Guest blogging and link building are powerful tactics that belong in every SEO specialist’s toolkit.
Some experts are skeptical of guest blogging because of the vast number of unsuccessful examples you can find online.
However, when used correctly, guest blogging has the power to boost your brand’s online image.
What Is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging (or guest posting) is publishing your content on other companies’ websites, preferably related to your niche.
As a rule, guest bloggers incorporate links to their own sites into their guest posts, driving traffic to their own platforms. However, this is becoming more difficult because many websites add nofollow or even strip out links completely
Guest blogging has been actively used in the SEO world for many years and is not going away anytime soon.
Collaboration within the niche is useful for both the host site and the guest writer.
Large companies often invite partner authors to post on their blogs and in turn post articles on other websites.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
There are several key benefits to contributing as a guest blogger:
- Increased brand awareness. To increase their exposure in the real world, many companies participate in conferences and other important professional events, organize meetings with potential contractors and clients, interact with customers, and make every effort to stay visible. The same principles apply in the digital space. The more sites you visit and leave your imprint on, the more web users know about you, and the stronger your authority.
- More transitions to your site. Placing a link to your landing page in your bio, or inviting readers to sign up for your newsletter, are a couple of good ways to increase leads and traffic.
- Useful contacts. You can build partnerships with influential companies, enter a privileged community of contributors within your niche, learn from other’s experiences, and exchange knowledge and resources.
- Shorter sales cycle. Don’t wait for potential clients to find and visit your website and read about your goods and services. Your guest posts published on popular online platforms provide the perfect forum to promote your brand. Interested readers will follow your links to get more information.
6-Step Strategy for Using Guest Blogging as a Link Building Tool
1. Find Relevant Opportunities
Search for Guest Blogging-Friendly Websites
To achieve impressive and lasting results, devise a strategy for your guest blogging.
Take advantage of Google search to find relevant websites that welcome guest posts.
Use queries that include the name of your niche (design, medicine, art, etc.) and phrases like “guest post,” “write for us,” “guest blog,” or “contributor.”
Analyze Competitors’ Links
Find out which guest bloggers are posting links on your selected websites.
Analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
This is more easily done with small and medium-sized platforms. For larger ones, you can use special tools like Netpeak Spider and Moz Link Explorer.
Search by Influencers
It is always easier to bypass pitfalls when you learn from the experience of others. Successful guest bloggers have already overcome the challenges you are about to face.
Assess the online behaviors of the main influencers in your niche.
Compile a list of websites they contribute to and avoid wasting time and energy on irrelevant or unpopular online platforms.
2. Refine Your List of Websites
Conduct a donor analysis. It is the study of a website’s traffic and the keywords that generate it.
With this data, the placement cost can be compared with the donor’s value.
Check the following criteria before contacting blog administrators:
- The domain authority of 50 and above. Websites with DA lower than 40 will most likely be a waste of time (but not always).
- Quality of content. Assess blog posts from the viewpoint of a reader. Are they valuable? Are you interested? Would you like to comment and share them with your friends? Are new materials posted regularly? If the answers are positive, visitors to the website are likely to read your articles and follow your links.
- Organic traffic. The more traffic a site has, the more keywords are at the top of the search rankings. When keywords are similar to the project being developed, the link equity promoted by the donor is maximized.
- Author bio. Will you be permitted to include information about yourself and your company in your posts? Will they be published in a prominent place?
Other useful tips:
- Discard donors with small numbers of keywords and low traffic. They will not benefit you, and they can sometimes be harmful.
- The best donors are sites with a narrow theme relevant to your own, and sites with a general format (for example, news sites). If the site has a general theme, select an anchor according to your promotion plan. If it is narrowly specialized, try to use an anchor based on the donor’s top keywords.
3. Brainstorm Content Ideas
Now that you know where to post your content, the next question is what to post.
Above all, your articles should correspond to the thematic of the host website and be useful to its readers.
