Guest posting is one of the most effective strategies that can help boost your website traffic, authority, and conversions. However, it’s tough to find high-quality sites where you could post your content, write your guest posts effectively, and pitch your article ideas with a high probability of approval.
Knowing how to do guest posting effectively means using the right strategies for finding guest websites and taking a systematic approach to content creation. By following the steps we’re going to discuss today, you’ll find your guest content on top sites for your niche. Guest posting will help increase traffic to your site, establish credibility, and improve your search engine rankings.
Step #1: Shortlist Guest Post Opportunities
The first step to guest posting is to find sites where you can pitch your original content ideas. Here are two ways to find these sites.
A. Use Google Search Strings
The easiest way to find guest post opportunities is to use Google search strings that include the keywords you’d like to rank for. You can use the following string combinations for this purpose:
For example, if you’d like to publish a guest post about digital marketing, you can go to Google and run a search for “digital marketing become a contributor”:
This method will give you many guest posting leads. However, finding suitable target sites is a time-consuming process. The next method will help you identify the sites that will give your site high authority and traffic.
Have you ever wondered why your competitors keep getting high search rankings? Well, there are many factors. Two of the key elements, though, are quality content and links from authority sites.
You can use tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush to find your competitors’ referring domains. You can then pitch to the most suitable sites and try to land some guest post opportunities. Let’s have a look at Sujan Patel’s backlink profile, a successful entrepreneur who has grown many online business.
The Ahrefs backlink checker tool, shown above, shows you different pages that link back to pages on Sujan Patel’s website. Many of the backlinking sites have DR scores of 90 or higher and include such well-known sites as Hubspot, Neil Patel, and Entrepreneur.
The biggest competitors in your niche will have links from hundreds or thousands of referring domains. You will need to create a shortlist of the most suitable sites. Create a shortlist of sites with the following stats:
- Domain Rating – 50+
- Traffic – 3,000+ visitors a month
- Trust Flow – 15+
The best types of links you can secure are from sites with a high Domain Rating, good traffic, and high Trust Flow. These are the types of sites where you want to secure guest post opportunities.
Step #2: Find Content Gaps
Now that you’ve found some good guest post opportunities, your next task is to find out some topics and keywords that the site would be interested in covering. While it’s tough to come up with all-original content ideas for dozens of sites at a time, you can always add a new twist to existing content or update them to reflect recent changes.
You may also use tools such as Keyword Planner or BuzzSumo to find topics that are trending both on Google or social media:
If you’re looking for high-engagement topics about the keyword “marketing”, for instance, using BuzzSumo will give you the results above. The results you’ll get will probably be mixed, but you’ll find some topic ideas that are relevant to your niche sooner or later.
Besides looking for the posts with the highest engagement, you can also find keywords that you haven’t covered in your content yet. Using Google Keyword Planner, you can find new keywords just by popping in your competitors’ URLs. For example, if you’re running a travel site, you can use the likes of Agoda.com then filter according to your location:
The keywords above should give you a few valuable ideas for your next guest post pitch. You may also find great suggestions when you run a Google search for each of these keywords and scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the related searches:
Finally, you need to check if the site has covered this topic before. The easy way to do this is to enter the following on Google – site:website.com keyword.
Replace the URL with the site you want to write for, and enter the keyword you planned to pitch. Press enter, and you’ll discover if they have covered the topic before. If they haven’t, you’ve got an idea to pitch.
It’s not so hard to find gaps in your content or that of your target site. You just need to know a few suitable tools to identify dozens of keywords and come up with some great content ideas.
Step #3: Personalize Your Pitch
Once you’ve found some good guest posting opportunities, you need to pitch your content ideas to people in charge of content at your target sites. Here’s where most people get stuck.
Firstly, many people are unsure who they should message. Yet, discovering the editor’s name at a publication is straightforward if you know how to look. For example, one name comes up repeatedly when you look at the author bios on the Ahrefs blog.
There’s a good chance that Joshua would be a good person to inquire about a guest post. You can double-check on LinkedIn to see if that person is the right person to contact. After all, most business professionals list their employer and position.
Once you’ve identified the right person, you can use an email finder tool to get their contact details. Finally, you make your pitch.
You may send them something like this:
If you’re a first-time contributor to the site, you need to introduce yourself first. Besides giving the editor or site owner your name and position, you should cite guest posts you’ve written.
You also need to ensure that the content idea pitches you’re sending haven’t been covered previously and are relevant to the site’s audience. That should be straightforward, as I already discussed how to do this.
Step #4: Create A Compelling Guest Post
Once a site accepts your guest post pitch, it’s time to deliver on your promise of excellent guest content. Here are some tips you should keep in mind as you write your guest post:
1. Make An Outline For Your Post
When you’ve formed a great idea in your head, it’s tempting to just sit down in front of your keyboard and type away. Instead of doing that, start by creating an article outline.
Creating a well-defined outline allows you to organize your thoughts. It will also help you write faster and express your thoughts more clearly. By creating an outline, you also create an opportunity to lead your reader down a path that leads to your site and possibly conversion. This article walks you through how to create an article outline.
Organizing your thoughts will also help your SEO. Google looks favorably on content that is organized into headers and subheaders. Using your target keywords in your headers will help Google identify the topic of your post. It will also tell your readers what they can expect out of your content.
2. Follow Guest Post Guidelines
If you’re a guest in someone’s house, you need to abide by their rules. Similarly, your content needs to follow your target site’s guest post guidelines. Most sites have detailed guidelines that specify post length, writing style, and tone. If you’re looking to build links back to your site, the guest post guidelines will also have rules about link building.
Following the site’s guest post guidelines is more than just being a good guest. It also leaves the door open for future guest posting opportunities with the site.
When you write your content, you should remember that you’re writing to share helpful information with the guest site’s audience. If you’re just out to build links back to your site, you might be guest posting for all the wrong reasons.
Guest posting is a compelling way to generate traffic back to your site, build your brand’s credibility, and improve your site’s search engine rankings. That’s assuming you’ve got the other fundamentals in place, like good hosting – here are some GoDaddy alternatives – a fast site, and great onsite content.
However, guest posting success never happens at random – it’s the result of a great strategy.
Guest posting starts by identifying websites with high traffic and authority and looking for gaps in their content. Once you’ve identified topics that you can cover, you can then reach out to the people in charge of content on these sites and pitch your article ideas. Finally, you need to create great content written to inform and educate the site’s readers.
Guest blogging is a simple strategy that will benefit your site as long as you do it properly. By being disciplined in writing relevant and informative content and seeking out suitable sites for your guest articles, you will eventually see how it benefits your site’s search performance and authority.