Table of Contents
- What is Guest Blogging and What Does it Achieve for the Guest Blogger?
- Guest Blogging Guide: How to Guest Blog
- First find the purpose
- Find guest post targets
- Compose your guest pitch
- Send your pitch
- Write your guest post
- Follow up
- Respond to readers’ comments
- Bonus step
- Guest Blogging Pro Tips
- Key Takeaways
“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice…”
—Matt Cutts, The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO
Matt Cutts, the then head of Webspam at Google, declared the end of guest blogging as a tool for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in 2014.
But is it dead?
If it had been dead, you would not be reading this article! Guest blogging is alive and kicking! Therefore, we offer you a comprehensive guest blogging guide.
Guest blogging has myriad benefits. So you must learn all about how to do guest blogging.
Here are some handy guest blogging tips for you.
What is Guest Blogging and What Does it Achieve for the Guest Blogger?
Guest blogging is about writing an article as a guest for a host blogger (or a third-party site). The guest blogger pens a blog for the host blogger (or a third-party), enabling him/her to keep up the interest of his/her audience. In return, the guest blogger can insert a backlink to his/her webpage.
In short, you write a blog for somebody else to get access to his/her audience.
Did you know that, according to an optinmonster report, 62.96% of readers feel that blogs with more than one author are far more credible? Also, almost 60% of blogs have at least one to five guest posts every month.
Guest blogging is modern-day digital networking; a win-win for the guest as well as the host. So, if you are interested in guest blogging and reap the benefits it offers, you need to follow this guest blogging guide.
It expands the guest’s network and reach by building relationships with other bloggers. It not only increases the audience range by targeting the host’s established audience base, but a good blog also entices readers to visit the guest blogger’s web page. It is a key element in one’s SEO arsenal as it attracts attention from influencers, enabling an increase in chatter about your webpage, thereby directing traffic to guest’s webpage.
The next question is, how to guest blog, and is it worth the effort put in by guest writers?
The answer to the question is explained below, step by step, in this guest blogging guide.
Guest Blogging Guide: How to Guest Blog
Step #1: First find the purpose
The first step in a guest blogging guide involves finding your purpose, as there are many motives, some pretty irrelevant. Your primary goal may be to drive more traffic towards your website. However, creating brand authority is equally essential, along with forging a tactical relationship with game-changers in your space. Knowing your intent before setting out helps with further actions that can help you achieve your goal.
Step #2: Find guest post targets
The subject of the guest post should be compatible with the needs and interests of the host. The audience size of the host should also justify the efforts put in by the guest to write the blog.
In the digital world, attempting to find anything means looking at search engine results pages (SERPs) of popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. To identify guest post targets, search the search engines for top blogs or platforms that connect bloggers with publishers, or find people who are experts in the required field and regularly contribute to respective industry journals or publications by business associations.
As a guest writer, you should studiously follow a guest blogging guide to help you assess these blogs or platforms for their audience size, audience interest in your product or service, the responsiveness of the audience, etc.
Many blogs or platforms are managed by webmasters who are only on the lookout for free content or are too new to have a meaningful audience. Hence, a detailed and continuous assessment is needed for a mutually beneficial long-term relationship and traffic build-up for one’s web page.
Step #3: Compose your guest pitch
Most good bloggers have a large and real audience base. They care deeply about their audience but do not have huge paid teams to take the load off. They also invest a lot of time in giving feedback and replying to keep the audience interested. The time comes at a premium for them.
Hence, it is essential that your pitch for writing a blog as a guest is compact and to the point, explaining what you have done and how it connects with the host’s blog. If you are unsure about any detail, it is better to refer to a guest blogging guide before preparing your pitch. Send out an initial mail giving the background and a brief of the topic that can attract the host’s attention.
Sample of an email that can be written to approach a host blogger/third-party/publisher:
I am XYZ, founder of [email protected], which is into creating websites and providing SEO consulting.
I have written a post on A-Z of Guest Blogging and would like to know if you are interested in publishing it.
The post briefly explains Guest Blogging, its importance as an SEO tool, and steps to writing a great guest blog.
If you are interested in publishing it, please do let me know.
Founder [email protected]
Step #4: Send your pitch
Once the pitch is ready, send the pitch to the target hosts. The guest should be ready to accept a low reply rate, as is the case in sale pitches and cold calling. Good blogs receive pitches constantly, and hosts might or might not reply. Moreover, many sites do not accept guest blogs at all. So, a good guest blogging guide will tell you that you have to be ready for rejection as well.
Step #5: Write your guest post
Once the target host accepts the pitch, it is time to send the guest post for reference and acceptance. The article should be compatible with the subject of the host blog and be contextual to one’s website. While writing the guest post, do invest some time in including backlinks appropriately in the article as it is the most critical aspect of the SEO efforts by linking to a website. Besides, the author’s box can be placed within the article in the right place.
