Do you want to get your blog endorsed by big players in your niche?
Today I am going to show you how to start guest blogging so that you can increase your blog’s traffic, social shares and subscribers.
You need to start getting your blog out there and make a name for yourself. Nobody is going to hand you a successful blog, that comes when you do the hard work.
In my post about blog promotion tactics I shared 17 ways to drive traffic to your posts but I never mentioned Guest Posting.
This was for one reason… everyone does this. It is like the golden nugget to traffic.
It has been slated, it has been praised and everything in between but the truth is that it delivers on all levels.
Let’s learn how you can grab your first post that brings you the promised results with my guest blogging strategy.
Where To Start Guest Blogging
Nowadays there are so many lazy bloggers out there that will let you guest post to save them writing content. This leads to people getting zero traffic, zero comments and zero email signups.
What is the point in that?
If you are hoping to write a guest post you want it to deliver all three of these things.
You want traffic to come to your site and landing page, so you can get email signups. You want blog comments to show the audience that you care enough to talk to them.
Brad Sugars even wrote an article on Entrepreneur.com that states guest posting is the best way to get new customers and increase sales.
There is no one metric that can guarantee all three of these because even a top blog, with lots of comments and a brilliant domain authority, could send you nothing.
Maybe the audience weren’t keen on what you had to offer this time.
When I select places to write for I look at the vanity metrics and the engagement. This is before I even think of topics to write about!
A Tip From Sue Anne Dunlevie:
One of the best ways to get more readers is to guest post for other blogs. In fact, I suggest that when you start blogging, you guest post even more than you write on your own blog!
Once you’ve developed relationships with other bloggers by doing a couple of round up posts, the next step is to ask them if you can guest post on their blog.
Of course, you need to do your homework on their blog to know if they accept guest posts or not. If they do, most bloggers include a page on what they are looking for from guest posters.
A successful guest post can bring in hundreds of new readers (and potential buyers).
Is The Blog Relevant
Before you get all bitchy on the blogs out there, you have to make sure that the blog you are pitching too is relevant.
If I was to write a blog post about SEO on Pinch of Yum (A Food Blog). Do you think I would get much traction?
It may appeal to some but not enough to make it worth it. When you are starting out you want to post on highly relevant blogs, this is where your core audience is.
Look on Google for topics you cover on your own blog, the blogs that show up are relevant to your topic and are the best to target for a guest post.
I am not big on these metrics because they can easily be manipulated. Having said this, it would be stupid to totally ignore. The only two metrics I am interested in is Domain Authority and Page Authority.
These are designed by Moz to help you predict how well the site will perform on the search engine results pages. It is basically a scale of 1-100, 1 being the lowest and 100 being the best.
The main problem with these metrics is that it depends if the site has been crawled recently. If the Moz spider hasn’t crawled a blog in a while the metrics could be inaccurate.
These are just a guide to say this site is definitely worth looking further.
Good User Engagement
So the site I am interested in guest posting on has a domain authority of 40 and a page authority of 45. In my eyes, this would be worth looking a little more into.
First I want to make sure that the blog is active. When was their last article? If they haven’t had an article in months I would steer clear for now as this looks quite inactive. The blogger could be taking a break but it’s best to wait until the content is fresher as their readers will be more engaged.
Take a look at their most recent article, does it have blog comments. If people are commenting you know that there is an audience to get to know.
Was the post shared on social media? How many times was it shared?
If the post is doing well on social media it means that their audience is happy with what was produced. It is also another signal there is an audience to engage with.
Lastly, I will check out their social media profiles, does the blogger get involved and answer questions. This again shows signs of engagement.
If I can tick the box on all these things I would definitely start to get to know the blogger.
From Adam Connells guest blogging strategy post he lists questions that he asks himself before he gets involved…
A Tip From Adam Connell…
You need to vet each blog and when you’re thinking “should I pitch them on a guest post idea?” ask yourself these questions:
- Do they have an engaged audience? Comments are a great indicator but pay close attention to quality – a load of spam comments are a red flag.
- Do they reply to comments? This is a sign that the blog owner cares about engaging with their audience, and the blog is active.
- Do they adequately share their own content? If they don’t put time into sharing their own content, they probably won’t spend much time sharing yours.
- Does my ideal audience align with this blog? You need to have an “ideal audience” that you want to reach, and the blogs you contribute to should speak to that same audience.
- Do they give writers credit & a link to their blog/landing page in an author bio? You’ll put a lot of effort into writing content, so the least you should get is a byline with a link back to your site.
- Do they have the potential to drive traffic or are there too many distractions? Too many distractions may mean they won’t refer as much traffic as a blog with an ultra-clean layout. Some of these sites are still worth contributing to because they have engaged audiences and provide great social proof. Sure they’ll send you less traffic, but the quality is important too.
