Super effective tips and tricks to score a guest post spot on your dream blog!
What is guest posting?
Guest posting is when you create a blog post for another blogger to publish on their own site in exchange for a link back to your blog. Some blogs accept guest posts for free. However, it’s becoming increasingly more common for bloggers to charge a fee for potential guest bloggers to feature on their blog.
This is most common amongst blogs that are particularly well known and well established in their niche with an impressive audience and traffic flow.
Guest posting (also known as guest blogging) is a great way to help build your blog ranking, domain authority, and boost your reputation in your niche.
As much as guest posting will benefit you, it will also benefit the blog you post to so it can be a win-win situation for both parties.
The benefits of guest posting
You might think, “why would I write a brilliant post and give it to someone else rather than post it on my own blog?”.
Well, as much as you can benefit from posting to your own blog, guest posting offers plenty of benefits for both the creator of the content and the publisher of the content. It also helps build important relationships within your niche.
So what are the benefits of guest posting?
Become an authority in your niche
When you create high quality, informative content for your own blog with positive feedback and social engagement, over time, you will start to build your authority in your niche.
Your audience will become more loyal, and they will turn to you for relevant information in your niche. But when you create an amazing post for someone else, you’re targeting a whole new readership, their readership. This gives you the potential to expand your audience further and put you on par with your better competitors.
When it comes to building your authority in your niche, you need to remember that posting one guest post isn’t going to cut it.
You need to make sure you are everywhere.
It will benefit your chances of being successfully accepted to guest post on well-established blogs if you have some authority or awareness before you apply for a guest posting position.
You can do this by being active on social media, building trusting relationships with your audience, being selfless, and helping other bloggers out.
Build brand awareness
Even if you don’t plan on taking over the world, building your brand awareness is a key factor in having a successful blog or business.
When you build good brand awareness, your blog will be who people automatically think of when they talk about something in your niche. This is something every blogger should strive for as the world of blogging is rapidly growing and becoming increasingly competitive, so you must stand out.
Build links to your site
When you guest post on another blog, you will receive a backlink from that blog.
Let me explain – let’s say you guest post on blog A and at the end of your post is your name and a link to your blog.
That link is an external link from blog A to you (blog B), but from your point of view, you have received a backlink. So blog A has an external link, and blog B has a backlink.
Having backlinks also helps boost your search engine ranking quicker. Google spiders use backlinks to help index your page quicker, helping bring you up from the depths of page 89 to the front of the top pages.
We all want to rank quicker, but you need to be careful with backlinks and don’t focus on this alone. Google searches for quality over quantity, so make sure you have backlinks from an authoritative blog rather than a blog with low-quality backlinks.
An important thing for you and your blog is building relationships with other bloggers in your niche. Guest posting is a great way to do this, not only do you build trust with the blogger you work with, but you can develop an important relationship with the blogger and other people in your niche.
If you publish an incredible post with a link back to your blog, other bloggers in your niche will reach out to you, and you will soon have a whole network of authoritative, credible bloggers to lean on.
How to find sites for guest posting
There are a few different ways to find blogs who are accepting guest posts. The main thing to do is search for blogs in your niche and make sure their criteria matches yours before you approach them as this will save you both a lot of time.
It’s important to find blogs who have a large following, great social media engagement, and high-quality content. If the blog ticks all of these boxes, then you are heading towards a good start.
So now you’ve got an idea of the blog criteria, let’s take a look at how to find guest posting opportunities.
One of the most obvious ways to find sites for guest posting is by simply doing a Google search, but there are ways to fast track this.
If you want to beeline to the good stuff, try these tactics out but replace ‘relatable word’ with a keyword that relates to your blog.
Relatable word +
- “guest post by”
- “guest post”
- “submit a guest post”
- “guest post guidelines”
- “accepting guest posts”
- “submit post”
- “write for us”
- “articles wanted”
- “guest blogger”
- “submit content”
- “writers wanted”
- “guest posts wanted”
- “submit an article”
Remember to include the double quotation marks in your search.
