Content Marketing

How to Guest Post and Actually Get Links & Traffic to Your Website

Is guest blogging dead? The short answer: No. Here, 79 experts share how they find, land, and secure guest blog opportunities that actually get links.

Elise Dopson Elise Dopson on October 9, 2019 (last modified on October 22, 2019) • 35 minute read

“Guest blogging is dead.”

Hands up if you’ve heard that phrase, combined with this ancient blog post on Matt Cutt’s site, and crossed guest posting off your priority list.

Fancy hearing some surprising news? Guest blogging isn’t dead.

In fact, our experts are using them to land coverage, reach a targeted pool of people (who happen to be their ideal customers), and soaring to the top of Google–all thanks to guest posting.

How’d you fancy doing the same?

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about guest posting:

Click the links above to jump to a specific section, or continue scrolling to learn more about how you can make guest blogging a key component of your marketing strategy.

The benefits of guest posting

Before we dive in with the tutorials, let’s iron-out why guest posting should be a strategy you’re using to grow your site.

Firstly, guest posting positions your brand in front of a new, targeted audience–without paying for it. (Instead, you’re paying in the form of content.)

Not only that, but guest posting gives you the opportunity to send those people back to your website. If you’re able to convince them that you’re an expert in your industry and they shouldn’t miss out on your content, why wouldn’t they head over to your site through the link in your author bio?

You might also be asking “is guest posting good for SEO?“.

Because website owners who accept guest bloggers allow their writers to include a backlink to their website in return for their content, you can build high-quality links (especially if they allow links in the body of content itself.)

Remember: The more backlinks a website has, the stronger it tends to rank in search.

*Editor’s note: Check whether the backlinks you already have pointing to your site are improving your on-site metrics with our Link Analysis Dashboard. You’ll be able to see which guest posts drive the most referral traffic, and how many pages they view, all on one dashboard:

How to find guest blogging opportunities

Search for guest blogging search queries

Garret Seevers of Azuga thinks you should “utilize Google to find sites that accept guest posts on topics you’re going to write about.”

In fact, it’s the most popular way to find guest blogging opportunities, according to our experts:

Seevers continues: “For example, in your search you can type out your keyword + “write for us” or keywords + “become a contributor”. These queries tell Google that you’re looking for topics based on your keyword along with URL’s that include sites that accept guest posts.”

However, Franco Colomba adds: “Using tools but with a little help of search query modifiers + your variation of keywords. Using this method pulls in a lot of results that otherwise might be skipped over by using a tool (software) that might of not captured it all.”

Colomba explains: “Also installing Moz bar and Ahrefs toolbar you can find excellent sites to build links too without a problem!”

Offer to write for the sites that pitch you

What happens when you’ve exhausted a Google search and have ran out of places to guest post on?

Colton De Vos says the Resolute Technology Solutions website has a “write for us page where visitors will often submit topic ideas or articles in their entirety.”

“Once a submission makes it through our vetting process, I’ll often inquire if there is an opportunity to publish a guest post on their site as well.”

De Vos continues: “I’ve already looked into their domain authority and determined if they are listed as linking to low-authority or spam sites and we’ve built a relationship by accepting, editing, and publishing a guest post of theirs.”

“Its not foolproof but can be a decent way to build links with contacts you are already working with and who understand the process and level of quality required in guest posts.”

It’s a tactic the team at AeroLeads also use to find guest blogging opportunities, according to Sheejo George: “We have created a page in or site for bloggers where the blogger sends their guest-post request to us, and in return for publishing their guest-post, we ask them to accept our guest-post too.”

Analyze your competitor’s backlinks

Your competitors are likely publishing guest posts on other blogs in your industry.

According to MD Mohsin Ansari, the team at Troop Messenger use this to their advantage by starting “with a backlink analysis of our competitor to check whether the links are pointing back to their site or not. We learned that most of the high authority links are coming through their guest posts alone. Then we have pitched ideas of them and got results.”

That’s why MailCharts‘ Tom Buchok thinks “there’s definitely something to be said about thinking outside of the box.”

