This is 2020
And we all know that guest blogging has changed. You can’t just write a random guest post and use it to secure backlinks. Google is more concerned with posts that appeal to user intent.
No doubt, there are various methods to build links, aside from using guest posting, and Joshua from ahrefs wrote a detailed guide on 180+ link-building strategies. However, guest posting is one of the most popular & widely used marketing methods to build links.
In fact, At Digital SERP, our SEO agency, we secured more than 3000+ guest posts for our clients in different niches. This strategy is just not popular because it helps you to build links at scale but it comes with other benefits as well.
For instance, some of its benefits include brand awareness, brand exposure, lead generation, and an increase in sales.
According to a study published on Optinmonster, 60% of blogs are published every month, and 1-5 of these posts are in the guest blogging niche.
Guest blogging and guest posting are effective in building online brands. For instance, guest blogging helps Buffer generate their first 100,000 customers within 9 months of their product launch.
So without further ado, let’s make you a master in this art.
[Before I move further, let me make one thing clear: Guest posting and guest blogging are the same things, and I will use these terms in this guide interchangeably; so don’t get confused.]
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting, as the name implies, is the art of publishing a piece of content (article, blog post, or infographic content) on someone’s blog or website.
Of course, to succeed in getting featured on a blog other than yours, you have to follow the blog owner’s or website owner’s rules.
In other words, you have to produce the content according to the guidelines of the blog you wish to publish your article.
If you meet their requirements then it’s a win-win situation for both of you. They will get a quality piece of content for their audience, and, in return, you will get access to their audience, which further helps you to get more traffic, brand awareness, and, above all, a backlink juice that will drive loads of leads to your website.
Kelsey from Influence and Co states that guest posts are a major factor for her agency’s organic search and referral traffic.
So, now that you’re familiar with what guest posting is all about, let’s move on to outline some of its benefits for digital businesses and online marketers like you.
The Major Benefits of Guest Blogging
In 2014, Matt Cutts wrote an article on his blog and said that guest blogging is dead; it doesn’t have much impact on SEO. However, if you are using it for other purposes, the Google engineer says, like brand awareness or networking, then it’s still relevant for you.
These were the exact words Cutts wrote:
“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”
So, is guest blogging dead? Definitely NO!
A lot of companies are using guest posting as an integral part of their link building, content marketing, and Public Relations (PR) campaigns.
Did I earlier mention that we are also using guest blogging as one of our main methods to get more exposure to our clients and build links to their sites?
If properly executed, then guest posting alone can take your brand to the next level. How? Let’s explore that in a minute.
One of the biggest perks of guest blogging is the exposure it generates for your brand.
I can show you multiple examples where brands are built solely from guest posting campaigns.
It can directly help you tap into the new audience without investing huge resources.
That’s why both small and big brands use guest posting techniques to promote their businesses. In fact, Neil Patel, the world’s most reputable digital marketer, recognized the impact of guest posting.
He said: said about Guest posting “I’ve tried many different inbound marketing strategies, but guest blogging has remained my most treasured tool. QuickSprout wouldn’t have been as successful as it’s become if I’d neglected guest blogging. You could say it’s the heartbeat of my digital business.”
In one of the social media examiner article, Ann smarty (also known as the queen of guest blogging) reiterated the value of guest blogging, argued that popular brands like Intel, salesforce, Evernote are all using guest posting as an inbound marketing strategy to promote their businesses.
You, too, should give it a try.
You don’t have to break the bank before you integrate guest blogging into your marketing strategy. You can start with one blog, and move onto the next, gradually moving until you get featured on top brands as Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Business Insider among others.
Get Leads and Sales
I gave you the example of Buffer, where they built their business with guest posts.
Another popular brand giant also used guest blogging to get 36,733 email subscribers. Gregory Ciotti also used guest posting to help acquire 36, 000+ email subscribers for Helpscout, one of his earlier clients.
On the other hand, Bryan Harris, the man behind Growthtools.com, established a full-time business that helps him generate over $15,000 a month.
Here’s the story, from the horse’s mouth
“His first guest article on Okdork helps him to kick-start his business because this post generates over 1782 visits to his site within two days of the guest article going live (73% of them were new visitors) & with the conversion rate of 12%, he manages to get 215 email subscribers from that guest post alone.”
Pro tip: Create a custom landing page for people that read your guest post. It will give them a personal touch. This strategy, which hardly takes 30 minutes, helps Brian Dean to get 37.8% conversions from one of his posts published on the Buffer blog.
Here’s the link to his personalized landing page for buffer readers:https://backlinko.com/buffer
Increase Blog Traffic
According to Groove’s CEO Alex Turnbull, guest post articles help their company reach more than 1 million people.
“There’s no faster or cheaper way to reach massive audiences than guest blogging,” Turnbull says. “By leveraging existing audiences in a way that delivers value, you create opportunities for exponential growth.”
The guest posting strategy is a proven marketing technique. It won’t give you overnight results, but If you are consistent with the guest posting technique, you will surely start seeing results within a month or two.
