Guest posting is a fantastic tool to build your brand in a manner that leaves you in total control. The foundation of a successful guest post, is to pick sites with a similar theme or demographic to you, which is a great way to build relationships, whilst spreading word of your own site. Every seasoned guest poster has their own method of working, which makes it difficult for a new poster to learn the ropes, but they all have at least a few things in common, discussed below.
The first necessary point is to get organised in the way that suits you best. For some people this means a complex network of spreadsheets, whereas for others it could mean a notebook and a pen. Regardless of which you use, when you start working on a guest posting project there are a few key items that you always need – store them however you see fit:
- Target site URL
- Information about the quality of the site (page rank, authority)
- Contact details
- Status (are they accepting guest posts currently?)
- Additional notes pertaining to theme or content
Before you can publish any guest posts anywhere, you must have your targets selected. There are many good resources for locating the most useful target sites that meet your needs, such as:
- Google searching
- Bing searching
- Guest posting communities
- Contact lists
- Guest posting software
- Blog directories
Always remember when you are looking for potential blogs or websites, to stay within your niche. Never forget to look closely at page rank and authority, too, you want to submit to quality blogs and sites, not just the first one you come across.
What to look for when you find the target
While it is great to cultivate a new guest post relationship, you should always look for a few similar attributes:
- They post guest content: this may seem like a no brainer, but it would surprise you how many writers try to get content posted on blogs that don’t publish guest posts.
- They link to commercial sites: if you are a business, then your content is commercial in nature, so make sure that the target blog or site has no qualms with providing links to things other than personal blogs.
- Good domain strength.
- Site hierarchy: make sure that your post won’t get buried as soon as it is posted.
- Easy to contact and communicate with.
- Fits your niche.
Once you’ve located a few ideal sites or blogs, that fit your theme and niche, you’ll want to start brainstorming some ideas. This can be a more relaxed, fun part of the planning stage, but it will also help you feel less pressured when it comes to working on the content itself. It can be hard to come up with catchy headlines at first so do some research; see what headlines within your niche are grabbing a lot of views and take inspiration from there. Articles should always be relevant to the page you wish to post on, as well as your own site.
Send that email
It can be hard to plan out what you want to say in your first email, even a little overwhelming. Don’t panic, just focus on coming across as professional and saying all that you want to say – leave nothing out. Always make sure you use the contact’s name, if there is one in the contact information, and give them the full details of your plan. Showing them that you’ve done your research and targeted them, specifically, as meeting your niche and style will likely impress them.
Make sure to stay organised, and keep track of dates and times you contacted particular editors/site owners, as well as names and addresses.
Follow up the first email
Sometimes bloggers may not get back to you, it’s all part of the game, I’m afraid. However, if you are positive that they do accept guest posts and you really want to post with them, then send a follow up enquiry. If it is a multi-person blog perhaps try another member of staff, otherwise politely send the follow up – it could just be a simple case of your initial email having gotten caught in their spam filter!