If you want organic traffic to your website, SEO is your best friend.
But SEO isn’t without its drawbacks. It can take months for you to reap the rewards of optimizing websites for Google.
Although SEO is known for taking its time, acquiring high-quality backlinks can be one of your secret weapons to rank faster.
And what’s one of the best ways to get those links?
Guest posting. Guest posting for SEO isn’t anything new, but it’s been a staple for link building for years.
It doesn’t matter if you hire a guest posting service, or you do the entire process yourself…
I’m going to show you how you can capture awesome backlinks by doing guest posting.
Let’s get to it.
What is guest posting in SEO?
Guest blog posting is when you write a post for another website’s blog; usually, it’s done for free.
But why would you ever write for free on a website that’s not even your own?
Well, with guest posting, you are getting paid, just not with money.
When you do guest posting right, there are two main benefits:
Benefit #1: Exposure to a broader audience.
Benefit #2: More high-authority backlinks.
Both of these play into the bigger picture of SEO.
How guest blog posting can boost your SEO strategy
Google takes a lot of factors into consideration when deciding how to rank your website.
Two of the biggest factors it considers?
Traffic and backlinks.
When a website consistently gets good traffic, it sets a flag for Google that it’s doing something right.
If you’re getting high-quality referral traffic back to your site through guest posting, that tells Google your website is providing value.
Another indicator of a worthy website for Google is the number of backlinks you have from highly-authoritative sites.
If you do guest posts right, you should be able to get plenty of these links too.
Who can guest posting help?
This one is simple.
If your business has an online presence, guest blog posting can help you.
And if you don’t have an online presence, then it’s probably time to start building one.
Regardless of your niche, your audience is online and ready to spend their money.
According to Statista,1.92 billion people in the world were online shoppers in 2019. That’s roughly 1 out of every 4 people in the entire world.
How to use guest posting for SEO
Guest posting is an excellent method to boost your SEO strategy, but only if you do it the right way.
Getting your blog posts published on every site you can find isn’t going to do much besides waste your time.
So before you get out there and start pitching, let’s cover a few of the fundamentals on using guest posts for SEO.
Building backlinks for your SEO strategy
As we went over before, one of the main advantages of guest posting is the potential for backlinks.
While not every guest post is the same, you can almost always guarantee at least one backlink in your byline.
A byline (having your name mentioned) is another thing to keep in mind during this process.
If the host blog won’t allow you to include your byline in the guest post, it’s probably best to pass them up. It’s going to be much harder to get exposure from your post if none of the readers even know who you are.
The second way to get more backlinks through guest posting is in the content itself.
If you can get approval from the host blog, it’s always good to insert a few links back to your website.
Make sure you’re doing this in a natural, relevant way and not just shoehorning it in.
Also, don’t link back to only yourself, or do it too often, learn to use your backlinks sparingly.1 to 3 times throughout a long-form post is the sweet spot.
Driving traffic back to your website
If you write the content and byline well, your guest blog post should drive traffic back to your website, both directly and indirectly.
Direct traffic is pretty straightforward. If you’re putting out interesting and useful information, people are going to follow your links and byline to find out more about you.
While this likely isn’t going to double your traffic anytime soon, it can give a nice bump to your numbers.
As for the indirect traffic, getting more backlinks and referral traffic from your guest post is going to help improve your website’s rank on Google.
When your rank improves, so too will your organic traffic.
Are you starting to see how guest blog posting can be a big help for your SEO strategy?
While you probably won’t build a whole website on guest blog posting alone, it’s still a highly underrated tactic.
How to do guest post outreach
Once you’ve decided to embark on your guest posting journey, you’ve got a few more things to figure out:
Where do I look for places to publish my post?
Once I find those places, how do I get the post published?
First, let’s get into where you shouldn’t look to publish your guest posts…
How to qualify sites for guest posting
Here’s an important thing to note:
Guest posting isn’t just about getting published everywhere. It’s about getting published on the right websites.
There are plenty of easy places you could get your post published, but many of them won’t do you much good.
That’s because of many of these websites either:
A) Don’t have much authority in their space
B) Aren’t relevant to your audience
Let’s get into why you want to avoid websites like these.
The first type of website to avoid is one without any authority.
In Google’s eyes, websites with low authority likely aren’t very high-quality.
While it’s not always the case, a website that doesn’t have any authority is often either new or low-quality.
It’s also unlikely that a low-authority website has a significant following.
So even if you were to get your post published on one, the exposure you’d get would be marginal at best.
Creating guest posts for websites like these aren’t worth it, you won’t be getting much out of it.
And if you’re putting backlinks to your site in the guest post, it could even end up backfiring instead.
Google doesn’t just take into account the number of backlinks you have, but where you’re getting them from too.
If your domain is getting too many backlinks from low-quality websites, it can start to harm your rank on Google.
Often enough, when it comes to link building, it’s worth more of your time to go after high-quality sites rather than a number of websites.
Websites with unrelated audiences
Other websites you should steer clear of are the ones with audiences that don’t align with yours.
For instance, if you’re a law firm, you’re not going to get much out of guest posting for a cooking website.
Not to mention, getting your pitch accepted is going to be tough if you’re writing in a completely different niche.
So let’s say you write in their niche to get your pitch accepted.
You still won’t be getting much out of it in this case either.
Because even if you can get traffic from your post, they’ll probably bounce from your website quickly after realizing that it has nothing to do with the guest post’s topic.
And again, this could end up harming your website in the long term.
Remember: The time that visitors spend on your site plays into your rank too.