[Pro tip: You can use UTM parameters or any other method to track your referral traffic. It helps you effectively measure your guest posting campaign with ease. .]
To succeed in any aspect of your life, you must have connections in that field. The same goes for guest posting.
Guest posting is more about building relationships than backlinks.
When you regularly start publishing quality content on different blogs then it’s quite natural that you will gain some good connections.
You can leverage these relationships in the future to promote your product or services.
It’s not easy to get published on big authority sites like Forbes, Business, Entrepreneur, etc, but if you have a good relationship with editors or contributors on those sites, then it makes it easier for you to become a columnist for those publications.
[Pro tip: Before hitting the publish button of your current guest post. I recommend you re-read the post and if possible then please link to the website where you are planning to publish your next guest post. It makes your pitch more effective to the next website because they know that you linked them in the past so you like their blog & interested in becoming a contributor there.]
Guest Posting for SEO
We all know the importance of backlinks in SEO. After all, Backlinks count as a vote in the SEO electioneering, so the more vote you have, the more opportunity you will have to rank atop the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Of course, when it comes to link building, quality, not quantity, matters.
And one of the easiest ways to secure links is through guest posting. It helps you build quality links at scale, especially if you do it the right way.
Don’t try to run a guest blogging campaign for the sake of SEO.
Do the campaign for the sake of helping the publication’s audience with great value and actionable tips that change their lives.
If you are just using guest blogging to “build links” and not providing any value to the audience, then sooner or later, you will get flagged by the publishers as well as Google.
At worst, your audience may lose interest in you; you’ll be out of business sooner than you have never imagined.
On the other hand, do it for the sake of your audience, and see how you’ll get great results. For example, Toby Jenkins used a white hat guest posting technique. The result?
One of his posts on Jeff Bulla’s blog helps him to get 4000+ social media shares and 50+ high authority backlinks from reputable websites.
Quality guest posts = effective SEO results
[Pro tip:- Apply tiered link building strategy in your guest posting campaign to increase the link juice. It’s simple, Suppose if you published the guest post on BlogA, BlogB, & BlogC then you can link them strategically with each other. Neil Patel wrote a great article on this: https://neilpatel.com/blog/second-tier-link-building/]
Grow your Social Media Following
A great piece of guest content helps you directly & indirectly to get more followers.
Directly. Most of the blogs allow you to include your social media accounts in your author bio so whenever you post a great piece of content than it’s natural that people want to know more about you and sometimes they end up following you on social media.
Indirectly. For this one, I will give you my example. A few months back, I published a guest post on Addicted2Success about “how to handle work overload” and this article is shared by FPC worldwide on LinkedIn which helps me to get 37 more LinkedIn followers within a day. Most of the connection requests were followers of FPC.
Sometimes these sites directly shared your content on their social media accounts. Like, Sujan Patel wrote a guest post on EmailListVerify and EmailListVerify shared that piece of content on twitter.
[Pro tip: if possible then don’t forget to say thank you if someone shares your guest article on social media & mentions you. It shows you care about the audience.]
Build your Portfolio. When you have guest posting accounts on multiple blogs, you become a respected writer and blogger. The fact that your name and brand are featured on top sites makes you an authority, and that boosts your portfolio as well.
Marya revealed that guest content helps him to land one of her biggest clients (worth $24k) without doing anything. How? Because he saw her work on multiple high-quality blogs & liked her work.
[Pro tip: Use contently to show your all best work in one place. Rather than sharing multiple links of your work, you can simply share one link which contains your writing portfolio. You can set up your work portfolio the same as Kristi Hines, she’s is an author on sites like Salesforce, Bigcommerce, Oberlo, social media examiner, etc. and using contently to showcase her work.]
How to find guest posting opportunities?
Technique 1 > Google Search Strings (or Operators).
This is one of the most popular methods to find guest posting sites in your niche, and it’s the fastest.
In addition, I know most of you are probably aware of the basic guest posting footprints, such as this:
——–add footprints in design———
I will share some advance guest posting footprints below:
site:.in inurl:write-for-us “travel” :- This query only shows you the guest posting opportunities in the travel niche with Indian (.in) domain extension. This operator can be a game-changer in terms of local SEO relevancy if your website is operating in India.
Results are like this:
inurl:author/guestpost “health” :- Some websites do not allow guest content from the name of the original author and they always have a separate author account to publish guest articles so we can easily find these sites with this footprint.
inurl:tag “guest author” intitle:travel: A lot of sites used “tags” to categorize or differentiate their content so this query can filter out the sites by using “tag”.
Off the topic: If you are serious about your online business then I highly recommend that you educate yourself on search engine operators because it can save you a lot of time and filter the results you need in an unimaginable way.
There is no limit when it comes to the use of search operators, the only limit is your creative thinking.
Anyways, let’s get back to our guest posting subject
Now you have a list of footprints and I will show you how to use it to find guest blogging opportunities.
Method 1. Using a simple Google interface
Before you use this method, I recommend that you change your Google Chrome SERP results limit from 10 to 100.
