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Guest Posting: The Secret to Building Strong Backlinks for SEO

If you’re looking to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and increase your online visibility, one strategy that you should consider is guest posting.

Guest posting involves writing and publishing content on another website in your industry or niche, with the goal of gaining exposure, building relationships, and most importantly, earning valuable backlinks to your own website.

Backlinks are a crucial factor in SEO, as they signal to search engines that other websites consider your content to be valuable and trustworthy.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of guest posting for SEO and provide tips to help you get started with this powerful strategy. Whether you’re a blogger, small business owner, or marketer, guest posting can help you drive more traffic to your website and improve your search engine rankings.

Guest Post : The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting

What is a Guest Post ? How is it different than a regular blog post?

A Guest Post is a an article written and posted on someone else’s blog. When you write something on your own blog its just a “post”, but on someone else’s blog the writer is a ‘guest’.

Guest posts are valuable tools for reputation marketing for a number reasons like getting your brand mentioned or occupying branded search query results. But most people use them to embed backlink.

Guest posts are abused though, and we’ll get to that later in this article.

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Increase Your Search Rankings With Powerful Guest Posts

If you have found someone else’s blog to blog on then you are the ‘guest author’. We’ll assume you are doing it both get the word out and hope to get a link back to one of your own web properties.

Guest posting is writing an article or piece of content and having it published on a website. This is typically done by carefully researching and writing a piece, and then getting in touch with an editor to get it published.

The benefits of getting your guest post on a large site is huge. With little effort, you can have tens of thousands of eyes on your article, your name, and even your company name within the author bio section of the website. It is one of the most effective forms of internet marketing available.

Who can write a guest post?

Almost anyone can write a guest post, but few can write a really good one that goes viral. You can’t generally “make” a post go viral. But it does not need to go viral. It just needs to be helpful, on-topic and well-written to generate traffic and link juice over time.

A good guest post is on-topic, relevant and can be of various lengths. Most guest posts are between 500 and 1000 words but folks like Neil Patel say they should be much longer. More like 2500 words. Data suggests that more content means your web page has odds for a high position in Google results. For a detailed overview of how to write a post for people and search engines check out this post about SEO enabled articles.

Sometimes it’s worth it to hire a professional to write guest posts because doing so consistently is important. Once per week at least, and who has time for that? Well, we do.

Headline ideas for guest posts

Common blog / guest post headlines include the following ideas. These are meant to be the seed for your headline creativity:

  • What is…
  • How to…
  • Tips for…
  • Examples of…
  • Best examples of…
  • Benefits of…
  • Alternatives to…
  • [Process] template…
  • [Product] vs. [Product]…
  • How to fix…
  • How to use…
  • How to integrate…
  • How to cancel…

The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting

If you’re in the market for targeted traffic and powerful backlinks, guest posting should be at the forefront of your mind.

And while Google has publicly warned against mass, low-quality guest posting, there’s no doubt that it’ll remain a link building bedrock for years to come. In this chapter you’ll learn how to get the most from this timeless link building strategy.

Write an Amazing Guest Post

Once you’ve found a blog that openly accepts guest posts and meets your standards, it’s time to write a post. The best way to make sure your guest post gets accepted and spreads like wildfire is to see what tends to work for that site. This way you can tailor your post to that site’s specific audience.

The easiest way to see which posts garnered the most buzz for a particular site is to check out the popular posts widget that most blog sidebars have. For example, QuickSprout shows the site’s all time most popular posts.

Guest posting builds relationships

Bloggers need good content. By being a good guest blogger and adding value to someone else’s blog, you’re going to build relationships with other bloggers.

Bloggers make up a large percentage of conversations happening on the Internet, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. They can be tremendously influential. Which makes them good friends to have.

By making friends with other bloggers through guest posting, you’re going to grow your influence in the realm of social media, which will ultimately lead to more blog subscribers.

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Guest posting is great for search engines

The one non-negotiable you should have for guest-posting is this:

The host blogger must include a link to your blog in the post somewhere (usually at the beginning or end).

Over time, these backlinks will raise the value of your blog to search engines, making your content easier to find via Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others.

