The Ultimate Guest Blogging Guide: How to Write Guest Posts Like a ProApr 09, 2019
Want to write for other blogs? Guest blogging is the #1 way to build authority for your blog. In this ultimate guide, we'll share how to write guest posts like a pro.
One of the best ways to build authority in your industry, and for your website, is by guest blogging. This remains one of the best ways to gain exposure for your business and your brand. This increased visibility should also translate into increased conversions on your site.
You may have heard that Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are replacing guest blogging as a tactic for driving traffic to your site. In fact PBNs, which are networks of sites that link back to the site that makes money, are not as effective.
That’s because Google is catching on to PBNs. That’s because PBNs can be expensive to establish. That’s because establishing PBNs is time-consuming.
Instead, spending time, money and effort on high-authority guest posts will provide to be a much better expenditure.
- Guest blogging exposes you and your brand to new audiences.
- Guest blogging enhances your reputation. After all, if a trusted authority asked you to contribute to their site, you must be trustworthy.
- Building links from quality sites to your site is good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- You’ll be gaining new colleagues and helping them out, since quality content is valued by those authoritative sites.
But like many things that are good for your business, guest blogging requires more than time, energy and a budget (since time is money). It also requires a solid strategy.
So let’s get started with our ultimate guest blogging guide, and learn how to do it like an expert even if you’re not.
Start With Goals
Strategies must all start the same way – with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish with your guest-posting strategy?
Here are some examples:
- Gaining traffic to your website, or to a specific landing page, which in turn will drive more sales.
- Positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, if you want to land speaking engagements, for instance.
- Building awareness of your brand.
- Increasing the number of email subscribers or social media followers.
- Improving the SEO of your site with the inbound links gained through guest posting.
Your goals drive your content marketing strategy. If you want to increase traffic to your website, or position yourself as an authority, for instance, then you will look for blogs that have large audiences. If you want to enhance SEO by building strong backlinks to your site, you will focus on those with a strong domain authority.
Once you know your objectives, it’s time to proceed.
Find Your Targets
Next up to find the target sites on which you want to publish. This is worth your time and effort, because you don’t want your name, brand and business posted just anywhere.
Here are some considerations as you begin the search for appropriate sites:
- The site is open to guest blogging (otherwise it’s no use going any further).
- The site’s content is relevant to your industry or business.
- The site’s audience would be interested in your business and what you have to say.
- The site has an authoritative link profile.
- The site has a social media presence, which means your work will be promoted.
- The site’s audience is engaged, meaning even more sharing on social media.
With those key points in mind, it’s time to start the search. This can be done manually via a search engine with keyword for your industry or business plus content such as:
|“keyword” +||guest blogger|
|“keyword” +||write for us|
|“keyword” +||guest article|
|“keyword” +||become a contributor|
|“keyword” +||guest post|
|“keyword” +||guest post guidelines|
|“keyword” +||submit a guest post|
|“keyword” +||accepting guest posts|
You get the idea. This will give you a list of relevant sites against which you can then check the above considerations.
You can also look for an authoritative blogger in your industry, and see where they have written guest blogs.
Finally, you can also automate the process several ways. Here are a few examples:
- Linkclump will filter the links you find, if you want to include or exclude links that contain certain words. It will also open, copy or bookmark a multitude of links at once.
- Scrapebox provides a service that searches for guest posting opportunities. Once you get the results, you can remove any duplicate URLs, check the ranking for the page, and export the results for your use. You may end up with less than ideal websites through this type of search, and have to go through them in the end anyway.
Ahrefs also has a tool to find link targets. Ahrefs is popular for doing backlink analysis and providing URL rankings, as well as doing SEO analysis.
If you have the resources, you could also outsource this step of the work to a freelancer, found on a site like Upwork, to do the search and analysis for you. In the end, you want a list of high authority sites that become your targets.
Develop a Connection
Next up is connecting to the owner of the site in order to get a guest blog posted. There are some key components to consider in this step as well.
Don’t just send a form email asking to post (please don’t!). Build a relationship with the site owner and the website itself.
Here are some ways to do that.
Get to know the site. Visit the site for several weeks to get a sense of what they post, what matters to them, and more importantly, what matters to their audience. Get to understand their top performing posts, and what gets shared.
Comment on blogs and sign up for any email marketing they offer. Follow them on social media to see what engages their customers. Tag and share their content that you like, and include a comment if you feel inclined.
Check out the other guest bloggers and their content, so you can understand their desired content. By understanding recent content, you can also be sure to pitch a fresh topic.
Finally, review their guidelines for guest posting. You’ll want to be sure to follow those guidelines when you’re making your pitch and, obviously, when you write your guest post.
Now, you’re ready to send a pitch email.
Craft the "Pitch" Email
Even more important than the content itself is the pitch email. After all, you won’t have the chance to write the content if the email gets deleted.
Be sure to personalize the email and the subject line. Then it’s important to highlight your topic, including the headline of your proposed blog post. You need to have a compelling topic that fits with the blog and provides some new information that isn’t already on the site. That can be an update to an existing topic with new information, or a completely new subject.
Provide detail on the benefits your post will provide to their site, and then you can also be open about what you’re hoping to get out of the post. That can be increased traffic through a link to your site, or increased visibility with a link to your bio.
As a rule of thumb, make sure you aren’t paying for placements on sites, unless you are openly promoting your product or service. They are getting the benefit of great content that’s useful to their readers, so you shouldn’t have to pay for that.
And finally, an important point to consider before you press “send.” Be sure you can deliver on the promise of that post. If necessary, have it written in advance.
Write Kick-Butt Content
Everything else we’ve said, and all the work you’ve done to this point, will basically go to waste if you don’t write amazing content.
It’s important to spend time on this, and follow the guidelines as outlined for the site. Follow the word count. Include images if required. And be sure to include the components that benefit you, like links and bios.
If you need to get help from a professional ghostwriter, do it. This is important.
Do Your Follow-Up
Once your post is published, be sure to do your follow-up work. That means promoting it on social media and building links from your site to the guest post.
It can also include adding a form to gather emails on the page on your site where your readers will land.
Respond quickly to any comments made on your post. As a bonus, if another blogger comments, ask if they would like a guest post!
Finally, send a thank you note to the site owner, thanking them for the opportunity. You may get to work together again.
Getting your name and business on high authority blogs with a relevant, well-written blog post remains a powerful way to build your brand and drive traffic to your website.
Our tips for guest posting like an expert can seem overwhelming. If you have the resources, there are components you can outsource. You could also hire a marketing consultant to handle parts of the strategy for you, freeing up your time for other areas of your business. A marketing consultant can help you with content marketing, SEO, analytics and other areas of online marketing.
Whether you handle it all yourself or work with a team to get it done, the end result will reap benefits for your business.
Curious to learn the flip side of this coin– how to get people to write guest posts for your website? Click here to learn how to find and manage guest bloggers.
Callum Mundine is part of the marketing team at One Egg. He is an Amazon marketplace & white hat link building specialist, and has launched multiple successful brands on Amazon.com. Callum like his eggs boiled.