It is absolutely right that you should build your online business on "land" that you actually own and control. By and large, this means that you should be sharing high quality, valuable content with readers on your own website. You are in complete control of how this content is presented, rather than at the mercy of fickle algorithms that are completely beyond your control.
At the same time, it doesn't help you to have the absolute best content on "Land" that no one ever visits. It's like when the proverbial tree falls into the forest and no one is there to hear it. It doesn't matter whether it makes a sound or not because nobody will hear it and nobody will care.
You certainly don't want your online business to suffer the same fate. To do this, it means you need to go where your audience is. And here guest blogging – yes, well into 2020 and beyond – is still a very viable and robust strategy.
Why you should blog as a guest
Before we can talk about the "how" of guest blogging, we must first answer the "why" question. There is a common misconception that guest blogging has become an outdated practice. You may remember a few years ago when almost everyone tried to get their feet wet with guest blogging. It didn't take long for some people to take advantage of the situation, populate their articles with keywords and effectively buy high quality backlinks.
Google didn't like that. Creating dofollow backlinks with keyword-rich anchor text via guest blogging is still frowned upon by the world's largest search engine. This doesn't mean guest blogging is dead. it just means that the way you think about it has to be different.
If all you want to do is play the system and create dofollow backlinks, guest blogging is probably not for you. If you want to position your guest blog posts as advertising for your business, this is also not the way to go. Instead, your goals for guest blogging should be different.
Decision about your goals
The two main reasons you should blog as a guest are closely related, but not exactly the same.
- Establish yourself as an authority in your niche or industry
- Increase the traffic to your website through direct links
When working in the context of a company, the first goal is more likely to establish your brand as an industry leader. This means showing that you really have the market and customer needs under control, and have a forward-looking perspective on how to address challenges and issues customers face. But more likely, you're interested in guest blogging from the context of building a personal brand.
You want to be known as the expert in your field and that means getting your name out in front of the right people. That's why you want to go where your audience is already.
Let's say you want to establish yourself as a dog training expert, especially with more difficult breeds. To do this, you want to be seen by people in the dog training community as well as by dog owners who may want to learn more about training techniques and strategies.
And really, this reputation building is the greatest benefit you get from guest blogging. By establishing yourself as an authority in your industry, you open up all sorts of other opportunities, including book deals or speaking engagements.
In this way, the second major goal – driving the traffic – is largely of minor importance. It's not necessarily about getting readers to click the link in your guest blogger bio (more on that in a moment). The point is to get that elusive name recognition.
The SEO benefits
I know I said that it's not really about getting quality backlinks through guest blogging. And while this is certainly still the case, there are some SEO benefits that you can get from guest blogging too. However, it's no longer about rich anchor text and keyword stuffing. It's more about all of the secondary signals your guest posts send to Google.
A good example of this is exactly what was given above as the primary goal. Even if the links to your website aren't following, as they normally should in a guest blogging situation, Google still sees this as a signal. If you want to establish authority and Google is seeing your name / brand and website linked to high quality content on high quality websites, it is also a good sign of the perceived value of your website.
While the main goal isn't necessarily to generate organic traffic from links to your website, they are there to help. More organic traffic, even if it comes through nofollow links, sends more data and signals to search engines that what you have to offer is valuable and important. It increases brand visibility and strengthens your online influence. Remember, you need to provide real value in your guest posting with quality content.
As with all things in business, the devil is in the details. So you want to keep track of all of this data as well. SheerSEO actually has tools that are just right for guest blogging. What is measured is managed, right?
Search for guest posting pages
Unsurprisingly, a quick Google search comes up with a number of lists of websites to guest blog post to. Some websites even have their own page for submitting your guest posts.
Look for "Send Guest Post" or a variation. You can add to your industry keyword for more specificity, e.g. B. "Dog Trainer Guest Blog" or "Guest Post by + Dog Training" to find sites where other authors may have guest posts.
If a website has previously accepted a guest post, chances are it can accept more.
One resource that you should check out is MyBlogGuest. It is a "guest blogger community" where you can "reach new audiences" and "build your brand". Blog owners sign up to receive "Free Exclusive Content" and "Free Targeted Traffic". In other words, blog owners looking for guest posts are connected to guest bloggers. It's a win-win situation.
Another way to find guest posting opportunities is to analyze your competitors' backlinks. You can do this using tools like Moz Link Explorer or Ahrefs. Once you see where your competitors got their backlinks, you can see if you can get backlinks from there too.
You may or may not be surprised that some large websites are constantly accepting guest posts. These include:
- Huffington Post
- Business Insider
- Read Write
- The Good Men Project
- The guard
- …and more.
Just because they accept guest posts doesn't mean they'll post your posts.
Approaching individual websites
It goes without saying that if you want your guest post to be accepted and published, especially on a higher profile website, you will need to bring your "A" game with actual content. To be honest, the guest posts you write for other websites almost have to be better than the content you create for your own website! Remember, these guest posts should not be used as advertising or framed. They should provide real value to real readers on these real websites.
So how do you get there It starts with the art of the field. Now that you've decided on a website, you need to work together to create an effective pitch. Since it is an art more than a science, you will find that not every process or strategy will work every time. That being said, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
- Never copy and paste a "form letter" email on multiple websites with the same pitch. Customize each pitch for each website, including finding the name of the editor responsible for the content to make it clear that you have a real interest.
- Show that you know something about the website and who its target audience is. Point out how useful or useful your article will be to that audience.
- Develop the actual idea for your guest post. Be brief but make it clear what type of article you want to write. Also indicate that you are open to collaboration or other ideas the site editor deems more appropriate.
- Provide a few links to guest posts you've written elsewhere (including on your own blog) so they can get an idea of the quality to expect.
- Let them know who you are. This is almost a given, but you will be surprised how many pitches are given little more than a name. Who are you really and what do you bring to the table? What is your own blog about? Why should you consider publishing your submission?
When putting together your idea or pitch for a guest post, remember to tailor the pitch for this site. What type of content works or is the most popular there? What did other guest bloggers submit previously? How can you do better or offer a relevant but unique or different spin?
Read the submission guidelines carefully. Some websites ask you to submit a finished article in advance, while others may just ask for an idea. Some may ask for a Word document, others for HTML. How are the posts on the site formatted in terms of headings or paragraph length?
And above all, remember that the guest post shouldn't be about you specifically. It's about the audience of the blog. What value are you delivering and why should you care? If you can include some internal links it is even better. This shows the website owner that you know what they were talking about, too.
Promote the filling of top bloggers. Help them. Tweet their latest posts. Comment on their latest posts. Connect with them via email. Trust me after 3 or 6 months of building bonds, they will know who you are. This is the act of basic education that sets everything in motion.
Write a killer guest blogger bio
This goes back to the main goals you had when you wanted to start guest blogging in the first place. The goal is to establish authority and get your name out there. But how are readers supposed to learn more about who you are and what you offer? If good backlinks and organic traffic to your website are best, then these should definitely be included. If you want to expand your social media presence, mark your most important profile or platform. If you would like to offer a specific product or if you want to sign up for your newsletter, add this link.
While you may be tempted to load your guest blogger bio with multiple links, it is not advisable to do so. For starters, it's bad business practice as it can leave a sour taste on the website owner. It is also ultimately ineffective and is considered spam. Instead, stick to one or two links at most. Keep the focus crystal clear.
Remember to be clear and concise about who you are and why they should care about who you are. What Makes You an Expert to Follow? Why are you important And when the post is finally published, be sure to hang out in the comments section (and across social networks) to engage organically with real readers too. When you make these kinds of connections, guest posting is what really gets you "your name".