Take a look at your readers
Have you ever actually considered your audience and what they do? Depending on your niche, there is a high chance that quite a few, if not most of them, are currently running their own blog (in the same niche) and could be looking for creative, informative content that you could offer.
As they are your followers, they will see you as a credible source of information and would probably love to have you guest post for them. All you can do is ask.
Say it like it is (tell them you’re looking to guest post)
Sometimes you just need to say it as it is, “I am looking for guest post opportunities.” You can make this a notice on your blog or even put a post out on your social media.
Of course, be sure to give some details into your criteria such as blogging niche, must be an authoritative, high-quality blog etc. The great thing about this is you have already established a relationship with your audience.
So if your readers aren’t looking for a guest poster just yet, they might recommend you to a friend who is also in the blogging industry.
Speak to the commenters
So you’ve had your amazing post published on the blog of your dreams, what now?
Well, to start, you should be keeping an eye on the post popularity and make sure you are ready to respond to any comments.
Responding to the audience’s comments allows them to speak to you on a one on one basis, get to see more of who you are, and build their own relationship with you. They might even reach out to you to guest post for them.
Well known guest bloggers in your niche
You might notice when you browse your competitor’s blogs that certain names always seem to crop up. It’s your job to find out who these prolific bloggers are and get familiar with their work.
These bloggers are prolific for a reason because they are damn good at what they do and in high demand.
Why not Google search “Guest post by ‘prolific blogger’” (include double quotation marks) and see what results show up?
We guarantee you’ll get a huge list of blogs where the top bloggers in your niche have guest posted, and these will be authoritative, very high quality, well-respected blogs that you should aim to guest post on.
Another way to get an idea of where to guest post is by analyzing your competitors and their backlinks.
If you use a free tool such as Similar Web, you will be able to see all sorts of details on your competitors, but what we need to look at here is their backlinks as this will show where they have featured or potentially guest posted.
Taking a look at the sites they are associated with gives you a good idea of the types of sites you should be striving to feature on. Don’t run from your competition, face them head-on.
Guest posting communities
There is such a thing as communities online that focus on a guest posting network, and many users report good experiences using these. However, others have suggested avoiding them like the plague.
One of the main benefits of these communities is the ability to have guest posting opportunities right at your fingertips.
However, one of the main complaints from users is that shady bloggers take the guest bloggers’ content and post it as their own content with no credit to the true, original author.
We’ve compiled a few guest blogging communities, and we recommend trying these out for yourself and forming your own opinions based on your experiences:
Figuring out if a blog is right for you
Before you go ahead and source a blog’s approval, you should first determine whether that blog is right for you. We’ve spoken briefly about blog criteria, but let’s take a closer look at some of the things you should really consider before jumping in the deep end.
Do follow vs. no-follow links
When someone creates an outbound link, they have the option to create this as a ‘do follow’ link or a ‘no follow’ link. The ‘do follow’ link means that you will gain a ranking boost for the link attributed to your blog. A ‘no follow’ link means you will not gain an SEO ranking boost.
So what does this mean?
In our opinion, when you create content for someone else, they should do the right thing and credit you with a ‘do follow’ link.
However, if you are commenting on the post or any other post for that matter and you link back to your blog, the blogger would have most likely set the comment links as ‘no follow’ links.
‘No follow’ links still allow readers to come back to your blog and decide if they want to subscribe or not, but Google doesn’t register the link as something to increase your page ranking.
This is important as too many ‘do follow’ links placed in comments etc. begin to look spammy, and Google doesn’t like spammy sites.
Aim to work with blogs or websites with high domain authority. The domain authority ranks from 1 (the worst) to 100 (the best), and by having a good domain, authority increases your ranking strength and web traffic.
According to Moz, there are three different ranks of domain authority:
- authority between 40 – 50 is average
- between 50 – 60 is good
- above 60 is excellent.
Social shares (living community)
You shouldn’t base the success of a social media account on the number of followers or likes that it has, as fake likes and followers can easily be paid for.
