Guest Bloggers Wanted: Smart Guide to Guest Posting Hassle-Free
Want to know how to get more traffic?
Need to build a brand from scratch? Guest blogging.
Trying to get more Google-aligned, natural backlinks pointing toward your website?
This is how to do.
Answering that call of "Guest Bloggers Wanted" offers so many benefits to businesses and personal brands.
But guest posting can be challenging. There are definitely some best practices and a learning curve.
Here's what you need to know to successfully Submit a Guest Post to a reputable website to earn the benefits we'll discuss.
What Is Guest Posting?
Guest posting or guest blogging is a special type of publishing arrangement between you and someone who owns a website. In a guest posting arrangement, a blog for whom you don't have a standing arrangement publishes an article you've written on their blog.
The website that publishes your blog, we call a publisher. Just like a book publisher helps promote your book, a website publisher helps you reach a wider audience through their website.
If it does well they may choose to publish more from you.
Guest Blogger Vs Contributor
A Guest Blogger should be distinguished from a contributor or staff writer. In most cases, these are more steady and well-paid arrangements.
A staff writer is probably a full-time employee.
A contributor is normally an industry thought leader with years of experience and a large social media following.
You may or may not be recognized as such yet.
A person who is guest blogging could become a contributor if the publisher finds their work drives substantial traffic to their website. But this is not how the arrangement starts out.
Whether you're a business or an individual, there are many reasons you may want to guest post.
It could be because they'll pay you a small fee for the post. It may be because you want to develop a name for yourself.
In most cases though, people answer those "Guest Bloggers Wanted" pages because of how a guest post can help your website gain in popularity and visibility.
How Does Guest Posting Benefits Your Website?
Reaching out when you see a message for guest bloggers wanted can have an incredible impact on your website.
Brand Awareness (personal and/or as a business) - Getting published on a popular website that aligns well with your brand will increase awareness of your brand. The greater presence you have on these websites, the more you stay top of mind when someone thinks about your industry or niche.
Social Proof - Social Proof is what it sounds like. If other people like you enough to publish your guest posts on their blog, then you must be good at what you do. It gives what you say a higher level of respect and trust.
Referral Traffic - This depends on the guest blogging arrangement and website. You'll often include a non-promotional link to your website in the guest article. A person can click this link to go to your website. In Google Analytics, this will show up as "Referral Traffic". If it's a very popular website, and you wrote a very popular guest blog post, this could be significant traffic.
More Social Media Followers - Often, you will be asked by the publisher to provide your social media accounts. The publisher will include direct links to them in your bio. If people like your article, they'll go follow you.
More Visibility in Search Engines - If the publisher allows you to add a do follow link into your post or the bio, Google considers this a vote of confidence in your website. They use the number of links you have to your site as an indicator of authority. Your website will rank higher in search engines. We'll talk a bit more about what"do follow" links are under "What to Look for in a Publisher".
Not all guest posts will have these benefits. In fact, answering that call of guest bloggers wanted on a spammy website can actually have a negative impact on your site.
We'll look more at how to vet websites in a minute. But first, let's look at why publisher websites say "guest bloggers wanted" in the first place.
This insight will help to more effectively navigate where to post blogs and how to submit a post. Going about it without an effective guest blogging strategy is a huge waste of time.
How Does Guest Posting Benefit the Publisher?
The publisher doesn't just publish out of the goodness of their heart. This is a win-win-win situation when everyone plays their cards right.
The publisher gets:
A Free or Low-Cost Blog Post - High-quality articles are expensive to produce in-house or outsource. The guest posting partnership gives them a high-quality post for little or nothing. They are paying those guest bloggers wanted with exposure rather than money.
More Website Traffic - Being able to publish more posts at less cost, means they get more traffic
Increased Ranking Over Time - These publishers are playing the long game. Over time all of this additional content will help them become even more visible in search engines.
Engaged Fans - Publishers have huge numbers of fans. They must regularly engage them with fresh content to keep them and get new ones.
More Sharing - More fans are sharing their site with others because of the great content. On top of that, you're sharing the guest post on your own social media profiles.
Now you know what a publisher is looking for. Leverage it to get published.
What to Look for in a Publisher
Okay. Congratulations. If you've been reading thus far, you've got the knowledge you need to figure out where to post blogs.
Of course, you're looking for sites that have stated "Guest Bloggers Wanted". But what else do you need to know to submit a guest post on a site?