Guest posting introduces you to new people

Perhaps, the best part of guest posting is that it allows you to enter an already-established community, and share your message. It allows you to connect with new people, which can ultimately benefit you, if you do it right.

If you’re adding value to the discussion, you’re going to see that convert over time to more readers, fans, and followers. Conversely, if all you’re ever doing is asking or selling, you may end up famous, but with a reputation you don’t want. (You don’t want to be “that guy” who’s hawking his own agenda.)

Add value. Help people. Be patient. And over time, you’ll win.

The first rule of being a good guest

When I guest post for someone else, I do the following:

  • Link to the post from my blog
  • Promote it on Twitter (several times)
  • Share it on Facebook
  • Thank the person
  • Stick around and respond to comments on the post

While not everyone does this, it’s not a bad idea. However, this is important: If you have to choose between getting people to guest post on your site or guest posting elsewhere, do the latter. It’s always better to get your name out into new communities.

Guest posting matters

when it comes to SEO, guest posting on other sites is five times as valuable as creating new content on your own site. (So long as you get the backlink.)

Whether that’s precisely true or not, I don’t care. The point is that this is an excellent strategy for extending your reach and boosting your reputation online.

Plus, if you’re a writer wanting to land more “traditional” publishing opportunities, this is a great first step to eventually getting your writing featured in news sites, magazines, and other publications.

If you aren’t satisfied with your blog traffic but aren’t posting on other people’s blogs, you don’t have much to complain about. Start guest posting today, and see your influence grow.

Determine Your Guest Blogging Goals

Before we begin, your first task is to decide what your goal for guest blogging is. Knowing this goal ahead of time is key in determining the right kind of blogs to submit guest posts to. Typically there are three main goals for guest blogging.

  • Positioning yourself as an authority and well-known name in the industry.
  • Getting exposure (traffic) back to your website.
  • Building backlinks to your website.

With the right kind of content on the top blogs, you can do all three of these things. If you are trying to accomplish either #1 or #2, then you will want to find blogs that have a good sized and engaged audience. If you are just trying to accomplish #3, then you need to pinpoint blogs with strong root domain authority. You can check this for free using the SEOmoz toolbar. Knowing your goals in advance will help you in determining which blogs will be the best for you to submit guest posts to.

How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities

The first thing you will want to do is find guest post opportunities. When looking for places to guest post, your main goal is to find sites relevant to your niche or industry. You are looking for blogs that fit the following criteria:

The content is focused on your niche / industry.
The audience of the blog will be interested in your industry.
The blog has engaged readership (posts have been shared socially and commented upon).
The blog owner is active on social media (so you know that they will be promoting your work on their site).

So if you are selling seeds, you will want to find gardening blogs with an engaged audience of gardeners. The following should help you find the right kind of guest post opportunities.

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How to get on the first page of Google ?

The Best Times to Pitch a Guest Post

You won’t always have a golden opportunity to pitch a guest post, but there are certain things to take advantage of when they arise. These include the following.

  • When blog mentions you in one of their posts or on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.).
  • When the blog lists you, your business, or your product in one of their posts.
  • When the blog specifically advertises they are looking for guest posts.
  • When the blog publishes another guest post.

6 steps to guest posting on a high-authority domain

Guest posting on high-authority domains will help expand your website’s reach exponentially. However, it’s not as easy as publishing one article and hoping it goes viral. The journey from a raw idea to a guest post on a well-known domain takes work.

This guide covers those steps. Apply the tips below to get your content published on high-authority sites.

Set quality standards

To help you start looking for the best sites for your guest post content, you need to establish your standards. You can start with the following criteria:

  • High website traffic. If you’re looking to increase traffic back to your site, it’s best to pitch to sites that get a lot of traffic. The more traffic a site gets, the higher the chance you have of getting clicks.
  • Relevance. An article about creating onboarding emails will look out of place on a website that sells skateboard parts. Not only will publishing content on irrelevant sites not attract the audience you want, but there’s also the danger of getting a penalty from Google.
  • Target Authority Sites. Domain Authority (DA) is a ranking from 0-100. A website’s domain authority is a measurement of its ability to rank on Google. The higher the authority, the better the link. Try to target sites with a DA of 70+.

