How do you become a guest blogger
9 easy steps to becoming a successful guest blogger
You need to post consistently (at least once a week) for at least 6 months.
But it's worth it. You can achieve unimagined results with this marketing tactic.
Obviously, I'm talking about guest blogging - one of the most amazing growth ploys.
Let me show you some numbers.
Jon Morrow (of Boost Blog Traffic) relied on guest blogging to build his audience.
But contrary to his intuition, he hasn't posted a single post on his own blog.
You do not believe me?
Well, here's what BBT looked like in 2011.
You see right. Just a blog launch trailer and a registration form.
John posted on expert websites as a guest and sent the traffic to his landing page.
John managed to get 13,000 subscribers even before starting Boost Blog Traffic.
Let's look at another guest blogger success story.
Leo Widrich (founder of Buffer) started a guest blogger campaign to attract users.
Buffer grew to 100,000 users with 150 guest posts published within 9 months.
I'll be sharing more of these amazing guest blogging campaigns in this post.
If you're just starting out with guest blogging, this announcement from Google might scare you.
I know: You don't want to piss off Google.
But don't jump to conclusions just yet.
Matt Cutts later made it clear that this attitude only applies to spam and poor quality posts.
If you take action with high quality guest posting, guest blogging is still a good strategy.
Are you motivated but not quite sure how exactly to start a guest blogger campaign?
Here we go.
5 benefits of guest blogging
Before we look at how to start a guest blogger campaign, let's take a look at 5 benefits of doing this job.
1. Forwarded traffic:That is an immediate benefit.
As soon as you publish a guest post on a renowned expert blog, you will get visitors to your own blog.
How awesome is this instant traffic boost ... right?
Danny Inys, of Firepole Marketing, raised seven figures from his blogging business. Can you guess the main ingredient in its success?
Exactly, guest posts.
He wrote over 80 exceptional guest posts and his monthly page views grew from 0 to 23,000.
2. Enlarge email list:Audience shortage is one of the biggest challenges when starting out on your blog.
Do not worry.
Guest posting on expert blogs in your niche could help you attract subscribers.
Jeff Goins, as a guest blogger, managed to gain 10,000 subscribers in 18 months.
You have to bribe the readers of the guest post if you want to get them to subscribe.
More on planning and creating an irresistible proposition later in this article.
3. Link building and SEO: I know Google has a strict attitude towards guest posts regarding SEO (= search engine optimization).
All you have to do is avoid spam tactics.
You can contextually link from the content of your article to a relevant blog post on your website.
Links from your guest posts increase your overall page authority and help you rank well for your long-tail keywords.
Here are some strategies to be on the safe side with your guest posts.
4. Establishing relationships and acquiring interested parties: Whether you are just starting your journey as a blogger or are at an advanced stage, it is important to network with opinion leaders in your industry.
They can help you grow your blog audience and jumpstart your success.
A guest post on an opinion leader's blog can be the start of an important relationship.
It can even lead to you becoming a regular guest blogger. It may even lead to a business relationship.
By publishing the post, you can also gain leads for your company.
A guest post by Brandon Seymour brought him a handful of new clients.
But it gets better. This contribution has also doubled his monthly income as a consultant.
5. Brand building and positioning as an expert:Building a brand is central to a successful company.
By writing high-quality guest articles in renowned industry publications, you can gain trust and make your name known in your target group. Responding to the comments on your guest posts makes you an authority in the industry.
Do you remember Danny Iny? He wrote more than 10 posts in 6 days. This feat earned him the nickname “Freddy Kruger of Blogging”.
You probably don't yet know how to leverage guest posts to get such lucrative benefits.
But don't panic. I've broken down planning a successful guest blogger campaign into 9 simple steps.
When you put in a lot of hard work you will be able to develop your own guest blogger campaign and get great results.
1. Write down the goals of your guest blogger campaign
Write down why you want to start a guest blogger campaign. Do you want to be perceived as a thought leader? Do you want to attract subscribers and get your blog going? Or do you want to develop business opportunities?
This activity will lead you to the right mindset. It will ensure that you stay focused and only take advantage of the guest blogging opportunities that will get you there.
One of the best ways to set goals is with the S.M.A.R.T Goals strategy.
Here are some S.M.A.R.T goals for a guest blogger campaign:
1. You want to build redirected traffic: A S.M.A.R.T Goal aimed at redirected traffic: I want to increase my referred traffic by 77% in 90 days.
That is a specific, measurable, action-oriented, relevant and time-bound goal.
It is still possible to increase referred traffic through guest posts.