“Once you take a peak at what your competitors are doing by checking out their backlinks, chances are that you’ll probably see some opportunities that you can take advantage of as well.”

“If one site is accepting guest contributions within a particular niche, then come up with a topic that’s really innovative, and show off your expertise.”

Robbie Richards also advises to “reverse engineer your competitor’s success. I like to use the SEMrush Traffic Analytics report to quickly find which sites are referring the most traffic to my competitors on a monthly basis.”

*Editor’s note: Struggling to view your competitor’s backlink profile because you don’t have access to SEMrush? We have templates available for Moz and AccuRanker, meaning you can analyze your competitor’s backlinks easily:

Network with other site owners

Mailbird‘s Andrea Loubier thinks that “networking is key to landing high-quality guest post opportunities [if you] keep your finger on the pulse of what’s available, and who can facilitate your requests.”

“For example, the business messaging app Slack has several groups where you can find blogs looking for guest posts, or marketers who are looking for quotes. HARO is also a great way to make connections. What might start off as a professional quote could lead to a full-blown guest post.”

But regardless of which technique you use to find guest posting opportunities, MarketMuse‘s Stephen Jeske thinks you should “stop approaching guest blogging as though it’s a numbers game. Instead, take a highly targeted approach.”

“Focus on sites within your niche, or closely related, that are at a level slightly above yours.”

What makes a good guest blogging site?

When searching for sites to guest post on, Joe Robison of Green Flag Digital “recommend[s] going for the most relevant, strongest sites in your industry.”

“Too often, guest posting is seen as a scalable methodology that should be systematized and delegated to lower-experienced colleagues. But I think that can be a misstep.”

“While there is a place for that, when not enough attention is paid to the quality and targets you’re reaching out to, what you end up with is a lot of mediocre posts on mediocre sites.”

Robison says: “High-quality guest posting is 10x better than low quality guest posting, so the tip is to aim high and spend more time on the right sites.”

Our experts said that a relevant topic was the most important characteristic for a guest post, followed by a site with high domain authority:

Code Authority‘s Patricio Quiroz agrees: “For example, if you are a general contractor and you specialize in home renovations. Then a guest post on a website like HomeAdvisor will bring more link equity to your website than a website about lawn care services, etc.”

“By guest posting on relevant websites and providing genuine, helpful, and relevant content, you will be establishing yourself as an authoritative source in your industry,” Quiroz adds.

However, Beacon Digital Marketing‘s John Reinesch maximizes the impact of their guest posts using Domain Authority: “After I come up with an initial list of guest blog prospects I use a series of SEO data to prioritize the best opportunities that will have the most impact.”

“The best metric to quickly gauge the impact of the guest post link has been the amount of organic traffic the website I am going to pitch gets from organic search. I typically get that estimate from Ahrefs or SEMrush.”

Reinesch continues: “Looking for websites that actually get organic traffic and not just looking for “write for us” pages has had a big impact on my clients campaigns and has helped us maximize the impact of the links we acquire.

“We spend less time pitching and writing for low quality websites and can really focus in on what will truly help.”

Quincy Smith of ESL Authority explains: “If you spend 5min to plug their site into Ahrefs and find a good topic that they haven’t covered (even better if their competitors have) then your pitch is so much stronger – you know the topic will drive traffic, you have the SEO research to prove it, and assuming you’re representing a legit company then most people are going to accept.”

Alice Stevens of Best Company adds: “Researching each site before sending a pitch will also help you target sites with high domain ratings. The higher the domain rating, the more valuable the links in your guest post will be for your site.”

How to build relationships before you pitch

“Guest blogging is not about content quality but relations and exchange,” says Lesley Vos of Bid4Papers. “To succeed here, you need to build a network and demonstrate what’s in your expertise that can bring value to those you’re pitching with guest posts.”

So, how can you build relationships with the editors before you pitch a guest post? Our experts share their best tips.

Look at the topics they write about

WowMakers‘ Cibin KS thinks you should “do the research before you pitch. Find a niche-specific topic, most of the website owners and editors like to accept actionable content, so don’t just push some generic topics.”

