If you take a look at literature from the SEO, online marketing, and website business realm, you will often find the term “guest posting” mentioned. It is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your online brand.
We agree that guest posting is a must. So, we’ve decided to compile this complete guide to guest posts. Check what they are, their benefits, where to start, and how to get better.
Learning all this information will help you find your way when it comes to guest posting. In return, it will immensely boost your online reputation. So, let’s start!
What are Guest Posts?
Guest posts or guest blogs are content that’s published on someone else’s website. The guest poster chooses a site where they want to place one of their articles and contacts the owner to set up cooperation for guest posting.
Why do People Write Guest Posts?
For many people, this first question when it comes to guest posting is: “If I have a great piece of content that will surely be received well by the audience, why would I give it to someone else?”
For some, guest posting feels like you’re giving up the positive reactions from your post and handing it over to an owner of an entirely different website.
However, this is not true at all.
People guest post for various reasons, and there are many possible benefits of posting an article on someone else’s website.
The Benefits of Guest Posting
Word of Mouth
There’s nothing more powerful in commerce and marketing than word of mouth. We may have come up with some terrific marketing channels which provide a next-level experience for audiences. However, the fact is there’s no better marketing than a good recommendation.
When a website publishes your guest post, they’re saying to their audience: “Pay attention to this guy! He knows what he’s saying.”
When you say this about yourself, it doesn’t come through. When someone else says it, that’s when it’s a good recommendation. This is why guest posting can be a significantly more impressive and successful marketing method than humble-bragging your own website/blog/service.
Guest posting is not only directly responsible for increasing your traffic and brand awareness, but it also has a positive impact on SEO.
If you want search engines to point to your website, it’s necessary that other websites point to it, too. This way, Google knows that your site is talked about and that it presents a high-authority source for a particular keyword.
Posting on another website is a great way to tap into a yet undiscovered audience and expand your reader base. Sure, having loyal fans and visitors is fun, but at one point you will need to step out of your home field if you want to increase your traffic.
By posting a great article on an industry website, you will reach the exact audience that you’re targeting. This is why guest posts can show to have much better stats (traffic, time on page, bounce rate) than, for example, social media promotions.
Business is all about trust. If you want to be successful in business, whatever your industry may be, you need to show your customers (in this case, readers) that you’re a trustworthy person who knows what they’re talking about.
When you’re writing for your own site, you’re not really doing that much credibility-wise. You might be upgrading your authority levels if you consistently publish good content, but you need someone else to speak to your credibility.
Guest posting will allow you to do just that: show the world that other websites have recognized your credibility and that they vouch for your expertise and quality writing.
How to publish a guest post
1. Choosing the right site for your guest post
If you are just starting out with the strategy of guest posting, you probably want to publish your content on websites of big, important names from your industry. After all, not only do these websites present successful and famous brands, but their content also has the highest degree of credibility and authority. Posting there would mean that you too are an expert in this matter.
However, if you’re only starting out in the world of guest posting, it’s illogical to assume that your first guest websites will be huge magazines and famous blogs. Everyone has to start out small, but don’t worry: if your content is good and well-visited, you will quickly get great opportunities for scaling.
Dream big, but start small
Now, we’ve tackled the first important advice when it comes to searching for guest post websites: stay realistic. Be aware of your expertise and strength, but also be honest about your lack of experience in guest posting and cooperation with other media outlets.
It’s also important that you limit your search only to those websites that do accept guest posts. Of course, you can send out ‘open’ guest post pitches, but if you continue to send guest post proposals to websites that don’t have a policy of accepting them, you might end up disappointed.
In order to start compiling your list of potential guest posting partners, you first need to determine your target. Anything related to the industry or area you’re writing about can be helpful. However, the more precise and niche-focused you go with your website targeting, the better your content will do.
For starters, if you want to be sure that you will make a deal with a website which will post your content, don’t settle for 2 or 3 pages. Staying patient and optimistic is extremely important. In the beginning, you might have to send proposals to dozens of websites before you get a positive response.
So, how exactly can you get a big list of websites that accept guest posts in your industry/niche/topic?
Google Keyword Search
The most straightforward way to find websites that are close to your content and theme, but which accept guest posts, you can simply do a Google search of your target keyword + guest posts.
Many websites usually have a guest post section or page where they explain what kind of content they accept. In these sections, websites will also describe how exactly you can apply to be their guest writer and will often share their style guide.
There are many search strings that can help you discover guest post pages and invitations. Some of the most helpful ones are:
- “target keyword” + “write for us”
- “target keyword” + “guest post”
- “target keyword” + “submit article”
- “target keyword” + “become a guest blogger”
- “target keyword” + “submit content”
- “target keyword” + “submit post”
- “target keyword” + “guest author”
These search strings are most likely to give you useful and relevant results. You can quickly reveal all the top websites that accept guest posts currently operating in your industry.
List of Websites that Accept Guest Posts
Given that guest posting has been proven to power up SEO, marketers sometimes publish lists and guides to websites that accept guest posts. Usually, they are industry-focused, so if you’re looking for a specific niche, you might be better off searching via Google.
On the other hand, some sites have very detailed lists of websites that accept guest blog posts that they cover pretty much the majority of industries and topics. The website topics on this list of 5,000 websites that accept guest posts in 2019 are divided into 32 categories, so you will find it much easier to narrow down your search to something directly related to your content.
