Guest blogging is a popular and effective link building and content marketing strategy. In guest blogging, a person writes and publishes blog posts on another website. It allows bloggers to tap into new audiences, increase domain authority, and build high-quality backlinks.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what guest blogging is, why it works, and how to successfully implement a guest posting campaign.
What Is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging, also called guest posting, refers to the practice of writing and publishing blog posts on a third-party blog or website. Instead of posting content on your own site, you create it for someone else in your industry or niche.
For example, an SEO consultant may write a guest post for a marketing blog. Or a fashion designer could provide a blog post to a popular lifestyle site.
Some key attributes of guest blogging include:
- The blog post is created by a guest writer, not the host site owner.
- The guest author provides the article to the host for free.
- The host site publishes the guest post like any other piece of content.
- The post includes a bio of the guest author and links back to their site.
Guest posting allows writers to leverage the established domain authority and reach of other sites. By contributing your expertise to industry-leading blogs, you can gain exposure to new audiences.
This exposure, combined with the high-quality backlink earned, makes guest blogging a go-to link building tactic for SEO.
The Benefits of Guest Posting for Bloggers
There are many potential benefits associated with guest blogging. Let’s explore some of the top advantages:
1. Gain Access to New Audiences
One of the biggest perks of guest posting is gaining access to new audiences. By contributing to niche blogs and industry sites, you can get your content and brand in front of interested readers.
For example, if you land a guest post on a popular marketing blog, you’ll instantly reach thousands of potential customers. This exposure helps drive brand awareness and leads.
2. Earn High-Quality Backlinks
Guest blogging is a proven link building strategy. When you publish on authoritative sites, you’ll earn a backlink from that domain pointing back to your website.
These referral links are usually dofollow and help transfer link equity and authority. By securing links from trustworthy sites, you can boost your site’s domain authority and ranking potential.
3. Increase Subject Authority
Writing posts for industry-leading blogs also helps establish you as a subject matter expert. Audiences start to associate your name and brand with a niche or topic.
The more you contribute your expertise to reputable sites, the more authority you build. This makes you a trusted resource readers turn to again and again.
4. Drive Referral Traffic
In addition to boosting domain authority, guest posts generate referral traffic. Readers will click from the blog post on the host site through to your site. This introduces new audiences to your brand.
The host website essentially endorses you to their email subscribers and followers. Done right, guest blogging can become a significant traffic driver.
5. Develop Relationships and Links
Guest posting also facilitates relationship building with blog owners and industry connections. If the host is pleased with your contributions, they may link to your posts from social media or email newsletters.
What’s more, a successful guest post can lead to additional guest posting opportunities. The relationships built from guest blogging help cement your name as an authority.
How to Guest Post the Right Way
While the benefits are enticing, low-quality guest posting can actually damage your site. Google penalizes manipulative link building tactics, including blog networks and low-value contributions.
Follow these tips to guest post the right way:
Research sites accepting contributions
Using tools like BuzzSumo, research which sites accept guest posts in your niche. Make a list of quality blogs aligned with your brand. Then thoroughly vet prospective hosts in terms of content quality, engagement, and domain authority.
Craft pitches that provide value
When pitching your contribution, focus on the value you can provide the host site and readers. Include your credentials, expertise, and unique angles on the topic. Avoid spammy pitches that only benefit you.
Align with the site’s niche and audience
Before submitting a post, read and engage with the blog you want to write for. Make sure your topic appeals to their niche and established readership. Tailor your content accordingly.
Provide useful, original content
Your guest posts should provide value to readers with useful insights and information. Avoid thin content created just for backlinks. Self-plagiarism is also prohibited. Create new, compelling content for each host site.
Include natural links where relevant
Do not force links from your guest post to your site. Instead, interlink relevant resources when it benefits the reader and flows naturally. Check that links are thematically related and useful.
Disclose you are a guest contributor
Always clearly identify yourself as a guest poster. Include a bio with links as permitted by the site’s editorial guidelines. Be transparent that you are not a staff writer.
Promote your post
To maximize impact, promote your guest posts on your own social media channels and email lists. But do not spam followers. Share quality contributions readers will appreciate.
Build relationships with hosts
Nurture your relationship with sites where you guest post. Share their content, provide valuable feedback, and stay engaged. This will lead to more opportunities.
How to Connect with Sites for Guest Posts
The first step to guest posting is identifying blogs accepting contributions in your niche. Here are some tips to find relevant sites:
- Check founder/editor bios for guest submission info. Many blogs share guidelines on pitching.
- Look for “Contribute,” “Write for us,” or “Guest Post Guidelines” pages.
- Use Google to search: “[your target keyword] + write for us”
- Try guest post aggregators like Chakravyuh, Skyscraper technique, and Frase.io to find opportunities.
- Use tools like BuzzSumo to identify influencers publishing popular content related to your keywords.
- Check blog comments and forums for bloggers seeking contributors.