The best websites to get guest posts published on
Now you know where to avoid getting your guest posts published. However, let’s talk about where you should aim when guest posting.
After reading the last section, you probably have a good guess as to where you should look already.
If your guess is to target websites that have high authority and relevant audiences, then you’d be correct!
This is because the backlinks you build from high-authority websites will help boost your own website’s authority. And when your post gets exposure to relevant audiences, you’ll get traffic that’s already interested in what you have to say.
The audience’s interests don’t have to line up with yours perfectly; it just has to have some overlap.
For instance, a guest post about cats might do well on a blog that’s based around pets in general, but the same post probably wouldn’t do well on a website about computer engineering.
Where to search for guest posting opportunities
Here are a few of the best places to start your search for the perfect blog to get featured on:
Ask your network
Before you go out cold-pitching your blog ideas to random strangers, see if there are any people you know with compatible blogs.
If there’s someone in your network who has a high-authority blog in a similar niche, start there. It’s much easier to pitch to people who know and trust you than it is to people who don’t know you at all.
This one isn’t going to be viable for everyone, but if you’ve got the resources, use them!
Social media groups
The next place you could look is in social media groups like on Facebook or LinkedIn.
While not all of the people you’ll find in these groups run websites that work with your strategy, you may be surprised by some of the opportunities you can find.
Another option, and one of the best, for guest post prospecting, is with a trusty Google search.
Searching for blogs that accept guest posts on Google is pretty straightforward.
Just enter the following and look through the results:
[Your niche] + “write for us”
[Your Niche] + “Guidelines”
Think of different search strings that might yield similar results, adding things like “guest post” or “writer” and sifting through the results.
Try out a few different combinations and look for some websites to post on.
This may not be the fastest method, but it works great, especially since it usually takes you right to their guidelines for guest posting.
Pitching your guest post — Best practices
Here’s where it all starts to fall apart for many people.
Finding the right website to get your blog post on?
Piece of cake.
Pitching to them and actually getting your post published?
Now that’s a whole different story, or so it seems anyway.
There are a few parts to an excellent guest posting pitch, two of the most important being your email itself, and the ideas you pitch to the host.
Your email — How to not get ignored
Writing a pitch email that actually gets read and responded too isn’t very difficult, you just have to know how to make yourself stand out.
And luckily for you, the vast majority of people who send cold emails make the same mistakes, so standing out isn’t a difficult task either.
Try to figure out what’s wrong with this opening line:
It seems pretty neutral. It’s hard to go wrong with a simple “Dear Sir/Madam” — right?
Well, there’s one big problem with that opening line and likely the email that follows:
It doesn’t include any personalization.
Personalization is one of the best ways to get your emails opened and read.
If you read that opening line, would you feel like the email was written just for you?
More likely than not, it’s probably a mass-sent email template, and even without reading the rest, many people would assume the email isn’t worth reading.
This is why it’s so important to personalize your emails; from subject lines to the body, you should add a bit of personalization to all of it.
So do a bit of research on who is receiving your email.
While the more personalization, the better(to an extent), even just finding out their name and including it can do wonders for your open and response rates.
And once you’ve got their attention by sprinkling in a bit of personalization, the next step is getting them interested in your pitch.
How to come up with blog ideas that get accepted
If you want to get your pitch accepted, you’ll have to send over some worthwhile ideas for the blog post you could write.
Since it’ll be in a similar niche, this shouldn’t be too hard, but here are a couple of pointers:
- Do your homework. Before sending your pitch over, do your homework by reading up on the host blog’s content. Try to figure out some missed opportunities or “holes” in their content that you could fill. Remember, it’s not just about getting your post published, it’s about helping their audience too.
- Don’t pitch ideas they’ve already written. You’re going to have a hard time selling your idea if the host blog already has posts written on it. Make sure you’re sending over unique ideas. Whether you find a low-hanging keyword to target or a hole in their content — get creative.
How to create content for your guest post
Once your pitch gets accepted, it’s off to the races.
Now is time to sit down and finally create the content to get published.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re creating the guest post content:
Make it relevant & helpful to the blog’s audience
Remember, while the goal is to get more traffic to your website, you want to make sure the content is useful to the audience of the blog that your guest post is published.
Match the host blog’s tone
While it’s okay to include a bit of your own flavor when it comes to writing, you generally want to match the tone and voice of the host blog.
To get their voice down, it helps to do the homework that we mentioned earlier by reading up on already-published content. That’s why some of the perfect candidates are blogs that you already read regularly.
An Alternative: Using a guest posting service
If you want to implement guest blogging as part of your SEO strategy, but you just don’t have the time to implement all of the above steps, there’s another option for you:
Guest posting services.
Guest posting services help people by going through the entire guest blogging process for them.
In many cases, this goes all the way from prospecting, to the writing of the content itself, so the only thing you have to do is hire the service.
The process is similar to hiring a ghostwriter, and it can work well for people who want to reap the benefits of guest blog posting but don’t have the time to do it.
Getting help with guest posting for your SEO strategy
By now, you should know how valuable quality backlinks are to your website’s SEO.
If you want to get a boost in your SEO rankings, then you need a white hat link building strategy. And guest posting is simply one of the best ways to do it.
When guest posting for SEO is executed properly, your rankings could easily skyrocket.
Whether you choose a guest posting service provider like us, or you do it yourself, guest posts are going to score you some insane backlinks.
Don’t miss out.
Are you ready to boost your SEO rankings with white hat backlink building? Contact us today to take your business to the next level. Don’t forget to request our media kit and review our case studies.