Analyze current trends, controversies, and the hottest news in the target industry to find inspiration and get an idea of popular topics.
Constantly tracking important events and innovative ideas can be time-consuming, but you can automate this process by taking advantage of helpful tools like BuzzSumo, or use CoSchedule to help you generate great titles.
Target your posts to both beginners and pros, to diversify your readership and provide relevant solutions to specialists in your field.
4. Begin Your Outreach
Now it is time to make useful contacts with administrators of the selected blogs.
Use data in the “Contact Us” section, a contact form on the website, or search for email addresses using tools like Interseller or Anymail finder.
Be prepared to wait for a response. Large website owners are not always receptive to outreach emails because they receive dozens of similar offers every day and have a well-established publishing schedule.
It may take much time to build good relationships with influencers or get them to notice you. Reach out to administrators of reputable websites in social networks, and comment on their photos, posts, and other content.
Adhere to the following rules when sending a personal message:
- Since you are sending a cold email, use a neutral address to avoid spam filters.
- Write the original text.
- Greet the email recipient warmly and introduce yourself.
- Refer to materials on their website or personal page, and mention that you like their content.
- Be straightforward about why you are writing, and indicate where you think would be the best placement for your article.
- Offer a few interesting guest post ideas.
- Provide examples of your articles.
- Offer to advertise the host website on your social media platforms.
5. Create Your Posts
Once you get approval from a website owner, start writing posts for their platform. Here are some important nuances to be kept in mind:
- Become acquainted with the host’s guest blogging guidelines and adhere to them, to avoid conflicts with administrators and deleting of your content. If there are no specific instructions, read other contributors’ articles to identify patterns.
- To optimize your content, take SEO principles into account.
- Provide a link to your website or other relevant resources, but make sure it fits organically into your text. Blatant promotion of your platform will do more harm than good.
- Do not use anchors like “follow this link” or “here”. You can refer to your blog, but first, prepare the articles you are going to link to. You can redirect link juice from there to your “selling” pages.
- Before submitting, take a break and look at your post with fresh eyes. Make sure it is reader-friendly, rephrase awkward sentences, and eliminate grammar and spelling errors.
6. Track & Measure
Do not expect fast results. It takes time to become a good guest blogger.
You should have a well-organized tracking system to determine the efficiency of each post and host website, distinguish positive trends and patterns, and improve the position of your brand in the future.
This may be done using a spreadsheet with data on views and referring traffic. Also, you can take advantage of Google Analytics to measure the influence of guest blogging on your SEO indicators.
Pro Rank Tracker can help you understand changes in your search ranking position over time.
Guest blogging key concepts:
- Guest bloggers publish original content on partner websites.
- Guest blogging helps boost brand awareness, draw referring traffic, shorten the sales cycle, and build strong relationships with influencers in your niche.
- To use guest blogging efficiently, you must find relevant websites, generate interesting content ideas, reach out to website owners, write impressive posts, organically incorporate links, track and measure the efficiency of your strategy, evaluate donors, and attract only those with a large number of keywords and high traffic.
- Additional ways to get backlinks include scholarships, discounts, forums, and interviews with experts.
Timeframe: Ongoing starting Month 3
Results detected: 4-12 months after implementation
Average links sent per month: 4
- Netpeak Spider
- Moz Link Explorer
- Anymail finder
- Google Analytics
- Pro Rank Tracker
Benefits of guest blogging:
- Increased brand awareness. The more sites you visit and leave your imprint on, the stronger your SEO authority.
- More transitions to your site. Placing a link to your landing page in your bio, or inviting readers to sign up for your newsletter are good ways to increase leads and traffic.
- Useful contacts. You can build partnerships with influential companies and enter a privileged community of contributors within your niche.
- Shorter sales cycle. There is no need to wait for potential clients to find and visit your website. Your guest posts would promote your brand and invite readers to get more information.
Hopefully these tips will contribute to your success.
Take advantage of the many opportunities provided by guest blogging, and enjoy a robust influx of new visitors to your website!
Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita