I’ve been on a bit of a guest posting kick lately.
Guest posting is one of the best ways to build a stronger SEO profile as it helps develop your backlink profile and increase referral traffic back to your site.
We already talked about how to find guest posting strategies in your niche but as I’m currently focusing on finding guest posting opportunities myself, I thought I’d share some insights about how I’m approaching guest posting, what I look for in sites that offer guest posting opportunities, and how I’m tailoring my outreach emails to give myself the best shot at finding success.
Make a list of guest blogs
If you haven’t already created a list of websites that offer guest posting opportunities, you can refer to my last article on how to do that.
In short, we can use Google search to find blogs that allow guest posts.
Simply do a search for [niche/industry] + “write for us”
Putting text in quotes tells Google to look for an exact match. Be sure to replace what’s in the brackets with your target industry.
There are lots of variations you can use like [niche] +“submit guest post”, [niche] inurl:guestpost, or you can search for “top blogs that accept guest posts + [niche] to find already compiled lists of sites.
Start compiling a spreadsheet of the sites you find.
I recommend downloading the MozBar extension to add extra info to the SERP results like Moz’s domain authority score. This can give us a ballpark number of how authoritative a site is:
Continue to compile a list of around 50 sites along with:
- A link to their contributor guidelines (this link will be apparent if you use the search operator from above)
- The domain authority score of the website
You’ll eventually want to add a field for editor contact, contacted date, and other notes as well.
Weeding Out the Bad Blogs from the Good Ones
After you’ve compiled a decent list of blogs that accept blog posts, it’s time to find the cream of the crop. In my experience, not all sites that you come across will be good candidates for guest posting. In fact, most won’t be.
Some sites will have an outdated or poor design that screams “this site isn’t being looked after”.
Other sites will have poorly written or awkward wording that hurts the site’s credibility.
Many sites will charge for guest posts around $80-$120 because they have a high authority domain and can leverage that to make some extra money. You might be okay with paying for guest articles but that’s not really my objective. I want to earn links the old-fashioned way!
Ultimately, if we’re serious about guest posting, we want to find quality, reputable sites that are up to date and publish quality material. Additionally, we want to find sites that we can write for based on our knowledge and writing style.
Verify Traffic and Domain Authority
As I go down my list, one of the first things I’ll do is run the domain through a tool like SERanking‘s Competitive Research Tool. This will give me an idea of their domain’s trust score (authority) and their monthly traffic:
As I mentioned in a previous post, we want to find websites that have a strong domain score as well as strong organic traffic numbers.
A higher domain score will help provide us with some good backlink authority and a website that receives healthy monthly traffic will help us gain some more page traffic to our own site.
We want to aim for sites with a higher domain score than our own.
Study their site
Once I’ve found a blog with a healthy profile, the next thing I want to do is verify it’s a quality site with good content.
You want to find a site that your voice would be a good fit for, where you can receive decent exposure with an audience that is engaged in interested in what you can offer.
To start figuring that out, I’ll head over to the blog section of their site and check out some of the recent posts.
Pay attention to the post title as this will give you a sense of who their audience is.
Are the posts more specific, targeting a more advanced audience or are they more simple and basic? This will help to inform the topics you suggest when you write your outreach email.
Read through a few of their posts to see how they’re formatted and how they credit their guest authors. If you can’t find any recent posts by a guest author, you can find guest posts on a website by searching in Google for site:[URL of website] author bio
You want to make sure they credit their authors with a backlink at the end of the guest post. If not, you’ll want to clarify with the publisher beforehand or forego the website altogether.
Making Your Pitch
Once you’ve found a site with healthy metrics (domain score, traffic) and you’ve investigated their blog for quality and to make sure you’re a good fit, it’s time to craft your outreach email.
You should have a link to the contributor guidelines. If not, search site:[URL of site] + contributor guidelines. On that page, you’ll see what their requirements are as well as an email to contact them with.
You want to make your email outreach short and sweet and include these 3 things:
- Tell them who you are and why you’d like to contribute to the blog
- Pitch them 3 topics that you think would be a good fit based on the style and content you found on their website
- Link to 3 samples of your past work or other published articles you’ve written
Here’s an example of an email I’ve sent:
Subject: Guest Post Contribution
My name’s David and I’m the owner and lead SEO at Peak Websites. I think you’re doing a great job on your blog providing easy to understand information to business owners and I’d like to contribute an article.
I’ve put together a few ideas that I think your audience might enjoy:
– SEO vs. SEM: What’s the difference?
– Is SEO Worth It? The Value of SEO
– Local SEO: Top 10 Strategies in 2022
Here are a few links to recent articles I’ve written:
Please let me know if one of the topics I suggested would be a good fit for you and I’ll get to work. Otherwise, if there’s another topic you’d like covered on your website, I’d be happy to write on that topic as well.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Based on the website I’m pitching to, I’ll vary my topic ideas. If the site is more basic, I’ll try to pitch them similar post ideas. Alternatively, if the site is more advanced, I’ll make my topic ideas more compelling.
Once you’ve sent off your outreach email, note the date in your spreadsheet as well as other notes like the topics you pitched and any reminders you might leave for yourself, e.g.: follow up about author bio backlinks.
Continue to repeat this process.
You might need to reach out to 20 different blogs to receive 3 positive replies but as long as you’re reaching out to the right blogs – blogs with good metrics, cohesive look and tone, relevant audience – you’ll save time and maximize the effectiveness of your guest post outreach efforts.
Keep track of your progress in your spreadsheet and keep going down the list!
Guest posting definitely has its benefits but not every blog that offers guest posting will be worth your time and effort. By spending a little extra time investigating a websites domain metrics and past articles, you can find blogs that offer the balance of quality and relevancy, and better tailor your outreach email to maximize your ROI.
I hope you learned something by reading this post. If I missed anything or you have any tips you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!