There are some important things you need to know before you start guest blogging! This comprehensive guide to guest blogging will get you on your way.
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to generate links and increase brand awareness. It’s an effective, low-cost way for businesses and bloggers to get their content in front of new audiences. And it can be very profitable – if done right.
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is when you write content for someone else’s blog. You can pitch website owners about guest blogging on their blog or approach them on social media.
It’s essential to have great relationships with other bloggers in your niche because you never know which blogs will accept your guest posts, so being active in the community is vital.
The Benefits of Guest Blogging
You get to promote yourself and your content on another website while building relationships with other bloggers in your niche. In addition, the more active you are, the more likely it is that blogs will ask you to write for them because they like how you work (and they’ll want free content, too!).
Guest blogging helps your SEO efforts in two ways: Quality backlinks is the first. These are important if you’re looking to rank higher in search engines like Google or Bing.
For Example, If you publish a post on another blog with relevant links to articles on their site, and your post is popular, search engines will see that site as an authority and your links as relevant, which means that you may see a boost in rankings.
It also helps with brand awareness because search engines can see how many people visit your website, so the more traffic you get from guest blogging, the more exposure you’ll receive to potential new readers.
Furthermore, it creates strong relationships with other bloggers in your niche. These influencers will be more likely to promote your content and share it on social media if they like what you write.
How to Become a Successful Guest Blogger
A successful guest blogger writes content that makes readers want to come back for more. If you have the skills and people are tuning in to read your content, then congratulations – you’re well on your way to becoming a successful guest blogger!
Here are some things every good guest blogger should do:
1) Focus Your Content Around The Reader, Not The Blog
Don’t just write about your company or industry, but engage readers with content they will want to read.
Can you create something that solves a problem for them? This can help grow your brand as an influencer in the community.
One of the best ways to find out which topics appeal to a target audience is by researching frequently asked questions.
Remember – your brand’s authority comes from its expertise. So help people solve a problem, and they’ll be more likely to rely on you as a reliable source for information in the future.
I use SEMrush to do keyword research.
For Example, I can visit the questions tab to see what people might be asking about a specific topic, such as “guest blogging.”
Questions that are linked to a search query will also appear in Google Autosuggest.
AnswerThePublic.com is another database for questions people ask.
2) Write Epic Content That Is Unique And Relevant To Your Niche
People like reading posts that stand out and make them think. So avoid writing fluffy content that is generic and forgettable because the reader won’t come back if their needs aren’t met.
Here are some ways you can create epic content:
a) Do Your Research
Provide readers with new information they’ve never heard before. There could be some out-of-the-box suggestions, statistics, or guidance you can give that is unique.
However, if you’re going to reference a study or an expert’s quote, make sure you have a link back to the original source. Do a complete deep dive into topical research, and cover your topic with subtopics and in-depth.
b) Use A Compelling Title That Draws Them In
Since titles are one of the first things people see when browsing the web, make yours stand out!
There is a great tool called Jarvis that is an AI writing assistant.
You can enter the intro paragraph or a bit of a description, and Jarvis will create as many sample headlines as you want to see.
c) Add Videos And Visual Content
We are in a social age. People love to look at photos and watch videos. So instead of just using images, create videos that go along with your post.
Use Canva to create images, gifs, videos, presentations, infographics, and more.
d) Make It Longer
Long-form content is excellent for SEO and ranks better on Google search results. So don’t be afraid to write a lot – you can even turn your epic blog into an ebook if it’s excellent.
e) Focus on SEO
Write unique, high-quality content that uses keywords related to your topic. You may also want to include targeted keywords or questions in subheadings.
Here are some tools you can use for keyword research:
- SEMrush: For finding long-tail phrases and more specific search terms.
- Google Keyword Planner – To find out which words have a high volume of searches on Google but need a higher bid to show up first on the results page.
- AnswerThePublic.com: To see what questions are being asked about a topic.
3) Become a Subject Matter Expert
Guest blogging can be a great way to share knowledge and show readers that you are an authority on the topic, so do some research before writing a post.
Do some interviews with influencers in your niche and include quotes from them in your posts.
