May 19, 2024

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Guest blogging for SEO: Using content to build quality links

It’s been six years since Matt Cutts, the former head of web spam at Google, announced the death of guest blogging as a link building technique. But to this day, the guest blog is alive and well and three out of four publishers report publishing at least one guest post per week.

It’s been six years since Matt Cutts, the former head of web spam at Google, announced the death of guest blogging as a link building technique. But to this day, the guest blog is alive and well and three out of four publishers report publishing at least one guest post per week.

The only change that has happened since then is that we have moved away from trying to manipulate search engines with a ton of low-quality posts.

Today, a better strategy, the only strategy, is to invest in the guest posts that actually create value for publishers and their readers. Try doing it this way, and you’ll find guest referrals to be as powerful a link-building strategy as ever.

Let’s see the strategy proposed by the SEO expert in Pakistan of Prositios Web .

Step 1. Find blogs that allow guest posting

Let’s get started by building a huge list of publishers who accept guest posts on topics that are relevant to your industry. Here are the three main approaches you should use:

Browse publishers by topic

Run a series of search queries using your keyword + indicative phrases from the guest post.

For example, if you’re looking for sites that accept entrepreneurship-related content, search for “entrepreneurship” + ​​type for us.

Here are some other queries that could be used to find platforms that accept guest posts:

  • [keyword] + “submit guest blog
  • [keyword] + “contribute to our site”
  • [keyword] + “guest post”
  • [keyword] + “article wanted”
  • [keyword] + “writer wanted”
  • [keyword] + “guest author”
  • [keyword] + “submit article”
  • [keyword] + “guest post written by”
  • [keyword] + “contributing writer”

 

The technique is obviously time consuming when done manually, especially when you consider going through every page of search results, checking every result, and saving every possible clue.

That’s why I would suggest looking into an automation tool, like LinkAssistant, which can do everything with the push of a button.

Find editors used by other bloggers

Regardless of how new you are to the industry, I bet you can name a few prominent bloggers off the top of your head. If we talk about SEO, for example, then I immediately think of Neil Patel, Brian Dean, and Marcus Sheridan, among others.

They’ve done their fair share of guest posting over the years, which means they’ve also done the work of finding and researching a ton of potential content partners. All I have left to do is find those partners and take them for myself.

Using Neil Patel as an example, I would form a query along the lines of:

“guest message from neilpatel”

Except you’d have to remove the results from your own web pages:

“guest message from neilpatel” -neilpatel.com

And voila, I have an endless list of top-notch publishers who obviously accept guest posts from bloggers in my industry.

Spy on your competitors

A more advanced strategy is to look for those websites that have many pages that link to your competitors. You can try searching for those websites the same way you searched for guest posts from the most popular bloggers:

[guest post by] + [competitor name],

but it is unlikely to produce significant results since guest posts are usually made by company employees and the company itself.

A better way is to use competitor analysis tools, like Link Explorer, Majestic , and many others, to look at your competitors’ backlink profiles and find blogs that link to them a lot.

And in case you don’t have a big budget, you can always use the free version of SEO SpyGlass , which allows you to analyze more than a thousand backlinks per competitor.

Step 2. Identify the best opportunities

To make sure your guest posts have real value, you need to vet potential publishers for both quality and relevance.

Here are some of the things to look for in a promising track:

  • The content is relevant to your industry;
  • Readers engage through comments and shares ;
  • The publisher maintains active social media profiles ;
  • The Domain Authority (DA) score is in the upper half;
  • The other guest items are of high quality.

Apply those criteria to the list of leads you generated in the previous step, and you should end up with at least a dozen publishers to pitch to.

Step 3. Brainstorm the content

Your main goal is to write irresistible content. Content that benefits both the publisher and the reader, as well as returns some traffic to your website. In other words, for your proposal to be accepted, it has to be a win-win situation.

So a good place to start when researching content ideas is to look at which guest posts have had success with the publisher in the past.

One way to do this is to use tools like Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, and Rank Tracker to analyze the publisher’s website and find the best-performing blog posts.

Once you have a list of the best performing blog posts, you can spot the pattern of the posts that are most likely to be successful. Things to pay attention to are:

  • Article types (list, top 10, guide, research, etc.);
  • Themes that are presented repeatedly;
  • Style and writing of article headlines;
  • Audience level (beginner, intermediate, advanced).

Once the pattern is known, it should be fairly easy to come up with more promising content ideas.

You may consider continuing with a certain theme and writing a more detailed article that is further down the sales funnel.