Emily Banks of Inseev Interactive adds: “Before pitching a topic idea, be sure to do a site search on the domain you would like to be featured on so that you are not pitching ideas that have already been posted.”

“No matter how great of a writer you are or what recognizable domains have previously published your work, if you fail to do your due diligence and check out the publication prior to your pitch, you are more likely to get turned down.”

Engage with them on social media

Once you’ve found the topics your target publication writes about, it’s time to take your relationship-building a step further.

Bonjoro‘s Casey Hill thinks “a great way you can develop the relationship is through social media engagement, reaching out with a relevant note on Linkedin, engaging on Facebook or Twitter posts them make etc.”

Beaconstac‘s Sneh Choudhary explains: “Subscribe to newsletters or emails of websites where you want to guest post. Research on the topics that they usually write about and come up with a topic and outline that fits. Reply to their emails with your pitch and ask to be connected to the right person.”

Give before you take

When we asked Referral Rock for their best guest blogging technique, Megan Mosley said: “Always give before you take; I have found that if you offer something in return most likely the other business will accept your offer to guest post.’

“For example, “I mentioned you in this article,” or “I shared your article with my audience.” Because for the most part, guest posts are sort of top-level information, and if you want people to publish them for you, you need to offer something in addition to the post (because let’s face it, many people want to guest post for their own gain).”

Juicer‘s Shawn Pillar adds: “Try first mentioning the target site you’re looking to be featured on, in a blog post or in a guest post on another site.”

“This not only shows them that you’re willing to be a team player, but it also displays right off the bat what the quality of your team’s writing skills are. It can also help establish a repertoire between you and the target site.”

“And, sometimes, your target site may even see your mention and be the ones to reach out to you. This has happened to us quite a few times,” Pillar notes.

In fact, it’s how EmailMeForm‘s Aiza Coronado landed a guest post on the Databox blog: “I just submitted an answer to one of your round-up posts… and I was offered the chance to expand my answer in the form of a separate blog post.”

“He invited me to be a guest on his podcast about Growth Hacking. After the interview, we talked a bit and he asked me if I was interested to contribute a guest post about what I talked about [SaaS onboarding] on his company blog,” Coronado adds.

Summarizing, Mr. SR of Semi-Retire Plan writes: “Offer guest post or interview opportunities on your own site. Respond to posts that ask for questions or input. As you get to know site owners and writers, they may let you know of guest post opportunities.”

“You will have built rapport shown your expertise, and you’re now in a better position to have mutually beneficial relationships with other site owners.”

How to pitch your guest post

“Identifying a site to guest post is one thing, but how you pitch the site is make it or break it,” says SuperOffice‘s Steven Macdonald.

“Get the pitch wrong and no matter how good your content is, it’ll never be published.”

Here are our experts’ tips on how you can write a guest post pitch”

Find the right person to pitch to

Patricio Quiroz of Code Authority thinks it’s important to “make sure you are reaching out to the right person [because] you can lose time and effort by compiling a list of prospects to reach out to and then end up using the wrong email.”

“You can use a chrome extension called Hunter, which instantly gives you a list of emails found on a given website.”

The majority of our experts pitch the editor directly (versus a standard submissions form):

However, Living Low Key‘s David Pipp says: “I’m going to try to reach out directly to the website owner. I think it’s much easier to make a connection and build a working relationship with them when you are speaking directly to the owner.”

“I have tried to work through content managers and personal assistants before and it never produces decent results.”

Signity Solutions‘s Priyanka Mehra also advises to “to pitch to the editor or website owner from the high authority profile like CEO, content manager, etc. who have an online presence over various social media platforms.”

Know their expectations upfront

“One guest blogging tip that has worked for me is to know ALL of the expectations ahead of time,” writes Kathryn Roberts of Quest for $47.

“I want to know exactly what kind of blog content I need to create for this publication, if/how I can pitch, and what the expectations are for me to also promote the content. I also want to know how large the platform is for the blog I am writing for and how my guest post is going to be promoted to the owners’ audience.”

