Guest blogging is one of the easiest marketing strategies to utilize, and the benefits are virtually endless. I think that we can all agree that gaining a foothold within a specific niche can be tough, especially when your site is brand new.
A brand new site lacks authority, a following, and most of all, traffic.
Simply creating outstanding content isn’t enough. Those that rely on the “post and pray” method are doomed to fail.
I have a confession to make. Marketers such as myself may be part of the problem. We constantly tell our readers about the importance of high quality content.
Yes, content is an integral aspect of creating a successful business, but high quality content is absolutely useless unless people actually see it.
Often times, established marketers fail to realize WHY and HOW they became established in the first place. It wasn’t JUST because of their content, their marketing efforts also played a significant role in their success.
Think of internet marketing like a car. Obviously, the engine is a crucial part of the vehicle. Without an engine, your car is not actually a car, but an extremely expensive shell. Think of content as your engine to help power your business.
Ok, so what does any of this have to do with guest blogging?
A car with just an engine is pretty useless as well, right? Your other marketing efforts serve as your steering wheel, your wheels, and your gas pedal to help drive your business in any direction that you choose.
Guest blogging is a very important piece of the puzzle.
A single guest post presented in front of the right audience can skyrocket a brand’s popularity into the stratosphere.
Marketing industry leaders like Derek Halpern, Brian Dean, and Mathew Woodward all appeared on the scene practically overnight due to the popularity they gained from guest posting.
Aside from convincing Justin Bieber to tattoo your brand name on his forehead, there is no other way to gain an audience faster than guest blogging.
Unfortunately, most people have no idea what it takes to get their content published to a highly reputable website. By no means is it rocket science, but it isn’t quite as easy as it seems.
That is why I’ve dedicated today’s post to showing you exactly how you can find the best guest blogging opportunities within any niche.
Step #1 – Your Writing
The most important detail of snagging a guest posting opportunity revolves around your content, not just the content you present to other site owners, but the content that shows on your own site.
No matter how you approach other site owners or how amazing the article you’d like them to publish is written, the major deciding factor will be of what kind of content is currently featured on your site.
These people that you approach need to see what your write about, how you go about writing it, and how it will benefit them.
You need to show that you have experience and expertise within your niche, and the only way to judge this is through what is currently being shown on your site.
For instance, a while back I was approached by a fellow marketer asking to have a blog post that he had written, be published onto my site. The blog post he sent me was outstanding, but his site didn’t quite jive with what I choose to present to my audience.
The content he sent me was far better written than the posts that appear on his site. This led me to believe;
1 – He didn’t actually write the guest blog himself, and instead hired a ghost writer to write it for him
2 – He didn’t have the expertise within the internet marketing niche that his guest post would lead readers to believe
3 – Maybe he is an experienced internet marketer and did actually write the guest post himself, but outsources the writing on his own site, which is sub-par.
How on earth could I justify promoting his site to my dedicated followers? When you link to another site or promote a guest post from someone else, you are essentially vouching for this other person with a vote of confidence.
Your readers trust you, and if you were to promote a post that links to a website that is absolute garbage, then you are betraying that trust.
Needless to say, in order to maintain the integrity of my own site, I was forced to turn him down. Believe me, I’m not the only site owner that thinks this way either.
So, make sure the content on your OWN site is awesome prior to approaching anyone for a guest post.
Step #2 – Be Active On Social Media
Whenever you begin to actually pitch your topic to site owners and editors, the very first thing that they will do is Google your name.
They will be checking your social media accounts or anywhere that your name may appear in order to see if you’re legit.
Your presence on social media will significantly help (or hurt) your chances of landing a guest post with them. If your social media profiles are partially filled out and you don’t interact with your audience very much, then that will definitely count against you.
Often times, if you can show that you have a sizeable network, people will jump at the chance to give you an opportunity because it shows that you have enough expertise in your field that people want to follow you.
Plus, if you were to promote that guest post to your followers, it greatly benefits the site in which the content is posted on. After all, guest posting is a two way street. The more benefit that you can provide for them, the more likely they will be to agree to give you a guest posting opportunity.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have a killer following yet, that’s fine too as long as it appears that you are active on your accounts and interact with the followers that you do have.
Step # 3 – Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities
Alright, so we’ve covered all of the boring stuff that you’ll need to take care of first. Now it’s time to create a list of the key influencers within your niche that you plan to pitch your guest post to.