Break The Ice To Get On Their Radar
When people think of guest posting they immediately think of pitching an article to a blog owner. This is true but to really get value from this tactic you should build a relationship with the owner.
A Tip From Brian Dean…
If you’re desperate for a link from a particular site (or if the site gets a lot of guest post submissions) you want to get on the webmaster’s radar screen before your pitch.
That way, when you reach out, they’ll be like “Oh yeah, that’s Jim, the guy who leaves all those awesome comments.”
When someone likes you they are more likely to help you and accept your pitches.
So to get started you should go through your hit list of blogs and start to get on the radars of the blogs you hope to write for.
Blog comments are a great way to do this, especially if you see the owner interacting with the comments. Give value and help their audience, trust me it will not go unnoticed.
Go over to Twitter and follow the blog owner. Simply start to engage with the blogger. Retweet their posts, share their content and like their tweets.
Some busy Twitter accounts might not notice every Tweet but is still a valid method to start to get on their radar.
A Tip From Jason Quey…
An expert quote is a quote from an influencer in your field that provides an extra boost of authority.
Shanelle Mullin was one of the first I observed doing this on ConversionXL. In her article, “How to Write Copy People Will Actually Read,” you can see how she highlights Sujan Patel. If I were Sujan, I’d promote that piece because of how well it highlights me.
“There are obvious promotional benefits, but the main reason I include expert quotes in my articles is because it’s genuinely helpful to our readers. I don’t reach out to the experts who have the most social influence, I reach out to the experts who are most qualified to offer useful advice on the topic.”
Focus on creating helpful, thorough content before you reach out to experts. Your quotes should complement the article, not the other way around.
Another way you can get onto a bloggers radar is to ask one of your blogging buddies for an introduction. Jason Quey personally put me in touch with John Rampton and William Harris for my expert roundup post.
Alicia Rades has used this strategy to get in touch with Adam Connell at Blogging Wizard too.
Stroke Their Ego
I don’t know about you but I love the feeling I get when someone tells me I’m great. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Everybody wants to feel loved and wanted!
Even those big bloggers with thousands of followers. This is your not so secret weapon here. By stroking the ego of the blog owner they start to get more positive vibes when they see your posts.
When you share one of the bloggers on Twitter why not reach out to them by email and let them know.
I just wanted to personally thank you and let you know I have shared and linked to the post you wrote about creating a link building campaign.
Your post taught me so much!
I have never considered a broken link building strategy but now I will definitely implement it now.
Once again, Thank you!
This is such a nice email to receive, you aren’t asking for something or being too forward. You are just being nice… This is a great way to make a connection with an influencer and I used this when I first spoke to Sujan Patel…
If you get an email back, pat yourself on the back, you have just taken your relationship to a new level.
Your Secret Weapon To Increase Your Success
When you are able to reach out to someone and get a reply you are ready to deploy the next tactic.
You are going to let your new blogging buddy shine on your blog. I mean if you want to write for them they must be worth some love from your blog.
This is your first proper ask so far. By letting your bloggers shine you are showing them how much you appreciate their effort and hard work.
A Tip From Sue Anne Dunlevie:
Come up with a compelling question and then send it to 20 or more bloggers in your niche. Then create a post compiling all the answers you receive.
If you do a good job here and you pitch correctly there is no reason why they won’t accept your post!
Click here to see my post on expert roundups.
Know Exactly What The Blog Wants & Give It To Them
If you want to smash through the crap and get featured as a guest blogger you really have to make your pitch awesome.
To do this you need to make sure you know what the blog’s audience want. When you know what they want you just create a guest post that gives it to them.
If you are starting to get a good rapport with the influencer then it’s time to start to research a guest blogging opportunity.
If that blogger has been featured in an expert roundup for you, you have a good enough rapport to start preparing for a pitch.
Head over to Buzzsumo and see what their most popular piece of content was. Simply just put the blogs homepage URL in the search box and it will return the most shared posts.
When you know what performs well you will have a rough idea of what to pitch.
Do they share list posts or roundups?
What are the topics of the most popular articles, do they match the topic you are wanting to write about?
By knowing the audiences favorite kind of content to share and also the popular topics, you really can’t go wrong.
Well unless you screw up your pitch…
At Tip From Alicia Rades…
Pay attention to the types of topics and headlines the blog publishes as well as the tone authors take. Take note of any styling elements they use, such as including screenshots, embedded tweets, offset quotes, numbered lists, etc. Finally, check the word count of a few different posts. That way you know what word count to shoot for and can develop your topic and outline based on how in-depth they want their posts to be.
Crafting The Perfect Guest Posting Pitch To Ensure You Get Published
When it comes to creating a guest posting pitch, you need to keep it brief and to the point. You also need to show that blogger why they should let you contribute on their blog.
