There’s no doubt that guest posting is one of the best ways to rank higher in Google and improve your online visibility.
Although there have been a lot of changes on how guest posting is done over the years, what hasn’t changed is the fact that it remains to be one of the most effective ways to build your authority and jumpstart your online business. Even major brands recognize the power that a well-executed guest posting campaign can bring.
This just goes to show that it’s a strategy you shouldn’t dismiss so easily. Along with blogging, guest posting has been around as far back as everyone on the internet could remember. With that said, we’ve drawn up the absolute guide when it comes to supercharging your guest posting campaigns. This will ensure that you’re able to maximize all your efforts in building your business!
Identify Your Guest Posting Campaign’s Goals
Before going ahead and drawing up a guest posting campaign plan, you’ll have to first identify the goal you want to achieve with the campaign. Not doing so could make your strategy aimless and without direction, resulting in a lot of wasted efforts.
When you know ahead of time what your goal is, you can choose all the other factors in your guest posting campaign in such a way that everything fits the objective you have in mind. For instance, if your goal is to increase awareness in your niche, then you’ll be able to choose blogs to guest post on that are in a similar field.
If you’re at loss when it comes to determining what goal to pursue, don’t fret because we’ll also be outlining the most common ones that you can use for your own guest posting campaign as well.
One of the foremost reasons to do guest posting is to establish yourself as an authority figure in your niche. The next goal you might want to consider is to get traffic back to your site so you can gain exposure from the host blog’s audience. Lastly, guest posting is also an amazing way to build backlinks so you can rank higher for the keyword you’re aiming for.
The great thing is that you don’t have to stick to just one goal. You can aim for all three in your campaign with the right content and methods. For the first and second goals mentioned above, however, it’s important to guest post on blogs that have a decent audience size that are also engaged. If your goal is to build backlinks, guest post on blogs that have a high domain authority.
Determining Whether a Guest Posting Opportunity is the Right One
Once you now have a goal in place, the next best step is to find the right guest posting opportunities that will align with your goal. This means finding sites that are relevant to your business industry or niche.
More than the said criteria, it’s important to guest post on blogs whose audience will be a good match to what you’re offering and also interested in what you have to offer. They should also have an engaged readership since this just goes to show that they have quality content that people care to read. This is also good for you because it only means that your guest post would surely be read and enjoyed by many.
Another important aspect that would signal that a blog is a great site to post on is if the blog owner is active on social media. An active social media presence is an excellent factor to consider since this also means that your guest post will be promoted to their entire audience.
So for instance, if you’re selling pet products, you’ll want to find pet blogs with an engaged audience of pet owners. In the next section, you’ll get to learn how to find the best guest posting opportunities no matter what your niche is.
How to Conduct Audience and Topic Idea Research
Identifying your target audience is all about understanding the personal traits of those who would be interested in what you’re offering.
Knowing this requires that you write down all the potential problems that your service or product can solve. Then, list down all the characteristics of the type of people that would have those kinds of problems. You should then further flesh out the information that you have by adding other traits such as their interests, hobbies, and gender, to name just a few!
This is called an audience persona. Having a solid idea in mind of what your ideal audience looks like is beneficial to your research of finding the right websites to guest post on.
Armed with the above information, you can now do your research by pinpointing the most popular posts published in your niche. Popularity is based on many things such as social shares or blog following. For this part, you might want to use Buzzsumo. All you have to do is enter your keyword on the site and it will show the top 10 posts published on the web based on the words you entered.
From the results, you’ll be able to see which topics have been discussed and are popular with your target audience. You can then tackle the same topics but with a different angle. Alternatively, you can also choose to write on subject matters that haven’t been addressed yet so you can provide a fresh take on various issues in your field.
Another site you can use is Alltop. It’s a site that aggregates posts from different sites and blogs. The great thing about is that it shows all the popular topics in a wide variety of niche. All you need to do is to browse their category tab and look for your niche. Once you’ve picked yours, you’ll be shown all the currently trending posts and news for that category. You can then get ideas from the results and put your own spin on it when you write it!