The following information that I’m going to share will give you the best chance at securing a guest posting opportunity, so please pay close attention…
The first thing you will need to do is open up an area for you to write; Excel, Word, Notepad, whatever.
Now, make a quick list of all of the key influencers within your niche that come to mind. It doesn’t matter how big they are, add them to your list. If no one comes to mind, then write down the names of authority sites.
If no one comes to mind, then simply skip this step and move on. Next you will need to Google your target keywords.
Let’s say that one of your keyword phrases is “internet marketing on a budget”.
Here are the results that I got…
From the results, look for the sites that appear to be blog sites and write them down. In the little snippet I showed, the site Future Simple seems legit, so that would go on my list.
You may come across other sites that aren’t quite suitable for guest blogging such as the one below.
The site in the snippet works with Universities to provide adults with different online learning courses. The site itself has little or nothing to do with your niche other than having a single page appear in the search results. Obviously, this will be excluded from your list.
It’s also important to dig a few pages deep into your Google search. Just because a site doesn’t rank high for your specific search term, doesn’t mean that it isn’t an authority site that ranks highly for other keywords within your niche.
Next, you’ll want to dig even deeper. The very first blog post that appeared for my search “internet marketing on a budget” was for a site called imforza.com
When I click on that link, it takes me to the blog post. At the bottom though, I’ll see the author who actually wrote the post.
I’ll want to take note of this person and Google them and here’s why;
They have likely contributed to several other websites in the past. We want to find those sites and add them to your list as well because we know that they
- Are likely within your niche
- Accept guest posts as well
Chances are that this writer is also active on social media. We could go to his accounts and find where he has been writing.
Step #4 – Shooting Fish in a Barrel
Alright, so now you should have compiled a sizeable list of potential blogs to pitch your idea to. Instead of settling with ONLY those blogs, we are going to take it a step further and find even MORE sites to add to your list.
This step is actually easier than Step #3 because we are going to ONLY target sites that we absolutely know for a fact are accepting guest blog posts. Here’s how.
Google your keyword plus one of the following phrases in quotation marks.
- “become a contributor”
- “guest post guidelines”
- “submission guidelines”
- “write for us”
- “add a post”
- “submit your post”
- “writers wanted”
- “guest post by”
Below is one of the sites that I came up with
Not only does that website fit perfectly for my niche, but they also accept guest blog posts. It’s a no brainer that this would go on our list as well.
Step # 5 – Narrowing Down Your List
If you’ve followed the directions up to this point, you may have ended up with a list of hundreds of different sites by now.
Unfortunately, not every site is going to be suitable for you to guest post on. After all, having a link from the wrong site can do more damage than good, so we’re going to eliminate the wrong sites.
- Eliminate sites that aren’t specific to your niche.
- Get rid of sites that have too many ads or seems spammy.
- Check the social activity of the site in question. If they have none, or haven’t been active in quite some time, then eliminate them and move on.
- Check the site’s authority. I choose to use the SEOquake toolbar.
Pro Tip: If in the off chance your main goal is to gain backlinks, check to see if the outgoing links from that site has “follow” links. If the links are set to “no follow” then this site obviously wouldn’t benefit you.
Step #6 –The Pitch
This is actually a really easy step that many people screw up.
It’s important to understand that people aren’t stupid. If you send a generic email to 300 websites, site owners will be able to sniff it out a mile away.
That doesn’t mean that you have to make every email completely different, just add in some personalization so that they know you’re being genuine and not just spamming.
Try to keep your email brief, but informative. People are busy and don’t have time to read through your lengthy emails, nor do they care to.
As a rule of thumb, I like to keep the body of my emails under 200 words. That way, it’s long enough to provide some basic information without over stepping my bounds.
Also, every site is different and will have varying rules and requirements for their blog posts. Find out what they are and make sure that you adhere to them.
I’d love to provide you with a basic template of what to write, but it will be different for every niche. As long as you are brief, direct, and add in some samples of your work, then you should be good.
If you’re having difficulty building your online business, have hit a plateau, or are just looking for a way to kick your earnings into overdrive, then there are few methods out there that are as powerful and as swift as guest blogging.
If you follow the outline that I presented above, you will undoubtedly land yourself a few guest blogging opportunities.
When this happens, remember to come back and let me (and the other readers) know of your results. Also, if you have any other cool tips to suggest, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.