But you have to right Be very committed to expert blogs. In step 2 I will explain how to do this optimal Finds opportunities.
2. You want your email distribution list to grow: You can set yourself a S.M.A.R.T Goal, such as:
I want to gain 3,000 subscribers by posting 25 guest posts in 6 months.
To attract subscribers with your guest post, you need to:
- Make your author bio strategically
- Offer a compelling, compelling proposition
- Design a landing page with a high conversion rate
We'll talk about this in more depth in Step 5 because it's possible to get 400+ subscribers with a single guest post.
3. Link building and SEO:A suitable S.M.A.R.T goal can be: I want 10 through guest posts in 3 months Experts |-Generate links to [your most valuable blog post].
Keep these 4 things in mind as you strive for link building through guest posts:
- Only set content-related links if it improves the user experience. Don't overdo it.
- Pay your attention only to blogs with great expertise.
- Make sure that the links in your author bio in guest posts have the attribute “nofollow”.
- Do not use commercial reference text to link to your website.
3-6 months after you start guest posting, you will start getting search traffic from long-tail keywords.
4. Building relationships with key opinion leaders:As I said earlier, influencers can expand the scope of your brand and make you a celebrity overnight.
A S.M.A.R.T goal in relation to building relationships can be:I want to build a relationship with 6 influencers in [your niche] by posting high quality posts on their blogs.
To start building relationships, check out this Whiteboard Friday episode.
5. You want to build your brand: Let's say you want to build your personal brand.
Your S.M.A.R.T. Goal can be:I want to get 1,000 followers from my target group on my personal Twitter profile in one month.
You can attach a link to your username on Twitter by using your author bio in guest posts. It's a great way to start interacting on your Twitter profile and get more followers.
You can also pursue larger branding goals like ...Build 1,000 monthly brand search queries on Google.
However, this takes a tremendous amount of effort and more time (probably a year).
In order to achieve such an ambitious branding goal, you will need to develop a unique guiding principle. You have to create your own distinctive identity in order to stand out from the crowd on the internet. Only then will the users share your content notice you.
Take a look at personal development blogger and entrepreneur Mark Manson.
He receives over 14,000 monthly searches.
Of course, that didn't happen overnight.
His book and innovative articles are the main ingredients in building his personal brand.
Getting published on Forbes, CNN, Thought Catalog, and Huffington Post has helped him build his credibility as well as attracting more audiences.
Once you've written down your branding goal, here are some tools you can use to monitor the visibility of your online brand.
i.) Google Alerts: To use this free service from Google, all you need is a Gmail address. You can then choose to be notified when your name, business name or any industry keyword is mentioned on the Internet (if it is accessible to the Google Bot).
Setting the alarm is easy.
First enter your name in the “create an alert about” field. Then select your e-mail service in the “Deliver to” option and click on the “create alert” button.
ii.) Mention: This is a tool for monitoring social networks. You can use it to track interactions on your blog, in your blog posts, guest posts, and comments on forums or blogs.
Your first alarm for some social media accounts is free. This tool includes extensive analysis functions. It allows you to set goals (per month or per quarter) for how often you would like your target keyword to be mentioned.
Combine Mention with Buffer and you are on your way to becoming a real social media power user.
You can usually achieve more than one of these five goals with a single guest blogger campaign.
Let's say you want to grow your email list. Then you need to provide a benefit in your guest posts to attract subscribers. I.By providing value to your target audience, you gain trust and build your brand.
Before you go any further, write an S.M.A.R.T Goal in an Excel spreadsheet. You can download this free Excel template for setting SMART goals from Hubspot.
2. Look for opportunities to blog for expert bloggers as a guest blogger
You're set to look for guest blogging opportunities.
i.) Start your hunt with the obvious: Google
Here are some searches you can use:
Your industry keyword + "post a post",
Your industry keyword + "guest blog",
Your industry keyword + "guest post",
Your industry keyword + “guest posting guidelines”.
Example: Let's say I want to find blogs that accept guest posts in the content marketing niche. I would use the following search query: Content Marketing + “Guest Post”.
There are 3 potential guest posting options in the first 6 search results.
Here you can find a detailed list of suitable search queries.
You can easily find more than 10 guest posting options using these search terms.
Keep the links of the potential guest blogging opportunities in a new tab of your S.M.A.R.T. Excel table fixed.
ii a.) Many bloggers and freelance writers beat the drum for well-known publications in which they were featured. - Such blogs are rich targets for guest posting.
You can find the web pages (that they mention publications on) by using these searches:
Your keyword "my guest blogs",
Your keyword “Places where I've published”,
Your keyword “I was featured on”.