If you don’t see your category on the site, you can also find topics related to your niche by using the search bar and entering your keywords on it.
Finding the Right Guest Posting Opportunities
Finding the right guest posting opportunities can be done through a number ways but will still require time and basic know-how to undertake. One expert tip we recommend is to start small. Although it’s nice to be able to guest post on big blogs and to have that as a goal, a lot of them require credentials which you can get by publishing your guest posts first on small blogs.
Once you know who your target audience is as discussed in the previous section, you have to then find out what websites they’re hanging out on. After learning what kind of websites they’re likely to frequent, the next best step is to know whether they accept guest posts or not.
You should then create a list and put all the websites you find that accept guest posts. To make your list more organized, arrange the websites from low to high priority or using other factors. You can then start contacting them according to priority or blog size.
Using Buzzsumo, you could also restrict the results to show only guest posts. You can do this by typing the keywords “guest posts” or “guest blogging sites” and add your niche keyword (e.g. pet care). Once it shows the results, take note of the websites who have published guest posts in your niche and add them to a list.
You can also do an influencer search on Buzzsumo by entering keywords related in your niche. Once you have the results, you can then check out each site whether they’re accepting guest posts.
Another great alternative would be to scope Facebook blogging groups for guest post opportunities. The key to be able to nab guest posting placements here is to first aim to provide value to the community you just joined. Don’t ask for a guest posting spot on the outset unless the poster is the one who initiated looking for volunteer guest posts.
Aside from that, you could also ask the members of the Facebook group if any of them are offering any guest blogging opportunity. However, you should still ask this after already providing value back to the group so that members are much more willing to give you one.
You can also use the good, ‘ol mighty Google for finding guest posting opportunities by using variations of the following: “your keyword” + “guest post.” There’s no doubt that you’ll get a ton of results since the search terms you can use are pretty wide-ranging.
Using Third-Party Sites to Find Blogs Where You Can Submit Guest Posts
Aside from the standard Google search using keywords, you can also sign up on websites that facilitate connecting bloggers to each other for guest posting opportunities.
The great thing about such sites is that they provide a much convenient way of reaching out to blog owners since you can search and contact them in just one platform. Compared to doing the standard Google search and manual outreach, these sites have bloggers as members in just one place so everything is streamlined and can be done in just one place.
A few examples of this kind of sites are my MyBlogGuest, PostJoint, BloggerLinkUp, and BlogDash, to name just a few. Some of these sites are free to use while others require a minimal fee to use it or to send a message to other members.
Either way, this is an option worth looking into since it’s pretty handy to use if you’re not willing to do all the required steps to searching on Google and contacting each site you found manually.
All you have to do to be able to connect with other blog owners through such sites is to register for an account and start searching for bloggers in your niche. Once you’ve found some likely candidates, you can then send a message to them to ask whether they’re still open to accepting guest posts. After reaching an agreement, you can send them your post and they could publish it for you.
Other Ways to Find Guest Posting Spots
There are also numerous other ways to find guest posting opportunities and these are no doubt much easier! One of which is to find guest post pages. These guest post pages are where bloggers typically list all the articles they’ve written for other sites. This is a goldmine of possibilities because you can also check each one on their list if they’re still accepting guest posts.
To find them, just type in the following keywords and its variations on Google: “my post on other blogs” or “sites I’ve written on” and then add your niche keyword as well. This will show relevant results of bloggers who have such pages related to your industry!
Or if you already know of an author in your field who has guest posted in numerous other blogs then tracking down all their published posts can be done using this one simple tool. All you have to do is get the URL of their image headshot and then paste that on Google’s reverse image search. You’ll then get a list of all the sites that use the said image.
Lastly, you can also get a nice list of guest blogging opportunities from roundup posts such as this one where they listed 1,387 blogs that accept guest posts organized by category, to boot. These are articles that have already done the research for you in finding out all blogs that are accepting guest posts. However, some might have been written a few years back so it would be better if you first check every site that’s on the list.
