X

Need Help?

Legiit Live Early Bird Pricing Ends July 31st. Sign Up For The Best Live Event Ever NOW

How to Guest Post

product-image

How to Guest Post: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Link building is one of the most effective ways to rank higher on search engines. The more high-quality backlinks you get, the better.

But that's just it—you need high-quality links for this to work. That means getting backlinks from sites with high Domain Authority (DA).

That's where guest posts come in.

Guest posting allows you to get links from sites that are not only related to your niche but also have high DA.

You'll learn all experts' strategies to find guest post opportunities in this post. You'll also get tips on writing pitches that'll get you noticed. Not only that, but you'll even learn what posts to pitch your prospects.

In short:

Follow these guidelines, and you'll run a guest post campaign on the same level—if not better—than those with years of experience in the industry.

Let's get started.

#1 - Identify Your Target Guest Blogging Opportunities

The first thing you should know when creating a guest blogging strategy is how to determine which sites to work with.

How do you find websites to work with?

The best way would be through Google. Do a search for your target keyword and then check out the entries. You want to get backlinks from the top search result and work your way down.

So let's say you want to rank for the keyword "best socks for winter."

All you need to do is perform a Google search for that term and look at the results. Go past the ads and see which sites rank organically.

Why will this strategy work?

Google already thinks that the top search result is the best source of information for whatever query you used.

So it only follows that whatever links on that web page are considered highly relevant.

Otherwise, Google would have chosen another page in the number one position.

You should compile all sites that rank for your target keywords and see which ones accept guest post submissions.

But let's be honest:

Some of the sites that you'll encounter are high-authority domains that aren't accepting guest posts.

So, where does that leave you? If you end up with sites that don't do blogs, does that mean you're out of guest posting opportunities?

Not necessarily.

While that strategy is the best way to get high-quality backlinks, it's not the only option.

You can get backlinks from sites that link to the top search result. If you can't work with the top search result, use the sites that brought them there in the first place.

You will need a third-party SEO tool to determine where your target sites got their backlinks.

You can use Ahrefs though it should be pointed out that this is a paid tool. But free options are available that should be enough for those just starting.

Going back to the example, the top search result for "best socks for winter" is from a Rolling Stone article.

Most SEO tools like Ubersuggest come with a feature that shows which sites link to a specific page. Enter the specific URL that's ranking for your keyword.

You can filter the results to show you the sites with the highest DA first. Use this list to find more sites that accept guest posts.

To summarize:

You want to get backlinks from the top search results for your target keywords or websites that link to them.

Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to the top-ranking results. You can attempt to get backlinks from any site that has high authority.

That means no backlinks from gambling, adult, or other nefarious categories. Sites that have low-quality content should be avoided as well.

#2A - Identify and Pitch Articles to Rewrite

What comes next after finding websites to submit guest posts to?

At this point, you try to find articles to rewrite for your target website.

You must be wondering why you should rewrite instead of coming up with original content. Surely an original post would have more value than repurposing existing content, right?

There are a couple of reasons why offering to rewrite an article is a better approach:

* Value — It is easier to show site owners the value of updating their old content. You only need to point out which of their posts need a fresh coat of paint.

* Credibility — Offering to write original content will be an uphill battle, especially if the site owner has no idea who you are. Why would they let an unproven writer post content on their website?

* Time — Updating old posts will save you time since the meat of the article is already there. You only need to update certain sections. Remember: Your goal is to write as many guest posts as possible. You can't afford to spend too much time on one guest article.

There are exceptions, of course.

If you're presented with an opportunity to work with a website that's highly sought after, and they want original content, you're going to have to do it. Otherwise, rewriting is still the best path forward.

Finding Articles to Rewrite

There are several ways to find outdated content from your target website.

You can try searching for them manually. This involves looking at all blogs on the website in reverse order.

Some blogs will offer some way for guests to see posts from oldest to newest.

Look at old posts, see which ones you think you can work with, then send your pitch to update them.

However, looking for posts manually isn't the most efficient way of finding guest posting opportunities. There is a simpler way.  

By using Google search operators, you can find outdated posts way faster.

Let's say you want to find old posts from Apartment Therapy. You can use the operators "site" and "intitle" to find blog posts from that site that were published in a specific year.

Sending a Pitch for Rewriting Content

Check the articles to see which ones are worth rewriting. Then you can write your pitch and send them to the site owner.

You shouldn't send a generic guest post pitch. And don't beat around the bush. Instead, be as direct as possible. Get to the point right away.