Here's what to look for before you reply to the request for guest posts in order of importance. You may not get everything you want. But here's what to look for:
Industry Relevance - Relevance matters. If there is little to none, you will get few of the benefits described earlier. it's best if relevance exists at the domain level. For example, if your website is for a doctor's office, then finding publishers in healthcare is important. The more relevant the better. But they don't have to be your competitors.
Other Relevance - A guest post on a news site, local school information page or something similar could still be relevant. As long as the guest post fits naturally on the website, it's still relevant.
Quality Content - Your quality guest post will hold more weight if it's among friends. Always look for quality.
High DA - DA (Domain Authority) is an estimate of how authoritative a website is. Google doesn't actually publish how authoritative they believe you are. But online tools can deduce it based on various factors. The higher the DA is the better. But as long as it's 10-20 points higher than yours, that's good. You can find out what your DA is using the free Moz Toolbar extension in Chrome. Or visit the Moz website to use their free tools.
Guest Bloggers Wanted - It's not a must. But you'll often get better results if you reach out to websites that are actually looking for guest posts. In my experience, the ones who aren't either don't want them or don't realize that good ones like yours can actually help their brand.
Traffic - Ideally, you want to post on a site that is getting significant traffic. That's the only way to benefit fully from referral traffic
Active Social Media Presence
What to Ask for from the Publisher
You very likely won't get paid to guest post. You're getting paid in other ways. If that's important to you, this will still help you do that. But that's not why most people respond "Guest bloggers wanted" pages.
They're looking for non-monetary gains that will pay them over the long-term as they get more website traffic.
Most sites that have a guest bloggers wanted page will state what they're offering. Or you can just look at the website. In those cases, you already know. You don't have to ask.
Here's what you want related to your 1 link to your website.
Do Follow Link - Do follow links are considered a vote of confidence. But a person can put "no follow" in the link code. This means that they don't want the link to be considered this way by Google. Some websites do this to avoid a massive influx of people who answer Guest Bloggers Wanted pages just for a link.
Permanent Link - This isn't a different link. You also want it to be permanent. If the guest post will only be left up temporarily or no follow code will be added, you need to know. This should be stated on the "Guest bloggers wanted" page.
Link in the Article - Some publishers offer to put a link in your bio or on a different author page. If the link is important to you, this is not as valuable a link. To Google, it will appear much less relevant.
Here's What You Want Related to Your Bio
Same Page - The best bios are on the same page as the article where people can actually see more than just your name.
Social Media Links - At the very least you should be able to include a Twitter Handle. But it's best if there are clickable links to your top social media profiles.
Head Shot - We're drawn to human faces. A guest post without a picture of the author won't have the same impact.
What Publishers to Avoid Like the Plague
Sites that are spammy may have a high DA now. But as Google develops more effective tools -- it will -- to weed them out, you'll see your guest post hold less and less value. It might even hurt your website now or down the road.
Here's how to know if a website is spammy.
They have links in their menu that go to other websites. Big red flag.
They publish content with grammar mistakes
Their website is hard to navigate. You can't find certain types of posts easily. They don't have a menu. The best sites have a search bar. But not having one doesn't necessarily mean it's spammy.
They're publishing several times a day. It's not always bad. But take a closer look. It usually means that quality doesn't matter to them.
You can also check their spam score with free tools over at Moz. it can help you spot most but not all spammy sites.
How to Find Out Where to Post Blogs as a Guest
So far so good. Now, we get to your first big hurdle. That's finding where to post blogs as a guest. We'll need to find them first. Then we have to apply the criteria that we established earlier.
Here are the 4 easiest way to go about it.
Search for "sites that accept guest posts", "List of guest post sites" or something similar. You'll find lists that people have compiled.
Look for lists that break it down by industry and how hard they are to get published on. If you find an endless list that isn't well organized, find something else.
Look for current lists. Old lists may no longer be valid. You'll waste a lot of time reviewing and reaching out to sites that don't take guest posts. Look for something that's at least less than 2 years old. 1 year or 6m is better.
Search for "Guest posts wanted", "Write for us" or something like that.
Review what you find.
How to Create a Compelling Guest Post Bio
Your guest bio is almost as important as your guest post. It tells people why you're
qualified to write this post. Be honest and specific about what you do.
Always think relevance. How does what you're sharing relate to the types of articles you write?