In addition to the backlinks for guest webpages, it is also crucial to appropriately include hyperlinks or anchor texts that can highlight the guest brand, product, or service and keywords that can match the key search pointers. Certain call-to-actions (CTAs), such as ‘click here’, ‘click the link’, etc., can also be used by guests in the article to attract traffic to their website.
Step #6: Follow up
After sending the guest post, it is essential to follow up with the host and enquire about the placement of the article and any feedback from his network audience.
Most blogs become static with time. The guest needs to assess the benefits of the article’s publication continuously. This step also helps identify better blogs or platforms for publishing future guest posts.
Step #7: Respond to readers’ comments
You can’t afford to forget your blog post soon after it is published. An expert’s guest blogging guide will emphasize the benefits of replying to every incoming comment from your readers as it helps maintain rapport. Comments let you feel the audience’s pulse, and it is easier to identify their problems and offer suitable solutions. Your readers will connect with you better when they find a solution to their problems. Remember that you are portraying yourself as an expert, and people look up to you for guidance.
A traditional guest post ends with a link to the guest blogger’s website. Usually, there is no attractive CTA and absolutely no incentive for the reader. However, an expanded guest post is smartly written as it builds suspense throughout the post and ends with a super compelling CTA. This increases the effectiveness of the guest post by multiple times.
The expanded guest post strategy can be employed by shocking the readers and leaving them in awe of the blog. Raise their expectation in the climax of the post with sentences like ‘if you want to see how professionals write a guest post, then click here’ or ‘If you want to get frameworks for writing guest posts, then click the link’. This will encourage the reader to hit the link to the guest’s webpage.
Guest Blogging Pro Tips
- There may be instances where the host or publishing platform has certain commercial interests in publishing your article in the form of advertorial or sponsored posts. Such activities, if disclosed by the host, can be detrimental. Payment links make such posts appear as spam by search engines.
- While identifying targets for hosting the guest post, do assess if the host has dropped domains. Several expired domains or platforms have been created for selling links and not for propagating a genuine subject of interest. There is also a need to avoid Private Blog Networks (PBNs), which act as a source of backlinks only and are against the principles of search engines such as Google.
- Good websites are visible on the top pages of SERPs. Guest bloggers should preferably target only such websites for hosting guest posts. These are some of the essential steps in a guest blogging guide.
- Guest blogging may qualify as a content marketing strategy.
- Make sure that your guest post is not self-promotional.
- Guest blogging promises several benefits like creating brand awareness, building quality backlinks, etc.
- Guest blogging also allows you to portray yourself as an authority in a chosen domain.
- A well-planned guest blogging strategy helps create awareness about your products and services.
Guest blogging may qualify as a content marketing strategy and most bloggers look for guest blogging tips to promote their content. This SEO technique involves writing and publishing a blog on any third-party website (with the owner’s permission) to drive more traffic to the bloggers’ website and help promote their content online. It is also possible to use guest blogging to promote a corporate brand. Just follow the steps in the guest blogging guide.
Guest blogging promises several benefits like creating brand awareness, building quality backlinks, etc. Some guest posting benefits include bettering the website’s domain authority, an essential metric that helps increase conversions. Posting insightful guest blogs on websites helps gain benefits like better search engine rankings, helping drive more traffic to your website, etc. One of the best guest posting tips includes using guest blogging as part of your SEO strategy to increase traffic.
Guest blogging strategy includes driving niche traffic to a specific web page to increase conversions and achieve better sales figures. A well-planned guest blogging strategy helps create awareness about your products and services. The approach focuses on bettering your SEO tactics to help get more inbound links to your website. Guest blogging also allows you to portray yourself as an authority in a chosen domain, and users seek advice and solutions for their problems. An excellent guest blogging strategy includes expanding your email subscriber database and reaching out to your target audience via social media.
Bloggers often ask the following question: “How to guest post on blogs?” The answer lies in clearly defining your goals before you start finding the ideal sites to contribute your content to. Establishing contact with the website owner and becoming friends is the next step, after which you should focus on identifying a trending topic with a catchy title. Once you’ve made your pitch successfully, you should concentrate on creating compelling content that’s informative and exciting.
Your blog’s structure plays a vital role, and you should start by aligning it with your brand. Pay attention to the blog format and follow set guidelines. Also, it is crucial to come up with actionable content, and make sure your blog is not self-promotional. It helps to have a compelling byline, and your blog should feature links that follow the basic SEO guidelines. Including images and videos at appropriate places helps give a final touch to your guest blog.
Accepting guest posts on your blog is an excellent idea as it helps save a lot of legwork involved in growing your blog. Guest posters will work towards your benefit as they will be promoting your blogs in their circles and help you gain a better reach. Such free marketing assistance allows you to reach out to a larger audience on social media and helps earn more links to your website.
One of the best guest blogging tips is to look for niche sites that pay for guest blogging. You should identify high-profile blog editors who can help you promote your blogs. Focus on customizing your guest blogs to make them more remunerative. Writing for magazine websites or aggregators should make your exercise pretty lucrative.