With guest posting widely being tipped as THE seo tactic of 2013, I figured you guys might be interested to hear how I go about getting my posts published on some of the most popular blogs on the web.
Guest posting can be a really powerful SEO tactic to employ, but there’s a huge lacking out there of any real, constructive advice about how to harness this technique in your link building campaigns.
So I’m going to take you through the exact strategy that I use to get my guest posts published on some of the most powerful and influential domains in my niches.
The problem with guest posting as an SEO tactic:
Despite all of the hype about guest posting so far this year, it’s not completely free from criticism. Like any form of link building, guest posting done badly, has just as much potential to harm your site as a massive scrapebox comment blast from Fiverr.
Here’s the thing…
For a little while now, guest posts have been slowly gaining momentum as an “easy” SEO technique. But you see, SEO should never be “easy”. If it’s easy to get your guest post published on a blog, then that makes the link from that blog far less valuable.
The kind of blogs that you want to be seeking out as possible publishing partners, are the sites which you know to be strict on their publishing standards. Those blogs who pretty much approve any old post, whilst I admit they may offer you some short term ranking gains, will inevitably leave your site a lot worse off in the long run. I’m a big fan of always trying to future proof your SEO. Don’t just look to build those links which work today, look to build the links which will still work tomorrow.
That’s why I’m very selective about the blogs and websites that I choose to target in my guest posting activities.
Selecting the right blogs to target:
This is the first step in a successful guest posting campaign. Unfortunately, it’s one that many SEOs skip altogether, and therefore probably the reason why Google will one day clamp down on it in the same way they have with blog commenting and forum signatures. If you want to future proof your SEO and build links for tomorrow, then you should pay special attention to this section right here.
When it comes to selecting prospects, most SEOs will work purely on PageRank. Their theory being one which I now consider to be a little old school – “It’s all about the PR, dude!”.
When I do guest posting though, I prefer to target the sites who are already considered as being authority sites within my niches. I’ll pay much more attention to a sites Alexa rank and it’s domain authority than I will its PR. 9 times out of 10, the sites with the high Alexa rank and the good DA, naturally have the higher PR anyway. But my point here is not to target sites based solely on their PR. A high PageRank is a bonus, not a requirement.
If you target the niche leaders, you’re not only going to get a very valuable and useful link, but you should also expect those links to drive some pretty decent levels of traffic back through to your own site too. Depending on how carefully you select your publishing partners, this traffic should be highly targeted, and therefore stand a great chance at converting. So this really does become a win-win situation, as you then receive the link AND the traffic!
Writing an effective guest post:
Soon after you’ve spent all of this time selecting the perfect sites in your niche to guest post to, you’re going to work out for yourself the exact reason why these guys get as much visitor action as they do.
And that’s because they are highly selective about the types of posts which they publish, and they often have very high editorial standards. To get your sites published on authority sites like this is going to require a little bit more effort than knocking out a quick Fiverr gig for an article writer with your desired keywords, and then rattling off a quick email to the blog owner. These guys are the leaders in their sector, so they probably get hundreds of guest posts submitted to them every week. Do you think they’re going to think twice about hitting the delete button on your email?
You’re going to need to write an extremely high quality guest post if you’re going to be successful here. If you can’t write one yourself, or if you don’t have the time to do your post justice, then hire a writer who can.
But there’s a couple of other things to consider before you dive into writing your guest post. When you take to the keyboard and fire up Microsoft Word, you need to come at it from the mindset of the website which you are targeting as your publishing prospect.
Your style of writing, as well as the subject of your post, should be something that your target website would be happy to put their name behind. Take a look through some of their most recent posts and articles, and take the time out to get a feel for the kinds of things they like to publish, and the style of writing they like to use. This is the biggest key to getting your post published.
Something which I like to do is head over to Alexa and check out the Audience Snapshot section. This gives you a great insight into the characteristics of the target sites audience. You can find out all kinds of information about your chosen sites visitors such as age, location, education etc and you should keep all of this information firmly in mind when you are writing a guest post.
You could also take a few moments to read over some of the comments that people have left on their recent posts. Take a look at the posts with the most comments, as these are likely to be the posts which are most popular with their audience. If you give them a guest post written in the same vein as this, then you have a very good chance of seeing it published on the site.
Submitting your guest post:
Ahh…the science of the outreach email. There’s so much debate about how to do this right. To be honest, I think it’s something which has been over dramatised a little bit. The basics are pretty much common sense, so don’t build this up in your mind to be a big deal, because it really isn’t like that at all.
You want to write an email which will make the receiver actually want to read it. In other words, you don’t want something which looks predominantly template based and impersonal. Just like you took the time to research a little about the website, do a little bit of research about the person you’re submitting the post to. Try to find out a little bit about them and what their personalities are like, so that you can make the email a little more personal. For example, you don’t want to be starting the email with something like “Dear Sir” or “To whom it may concern” or any of that nonsense. You may as well just put “Please delete me” in the subject bar if you’re opening line is going to be something like this. As a minimum, find out the person’s name. Tell them the name of your article and a very brief outline of its content (one or two sentences max). Tell them why you think it would work well on their sites and why their audience would benefit from reading it. Not in a kiss ass kind of way, but just to show them that you have taken the time to understand their audience and that you’ve written a post which they will enjoy.
Another thing which helps to separate the awesome outreach emails from the rest of the pack, is the giveback. What do I mean by that? Well, people will be a lot more inclined to help you and publish your article if they know that you will be willing to return the favour somehow. A great tip is to tell the blog or website owner that you will work to promote the article once it is posted on the blog. Bloggers will fall over themselves for this! Tell them you’ll push it on the social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. You’ll find all sorts of cheap services online that can provide you with this stuff for a couple of bucks, and you’d be amazed at how well it can work to sweeten the deal.
Don’t post and run:
Once your guest post has been published, make sure you check back pretty regularly to see how the blog post is being received. Readers will likely be leaving comments with further questions or feedback, so make sure you make an account and reply to every comment personally. People will be far more likely to remember your brand and click through to your website if you interact with them and show them that they are dealing with an actual human being, right?
I always like to subscribe to receive notifications by email whenever someone leaves a new comment. This means that I will never miss a comment or an opportunity to interact with my target audience. Even if it comes a couple of months after a particular post has been published, I’ll still get the emails to let me know about any new comments as and when they happen. This means I can catch the user when my post is fresh in their mind.
As an added bonus, every time you post a reply to a comment, you’re building an extra link back to your money site.
That’s really all there is to it!
These are the exact principles and methods that I follow each and every time I write a guest post, and this is what has allowed me to be featured on some of the most popular blogs in my chosen niches.
Happy posting guys!
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