If you want to create an argument among marketers, bring up the topic of guest blogging.
Without a doubt, you’ll start a heated debate. Some will say it’s a waste of time. Many people swear by it and see it as an essential part of their marketing strategy.
There is always some truth to both sides of every issue. In this case, it is true that social media can be a waste of time and resources, but it can also be used as a powerful tool for growth if used correctly.
Apart from the fact that it can help improve your brand’s visibility, guest blogging can also be a more ethical and sustainable way to build better quality backlinks and improve your SEO performance.
Content marketing through guest blogging consists of writing and publishing articles for other websites.
These articles have your byline and are often highlighted by the editor of that website as being written by a “guest author” or a “contributor”.
You may get paid for guest blogging depending on the publication. However, that’s not always the case. Some publications will offer rewards for your post that are not money, like a link back to your personal website or social media accounts.
Let’s dive into a few major benefits of guest blogging:
Benefits of Guest Blogging
Here are some of the biggest benefits people get from guest blogging:
Build a profile as an industry expert/thought leader
Grow your personal brand
Grow an audience (social followers, subscribers etc.)
Improve SEO performance
Build authoritative backlinks
, speaking engagements Develop relationships and pursue new partnerships, e.g. through co-marketing or speaking engagements.
Drive referral traffic
Improve a company’s brand awareness
Get more leads, users and even customers
Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities
It’s frustrating when you put a lot of effort into something and no one responds positively to it. You come up with a perfect idea for something you want to write about.
You share your best tips, create simple but useful graphics using Canva, and use interesting quotes and research to support your ideas. Nothing can go wrong, right?
The whole process of finding guest posting opportunities can be broken down into the following steps:
1. Create a Sheet
You will need to set up an organized sheet to help you keep track of all the relevant and authoritative websites you find before you even make your first Google search.
There are several options you can choose from, including Evernote, Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, or the good old-fashioned pen and paper. In my case, I will use Microsoft Excel.
In your selected app, create 5 to 10 columns. For each column, you will add every attribute that will help you determine whether it is worth coming up with ideas and pitching them.
The attributes on this list can be changed depending on what is being focused on and how sophisticated it needs to be. The main idea is to create a CRM to track progress with different sites you have found for outreach purposes.
The main columns you should add are:
- Name of site or blog
- URL of site or blog
2. Find Guest Blogging Targets
There are two ways you can find your guest blogging targets. To find guest posting opportunities, look for high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche.
Many sites accept guest posts and encourage users to pitch their ideas. This makes this process much easier for you. The problem this raises is that there are many low-quality and irrelevant websites.
Despite publicly saying that they accept guest posts, these sites don’t consider the majority of them.
In other words, unless you’re an expert or have some connection to HubSpot’s content team, don’t expect them to consider your pitch for a guest post.
Option 1. How to Find Sites That Accept Guest Posts
To start finding websites that accept guest posts, look for articles that feature a list of websites that accept guest posts. The articles below will make the process much easier for you. Some of the best articles are:
- A Massive List Of 200+ Quality Blogs That Accept Guest Posts
- List Of 1074 Niche Blogs That Accept Guest Posts
- The Grand List of 386 Blogs That Accept Guest Blogging
Option 2. How to Know if Sites You Would Like to Guest Post on Accept Them
To find guest posting opportunities, look for websites that you would like to publish on, and check if they accept guest posts. The majority of websites will not provide any information regarding guest posting.
For example, if you would like to publish a guest post on my blog, you will not find any information on my site that indicates this is possible. I will only agree to work with you if your proposal is good and I trust you. I do not allow guest posts, but you understand the concept.
3. Find the Blog Manager
The individual who is responsible for the content calendar, content strategy, and editing is sometimes referred to as the blog manager or editor.
In some cases, that same person also writes content. The content manager is usually the one responsible for updating and maintaining the website content. This person is easy to find.
If you are hoping to guest post on a blog, you should start by searching for that blog. This will help you get an idea of what kind of content they publish, and whether your own content would be a good fit.
When looking for a reliable source, look for someone who publishes frequently. The process of identifying who wrote an article is simplified in some cases because the author’s name is displayed on the blog page.
In some cases, you will need to open 5 to 10 articles and see which publisher they are from. In most cases, the person who writes the blog is responsible for it.
If you can’t find anyone who publishes more often, check the “About Us”, “Team”, or “Contact Us” page. The blog manager can usually be found there.
If you can’t find anyone using these two methods, you can email them by going to the contact page. The template will help you structure your query letters so that they’re more likely to be successful.
