This is another article in my series of Building a Launch. This series is to walk a new startup or business through what we are going through on Feedster and help answer the questions we have to answer to launch.~ Will Robins, Executive Managing Editor @ Feedster
Guest Posting is a great way to grow the influence of your blog. This subject is covered in depth by so many various people and places that it only made sense that we just put together a list of great resources for this. We will walk through the why, how, and when. There is a great deal to learn when guest posting and hopefully this list will help you gain an understanding for your own blog.
First let’s cover the “no” go on guest posting:
Will Guest Posting Hurt Your Site?
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/matt-cutts-answers-whether-guest-blogging-will-considered-spam-future/81781/ – Will Guest Post be considered Spam?
If you guest post for “SEO” purposes then you are in a no fly zone. SEO value should come from the traffic, engagement, and general well postured post that you are submitting to other sites. Matt Cutts did not say, do not guest post, he actually says do it but make it great and for the right reasons.
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, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company …
So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy…
There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes …
I just [wanted] to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article. ~ Matt Cutts, Head of Google Spam Team
While this post from Matt Cutts was shocking and got a ton of writers scared to guest post it was addressing “gaming the system” using guest post and not actually guest posting for traffic and engagement.
Q&A on Guest Posting: https://www.quora.com/How-did-Matt-Cutts-speech-affect-guest-blogging
So basically if you are trying to “rank” for a keyword and that is the only reason you are guest posting then you are missing the boat. You are trying to game the system and that will ultimately lead to a penalty if caught. If you guest post looking for engagement and interaction from a blogs readers then you are going to provide wonderful content and engage, promote, and provide value to the blog you posted on.
These post cover why Guest Posting is not dead and never will be.
- Don’t panic.Just as you now see spammers going around asking the people they spammed to remove old links, I imagine we’ll start seeing “guest post removal requests.” But you don’t want to remove legitimate links or legitimate content for no reason.
- If you weren’t spamming before, you’re not spamming now.All your past guest blogs didn’t magically turn into spammy pumpkins overnight. As always and as ever, quality is what really matters.
- Keep your eyes on the guest-bloggin’ prize.If you were previously guest-blogging for the do-follow links only, rethink your priorities. Contributed articles can offer other kinds of value.
UPDATE: Cutts Says Don’t Guest Blog “for SEO”
Matt Cutts’ updated his post in response to the response. Here’s part of what he added:
It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/matt-cutts-clarifies-guest-blogging-for-seo/86859/ – Cutts added to his post “There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”
http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/01/22/guest-blogging-and-seo-still-a-match-made-in-heaven/ – If you are looking to increase your search engine rankings for head terms through guest posts,you are wasting your time. It may work for now, but eventually it won’t.
But if you are looking to increase your overall branding, referral traffic, and sales, you should continually guest post. This will also help you improve your overall site authority, which should help increase your long-tail traffic.
http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/guest-blogging-is-really-dead-4-things-to-do-instead/ – A different spin on what to do instead of guest posting. This article should be followed as it brings a different light on what to do instead of guest posting.
The best guest posters bring a following to the site. Look at John Rampton on guest posting:
John Rampton – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rampton
John Rampton is one of the most influential SEO’s in the world in Content Marketing, PPC, and of course guest blogging. http://www.ppchero.com/the-top-25-most-influential-ppc-experts-in-2013/
http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2015/04/10/why-seo-is-sabotaging-your-content-marketing/?.google.com – Killing your Content with SEO.
How to make friends with journalist. http://www.johnrampton.com/how-to-make-friends-with-bloggers-and-journalists-to-gain-influence/
Listen to him talk through how he brings an audience when he post anywhere:
This article on John Chow on how to gain the maximum exposure when Guest Posting. http://www.johnchow.com/how-to-guest-blog-for-maximum-exposure/
Lastly look at an interview with John about Guest Posting.
Best Tool for Guest Posting – Read Their Blogs
When you are looking for tools for guest posting you can also find some great information on how to use their tools and gain guest post. Since their audience is all about outreach and guest blogging it only makes sense that they write to that audience and provide a ton of information about it.