Here is an example of such a “my posts on other blogs” page that Brian Dean found.
If you are looking for freelance writers, your job will be easier because they always have a dedicated portfolio page on their website.
You can use this search query to find websites of freelance writers:
[Your niche] “Ghostwriter”,
[Your niche] “copywriter”,
[Your niche] "freelance writer",
[Your niche] “freelance blogger”,
[Your niche] “content marketer”.
Let's take a look at freelance writer Kristi Hines' website. She mentions these publications on her homepage:
You can also take a closer look at Kristi's portfolio page (or that of your targeted freelance writer).
Many of these blogs allow you to guest post and are good targets for your campaign. You can collect a large number of publications by doing this.
ii b.) Do a Google search for authority figures in your industry:(Almost) all opinion leaders write guest blogs in the best publications in the industry. Google can help you search for the names of these publications.
Results on the first page may include your personal blog and social media accounts. On the second and the following pages, you will find her guest articles and interviews on high-quality expert websites.
If your influencer's name is more common, add a significant keyword from Industry as a suffix.
Example: I searched for “Brian Dean SEO” (without the quotes).
At the beginning of the search results were his social media accounts and his personal blog.
But when I scrolled down, I found pages where he published guest articles or gave interviews.
iii). Search for significant industry keywords on BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo finds the most shared content on social media within a given timeframe. However, many bloggers are unaware of this feature of finding the best-working guest posts.
Let me show you how you can use BuzzSumo to filter guest posts.
Here is some of the best "Make Money Blogging" content:
After you have done the search, use the “Content Type” filter in the left sidebar.
Remove all options except “guest posts”.
Then click on the "Filter" button.
Now you only see the best-working guest posts to your keyword.
iv.) Go to Alltop: It's a one-stop platform for finding the best blogs in your industry.
Alltop is also easy to use.
Enter your niche keywords and hit the search button. You will get search results with relevant directories.
Example: When I searched for online marketing, I was presented with the following search results.
As you can see, the relevant “Blogging” directory is highlighted.
After clicking on “Blogging”, I get all the popular stories from the blogging niche.
Some new expert blogs that you haven't heard of may appear in these results. Check out these to filter out those who accept guest posts.
v.) Twitter search:Twitter can provide you with the latest guest posts in the relevant industry publications.
Brian Dean shows you how to find the most relevant opportunities in your niche.
First search for “your industry keyword” + guest post.
You can find a few websites that have guest posts posted.
Visit these websites to see if they are suitable for guest posting.
vi) Examine your competitors' backlinks: You can use Ahrefs for this.
Maybe you don't know what to work on yet.
But your competitors have discovered some guest posting opportunities.
However, these options are not publicly available on the Internet.
Don't worry though.
We can reconstruct these opportunities by examining your competitors' backlinks.
Step 1: Go to Site Explorer and enter your competitor's website name. Then click on the “search links” button.
Step 2: Click on “Referring Domains” under the “Inbound Links” tab.
With the free package, you can only find 5 backlinks. With an upgrade to a paid package, you can analyze all of your inbound links.
Step 3 (optional): Use nifty filters to limit your search to the most recent (7 days or a month) incoming backlinks on your competitor's website.
With this method, you stay head to head with your competitors.
vii.) Search for collected guest post lists:Why bother trying to find guest posting opportunities?
Lists of guest blogging opportunities are floating around the internet.
Just search for “list of websites that accept guest posts” or something similar.
Let me make it even easier for you.
Here are four articles with lists of websites that accept guest posting.
- List of Guest Blogging Sites (140+ best sites)
- A Massive List of 200+ Blogs That Allow Guest Blogging
- The Ultimate List of Blogs that Accept Guest Posts
- The Grand List of 386 Blogs That Accept Guest Blogging
Do you like the idea of getting paid for posting on other websites?
Below is a list of six articles that mention websites that pay their authors.
- 140 websites that pay writers
- 24 websites that buy guest posts
- 20 amazing websites that pay you 100 $ per article
- 110 websites that pay writers
- 19 websites and magazines that want your personal essays
- 120+ sites that pay up to $ 150 for guest posts
You should now have over 50 high quality expert blogs in your niche listed.
3. Separate the wheat from the chaff: Evaluate your blog list to find the best.
It's time to refine your list by checking out each blog - one at a time.
You want to make sure that every blog on your list can contribute to your guest blogging campaign goal.
Follow these steps to evaluate whether a blog is a good fit for your campaign.
Step 1: Check again to see if there is a guest post option on this page.
