Guest posting is a hot topic in the world of content marketing. In this ultimate guide, we’ll walk you through how guest posting can help your search engine optimization, how to find guest posting opportunities, how to write guest posts, how to pitch to site owners, and more!
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting, also known as guest blogging, is writing an article and publishing it on someone else’s website. Benefits of guest blogging for content marketers include:
- Positioning themselves as industry authorities
- Reaching a new audience
- Expanding brand awareness
- Gaining organic traffic to their own website
- Building backlinks to their own website
All of these goals serve to improve the reputation of the blogger and the SEO rankings of the business or businesses they promote.
How to Find Guest Posting Opportunities
The first step in creating high quality guest posts is to choose high quality websites to pitch to. There are a few ways you can do that, including:
The first place to look for guest blogging opportunities is our friend Google. Here are some keywords to search for:
- Keyword + “submit a guest post”
- Keyword + “guest post”
- Keyword + “guest post by”
- keyword + “accepting guest posts”
- Keyword + “guest post guidelines”
These searches could lead you to a website’s guest posting guidelines, guest post submissions page, or posts by previous guest authors.
Other Guest Bloggers in Your Industry
If you read a lot of blogs about your industry, you’ll see some of the same names pop up in the bylines. Google them to see which sites they guest post on and add them to your list.
Since guest posting is part of many content marketers’ link building strategies, your competitors have probably gained backlinks from guest content. Any SEO tool with competitor backlink analysis can tell you this.
Most guest bloggers share their latest pieces of content on social media. Look on those networks to find sites that are currently accepting guest posts. Search “guest posts” along with industry keywords and follow any links that come up in posts and tweets.
Evaluating Guest Posting Opportunities
Just because a website accepts guest posts doesn’t mean it’s worth pitching to. A guest article in an illegitimate publication could do more harm than good. Only send a guest post pitch to websites that:
- Have a high authority link profile
- Post content in your niche
- Only post high quality content
- Can bring targeted traffic to your own site
- Won’t bury the link in your author bio
- Have a high social media following
- Have a high domain authority score
Pitch Your Guest Posts
Once you’ve chosen some outlets you’re interested in guest blogging for, it’s time to start pitching.
Basic Pitch Best Practices
When you send an email to a blog owner, follow these steps to get their attention.
Pitch a Few Different Ideas
Some submission guidelines ask all new pitches to include an idea for a guest article. Do a little digging on the site’s most popular posts and pitch a handful of ideas based on the overlap between those and your areas of expertise.
Read the Guidelines
Everyone’s guest post submission guidelines are different. Be sure to follow them when you reach out to the blog owner.
Tell Them Why You Should Be a Guest Blogger
In your pitch, include links to your best work published on your own blog and other websites. Posts with social media engagement are always a good way to go.
The Best Times to Pitch a Guest Blogging Post
- when another blog mentions you in one of their posts or on social media
- when the blog specifically advertises they are looking for guest posts
- when the blog publishes other guest posts
Now it’s time to get writing!
Types of Content That Make Good Guest Posts
- “How to” articles
- “Examples of” articles
- Product vs. Product Comparisons
Guest Post Writing Best Practices
Focus on Information, Not Promotion
Unlike posts on your own blog, guest articles aren’t primarily about promoting your business, products, or services. They should focus on providing valuable information. In fact, don’t mention your business until the author bio.
Format Posts Like the Ones on the Site
Pay attention to the formatting of other posts on the site you’re writing for. Do they use a lot of headers and anchor text? Where do they bold text? Do they use pull quotes? How about screenshots, infographics, and images? Format your own guest posts in the same way.
Include Internal Links
Use internal links to other blog posts on the website to let the site owner know that you understand their content and integrate your guest post into their site better.
Encourage Comments with a Call to Action
The more comments on your post, the better. Be sure to include a call to action that encourages comments at the end of your guest post.
How to Write a Great Guest Bio
Now it’s time to do a little self-promotion. What you put in it will depend on your guest posting goals. Here are some good things to start with:
Link to your website
A link to your website’s homepage is a necessary ingredient to any guest blogger bio, especially if backlinks are your goal.
Create a custom landing page
If you want referral traffic or to promote a specific product or service, a custom landing page could be a great way to direct that traffic where you want it to go.
Include social profiles
If one of your goals is to grow your social media following to a new audience add something like “follow me on [social network and link]” to the end of your bio.
Be concise and descriptive
Say a little bit about your background and why you’re worth listening to as a guest blogger. Keep it short and sweet though. You don’t have a lot of space.
Popular Guest Posting Sites
- The Huffington Post
- The Penny Hoarder
- Smashing Magazine
- The Muse
- Elite Daily
- Business 2 Community
- Small Business Trends
- Social Media Today
- Elephant Journal
- Content Marketing Institute
- The Write Life
- All Blogging Tips
- Dumb Little Man
- Duct Tape Marketing
- Daily Blog Tips
- Search Engine People
- Tech Walls
- Tech Wyse
- Write to Done
- Basic Blog Tips
Build Relationships in the Blogging Community
Guest blogging is a great way to build relationships with other bloggers. If you do a good job with your guest posts, they’ll lead to more opportunities in the future. These relationships will also give you opportunities to ask the bloggers you work with to write guest posts for your blog. The connections you make also mean more outreach opportunities, more social media shares.
How Sav Can Help
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