The Definitive Guide on Blogger Outreach by Beacon is a great resource that will walk you through the entire process.
https://twitter.com/ninjaoutreach/status/632748920288972800 – Ninja Outreach Twitter Profile
http://ninjaoutreach.com/ – This is our tool of choice at Feedster. We love the team over there and they continually work with us perfecting our scripts and helping us find posters for our site as well as places for us to post on. Great group and great tool. Their how to videos are great and really walk you through not just their tool but the concept in general.
From their Site: Ninja Outreach is an all purpose marketing tool If you’re doing any of the following, your life is about to get A LOT easier when you use their tool.
- Lead Generation
- Finding Guest Posts
- Content Promotion
- Collecting Contact Info
- Finding Podcast Guests
- Cold Calling
- Content Research
- Blogger Outreach
- Cold Emailing
- Finding Affiliates
- Influencer Marketing
What others say about Ninja Outreach:
Their Chrome Plugin:
Now let’s look at the Goals for your Guest Posting Campaigns
There are 3 Man Goals of Your Guest Posting Campaigns:
- Positioning yourself as an authority and well-known name in the industry.
- Getting exposure (traffic) back to your website.
- Building backlinks to your website.
There are some basic rules to remember when you are guest posting for another site. These are basic “netiquette”.
- Link to the post from my blog
- Promote it on Twitter (several times)
- Share it on Facebook
- Thank the person
- Stick around and respond to comments on the post
- Write content that is unique and hasn’t been used elsewhere previously
- Break posts up with images, bullet points and headings
- Write your best work. Blog posts to a blogger are like paintings to an artist. They’re your portfolio and show you off.
- Keep the piece relevant to content the blogger has published in the past
- Provide as much value as you can to the new audience you’re interacting with
How to Find the Best Places to Guest Post
- Do the Writing Yourself
- Have a Social Presence
- Create a list of Influential Accounts
- Find the Easy ones and create a List
- Vet the Site you target
- Send a Pitch or Inquiry
There’s a fascinating thing about guest blogging. The more you do it, the better sites you’ll start writing for. And the better sites you write for, the more and better sites you’ll be able to write for. Eventually, after the months of boring emailing, constant rejections, and faithful blogging, you reach a critical mass.
- Keep your email short. You want to respect this person’s time.
- Create a strong subject line. Everything should be spelled correctly and the subject line should leave no doubt as to what the email is about. it could be something as simple as “Request for a guest submission. Outline attached.”
- Give a short intro letting the recipient know who you are and show that you’re a fan. But don’t overdo it – write just enough to let the person know you appreciate what he or she does.
- Get right into your pitch. Offer a few good headlines and maybe a very short outline of what you’d talk about in your submission.
- Show the blog owner what he or she will gain by posting your guest submission – a valuable viewpoint that adds value to the audience’s lives, on a timely topic that will drive traffic to his or her site. If you can demonstrate your worth to a blogger, you can be sure that more opportunities will come your way in the future.
How to Create Winning Guest Post
http://heidicohen.com/guest-blogging-tips-to-land-posts-almost-every-time/ – 21 Steps to create winning guest blog post
15 Tips to Becoming a Brilliant Guest Blogger – https://econsultancy.com/blog/11169-15-tips-to-help-you-become-a-brilliant-guest-blogger/ – My favorite point of this article was when he basically said why would you post and then not show back up?
I always ask for a regular commitment from guest bloggers. While I appreciate that, if you’re an e-commerce manager or CEO of an agency, you’re going to be pretty busy, it’s important to post regularly and build up a readership.
There have been many guest bloggers who have posted once or twice and then never again. I’m not really sure what they get out of it.
Writing a Perfect Guest Post
http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/03/guest-blogging-tips.html – Invest in Research
- Funnel people to an outcome not a sales page
- Mention bloggers in your niche
- Follow up by sister posts
- Aim at 10 years of results not 10 hours
- Answer each comment
http://coschedule.com/blog/content-marketing-guest-blogging/ – Long List Post Work
How to Get Your Guest Post Accepted
http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/how-to-get-the-attention-of-your-favorite-expert-new-detailed-post/ – Get the Attention of your favorite expert
- Choose Sites Carefully
- Know Your Audience
- Quality over Quantity
- Send an Email – With a Professional Subject
- Use a Professional from Line
- Use the recipient’s name if you can
- Tell them who you are
- Tell them why you matter
- Prove your position in their niche
- Give them your content
- Link to a google doc
- Flattery is not required
- Don’t make a single mistake
- Prepare for rejection
- Form relationships don’t just throw them content
- Enlist Help
- The more you guest blog then the more you will guest blog
That post from Hubspot is followed up by their next post on what mistakes to not make when guest blogging.
