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The Ultimate Guide To Guest Posting

By:     Topics: Get Web Traffic     More posts about: ,

Oh man, a guest post about guest posting? This is so meta. Hopefully we don’t cause a tear in the fabric of the universe with this post.

One of the easiest and FASTEST ways to get exposure online is through leveraging other people’s audiences. Be it through them e-mailing their list about you, writing a blog post about you, or, as with this post, them letting you write a guest post on their blog.

I am a huge fan of guest posting, and it has done a great deal for my business — as you can see in my screenshot below — 90% of that traffic was from guest posts that I did on assorted blogs. 

So, let’s talk about guest posting – and how you can use it to help grow your online business.

How To Find Blogs to Guest Post On

The first thing you need to do is find blogs that are A) in your niche, and B) allow or want guest posts.

The best way to find blogs to guest post on (that I have found) is Technorati. Technorati is basically a huge blog directory that you can search by topic.  They have a “business” and a “blogging” section that has a lot of the top blogs – you can peruse through the list and build a list of blogs to potentially guest post on.

I went through the list of all of the blogs that were relevant to my niche, and put them all into an excel spreadsheet.

What Should You Write About?

For each blog that you’d like to post on, take a few minutes to look through their current posts. What are the most popular topics? Which topics get the most response from readers? Are there any topics that AREN’T covered, but are relevant to the audience? (i.e. Michael doesn’t really talk about SEO in his blog posts, which is why writing SEO articles was a good fit for IncomeDiary)

Take some time to look through these blogs so you can start to put together a list of post ideas that you could write about. Heck, if you’re not sure what to write, e-mail the blog owner and ask him if there’s a specific topic that he or she would love to see covered. It never hurts to ask! J

I will basically come up with a list of topics for each blog that I’m interested in, get some feedback from the blog owner via e-mail, and begin writing.

Something else to note is that the more that you interact with the blogger you’d like to guest post for, the more likely it is (unless you’re a jerk) that he will approve your post (assuming it’s well written) when he sees it come through.

As with any business relationship – the best way to connect with people is to be their friend first. So don’t approach bloggers with a “ME ME ME” attitude. Ask them how YOU can help THEM and I promise you, you will have much better results and a much higher chance of getting your blog post up on their site.

And ultimately, the more bloggers that you contact, the better chances you’ll have of getting one of your guest posts up.