Here is how to do that:
- Visit Google.com > settings(right bottom) > search settings>results per page>from 10 to 100. If it’s done then it’s time to install ginfinity chrome extension. This extension gives you infinite scroll in google SERP and gives you all search results on page 1.
Now, let’s start.
Suppose, you’re looking for guest blogging sites in the travel niche. The first thing you need to do is to type the following query in Google search box: inurl:write-for-us “travel”
When you input those terms, you’ll get the following results:
As you can see, all the results in the SERPs are sites that accept guest posts in your niche: Travel.
Of course, the next thing is to figure out how to export those results, use them when you need to.
You can export these results in 3 ways.
1. Copy-paste. Manually – by simply copying the results and then paste them in an empty Word document or Excel sheet.
2. Chrome extension – through the use of Oscraper chrome extension to export the results.
Just go to create a new bookmark option or edit any unused bookmark. You will see two options there:
You can name this script whatever you want & in my case, it is “SERP scrape” and in the URL section, just copy-paste the above-mentioned script code and then save this bookmark in your bookmark bar.
Don’t forget to say thank you to Glen Allsopp for this nice script.
Pro tip: You can also use MOZ or Ahrefs chrome extension to export the results with their metrics. It helps you to filter out the low authority sites in just a few clicks. If you are using Moz chrome extension then you will get output like this: [screenshot needed]
Pros: Simple, Free and fast
Cons: It’s a time-consuming process and sometimes Google bans your IP address as well for performing multiple queries within a short period.
Method 2. Using SERP Scraper Tool from URLprofiler
One of the oldest scraper tool from the reputed company. You can download the tool from this link: Download
With this tool, you can enter multiple queries & scrape multiple pages at once
It also allows you to use proxies.
Pros: Automated, free & you can also select a Country-level Google version to perform a search
Cons: Sometimes it stuck. Right now, it’s not working with MacOs.
Method 3. Scrapebox
This tool is also known as the “Swiss army knife of SEO”.
It can perform multiple SEO tasks like broken link checking, internal links check, Metrics checker, keyword research, expired domain finder, whois checker, email finder, Scraping and Countless other things.
A lot of intermediate and advance SEO’s use this tool to find guest blogging opportunities.
Within a few seconds, it can give you Hundreds and thousands of results.
How? Let’s see.
Step1:- Put Google footprints in “keyword” section and proxies in proxy area
Step2:- Now click on “start harvesting” and then you will see the harvester engine, where you select the multiple search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. After choosing the search engine, click on “START”
Step3:- After the completion of the process, you will see something like this on your screen. Click on “Exit to main”
Step4:- It will take you to the “URL’s harvested” section. Where you can remove the duplicate URL & unwanted entries.
Step5:- After removing all this, the final result is “440” results. That means 400+ guest posting opportunities.
Do you know what’s the best thing? The whole process hardly takes 40 seconds.
400+ sites in 40 seconds. Not bad!
Caution:- You must use proxies to get fast results else search engines may blacklist your IP.
Pro tip:- Scrapebox can fetch Moz metrics(after connecting APIs), check for 404 URL’s & able to find the email of the webmaster. They also have an inbuilt email tester to check the deliverability.
These tasks can save you time.
Pros:- The fastest tool, Can fetch metrics & emails. Perform broken link checks & do multiple other things to make your SEO work easy.
Cons:- Software demands high configuration machine for a smooth run, Setting up process costs you around $120(including VPS & proxies), Monthly costs of VPS and proxies are ($50)
Method 4. Use Ahrefs search engine
Didn’t get me? I’m talking about ahrefs “content explorer”
We will use these search operators or footprints there.
Here’s how it works:
Query1:- Write for us
They have inbuilt “intitle” or inurl function so you don’t need to add that in front of each one. Just enter your guest posting footprint and you will get results. See what we get.
731 guest opportunities in just a single click.
You can try other guest blogging footprints and also add your keyword to get the niche relevant opportunities.
Technique 2 > Google Reverse Image Search
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of this technique when it comes to finding guest blogging opportunities, but I have to teach you it works as well.
So how does it work?
Let’s apply this technique on Zac Johnson :
First, find the “author bio” of your target and download his headshot.
If you do not want to download then simply just right click on the headshot, then click on “search Google for image”.
You will get something like this:
To get better results, you can write his name in the search box and then press “enter”.
Save these links into a spread-sheet for future use.
Pro tip: You can also use reverse image method to build backlinks(by claiming unlinked mentions of your pics) or track your competitor web presence (simply searching his website logo, gravatar pic, or his infographic)
Technique 3 > Social Media
One of the most underrated ways to find guest post opportunities. This method uncovers a lot of hidden sites and you may not find that in Google search results.
Twitter Search (SEO “guest post by”) > twitter archive: In my niche, people use twitter to stay updated from the industry trends & to share their content (we will use it to find guest posting opportunities) with other users.
See, what i got when i search for the following footprint [SEO “guest post by”] in the twitter search box.
In this simple search, I found a lot of websites in my niche where I can guest posts.
Now, let’s automate the process of finding opportunities on twitter.
