Guest blogging is an amazing strategy with the help of which you can boost your branding, increase referral traffic, prove your expertness and get new clients.
It even still works for SEO, despite of Matt Cutts pronouncing it dead.
David Erwin, Senior Marketing Specialist at Chicago SEO Company, says that “If done right, guest blogging can increase your search traffic by 200% in half a year by boosting your search rankings and making you more authoritative in the eyes of Google”.
Just take a look at recent case studies.
Syed Irfan Ajmal, for example, was able to increase revenue for his client by 23.85% in six months solely by employing an interesting guest blogging tactics. At first, he did keyword research, then he created several posts for his clients’ blog and then he built guest posts around selected keywords and linked to the articles on the client’s blog. It’s a really interesting case study and you can also watch a webinar about his success story here.
Do you also want similar results? Great! Then get on board!
But beware! There will be some challenges on your way. Let us tell you what they are along with best recipes which will help you to tackle them. Read on!
Identifying and Tackling Main Guest Blogging Challenges
1) Guest blogging platforms evaluation
So how exactly do you find platforms to guest blog on?
At first, let’s take a look which platforms you need.
Google rewards the sites which have high-quality backlinks from the resources in the same niche. If you specialize on selling clothes online, naturally it will be suspicious if you have a bunch of links coming from platforms which write about poker and you risk to get a filter from Google really fast.
The platforms where you’re going to guest blog on should come from the niches related to yours. If you sell shoes, you can post on sites from various niches such as fashion, marketing, advertising, ecommerce, etc., where you can mention your site naturally.
After you’ve determined the niches where you’re going to blog, it’s time to look at some metrics.
It’s important to evaluate the sites before sending them any content in order to determine if they are worth your time and effort. It’s also important that links from your selected resources won’t do you any harm.
Useful metrics you should check before posting are: Domain Authority, Number of Visits and Search Engine Traffic.
Domain Authority is a metric on a scale from 0 to 100 which predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. It was developed by Moz and is a great indicator on how trustful sites are.
When starting guest posting, it’s nice to begin with sites which have DA of 25 and above.
It’s super easy to measure DA. Just add MozBar to your browser and you’ll see how well sites perform in an instant.
You need to know the Number of visits a site gets in order to understand if the site has any readership and whether someone can potentially come to your site from there.
SimilarWeb browser extension is doing a great job estimating the number of visits a site gets. You can start from sites which have more than 10K monthly visits and go from there.
You need to know the Search Engine traffic to get the idea of how well the site is ranking in search engines. The higher the traffic is, the better a site looks in the eyes of Google and it would be awesome to get a link from such a site.
You can start from platforms with search engine traffic of 500+ and SEOquake can measure it for you along with tons of other metrics.
2) Guest blogging platforms research
How are you going to actually search for guest blogging platforms?
Most beginning guest bloggers take a somewhat chaotic approach to the research process – they just find a bunch of blogs in their niche through search queries or some listicles and then try to contact webmasters.
The problem with this approach is that you don’t know if the sites you find want guest posts or not. In order not to waste your time creating customized pitches for the sites which don’t want you there, it’s better to refine your search and target those sites which want other people to write for them.
Here’s a way to do platforms research smarter.
Use advanced search queries such as:
- keyword + “guest post”
- keyword + “write for us”
- keyword + “this is a guest post by”
- keyword + “become a contributor”
- keyword + “guest posting guidelines”
You get the point, think of all the possible ways you would invite guest bloggers to write for your website and build your queries accordingly.
Here’s a search operators list which will help you build your search queries smarter.
3) Coming up with interesting topics to blog about
The topic you choose to write about is a key either to success or a failure.
If you write around topics which are trendy, innovative and interesting to vast audiences, you’ll get a lot of guest posts published in no time.
How to know what would be interesting? Research!
Take a look at how different pieces of content perform on social media. Social media engagement is your number one indicator of what online audience loves and it’s really easy to measure.
Just type the name of your niche or topic in BuzzSumo and see what has been trending over the past month or a week.
If you already know some blogs which are trend-setters in your niche, with Buzzsumo you can identify their most popular content.
This is especially useful when doing research of specific platforms you want to target. Knowing what their audiences like to read will give you a better idea of what topics you should pitch to editors in order to get published.
4) Reaching out to webmasters
If you have brainstormed killer ideas for your posts you’re halfway to your success.
Now you have to get your awesome ideas in front of webmasters to get published.
When writing your outreach letter, remember that you need to show webmasters that you’re providing value to them and don’t just want to get a link back to your site (they already know that).
It’s good to start your email from a (sincere) compliment about one of the recent posts the blogger wrote, write your own thoughts on the problem highlighted or maybe even propose your own solutions. Show that you know what the blog is about and that you can write valuable content for their audiences.
Always research the platform you’re contacting as personalization is your only way to make a blogger trust you.
After a brief comment about the blog, it’s time to present your topics.
Pick two-three ideas which will be most relevant to your platform and write them in the form “Headline – post description”, so that a webmaster has something to choose from and has a clear idea of what the posts are going to be about. It’s risky to pitch just one idea as it might get rejected and you can say goodbye to that promising platform.
After that say politely that you’d like to discuss further details and wish the webmaster a great day.
It’s important to make sure that your email arrives at the right time, that’s why be mindful of the webmaster’s time zone and make sure that your email arrives in the beginning of their working day, so that it’s the first thing they see when they’re checking their emails.
If you don’t receive any response, it’s ok. Webmasters are extremely busy people and it’s good to remind them about your pitch in 3-5 days. There are two possible reasons why your message got ignored: they didn’t like your pitch, your message got lost in the ocean of email they receive every day. By politely reminding about yourself, you increase your chances of getting a response.
5) Keeping track of your relationships.
I love using Trello to track the status of my articles. Trello is awesome to track processes that’s why I created a complete path an article has to go through from creation to publication. It’s really fun to move your articles between stages and you can see the situation with your posts in seconds.
Google Sheets are awesome for doing research of new platforms, recording contact information along with dates critical for your campaign, such as when you contacted a webmaster for the first time and when you need to follow up. Update the file regularly so you don’t get lost in the huge amount of data you will accumulate over time.
Guest posting is an extremely beneficial promotion strategy for your blog or service. Before taken any further action, always ask yourself why you’re doing it and the right decisions will start coming to you in no time. Guest blog wisely and always focus on satisfying the needs of your target audience – that’s the way to a guaranteed success.