Consider focusing on work experience like this:
10 years working in healthcare
10 years working as a staff writer for Forks Over Knives
State a life experience:
Climbed Mount Everest Twice
Mother of two beautiful boys
Share an interest
Works on cars in her spare time
Avoid anything that seems overly promotional. Your bio will get rejected.
Quadrupled a client's traffic in less than 3 months without advertising
Offers the best burritos in town down at the Taco Shoppe
But it's usually okay to say something like:
Helps businesses get more traffic to their website
Takes care of customer's pets while they're out of town
A guest post bio is generally no more than 30 words. So you could say.
Leigh Clayborne has 10 years working in healthcare. She hikes local trails in her spare time. Follow her on Twitter @LeighClayborne and find her on Quora @ quora.com/profile/Leigh-Clayborne
Some guest blogging sites may prefer that you not ask people to follow you. You'll learn more about what the bio should look like after your guest article gets accepted.
How to Get a Publisher to Post Your Guest Blog
The rejection rate is nowhere near as high as you'd face when you're publishing a book. But you may still face some rejection. It may be because they're:
Looking for something else
Only accepting guest posts from known brands
Assuming you're just a link-seeker so they don't even look at the article
This can make guest posting take more time than it's worth. But there are some strategies that will significantly cut down the time investment.
Apply these to the article itself:
Write the blog in advance. Check out some sites in your industry to get a good idea about how to submit a guest post on most sites. For example, generally, a post that is 1000 words long can be submitted almost anywhere. 500 words is good for many industries, particularly industrial, manufacturing and transport. if you don't write it in advance, really work out what it's about so you can easily pitch it.
Don't write over 1000 words if you don't have a publishing agreement. Some sites want 2000+ word guest posts. This is only worth the time if you know they're going to publish it.
Deliver a post worth publishing. Higher DA, reputable sites will have higher standards. Only the most in-depth, original, engaging pieces will get accepted. Remember, they're getting offers all the time. If you're focused on lower DA sites because your site is brand new then a more common but still engaging piece will do.
Apply some smart on-page SEO. Do some keyword research. Build a guest blog around a keyword phrase. Use that phrase in the opening and no more than .5%-1% of the word count. Use it in the title and one header. Always use it naturally. And never use it in an ungrammatical way. Accompany it throughout with related words and phrases that demonstrate that you're covering the topic well.
Apply several of these strategies when making your pitch.
Pitch a single article to multiple publishers. You'll get a feeling about whether this is the right thing to do.
Call a person by name if given one. Otherwise, use the brand name or website name without the .com
Be conversational. Don't instantly sound like a sales pitch. It just turns people off. Indicate that you're read their blog.
Mention a top writer that you like on the site. Don't have one? find one that's written recently and has written more than one piece. If you can find someone who writes in a similar style and topic, that's perfect.
Quickly get to the point. They get lots of these requests. Keep it short.
Start with the important stuff. What's your background? Why should they want to publish your blog? This might include anything impressive like being published on a reputable industry website, your social media following, your experience.
Share what you plan to write about or have written
Hi. Business2Community. I really loved Cynthia Wu's last post. I've got a similar article I know your audience will love.
I've written for USA Today and have an engaged following at @LeighClayborne and Quora. I've been working in SEO and digital marketing for over 5 years and have several influencer partnerships with top brands in the industry. I'd love to connect and submit an article for your consideration.
Speak soon, Leigh
What to Do After the Guest Post Is Published
Share it, please. It's common courtesy. And it helps the first few people (or more) find your post. The more traffic that post gets, the more it will help your website and the relationship with this publisher.
That means more posting opportunities.
From an SEO standpoint, It's not a good SEO strategy to build all of your backlinks on one site. But if you're getting good referral traffic and a little bit of link juice from each link after the first, it's worth it to submit more to this site.
Oops! What to Do If You Guest Posted on a Spammy Site
It happens to all of us, especially when we're learning. We make a mistake that continues to haunt us. If you guest posted on a spammy site unaware or fully aware, Google and Bing, both have disavow tools.
It's very easy. Just search for disavow tool Bing or disavow tool google. The sites will come right up.
Be very careful with this though. Don't accidentally disavow a website that is helping your SEO.
Guest Bloggers Wanted. It's Time to Apply
Follow these tips to win at guest posting. Reap the benefits for your website and brand.
Are you still struggling with guest posting? Are you looking for an even easier way to get published on premium sites? Contact me today for guest posting services and outreach.