Social sharing is an effective way of promoting your blog and your work. Make sure the blog you post to has good social shares and shows that they have a regular active community with consistent sharing.
These things will greatly benefit you as a guest poster.
Your information must be noticeable on the post you have created, whether that’s a simple introduction before the post or some credits at the end, make sure your name and backlink aren’t buried somewhere where nobody will find it.
The best times to pitch a guest post
You can reach out to bloggers at any time and offer your services, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of being accepted.
When the blog advertises they are looking for guest posts
Obviously, if a blog advertises that they are looking for a guest post, then you have a much higher chance of being acknowledged rather than when you just approach them.
Some blogs have a schedule of when they are interested in guest posts; other times, they might not even open your email because the timing isn’t right for them.
When you have been mentioned in one of their posts
If a blog you are looking to feature on has recently posted an article with a link back to you (off their own back), then this would be a great opportunity to touch base with them.
First, you should check out the post and leave a comment thanking them for the acknowledgment and the great article. Then you should email them. Thank them again for acknowledging you but also give them your two cents on the article.
Next offer them the chance for you to write an article for them, perhaps based around the same subject or relevant topic they posted on along with a couple of ideas of what this could be. If they are interested in talking further, then pitch your post ideas to them.
Pitching a guest post
Make sure your website or blog looks professional, bonus points if you’re established
Before you even consider approaching well established, high-quality blogs to work with, you need to make sure your own blog is up to scratch.
You might not need to have 100,000 monthly readers, but you do need to have a blog that looks professional, reads professionally, and is user-friendly.
If your blog looks spammy, unrelatable, messy, and has too many dodgy backlinks, you won’t even get a look at.
Remember, it’s not only you researching them, but it’s also them researching you too.
If you do happen to be established with a large following, then you have a good percentage of getting noticed but the rules below still apply and you need to do your work.
Don’t just assume because you won blog of the year that you have what they want.
Read the blogs guest post terms and conditions
The best thing to do before you pitch a guest post is to read the blog’s guest post terms and conditions.
Guest post terms and conditions will tell you specific guidelines you must follow. This includes:
- the type of content they accept
- whether they want a full example article
- who can apply
- what sites you can link to
- what anchor text is allowed
- how to cite your sources.
If you pitch an idea without reading the guidelines, it only shows the editor that you can’t follow basic instructions, and the chances are they won’t even finish reading your pitch.
Personalize your emails but keep them relevant
It’s so important to personalize your email when approaching a blog.
Start with the obvious and refer to them by name. Then follow on with a simple point about what you like about their blog or site. Maybe comment on a recent post you read that has inspired your topic idea.
Many editors won’t even open an email that starts with “Dear Sir/ Madam” and simply trash it. Others cringe like crazy when you bombard them with false flattery and push you to the side.
The important thing here is keeping your pitch relevant to their blog, focus on their audience, not them, and they will thank you for it.
Know who they are
Before you go pitching to a business, consider if you really know them.
Pitching a guest post is like going for a job interview, you need to be clued up enough to know about who you are working for, what their aims are, and what they offer their audience.
We’re not suggesting you tell them who they are, they already know that, but we are suggesting that your pitch is absolutely relevant to their aims and the needs of their audience.
Be transparent in your approach and be human.
However, don’t lie to them and make out like you’ve followed their blog for years when you haven’t or that you can offer them valuable insight at their level when you can’t.
They will see right through this, especially when it comes to working together down the line, and it will reflect badly on your brand.
Let them know who you are as a blogger, introduce yourself but don’t brag.
The editor will want to know who you are, but they don’t want to hear your life story. It’s important to introduce yourself.
You are building a relationship after all, but this isn’t about you, and really it isn’t even about them, it’s about their audience. Mention your aims for your own audience and how this can translate to theirs.
Let them see that you are a genuine person wanting to be genuinely helpful. It doesn’t kill to be kind.
Build a relationship
Before you even consider pitching to someone, it is always a great idea to try and get on their radar way before you even approach them to guest post.