Some blogs on your list may have stopped accepting guest posts. So you shouldn't prepare a presentation for them and waste your time doing it.
It's better to look at their policies (or a similar page) first to see if they are currently accepting guest posts.
Example: Copyblogger and Problogger are not currently accepting guest posts.
Step 2: Make sure your answer to each of these 5 questions is “yes”.
Question 1: Is your target audience visiting the blog?
Have you created a persona for your target audience? If not, create one using this sample persona from Buffer.
Now you want to find out whether your targeted blog has a similar audience demographics.
Go to Quantcast.com.
Let's say I want to find out something about Search Engine Land demographics.
Click on the ”Explore” button. Then enter the URL of your target website and hit Enter.
Scroll a little and you will find a summary of the audience demographics.
You can dig deeper by clicking the “See More” button in the lower right corner.
You can even find out the websites that blog audiences are interested in.
We can conclude that Search Engine Land is a good place to guest post if your target audience is SEO pros in the age group of 25-34.
Question 2: Is the link profile clean and free of spam?
Go to Ahrefs.com again and enter the domain of your target blog.
Check the blog's most recent backlinks:
- The links must come from a relevant website in a similar niche.
- The linked websites must have a high domain authority.
- Make sure the website is not pursuing a black-hat link building strategy.
If you see any spam backlink (example: poor quality article directory), remove the blog from your list.
Question 3: is the blog design good?
Stay away from websites with bad web design.
Bad design is bad user experience and the audience is less engaged.
User experience is the top ranking factor. As soon as Google devalues the target blog, you descend with them.
Question 4: Does the blog have a good number of subscribers and decent traffic?
Regardless of your blogging goal:
You want your target blog to have decent traffic (50,000+ monthly visitors) and a decent number of subscribers (5,000+).
If your target blog doesn't have good numbers, it will have a hard time increasing your traffic.
Where can you find the number of subscribers?
The opt-in box will be present in at least one of these places - right sidebar, slide up, pop up, header or below the blog post.
Example: Buffer indicates the number of his subscribers under each post on his blog.
In the event that the blog does not show its subscribers publicly, you can get a traffic estimate.
Go to Trafficestimate.com and enter the website URL. You will get a traffic estimation curve like in the following screenshot.
All respected publications have a sizable social media presence.
Also, check the blog's social media accounts. Make sure they have a good following on the social networks relevant to your niche.
Question 5: Does the blog publish high quality original content?
Your target blog should have a track record of posting high quality, value-added articles.
If you find that the blog is churning out poor quality 100-word content, then that's a risk. Google can devalue it because of its superficial content.
Remove any blog that posts poor quality content from your list.
If your blog answered “yes” to all of the questions, then the blog is a good fit for you.
Step 3: Share the appropriate blogs according to your goals.
Now you have a list of great blogs in your niche. These blogs can bring you all of the tremendous benefits we talked about before.
But you want to get powerful results with this campaign ... right?
Then revise the goals of your guest blogging campaign.
Let's look at them again, one at a time.
Guest posts on each of the matching blogs Your list, yours will help youBuild your brand and your relationships. So I'm not going to talk about these goals.
If you want to build backlinks, you want to You link to your blog from the body of your guest post.
Every blog has a different attitude towards external links. So it is best to read through the guidelines of the publisher of your target blog.
Even if the expert blog does not allow links in the body of the text, you can usually include some nofollow links in your author bio.
If you're after redirected traffic, it makes sense to focus on larger industry blogs with significant traffic.
If you want to grow your email list, choose niche blogs with engaged audiences (10+ comments on each guest post).
Here is a case study to help clarify my point of view.
Matthew Woodward managed to get his guest post on two major internet marketing blogs: John Chow and Search Engine Land.
There were 6 weeks between the publications on both blogs.
Search Engine Land (SEJ) has more traffic and a better Alexa rank than John Crow. So Matthew received more referred traffic from SEJ than from John Chow.
John Chow's audience is more engaging (compare the bounce rate).
Hence, John Chow's redirected traffic has a better conversion rate.
Result: Guest posts on more engaging blogs result in better conversion rates.
Greg Digneo has written for some of the biggest blogs in the world. He underscores the importance of an engaged audience in this post.
Greg's results contradict our case study.
Result: Though Greg wrote for larger blogs than Boost Blog Traffic (BBT), his guest posting on BBT was the main source of traffic.
In general, an engaged audience is more likely to lead to subscribers.