Narrowing Down a Long List
If you’ve followed all the above tips, you probably ended up with a long list of sites to consider. Having a long list is great but you should always go for quality over quantity since the last thing you want is to waste tremendous time and effort reaching out and creating posts for sites that don’t do anything for you.
Narrowing down your list means weeding out unnecessary ones that are either not accepting guest posts or won’t provide any sort of value to your guest posting campaign.
For really big sites that claim that they don’t publish guest posts, it still pays to double check with them if they’re still accepting guest posts. There are numerous times that sites who have stated that they don’t allow guest posts actually published them. The chance of this likely happening to you is high if you personalize your guest posts and craft quality pitches that fit the site and audience you’re pitching them to!
To further whittle down your list to just the valuable ones, make sure to check if each site is active even if it’s just a small blog. Remember, we’re not talking about a blog’s size here but how engaged their audience is. In fact, going for a small site with an engaged readership is much better and more preferable than going for a big site that doesn’t get any kind of engagement at all.
The following questions are just some of the ways to assess the criteria of each site on your list. Are they publishing posts regularly? Are they getting a decent amount of shares and comments? If there’s nothing on all fronts, it’s best to remove it from your list since it won’t add anything for your campaign or boost your site in any form.
Coming Up With Solid Topics
After ensuring that each site on your list is of noteworthy and of value, the next step is to come up with solid topics to include in your pitch. Without these, your emails will likely be ignored and go unnoticed.
It’s no doubt important to have a few solid ideas in mind to include in your pitch. This idea should be something that matches the kind of content the blog you’re reaching out to publishers. But more than that, it has to first provide value to their readers. This means you have to do your due diligence in finding out what topics have already been discussed and posted on their blog.
Steer clear from rehashed topics or if you’re really keen on tackling a particular subject matter then discuss it from a different angle. You can do this by looking at old posts or topics and then writing them in a new light by adding more recent information. The good thing about the online world is that all things are ever changing. This means that there’s a new development that you can always add sooner or later on any topic.
Another way to address a topic from a new angle is to tackle it from your experience. The resulting post may have a subjective slant on it but since the purpose is to add your two cents to the conversation then including your personal take is totally fine. Readers can still glean a lot from it since they’ll be able to learn from what you went through.
A related idea to the above when discussing a new angle is to talk about mistakes—particularly what mistakes to steer clear from. Of course, there are niches or topics that this tip may not be applicable but either way, it pays to also explore the other side of the coin.
You can also try pitching a topic that’s related to your offer. However, the key to having this kind of pitch accepted is to craft your topic in a way that’s not just promotional in nature but also valuable to their audience.
Round-up posts are also another great idea. They’re in-depth and are packed full of information that many readers love to consume.
Crafting a Compelling Pitch That Bloggers Respond To
Solid topics are just a part of the puzzle. Without a compelling pitch to accompany your topic suggestions then grabbing a guest posting spot would be harder than ever.
Most blogs, especially big ones, are often inundated with numerous pitches on their inboxes so you should always strive to differentiate your email in any way you can. Start with a powerful subject line and back that up with an email body that’s short and to the point. The most common way to do this is to put your topic pitch in your email headline. Chances are, having an interesting, relevant topic will compel the editor to open your email. Editors have also spilled here what the best subject lines have worked for them!
Don’t make the mistake of writing a long-winded email that would take more than 5 minutes to read. Blog owners are typically busy and wouldn’t want to read blocks of text just to figure out the purpose of your email. Stick to the basics and provide enough information for them to decide whether to accept your guest posting pitch or not.
To take your pitch to another level, why not individualize your email and address the editor by his or her name. This conveys the fact that you did your research and allotted time in personalizing your email. Both of the said things indicate that you’re serious about being considered.
Then, in the first paragraph of your email, show that you’ve taken the time to read their blog and that you care about what they have to say. After that, include an intro about yourself, why your writing will be of value to their audience, your topic suggestions, and what would their readers gain from reading what you have to offer.