Step1:- Please go to Twitter archiver and install it.
Step2:- Open Google sheet > Add ons > Twitter archiver > Create Rule and now they ask you to authorize it with twitter.
After successful authorization, you will see a screen like twitter advance search
You can fill it according to your requirements but here I will go with a simple search query.
Step3:- I will enter [health “guest post by”] in first column & then click on “CREATE SEARCH RULE”
Step4: Here are the results
The link (s) section contains the URL which is shared in the tweet.
As you see, we got only 7 results.
This tool works with Twitter API & it only gives you the past 10 days or last 1000 results of that query.
But it can automatically save all future tweets of this query [health “guest post by”] in the google sheet so you or your team can shortlist the sites anytime.
To get past results, you have to check it manually by visiting “https://twitter.com/search”
I also recommend you to watch the full tutorial of twitter archiver [make it nofollow] to get the most out of it.
[Pro tip: The premium version of twitter archiver can track multiple queries, usernames, hashtags on twitter & save it each one on a separate google sheet. That means you can use it to track your brand name, someone’s tweet, industry keywords, hashtags, competitor mentions & a lot more.]
Pros: Process is automatic & fast, save all future tweets
Cons: only fetch past 10 days result, run only one query on the free version
Facebook groups: We all know, some Facebook Groups are goldmines for SEOs. They share their new case studies, discussing updates & at the same time, they use it for link building as well.
See…one guy asked for a guest posting opportunity in a tech niche & how the audience responded. [screenshot needed]
So there are a lot of opportunities in Facebook groups when it comes to link building.
Pros: Easy access, multiple options to choose
Cons: Sometimes they ask for money, takes time to find quality sites
Technique 4 > Popular Guest Bloggers
This technique is a little bit similar to google image search but the accuracy in this method is better than that.
In every niche, some bloggers regularly do guest posting & popular as well so you can track them using following footprints:
allinurl:author/neil-patel , “neil patel” inurl:author . You can change “author” to “contributor” as well. It will give you a different set of results.
You can perform a similar query in Ahrefs “content explorer” tool. Here we did it for our fav. Guest blogger Kristi Hines
Query- author:”kristi hines”[with quotes]
As per the Ahrefs index, she’s a contributor on 29 different websites.
You can use this method to find out your competitor’s guest posts placements. Just replace Neil Patel & Kristi Hines with your competitor’s name in queries.
Technique 5 > Leverage your Personal connections.
In personal connections, you can count your friends, family, your co-workers, email subscribers or even your best clients.
According to CMI, More than 90% of marketers are using email to distribute content then why don’t you use the same channel to ask for guest posting opportunities.
All of the above mention people know you better, know your way of writing so they most likely accept your Guest posting request.
Technique 6 > Look through the blogs you follow
Sometimes blog owners don’t mention publicly that they accept guest posts but if you pitch them with top-notch content then they hardly deny it.
In my niche, ahrefs & Neil Patel.com (both are very popular blogs) do not have any guest blogging page but still, they allow it.
Look at the Guest article of Chris Dreyer at ahrefs
Or Kristi Hines post on Neil Patel blog.
I know sometimes it’s hard to find blogs for guest content if they don’t have an official guest posting page.
But that’s where the ahrefs come to the rescue. Let me share a small ahrefs hack(or whatever you call it)
Whenever you are not sure about guest post acceptance of any website then just open the “content explorer” of the ahrefs tool and enter site:yourtargetsite.com.
In my case, ahrefs itself. So i will enter “site:ahrefs.com” [without quotes]
and now click on the “Authors” section.
BOOM!! Ahrefs have 38 authors.
[Pro tip: Whenever you post on these huge authority sites then don’t forget to interact with the audience in comments(most guest bloggers skip this part). The readers of these websites are also well-established people and who knows they may like your work & hire you.]
Technique 7 > Reverse engineer your competitors Backlink:-
We have already discussed the reverse google image & popular guest blogger technique & you can replicate both methods to find your competitor guest posts.
In this technique, we directly look at the backlinks in ahrefs.
Go to ahrefs.com>site explorer & enter your competitor domain and look at their
Technique 8 > Capture Blog comments:
You can use this technique on your own blog or your niche’s top blogs (it’s risky). We will scrape blog comments.
Most of the time people who comment on blog posts own the site in the same topic as the blog post was written.
So the idea is to scrape the comments and outreach them.
Here’s how it works:
Step1:- Identify the Posts with most comments on your own blog or your industries top blog. In this example, i will take Brian’s On-page SEO post.
It has 459 comments. Superb!!!
Step2:- Now go to Chrome extension store & install this scraper extension
Step3:- Now Right-click on the first comment and you will see an option there “scarpe similar”
Now click on it & you will get something like this
Please save this data in Google sheets to outreach them.
Caution: Please use this technique carefully & craft your email’s starting content around their comment so they get to know how you find them.
Pro tip: If you are using this technique on your blog then you may get their email address as well but if you are doing it on someone else’s blog-post then you can install hunter.io add-on in that same google sheet to find emails right there.
