Many people wonder what counts as guest posts and how to get people to author guest posts. The truth is that a guest post is an article that another party posts on their website.
Companies often utilize guest posts to increase their brand awareness and also earn valuable referral traffic from the post. In the end, a company is simply seeking a third party to write a post for them.
Setting Goals for Guest Posts
A company needs to identify all of the goals it has for a guest post. Establishing goals will be important in helping a company determine the right kind of guest poster as well as post material.
There are customarily three common goals companies have for guest posts, which include:
- Positioning a company as an authority and well-known name in an industry.
- Getting exposure or traffic back to a website.
- Building backlinks to a website (although this cannot be the main focus, because Google can penalize for this).
It is possible for companies to accomplish all three of these goals by simply having the right kind of content. When there is a greater focus on the first two items listed, then a company will be seeking material that caters to a larger and more diverse audience.
On the other hand, companies that are focusing on the last item listed will want to be working with blogs or websites that have strong root domain authority. Ubersuggest can be a very useful tool for these purposes.
When a company knows what goals it has, it will ultimately help the business determine the best avenues for guest posts. You can know which blogs will be most beneficial to your business.
Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities
For a person or company seeking to guest post, it can be a strange and complicated effort to find the right place to work. People should generally try to find websites that are relevant to their specific niche or industry.
In general, the basic requirements will be a blog or website that:
- Has content focused on a specific niche or industry
- An audience for the blog interested in the industry
- A blog with an engaged readership, meaning posts that are often shared socially and commented upon
- A blog owner who is active on social media and will promote your work on their website
A company selling tires, for example, could benefit from working with a local car dealership. There are many ways to find guest posting opportunities.
Google is perhaps the best known place to begin a search for guest posting opportunities because it is, by and large, the predominant search engine. People can use certain keyword searches to find blogs accepting guest posts.
Simply add your specific keyword to any of the following searches:
- “submit a guest post”
- “guest post”
- “guest post by”
- “accepting guest posts”
- “guest post guidelines”
When you enter these searches, you can often be taken to a company’s guest post guidelines and possibly even a guest post submission page. It is also possible that you might view guest posts by other writers.
Famous Guest Bloggers
If you are wondering who some of the most prolific guest posters are, there are a variety of options. Certain people have proven to be extremely reliable for guest posts in many different industries.
Some of the most infamous guest posters include Kevin Indig, Kevin Rowe, Brian Harnish, Neil Patel, Anna Crow, Robyn Johnson, Benji Acciola, Tony Right, Jeff Bullas, Kirk Williams, Jenny Halasz, Adam Riemer, and Mark Traphagen. All of these people have been reliable guest posts for marketing material.
People can use Google to search for guest posts by certain authors and see all of the different websites they have posted to. When a person sees that guest posters are regularly guest posting to a certain website, it is safe to assume that website accepts guest posts.
When a company performs a backlink analysis of a competitor while working on its search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, multiple competitors could have backlinks from guest posts they have done. If a company has access to a tool like Open Site Explorer, it can look at the backlinks of competitors and spot any of the blog posts they have written.
If none can be found, a Google search could be the answer. You will enter “link:competitor’s domain -competitor’s domain “guest post” and see websites that the competitor has written for.
Social media has become one of the mainstays for sharing all types of material online. There are a wide variety of social platforms, but Twitter is perhaps the most dominant of any in this area.
Many bloggers and guest posters share guest posts on social networks. On Twitter, a person should perform a Twitter search for the keyword “guest post” to get the latest tweets about guest posts in their industry.
Simply follow the links to see which blogs are accepting guest posts.
Finding Guest Posting Opportunities
When a company needs more keyword search ideas or a list of different guest posting opportunities, Brafton offers a post with 14 ways to syndicate content. The website notes that content syndication involves third-party websites republishing content originally appearing on a company’s blog, and is useful for both content publishers beginning a new marketing strategy and veterans who want their name or brand to be associated with thought leadership.
