Guest Posting for Links is Hard Work
Anyone who tells you that guest posting for links is easy, is one of 2 things
-Trying to sell you something
-A person who has never done it on any scale
I am not talking about writing a article spinning it a few hundred times and then throwing some version of it out to every place you can find (come on we all did that at some stage). I am talking about contacting a site in your niche and getting them to approve a title then writing truly unique content for it, that meets their guidelines and then waiting for them to post it.
It can get expensive if you pay for an article to be written, $10 per article seems to be base price in a lot of places for an native English speaker, using the cheapest provider who speaks English as a 2nd language is not a great idea these days. Sites that accept guest posts want good quality content and they have so many people applying to them that they can pick and choose.
I am going to share some ideas and tips here, yes I am going to include some links and yes one or two of them may even make me some money.
Stretching Your Content Budget
One of the problems I have is doing the research and getting the initial idea. I can write well enough once I get started but getting that start is the tough thing. So what I do is pay for an article, then I import it to my Article Helper program – I have reduced this to $17 right now , the page says $37 I know but it will charge at $17 -and use the original as inspiration to write two more versions. I do not spin it, I will just use the three totally original articles.
While you may ask the blog owner if they approve a specific headline you can easily use a article that is already written.
- Remember not to keyword stuff the content (I recently rejected a guest post on a wedding site that had a kwd density of 4% which is just crazy these days)
- Make the title relevant, short and interesting, not full of stop words (and, is, etc)
- Ask yourself if you would accept the post
- Use sub headings and even bullet points to break up the content
- Attache a relevant photo when you send the content, it saves the blog owner having to look for one.
If you produce good content (with real information and good use of related words) and do not do the bare minimum required, the blogs will be happy to accept them.
Finding Blogs To Guest Post On
This is where it can get interesting, there are a few sites around that list blogs which are looking for content, I will list the few I know of here
Then of course you can just do searches for your keyword on Google and Bing and see which of them are blogs and then see if any of them will accept guest posts. There are more detailed Google search queries you can do, I have listed a couple of variations below:-
- “Guest post” + “keyword”
- “Guest contributor” + “keyword”
- “Guest posting guidelines” + “keyword”
- “Guest authoring guidelines” + “keyword”
- “Guest blog guidelines” + “keyword”
- “Submit a guest post” + “keyword”
Do not just try your main keyword, try some related words and variations. Do not just search on Google and call it good, Bing is another option and there are blog directories which may be worth looking at. The best known one is http://technorati.com/blogs/directory/
Like any type of link building the more effort you put in the better results you will get.
I do also use the postrunner network (part of the keyword academy) it is free for 30 days so it really is worth looking at and they are always improving their system.But you do not have to pay to find good sites to offer guest posts up to.
How Do I Know A Blog Is Worth Contacting?
This is a good question, Guest Posting for links is time consuming. You have to find the sites, contact them , then get the content written then wait for it to be approved and published then of course you want to help promote the page. If the site is junky then it is a waste of your time, so how can you tell a good site from a bad one?
Well obviously being in your niche is important, but beyond that what do you look at?
- Page Rank – This is not a great indicator but it is the easiest one so most people will use it
- Domain Authority – If the domain has good authority then it will pass some of that along to your page
- Social interaction – Do they have followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pintererst?
- What % of their content is guest posts – If the site only uses guest posts as their only content then each page has at least one link out. If your content is one of only a few guest posts that can be better
- Commitment – If the site owner gives you the feeling they are committed to the site it is a good sign and they are more likely to push your post.
What Do I Say When Contacting A Blog?
Be personal , be real and even if it is a form letter try to add something unique. If a blog post on the site is going to give you good link power than take the time to look at the twitter stream or the Facebook stream and mention something from there in the email. People love to know people are reading their sites and the social media accounts.
Some studies have said that a womens name helps get more responses. One thing I do know is that I reject requests that are full of misspellings and terrible grammar. I am not particularly bothered by that stuff normally but if I can not even work out what you are asking for in your email then there is no way I am going to accept a guest post from you.
You could be totally different and contact them via skype or even a phone call! Going the extra yard really could make a difference as to whether you get your post accepted or not.
How Do I Keep Track?
This is something that came up in conversation on Tuesday with another local SEO guy. If you are doing guest posts for a few sites and working with a few writers it can become a nightmare to track it all. I would say start a spread sheet early in the process. Make one for each site you are promoting and keep records of the urls you have contacted, the ones who have said yes they will accept a post and once they post it put the url up.
Sounds Like A Lot Of Work
“Too much work, don’t think I will bother”
Cool, one less person looking for high quality blogs to guest post to is good news for me. It is work, it is not super fast and you will not get a thousand links at the press of a button. But that is kind of the point, Google is all over the mass generated links and is devaluing them left right and center. Effective SEO is going to take more work not less work as we move forward.
Once They Post My Guest Post Then What Do I Do?
Well then you say thank you very much to the blog owner and you promote the page. Just do some light social for it. If you keep in touch with the blog owner you may find that you build a good relationship and then you may be able to do more guest posts, or maybe an interview together. Help to share their Facebook posts, comment on their blogs and generally be nice.
Paying it forward works online as well as anywhere else.
Is Guest Posting All I Need To Do?
No, guest posts alone are not enough to rocket you to the top, but they should be part of the equation and that is exactly what everyone has to realize. SEO is a puzzle, it takes many parts to make a complete picture. No one thing is the whole picture, you need to learn what parts to use and where to slot them in.
I have just seen this blog post on SEOMOZ and since it is relevant to this post – and has some memes included I thought I would link to it! He explains why your requests may be getting ignored
If you do not already do so, please do follow me on Facebook, and Google Plus oh and sign up to receive updates from this blog. Next week I will have a couple of interviews to share with you and a new report I have just finished.
Comment Below please, do you already use guest posts, what are your top tips for anyone just starting out.