-quality post, don’t forget to do the following:
- Read the guest posting guidelines carefully. Most websites have their preferences, and you must follow that to avoid problems.
- Make sure to do your research correctly. Collect data and statistics that can help your audience understand your content better.
- Use headings, bullets, and lists to boost your content’s readability.
- Use relevant and copyright-free images all throughout your content. Neil Patel mentioned that you should put a picture in every 150 words.
- Edit and proofread it before sending.
- Make sure to include your sources and check your content for plagiarism.
Step 7: Submit your article.
This is it! Some websites have their preferred submission method, so always check those before sending anything.
You may mention that you’re willing to do an X number of revisions. And don’t forget to say thanks.
Step 8: Send a follow-up email.
This step is something you can apply in two different areas of your guest posting process.
First, you may follow up on the pitches you’ve sent but didn’t get any reply. Second, you may use it after sending your guest post.
But make sure to wait for three days before sending your follow-up email.
Step 9: Share it on social media.
Once your blog post is live, don’t forget to promote it on your social media. You can help the website and other writers to be able to land guest posting by letting them know about the opportunity.
Also, show that you’re grateful for the opportunity.
Step 10: Evaluate your guest post’s performance.
Auditing your blog’s performance will help identify whether it was effective or not. Determine whether you’re able to achieve the goal that you set.
Wait for about 3-5 months before evaluating your articles. You may use the Advance Segment of Google Analytics to track your posts or use SEMrush’s Post Tracking Tool under the Content Marketing category.
To access these tools, you’ll need to create an account.
When evaluating your guest posts, remember to note what blogs brought good results, what to improve from your posts, and apply it to your following guest post articles.
Guest blogging might require immense patience and labor on your part, but it’s worth it! Some famous writers like Neil Patel, Leo Babauta, and Danny Iny attest to how powerful guest blogging is. Don’t forget to follow the steps above to maximize guest post opportunities under your niche!
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