When you know what you want to achieve with your guest blogging campaign, it will be easier to find suitable websites to pitch to. I’ll show you how to use the factors I listed to find relevant websites in the next section.

Find the right websites to pitch to

The easiest way to find sites to pitch to is to review the backlink profile of your competitors. SEO tools like Ahrefs Site Explorer make it easy to identify potential sites easily.

Start by making a list of a couple of recognized brands at the beginning. Then, enter the domain URL into your SEO tool. Next, click on the option that lists referring domains. Below is an example of a result using Ahrefs.

Ahrefs Site Explorer

You now have a list of all the sites that are linked to that domain.

Export the list.

Remove sites that are not relevant. For example, Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Then, filter out those with low DA scores. We usually use a threshold of 70, but you’ll be fine with 50 if you’re just starting out.

You’ll now have a list of a couple of hundred sites to target. You can repeat this process almost indefinitely with other high-ranking sites in your niche to get more potential guest blog opportunities.

Find the right topics to pitch

It takes time to master the art of pitching content. Luckily, you don’t have to come up with a list of completely original ideas. You just need to find different angles for topics that have been discussed before. For example, writing about social media marketing for nonprofits is different from writing about the same thing for SaaS marketing.

You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords for content.

You’ll need to write a great guest post.

Make sure the article you write does you justice. You want people to be impressed by the quality of your content. That means making sure it’s comprehensive, insightful, and pleasing to read.

When you feel you’ve written a great article, ask a friend for feedback. Hopefully, they will provide some nice insight that will help you improve the content. Then, use a grammar checker. A good grammar checker will catch all the typos and grammatical errors you made. There are plenty of great grammar checkers.

4 tips to keep in mind when you pitch for guest posting

If you’ve been following along with this guide, you’ll know how to find relevant sites to target, how to identify the person you should email, get their contact information, and pitch a guest post. Honestly, that’s most of the process covered. Here are a few guest posting tips to make you a pro.

Keep pitching to the right people

If you want to improve your pitching, you need to make guest posting a habit. It’s not enough to try and remember to pitch; it should be part of your daily routine. If you need to add an entry to your timesheet app or set a daily reminder to pitch, go ahead and do whatever works for you.

We suggest setting a monthly guest post target.

Send emails daily until you secure enough articles for the month. Count how many pitches you need to write on average to hit your target. With this information, you can set your weekly quota regarding the number of emails to send. It is very important to note these details because it is directly related to your work productivity. Pitching to the right people will automatically improve your success rate, hence your overall productivity.

Pitching to the right people doesn’t take long. The difficult part is coming up with the guest post ideas and writing the content. That gets easier over time.

Don’t make it all about you

A great guest post pitch or article is about sharing useful knowledge, not selling your services. Choose interesting topics that are relevant to your niche, and share that expertise across a wide audience.

Also, remember that the person accepting the guest post is doing you a favor. Try to find a way to return that favor. That might involve making an introduction to other people in your professional network, helping them promote other content on their site, or doing something else entirely.

Provide timely responses

Whether it’s replying to a content manager’s email approving your pitches or posting replies to your article’s comment section, you need to respond promptly. As we’ve mentioned earlier, site owners and editors don’t have a lot of time on their hands, so the least you can do is respect their time by sending a reply once you’re available.

This also applies to your article’s comments, whether it’s posted on the guest site’s blog or shared through Facebook. Guest posts are a great way to engage with your readers and expand your audience, and if you keep replying to emails on time, you can actually establish brand loyalty among those who do follow you.

Read guidelines carefully

I cannot stress this enough — guest post guidelines are there for a reason. Pay attention to the details. Do words have to be spelled in American English or British English? Is there a word count?

Guidelines help the site editor maintain the quality and authority of its blog. If you manage to follow every single word of the guideline, you might find it easier to submit guest posts to the same familiar faces later on.

The bottom line

In this article, I discussed how to set standards for your target sites, find sites that fit your specification, find the appropriate people to message, and pitch article ideas. If you follow the steps outlined in this guide, I’m confident that you’ll land a guest post within the next fortnight.

Guest posting is hard work. If you lack a strategy, you’re more likely to fail. When you do it properly, it will give your brand the traffic and exposure you seek.

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