Roberts adds: “When you go into a guest posting relationship knowing as many of the outcomes as you can predict, you can then determine if the posting opportunity is worth your time, and how you should go about crafting your original post.”

Jakub Kliszczak adds: “99% of emails I get [at CrazyCall], (and likely, most of the marketers) regarding guest posting do not take into account our style, requirements, or topics.”

“If you care so little that taking a minute to skim through a few blog posts and requirements page is too much then no one is going to accept your guest posts.”

What should my pitch include?

“You can write the most appealing pitch ever but if you don’t provide great writing samples (preferably published by top magazines) it will be very hard to convince anyone that you can write the guest post they won’t mind to publish,” writes 10Web‘s Araks Nalbandyan.

G2‘s Lauren Pope shares a quick checklist your guest blogging email should contain:

  1. “A personalized introduction that shows you’ve done your research
  2. An introduction about you, your title, your company, and why you’re an expert
  3. 3-5 different article ideas that align with their company brand”

Pope adds: “Show them that you know what you’re doing. Link to your writing portfolio or highlight similar pieces you’ve written. If done correctly, it will make THEM feel as though you’re doing them a favor, not the other way around.”

Anthony Gaenzle agrees: “Dig through their existing posts in depth, check out who’s commenting, look at which articles and topics are most popular and use this info to your advantage when developing a pitch.”

As does John Breeze of Happysleepyhead, who thinks “one of the ways to do that is to show your previous guest posts or other contributions to trusted websites you’ve made before (assuming they are good).”

Dhruv Mehta shares the template they use at The Next Scoop:

Hello [Their Name],

[Write your name with interests and current designation]

One piece of your content [“Mention their recent and relevant blog post matching your ideas”] caught my attention.

[One line description praising their content and how it helps you achieving growth]

[Describe how your future article will help their readers to get some knowledgeable insights]

  • [Title 1]
  • [Title 2]
  • [Title 3]

You can check out my previously published articles here:

  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3

Let me know what you think? I’d love to hear some feedback!

Thank you for taking the effort to read the Email.

However, Content Kapow‘s Priscilla Tan thinks you should keep your guest post pitch short and sweet: “Keep it ultra-brief, < 70 words. Start with your intention, a proposed headline, and writing clips to prove your credentials. That’s it!”

Use a branded email address

You could create the best pitch in the world, but you need to convince people to open your email, first.

Brian Jensen has a smart workaround: “Use a branded company email when performing outreach on behalf of a client.”

“Inboxes are littered with spam; show that you are legitimate by working with your client to set up a branded email that you can use for outreach and PR,” Jensen adds.

In fact, it’s a tactic that worked for Jensen’s team at Congruent Digital: “We saw our acquisition rate rise dramatically once we ditched the Gmail accounts and started connecting with publishers using a branded email account and signature.”

Personalize your pitch

“The majority of guest post pitchers send out generic template emails, or blast out a broadcast to a list of websites that accept guest posts,” says Josh Barney of Einstein Marketer. “They are easy to spot and even easier to ignore (without responding to).”

Surface SEO‘s Carlo Barajas agrees: “I can’t tell you how many templates I’ve seen given away online alongside articles about scaling your outreach efforts, and once they go live, everyone and their dog starts using them word for word (despite the author’s instructions).”

“These days, people can smell a templatized email a mile away, so please, personalize your messages or else they’re going to end up straight in the Trash.”

BestCompany.com‘s Alayna Okerlund adds: “Frankly, it can be exhausting to see your inbox fill with those types of emails. After all, why would you want to have a person write an entire guest post for your site if they couldn’t even take the time to write you a legitimate email pitch?”

“By putting yourself in the shoes of the person you are trying to pitch to, you will be able to come up with a more personalized take on the typical guest post pitch email,” Okerlund says.

Fancy taking personalization to the next level?

Even if you’re working from a template, SmartBug Media’s Drew Cohen says: “If you’re using an SEO tool, many have link building features that will help you pull in contact information of a specific domain. You can do a little research of the email address and personalize your messaging even further.”