Technique 9 > Use existing lists
A lot of bloggers have already curated a huge list of guest posting sites in various niches. The only thing is…most of these lists are not updated.
One of the ways to uncover these guest posting lists is to use the following search strings:
“Blogs that accept guest posts”
“List of guest posting sites”
“Free guest posting sites”
“Guest blogging sites”
“Guest posting sites list” + “keyword”
Do you also want to gain access to our list of 5000 sites that accept guest posts in different niches?
Let’s talk about that next.
Technique 10 > World’s Largest Guest Posting Database.
I do not want to sound promotional but if you have read this post so far then it means you are interested in the guest blogging.
Let me introduce you to Digital SERP’s guest blogging database.
To make the bloggers, writers and marketers life easy, we created a product where we are giving access to the list of 5000 sites (we are continuously adding more sites) in 60 niches with Moz, Ahrefs & Majestic metrics.
We update the sites and their metrics regularly so you can use powerful filters to get the desired sites you want.
Pro tip: If you are a digital marketing agency & work with clients of different industries then this Database can be a huge time & money saver because it has more than enough sites in each niche for your guest posting needs.
So now you are aware of what is guest posting, it’s benefits, and how to find guest posting opportunities.
You have thousands of guest blogging sites in your hand but you can’t pitch them all. You have to sort out the sites according to your needs.
How to Select Guest Posting Sites for Your Outreach Campaign
The road to a successful outreach campaign is long. There are no cutting corners. There are no shortcuts.
Therefore, you have to be patient, aim higher, plan better, strategize and execute. And above all, remain patient. To succeed in your guest posting outreach, you have to approach the campaign in two parts: Part I and Part II.
Let’s look at each part more closely.
Part I: Look in-ward
This part focuses on YOU. Everything centers on you. It’s about refining yourself. Think of it as a lady trying to wear charming makeup. Of course, she’s beautifying herself not because she’s ugly, mind you.
But because the makeup makes her refine her beauty, makes her prettier, more charming and attractive.
(Image source: Pixabay)
A guest blogger is just like a lady.
Before he goes out there to pitch a top tier blog or publication, he needs to make himself more approachable, attractive, and professional. Because, in reality, pro bloggers don’t want to deal with amateur, unprofessional, blogger.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to refine yourself and become more professional. Here are three ways to do that:
1. Create a Professional Blog.
Becoming a digital marketer starts with you.
Before anyone takes you seriously, you have to have an online presence. One way to achieve that is by launching your website or blog.
This is where your prospects will know that you exist from the first place, so they can find you, and do business with you. Again, when you begin to kick-start your guest post outreach, your blog will play a very important role.
- The website you’re outreaching will only know about you through your website.
- The author bio you’ll place at the end of your post (when you publish your first post on your favorite publication) will allow you to drop a link to your site, so you can get some link juices back to your site.
- Your prospects, having enjoyed what they have read from you on the popular site you have been featured, could decide to visit your site, read more from you.
If you don’t have a website, you won’t succeed in the guest blogging business.
That’s why it’s important to not only have a blog but have a beautiful design blog that offers amazing user experience as well. Why? Because:
- After reaching a company’s website via a referral site, 50 percent of visitors will use the navigation menu to orient themselves (Source: KoMarketing).
- Given fifteen minutes to consume content, two-thirds of visitors would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain (Source: Adobe).
- There is a $100 return for every dollar that your company invests in your website’s user experience (Source: Forrester).
In short, the sophistication of your blog design speaks volumes about your professionalism, and that’s something you need to portray as you start the blogger outreach campaign.
2. Publish Powerful Posts on Your Website.
After building your website, the next thing that you should do is to publish some powerful, actionable articles.
Not just any post that anyone can quickly craft and publish on their site, but epic content that is chock-full of information, full of actionable value, clear, conversational, and fun to read.
I recommend that you publish three long posts at first. They will be enough to show your writing style and experience. Just make the articles in-depth and include some visuals to make them comprehensive and appealing to the readers and the search engines.
For example, research by News Whip revealed that longer posts do well online in terms of social shares. News Whip analyzed the top ten shared articles on Facebook and found that articles with over 700 words receive the most shares.
You need to keep the articles long because they will not only make you look more credible, showing your expertise on the subject, but they will also help promote your business online.
3. Have a corporate eMail Address.
However, when it comes to guest post outreach, generic Yahoo and Gmail addresses won’t do. To win guest post outreach, you have to have a professional email address.
The editors at top media sites won’t even look at your email, not to mention read it, when you pitch them from your email@example.com email address.
They prefer a business email address. So, you may ask, what’s a business/professional email address?
A professional email address is a combination of your name and your domain name. For example, mine is firstname.lastname@example.org, my first name followed by my company name, which happens to be my domain name.
That’s the kind of email you need to become the champion in the guest blogging industry because your corporate email shows that you’re serious and that you’re a credible person.
Part II: Outward looking.
This is not about you; this is about the blog that you’ll pitch.
Here, your job is to research the right publications—the publications that are relevant to your niche and beneficial to your brand.