10 Tips To Maximize The Value Of Your Guest Posts

  1. Sell Yourself: By “sell yourself”, I don’t mean selling yourself like a streetwalker. I mean in your blog post, demonstrate to your target readers that you are credible, trustworthy, and likable. Show them that you’re a cool dude — if you did something interesting that day, start off the blog post talking about it. For example:  “Yesterday, while I was riding on my Jet Ski…” this sentence might seem like nothing, but you’re easily demonstrating that you are a) interesting, because interesting people jet ski, obviously, and b) are at least somewhat successful, as if you were broke you wouldn’t be able to afford a jet ski. And this is all done without saying “I’m interesting and I’m successful!”. Something to think about with ANY content you write, really, not just guest blog posts.
  2. Link Back To Your Stuff: It’s silly to write a blog post without sending people SOMEWHERE to learn more about you. You should always have a direct response element in your guest blog posts – and that direct response is that they go to YOUR blog. The best way to do this is to link to relevant blog posts on your blog inside of your guest post. So if I’m talking about exact match domains, I would link back to my blog post about exact match domains somewhere in my blog post. (see what I did there?)
  3. Capture Clickthrough Traffic: Most blogs probably won’t let you link to a squeeze page after each blog post, however, they will almost always let you link back to your blog.  If you want to make sure you grab that traffic while it’s coming through, make sure you have PopUpDomination setup, so you can at least capture a portion of the leads that come visit your site.
  4. Tell a Story: The best way to demonstrate and persuade is through the use of story. Story is an extremely powerful tool – you can use it to show your audience your credibility and trustworthiness without telling them “hey, I’m credible and trustworthy”. Story is awesome because it drops people’s defenses, and allows you to persuade them without them resisting the whole time. If you want to learn more about story in persuasion – read the book “The Story Factor” by Annette Simmons.
  5. Write WELL: The easiest way to sabotage a guest posting opportunity is to write poorly. Make SURE that you have proper grammar, spell check everything, and really spend some time making sure everything sounds good and makes sense. The best way I’ve found to make sure that everything I’m writing sounds good is to read it aloud. If I can read a blog post aloud and it flows and makes sense, then I know it’s good to go. If you’re still struggling, I’d recommend reading the book “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser.
  6. Write With Personality: Don’t be bland. Include your personality in your writing. If you’ve got a dry sense of humor, use it. The key here is to not be afraid to let your personality show through your writing. If your writing is bland and looks like everyone else’s stuff, you’re not going to stand out – and your blog post will not do as well.
  7. Respond To Reader Comments: If your post happens to get a lot of comments and questions, make sure to respond to them! Not only does interacting with your readers help build rapport between you and them, but the blog owner appreciates it when you’re there to help beyond just writing the post. The better experience you can provide for their readers, the better off you will be (and the more likely you’ll be able to do future blog posts)
  8. Write A Badass Headline: You should spend a good amount of time coming up with a killer headline for your blog post. Headlines do most of the dirty work in determining how many people end up reading your post – so make sure you spend some time on it. For some examples of headlines that work, just look at publications with large readerships like Men’s Health, MSN News, Yahoo News, and the National Inquirer. There’s a reason why the copywriters of those companies get paid the big bucks – so if you need some inspiration, look through there.
  9. Use Quora or Yahoo Answers To Help Write: If you’re still struggling for writing ideas, you can use Yahoo Answers or Quora to find popular questions about the topic you’d like to write about. And then you can incorporate them, and answer them in your blog post.
  10. Be Persistent: If Edison gave up after one try, would we even have lightbulbs? The point is, if your blog post doesn’t get accepted on a certain blog – it’s not the end of the world. Keep trying – keep writing good content, and keep submitting new stuff. Don’t spam blog owners or anything, but I promise you, persistence pays off.

Bonus Tip: Leveraging Guest Blog Posts for SEO

As I mentioned before, you should be including links in your content back to relevant content on your own site. This is good for general click through traffic, but it also has an added SEO benefit. One thing to keep in mind when you’re linking back to your content is using the proper anchor text. So for example, if you’re linking to something about WordPress SEO, try to use the anchor text “Wordpress SEO”. This will help tell Google what the page you are linking to is about, and ultimately help your rankings for that specific keyword.

Before You Begin Guest Posting…

Oh, and, before I go – one thing to keep in mind before you begin guest posting (especially if you’re just doing it for SEO benefit), is that you should most DEFINITELY have your on-site SEO in check. If you’re building links through guest posting, and your on-site SEO is all messed up, you’re not going to get the full value of your work. It’s like getting paid $20 an hour for a $40 an hour job.

Fortunately for you guys, we have a complete guide on how to do this over at The WordPress SEO Blueprint. I highly recommend any aspiring blogger checks it out, as I know it will dramatically increase your traffic and the value of your SEO efforts.

I hope you guys enjoyed this guest post, and let me know what questions you might have in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Matt S. says:

    Awesome post. I especially love to use Quora for finding topics. And of course. It’s so important to collect subscribes from click-through traffic.

    Cheers!

  2. I’m currently trying to get some guest posts together, so this was quite timely. 🙂 I enjoy the tips on finding solid topics.

    The challenge I’m finding is that so many people have different advice on what will get you picked (what makes you a solid guest poster), and then when you go to a site to submit, their guidelines are even different from that.

    I guess the trick is taking the best of all worlds and letting the site’s guidelines tell me how to put it all together.

    Thanks, Michael!