In fact, Moosend‘s Nick Dimitriou also “showcases them which keywords we would be targeting [in the guest post] and how much the CPC is, and what’s the expected traffic value.”

Don’t limit your pitch to email

“Lots of people send emails,” says James Pollard of The Advisor Coach. “As a blogger myself, I get dozens of these “guest post” pitches every single week. I literally cannot get back to everyone. However, someone who sends a piece of direct mail will stand out above everyone else.”

That’s why Pollard thinks: “One of the best guest blogging tips that has worked for me is to send a piece of physical mail as an introduction. I personally send an article or something that I think will interest the blogger. I also include a handwritten note to personalize it even more.”

Your Money Geek‘s Michael Dinich also steers clear from traditional email, hence why they have “had the best results pitching guest posts by reaching out to site owners or editors via Twitter.”

“I always let the site owner know that I will share the post on my social media channels and in exchange for letting me guest post that would share 2 of their posts on social media. Additionally, I let them know I will link to the guest post from my press page.”

Dinch says that “offering something in return and making a personal connection with the site owner has been significantly more effective than sending cold emails.”

Send a few article ideas in your pitch

“When sending your initial guest post pitch, send three or four relevant topic suggestions for the site owner or editor to choose from,” advises Hausera‘s Wesley Ward.

“By doing this, are showing the site owner you are interested in creating fresh content specifically for their domain and not just interested in promoting a product or gaining a backlink.”

Gladice Gong of Earn More Live Freely also says: “When you write your pitch, you need to give an outline of your guest post with descriptions for each and why you want to include that.”

Choice Mutual‘s Anthony Martin thinks this is important because “in the end, giving them the freedom to choose it what matters. Most will have you come up with the ideas they get to select from. This is the most desirable outcome since you can select topics from your most proficient areas of expertise.”

Write like a human (because you are!)

“Inboxes are a busy, saturated space,” says Search It Local‘s Alexander Porter. “If you want to improve your guest blogging, stop following ‘best practices’ and speak to your contacts like the humans they are – not the SEO opportunities everyone else sees them as.”

“Don’t open with benefits or features or value or any other jargon-based buzzword. Introduce yourself. Explain why you’re touching base and why your email will be the most valuable one they’ll read all day.”

“Don’t be afraid to add character. Inject your personality. And most of all, stand out,” Porter adds.

Megan Hultquist of HQdigital agrees: “Remember that it’s a real human that you’re reaching out to. Do your research on both the individual person and the company so you can add some colorful context to your request.”

Looka‘s Christine Glossop concludes: “A lot of guest bloggers forget that the person they’re pitching to is just that—a person. Thinking about their goals and needs as you craft your pitch will boost your chances of catching their attention in the inbox.”

Prepare several guest post pitches

You’ve written your pitch, sent direct mail to your target editor, and built a relationship with them through social media.

TopLine Comms‘ Dana Stoof thinks you should also “prepare different versions of your pitch. Depending on how substantial and involved your idea is, you may want to prepare several levels to your pitch.”

“For example, you may have a big document or PowerPoint presentation breaking down your idea into the finer details, but also have a very short 2-minute elevator pitch to give the short and sweet version of your idea.”

Stoof continues: “By having both options prepared ahead of time, you can use whichever one the situation calls for.”

Don’t forget to follow-up

Ever heard the phrase “the power is in the follow-up?”

‘Follow-ups are really important. Send multiple emails if necessary,” says Rajnish Kumar of Preparing For GRE.

“There is no science behind this but use the rule 2-5-7-21 to follow up. Follow up after 2nd day of sending the email if you didn’t get any response then do the follow up next 5,7 and 21 days.”

aTrendHub‘s Nayan Malpani adds: “With direct email, you have an option to follow-up as many times as you like. Do not hesitate to sent follow-up mail regularly (Don’t make it look spammy). Twice a week will work in the initial stages. Later, make it once a week.

