Many people come to me asking about different elements of SEO and strategies for their team internally. I often get questions about blogs, guest blogging, and what they should be doing to utilize their content. While each case is different, it’s important to go in to the blogging world with clear goals and a proper strategy; otherwise it will likely be wasted time and effort. Follow these steps and you’re on your way to successful guest blogging.
• Reasons to Guest Blog
o Build Incoming links to your site (for better search rankings and more site traffic).
o Build professional integrity. Be an expert in your field, guest blog so that others think of you as an expert as well.
o Create new opportunities and relationships in the industry.
o Build brand and social authority.
• Finding opportunities
o Identify industry related blogs that share content that is relevant to your area of expertise. Similarly, check that current postings have engaged audiences, with lots of commenting, likes, and shares.
o Perform some Google searches with industry keywords along with terms like “submit a guest post”.
o Reach out directly to top industry blogs, building a personal connection and blogger network is the best way to create lasting opportunities.
o Check the PageRank of sites you’re interested in.
o Check the social networks of the site you’re interested in to gauge what kind of traffic and level of readership they get.
o If you are really having a hard time, try using some free tools such as Help A Reporter Out (HARO) or My Blog Guest.
• Pitching your work
o Research: Check out the blog before you do your pitch. Make sure you know what kind of audience they go for, what kind of rules they have for guest blogging, follow their social pages, and check for an actual person to contact, you know with a name and title.
o Pick a fresh topic that hasn’t been blogged about a thousand times overs. Make sure it’s relevant and not outdated, and most importantly, make sure you know what you are talking about!
o Try to pick a specific topic and be detailed in your pitch to make it as easy as possible for the blog manager to say yes.
o Be polite and proofread your work. There’s nothing worse than someone who says they are a capable writer that can’t get through a one paragraph pitch.
• Submitting your post
o Use contextual links: Include keywords around your links to build co-occurrences.
o Link to your other guest posts. It’s like getting to links with the effort of one. Like maybe this post on SEO Motionz about guest posting.
o Format your post to be like the ones already on the site.
o Include some links to other blogs on the site, the blog owner will like this and it will likely help you build relationships with other bloggers.
o Include copy to encourage commenting and share, inspire people to interact with your content.
o Creating your bio.
• Track Your Results
o Track your blog comments. It’s pretty simple, the more comments and traffic you get from commenting results in referral traffic, qualified leads, and branding. Make sure you follow up on your posts and answer any questions your readers might have posted. Keep track of which blogs perform the best and figure out why those might have outperformed the other. Was it the site they were on, the content, or your expertise?