Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging in 2023
If you’re looking for the best way to divide up a room full of marketers, come up with a guest blogging theme.
You will certainly start a heated debate. Some will say it’s a waste of time. Others will swear by it and treat it as an essential part of their marketing strategy.
As always, the truth lies in the middle: yes, it can be a waste of time and resources, but, done right, it can be a powerful engine for your growth.
Aside from the brand awareness aspect, guest blogging can also be an ethical and sustainable way to build high-quality backlinks and improve your SEO performance.
That’s why I wanted to create this comprehensive guide to guest blogging that anyone, from any industry, can start using right away.
Here you will learn the essential steps to creating a successful strategy:
- Set specific and achievable goals.
- Choose topics that benefit your own business goals.
- Find reputable guest blogging sites.
- Conduct outreach activities on guest blogs.
- Write a message. Track the results of your messages over time.
But before diving into strategy, let’s first define what a guest blog really is.
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is a content marketing tactic that involves writing and publishing one or more articles for other websites.
These articles include your signature and are usually marked by the editor of that website (or publication) as being written by a “guest author” or “contributor”.
Depending on the publication, you may receive compensation for guest blogging efforts. However, this is not always the case.
Some posts will instead offer non-monetary rewards for your posts, such as links to your personal website or social media accounts.
Let’s dive into some of the key benefits of guest blogging:
Benefits of guest blogging
These are some of the biggest benefits people get from guest blogging:
- Build a profile as a blogging pro with the industry/thought leader
- Build an audience (social media followers, people, etc.)
- Improve SEO performance
- Authoritative backlink building
- Relationship building and creating new partnerships (e.g. marketing collaborations, job postings)
- Generate referral traffic
- Improve company brand awareness
- Get more leads, users and even customers
Now that we’ve covered the issue on that topic, let’s dive deeper into each step of the guest blogging process if you want to be a successful guest blogger for your blog. major publications
How to be a successful Guest Blogger
1. Set specific, achievable goals.
The first step to starting a successful guest blogging process is setting achievable and measurable goals.
These goals can be related to your business performance (like getting more leads or customers) or your website performance (like improving search visibility or traffic). referral access).
Whatever your goal is, make it INTELLIGENT. When you have a clear goal, deciding what topics you write about, what blogs you want to post, how often to write, etc. becomes much easier. More importantly, the SMART goal will tell you if this tactic is right for your business and how much you should invest in it going forward.
If you’re just getting started, here are five examples of measurable goals you can set:
- Get X referrals from guest posts OR Increase referral traffic by X% from guest posts
- Get X leads from traffic referrals from guest posts OR Grow leads from guest posts with XD
- Get X leads from guest posts guest posts OR Increase leads from guest posts with guest posts
- Improve your SEO performance or SERP visibility using
- Get X number of high quality backlinks to relevant content from guest posts
My personal preference is to target referral visits, SEO traffic, and backlinks. The variation in these measures can be found quite easily in the guest posts. Customers and leads are clearly more important to a business and can be impacted by guest blogging, but the right attribution can be a challenge.
Now let’s talk about keyword research and how it goes into the content creation process.
2. Choose topics that are beneficial to your own business goals.
Guest bloggers often fail because they focus on posts rather than content. This is a good strategy to make sure you get published, but it serves the publisher’s goals, not yours.
For a successful guest blogging program, choose topics that serve your end goal, whether it’s referral traffic, SEO performance, leads, or customers.
Whether you are a seasoned blogger or just learning how to start a blog, you need to create a successful guest blogging program by choosing topics that serve your end goal, for whether it’s referral traffic, SEO performance, leads or customers.
Start by making a short list of the main pages of your site that you want to promote and include in your future guest blogs. For each page, analyze your current state, like monthly SEO traffic, and set a goal you want to achieve within a given guest blogging timeframe. You can have an overall goal for the site as well as specific goals for each page.
For each target page, choose a general topic that aligns with your expertise and will be useful to the reader. You can then start using keyword research tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs (to name a few) to boost your bankroll ideas for future guest posts. .
Let’s take a meta example and say we are building a guest blogging strategy around the general theme of “guest blogging”. We can create different types of content within the scope of this theme:
how-to articles, thought leadership, case studies, and basic tutorials. For each content type, we can find relevant article ideas using keyword research tools.
3. Find reputable guest blogging sites.
Now that you’ve defined your content ideas, it’s time to find relevant posts and guest blog pages.
Start by creating a list of target sites, as shown in the example below:
Here’s how you can discover guest blogging opportunities and populate your list:
Use advanced search operators – where you use advanced search operators like “intext:
submit guest posts”.
Use Google reverse image search – where you take a photo of a famous guest blogger and use it to find places they’ve posted in the past. These articles are most likely to accept guest posts.
- Find a list of the top sites that accept guest posts.
- Check your competitors’ backlinks.
- Next, make sure to prioritize your list and only recommend blogs with:
- Domain Authority 40 or higher (or domain rating if using Ahrefs)
- Spam Score 3 % or less
- Extended writing procedure
4. Run guest blogging campaigns.
At this point, it’s time to start thinking about how to introduce guest post ideas.
