Guest Post 101 – Acquiring Backlinks with Guest Posts
Guest Post is the action of writing and publishing an article on a website or blog different to yours. There are many reasons why someone would do a guest post. Let’s see the main ones:
- Establish authority in a specific Industry or niche Market – By having articles posted on websites that are related to your Industry, you can position yourself as an authority in the specific Industry. For example, if you are a doctor, then you can post some guest posts in leading medical websites. This will help you position yourself as an expert in that field.
- Increase your website traffic – People often come across guest posts while reading articles on websites that are related to a topic. If they find your articles on different websites, chances are that they are going to click on your links and visit your website. Simple as that, Guest Posts increase the traffic to a website
- Build backlinks with guest posts – People have been guest posting in order to increase the number of backlinks that are pointing to their websites. Backlinks are considered as one of the most important factors for Google to rank a website in the Search Engine Result pages. Therefore, guest posts are valuable for webmasters that perform SEO in order to get better rankings.
Let’s start with the basics
What is a guest post?
“Guest posting” means writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog. It means that you write an article about a topic that is related to your niche but for the audience of another website or business.
Usually, webmasters allow people to place guest posts on their blogs for multiple reasons. Some of the reasons are:
- Money – Usually people charge a fee to allow others to guest post on their website
- Building relations – Guest posting is a great way of starting relationships with people in your Industry.
- Exchange of Backlinks – Webmasters or Bloggers can sometimes ask for a reciprocal backlink.
- High-Quality content for their Audiences – Guest posting allows you to have fresh content for your visitors without having to do all the hard work of coming up with content ideas, writing the content etc.
- Offer value to their audience – By allowing others to post on their websites, webmasters aim to increase the perceived value that someone gets by visiting their website.
So why would you want to post to someone else’s website rather than keeping all the good content for your website?
- Guest posting builds relationships
Bloggers love to share good content with their audience. By providing content for a topic that you specialize into someone else you are adding value and therefore build a relationship with the blogger.
By making new friends, you will be able to grow your influence, get easier access to guest posts, build links or even start partnerships.
- Guest posting is great for search engines
Guest Posting on other’s websites should always include a backlink to your own website. So, writing for other people is beneficial for you as well in the long term. Over time the built backlink with help raise the value of your blog and therefore increase your rankings as well.
Backlinks are a core ranking factor that search engines use to rank websites on the SERPs. If you need to know more about backlinks I have a video on my youtube channel that can help you. Also, make sure to subscribe because I am going to create videos about multiple ways of acquiring great backlinks for your website.
- Guest posting introduces you to new people
Even though that Guest Posts are great for building backlinks, ranking websites and starting relationships with new people, what’s the greatest thing about guest posts is that it allows your content and your brand to be exposed in front of new audiences. Think of guest posts as a way to indirect build your brand awareness.
An example could be if you are building guest posts for a Shoe store, chances are that you aim to get placements on websites that are related to fashion, dressing tips etc. By guest posting on this website, their readers will read your post and eventually become aware of your brand so they can refer to you when looking to buy shoes online!
The main things to keep in mind when doing guest posts are:
- Add value. Help people. Be patient. And over time, you’ll win.
- Be careful when choosing a website to guest post on
- It takes a lot of time and conversations so you have to be really patient. I know that I have mentioned this before but it’s really important to set correct expectations from the beginning
- Try to be friendly rather than formal. I found out that this works better in 99% of the times that I personally did outreach
- Make sure that you provide content that is produced by native writers or great writers. When we are doing outreaching for our clients, we always aim to find people that are actively writing in the specific niche in order to write the content. Webmasters appreciate good quality content so try your best to provide the best quality possible.
- Automation tools are very helpful when scraping prospects and finding new guest post opportunities. Some tools that I personally use are Scrapebox, Link Assistant and SEMrush
- Automation tools are also helpful when contacting people. I personally use Link Assistant for this but the members of my team are using both SEMrush and Mailshake with great success. Outreach Ninja is one tool that we are going to be testing soon, so I will create a video to let you know how it worked out for us.
How to start Guest Posting
Let’s see how the guest posting process looks like based on my RealisticSEO method of outreaching and guest posting.
The first step is to get organized. I suggest that you use Google Sheets for this because you can easily share it with your team or VAs that are going to work with you. What I personally do is that I create a spreadsheet that includes:
- The URL of the website
- The metrics of the website. I mainly use DA of Moz and AHREFS DR and Organic Traffic.
