Guest Blogging is Still a Respectable Way to Be More Known
For both yourself and your website.
The comment Matt Cutts made several months ago about guest posting being done as a link building tactic is valid. Guest blogging had become a SPAM tactic with firms coming into existence to publish as many poor quality posts on as many websites as possible in order to obtain backlinks for yours.
So don’t do it that way.
Instead focus on quality guest blogging.
Prospecting for Quality Guest Posting Opportunities
At the risk of sounding silly, what’s most important when it comes to prospecting for guest posting opportunities is to do it.
And while there are tools that in theory make this easier to do, I’ve tried some and found none more useful than doing Google searches and tracking activities in Excel. No matter what tool I used, I still had to look at each individual website, make a judgement as to whether they were worth pursuing, and enter details of who I contacted when.
Write a Solicitation Letter
Here is the letter I use. I do adjust it as I feel it is appropriate for a specific site and I do update it from time to time as more of my guest posts are published.
Your solicitation letter should include:
- Who you are
- What you’re up to (big picture)
- A list of sites you write for (even if it’s only your blog for now)
- Links to writing samples, preferably guest posts, but if you’re just starting out, links to posts on your website
If you’re able to send an email and you’re able to learn their name, use it in the subject line. For example:
- Subject: John – I am interested in submitting a guest post to your site
- Subject: Samantha – I am interested in being a contributing author to your site
In your solicitation (subject line, email body, and or contents of Contact Us form) use whatever language they use in the page where they describe their guest posting guidelines. If they say “guest post” you say guest post. If they say “contributing author” you say contributing author. If they say “guest blogging” you say guest blogging.
==== start solicitation letter
[Put their name here if you have it]
I am interested in guest blogging for your website.
I am the founder of Inbound Marketing University, where I help small business owners market themselves online by teaching them (or their designee) how to do it themselves.
I’m working to close the digital marketing divide created by the high cost of content creation.
Small businesses can create their own content, if only they knew how to do it.
I blog extensively on Inbound Marketing and SEO on my own site (http://OrganicGrowth.biz/blog), and have written for….
I could write on one of the following topics (or others):
- Why WordPress is the Best Choice for Search Friendly Websites
- How to Use YouTube to Increase Organic Traffic
- Using Google Search Console to Measure and Monitor Your Website
Are you interested?
=== end solicitation letter
Searching for Guest Blogging Sites
You’re searching for sites that accept guest posts. What does that is search queries similar to….
[topic of interest] intitle:”guest post”
[topic of interest] intitle:”write for us”
Topic of interest are the keyword phrases you’re interested in.
intitle is an instruction to the Google search engine.
Examples of search strings are:
- small business marketing intitle:”write for us:”
- social media marketing intitle:”write for us”
The hard part is then going through the websites one at a time. You need to make a judgement for a variety of criteria:
- Do they accept guest posts?
- Do they require a completed post to be submitted or do they accept post ideas to start with?
- I reject sites that require me to submit a completed post and I’m not going to write an original post and submit it in hopes they accept it, but without the ability to submit it someplace else in case they do.
- Are they likely to accept YOUR guest post? For example, right now I don’t yet have a high enough profile for Inc magazine to accept my guest posts.
When you find a site that is a good match, you do two things:
- Send them your solicitation letter via whatever means works for them. Email, their Contact Us form, their Write for Us for. You use what they provide you with.
- Update your tracking spreadsheet.
The Tracking Spreadsheet
The tracking spreadsheet is an Excel workbook that has three worksheets.
Worksheet #1: Sites to Solicit for Guest Posts
This worksheet tracks sites to solicit. Every time you find a new site, you add a row.
This sheet has four columns….
- Site name (URL)
- Domain authority (which I get from the Moz chrome extension)
- Name (if you find a contact name)
- Email address or URL of webform use
Worksheet #2: Contacts (including Guest Post Solicitation Attempts)
This worksheet tracks contacts which includes attempts. Every time you make an attempt and every time someone responds, and every time you in turn respond to them, you create a row in this spreadsheet.
This sheet has three columns….
- Site name (URL)
- Date of contact
- Type of contact (typically email or webform)
Worksheet #3: Guest Post Submissions
This worksheet tracks submissions of guest posts to websites. It has three columns:
- Website (URL)
- Status (Proposed, Rejected, Accepted, Published)
- Post Title
Guest Posting Success Rate
My acceptance rate is about 1 in 10. For every 10 solicitations I make someone accepts a guest post. The rate at which I prospect depends on how many are queued up. I like to submit one guest post per week and I spend probably 2 hours a week prospecting to maintain this one guest post a week rate.SEO Needs Link Building