There are many benefits to running a blog. You can share ideas and information, promote your business, grow awareness of a cause, or just have fun with it. Almost anyone could think of at least one thing they could do with a blog.
Now that we have platforms such as WordPress and Joomla, millions of people around the world create their blogs with ease. Anyone can set one up in a matter of minutes, be it for personal or business purposes.
However, getting online is just the beginning. You also need to make people aware of your presence. To paraphrase, if a blog post is read by no one, it doesn’t have any value.
Here’s the deal:
One of the most popular — and effective — ways to establish your online presence is guest posting. Guest posting means creating a piece of content for another, preferably established blogger. Such publication can build your name and increase popularity.
Essentially, there are three ways you can benefit from writing guest posts.
First, you get a link to your website which directs users to you. This makes the post a driver of direct traffic.
Second, guest posts on established websites also build authority. Since the owner of a reputable website endorses you and your expertise, you become trustworthy. Users see your name and face under the post, and they remember who you are.
Third, the backlink you get counts towards SEO, meaning you get more organic search traffic. Backlinks are awesome!
Guest posting is an effective way to promote yourself online, especially when starting out. That’s why we’ve created this guide that walks you through all the steps of publishing a guest post.
Find Guest Posting Opportunities
If you’ve started a blog already, you probably already have some idea of where you’d like to post as a guest.
For example, it could be on a blog that you follow or just a popular site in your niche. That gives you a place to start but also poses a couple of problems.
The main issue with popular bloggers is precisely their popularity. If you’re new to blogging and are thinking about querying a prominent blogger in your niche, you can bet that hundreds of your peers are doing the same.
It can be challenging to get the attention of bloggers who made it big time. They can’t entertain queries from everyone. If they did, they’d be wasting both their time and yours.
By all means, if you can get hold of one of them, don’t miss the opportunity. However, you might need to grow a bit of a reputation before you have a realistic chance of being noticed.
That leaves you with the smaller blogs.
There are millions in total, thousands of which are most likely in your niche. Luckily, nobody expects you to sift through the lot manually.
The first one is obvious — you can Google it. Try typing in a keyword related to your niche followed by “guest post,” “write for us,” “posting guidelines,” etc. You should end up with a hefty list of websites that accept guest posts.
Another way to go about this is to spy on your competition. Find a successful blog in your niche and find out where they get their backlinks. Chances are a portion of the backlinks are from places that accept guest posts.
If you can afford it, you can use a tool that helps with link building. For instance, NinjaOutreach can be used to quickly find thousands of websites that accept guest posts. You can then filter them to find out exactly the ones you’d like to post for.
Needless to say, just because a site accepts guest posts, it doesn’t mean you must contact them. You should only write guest posts for quality websites with credibility.
Also, check out other guest posts on their site. You don’t want the backlink to be jammed in the corner where nobody can see it. A website that treats guest bloggers poorly is something you should avoid.
Lay the Groundwork
This is especially important when you’re planning to approach one of those high-profile bloggers we’ve mentioned. It doesn’t hurt with smaller bloggers either.
What we’re talking about is getting noticed by other bloggers without going straight for the guest post.
Here’s how you do it:
You can let them notice you first. Once they know who you are, they will be much more likely to accept your guest post proposal, so it’s good to establish a connection beforehand.
There are numerous ways to go about it.
Starting with the simplest, you can post a link to their content on your social media profile. You could also include a link to one of their posts in your content, no strings attached. Plenty of bloggers keep track of their backlinks, so they’re likely to notice.
It might surprise you how effective this is, but you should definitely try commenting on a few of their posts. Bloggers really appreciate this.
We can have a look at some stats that explain why. Posts made on WordPress alone get a total of 450 million comments a year. Sounds like a lot, right?
All things considered, only the most popular bloggers get numerous comments on each post. And even then, most of these come down to “great post,” “very informative,” and the like.
Therefore, if you come up with a long, insightful comment, the writer of the post is more than likely to notice. Plenty will remember it when you contact them about guest posting.
Later on, you can shoot them an email with a question about one of their posts or contribute your opinion. This will show them you are knowledgeable about the topic, and they’ll be more open to letting you guest post.
Only after you have established some form of rapport, consider sending a request for guest posting.
Indeed, the above approach takes time (but not much effort) but it helps create a genuinely useful contact that can have a lasting positive impact on your blogging career. As awesome as a backlink and a guest post are, the endorsement, expertise, and potential guidance of someone who has already walked the walk can be immense.
OK, so you’ve been noticed.
Now it’s time to talk about the actual guest post. It usually only takes a few emails to arrange everything, but there are still some things to keep in mind.
First things first:
You need to introduce yourself. Tell them who you are and why you like their work. A compliment can go a long way. You can even mention you’ve commented on their posts.
This is important.
You shouldn’t be afraid to showcase some of your own work. Include a link to an article on your blog. This will give them an idea of what kind of writing they can expect.
Lastly, you can pitch them a few guest post ideas. In all likelihood, they’ll just accept one of your suggestions. Just make sure that your ideas comply with their guest post guidelines. In case they don’t have any guidelines on the website you can simply ask about them.
If they don’t like your ideas, try to see if you can come to a compromise. Perhaps they can suggest some adjustments or they have an idea of their own that you might like. As long as you can handle the topic, there’s no reason not to go for it.
Also, while it’s important to be flexible, you don’t have to go with whatever they tell you. You might be getting a backlink out of the guest post, but they’re getting a piece of quality content for free, so you don’t owe anyone anything.
If you’re not comfortable with their demands, say so. Otherwise, you might just end up writing 8,000-word posts for every blogger out there.
Write the Guest Post
It’s finally time to put ink to the paper and write that guest post. There are a few things to consider here.
The topic should be related to your niche and relevant to the blogger’s site. Otherwise, both of you are wasting time with the post.
Other than that, keep two things in mind: post quality and length.
Where quality is concerned, you must do your best. Even though the post will not be on your blog, your name is still under it. If the post is low in quality, it reflects on your reputation (that is, if it doesn’t get rejected in the first place).
Write guest posts as if they were for your website. Make sure they’re original, readable, and insightful. Also, make them SEO-friendly, even if the other blogger doesn’t require this specifically.
With length, you can allow yourself a bit of fluctuation.
Most bloggers want posts to be as long as possible, as long-form content drives more traffic, claims Neil Patel. Still, going overboard on several high-quality guest posts may eat too much time away from your blog.
That’s why you need to negotiate the word count. There’s nothing wrong with submitting 750-1,000-word posts to smaller bloggers. You can reserve those 1,500+ articles for lucrative opportunities—let’s say if one of those blogs you’ve really wanted to guest post for.
Don’t worry, most bloggers won’t try to make you go along with something you don’t want.
All in all, the internet is ripe with guest post opportunities. All you need to do is establish a connection with other bloggers in the community and show them that you take your work seriously. Plenty of them will be happy to accept your guest post.
Remember all the things we’ve mentioned, and you’ll get plenty of exposure, traffic, and backlinks.
Best of luck with promoting your website!