Once you have a target list, focus on forging genuine connections with site editors and owners. Here are some outreach best practices:
- Warm up cold outreach by engaging with their content and social media. Comment on posts, share articles, etc.
- Personalize all pitches and relate your expertise to their brand. Avoid spammy templates.
- Be concise but compelling when proposing your contribution idea. Focus on the value for their audience.
- Follow up any pitches with a friendly reminder 1-2 weeks after. But avoid overly persistent outreach.
- Accept feedback graciously. Not all pitches will be accepted, and that’s okay.
- Express gratitude for accepted posts and nurture the relationship for potential future opportunities.
The key is building relationships with hosts as a respected industry peer. Contribute your knowledge to help others while expanding your reach.
Guest Posting Strategies and Best Practices
Now that you know how to connect with blogs and pitch your posts, let’s explore proven strategies to maximize your impact:
Choose quality over quantity
It’s better to have a few guest posts on authoritative, relevant sites than many posts on spammy or low-quality blogs. Focus on building relationships with a handful of industry leaders.
Get creative with multimedia
Consider including images, videos, charts, infographics, or slideshares as part of your guest post. These multimedia elements can help your content stand out.
Suggest content upgrades
Offer to create a compelling resource to accompany your post, like an infographic, checklist, or slide deck. These “content upgrades” provide more value for readers.
Repurpose top-performing content
Take your best-performing blog posts and update them for a new angle tied to the host’s niche. This gives your content a second life.
Promote your post
Share your guest posts on social media, email newsletters, and other channels. Let your followers know where you’ve been featured.
Link internally where appropriate
If your guest post touches on topics you’ve covered on your own blog, link to your relevant posts when beneficial to the reader.
Follow up after publication
After your guest post goes live, follow up with the website owner with a quick thank you. Share the piece on social media and ask if they’ll promote it too.
Request an editor bio
Having an “editor’s note” about you adds credibility. If allowed, politely ask the website owner to include an editor bio for you within the piece.
Provide helpful comments
After your guest post is live, check back and provide thoughtful comments to reader questions. This shows your commitment and expertise.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can develop an effective, value-driven guest posting campaign that builds legitimate links and authority.
Guest Posting Outreach Templates
When reaching out to prospective hosts, use these proven email templates:
Initial pitch email template
Subject line: Guest post contribution for [website name]
I’m [your name], and I run the website [YourWebsite.com], where I publish tips and insights about [your niche].
I’ve been following [website name] for a while now and love the helpful [niche] articles you share. I was hoping you accept occasional guest posts as I would love to contribute a piece to your blog.
Specifically, I could provide an in-depth guide to [guest post topic idea] that would provide value for your audience. I often cover [topic] at [YourWebsite.com], and believe I could put together a detailed, insightful post your readers would appreciate.
Please let me know if you are open to a guest contribution on this or another relevant topic. I would be thrilled at the opportunity to provide useful content for your readers!
Follow-up email template
Subject line: Following up regarding a guest post for [website name]
I just wanted to follow up on my previous email inquiring about the opportunity to contribute a guest blog post for [website name].
I understand you must receive many pitches, so I wanted to reiterate why I think my contribution could be a great fit:
[Summarize your expertise and unique angle on the topic]
[Propose what makes your contribution valuable for their audience]
Please let me know if you would be open to me submitting a post on this or another relevant topic. I would genuinely appreciate the opportunity.
Either way, keep up the amazing work with [website name]. I am always impressed with the quality insights you publish.
FAQs About Guest Blogging
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about guest posting:
What should you avoid when guest posting?
Avoid guest blogging solely as a means to build spammy, low-quality links. Also, refrain from using keyword-rich anchor text. Stick to branded anchor text links.
How do you come up with guest post topics?
Study the host site to identify gaps in their content. Think about timely, relevant topics that align with their niche. Brainstorm ideas that provide value.
How much time does guest posting take?
From research to outreach to writing, plan to spend 5-10 hours per guest post, depending on length and complexity. Give yourself enough runway.
How do you track guest post links?
Use Google Search Console to verify and index guest post links. You can also use link tracking software like Linkody and Moz to monitor backlinks.
Can guest posts go on any site?
Focus on reputable, trusted sites with an engaged audience and high domain authority in your industry. Avoid low-quality blogs.
How long should a guest post be?
Aim for long-form content between 1,500 – 2,000+ words. Short posts around 500 words can also work for personal/opinion pieces.
How much should you charge for a guest post?
Most guest posts are contributed for free in exchange for the backlink and exposure. However, some sites do pay freelance writers for posts.
The Takeaway on Guest Blogging
When executed correctly, guest blogging is a win-win for both host sites and contributing authors. As a contributor, you can expand your reach and credibility by providing value to blog readers.
Approach guest posting opportunities with a spirit of partnership. Seek out sites where you can lend your expertise in a way that genuinely helps their audience. This focus on value cements guest blogging as a worthwhile investment.
Need help with guest blogs? Contact 427 Digital today!