We’ve talked a lot about SEO and Domain Authority and links on the blog and this week we’re going to dig into how you find guest post opportunities to help build your website or blog’s DA. If you’re not sure why you want to focus on guest posting and building your Domain Authority pop over and read this post first so that this all makes sense.
There are two easy ways to find guest blog post opportunities for your website or blog. You can use either strategy or both, which is what I recommend.
Open a Google browser window and type in a keyword that’s closely related to your niche market and the term “write for us”. For example, I might search for “small business marketing write for us” or “SEO write for us” to find opportunities for my business.
Create a new spreadsheet and copy the URL of the website’s contribute or write for us page and start a list of sites to research. You will need to visit each of these websites to see if they are a good fit for your business if the site is one you’d want to be associated with and if you think your writing style could suit their needs.
You’ll want to reach out to the website in whatever manner they outline on their requirements page. They’ll generally let you know if they want an idea pitched first or accept work on spec.
When you pitch a blog post to someone else, you tell them what you would like to write about and why you think it would be helpful to their audience. You should also highlight a bit of your background that’s relevant. What is it that you can bring to the audience that will help them grow or achieve a goal that they have?
A pitch should be customized for each new publication. You should not use a standard form letter that’s the same for everyone. You can use a template but be sure you’re customizing it and showing that you understand who their audience is and what information they need and that you bring a benefit to them rather than the fact that you’re looking for a link to your website or blog.
Some websites or blogs will accept unsolicited blog posts for submission. In this instance, rather than reaching out with the pitch and asking for feedback or interest, you write the post and submit it to them for publication. If they’re interested in publishing they will. If they’re not going to publish it they’ll let you know. If you’re writing on spec make sure you pay close attention to their writing guidelines. Follow the word count requirements, include the number of internal links they request, don’t link to your website unless they say it’s OK, etc.
The second strategy for finding guest blog posts is to research your competitor’s websites and find out where their links are coming from and then trying to get a link from there too. You can find this information by using Moz’s Link Explorer. If this is your first time there you’ll need to create a free community account to access this information. Type in your competitor’s website and it will bring up information about their domain. Choose linking domains from the options and that will display all the websites they have linking to them. Start clicking on the websites and see if there are opportunities for you.
You can look for two types of opportunities when you’re doing competitive link research. The first is a standard guest blog post pitch or spec piece. If the website looks like one that would be relevant to your business and you could offer something of value to their readers then start the pitch or spec process as listed above.
If the website has a post that lists your competitor and you’d like to be included then reach out about inclusion in that specific post. You may feel strange doing this but I promise you it’s a very common and accepted practice.
I receive a number of these requests from other websites on a regular basis. Most of them reach out about a post that I wrote last year on 50 free (or cheap) digital marketing tools. Everyone who’s reached out about that post has referenced the post, shared information about their tool, and then asked to be included in an updated version. The reality is I haven’t updated that post but I hold on to their emails because when it comes time to revise it, there might be one that I’d want to include.
You follow the same process of pitching – you reach out, mention the post that you’re interested in and then ask if they’d include you in an update if it’s a post like my 50 free (or cheap) tools post. If you want to pitch a new idea to them follow the pitch process listed above and show them what value you can bring to their audience.
Hopefully, this has helped you better understand how you find guest blogging opportunities for your website or blog. If you’re not sure how to determine if one is a good fit for you or if it’s worth the effort, this post here covers that topic and will show you what to look for when you’re evaluating guest blog post opportunities.
Pro Tip: you want a “follow link” for your backlink. A “no follow” link will not pass the DA through to you and help build yours. If you’re going to take the time to create a guest blog post for another website and your goals is to build your Domain Authority make sure you’re getting a link that will benefit you.