In the face of online marketing today, reaching out to bloggers for a guest post is one of the hardest yet most effective ways of getting your site noticed. Whether it is for link building or for landing a guest blog to an authority site, that simple link towards your desired page will get that necessary traffic to make your website known. Many SEOs, internet marketers, and link builders are doing guest posting wrong though.
Whether your guest post will be published is, of course, up to the blog owner. You can’t just randomly send an article or tell them “I want to guest post on your site. Please publish this.” Else you’d get slapped back with an unfavorable reply. Proper courtesy and a mini-strategy on each website you send a guest post e-mail to will raise your chances of getting a reply.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reach out to a blog owner/webmaster if you are guest posting. Even newbies to online marketing will be able to assimilate certain styles and get an increase in their e-mail outreach conversion rate. Of course, remember that each website has a different status that will need a different outreach each time.
Here are some sure fire tips on how to make your chances of landing a guest post higher.
Site Prospecting Tips
Let’s start off with looking for sites you’d want to send a guest post to. I wouldn’t want to actually go through this step by step, since I assume that by reading this, you already know how to gather websites for possible guest blogging. There are many ways to do prospecting: using tools (such as Garret French’s Citationlabs link prospecting tool) or by manually searching websites on Google. Just remember the following when looking for guest post prospects:
- Know your client/your peg – Probably the most important part in link prospecting. You should always truly know who you are working for, since you can’t prospect if you don’t know what they do in the first place. You should know their related industries, products, background, etc. It’s hard to craft an e-mail (and reply to e-mail as well!) if you don’t know who they are or why the heck you are working for them. You are part of their team, so start knowing your clients right.
- Targeted search queries – One does not simply post anywhere. You wouldn’t be able to get the traffic that actually matter if you just post on random websites. Know which search queries you should use when looking for sites possible for guest posting.
- Use Google to your advantage – Google has several advanced search operators that might help you look for websites in your industry. Here’s a broken down list of those search operators I personally use to find certain types of websites (put the keyword of your choice in place of the <specific query> part, of course):
- inurl:<specific query
- Intitle:<specific query>
- Allintitle:<specific query>
- Allinanchor:<specific query>
- Related:<specific query>
Jon Cooper of PointblankSEO wrote a post about 9 search query combos that will help you find more targeted prospects.
Now we’re done with prospecting. Now comes the hard part: checking out the site and sending them an e-mail outreach for a guest blog request. As I said earlier, there are many ways to approach a blogger if you want to guest post on their site, but that is if you know how to engage them in a proper conversation. You wouldn’t want these bloggers to think that you are a spammer, right?
By the way, all of these outreach ideas revolve around the idea of Relationship Building. You participate in their communities, leave a chunk of good comments on their posts, and share their posts on your social networks. By doing this, you are helping the promotion of your prospect’s site, and you will be seen as a credible person when you ask them a favor of writing a guest post for them.
There are two simple types of site status that everyone should know when doing e-mail outreach: Active or Outdated.
The standard issue, regularly updated blogs you find over the web. These sites have webmasters/blog owners who find time to update their blogs despite their busy schedules. Here is where you would want to dedicate a week or two in interacting with them to build your Trust Value. (My style involves a little humor as well, maybe you would like to try it out!)
Outreach Move #1: Specify what you want
- Be direct to the point that you would want something. People that are going to read your e-mail are busy. Don’t provide them with a weird looking outreach that looks like a template for every person you send an outreach to. Be direct that you want to do a guest post on their site.
Outreach Move #2: Be ready with interesting topic ideas you would want to write about
- Topics must be related to their site. And don’t forget to ask if they have something in mind as well. This helps them know what you would like to write about, not wasting both of your time in exchanging e-mails on figuring out a topic for your post.
You found a prospect website that hasn’t been updated for quite awhile (WAIT. Quite a while means 2 weeks at most and 1 month at max, not a whole year.) You should do a bit of background research on these people and look if they are still using Twitter or any other social media sites. Chances are, these are real people that are really busy, and they don’t have the time to put a blog post on their site.
Outreach Move: Short and Sweet
- Make it as short as possible, but the essence of what you would want to write about will be still there. Remind the person that he/she hasn’t been updating the blog for quite awhile, and that the number of people on his/her community may dwindle if the blog won’t be updated anytime soon.