Writing Your Topic
Once your pitch has been accepted, it’s now time to get down to the nitty-gritty and flesh out the title you just proposed. Before even starting writing, however, there are a couple of things that you have to consider first. The most important thing being the style guidelines of a blog.
A blog’s guest posting or style guideline contains instructions and recommendations on how articles on the site should be written. If a blog has one, you should make sure to check and follow it since not doing so can result in the rejection of your post. Here’s an example of a guest posting guideline by Shopify.
When it comes to guest posting, your goal is to blend in your article with the rest of the posts on their site since most blog owners want one cohesive tone and writing style for everything they publish on their site.
After getting familiarized with their style guidelines, the next step is to create an outline of the guest post you’ll be submitting. Craft the subheadings of the article in advance and then include the points that you’ll be discussing for each. You can also research for references in advance and put it under the subheading as well.
Before even typing anything, remember to write for the blog’s audience. This is one of the best ways to maximize your guest post results and exposure. After all, the last thing you want is to go through all those hoops only to find out that the audience of the blog didn’t like how you tackled a particular topic.
Another tip to take note of is to make sure you don’t hold anything back. Give it your best shot the first time around and pour all your effort and knowledge to crafting your guest post. When you do this, readers will know that you’re out to give them your best and will likely share or finish your article!
A tactic you might want to try is to start writing the subheadings you’ve just outlined before writing the introduction or conclusion. The thing about writing the introduction is that a lot of people get stuck writing it that they waste so much time coming up how to open the topic.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, go straight to writing your subheadings and once you’re done with everything, go back to writing the introduction and lead with any of the information you just mentioned. Of course, the key isn’t just to repeat the information you’ll be discussing further down the line but to write it in a way that would grab the reader’s attention from the onset.
Another interesting way to start your introduction is by opening with an anecdote or an interesting story that’s relevant to your topic. The purpose here is twofold: to grab their attention and establish rapport. This conveys a human element that draws in readers better.
Once you’re finished with the introduction, you can now start with the conclusion. The great thing about writing one is that there are a number of ways to go about it. You can opt to summarize the article, recap the points you’ve just discussed or offer a different perspective. Whichever way you choose, it’s important to leave your readers with a valuable takeaway that they would glean from the article after finishing it.
If time is a particular issue, try scheduling your writing using a time block of two to three consecutive hours of just working on your post. This ensures that you get to allot enough time for writing and is also a great way for you to finish everything in a timely manner.
How to Differentiate Your Guest Post
One of the best ways to ensure that your guest post gets accepted and published is to differentiate it. Although we’ve outlined some few tips above on how to do this with your topic, you also need to be able to deliver on your content if you have an outside-of-the-box topic. Below are a few ways to do it!
There are a number of ways to write a guest post that isn’t rehashed content and is refreshing to read. One amazing method would be to use figures or statistics that you’ve gathered. If this isn’t possible, you can use others data but make sure that you present it using a different interpretation to make sure you’re adding something new to the topic conversation.
Another way to provide a fresh take is to adopt an opposite perspective and discuss its merits as well. It’s a good method to bring a new, refreshing take on an otherwise common issue. For instance, often enough in any industry, it’s pretty common for people to take on the majority view since they’re afraid to go against the grain.
The thing is, not all ideas that everyone agrees on is right and in some cases, should be really called out in order to educate people on the other side of the coin. There might be a possibility that you’ll get people who’ll slam what you have to say but at least, you were able to give an informative take on a typical issue from a different angle!
If that’s not your thing, you could also try the route of bringing additional insights from other fields or disciplines. This means you apply a concept that’s usually seen in the province of another industry and explain how it can also be applicable to the topic at hand. For instance, the 80/20 rule which stands for 80% of the results you get come from 20% of the effort you put in. This concept came from the field of economics but it’s also been applied to productivity, marketing, business, and other industries.
Related to this is going by the method of spotting connections between concepts or things that no one hasn’t noticed yet. Like, if you happen to have something in mind when it comes to the relationship between a positive mindset and abundance then, by all means, talk about it in your guest post!