A syndication strategy can offer several benefits, including marketing messages to reach more potential customers, reaching audiences seeking solutions like yours, providing an SEO boost to an online presence because each piece of duplicate content will include a backlink to your website. Content syndication can also save marketers significant time while delivering much more improved results than an individual piece of content could.
MyBlogGuest is a community of guest bloggers that lets you sign up for free and search for blogs accepting guest posts. You can post your own information to say that you are seeking an opportunity to write guest posts on a particular topic and let blog owners find you.
Pitching a Guest Blogging Post
You will notice that we did not immediately jump from finding opportunities to contacting blog or website owners, and this is because you will have a few things you need to do first. Some of the important steps will include the following.
Identify and Understand Content
Getting to know a target blog’s content will be very important. While you may know a company has content about a keyword you searched for while looking for guest post opportunities, you also need to know more about the content.
You will want to be examining:
- The level of audience they are writing for
- The type of audience they are writing for
- The type of content they write
Identify How Guest Posts Perform
Just because a blog or website has guest posts is only one element, as it is also important to determine if guest bloggers actually do well with their work? This means you should look to see if guest blog posts on a website are getting as many comments and social sharing as blog posts by a website owner.
While certain websites could accept guest posts, an audience that only tunes in for a blog owner might not be as beneficial for a guest poster. If your goal is to build authority or get traffic back to your website, you will want to make sure the guest post can satisfy that goal.
Identify the Guest Posters
Certain website and blog owners will be more likely to accept guest posts only by certain kinds of people. You should review the guest poster bios on the blog or website to see if they are fellow freelancers, bloggers, consultants, or business owners.
This information will be critical when you introduce yourself to the blog or website owner for a pitch. SEOmoz published a study about the success rates of guest posting outreach.
Determine the Posts That Do Best
To ensure that a guest post is accepted, a person will want to pitch a blog or website owner with topics that will do well with their audience. To get good ideas of topics that will work with a blog or website’s audience, use the following websites to see what posts have proven popular on social media:
- Oktopost tracks and reports social media performance.
- Digg shows blog posts that have received the most amount of Digg votes.
- Buzzer schedules social media posts and provides data and analytics.
Make Yourself a Familiar Face
You can increase your chances of being accepted as a guest poster by getting some recognition from a blog or website owner first. One of the best ways to do this is to comment on their latest posts and share those posts on social media, although you will want to be sure to include the owner’s @username on Twitter.
Doing this will mean that when you pitch a guest post, you will not be a complete stranger.
Best Times to Pitch a Guest Blogging Post
People do not always have the best opportunity to pitch guest posts, but there are certain situations to take advantage of when they arise. Examples include when a blog or website mentions you in one of their posts or on social media, when a blog or website lists you, your business, or your product in one of its posts, when a blog or website advertises they are looking for guest posts, or when a blog or website publishes another guest post.
Best Practices for Pitches
The art of the pitch takes a little time to master. There are a few things all people need to be sure they do, however.
The last thing a person needs to do before contacting a blog or website owner is to read the company’s guest posting guidelines and adhere to them closely. Know whether a blog or website owner wants you to pitch an idea or actually submit a full post, the format they want it in, and whether they want you to create an account and enter it into WordPress.
Personalize the Email
While we have all been told to begin formal correspondences with “To Whom It May Concern,” this seems to be a relic of another era. Similarly, “Dear Sir or Madam,” “Dear Webmaster,” or even just “Hi” can all be turn-offs.
Somewhere on a blog or website, there should be the name and contact information for the owner of the blog or website a person is targeting for a guest post. People might have to search around for the name on the about page or on one of the company’s social media accounts, but chances are that it is out there and people should find it and use it to begin any email.
Keep in mind the advice about seeing who guest bloggers are on a target blog. Certain blog or website owners will be very particular about only allowing other bloggers to submit guest posts on their websites.
If you notice that many guest bloggers are bloggers themselves, you could benefit from introducing yourself as a blogger at whatever your personal or business blog is. While you may be a business owner as well, you will want to focus on the blogging skills first and foremost.