How to write an incredible guest post

Abdul Moiz thinks you should “focus on providing value to the host site. With your first guest post, make self-promotion secondary to providing extraordinary value.”

But how do you write a guest post that convinces an editor to press “publish” on your content?

Write for the site first and foremost

Harris Schachter of OptimizePrime LLC recommends “writing with the site in mind, rather than writing an article first and then trying to retrofit it into the target site.”

“If you can glean things like their voice and tone, language/verbiage, reading level, and even include visuals similar to the site, it will be much easier to pitch it.”

Schachter adds: “Much like a cover letter for a resume, you can have the same basic material but customize it specifically for each opportunity.”

Pick a topic their audience would enjoy

Sam White of GT Automotive thinks you should “make time to get to know the audience [by reading] blogs on the platform that getting the best interaction levels, and build ideas from there.”

“Understand the audience like the editor and you’ll improve your guest blogging efforts,” White adds.

“My favorite would have to be researching competition and checking what guest posts do better in my niche, in terms of length, formatting and, of course, topic,” notes Tea Liarokapi of Moosend.

“Going through with that kind of research is practically what helps make or break a guest post, seeing as there are specific things most blogs are interested in.”

Liarokapi adds: “Having done that kind of research gives the author a competitive edge when pitching the guest post, seeing as it maximizes the possibility of getting a positive answer.”

Namecheap‘s Rodney Brazil has a smart workaround: “Reading a company’s reviews is a great way to get a sense of their customer demographics because people will often reveal personal details and usage information, both good and bad.”

Corey Haines Refactoring Growth thinks good guest post ideas are “in line with their other content, covers a topic they haven’t yet, has search volume you can bring to their blog, or has unique data points you can provide.”

Alistair Dodds shares the process they used at Ever Increasing Circles: “Check which topics the target blog has covered in depth in the past three to six months and which ones, in your knowledge base, they have left either untouched or not covered in great detail.”

“Then analyze the manner in which they like to cover a given topic in great detail and map out a similar structure for your given topic. Then pitch your suggested topic, title and article structure to the content manager.”

Dodds explains: “We find this process ensures the highest chance for success as you’re demonstrating a deep level of knowledge on the subject matter as well as showing that you have analyzed how the content manager likes to present articles.”

“This in itself builds confidence and rapport and lowers the likelihood of them offering an empty excuse for not accepting your pitch.”

Summarizing, Jake Hay of PopShorts says: “Think about how you can add value to the site by responding to what’s on the site, providing additional information on a popular topic, and writing something new on a topic that is likely to be popular with your audience.”

Go into detail

Gajizmo‘s Gary Dek says: “While some guest blogging services try to get the content produced cheaply, often writing only 500 to 700 words to keep costs low, I find it more impactful to always submit 1000+ words of content to the hosting site.”

“The benefits are you’ll get less push back from the publisher and there is a higher chance that the guest post will actually rank well, sending you referral traffic in the process. Ultimately, this sends another positive signal to Google.”

It’s true; long-form content tends to rank better in organic search:

ContentNinja‘s Mayank Gulati agrees: “Every publication or editor is on the look-out for contributors who can add long-standing value for them.”

“Yes, it might seem as if it won’t justify to put the effort of a long-form content for guest posts. But I’ve realised that it is good practice. For one, offering long-form content lands YESs from the editors easily.”

John Atwood of Health Club Consultants adds: “Blog owners are smarter than ever, and they can easily check your post for duplicate content, or rather a very similar version is already posted on a competitor’s website.”

Finder.com‘s Allan Givens summarizes: “Do not pitch something you would not want to put on your own website.”

“It might sound obvious but if you are not willing to put in the same effort you would content for your own page then you might not get the results you want. Editors and writers want quality on their site, not a fly by piece you wrote just for the link(s).”

Write about a topic you have experience with

When pitching ideas, TraduccioNOLA‘s Andrew Dafoe thinks you should “search the topic you’re discussing and make sure your key points don’t overlap with existing content on the first page of Google. If someone can easily find your answer, it isn’t actually helpful.”

