In the past, guest blogging was considered to be a respectable method for gaining online traffic but it’s now a controversial topic with Matt Cutt’s blog post in 2014 stating, “If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.” Now, webmasters have become hesitant to accept guest posts, creating a challenge for guest writers as Cutts discusses the decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. However, if done correctly, guest blogs still hold a viable option to build your brand, referral traffic, and sales.
According to LinkBuilder, one survey indicated only 19.7 percent of blogs are willing to accept guest blog posts, creating a challenge for guest bloggers. However, you’re able to streamline how quickly your post is accepted by refining your blogging technique and your approach.
Become a Subject Matter Expert
To set yourself above your competition, showcase your talents as an expert in a specific subject matter. Create and deliver content that no one else has yet to cover to bring extra credibility and validation to your expertise. Anyone is able to Google a topic to create a post, but the key to raising the bar is to exceed the common knowledge by featuring solid information that can’t be found elsewhere. Content that lacks any creativity or uniqueness won’t be chosen.
Have a Pitch They Can’t Refuse
We have all received the emails that start something along the lines of: “Hi. I’m a content writer for XXXX with X years of experience. I have written a guest post that I think will be a great fit for your website. All I ask in return is a dofollow link.” Honestly, if I receive an email like this I automatically hit delete before getting past the first sentence. When contacting a webmaster, you need a pitch they simply can’t refuse.
Create a personalized pitch, not a cookie cutter email you send out to everyone. Start your pitch strong by knowing who you’re pitching to, including their blog and their audience to demonstrate your knowledge and credibility. Include samples of your writing to showcase your abilities, and then present an actual idea that will be relevant to their blog’s readers. Include a summary of what your post will feature and why it will be relevant, then close the deal by asking their input with strong call to action.
Nurture Your Network and Relationships
It’s not uncommon to be rejected when pitching guest posts, but you can still use that rejection to your advantage to build your network and maintain relationships. Although your post may not have been chosen this time, by maintaining the relationship, a different post may be accepted in the future.
In addition to social networking, further build your network by staying in contact with those that are relevant to your industry niche. Hold on to their contact information to communicate with them, even when you‘re not seeking to guest post. By doing so, you’ll foster a strong network down the road and build lucrative relationships for the future. The connections you make and relationships you build will open the door to future posting possibilities.
Get to Know the Editor Quirks
Personally, a huge pet peeve involves guest bloggers who don’t follow guidelines. Editors provide their guidelines, which they expect to be followed when accepting a guest post. It’s essentially a slap in the face to the editor when you submit a guest post that doesn’t meet guidelines, especially when those little links were snuck into a post that you were asked not to use.
It’s also very beneficial to understand the writing style, tone, and grammar methods editors prefer. Therefore, you’re able to provide them with exactly what they are looking for without the need for revisions.
Always Deliver Amazing High Quality Content
Not only does the content you deliver need to abide by the site’s guidelines and Google’s algorithms, but it needs to be of the highest quality. Only pitch error-free content that’s valuable and informative. Content that lacks quality not only won‘t be accepted, but it won’t be read, shared, or ranked well. To add quality to an article, showcase your expertise by adding unique flare to make it stand out from other pitches to become a creditable source for relevant information. As a result, you’re more likely to be accepted for a guest post in the future.
Use BuzzStream to Find Contacts
Although BuzzStream is used by developers to identify sites that request links for link building, it’s also a great place to make contacts. With BuzzStream, quickly identify contact and website information to save time searching for a company to target. Sort into categories the information you‘ve gathered, such as industries, page rank, type of link, and additional information to choose the best site possible to feature your guest post. You’ll then have a well organized resource offering an abundance of options to pitch your posts.
Use Klout to Find Influencers
Although many people consider Klout to be on the decline, it’s an amazing tool to help you find industry influencers to benefit your brand, reach, and relevancy. Search Klout for a specific name, Klout Score, and topic to find the most influential people to maximize the exposure your post receives, as well as to find highly creditable sources to accept your post for publication.
Followerwonk is a Twitter analytics tool that allows you to explore and grow your social connections. You’ll have a stronger understanding of who you’re connecting with, including where your followers are located and their industry niche. You can then pinpoint specific interests of those who are connected to your followers. It offers a deep analysis to help you find a specific niche to target by what interests them. Then, customize an unique post catering to a specific audience. Basically, by using the tool you won’t be walking around in the dark when trying to find an audience or topic to target.
Create a Go-To Database of Industry Contacts
Using the contacts in the network you’ve established and those you’ve found with Klout, BuzzStream, and Followerwonk, create a virtual Rolodex to store a list of go-to contacts. This will save you time in the future as you won’t have to search forever to find a relevant contact to pitch an idea. You’ll have a diversity of options at your finger tips when the need to guest post presents itself. Plus, the stronger your contact list, the more opportunities you’ll receive. You never know when an old contact will come in handy.
Specifically Target Sites with Awesome Content
Don’t approach any site without having great content. If you do, you’ll lower your credibility and most likely be rejected. Plus, you won’t be given the opportunity to guest post in the future. Never present any work that is less than your best.
Also, only focus on sites that already offer great content. Don’t waste your time with the smaller fish in the sea. Instead, focus on finding the bigger game that already have established awesome content you can further build with the contribution of your post.
When creating guest blogs, remember that Google will discount any guest post links from irrelevant blogs, poor anchor texts, and poor content quality. To rise above the guest blogging controversy, Cutts recommends creating a high quality article that is 100 percent original, well written, relevant to your audience, and exclusive to only one site. Despite guest posting facing quite a bit of turmoil at the moment, if done correctly, it’s still a valuable marketing tool that you‘re able to use in your favor.
“Matt Cutts says ‘Stop’ Guest Blogging for SEO: Here’s everything you need to know SearchEngineWatch
“Matt Cutts Clarifies Guest Blogging for SEO”SearchEngineJournal