- Having No Strategy
- Targeting the wrong blogs
- Not keeping outreach records
- Addressing emails to “blog manager”
- Not leveraging connections for introductions
- Grammatical Errors and Spelling Errors in Pitches
- Not including Post or Post Ideas
- Suggesting Topics already covered
- Not selling your writing ability
- Not Adhering to Guest Posting Guidelines
- Not Writing for the blog’s audience
- Not Aligning your style to that of the blogs
- Providing Low Quality Post
- Including Zero/Bad/or To Many Inbound Links
- Making post difficult to upload
- Not Perfecting your Byline
- Try to impress the blog owners whom you are selected to submit your guest posts with polite approach and explain why you have selected their blog to submit your post.
- You should write guest post for related niches with good PR and high authority blogs, so sure to be thorough with their guidelines of guest posting.
- Follow your unique style in writing to stand out from other guest bloggers.
- It is really exciting to see your name on well performing blogs right? So include a simple and gorgeous Author-bio for your guest post.
- Make efforts to engage the visitors from the beginning of your guest post by offering some fresh or unread data for them.
Drop The Sales Talk! To Get More Guest Post
Find Directories of “Write For Us” “Contributors” Blogs
http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/getting-traffic-for-your-blog/ – Get Traffic for your blog in 1 week
Finding Guest Bloggers for Your Blog
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/02/28/how-to-find-a-guest-blogger-for-your-blog/ – http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/03/01/how-to-get-guest-blogging-jobs/ – One could reverse engineer these to become a wanted guest poster.
Learn the Art of Guest Posting – Resources and Guides
http://marketingland.com/guest-blogging-a-beginners-guide-59466 – Beginners Guide to Guest Posting
http://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-start-with-guest-posting.html – Beginners Guide to Start Guest Posting
http://tripleseo.com/guest-blogging-guide/ – Guest post Blogging Guide
http://www.copyblogger.com/safe-guest-blogging/ – Smart Person’s Guide to Guest Posting
http://www.responsiveinboundmarketing.com/blog/the-pocket-guide-to-guest-blogging – Quick and Easy – The Pocket Guide
http://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/us/blog/ultimate-guide-for-guest-blogging-in-2015/ – 2015 version of guest blogging
https://www.quicksprout.com/the-advanced-guide-to-link-building-chapter-10/ – Link Building guide has a chapter on Guest Posting
http://www.sitepoint.com/guest-blogging/ – Sitepoint is on Point with this guide on guest blogging
http://www.blogherald.com/2007/08/02/learning-the-art-of-guest-blogging/ – This is a great list post that walks you through the exact “art” of becoming a guest poster from start to finish.
http://comluv.com/ramit-sethi-i-will-teach-you-to-guest-post-in-5-steps/ – 5 Steps to Guest Posting
http://backlinko.com/the-definitive-guide-to-guest-blogging – Brian Dean always has great “how – to” post on subjects and this is no different (Neil Patel and Brian Dean have blogs with tons of advice on this subject and others around list-building, SEO, Growing Blog Traffic, content marketing, and guest posting)
http://www.writersincharge.com/guest-blogging-guide/ – How a writer from Nigeria has grown to post several hundred guest post.
http://neilpatel.com/2015/09/12/make-your-mark-9-easy-steps-to-become-a-successful-guest-blogger/ – 9 steps to become a guest blogger from one of the best ever
http://multiplestreams.org/guest-blogging-guide/ – How I became the Michael Jordan of Guest Posting
https://moz.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-advanced-guest-blogging – This is the advanced version of Guest Posting – This also provides a list of places to find guest post potential targets.
- Guest Blog Genius
- Copy for Bylines
- Guest Blogging Websites
- Fizz Niche
- Technorati’s directory of blogs
- Google Blogsearch
- Best of the Web Blogs
- On Top List blog directory