The best thing to do is to test guest posting results in your industry both ways: larger blogs with less engagement and niche blogs with great engagement. I hope you have divided your blog list into sections. You should preferably pursue guest blogging opportunities in the most appropriate area.
4. Make your prospects familiar with you (optional but recommended)
I only recommend this step if you are targeting a really huge influencer blog.
In this case, you want the influencer (or a very important team member) to familiarize themselves with your name. You want to make sure that your attempt to post a guest post doesn't get lost in your inbox.
Here are some strategies for starting a dialogue.
i). Interact with relevant authorities on your targeted blog on Twitter
Here's a friendly exchange between Andrew Youderian of ecommercefuel and Mark Hayes of Shopify on Twitter:
That conversation helped Andrew get a guest post on Shopify.
ii) Leave insightful comments on blog posts
When commenting on blog posts, always remember to add value to the conversation.
The best way to share your knowledge is to use statistics and facts.
Everyone (opinion leaders included) craves fact-based insight.
TopTenz's Shell Harris commented on this post on KISSmetrics - but it was no ordinary comment. She shared information on how StumbleUpon helped her build traffic (relevant to the article).
I couldn't resist sharing your data in one of my posts on how to get traffic with StumbleUpon.
iii). Send the blog owner a thank you letter.
Send the blog owner a thank you email detailing how their post helped you
If you allow insight into your data, you can even be the subject of a blog post on the opinion leader's blog.
Brian Dean regularly publishes data-driven case studies of backlinko readers who have become successful using his strategies.
Here is a data-driven case study from Jimmy Daly that has been published.
Can you see how effective data is?
They can help you get the benefits of guest blogging (branding, backlinks, and relationship building) without posting any content yourself.
5. a) Find amazing blog post ideas
Your targeted blog owner shouldn't just like your guest post idea; he must love her.
Here are some tips from Brian Dean on finding fantastic ideas for new posts.
You can, using BuzzSumo, find the best performing posts on any blog (within a given amount of time).
Let's say I'm targeting Search Engine Journal (SEJ) in my guest blogger campaign.
Log into BuzzSumo.com.
Enter your website url www.searchenginejournal.com and hit enter.
With the free version, you only get 5 of the most popular articles from the last year.
3 of the 4 top results are list articles.
So promoting the idea of a new list to SEJ would be a smart strategy.
In fact, one important lesson I learned from posting 300 guest posts is that list posts have the best conversion rates.
They're also the most preferred headlines, according to a study by Conductor.
5. b) It's time: Send your offer
Expert website editors and bloggers receive tons of emails every day.
You appreciate a short and clear exchange of information. Make sure that your offer meets the following criteria:
- Short: Try to stay within 200 words of your email. Due to the large volume of e-mails, it is not possible for publishers to read longer e-mails.
- Personalized: You should address the blog owner (or publisher) by name. You can start with why you liked any of their recently published posts, or congratulate them if they were in the news for any reason.
- Concrete: Share your topics and the reasons you think the topics will be of interest to their blog audience. Greg Digneo recommends that you first write a draft for the post you are offering.
- Believable: Share similarly successful posts from your or other industry blogs. The publisher trusts you immediately if you have a good number of social shares and comments to show.
Here's a request from Alex Groove that earned him a successful guest post on Buffer.
You can find a sample for such a request in this post.
Where should you send your request?
Many blogs like Boost Blog Traffic clearly list the publisher's name and email address on their policy page.
Some blogs require you to fill out a contact form. In these cases your email can be lost.
So do your research and try to send your request directly to the publisher or site operator.
For larger blogs like Huffington Post, you can send your request to the relevant area editor.
Emailing Arianna Huffington directly may also result in being published on Huffington Post.
3 possibilities after you have sent your request.
Once you have sent your request, you should ideally receive an answer.
i. If the editor accepts your article idea, you can start writing.
ii. If you get feedback, you can improve your ideas in the request accordingly. Submit the improved version again.
iii. But what if ...
... you don't get an answer?
Wait a couple of weeks.
Then send a follow-up message.
Don't give up until you've sent at least 3 emails.
James at Skyrocket SEO tested theories about guest blogging initiatives. He found that he received 30% more positive responses to follow-up emails.
When you follow up, make sure you don't sound too pushy. Keep your email short and remind the blogger of your previous request.
Here is a sample for your follow-up email:
Hello [blogger's name],
I just wanted to ask once whether you received my mail from [the date you sent your e-mail]. I hope that you will find my contribution idea valuable to your audience.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
With best regards,
If you don't get a response even after two follow-up messages, push this expert blog back. Go to the next one on your list.
6. Write an amazing article and create your landing pages
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