According to G2‘s Rebecca Reynoso, you can do that by “writing about something you already have expertise in but are still capable of finding external sources to validate your knowledge will ensure that your guest post is of most value to your reader.”

Include internal links from their site

“Guest posts typically allow you to include anywhere from 2-5 links to your domain or blog content,” G2‘s Devin Pickell explains.

“A tip I have is to include an equal amount of internal links for the guest’s domain or blog content as well. Even better, include images from the guest’s website. You get the benefit of backlinks from their domain, they still get recognition in the blog.”

“I rarely see guest bloggers do this nowadays, but every time I’ve done it, it helps cultivate relationships and future content opportunities.”

“Remember, these blogs are meant to provide mutual benefits,” Pickell adds.

Add links to your site within the content

You’ve added internal links to give the publication a hand. But what about your own website? (Isn’t that the reason why you’re guest posting?)

Emma White of Multi Layer Media says: “If you don’t want your guest post links to be removed, link out to relevant content on your site instead of home pages and sales pages.”

“Content is more helpful to the blog’s readers so the owner is more likely to keep the link rather than remove it. Just make sure it is truly relevant!”

“You may be able to write 2 sentences to tie in the link you want, but if it’s easy to take those 2 sentences out and it not affect the post as a whole, the text and your link aren’t relevant,” White adds.

Link to potential guest blogging sites in your own content

“Gurus who monetize their online presence are always excited to get shout-outs,” Branko Kral of B King Digital thinks.

That’s why Kral advises to “reference and link to guru content in your guest articles. Then ping those experts over Twitter, email and LinkedIn. Just drop them a personal note, without even asking them for anything.”

“If they respond, keep the conversation alive and you’re likely to see them share your post to their networks and audiences. If they love the post you linked to them from, they’ll be eager to have you create content for their own big authoritative site, too.

Kral continues: “By following the above, you’ll gain social proof, access to large audiences, more backlinks, new relationships with gurus in your fields, new work assignments, new guest content opportunities.”

It’s a tactic also used by Ryan Robinson: “One very simple (but often overlooked) way to use your guest posts to your own advantage, is to link to other notable bloggers’ content.”

“If you want to build a relationship with one, or if you just want to help out a blogger you love, this is an incredible way to do so. That backlink will be really beneficial to them, particularly if you’re writing for quite a large blog. They’re also likely to get at least some referral traffic from the post.”

Robinson adds: “Then, after you’ve reached out to the blogger who’s content you featured in your guest post, you can gauge their responsiveness and even pitch them on having you as a guest blogger—translating into even more high-quality links (and traffic) back to your blog.”

Lee Wilson of Vertical Leap advises to “write the best content you can (ideally including commentary from key non-competing influencers), and push it out organically and paid to maximize visibility.”

“When giving people mentioned/included in the post a preview of the piece and engaging with them when it goes live, this can also help generate additional buzz, backlinks and mentions to support early performance gains.”

Run a grammar and spell check

“One of the most important things is making sure that it is written in a professional manner free from grammatical errors,” says Benjamin Smith of Best Company.

“Nothing turns a content manager off more than a piece of content riddled with errors. The more effort you put into perfecting the piece before you send it, the more likely that it is to be published and that they will want you to write for them again.”

(You can use tools like Grammarly to do this.)

Include visuals in your guest post

Kris Olin of Social Media Revolver: “When you write a blog post make sure you include lots of good, descriptive images to go with it. Humans are drawn to images and photos more than just plain text.”

Replicate the usual style of the blog you’re posting on

“When it comes to guest posting on other websites, one of the best practical tips I’d recommend anyone to follow is to follow the format of the guest website,” says Dewayne Hamilton of Web Cosmo Forums.

“This might seem like a no-brainer, but you want your guest post to fit in as much as possible. It doesn’t only need to be a valuable source of information, the guest post must seamlessly integrate to the standards of the blog they’re being published on.”

“This will give the authors a degree of authority, as they will look professional, but also willing to work with and adapt to the expectations of others.”