As I mentioned in the previous step, the publications you want to target have a thorough editorial process. So, research your website’s guest blogging guidelines first, then prepare your pitch idea.
My recommendation is to approach your blogger outreach process very strategically, starting with the keywords you found earlier and your target post. Check if your target website is already ranking for your chosen topic.
Sara McGuire, content marketing manager at Venngage, says that “before pitching an idea for a website, it’s fundamental that you do your research. Take a look at their posts and See if there’s a topic that hasn’t been covered or an angle you can take to complement their existing posts. Then keep your pitch in mind with the posting guidelines.
“Are they willing to invest in producing great content for them and want to add value to their website, which most publishers won’t be able to resist.”
Once you’ve got your pitch ready, it’s time to find your partner and contact him.
While there are many tactics you can use to find the answer, a good empirical method to follow is to ask yourself, “Does my offer have any value at all? ?”
Alex Birkett, wrote an article about his email distribution rules, one of which was “don’t beat around the bush”. If you’ve done your research, and especially if you’ve built up a clearly stellar content portfolio, a simple pitch will do the trick.
Many marketers still use Google Sheets or Excel to track contacts and responses. That’s not bad, but it means you’re missing out on a lot of valuable information.
A powerful CRM can help you keep track of all the relevant information you need: emails, meeting notes, projects. Plus, you can go back and refresh your storage at any time.
In my case I’m using our own HubSpot CRM, but whatever CRM you use will work for this task. If you’re looking for one right now, HubSpot CRM is 100% free forever, no matter how many contacts you add.
For the awareness part, I also recommend trying Respona. There are many great cognitive tools out there, and I’ve listed most of them at the end of this article. I specifically mention Respona because it is a recently launched tool with a unique offering.
Respona is an all-in-one platform for research, awareness and interaction. Using AI, it helps you with content and keyword research, allows you to find contact details for your target posts, and allows you to send dynamic emails (Yes, it includes email templates for most any type of campaign).
Once your pitch has been approved by the editor (yay!), it’s time to start adding your ideas and writing a great draft.
Some publications, including HubSpot, require a full draft to be included in the initial pitch. Make sure to always read your website’s guest blogging guidelines to make sure your pitch includes all the essentials.
5. Write a message.
This should be the easiest part of the process, as long as you’ve chosen a topic you’re passionate about and that you have expertise in. All you need to do is book a moment in advance and start typing.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your writing, you can absolutely hire an editor to revise your draft. I’d actually highly recommend it, even for experienced writers. It’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes pick your article apart and make suggestions. Feedback is the breakfast of champions!
Whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned writer, here are ten essential recommendations for writing guest posts (and any type of post, for that matter):
- Write long-form, compelling content (at least 1,000 words)
- Break the text into small, digestible paragraphs
- Optimize for on-page SEO
- Use original images and graphs to make the content more linkable (Canva is a great tool for novice designers)
- Add quotes from friends and influencers
- Link to your other published guest posts
- Link to your own, relevant content
- Link to other publications: studies, data, thought leadership etc.
- Link internally, to other articles from your publisher
- Add your byline and explain what makes you an expert on that topic
When you send your final draft to the editor, don’t forget to include your author details:
your full name, a short bio, your social media links so readers can connect with you, a headshot, and your website.
Now you’re all set to hit “send” and deliver your guest post to the editor.
Just one more step to call this project complete: measuring results.
6. Track the results of your posts over time.
This is the last step in the process, but arguably the most important.
You’ll want to make sure you always compare your results with your results at the start of the process (in Step 1. Goal setting).
Depending on your goals, you may have different SEO tools to track different metrics. Below, I’ve created a list of the best guest blogging tools you could ever need.
You can use a tool like Ahrefs to check for everything from changes in backlink count, referring domains, organic traffic performance, or even keyword count. that the site ranks in Google (see example below):
Guest Blogging SEO
Since I mentioned how to prioritize your opportunities based on domain authority and spam score, I thought it’s important to discuss the SEO aspect of guest blogging.
According to a SEMRush study, 53% of digital marketers say guest blogging (or guest posting) is actually the most effective way to build a backlink profile.
A similar link building study published by Aira in 2020 found that guest blogging is the 3rd most effective way to build backlinks – 51% of respondents said they use it.
Guest blogging is a very popular SEO tactic because sites that accept guest posts often allow authors to link to their own content or resources, as long as it makes sense to the reader. . The link is usually placed in the body of the article or in the author’s bio.
Usually, blog publishers place a no-follow tag on guest author links. In the past, this was considered a “poor value” backlink because it lacked authority. With relatively recent updates, Google has made it public that even “no-follow” backlinks are considered signals according to their ranking algorithm.
Don’t try to overdo it with blogging for the sole purpose of building backlinks. If you ignore content quality and user experience, you will most likely hurt your SEO performance and ultimately your reputation. Write to educate and entertain your readers and you will see positive results.
Google Maps Ranking (or Local SEO) and Online Reputation is an integral part of business strategy for every brick-and-mortar business. Local SEO will help your audience find you when they search online if you have a storefront or business area. We hope you found this article helpful in your quest to gain recognition and credibility for your brand online.
If your business is serving local and you don’t have the skillset and expertise to optimise for this, we’re more than happy to help you out!