A Tip From Karol K…
Here’s one for you: why would you believe that a blogger is capable of writing a quality article if they’re apparently not able to send you a well-written email?
It doesn’t make any sense, right? If you can’t do grammar in an email, or can’t convey why you’re contacting the editor, or can’t explain what your post is going to be about, why would anyone believe that you can deliver?
In a word, proofread. Then proofread again. Sending a complete article that has some grammar issues is okay(ish). Sending an email pitch that has them is not.
The subject line is the first thing the blogger will read, if you don’t create a spark then you will get a one-way ticket to their trash.
I find sharing a benefit for their readers and creating curiosity works well. The benefit shows them what’s in it for them and the curiosity helps push them to open the email.
What is better?
Guest Posting Pitch For You
Arm your fans with this traffic generating trick
The second of course.
The benefit is the traffic generating trick. Curiosity will start to be generated because they will want to find out about this trick.
The second is clearly targeted at helping their Fans/readers!
The Actual Email
Now you have an irresistible subject line it is time to show them what you have got.
Introduce yourself very briefly, bloggers are busy and they just want to know the facts.
My name is Joe Elliott and I write over at One Man Wiki.
Now tell them why you want their attention. Again think about what the blogger would be wanting from a guest blog post.
Happy readers that are getting value!
I just wanted to get in touch to run some ideas on a new blog post idea that will help arm your readers with some more traffic.
Ok from this I can tell you want to write for me and I can see you want to help get my readers some more traffic.
If you have done your homework and traffic generation is a hit on this blog you are onto a home run.
A Tip From Jess Ostroff:
If you really care about getting your article published, then you must understand that your relationship with the editor is just as important, if not more important, as the quality of your writing.
Make me care about you, as a human, and I’ll be much more likely read what you have to say.
List Your Ideas
It is now time to share some ideas and from my experience three is the magic number. It’s the sweet spot!
It gives the owner some choice but not enough that they need a week to think about it.
Here are some of the ideas I had for your blog.
- Is Link Building Dead Or Does It Still Help Me Rank – I will show why we should still link build and share methods that help build links in 2017.
- 50 Traffic Generating Tips From 50 Traffic Experts
- Plan Your Broken Link Building Strategy For Massive Growth
If some of your titles spark curiosity then be sure to give a little description. You don’t want the author to have any questions but you also don’t want to write a novel as your pitch.
Including a roundup when you don’t know the person that well is a good way to get your post. These types of posts take a lot of outreach and if you are willing to make that kind of effort then they will know you are serious.
Show Them Your Greatest Work
You want them to be sold on you by now, but if they have any doubts your writing samples should blow them away.
You want to show your best pieces of content! A lot of people say only show content that has been featured on other blogs.
I say show them your best wherever it is published. Your blog is your stamp on the web, it should be your best work.
Showing content that has been published elsewhere shows the owner that you provide the same standard as on your own blog. Which is better for them.
If you are new just show your best blog posts.
As this is the first time I have spoke to you, I thought it would be good to show you my recent blog posts…
- Awesome Writing Example
- Fantastic Writing Example
- The Best Writing Example
Next, it is time to leave it up to them…
Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my post for your blog. I hope I can write for you in the near future
What do you think?
This is where you inject some personality back into the pitch by thanking them for their time. This shows you are a nice person to work with.
Leaving the email with a question is just to help spark the conversation between you and the blogger.
Hopefully, the next email will be asking you to write for them.
A Tip From Penelope Trunk:
I get 25 guest blog pitches a day. So you have to stand out. If you don’t address me by my name then I assume you will not have a pitch tailored to my blog, so I don’t read any further. Most guest posts on my blog get at least 100 comments. The reason for this is that I only publish posts that have a fresh opinion, a personal angle, a way for people to improve their lives, and a clear relationship to my blog topic. It’s really hard to do all that in a post, but the guest posts on my site are always great.
Add The Secret Ingredients For A Successful Guest Post
A guest post is no different to a blog post on your own platform!
You should treat it the exact same. If you are wanting to bring the audience back to you then you really have to blow them away.
From my own guest posting experience, I have found that creating Skyscraper types of content, expert roundups and case study type tutorials work best for internet marketing niche.
Just remember to do everything you can to really nail it.
Create A Headline That Draws The Audience To You
The headline is so important, it’s the first chance you have to introduce yourself to the reader.
You have to make it epic!
I always want to include two things in my headlines…
A benefit they will get from reading the post.
If you are writing an article about high protein recipes you might get something like this…
23 High Protein Recipes That Will Torch Fat
16 Tasty High Protein Recipes That Will Make You Big
Look at the second one. I have added the word tasty, this is to help me connect with the reader’s emotions.
What happens when you think of TASTY food. You start to crave it, your mouth will water and you will do anything to get your hands on it.