Giving Reasons Why You Should Be a Guest Poster
In your pitch, make sure you include why you should be a guest blogger by including links to posts you have published elsewhere, even your own blog. You will want to focus on posts that have solid social engagement so the blog or website owner can see the potential value as it relates to their audience.
Pitching a Guest Post Idea
When guest post guidelines ask people to submit topic ideas, then people should base their pitches on their research of previously popular posts. Try to pitch multiple ideas so a blog or website owner has options to choose from.
Submitting a Guest Post
A common question about guest blogging is whether a person should be using their best content for their own blog or for their guest posting. This will depend on the quality of the blog a person is submitting their content to.
If a blog or website has only 1,500-word posts with multiple screenshots, then your own post should adhere to these standards. When a blog or website has only posts with fewer than 500 words that have only one image, then your posts should again be similar.
Do Not Make the Post About You
Remember that a guest post is not about the writer’s business, products, or services. They are instead supposed to be valuable sources of information that are not advertisements.
Any information about a writer’s business or related items should only be dedicated to the author bio. Certain occasional mentions, stories, or examples may work to help illustrate concepts, but the majority of the post should focus on something other than your business.
Follow the Format
You will want to look at other posts on your target blog or website. Identify whether they use multiple headers, images, quotes, bolded text, or other kinds of special formatting so you can be sure that your post will have similar elements to match other posts on the website.
Using Internal and Source Links
You can show the blog or website owner that you know their content by including a few internal links back to some of their own posts. The simplest way to do this will be to do a Google search for site:domain.com intitle:keyword.
This will help get you their top posts on a particular keyword that you can link that post to the keyword in your post. When you mention any specific products, you also want to link to those too.
Call to Action
At the end of a guest post, always include a call to action that creates comments. The more discussion a post generates, the more likely it is to be shared on social media.
Winning Guest Post Bios
Perhaps the most important part of guest posting will be the guest post bio. This will be the only place a person can include self-promotion links back to their website, blog, product, or service,
What a person writes in this section will depend on their guest blogging goals. In general, this breaks down into the four following steps:
- Include a link to your website. If your goal is to get good backlinks, make sure your bio includes a link back to your website with your target anchor text.
- Create a custom landing page to reflect the audience. If your goal is to get traffic back to your website, then you might want to consider where you want that traffic to go. Depending on the subject of your guest post and the audience of the blog you place it upon, you might want to send traffic to a custom landing page or page about a specific product/service.
- Include social profiles. If your goal is to increase followers of your social accounts, do this by adding a line to the end of your bio that says something like, “Follow me on (insert your top social network and link here).”
- Create a concise, descriptive bio. Include a bit about your background and experience as to why you were qualified to write a guest post. Include your current job or projects that may be of interest to readers.
Becoming a Reliable Guest Poster
When a person wants to become a regular contributor to a blog or website, or just wants the blog or website owner to rave about what a great guest poster you are, you will want to be sure you do your best to promote your post throughout your own audience. A blog or website owner will always love it if you send new readers their way.
Make sure you reply to comments or questions that people leave on your post. This can go a long way if a person is working to build authority in their industry.
If the end goal is traffic, the results of guest blogging should be measured. The best way to do this is to create an Advanced Segment in Google Analytics.
Learn how to set up an Advanced Segment and how to find out which online marketing strategy drives the best traffic. All a person needs is one segment using the source dimension with multiple statements for each domain that they have guest blogged for.
By using this, a person can view all of their Google Analytics data based on referrals from their guest posts. This will help them determine the success of their overall guest blogging strategy in terms of getting traffic and making conversions.
Getting Guest Posters for Your Blog or Website
Guest posting is a two-way street. It can be tough to maintain blog content while guest posting on a lot of other blogs or websites.
You will want to open an invitation for the blog or website you wrote for to write a guest post for you as well. This will keep your content fresh on your own blog or website, and help gain perspective on your audience while also getting new readers from your guest blogger’s community.
Guest Posting Help in Houston, TX
SERP Matrix offers multiple services for companies seeking guest posters. We have a dedicated content writing team that can help you with all of your guest posting needs.