Over the years, marketing experts have been talking a lot about the death of guest blogging.
Still, it remained one of the most significant SEO practices.
Guest blogging benefits
Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to drive quality traffic to your site and boost your content marketing ROI. It is an immensely important aspect of your sales funnel, as it engages a potential customer with your content, raises their brand awareness, and builds your credibility.
Of course, I’m not talking about a bunch of 500-word articles published on some suspicious sites. What I mean is serious, insightful, and top-quality content that will highlight your area of expertise and establish you as the leader in your niche.
Here are a few awesome techniques that will help you find quality guest blogging opportunities.
Search Google Manually
Your goal here is pretty simple- you do a manual search by using a variety of keywords until you create an extensive list of quality guest blogging prospects.
For example, if you’re looking for sites where you can post digital marketing-related articles, you will search for: “digital marketing write for us”, “digital marketing guest blogging”, “digital marketing guest posting”, “digital marketing writer guidelines”.
If this doesn’t work for you and you need to find more relevant link building opportunities, then you should turn to some advanced Google’s options. For example, you can start with combining your search strings, like in the following examples: “digital marketing agency”, “digital marketing company”, “digital marketing strategy”to find more precise results.
Also, you could use advanced search operators, such as the site search(limits the search to a specific site), the intitle search(searches for the given text within the page title), the inurl search (looks for keywords within the URL), the cut search (eliminates everything you mark irrelevant, e.g. “SEO” -agency), etc.
The only problem with this kind of search is that everything you do, you’ll have to do manually. Once Google provides you with the list of relevant sites, you will have to click on each of them and examine them carefully to see whether earning the link from them is worth the effort.
Follow your Competitors
You’re not alone out there. There are hundreds or even thousands of businesses similar to yours, investing in the same SEO practices and targeting the same group of people. Most of them are in the industry for years. They have already implemented a solid digital marketing plan, which gets updated with the inception of every new trend. They know what works for your target audience and what not.
However, you shouldn’t be afraid of your competitors. The fact that they have a stronger SEO campaign than you gives you the opportunity to improve your practices. Namely, competitive analysis is one of the most vital aspects of link building.
With tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Dibz or Moz’s Open Site Explorer, you can analyze your competitors’ backlink profileand see where they publish guest posts. This is an extremely simple way to find some awesome domains that will bring you tons of quality traffic and authority to your site.
Competitive analysis also gives you a chance to see what type of guest posts resonates best with a certain blogger and their target audience. Is it a traditional, 700-word article or a comprehensive, 2000-word guide? What about infographics?
In other words, you can analyze people’s interaction with your rivals’ content. You can see how much they share, like, or comment on it. This way, you will see what the most effective guest posting practices are and tailor your strategy to them.
Take Advantage of Blogrolls
Simply put, a blogroll represents the sitewide list of links a blogger considers valuable and wants to share with their target audience.
If you have ever bumped into them (and you certainly have), then you know that they are often placed on the sidebar of the blog, to be easy-to-spot. The reason why blogrolls rock is the fact that they help you get easy links and give your site transparency. Namely, with each blog you get featured on, you will reach out to a wider audience and drive relevant traffic to your site.
Now, this all sounds great, but it has nothing to do with finding guest blogging prospects, right?
Wrong- apart from being an easy link building opportunity and an outstanding source of relevant information, blogrolls are basically lists of your guest blogging opportunities.
You just need to find relevant sites in your niche that have blogrolls and see what blogs are featured there.
Now, finding sites with blogrolls isn’t that difficult. All you need to do is search for a “keyword”+ one of the following: “my favorite sites”, “blogroll”, “sites to follow”, “sites to visit”, “blog recommendation”,etc.
Similarly to doing searches on Google, the only problem with using blogrolls for guest blogging is a lot of manual research.
Leave Comments on Top-Notch Sites
In the past, blog commenting was one of the simplest ways to build links. All you had to do is find a blog post that discusses a certain topic relevant to your niche and comment on it, offering the link to your site as an additional source of information.
Now, even though this link building practice is still alive and kicking it is considered spammy and is frowned upon by search engines.
However, website commenting has a much higher value than that.
First, it helps you boost your transparency. Of course, by this, I don’t mean writing comments like “Thanks!” or “Great post!” These are completely pointless.
You should use these comments to establish yourself as highly authoritative. Find the leading sites in your niche (if you cannot find them manually, use tools like SEMrush or Buzzsumo) and follow them regularly. To get immediately notified whenever a new post appears on a particular blog, use news aggregator tools like Feedly.
If you are familiar with a certain topic that is being discussed, answer questions, leave insightful suggestions, and provide relevant statistics. Start leaving such comments on an authoritative blog regularly and sooner or later, people will start to notice you. You will start building a solid personal brand and establishing a considerable base of admirers. Then, you may be given the opportunity to publish on the site on your own and even become one of their regular contributors.
Over to You
Guest blogging is one of the most significant SEO practices. It builds your brand awareness, authority, and trust. Most importantly, it engages your customers, leads them to your site, and turns them into your loyal customers.
How do you find your guest blogging prospects?
About the author, Nate Vickery
Nate Vickery is a marketer and an online author mostly focused on streamlining SMB and startup marketing. Nate is the executive editor at Bizzmarkblog.com and a contributor to many other online publications.
Previously, he was Director at Comms Axis, a full service marketing agency specialising in content, social media & website services for businesses of all sizes.
Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, MarketingProfs, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and more.
Dan was also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
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