Next to Google, Twitter is also a great search engine for sources that will allow you to publish guest posts.
If you choose the Advanced Search option of Twitter, you can select many sub-filters that will narrow down the search results for you.
For example, you can search for the exact match of the keyword “guest post” and search for your industry along with it.
After that, you can limit the time span for your search on the previous week or month, for example.
Twitter will then present you with all the related tweets for your search. You will be able to see guest post announcements from different brands and websites, which you can add to your guest post target website list.
Using LinkedIn to approach guest post editors and website owners is a great way to present an additional value of individuality and personal approach. This is especially solid for high-authority websites and blogs that receive many guest post requests. By contacting the decision-maker ‘in person’, you can set apart from the crowd and increase your chances of winning a great guest post spot.
For most websites and blogs, it’s very easy to find their owners through a quick Google search. If a company is present on LinkedIn, too, you can simply click on the ‘View Employees’ to see who’s in charge of guest posts.
Analyze your Competitor’s Backlinks
There are multiple tools out there that can help you find out what your competitors are up to. Tracking your competitors is advised for many benefits. One of the great ones is that you can track where they source their backlinks and guest posts.
One of the tools that can help you do this is Ahrefs (there’s a trial version available if you want to see what it’s about first). When you enter your competitor’s site in the tool, Ahrefs will show you all the links pointing to this website: among other, guest posts.
Here, you can find great ideas on who to contact for guest posting, because you already know the website is interested in posting content from your niche.
Another perk of finding target websites this way is that you can come across industry websites and high-authority blogs that don’t openly advertise that they accept guest posts. This way, you can truly discover some hidden gems!
2. Getting your pitch and post ready
You’ve found your dream website(s) where you want to post content. What now?
Well, the first step is to prepare a pitch for the person you’re going to talk to. What will your article be about in the first place? How will you approach the topic and what tone of voice will you use?
While preparing your pitch, define all the article features: title, headlines, structure, keywords, length, style, etc. Make sure you provide a clear picture of what you’re planning to deliver to your guest posting website.
Remember, the majority of guest posting hosts require a high degree of quality. Therefore, make sure that you explain why you’re right for their website, why your content is high-quality and what it can teach their audience. That’s what guest posting is all about from the host’s side: attracting high-quality, high-authority content.
3. Contacting your target website
OK, you’ve prepared an awesome pitch for what you want to write about. It’s time to approach your target website and start your new partnership.
You can contact and approach guest posting websites in several ways. We’ve already mentioned some of them: Guest Post section and LinkedIn.
When you submit a question/proposal in the guest post (“write for us”, “submit article”) section, the chances are highest that your pitch will end up right where it should. In all other contact modes, emails to websites and companies can easily end up in the wrong channel without ever being forwarded to someone who will really care. Boo-hoo.
If a website doesn’t have a Guest Post section, you can simply contact it at their info@ or hello@ email. It’s definitely recommended to visit the Impressum to find the emails of editors, content department, marketing or similar. This will increase your chances of your pitch ending up in the right place.
4. Writing your guest post
One of your target websites answered that they would love to have you onboard and that they look forward to receiving your guest post. Hooray! Now, it’s time to do the magic and build an article based on the pitch you’ve provided.
When you’re writing a guest post, you have to keep quality top-notch. The fact that you’re publishing for someone else doesn’t mean that you need to lower your quality standards. If nothing else, it means that the quality should be even better and crafted more precisely. Remember, you’re speaking to an audience that doesn’t know you yet (at least, most of them)!
Here are some tips that will help you craft an awesome guest post:
Capture the Reader’s Attention
The first point of contact between your contact and the reader is going to be the title. When crafting a title, you have to consider many things at the same time to achieve the perfect formula.
The title needs to be catchy, attractive, and interesting. At the same time, it really has to be relevant to the actual content you’re presenting. This is why click-bait titles simply won’t work on low-quality articles. If you promise your reader to Get Rich in 10 Minutes With Zero Effort in your title, and then you continue talking about your digital agency in the body of the article, it will take about 5 seconds before the reader (or precisely, clicker) will storm out. This will affect your bounce rate, which will affect your SEO.
Another important thing is the introductory paragraph. Here, it’s also crucial that you actually say what the reader can expect from the text to follow. At the same time, it has to be unique, funny, or interesting enough to keep them reading.
Pay Attention to Readability
Readability has to do mostly with sentence length, structure, and separate paragraphs. It’s actually a measure of how easy it is to read through your text.
For any type of content, it’s important that the readability is good. However, some niches will have it harder than others. Tech, philosophy or financial content can have pretty tough readability and still work. A how-to guide or a magazine-style article will need to have smooth-as-silk readability.
Make sure you keep your sentences short or medium. Alter between the lengths of sentences to achieve better rhythm (one long, two short, etc.)
Add plenty of images
We are visual creatures. No matter how crystal-clear your content may be, we still adore when it’s visualized with images, gifs, graphs, diagrams, etc.
When you’re composing a guest post, you need to make sure that you have the rights to all the images you include in your post. If you don’t have access to some of the premium image libraries, there are many free image collections that you can use, too.
Back to you
This blog made you want to dive in? Go right ahead. Follow these tips on how to write the perfect guest blog post, and how to find the right home for it!
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