If you don’t know the specific niche very well, creating a round-up post on social media could be a great way to gather suggestions.
For Example, let’s say I’m writing about the challenges that real estate agents face. I could head to Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and ask people who are real estate agents what their biggest challenges are.
Often, one post in the right Facebook group could generate enough responses for your blog. It’s worth mentioning why you are researching and how you plan to use their answers.
4) Find Guest Blogging Opportunities In Your Niche [or Create Them]
Don’t just wait for other bloggers to approach you about guest posting – reach out to blogs that might accept guest posts, or create a blog yourself!
Don’t waste time pitching your amazing guest post idea on a blog that hates guest posts, only to find out later it would have been a good fit.
a) Research Blogs In Your Niche
Use a tool like Buzzsumo to find out which blogs in your niche have the most significant social following. Then, head over to Google and search “top [your topic] blogs,” too.
Take note of the ones with many monthly visitors, and see how it compares to their number of Twitter followers or Facebook likes. Then send them an email pitching your post idea!
b) Create Your Own Blog/Website
Creating your own blog is a great way to get more exposure online.
For example, when people visit your website, you could ask if they’d be interested in guest posting on your site to generate even more buzz around what you’re doing.
Or tell them about the great content you’ve already created, so they’ll want to be featured on it.
c) Write for Medium
Medium is an online blogging platform where you can write stories or blog posts and share them with their readers.
You’ll be able to create your profile page, gain followers, post new content, edit old content, promote your articles, and more.
d) Google the term “Write For Us.”
Just search Google for “write for us,” and a list of websites will appear. Click on any website you’d like to blog for, click the “Write for Us” button, and read their guidelines before pitching your guest post idea!
e) Reach out to other bloggers in your niche
Asking fellow bloggers whether they would be interested in writing a guest post is also a great way to find opportunities that may work.
5) Follow The Rules Of Guest Blogging
Once you’ve found an opportunity, do some research so you can write about it correctly.
If the website has a style guide, follow their rules for guest posts. Your blog post should adhere to the following:
a) Include a bio at the end of your post with links to your website and social media profiles
b) Make sure you link out to any websites or resources mentioned in the body of your blog post
c) Include images within your blog posts
d) Keep all content original
e) Write and submit your posts on time (and communicate if they’re going to be late!)
f) Avoid grammar mistakes and typos
g) Read over the post one last time before submitting it!
5) Promote Your Guest Post On Social Media
After you’ve finished your epic content, start promoting it on social media to get more eyes on your work. Of course, you’ll want to promote the post immediately after it goes live, but there are other ways you can get additional traffic too.
Share your guest post on your profile, your business page, and schedule some boosted posts for maximum exposure. You could also share the link to the website that invited you to write a guest post so that people can find more great content!
Tweet out your blog post with an enticing quote or statistic from it. You could even create a Storify of the best responses you got when you asked for input through social media. Just make sure to tag anyone who’s featured in it!
Post the link to your guest blog on both LinkedIn Pulse and in relevant groups where you might have readers who would be interested in reading about what you’ve written. Also, if any influencers comment on your post, tell your followers to give them a follow!
Create a Pinterest image for your guest blog post, and pin it to relevant boards. You could even do some research on who’s repinning similar content and follow them!
Promote your guest blog post with an email to your mailing list subscribers. Tag the website where you wrote a guest blog, and make sure to include a link in the body of the email so they can find more of your work!
6) Don’t Forget To Link Back To Your Site
Don’t forget to include one internal link back to your website or blog in your guest post. You don’t want all of that hard work promoting your guest post on social media and sharing with influencers to go to waste!
a) Include A Backlink In Your Guest Post
This is especially important if you’re writing for a popular website with lots of traffic because it’s likely that someone who clicks on your link will stay on your site too.
So just make sure the link you include is relevant to what you’ve written about!
b) Put A Backlink On Your Media Page Too
Since most guest blogging websites have a “Media” page where they publish links to their guest bloggers’ profiles and blog posts, put a backlink there so people can find more of your work.
