The Newbies Guide to Guest Blogging

19 Apr

The Newbies Guide to Guest Blogging

"tim lowe" "tims minions" "guest blogger"

So it seems Google is on a rampage trying to clear the web of spam in favour of a web full of great content. You still need links back to your site and with Google killing of link farms and networks while overlooking  article directories, what is left?

Guest blogging, this is a perfect win-win scenario, Google gets high quality content and you get valuable links back to your site. With the bonus of having a ready-made readership who will see your link for free.

[Affiliate marketing – Why you should have an affiliate marketing blog]

Here is how you can get the best out of the traffic generating, link building guest blogging method.

Build a portfolio of your content

Blog owners that you contact for a guest posting will more likely want to see some past content so they can review your skills and writing styles. If you are new to this and do not have any previous guest posts to show them, use your own blog as your quality content portfolio.

If you have other websites that you write for, articles on directories or content that you have had published on sites elsewhere make sure you provide these to the person who you want to consider you for a guest blogging post. The more samples of quality content that you provide will give you a much greater chance of having your posts accepted.

Finding the best blogs to guest on

There are several ways that you can find good blogs to guest write for.

Google Search is your first port of call, type in your niche keyword with words such as ‘guest post, guest post by, guest blogging, guest bloggers, and write for us’ these will throw up results of sites that are accepting guest bloggers.

If you follow a certain person and you know they do a lot of guest blogging, type their name into Google with ‘guest post’ or ‘guest post by’ and again you should get a result of sites that are taking guest posts.

Twitter is another great place to do a search, like before, type the suggested keywords into Twitters search bar and hit search. This will bring you back Tweets and People who have said they are looking for guest bloggers.

Check the backlinks of websites in your niche that you know or believe get a lot of their links from guest blogging. Use Open Site Explorer and look at the links to find blogs that are accepting guest posts.

Every site will give you different ‘link juice’ strength. This is down to factors such as PageRank and domain authority. As a newbie this may be all new to you so before you have mastered site statistics here are a few pointers to get started that can result in better ‘link juice’ quickly.

Blog posts that have your author bio and link at the top before the content, has a better link value than blogs that put the author bio and link below the post at the bottom. The author bio below the post is better than having it placed as a comment below the post.

A blog that has your link and author bio on the same post page is better than having them on an author page. This is better for getting clicks through to your website.

Where people have to click on your name only to be sent to an author page where they see your bio and links will result in a far less CTR.

A blog that offers more than one link in the author bio is better as you can link to more than one site, or two different pages of the site. If you find blogs that offer two links then that is excellent as you can have a link to the homepage (for SEO purposes) and another to a free report or top post as a traffic enticer.

A bonus is if you get a blog that allows you to link to your social media profiles where the reader can follow you on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ etc. At least if they decide not to click through to your site you might still get them as a follower which is still good as you are able still to direct them to your site later.

Avoid nofollows, blogs that mark the links in your author bio as nofollow will not count to your Backlinking profile and you have wasted a lot of time and effort creating a great post.

Organising your guest blogging strategy

When you find new blogs who take guest blogging posts, you want to take a note of them for future projects. You may get turned down at first due to them being fully booked up with guest post but a few months later there may be spaces available.  They may want you to write more posts for them in the future and if you do loads of postings to many sites but do not keep a record you may just forget who they were and where to find them.

It is wise to keep a record of all the posts that you have written that have been published along with the site and the article URL. I use a spread sheet were I keep the details of the sites that I have contacted, their answers, and any dates.

I also keep a record of which article was sent where and when and if they were accepted or not. If they were not accepted for whatever reason I know that I can send it off to someone else.

It could be advantageous to log the contact name and details of the person you will be dealing with, any guidelines that the site wants you to adhere to.

Build a relationship with the blog owner or editor

When you have made contact with several blogs or at least found some you would like to write for, you will need to connect with them through Facebook and Twitter and start to interact and comment on their posts. Comment on the posts on their blog as well to open up dialogue with them.