- One sample URL of a guest post on this blog
- The contact medium
- The name of the blogger
- The niche of the blog
I personally use Link Assistant for this, because I can categorize the columns of the blogs to match my Google sheet so I can easily export from one to the other.
Your Guest Post Management spreadsheet could be as simple as this:
Prospecting for Guest Post opportunities
Once you are ready, the next step is to start scraping or collecting prospects. I use Scrapebox, LinkAssistant and Manual Prospecting for this. If you are going to use LinkAssistant or any other automated software things are very easy. The only thing that you have to do is to insert your target keywords (related to your website) and the tools will do everything for you. In the case that you are using Scrapebox or Manual Outreaching, you will need to use some specific footprints in order to get more accurate results. I will add a download button so that you can see my own list of footprints that I had great success with.
Prospecting with LinkAssistant:
The first step is to select the type of prospecting that the tool will try to perform. In this case, we are choosing Guest Posting.
Then we have to add relevant keywords to our website. If you are a dentist, you can add keywords like, teeth, tooth, tooth pain, teeth whitening etc.
Once LinkAssistant performs the crawling, it will give you a list of over 1000 prospects that you can contact in order to start discussing link building with them.
Prospecting without an automation tool
If you decide to proceed without paying for a tool then you can use Google Search Advanced Modifiers in order to perform relevant search terms that will help you to identify your potential prospects. You can just copy an paste some modifiers into google search and try to identify websites that could worth your time to contact them.
Some Google Search Modifiers – Also known as footprints:
“guest author” “keyword”
“guest post” “keyword”
intitle:”guest post” “keyword”
We have a list of the best Google Search queries that you can download directly from here.
Filtering the prospects
Once you get a big list of websites that are related to your website and you can guest post, the next part is to filter the websites. What I like to do, is to have a VA to go through the list and filter out any irrelevant websites such as competitors, government websites, really big organizations, weak websites and so on. You will be able to know what you need to filter 1 or 2 weeks after you start experimenting with outreaching. I personally aim to have a list of at least 200 websites that are matching my requirements. The part that is very important here is that all websites need to be real and established. We don’t want to spend time guest posting on PBNs or very new websites without any traffic. I am using AHREFS to get an estimation of the organic traffic that a website has. Off course you can use any tool that you would like to such as Alexa or similarweb.
Outreaching to the Guest Post prospects
Once I have my list ready, I start outreaching to people using a tool such as SEMrush which is awesome for this. I have a link below for a free trial that you can experiment with. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING of outreaching is that you make it look professional. I will share with you my secret to success when it comes to increasing conversion rates for outreaching. What I am doing is that I am setting up a g-suite account of an agency email. Like for example [email protected] Even that I outreach for my personal affiliate websites, I make the outreach looks like is coming from a big agency with a lot of clients. Don’t worry if you did not understand this part. I have an outreach template on the description which you can of course use!
Consistency is the key to success
I try to outreach to at least 30 websites per day. Remember, the websites that I am outreaching to are relevant, strong and generally accepting guest posts from others. So the chances are with me.
Once the replies start to roll in, I proceed with negotiations. Most of the bloggers require payment as a publishing fee. This is the part where you really need to explain that you are working in an agency and there is the opportunity for an on-going corporation with them. I found out that most of the bloggers are willing to lower their publishing fee by an average of 30%
The next step is to create a new tab on your initial Google Sheet that you used for outreaching. I usually name this as “Approved Sites”. In this tab, you are going to need to add whatever you added on the first tab with the addition of the publishing fee and Publishing Instructions. You are going to use this tab to start building backlinks so, try to make it as detailed as possible for your ease.
Building the links
Once I have plenty of websites ready to link to me, with or without a publishing fee, I contact them to pitch them about a potential “client”.
Pitching content ideas and topics
In the pitching email, you need to be polite and present your “clients” website and provide 3 potential topics for them to choose which one they prefer.
Once you agree on a topic, you can either write or outsource the content and get back to them with the article. Special Note here is that the article needs to be a great quality in order to get published on reputable websites. We used to outreach the content to Cheap VAs but at least 60% of the bloggers rejected the article and this resulted in the loss of trust. So, make sure to outsource to someone reliable. At realisticSEO we try to outsource the content to industry specialists. This is how we are able to generate so many links for all of our clients!
Pretty much this is the outreach process that helped us builds a tremendous number of backlinks for our websites and clients. Outreaching is proven to work but it gets harder day by day because more and more people are practicing it. However, if you are clever enough you will come up with a twist or use a variation like the one that we are using in order to increases your success chances. You can, of course, start experimenting with this method, twist it as you like and find your own way!