August 15th, 2012
by Guest Blogger
Building backlinks through guest blogging is nothing new and you can find countless posts online about the ins and the outs of this tactic. The problem that I see with guest blogging is that many online marketers are turning it into something that might be considered no better than article marketing.
The time has come for us as online marketers to change the way we guest blog and if we don’t, I foresee that in the near future this tactic will be no more valuable than submitting content to sites like EzineArticles. In this post, I’d like to cover the top five tips that I live by when guest blogging so that I get the most from my efforts. So let’s dive right in!
Find The Very Best Opportunities
What constitutes a quality guest blogging opportunity? When I’m looking for opportunities for myself or my clients I like to look at a few different things to determine quality. In most cases, I’m trying to identify blogs that already have an audience and traffic so that I not only get a killer link back to my site, but potential traffic that may lead to sales down the road. To me this is probably the best definition of a quality guest post.
So, how do you determine if a blog has an audience and traffic. First, look at the blog post comments. If their blog posts have comments, obviously the more the better, then it probably has an audience. You should also look at their Twitter, Facebook, and Google + followers. Do they have any? If they have some, how many and are they legit? Lastly, you’ll want to head over to Compete.com and run a search on the URL to see if they get any traffic and an estimate of how much.
Another way I determine if a guest blog post is quality is if my competitors are posting on the blog. For example, if Rae Hoffman or even one of your own, Jeremy Dearringer is guest posting on a site, I’m guessing it’s probably a quality blog and would greatly benefit me, so I would definitely pursue the opportunity.
So how do you find out where your competitors are guest blogging? I can tell you that people get lazy and most marketers will reuse their author bio over and over and over again. In most cases, all you have to do is find one guest post by your competitor, grab a snipped of their bio, and do an exact match search in Google. You’d be surprised at how well this works and how many awesome opportunities you can find from doing this!
Add Credibility To Your Outreach
I can’t tell you how many horrible guest post pitches I receive each week on the sites that I personally own and operate. In going through the requests as well as writing my own pitches, there are a few tactics that you should always implement to add credibility to your outreach and help secure the best opportunities.
First: Send your outreach email from a company branded email address. Nothing is going to get your email deleted faster than a request coming from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m sorry… that’s not being authentic and it’s not going to get you the results you desire. So man up and get an email address from your client (wrote about that here) or have them send the outreach emails for you.
Second: Know their blog inside and out. When doing outreach, at the very least, you need to know what their blog is about, what they write about regularly, what they like, and so forth. Use your research to help you craft your outreach email. Talk about the things you like about their blog and how you can add value to the blog and its readers. This will help sell them on the idea of you guest posting on their site.
Third: Interact with the blog owner by commenting on their blog posts and on social networks. Help them get to know you socially before you make an attempt to reach out about guest posting. Once you start to build the relationship, you might even be asked to write on their blog without you having to ask. I’ve had this happen to me on more than one occasion.
Putting these three tactics together when doing your outreach will help you be credible, be authentic, and increase the response rate and acquisition of guest blog post opportunities.
Write Amazing Content Specifically For The Blog Your Are Posting On
This is probably a no brainer, but it’s extremely difficult to secure quality guest post placement if you are writing generic content not geared toward the blog or the blog readers where you are posting. Remember, we are trying to provide a quality piece that will help build a relationship with the blog owner and also build your brand, generate brand awareness, and drive traffic to your site. You cannot do this without amazing content.
Interact With Comments & Promote The Content Socially
No one likes a guest blogger who provides a post and then walks away from it right when it is published. To help you get the very most from your guest post, you will want to promote it socially. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and any other network you are tied into. I even like to buy some paid Stumbles to help get the ball rolling over at StumbleUpon.
Also, you will want to interact with the comments you receive on your post. The easiest way to kill your credibility with a new audience is to let their questions and comments go unanswered. Take the time to engage with those kind enough to add to the conversation.
Return The Favor
I absolutely loathe marketers who just want to receive without giving anything in return. If you truly want to create a relationship with the individual or company you are guest blogging for, then it is essential that you return the favor somehow. You may not be interested in having someone from their organization guest blog on your site and that’s fine, however, in your next post that you write for your own blog, give them a link. Or better yet, give them a link before you even do your outreach!
If you want to go above and beyond a link, send them a nice, handwritten, thank you card. You might also throw in a gift card if it was one of your “top sites” you were trying to get placement on. Showing gratitude and returning favors build relationships and today, relationships matter far more than just a single link from a guest post.
Well, those are my five tips for getting the most from your guest blogging efforts. Do you have anything you’d like to add? If so, please comment in the section below.
About The Author
Greg Shuey is the VP of Client Services at SEO.com. When not strategizing and leading the client services team, Greg likes to blog about all things search marketing both on the SEO.com blog and over at SearchMarketingWeekly.com