Hamilton continues: “Of course, it’s important once the readers are on your blog or site you abandon that format and present your own unique style. The contrast between the two will likely and hopefully pique the interests of the readers. This might make them come back for more.”

Create unique data for your guest post

“A guest blog pitch and article are going to flop if you’re regurgitating the same material that someone can read off of Google with a quick search,” writes Dew Smith of 7Shifts Restaurant Scheduling.

“Reformatting existing content is not going to get you an article spot on a respected website with decent domain authority. Either use data you have at your company, create a short survey or at least provide a new look at existing data to turn it into actionable insights for the company and the readers of the blog.”

“All of my guest blog pitches that have included new data/insights (and original designed images, using Canva) have been accepted.”

Smith adds: “Plus, as a recipient of guest blog requests myself, it’s the one thing that’s going to make you stand out.”

How to get long-term results from guest blogging

Great job! You’ve submitted a handful of guest posts, and you’re starting to see the links trickle in. You’re collecting a nice group of backlinks, and sitting back to watch your keyword rankings rise.

You’ve got just one more question: How do you scale your guest blogging strategy and get long-term results from your contributed content?

Know the goal of your guest posts

THP‘s Brittany Watson thinks “every high performing guest blog post needs to be founded on clear objectives and target audience parameters.”

“Prior to writing any content, we start by identifying a goal we would like to achieve (ie. conversions to our website, brand awareness, form completions) and who we’re looking to reach. From there, we build our outreach strategy and tailor our content accordingly.”

Watson adds: “Without clearly defining who you’re talking to and the action you want them to take, you won’t drive the results you’re looking for.”

Publish several posts on the same site

Egg Marketing‘s Susan Guillory thinks you should: “Blog consistently and regularly on a given site so you build a relationship with not only that audience but also the editor of that blog.”

Plus, when we asked Mashvisor for their best strategy for long-term guest posting, Daniela Andreevska said: “Build long-term relationships with others in your industry.”

“While it is important to have guest blogs on as many relevant websites as possible, it is also good to have a few guest blogs on the same website. For this purpose, it is crucially important to have a long-standing relationship with the Content Editor or Marketing Manager of the website.”

Use technology to scale your strategy

“Conducting strategic outreach at scale has been a real game-changer for us,” writes Jonas Sickler.

Terakeet has a proprietary database of more than 9 million publishers, and so we are able to precision target a large number of publications for a given outreach initiative when appropriate. This can be hundreds of publications at a time.”

Sicker continues: “When dealing with such a high volume, it’s important to be creative with your approach to blog content generation – sometimes developing the content yourself, but other times feeding them with data and creative ideas so that they write the post (and include a link) for you.”

“For example, for one retailer, we were able to seed 346 high-quality content placements, with an audience reach of 10.9 million, within 15 months. If we had attempted to do this piecemeal with just a few publications, the results would have been extremely limited.”

“Instead, we were able to drive 1,532,000+ in organic traffic with the scaled approach,” Sickler summarizes.

Offer link exchanges with your target publications

It can be tough to convince sites to publish your guest blog. Sure, they’ll get free content… But sometimes, editors of the blogs you’re pitching want more in return.

That’s why Jack Paxton of Vyper recommends “if your blog and the target blog you want to write for compliment each other, you both should go into a link exchange partnership.”

“This way, you can send each other links that you want to be placed on each other’s blog. Links don’t have to be on new posts, you can simply insert links into older posts, which is a major benefit for both of you.”

Are you ready to start guest posting?

As you can see, there’s more to guest posting than spinning a piece of content and trying to publish it on the first site you think of.

The tips we’ve mentioned here are bound to help. Whether you’re picking target publications based on their DA or working to perfect your guest post pitch, these tips are bound to help you land coverage.

Now it’s time to sit back and watch the SEO benefits roll in.

About the author
Elise Dopson
Elise Dopson Elise Dopson is a freelance B2B writer for SaaS and marketing companies. With a focus on data-driven ideas that truly provide value, she helps brands to get noticed online--and drive targeted website visitors that transform into raving fans.
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