Some websites even ask for this when you first apply to write a guest post!
c) Put A Backlink In Your Author Bio Box
Many websites now include an author bio box at the end of every guest post, so make sure to put a link in your profile setup.
8) Get Interactive
Build relationships within the blogging community by commenting on posts, participating in forums, or even starting a LinkedIn group!
The idea behind this is that the more you interact with people in your industry, the better your chances are of future collaborations.
a) Comment On Another Blog Post
Find a post on another blog that you think would be interesting to your readers, and leave a thoughtful comment with your opinion.
They might even respond, which could lead to an ongoing dialogue!
b) Make The Most Of Forums And Other Online Communities
Check out the forums in your industry – there are probably some dedicated to guest blogging where writers can meet and collaborate.
You could even start up one of your own if no one else has!
c) Join A LinkedIn Group Or Start Your Own
LinkedIn is another network full of people in similar industries who talk about everything from marketing tips to new company announcements.
It’s the perfect place to get involved with other bloggers and influencers in the space.
10) Keep Ranking!
There’s a reason why guest blogging is still so effective: it’s a highly scalable strategy. Once you find success with one blog, hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of other opportunities are available to you.
This means you can keep sending out pitches and start fresh content for new sites right away.
Guest blogging is not going away anytime soon because it is an effective way to drive traffic and build relationships within niche communities.
How to Pitch Websites For Guest Posts
Before writing a single word, reach out to a blogger in your niche who has previously published guest posts.
Most of the time, they’ll be willing to post your content if it’s good, but you should ask first!
Here are some tips for successfully pitching your guest blog post:
- Find bloggers in your niche who accept guest posts and always check their guidelines before contacting them
- Write a personalized email with an introduction message that describes what you plan to write about (they don’t know what you’re sending until they open the attachment)
- Make sure that your bio is finished before reaching out (this means including links to all websites, contact information like social media profiles, photos, videos, etc.)
- Make sure the blogger knows why you want to write for them specifically (be specific!)
Here’s an excellent template for pitching your guest post:
Subject: Guest Blog Inquiry
I hope this message finds you well. I’m writing you because I would love to submit a guest blog post for [blog name] on [topic].
First, let me tell you a bit about myself to get a general idea of my expertise and perspective in the industry.
My name is [your name] from [website name]. I am very active in [industry/niche] on social media, especially through Twitter at @usernameand I have been blogging since [Year] at https://blog.domain.com/.
A few months ago, XYZ website featured an article that was just what I needed to read at the time.
Since then, my blog has grown into a thriving resource for people looking for answers to some of their most challenging questions on [topic].
Since you mentioned that guest posts are encouraged on your website, I wondered if you would be interested in featuring me as a guest blogger?
I have several ideas about how I can provide unique value to readers of your blog.
Here are just a few…
Guest Blog Sample
a. Intro Paragraph
b. Sub-Heading 1
c. Sub-heading 2
d. Sub-heading 3
e. Conclusion/Call To Action
As you can see, I’m very passionate about [topic], and I would love to share my expertise with your readers!
I genuinely believe that this opportunity will help us both out, so please let me know if this sounds like something you would be interested in doing.
If it’s not something that makes sense for you or your website, is there anyone else on your team whom I could connect with? I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Your Name Here
Guest Blogging Pitching Software
Ninja Outreach: This is a great tool to help you find and contact over 500,000 influencers in your niche. Ninja outreach makes it easy to find bloggers and publications that will accept guest posts.
Email Outreach: This is another great tool built by the same people who created Ninja Outreach. It allows you to search for email addresses using keywords, never to have to guess at spelling again! Once the results are returned, copy and paste into an email template or create your formatted message with complete sentences that grab their attention.
SEMrush: This is an advanced tool for researching top-ranking sites in your niche. It can be used to track down the contact information of the site owner, rank them based on search volume, and find their most shared content.
AHREFS: This is a comprehensive tool that will show you the top-ranking sites in your niche. It’s great for researching influencers and reaching out to them with a personalized email.
Pitchbox: Another excellent tool for finding bloggers. This one allows you to search using keywords, and it will give you the contact information of the site owner if they accept guest posts.
I hope these tools help simplify your guest blogging process! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.