I know that if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking at guest posting right this moment, but it will work out better for you if you build up some kind of relationship before you ask them for a favor.
To help you get noticed by a blog or site beforehand, you can:
- check out their blog
- comment on their articles
- reach out to them on social media
- share their latest article and link back to them.
If the editor is aware of who you are and what you’re capable of by seeing this for themselves, then you have a higher chance of being accepted for the blog posting role.
Focus on your email structure
It can be difficult to write the best guest pitch email, especially if you are new to the scene, but take warning.
Editors absolutely hate receiving an email based on a mass template. They receive hundreds of those things, so why would they put aside the time to look at yours, especially when you can’t even be bothered to put in the effort and write something personal and honest.
Another thing editors hate? Bad grammar. If your guest post pitch has excessive errors, then what does that say about your writing in general?
It gives a seriously bad first impression, so make sure you write carefully and take advantage or grammar correction tools such as Grammarly.
Something else to consider in your email is something we have touched on before, but do not make it about you.
Don’t even mention a backlink, don’t even sniff at it. Don’t make this pitch about what you can get out of them. It won’t go down well. If a backlink is something they offer, this will be mentioned in their guidelines or later on after initial contact.
Along with this, don’t even mention that you’re “just looking to guest post”, instead mention how your work can benefit their readers and how you think you can be of value to them.
So this is the interesting part, what you actually have to offer. When it comes to the topics you plan on covering; you should at least do your homework first and brainstorm your ideas.
Something you should always start with is what the blog has already covered, and if the blog has an article on what you want to write about, then forget about it. No one needs duplicate content – what else can you offer?
You should also assess the level of writing the blog is known for (we talk about this below), so when you offer your ideas, don’t promise to cover topics at a level you can’t manage. This will just prove to be disappointing and embarrassing for you both.
When you have fleshed out the perfect topics to pitch to the editor, make sure you give them more than just the topic headings. What are they going to get from that? They need information, creative ideas, and an insight into how you plan to tackle the topic and how you write.
Understand the guest blog audience
We’ve spoken a lot about how your work is to benefit their readers more than anything, but do you actually understand their audience? It’s all fine and well saying you are doing this for them, but if your content doesn’t translate, then you’re not helping anybody.
When researching the audience, you need to consider a few things, such as their level of understanding, the type of audience they are, and the type of posts they are drawn to the most.
Let’s look first at the audience’s level of understanding. Is the blog written for a beginner audience, an intermediate audience, or more towards an advanced audience? Are they writing content for newbies or content for an audience that knows what they’re doing?
Figure it out and then translate it into the standard of your post.
You should also try to understand the type of audience you will be writing for. Will the content be written for b2b (business to business), or will it be b2c (business to consumer) content? What topics do they write about, and who do they target?
Next is the style of content the audience responds best to, whether that’s in-depth tutorials, lists, generic content, or really extensive content on something specific. Find out what their audience responds to, and give examples of these in your pitch.
Are you capable of outreach?
So the editor now knows who you are and what you can do for them, but where is the proof?
Make sure you have linked to previous work and previous guest posts you have written, but be sure that these posts are of an exceptional standard and completely relevant to your niche.
Another important thing is to make sure your posts have good social outreach so the editor can see how valuable your posts can be to their audience and potentially bring in more traffic for them.
Let’s quickly recap the top points to remember when looking to guest post:
- Know your reasons for wanting to guest post
- Do your research on the blog, their audience, and the topic
- Make sure you personalize your email and keep it relevant to the blog and their needs
- Make sure your email is structured properly with correct grammar, spelling, and form
- Understand your limits
- Follow up after a week and don’t be too pushy
If you follow our advice, you should have no problem writing an amazing pitch or email.
Remember, you can’t please everyone, so if you get rejected (which you will at some point), don’t be hard on yourself, dust yourself off and try again elsewhere.
Keep in mind that if you do get rejected, don’t try to pitch again to the same editor with the same ideas, that’s not helping anyone and chances are you’ll just annoy the editor.