The goal is to help you not only be successful in your guest blog outreach campaign but also to achieve the guest blog results that you have longed for.
Here are the three things to do in this part.
1. Search the sites on Google.
This is a simple, basic step.
All you have to do here is research blogs in your niche, and a simple Google search will help you. To achieve better results, you can use any of the following keyword searches to find smaller blogs that accept guest posts. Just replace “keyword” with keywords from your industry.
- keyword “submit a guest post”
- keyword “guest post”
- keyword “guest post by”
- keyword “accepting guest posts”
- keyword “guest post guidelines”
The search results take you straight to a blog’s guest post guidelines page, guest post submission page, or guest posts written by other writers. I recommend that you go for sites with a Domain Authority (DA) of 50 or higher.
You can check a site’s DA by simply going over to Moz and inserting the site’s domain name in the search bar of the Keyword Explorer.
For example, if you’re interested in writing for Entrepreneur, you can go to Moz and type the domain name of the online magazine—entrepreneur.com—in the Keyword Explorer search bar:
Hit the search button, and it will show you an in-depth analysis of the site, including the keywords it ranks for and both the Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) of the site:
As you can see, the current DA of Entrepreneur.com is 91. That’s huge; it means that the site is very popular, ranking high on Google.
Step #2: Visit AllTop.com to Find Popular Sites in Your Niche.
Founded by Guy Kawasaki, Will Mayall, and Kathryn Henkens, AllTop features trending news—and sources of the news—in “all the topics” on the Internet. Here’s how the site defines itself:
“AllTop aggregates all of the top news and information in real-time. Our editors have carefully crafted each topic with the best sources allowing you to see what’s happening quickly and from trusted sources.”
The good thing about this site is that it only aggregates top websites.
And that’s exactly what you’re looking for in your first step: Find popular sites in your niche.
There might be too many big websites in your niche, and I know you’d like to be featured on all of them. That would be good for you, but, as Confucius said, “A man who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
If you chase two websites at a time, you’ll lose focus. You’ll get confused. You won’t achieve your dream of becoming a successful guest blogger. Here’s my advice to you: Focus on one website.
Invest all of your energy into it. Once you choose one, it’s time to visit the site and read its content, which takes us to the next step:
Step #3: Apply your analytical energies to reading the blog.
As you land on your chosen blog, you might start picturing your post published on the site with your stunning author bio and your headshot stapled to it. Yes, that’s the dream, but save that dream for later. Now, let’s get to work.
Your job here is to read the whole blog:
- Read the blog name
- Read the about page of the blog
- Read—at least—ten (10) posts on the blog (to familiarize yourself with the content that they publish)
- Read the tagline of the blog (to understand the central theme or guiding philosophy of the blog).
These are the basic things that you need to read in any blog of your choosing. As you can see, the process is not hard; it just requires some time and patience. Once you’re done with these steps, your next big task is to write a pitch.
The next chapter explains that in detail.
How Do You Pitch a Guest Post?
Step #1: Start with an incredible idea.
It’s the first thing that editors at top publications look for. When you first decide to pitch your favorite website, you send them an email that contains your idea of an article that you wish to write for them.
The editor at the top site doesn’t know you. They have no idea whether you’re an experienced blogger who can bring value to their platform or not.
So they start by analyzing your article idea. Some editors, however, prefer a pitch with a completely written article that they can click to open and read to see if it is a good fit.
Editors are very busy people. They receive hundreds of pitches a day for article ideas from your peers, just like the one you’re sending them. They don’t spend time on mediocre pitches that contain mediocre ideas. So, make your idea worth their while.
And then move on to the next step:
Step #2: Write a persuasive pitch.
How to write a persuasive pitch?
There are three crucial rules for writing a pitch:
- Get straight to the point,
- Pitch an excellent story, and
- Keep your e-mail short.
Editors are busy people. Don’t try to tell the editor about your success story in your pitch.
The first rule is to get straight to the point. Tell them about your interest in writing for them and present your article idea, which takes us to the second rule.
Pitch your story (or article idea). As you learned in the previous chapter, at this point you have read the blog and researched the kind of blog post topics that your favorite website or blog is publishing.
The goal is not to come up with just any story you think is great but to present the story that the blog’s curator or editor likes and thinks will be great for their audience.
The third and final rule for writing a pitch is to keep it short, simple, and sweet. Again, A-list bloggers and editors are busy people. These guys are successful, so they have a lot of things going on in their business lives.
Don’t annoy them with your long e-mail pitch. Keep it succinct and simple. Here’s what I mean:
Sample of a winning email pitch:
Subject line: Guest post idea: Launching a Startup
Hi [Blog author’s name],
My name is [insert your name] and I run [insert your blog name]. My site teaches the art of running an online business, and I’m trying to grow it by reaching out to other bloggers. I’ve been reading your site for months now, and I’m a big fan (my favorite post was…).