    -j

  3. Onibalusi Bamidele says:

    This is a really awesome and complete guide on guest blogging!

    I love how detailed, yet simple this article is.

    You’re right about spending a great deal of time on your headlines – I have noticed that in over 50% of situations, my headlines do affect whether my guest post is published on a big blog or not.

    Engaging in the comments section after your guest post has been published can also be very helpful – I’ve gotten readers from my guest posts who didn’t come by clicking the links in my author bio but by clicking the links in my reply to their comments.

    I’ve also been using guest blogging for link building lately, and it works like magic!

  4. Income Insiders says:

    We are thinking to offer guest posts on our blog too and start guest posting so thanks for the tips.

  5. It is also helpful if you post on sites that have a high number of inbound links (30 minimum).

    I have written 107 guest posts, and am having a hard time finding more sites to post on.

    Thanks for the tips. The Technorati and Quora suggestions were most helpful.

    *** Anyone needing a quality, 100% original guest post can see my samples at bit.ly/eKmc7j

  6. David Edwards says:

    Great post mate!, I’m up on problogger.net this Friday, introducing Alex Jeffreys… ;]

    Have a good week Michael!…

    :]

  7. Trung Nguyen says:

    WOW, really awesome post, Michael. By the time, I ever haven’t any guest blog post but not sure that I will not in the future, so the tutorials post is helpful for me, its really inspired for bloggers who want to become guest blogger. Thanks a lot.

  8. Jamie Northrup says:

    Thanks for sharing Michael, I’ve written over 15 posts right now that will be guest posts around the web as soon as my website is ready to convert the traffic to subscribers 😉

  9. Great post! And definitely headlines matter! I also am sometimes hesistant to put more then one link in my post and always check with the blog owner to see if it’s cool with them to put multiple links.

    The last thing I was to do is burn a bridge by not following their TOS.

  10. fazal mayar says:

    I thought for one second that this post was made by Onibalusi but good post, ive guest posted and its great linkingbuilding and branding technique.

  11. Brendon Held says:

    My two most recent websites I have launched are both built on the guest blogging model, so I really appreciated this article.

    The problem I am facing though, is that in the industries I am in, one of which is kitesurfing, there aren’t many good writers, and nobody knows anything about internet marketing and SEO etc. So I have to do tons of leg work editing the articles before I publish them (since I want my sites to be of high quality) and have to educate my guest posters on best practices all the time…

    Sometimes I think it would have been easier if I just wrote the article myself from the start… 😉

  12. Luciana Santos says:

    I’ve just started my blog, and I found this guide very useful. I just have a doubt: before offering guest posts, I have to make my blog known, haven’t I? If I submit an article and people see that I’ve just started my own blog, it’s most likely that they’ll dismiss it, right? By the way, thank you for your good work, it helps me a lot as a new blogger.

  13. kashish says:

    Technorati is the best solution for guest blogging i guess , thanks

  14. inspirationfeed says:

    I’m always looking for guest contributions, so if anybody is interested please let me know!

  15. HP van Duuren says:

    Thanks for your post Michael,

    I do believe that Guest Posting can be a Fast way for
    getting exposure online,

    On my Home Business Lifestyle Blog I also have a special link telling people that I might allow Guest Postings, and to make it possible to easily spot Guest Posters in my email, I ask them to write ‘GP’ at the subject box. So that with a search in my email I can easily spot them.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Home Business – Inspiration,
    HP

  16. Mark Aylward says:

    Hey Michael
    Another solid content post. I have to do more of this since I’m still in my infancy. Maybe I’ll write one up for you and send it in!
    Mark

  17. muhaimenul islam says:

    I do believe that Guest Posting can be a Fast way for getting exposure online. On my Home Business Lifestyle Blog I also have a special link telling people that I might allow Guest Postings, and to make it possible to easily spot Guest Posters in my email, I ask them to write ‘GP’ at the subject box. So that with a search in my email I can easily spot them.All the Best,