Guest posting is often considered to be one of the most effective methods for creating valuable backlinks and, therefore – for long-term improvement of your website’s ranking. However, it is at the same time rather complex and effort-heavy. In other words, there are no shortcuts – you cannot simply start mindlessly pumping money into this strategy and expect immediate returns. ROI from guest posting can be impressive, but it takes time, patience and following the right procedure. You simply cannot skip any of the steps and expect good results.
Guest posting is no longer the way it was. Disseminating same or similar low-quality posts across dozens of third-rate blogs created for the sole purpose of selling cheap guest posting space will get you nowhere. Google pays attention to who links to your website, so your candidate should:
- Be high-authority
- Have audience similar to your own;
- Accept guest posts.
There are many ways to find them: from basic Google search using your keywords to using specialized resources like Tomoson or HARO.
Even if a prospect looks alright at a glance, it does not mean that it is a good candidate for a guest post, and in the current SEO climate you cannot afford to spread yourself too thin. You have to concentrate on a few very valuable prospects and pay them focused attention. Here is what you should look out for:
- Check its popularity. SimilarWeb, while not the most accurate tool on the market, can give you a good estimate;
- Check its comments. More comments mean more referral traffic. Also, Google often looks at a blog’s comments to decide whether the resource is real. There is no rule concerning the necessary number of comments, but if you see that a blog usually gets just 2 or 3, it is not worth the trouble;
- Check its Twitter following. It is often a good indication of how influential a website is.
Reach out to prospects
Here you have two opportunities: either do it yourself (there is a good guide dedicated to this on Luckyposting.com) or hire a guest blogging agency to handle it for you. The latter variant may be preferable because these days the overabundance of amateur link-builders made this step increasingly difficult for beginners.
Webmasters and content managers have to deal with way too many offers to pay attention to them all. Chances are, even if you take time to research your prospect and write a highly personalized outreach letter, it will be lost among all the low-effort correspondence from marketers using spray-and-pray approach. Guest posting agencies, meanwhile, have established connections with thematic blogs and usually do not have to go through this stage at all.
Write an awesome guest post
Now that you have found a suitable blog to deal with, it is time to write a post that will bring you traffic. If you really impress the webmaster, it can even become a foundation of a long-term future partnership.
Before you start writing or even pitch a particular post to the webmaster or site owner, research what kind of post will work for this blog. Most blog sidebars feature a popular post widget, so usually it is not hard to single out posts that garnered the most attention. This will give you an immediate insight into what you should not write (topics that already have popular posts covering them) and what types of posts appeal to the local audience. Alternatively, you can use Site Explorer to see which posts generated the most backlinks.
If you sent the post you wrote but it did not appear on the target blog, it is not a reason to sulk and feel offended. There is always a likelihood that the webmaster missed your message or did not find time to respond. The solution is to send him/her a follow-up email every week or so to find out if he/she is going to publish the post at all. Keep it short, casual and neutral. Repeat until you get a definite answer. If you get a “no”, ask where the problem is and whether you can edit the post so that it can be published.
Once your post is published, your job is far from done. Now you have to make sure it does well and brings you as much ROI as possible. Here are just a few things you can do:
- Promote it across all your social media accounts, without neglecting a single one. It does not take much time, but even the least followed accounts can bring in traffic;
- Ask all your friends to share the post;
- Be active in comments. It does not mean that you should answer every comment, but make your presence obvious and provide valuable contribution to the conversation.
Guest posting takes effort, that is for sure; but when done right, the results can be amazing!