I’m interested in writing a guest post for you—something you’ve never posted on your blog. In fact, I have one great idea that I think your readers would love. Here’s the proposed blog post idea:
- From Zero to Hero: Use These 3 Hacks to Turn Your Ideas into Products and Dominate Your Market
I know you’re busy, so I can write everything up and send it to you in one document, which you can drop right into WordPress. I’ll handle all editing, bylines, etc. (feel free to edit) so that the content will be super easy for you.
Don’t worry, I’m an experienced writer; check some of my writing samples below:
- [writing sample #1]
- [writing sample #2]
- [writing sample #3]
Plus, I promise the guest post will get your readers thinking and talking to each other.
What do you think?
– [Sign your name]
As you can see, the email is comprehensive. It covers all of the points that need to be there, including the writing samples. Nonetheless, it’s short, sweet, and straight to the point. That’s how you write an e-mail pitch. The next step is to follow up.
Step #3: Write a follow-up email.
Sometimes, you might not get a response from the A-lister. Don’t worry; that’s normal. Your email might have arrived in their inbox, but it may happen that the editor didn’t get the time to check it.
So, after a week, I recommend that you send a follow-up email reminding them about your previous email.
Sample of a winning follow-up email:
Subject line: Following up
Hi [Editor’s name],
Just checking in again. I sent you a guest post article idea last week, and I was wondering: Have you had time to read it?
Here’s the headline of the article (again):
- From Zero to Hero: Use These 3 Hacks to Turn Your Ideas into Products and Dominate Your Market
Do you think it is a good fit for [insert the name of the blog/website]?
– [Sign your name]
As you can see, it’s nothing fancy, just a simple, straight-to-the-point reminder. Usually, follow-up emails get a quick reply.
And if your article idea is great, you’ll get a “yes” from the editor asking you to submit the article for review.
When you get this kind of response (which has a 90 percent assurance rate if you have a great idea and a succinct email pitch like the ones above), your next big task is to nail your guest post article.
Write an original article that’s superb and sexy—one that no one has written before.
How do you write your guest blog post?
Like a sexy female celebrity wearing a cute dress (think Kim Kardashian or Naomi Campbell), your blog post needs to be “seductive.”
(Image source: Kim Kardashian)
In other words, you need to write beautiful words that make people feel, so you can lure the editors at top publications, persuading them to say “yes” to your guest post articles.
Your article should not only be sensational; it has to pack a lot of value—first-class information and smart tips that get more eyeballs, shares, and lead for anyone who publishes it on their site.
Because writing a blog post is mostly a creative art, there’s no one formula for creating epic content that guarantees a “yes.” But there are tested and trusted tips we can introduce you to so you can succeed at writing successful guest posts all the time.
Below are the three tips to help you write sexy blog posts that get accepted anytime, any day.
1. Create a logical structure for your article.
The first step is to organize your ideas.
Consider this step your blog post’s skeleton; it holds the flesh and blood of your article—data, facts, case studies, tons of other explanations, etc. Usually, blog posts are structured in outlines and subheads, which helps present your core message and makes it easier for your readers to digest.
For example, Brian Clark’s article “2013: The Year of the Online Writer” is beautifully arranged in three main sections:
Introduction. Here, Brian introduced his core message—the value of both the content creators and their craft. “…But there’s another thing Copyblogger has always been about… it’s the people who create the content,” he says. “For the most part, especially for us, that means writers.” He added, “Content marketing isn’t going away.” Beautiful intro, isn’t it?
Body. Here, he outlined and discussed three good reasons why, in his words, “the writer runs the Internet show.” The reasons are as follows:
- Online marketing is driven by content.
- Google elevates an online writer.
- The writer as “entreproducer.”
Conclusion. He wrapped up his message here by reiterating what he had stated earlier in the introduction—about the value of writers and the content they create. Take a look at how he brilliantly recaps it:
“Content makes the Internet work, but without the writers and other content creators, it wouldn’t happen at all. Never forget that, and never underestimate how much you’re worth in this brave new world of a content-driven, convergent medium.”
As a writer, I’ve read this article again and again because it inspired me, as it did thousands of my colleagues. The article was well-structured and simple to read.
2. Keep your post very simple.
To be sexy is to be simple.
In fashion, we see, time and again, how famous models, artists, and celebs outshine the rest of us with their elegant but simple looks.
- A simple red backless halter dress is always better than a thick, tight, multicolored outfit.
- An iPhone with a single button is sexier than a Smartphone with two or twenty-two buttons scattered all over the screen.
- A simply written guest post that communicates a single idea is more effective than a 3,000-word post with fifty ideas.
So how do you write a simple guest post that communicates a clear message?
Apply these three tips:
- Use three points to communicate your message. Research has shown that the number of items we can easily recall is three or four. No wonder Steve Jobs used three numbers in almost all of his presentations. “Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products,” Jobs said during his introduction of the iPhone. “An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communications device.” And the presentation was memorable.
- Use simple English. Nobody is interested in knowing your level of education or your sophistication in English grammar. Don’t write “it is inconsequential” when you mean to say “it is not important.” Be simple.