You can also identify outdated articles and try to launch a new perspective on the same topics. In general, even a slight variation on a popular theme should work just fine.

Step 4. Reach out to publishers

Keep in mind that there is a finite number of relevant content partners in the market. It means you can’t afford to go around sending them generic messages – you’d run out of clues before you start. The important thing here is not to get a single content placement, but to build relationships that last for years.

Establish some relationship with potential publishers

It helps to establish a bit of rapport before you do your content pitch.

My advice is to engage with the publisher’s content: like and respond to their social media posts, comment on their blog, and sign up for their newsletters.

Once there is a rapport between the two of you, you can ask about possible collaborations.

Email your ideas

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the publisher’s blog and gathered your own ideas, it’s time to test your pitch.

The goal is to be as authentic as possible and assure the publisher that you are capable of delivering quality content. Here’s an email template that I personally find very useful, but feel free to tweak and give it your own voice.

Be sure to follow up if you don’t hear back after a week of waiting.

Maximize your chances of being considered

As the pitcher, you’re in a weak position, so it’s your job to make it easy for the publisher to say yes.

Follow the submission guidelines

Blogs that have an established practice of accepting guest posts typically have submission guidelines somewhere on their website. Make sure your proposal aligns with those guidelines.

Direct your proposal to a person

Avoid directing your emails to the dear editors or the dear sirs or whoever. Find the person in charge, find their work email, and address them by name.

Straight to the point

Popular publishers get dozens of pitches every day, they know what the deal is. Don’t waste their time with excessive formalities and state your proposition as concisely as possible.

Step 5. Deliver a first-class copy

Once your proposal is accepted, it’s time to do the real work: writing an amazing guest post that will blow everyone away.

And while I can’t teach you how to write well, there are some things you can do to improve the quality of your copy no matter how well it’s written.

Focus on readability

Today’s readers no longer go through the entire article. Instead, they scroll through the article until they find a subheading they like, read that part of the article, and then bounce back.

That is the process that you, as a writer, have to accommodate – making sure your articles are scannable:

  • Break your article with H2, H3, H4, and so on;
  • Use shorter words, sentences, and paragraphs;
  • Keep a consistent format throughout the article;
  • Use lots of bullet points.

Add high-quality images

Images also increase readability, but what they really do is set you apart from other guest submissions. It’s rare for a guest blogger to bother with quality images, which is a missed opportunity and frankly doesn’t require that much effort.

Images don’t even have to be that informative, you can add some to illustrate your point in a humorous way.

add some data

Another oddity in the guest world is analytics. Most guest posts aim to create a lot of content with as little effort as possible, which means that guest posts rarely provide valuable information.

Be different – ​​go out and find some data, make a nice graph or table, and trust that your editor will be pleasantly surprised.

Add contextual links

Don’t forget the main reason you are submitting a guest post.

The rule here is not to be greedy and place links only where they can add value. Also, be sure to set appropriate expectations for what kind of content readers will see when they follow the link.

Write a great biography

Although publishers may have different policies regarding backlinks, one place where such a link is guaranteed is the author bio.

So make sure your bio is well done, fun, and designed with clickability in mind.

Step 6. Send and follow up

If you don’t have a pre-established relationship with the publisher, it can take up to a month, and sometimes up to several months, to review and publish your submission.

If luck is on your side, your submission will be accepted quickly. But if it’s been a while and you haven’t received a response, don’t despair. Sometimes editors are busy and may not have time to open or read your email, simple as that. Send them a follow-up email and keep it short and to the point.

Step 7. Help promote your position

If your guest post is accepted and published, you’ll want to maximize its value by making sure it works well.

If your guest post drives traffic and generates social engagement, the publisher will likely accept your future submissions as well. The guest post can also serve as a reference in case you are pitching to other blogs.

So even if the post isn’t on your website and isn’t intended for your current audience, it would be beneficial to promote it through your own channels.

Share your guest post on social media

Share most posts on all your social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Ask your friends and co-workers to give you a boost.

I also let my friends know about my guest posts and ask them to share them via their social media accounts. This helps my posts get more social shares.

Keep an eye on the comments section

Be sure to reply to all comments and keep the momentum of your post going. Remember that you are a guest on this platform, so stay positive and don’t get dragged into the discussions.

Step 8. Track and measure

Once everything is done and your guest post is live, don’t forget to track and measure the success of your link building strategy.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool to help you understand how healthy your link profile is, and the traffic your backlinks generate. All of this information will help you execute a more targeted SEO strategy.