When I submit a guest article I will always provide a few headlines. The editor of the blog knows their audience better than you, let them pick the one they will respond too.
Include Authorities In Your Post To Get Some Easy Traction
It is so easy to get your post shared if you help others they will help you. This is the biggest reason to link out to others from your articles.
Well, in my eyes.
If you are writing on a site that has a lot of authority the bloggers that you link to will be ecstatic to be featured. Remember play to their egos.
If you think someone should be featured then go for it but only if you are going to email and let them know.
Another reason to link out is to back up what you say. If you say something like…
22% Marketers live in Miami.
I’m going to be like is this true? But if you link to the source of your fact and they are reputable, I will trust what you say a bit more.
Sprinkle With The Extras To Really Stand Out
By now your article should be looking rather awesome but there is one thing you can do to increase its value.
This helps break the article up. They add that finishing touch to your guest post.
They are also a great way to prove you know your stuff or to make something a bit easier to understand.
If you really want to get the closest type of connection with your audience, though, you should consider adding a video.
The audience can hear and see what you’re up to and the blog owner will think…
Wow, this guy has gone over and above here.
It makes you stand out and build a connection with the readers but also the blog owner.
Your Author Bio Is The Key To Success
Everything up until now has been about getting the best guest post possible. To meet our goals we need to drive traffic and email signups.
Your author bio is the best place to do this. This is the one place on nearly all blogs you can definitely link to your landing page. This is where you want to get your new audience to your email list.
A Tip From Gregory Ciotti:
An incredibly simple tactic I use for guest blogging is to close my articles in order to avoid “byline blindness.” It consists of 3 elements:
- Closing subheading: Let people know that the article is done and it’s their turn to do something. I typically use “Over to You” or “It’s Your Turn.”
- Ask a question: Creating two bullet points, you should use the first one to ask a simple question that relates to what you wrote about.
- Place a small CTA: In the second bullet point, offer the readers a way to “get more” with a simple CTA, such as a download from your site.
Visiting your homepage or an article is great, it accomplishes the traffic goal.
To get the sign-up goal you should use your author bio to forward your new reader to your landing page.
Once they have signed up they are now your subscriber and unless they unsubscribe they can see whatever content you put in front of them.
Here are some examples of great author bios…
This example is by Tor Refsland at Time Management Chef. Look how clear the call to action is!
This one comes from Sue Anne Dunlevie at Successful Blogging.
Next, we have Katherine Sullivan from Marketing Solved, she uses a different approach by sending people to her Facebook group. This works because she can reach out at any time to her new audience.
Jason Quey from The Storyteller Marketer is up next…
Be Ready To Comment
Some people might not be ready to sign up to you after reading your post. They maybe want a bit more, so they leave a comment.
If you don’t hang around you are missing out on the perfect opportunity to build trust amongst the community.
If you provide immense value as you write your comments this could seal the deal for them to check your site out.
Answer as many comments as humanly possible when you guest post.
Adam Connell at Blogging Wizard publicly posted how much it annoys him when guests bloggers don’t answer comments… he states that he will not have you back!
Promote Your Post To Increase Your Guest Blogging Results
I hope you have really put the effort in because your brand is what will make you nowadays. If your producing shabby content all over the place people will distance themselves.
Create stellar content and promote to increase their audience as well as your own.
That is how you get results!
Do Some Outreach To Get Some Eyes On Your New Post
Now promoting a guest blog post shouldn’t be any different from promoting your own. So the first thing you want to do is to start making a list of all the links you have featured.
Split it into two groups, one side external links, and the other side quotes.
If they are in the links column reach out and tell the bloggers you have mentioned and linked to them.
If they are in the quotes section reach out and tell the blogger you have featured a point they have made.
Simply ask them to check it out and ask for feedback! Do not ask for shares or links (For links you could try one of these 50+ tactics). Most will share without prompting.
If they give you good feedback ask them if they would mind sharing with their audience.
Next, I will tell my existing network about the guest post. If people follow you on your own blog they would love to see your other work.
Plus this adds social proof, they see you are associated with a certain blogger.
If the blogger is well known, well say hello to some more trust and authority from your network.
Who is your existing network…
- Your Mailing List,
- Your Social Media friends and followers,
- People you have featured on your blog before,
- People you have reached out to before and that have shared your content.
As long as you are not always on the scrounge for likes and links most people will be happy to take a look.
It’s Over To You
Well done for getting this far, it is time to get the pen out and start making notes of where you can guest post.
Start building relationships and look at ways you can make the blogs you want to write for shine.
The biggest tip for creating an outstanding guest post is to go that extra mile. Remember it is so much better to give than take.
Now go and start guest blogging the right way.
Click Here (or Click the image below) to download your Free Blog Post Promotion PDF Checklist, get the right exposure from day one!
What is your biggest struggle with guest blogging? Let me know in the comments below…