It is well know that people are more likely to pass work to those that they know and like. So it is important that you build up a relationship with these people. It can take time but once the relationship is built it is a good footing for becoming a guest writer for them.

Obviously some people may offer you a post from the start on the strength of your past content and writing skills so do not ‘not’ send them your stuff asking for a guest post position before starting connecting. We do that if we need to work on being accepted.

Once accepted you should carry on connecting, it’s very important that you do not just use them and dump then, after all, if you get good traffic from their site, wouldn’t you want to do it again?

If you know people who write for blogs you are interested in writing for, gently try and get your friend to introduce your content to the blog owner. Being recommended by one of the sites regular writers will launch your status higher than just another email in the inbox requesting contact.

There is the normal offline networking method but how many blogging or IM networking events do you go to? If you are able to go to many network events then brilliant, get talking to people, swap cards and then contact them later. Remind them where you met and what you chatted about, that will help them recognise you as a person again lifting you higher than just a stranger asking for a posting. 

Learning the art of guest blogging

It is advised that before you contact any blog about a guest posting you go through their guidelines and make sure you understand what it is that they want and do not want. Every site has their own requirements.

Some blogs may require you to email your posts to them in a specific format like Word or Text file, whereas others require you to set up an account and submit it through the dashboard fully formatted and ready to publish.

Some blogs may take what you have pre written or they may want you to write a topic of their choice. Because you want to write about a topic doesn’t meant the blog wants it. It might just not fit their style of website or maybe they recently did a post of that nature and want something different for the next few months.

Take a look at the word length of the articles on the site, a 500 word post will not be accepted on a site that generally has posts that are 1000+. The same applies for sites that thrive on short snappy posts, a long in depth post would be a turn off for them. Write accordingly.

Look for their link policy, if they do not allow any at all, it’s not worth considering writing for them.

Submitting your best guest post

Once you know what type of post you are submitting in topic and length you need to write a high quality and easy to read post that is customized for that extra bit of blog loving. Do a search of the blog and look for one or two articles that are similar to the one you are submitting and link to these articles in the body of your text.

Do not link to your articles; this is for the site where your guest post will be published. If you are allowed to link to your site in the post then go for it but this is about pleasing the blog owner, making a good post, building up a relationship and hopefully a future where you will be asked back.

If you are asked to or you are able to, format the post to match the rest on the site. Adding the same calls to actions at the end of the post, adding images and same style headings will make it look like it was written by the blog owner. Again this will help it get accepted.

If your post is going to be a helpful tutorial type that recommends resources then make sure that the resources that you link to are current. There is nothing worse than clicking through a link to try out a ‘screen capture’ software only to find out that it has been offline for the last year.

Writing the all-important author bio for conversions and link building

As important as the post is, for you the most vitally important part is your author bio. The best way to do this is to take a look at other posts and see how their authors have their bios. Copy them, have the same amount of words and links in as they do. You know it should be accepted if it matches those that already have.

What is important is having your bio stand out to the blogs readers. If your site is all about martial arts but your post is being published on a site dedicated to Karate, put in your bio a Karate related reason for them to visit your site. Sounds obvious, it is but it is also overlooked by many.

For example you could use a standard bio of ‘ Andi Leeman  is the author of Martial Arts World, the website for the world of  Martial Arts.’ Or you could go for the more reader enticing ‘Andi Leeman is the author of Martial Arts World, A blog full of Karate news & tutorials.’

Google is clamping down on over optimization so try not to use your chosen keyword ‘anchor text’ every time. Mix it up a bit, use a non-keyword based anchor text like your name, business name and link to the homepage or link to another page on your site with similar material.

Now it is time to start to build up your backlinks and drive traffic to your site. For every post on your blog, you may want to write 4 or 5 as guest posts for other sites that drive traffic to your own site.  So now all I have left to say is go out there and start writing. Quentin Minion

 

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