Here's an example of a guest blogging outreach email:

Hi [name of recipient],

You have an old article on your site [insert a link to the article] that contains outdated information. Rewriting it will help you perform better in Google search results.

I've been writing a lot of content on this subject lately and I think I could help. If it's okay with you, I'd like to update the article on your behalf.

Here are links to some of my previous works:

[Insert links to articles you've written]

Looking forward to hearing from you. Let me know if you have questions.

Regards,

[Your name]

#2B - Write Content that Your Prospect Would Want to Publish

As mentioned earlier, there are times when you'll have to create original content for your target sites. And if that's the case, you should know what original posts you should pitch.

Here's how you find guest post topics that convince site owners to work with you.

Pick a website that you want to get backlinks from. Using an SEO tool, find out who its competitors are.

Just note that some SEO tools might not have this feature. If you don't have access to an SEO tool, see which other websites rank for the same keyword as your target.

For example, Rolling Stones (from our earlier example), has the following competitors.

Here's what's going to happen:

You will use these competitors to find content ideas for your target site.

Say these competitors rank for "handmade guitars," but your target doesn't. If your target site has a higher domain authority, it should have no problem ranking for the same keyword.

That's a clear benefit to whoever you're planning to write guest posts for.

Instead of suggesting seemingly random content that your target sites may or may not have any use for, you're offering content they can use to outrank their competitors. And all you'll ask in return is a backlink or two. That's a small price to pay for any site owner.

Researching Original Topics

You should remember things when researching original guest posts to pitch.

You'll want to find topics that people search for regularly.

Even if the competitor has an article that ranks high on search results, your target won't care if it ranks for a keyword with a low monthly search volume.

Also, you'll want to present more than one topic. That means you'll have to find several topics you could work with.

Ideally, you'll want to offer at least three. And try to make these topics different from each other.

For example:

If your target is in the keto food market, you can offer to write about the benefits of keto for weight loss, how to source keto products, and how the keto trend started. These topics differ from one another but still fall under the same niche.

You want to do this if your target is trying to introduce some variety in the content it's offering users.

Using Ubersuggest, you can do this by using its Keyword Research > Similar Websites feature.

Type in the URL of he site you want to pitch guest post ideas to, and click on "View All" under the Keyword Gap column of any site.

The results will show you keywords for which the competitor site is ranking and your target site isn't.

Filter the results to show you long tail keywords, specifically those that ask a question.

Collect the three best queries you can find and propose them as topic ideas.

Writing a Pitch for an Original Guest Post

Here's how you should pitch your original guest blog post.

Hi [Recipient],

I noticed that your competitor, [Name of Competitor], ranks for several topics like:

* Topic 1

* Topic 2

* Topic 3

With the right posts, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to rank for the exact keywords. I'm offering to write a similar post for one of these topics for free as I'm trying to get some exposure as a writer.

I've written several posts in this niche. Here are some of my previous works.

* Example 1

* Example 2

* Example 3

If you're interested in working together, just let me know which of these topics you'd want me to work on, and I'll get started right away.

Regards,

[Your Name]

#3 - Start Writing!

What should be your  guest blogging strategy as far as writing is concerned?

After a sites permit you to be a guest blogger, the first thing you should do is understand what their core audience is like.

Go over previously published posts and see what tone they use. Are they serious or laid-back? How long are their posts on average? What sort of language do they use?

Knowing where most of their audience is located will help.

If most of their visitors are from the United States, you could get away with using American jargon. But you shouldn't do that if site traffic principally comes from Asia.

Guest bloggers should spend time working on their headlines as that does have an impact on views.

Not only should the headline contain the target keyword, but it should be compelling enough for users to click on.

The use of subheadings is recommended. They give your site structure and make all articles digestible. Subheadings are also useful for inserting other keywords you want to rank for.

You can ask the site owner if there are call-to-actions (CTAs) that they'd like to be added to the post.

If the answer is yes, find a creative way to add those CTAs. Some sites will have guest post guidelines. Be sure to follow all the rules.

Optimize for SEO

Make sure your guest posts are optimized for search engines.

Adding keywords to headings and subheadings is just the start. You can do plenty more to optimize posts and keep blog owners happy.

For starters, using small image file sizes in your post will help them load faster—something search engines recommend doing. You can also suggest meta titles and descriptions for the blog owner.

If you're updating older posts, look at all the links to ensure they are still working. Bad links can lead to lower search engine rankings.

There's only so much you can do since you're not the site owner. But site owners appreciate it when guest bloggers do their best to optimize posts. And that can lead to more collaborations down the road.