- Use short paragraphs. You can use long paragraphs when writing academic articles but not guest posts. Users’ attention span is minimal. Most Internet users don’t read; they scan. So you need to make your paragraphs short, sweet, and sexy. That will tell the editors that you know your game. They’ll accept your pitch because they know that your article will make their readers and visitors scan through your content and read it—because it is simple to digest.
3. Craft your words in style.
You might structure your guest post beautifully and manage to use simple words that make it easier for your editor to digest.
But, do you know that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s how you say it?
To write unique content with a mesmerizing style that will compel those editors to say “yes,” you need to harness three things:
- Flow. Your writing has to have a great flow so your editor will not only navigate your content with ease but also consume your core message without difficulty. To achieve this, you need to use transition words (e.g., in addition, however, etc.) to connect your ideas. This helps the editor and their readers understand how each sentence relates to the next and make sense of them all.
- Voice. Great writing styles are clothed in gorgeous writing voices, a unique tone that defines you, the writer, and makes you stand out from the crowd. The best way to allure editors with your voice is to be original. And to be original is to be yourself.
- Purpose. What’s the purpose of your guest post? Is it to inform, educate, or entertain? It has to have a purpose. Communicate its purpose. Your editor would love to see that.
These are the simple steps for crafting epic guest post. They’re a simple, sexy writing art that charms and moves any editor of any publication to say “yes” to your magnetic guest post.
What to do after getting published?
Now that you have been featured on top blogs, your online presence has changed.
You have now attained a high level, moved from zero to hero, from an obscure name to a popular figure, celebrated by thousands or maybe even millions of businesses, brands, and fans around the world.
When you get published on a popular website, blogs, or publications, there are some things that you need to do to keep the tempo going.
1. Share the post.
As you probably know, more than 3 million blog posts are published daily.
Therefore, do whatever it takes to make your published post popular. To do that, begin by sharing it with your contact—all of them. Use your social media channels to promote the article and encourage others to do so.
In fact, make sure you share the content on Facebook and through emails because that’s where people share articles the most.
You may not get the share counts you want, even when you try harder. And that’s OK. Your job is to show commitment, do the needful, show that you care.
That’s what the blog editor wants to see in you: The commitment; the responsibility; that you want to improve their readership.
2. Re-position yourself (when necessary).
Your status has changed, and so has your business.
The old you has given way to the new you—the thought leader, the go-to person in the industry. So you need to rebrand your business. The first thing to do is reposition yourself.
Ask yourself, “What’s the best way to move further from here?”
Because, as you’ve started getting e-mails from your potential clients and fans, you realize that your initial business model had to give way. Most bloggers that we know have failed at this stage because they started to bombard their subscribers and social media followers with emails, trying to sell them their products.
And what usually happens?
Their audience leaves them without notice, and they fall in utter disgrace—back to square one.
The best way to do it is to give your personality and business a facelift. If you’re a consultant who targets college students, for example, review your prospects, fans, and subscribers to see if they’re still your target audience.
Reposition yourself if your target audience changes. You might want to position yourself as a public speaker, for example, and double your leads, sales, and impact if your target customers happen to be middle-aged small business owners who live locally.
3. Rebuild your company blog with epic content.
Maybe your blog has just three published posts.
Maybe the posts are not in-depth.
Maybe your ultimate guide resources no longer serve your new audience, now that you have turned into a “big deal,” as Neil Patel likes to say.
Now is the time to get more serious at blogging, which means investing heavily in content marketing. And one of the most important elements of that is investing heavily in publishing only epic content.
By epic content, I mean super quality blog posts that provide valuable information, tips, tricks, and outstanding advice that will help your clients, fans, prospects, and customers.
This is where you’ll double down on publishing great optimized content on your company blog because you don’t want to let your thousands of subscribers down.
4. Be consistent.
Consistency. That’s the difficult part, and that’s what distinguishes a successful guest blogger from the mediocre one.
(Image source: Thoughtful Growth)
While it’s difficult for a lot of people to show up often and deliver on their promises, I believe that successful guest post authors don’t see it that way. Why? Because they know that they have responsibilities.
Have you ever seen a columnist on a top publication who forgets to update their blog, takes a day or two without posting a tweet, or has to apologize for failing to send the newsletter on its due date?
Even when it happens, it is very rare. This is because established guest post authors don’t joke with their most important assets, their followers. Just as a responsible father won’t take a break from feeding his family.
They don’t joke about feeding their audience great value—consistently.
So always plan ahead to avoid any failures. Remember, the moment your credibility is tainted as a professional guest blogger, it’s extremely hard to fix it.
In today’s technologically-driven digital world, the term “authority” is key to businesses, as it is the advertising tool that promotes your brand and earns you the exposure and the recognition you deserve.
Authority put you in the spotlight. Sometimes, as my friend says, “it elevates you above and beyond your actual status. Your prospects see you as a role model, as an icon, as a god.”
And in the online world, authority is achieved through guest posting, email outreach, and a blogger’s credibility. Master how to become one and dominate your industry.
Over to You:
What else do you want to know about becoming a guest blogger? What is your best blogger outreach advice or strategy? Share your tips in the comment section below: