Did you know that guest posting is not just one of the most popular link building tactics, but also one of the most effective ones?
But what exactly is guest posting and how can you use it to your advantage?
Read this in-depth guide to learn all you need to know about guest posts.
What Are Guest Posts and How Do They Help with SEO?
A guest post is an article that you write for another website, instead of publishing it on your website.
Guest posting or guest blogging is a popular SEO tactic that people use to reach new audiences and build backlinks.
Check out how HubSpot has explained the concept of guest posting through this visual.
Here are some SEO benefits of writing and sharing guest posts:
- By posting content on authoritative websites in your niche, you can showcase your content to their audience. This increases your online reach and helps build authority.
- By adding relevant backlinks to your website, you can improve your backlink profile and get more referral traffic.
- It also gives you a chance to market your products or services to a wider audience.
But not everyone is great at guest posting and it might take a while for you to learn how to do it right. For a quick guide, read the next section.
How to Do Guest Blogging Right: A Step-By-Step Guide
Here’s the complete process you need to follow to become a guest blogger.
1. Find target websites that accept guest posts
The first step, of course, is to find websites in your niche that have a similar audience as yours and are perfect for guest posting. You can use a mix of paid and free guest posting sites.
One of the simplest ways to find such websites is to do a Google search using one of the following search queries:
- “Niche” + “guest posting sites”
- “Niche” + “guest post”
- “Niche” + “write for us”
- “Niche” + “contribute to our site”
- “Niche” + “submit a guest post”
- “Niche” + “guest posting sites”
- “Niche” + “accepting guest posts”
These queries will help you find guest posting sites within your niche. Here’s an example of the kind of results you’ll get if you’re looking for guest posting sites in the SaaS niche.
If you want to write guest posts on specific topics, then you can replace the name of your niche with a specific keyword.
Some other ways of finding guest posting opportunities include:
- Analyze your competitors’ backlinks to find referring domains. Chances are that many of these would be sites where they’ve published guest posts.
- Use similar search strings on Twitter to find websites that are actively looking for guest bloggers.
- Go to AllTop.com and find a ready-to-use list of blogs in any niche. You can then check whether they’re currently accepting guest posts or not.
- Read articles that provide an extensive list of websites for guest posting in various niches.
Based on your research, create an extensive list of websites and then shortlist the most relevant ones.
2. Conduct guest post outreach and send pitches
Once you have a list of websites where you want to contribute, you need to do some outreach and send pitches to editors or site owners.
For each website, you need to find the best topics to write on, which match their audience and existing content. You’ll need to check out each website and understand what kind of content they publish and read their contributor guidelines.
You should also use an SEO tool like Semrush to find keyword and topic ideas.
Then, you need to either prepare an outline or a list of topic ideas and send your pitch, based on the target website’s requirements. Make sure you follow the process the site’s editor has suggested to submit pitches or they’ll not be read.
For example, Bay Leaf Digital accepts pitches through a form on its website.
You may send multiple ideas in your pitch, but make sure they’re all relevant and don’t add too many ideas.
Most websites will mention what kind of content they’re seeking, so make sure you pitch content that meets their requirement.
Here’s an example of contributor guidelines for FinancesOnline. See how they’ve clearly mentioned the topics they publish and the types of content they want.
3. Write guest posts that follow the target site’s guidelines
Once your pitch is accepted, you need to write a guest post on the approved topic. When writing guest posts, you need to follow the target site’s guidelines carefully or your post might be rejected.
These guidelines could be extremely specific and may ask you to structure or format your guest posts in a certain way.
Here are some tips to write high-quality content for guest posts:
- Make sure your content meets the search intent of your primary keyword.
- Format your post in the way their existing content is published on their website.
- Add a call-to-action at the end of the post asking readers to comment on the posts. Encourage them to ask questions or share their opinions.
- Add relevant images, examples, and statistics to make your content both engaging and credible.
You also need to create an author bio that you can send along with your guest post.
Use this as an opportunity to establish your expertise and also promote yourself. Here are some things you can include in your author bio:
- A brief introduction about you and your business or website
- Links to your website and social media profiles
- To-the-point description of your past experience and areas of expertise
- And, of course, your profile picture
But what if the target website only allows only a two-line bio?
Well, you can still add links and establish your expertise, just like Neil Patel has done in his bio on Entrepreneur.com.
4. Add links to your guest posts
The most important part of using guest posts for link building is adding backlinks to your website into them.
Here are some dos and don’ts of adding links to your website in your guest posts:
- Only add contextually relevant backlinks to useful and related resources on your website.
- Use relevant anchor texts that match the topic of the content you’re linking to and avoid generic anchor texts like “click here.”
- Do not add too many backlinks or your post will look spammy and promotional. Ideally, 1-2 backlinks are enough in a 1500-word guest post.
- Try to add your link as close to the top as possible, but not in the introduction. After all, link placement is important when it comes to building high-quality backlinks.
You should also add a few relevant links from other posts on the target website for internal linking.
Well, call it good manners.
Guest posting is a mutually beneficial link-building tactic, so you should try to provide as much value to the target website as possible.
Moreover, if you don’t add internal links, they’ll probably do it themselves. By saving them the time and effort for internal linking, you can build a better relationship.
5. Submit your guest posts and nurture relationships
Once you’ve created a perfect guest post, it’s time to share it with the target website’s editor. Make sure that you thank them for the opportunity when you share your post.
Don’t think of guest posting as a one-time transaction. If you are willing to make the effort, you can turn a one-time opportunity into a long and mutually beneficial partnership.
By staying in touch and nurturing your professional relationships with the editors. Here are some tips:
- Start by promptly responding to comments on your guest posts and engaging with your audience.
- Read posts on their websites that you find interesting and comment on them to start a conversation.
- Follow editors of top websites on social media and engage in an organic way to keep yourself at the top of their minds.
Guest posting is one of the most popular white hat link building tactics and for good reason — it works. It’s a cost-effective way to build high-quality backlinks to your website.
Use this article as your go-to guide on everything related to guest posts.
What are you waiting for? Start finding guest posting sites and send your pitches.
How can I choose the right sites for guest posting?
Consider relevance, target audience, domain rating, and domain authority as the primary factors for shortlisting websites for guest posting.
What is the difference between blog posts and guest posts?
The key difference lies in where they’re published. If you post an article on your website, it’s a blog post and if you publish it on someone else’s website, it’s a guest post.
What is paid guest posting and is it worth it?
This refers to sponsored posts, where you pay someone to publish your post on their website. It can be effective if it gets your content published on top websites with high domain ratings.