Outreach Move #2: Try knowing the reason why they don’t update their blog
- This is quite hard to explain, since there are tons of reasons why a blog isn’t updated anymore. So I will just put an example. Let’s say your prospect is an affiliate site’s blog, and you see that they haven’t touched the blog for a long time. Maybe it’s their cash cow site. On your outreach e-mail, you might want to include tips on how they could improve their status as an affiliate site. There are tons of software, tools (such as Affilorama’s affiliate marketing tools), and affiliate blog ideas that affiliate marketers might want to try out to get more traffic for them. It also makes your pitch on a guest blogging much easier, since you provided them with something that would help their site boost sales.
Crafting your Article
After doing in-depth research on your host and audience, it’s time to get your hands busy. Creating an article is an experience itself. If you’re lucky, writing will come to you naturally. Words run from your brain, down to your fingers and straight unto your keyboard until you finish the whole thing. There are times, though, that you’ll find yourself lost for words, trying to tie different ideas together in a single paragraph. Feel like your brain is stuck in a hole with trying to find something to write about? Maybe you’d want to check out social media trends to get an awesome idea for your article.
Remember that the main idea is to keep your audience reading. So don’t just write and write and type and type. Mind your words, your sentence structures and your delivery. In short, write compelling articles. Move your readers, make them think, and show them why you are worthy of the spot in that blog.
But how do you write a compelling article? Here are seven quick tips:
- Grab your reader’s attention using powerful words. Be sure that it’s enough to grab people’s attention but not too much that it looks like the idea is sensationalized. The idea is to catch them with your title and make them click and read on.
- Draw them in through your introduction. Enticing them with promising content.
- Deliver your promise. Give them the content and information you said you will in a way that still keeps them reading.
- Fight with their attention span. Internet users are notoriously easily bored. With the speed of information running around the Web, your audience can only spare so much time reading your post. Make sure that you give them what they want within that limited time that you have their attention.
- Converse with your readers in their language. Write in a way that they can best relate to. Note how the blog owner writes his/her own posts and try to write content in that manner without losing your own voice.
- Prettify, prettify, prettify. Engulf your readers’ senses by adding rich(?) media into your guest post. As sexy as words may be, don’t underestimate the power of images or videos to further complement your textual content.
- Never forget to proofread. Check for spelling, grammar or factual errors. Remember, this is not just your name on the line. You are guest blogging for someone else. Save him/her the time by fixing all the kinks in your article.
Now you could pass your article to your prospect. If you took in the advice above, it should land you a perfect and well written guest post that will help you boost your site’s ranks and traffic into a new level. I just read Michael King’s post on the “Anatomy of an awful blog post” and maybe you would want to refer to this post for what NOT to do when guest posting.
Post-submission and publication
But wait, there’s more. Your job as a guest blogger does not end at that mere fact that your post was published. It goes beyond that. You should do the following as well:
Thank the blogger who published your article. Duh. This is common courtesy guys. You don’t just snob the site after they willingly made your article live.
Help with the article’s promotion. Even if it’s not your site, promote it, it’s your article in the first place. Boost their traffic, and in turn, you get a hefty boost on the traffic you receive as well.
Continue your communication with the blogger/webmaster every once in awhile. Exchange tweets, send them an e-mail, and continue to participate on commenting on their site every once in awhile. This is to show them that you didn’t just guest post just to get their traffic, but to make their sites better. Continue to share their articles as well.
Do a Linker Outreach. This will help the exposure of your article to the next step. Explaining this step is an article itself, and Jason Acidre made this wonderful guide on how to do Linker Outreach.
These steps might be hard to practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will speed up your guest blogging like Sonic on steroids. Always remember, in the world of online marketing, it’s all about equivalent exchange. You need to give up something (a part of your time) if you want to obtain something (a part of a site’s traffic). You can’t breach that law, unless you’re this guy.
So what other things do you think guest bloggers must know?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Abrena is part of the online marketing team of Affilorama, an affiliate marketing portal. They provide affiliate marketing education for beginning and advance affiliates. Follow him on twitter, @johnabrena.