A surefire way to guarantee that your guest post stands out from the pack is to write like a human. This means writing in a way that’s casual and conversational. A lot of times, many people write in such a way that it seems that they’re forgetting that it’s a human reading on the other side of the screen as well. The result is a cold, formal post that doesn’t attract anyone or let alone, gets finished in the first place.
Don’t be afraid to write in a way that conveys your emotions or your opinions. Not doing so is a one-way ticket to article boredom.
You can also inject your own experience into the content so it becomes distinguished from all the other articles discussing the same topic. This can be done by adding an anecdote, case studies or examples that you personally know of.
Improving Your Guest Post
Now that you have your guest post written, the next step you should be aiming for is to improve it. This doesn’t just increase the chances of your guest post being accepted but it also gives the message that the author or the business he or she is representing knows how to provide value! One of the biggest improvements you could make is to add graphics to your guest post. There’s nothing like a nice visual representation to go along with your text. After all, you’d be hard-pressed to find readers who would willingly go through long blocks of texts without any break of images in between. Adding images is a great way to keep them interested and help make your guest post more appealing!
If you’ve mentioned some data claims or research results in your guest post, do cite the reference where you got it from. This will help your readers verify the data for themselves as well as position you as someone who has credence in the things he or she writes.
For those that haven’t included figures or statistics in their content, try adding one if it’s relevant to the topic or issue. This not only results in a more informative content but it also establishes you as someone who knows his or her stuff.
In terms of formatting, you have to make your guest post readable by adding subheadings and including bullet points when you can. This allows people to skim but still be able to finish your article. Moreover, a guest post that follows this kind of format makes the article look more organized when reading it.
Briefness is also another important factor. Don’t explain a concept in three paragraphs if you can do it in five sentences. Remember it’s not about the quantity of words you’ve used but in the quality of your explanation that spells the difference between a post that’s seen as worthless and one that’s seen as significant. Of course, you should be aiming for the second one all the time. Even if you have a word count to abide by, you should be adding value instead of needless words that are only seen as fluff!
When it comes to word usage, pick plain words as opposed to jargon. With guest posts, you want to appeal to as much people as you can and that means making it more accessible to both experts and non-specialists alike. This ensures that your guest post is read by a wide range of audience up until the article’s end!
Crafting Your Author Bio
Now that you have all the elements of your guest post down pat, you should be able to end it with a captivating author bio so your readers will be compelled to check you out. Since this is your chance to capitalize on the interest you’ve garnered from the host blog’s readers, you have to include all the right information so that you’ll be able to take something from their interest.
But before that, you have to make sure that they read through your bio. You can do this by making it fun to read. Don’t just spout a mile high list of everything that you’ve done or every accolade you’ve received, say something relevant such as why you’re qualified to discuss the topic and then include a brief info on what you do or what the business you represent does.
After that, you can then add the fun stuff and tell them about your hobbies, interests or any personal info you’d like to share. This makes you relatable and human—two things that your standard reader is drawn to!
Don’t make the mistake of stuffing your author bio with keywords. There’s nothing more that turns off readers as fast as a poorly written bio that seems like it was written for Google instead of for them!
Include any relevant links to your site or social media profiles as well so that readers have the chance to follow you or get to know where they can find you or your business. To make this more powerful, add a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your bio to direct them to what step you’d like them to do next.
For instance, if you want them to download a lead magnet you’ve done, include the link for the landing page and a CTA that says something like, “Get traffic the easy way with the 5 simple hacks!” This will no doubt result in more people clicking your link!
Now that you know everything that it takes to supercharge your guest posting campaign, the only thing left is to execute all the information you’ve learned in this guide!
If you’ve read the things I’ve outlined above, you might feel daunted that there’s so much to take note of and to do. To that, I say that anything worth doing will no doubt be a bit harder than your usual. This is especially the case with guest posting campaigns since it requires effort and time to be successful.
Don’t be afraid of all the things needed to get your guest posting campaign successful. The good thing is that once you’re put in the work, there’s no doubt that you’ll reap the benefits consistently and for the long-term.