What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is the process of contributing expert content to other sites in return for link or brand awareness.
In the old days, guest blogging was done by authors and experts in order to build up their authority and audience on larger sites.
However, over time that changed as many webmasters and SEO agencies relied on guest blogging in order to build links for their clients.
Does Guest Blogging Fall within Google’s Link Scheme Guidelines?
Yes and no. Depending on the quality, you can fall outside of Google’s guidelines. Unfortunately, the quality of guest blogging over the years has gone down hill; almost to the point where guest blogging is seen as against Google’s webmaster guidelines.
The problem started years ago when many webmasters and SEOs began to outsource and automate the process of guest posting (in order to save money) by using automated tools and low quality writers.
Google responded to this in November 2012 by stating that they would consider taking action against low quality guest posts. You can see the video below:
Thus, while low quality, automated guest posting is clearly against Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines, high quality content written by experts on authority sites is still a good way to earn links. Examples of high quality sites that still accept external guest contributions include Forbes.com, Moz.com, TheGuardian.com, SearchEngineJournal.com and many more.
How to Find Great Sites to Guest Blog On:
There are literally hundreds of ways for finding high quality, relevant sites to guest blog on. Many of these depend on the level of quality that you’re looking for and how narrow your search criteria are.
For example, many black hat SEOs still recommend automated guest blogging software such as GSA Search Engine Ranker, Link Emperor and Xrumer – all of which violate Google’s Quality guidelines.
Thus, in order to stay on Google’s good sides and avoid getting your site penalised, you should instead focus on building real relationships with other bloggers in your industry and try to contribute high quality content on authority, relevant sites.
- Searching Google for Guest Post Opportunities
This is the most tried and tested method for finding guest post opportunities.
Essentially it involves searching websites that have a “guest posts” solicitation page that you can apply to write for.
In order to find sites in your industry that accept guest posts, use the following function in Google (replace the keyword with your industry or topic):
- keyword “submit a guest post”
- keyword “guest post”
- “keyword” intitle:”write for us”
- “guest post” intitle:“keyword”
All of these functions essentially look for websites with pages that offer guest post opportunities. The “intitle:” function above simply means Google will search for pages with that specific keyword in the title tag. This allows you to increase the accuracy of your results more.
- Researching your Competitor’s Backlinks
Another method for finding guest post opportunities is to analyze your competitors backlinks and copy their guest post targets. In order to do this, simply following the SEO competition research explained in this page to view your competitor’s backlinks.
- Find Authority Guest Bloggers in your Niche
If you know any high profile guest bloggers in your niche then you can simply search for their name in Google to see any guest posts they’ve written. You can also use the function “full name” guest post.
What to Look for in a Potential Guest Post Site?
The main things you should look for are authority (e.g. high Page Toolbar Rank or DA/PA), quality and topical relevance when searching for good guest blogging opportunities. You can read our guide on analyzing the value of links for more information.
Remember that in order to write for good sites, you’ll need to build relationships with the owners and write a good, personalized outreach email that we’ll discuss in another article.
Use PR Tools such as BuzzStream.com to Help Manage your Outreach Process
BuzzStream.com (from $29.99/month) is a must-have PR/Link building software that allows you to find high quality guest post opportunities and manage your outreach process all within a single backend. It saves you time and hassle by finding quality guest blogging opportunities and managing the communications for all of your link prospects.
You can also “pin” websites that you find online with the click of a button. It’ll then add that site to your account, automatically find the contact details and display valuable page metrics (e.g. Page Rank and Authority) for you to analyze.
As seen here, BuzzStream.com monitors the relationship stage of your conversations:
Send emails from within the BuzzStream.com software:
Furthermore, you can also import a CSV file of existing URLs and outreach targets into the program for you. This is useful if you’re exporting a list of your competitors’ backlinks through OpenSiteExplorer.org or Ahrefs.com.
Writing an Outreach Email
In the next lesson, we’ll teach you how to write a successful outreach email for guest blogging and PR.