You can use the template in the “How to Break Into the Biggest Publications” section to help you structure your query letters so they are more likely to be successful.
4. Find the Blog Manager’s Email Address
Once you find the blog manager, you need to get their email information in order to pitch your product. If you can’t find it on any of those, check the website’s footer The best place to look for someone’s contact information is on their profile page, the contact page, or the team page.
If you can’t find it on any of those, check the website’s footer. If you do, add this information to your sheet.
If you cannot find an email address for the company on their website, you will need to do some more research.
How to Find a Blog Manager’s Email
I’ve found two great tools that can help you find the email of any blog manager. Let’s say you wanted to publish on CrazyEgg. The blog’s manager is Sean Work. This is how you would find his email information.
To find the email address of someone at a website, you would go to Hunter.io and add the website to the search bar. If you want to find the email of a store manager, you would look for the store’s website and then look for the manager’s email in the results. We’re unable to locate his email address in the example below.
Hunter provides the most common email pattern so that the manager’s email can be guessed. If you find a lot of email results, you can usually confirm the pattern.
There are potential problems with this email guessing method if you find many patterns.
5. Don’t Pitch the Manager Just Yet
The final step in this section is about not taking any action. The point I’m making is that you shouldn’t pitch anyone until you know what you’re going to say about them.
You will need to come up with an excellent idea that is related to the audience you are trying to reach as well as to your company. In the next section of the article, I will show you how to do this.
The only time you should contact the manager is when you are unsure if the company or blog you are reaching out to accepts guest posts. That’s not pitching, by the way. Making this contact will save you a lot of time and effort.
6. Write the Post
This is the easier step of the process if you pick a topic you feel passionate about and have expertise in. You will need to set some time aside to start typing.
If you’re not satisfied with your writing, it’s perfectly acceptable to hire an editor to go over your draft. I’d actually highly recommend it, even for experienced writers.
It is helpful to have someone else read your article and offer suggestions. Feedback is the breakfast of champions!
Whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned writer, here are ten essential recommendations for writing guest posts (and any type of post, for that matter):
Write long-form, compelling content (at least 1,000 words)
Break the text into small, digestible paragraphs
Optimize for on-page SEO
Canva is a great tool for creating linkable content. With its easy-to-use design tools, you can easily create original images and graphs that will make your content more linkable.
Add quotes from friends and influencers
Link to your other published guest posts
Link to your own, relevant content
Link to other publications: studies, data, thought leadership etc.
Link internally, to other articles from your publisher
Add your byline and explain what makes you an expert on that topic
Remember to include your author details such as your full name, a short bio, social media links, a headshot, and your website when sending your final draft to the editor. This will allow readers to connect with you more easily.
Now you can hit “send” and deliver your guest post to the editor. There is just one more step to complete this project: measuring the results.
7. Track Your Posts’ Results Over Time
This step is the last step, but it is also the most important. Make sure to compare your results to where you began in order to see how far you have come.
Depending on your SEO goals, you can use different tools to track different metrics. I’ve provided a list of what I believe to be the best guest blogging tools below.
Ahrefs is a tool that you can use to check things like the number of backlinks, number of referring domains, organic traffic performance, or even the number of keywords that the website ranks for in Google.
Guest Blogging SEO
Since I mentioned how to prioritize opportunities based on Domain Authority and Spam Score, I think it’s important to discuss the SEO aspect of guest blogging.
The study found that 53% of digital marketing specialists believe that guest blogging is the most effective way to build a backlink profile.
A 2020 study by Aira showed that guest blogging is the 3rd most effective way to build backlinks, with 51% of respondents saying they use it.
Guest blogging is popular because it allows authors to link back to their content. The link is usually placed in the article’s body or the author’s bio.
Blog editors often add a no-follow tag to links from guest authors.
This type of backlink was not valued as much in the past because it did not show signs of authority. Although “no-follow” backlinks were originally not counted as signals by Google’s ranking algorithm, recent updates have changed this.
Google now publically states that all backlinks, regardless of the “no-follow” tag, are seen as signals by their algorithm.
Don’t try to guest blog excessively in order to build up backlinks. If you don’t pay attention to the quality of your content and your users’ experience, you’ll probably damage your SEO and your reputation. If you want your writing to be successful, aim to both educate and entertain your readers.
Top Tools for Guest Blogging
The best strategy for your business is always the one you create yourself, through experimentation and error. Don’t be afraid to start and learn as you go.