Submitting Guest Posts for Review

So you're done writing your guest post. Do you send it immediately for review? Not quite.

There are a couple of things you should do before submitting a post for review:

* Check the Guidelines — See if you missed anything. It's not that uncommon for guest bloggers to confuse one guideline for another if they're working with several blog owners at the same time.

* Proofread — Check your grammar before submitting a post. You want to make a good first impression.

* Review Your Formatting — Are the images the right resolution? Did you bold or italicize the right words? What spacing did you use? Are headings and subheadings supposed to be in title or sentence case? Some site owners are very particular about formatting. Review your guest posts before submitting them.

* Fact Check — You don't want to introduce factual errors in  your post, especially those that concern numbers and figures.

Tools to Use for Your Guest Posting Campaign

If you plan on writing many guest blog posts, you might want to invest in some tools that can make you work more efficiently.  

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools out there. Every online marketer will tell you that having something like it is a requirement if you want to succeed in SEO.

But how can it help your guest blogging campaign?

You'll need something like Ahrefs to find guest blogging opportunities.

You can use the Site Explorer feature to look for sites in any category. It can even pinpoint which sites have a "write for us" page.

This SEO tool also helps with identifying which sites you should work with. It gives users an idea of how much traffic each site gets. On top of that, you'll see which sites link to them.

And what if you want to know your target site's competitors? No problem. Ahrefs can provide you with that list in a couple of clicks—no need to search for competitors manually.

Ahrefs can identify broken links too. By offering to replace broken links, site owners would have another reason to work with you.

If you're considering social media activity when looking for opportunities, you'll be happy to hear that Ahrefs can help.

Use it to find out how many followers, likes, shares, or comments a particular blog site gets on average.

Mailshake

If you reach out to bloggers through email, there's a good chance that some of them might slip through the cracks. Some emails go directly to spam, while some get deleted even before they're read.

That simply makes it harder to start  writing guest posts.

Sending follow-up emails can increase your response rate. However, managing your email activity manually can be time-consuming.

If you're going to find guest posting opportunities, you'll need an automated email solution.

You should use a tool like Mailshake to create an automated drip campaign.

For the unfamiliar, this feature sends a specific group of people a series of automated emails over time. These emails get triggered by actions made by users.

You're given control over the number of emails sent along with the frequency.

Say you've sent someone an email and they haven't replied after a week, you can create a trigger that will automatically send a follow-up email based on a template you created.

That means you'll have one less thing to worry about. And you'll be able to finally scale the number of guest posts you can secure monthly.

Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is a writing tool that helps with search engine optimization.

It provides users with supplementary keywords they can insert in their guest posts based on their primary keyword.

Adding these keywords will improve your guest post's chances of ranking higher on search engines.

But Surfer SEO is not a one-trick pony. It can do other stuff, like telling users the optimal guest post length along with how many headings and images to use.

It gives you a count of how many words and paragraphs you have—a great feature, especially if you're working with someone who's very particular about those details.

But the best thing about Surfer SEO is that it feeds you all the information you need in real-time.

That means instant feedback as you write the content. It's like having your work edited as you write, which is a huge timesaver!  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is guest post content?

Guest posting is an SEO strategy where marketers write articles for a third-party site. In return, the guest blogger is typically compensated with a backlink.

Although there are times when a writer will do it for other reasons such as finding a new audience or establishing authority in a niche.

What are the benefits of guest blogging?

Most marketers will use guest blogging to get backlinks. When a site gets backlinks from highly authoritative sites, they tend to rank higher on search engines.

Guest blogging also introduces a writer to a whole new audience. It can also increase site traffic, especially if you give readers a reason to click your backlink.

Does guest blogging still work?

Yes, guest blogging is still effective  for link building. And it's still an effective way of getting new eyes on your brand.

But it should be noted that the success of a guest post campaign will depend on the quality of your content. You should work with sites that have high domain authority.

Conclusion

Using guest posting for SEO might sound intimidating, but it really isn't. As long as you follow the tips in this article, you should have no problem finding opportunities and getting backlinks.

Just remember to:

* Find authoritative sites that rank for the keywords you're targeting.

* Look for articles that you could update or find topics that are worth writing original content for.

* Send a personalized guest post pitch. Don't use generic templates. Give site owners a reason to work with you.

* Review your article before sending it for approval. Make sure it meets all guest posting guidelines.

About the Author

christopherjanb

Reviews   (47)

I provide COMPREHENSIVE CONTENT EXPERIENCES designed to improve my clients' online visibility by observing the best on-page SEO practices and engaging their audience with well-written and informative content.

+ See more
×