Guest posting, am I right?
It’s an effective way to build links and a great way to build relationships with influencers and….
You already know this and are probably at the point of wishing you could get a consistent stream of guest posting opportunities.
But it’s just awful (sometimes).
Especially when you’re doing it wrong (and you probably are).
Now, I’m not promising that you can be a featured contributor for Entrepreneur.
But there are multiple ways to have regular guest posts going out—and regular backlinks coming in as a result of your efforts.
Finding Regular Opportunities
The “normal” way to find sites that accept contributors has been something similar to hopping on Google and searching for things like:
- [Your Market/Niche/Keyword] + write for
- [Your Market/Niche/Keyword] + contribute
- [Your Market/Niche/Keyword]+ guest posting guidelines
- [Your Market/Niche/Keyword] + etc., etc., etc.
Doing this is the number one way to not get consistent opportunities.
Why? It’s awful.
It's time-consuming, usually involves a spreadsheet that you won’t update regularly, and you won’t find that many bona fide sites to pitch.
Instead, try these two places:
1. Sites Who Share Your Stuff
This one applies to sites with blogs that are getting some social engagement on their current content. When influencers in your niche begin to share your stuff, it’s an opportunity. This method has landed us multiple guest posts.
Take these screenshots for example.
A company mentioned LeadFuze in one of their posts and shared it via Twitter. We saw the notification and took action to reach out and pitch them a guest post exchange. It worked out well.
But what if you don't have traffic?
Try searching social media for guest post terms.
It’s not effective on Google for a number of reasons (i.e. site really doesn’t publish guest posts, has too many submissions, etc.). But if a company is promoting guest posts on social, there's a greater chance they’ll want more submissions.
I did a quick search on LinkedIn to illustrate, using the term “guest post.” You could easily search for your target market by adding appropriate keywords.
Make sure you click on the “Content” tab. Doing this will show you posts, not company names or jobs available. A short scroll led me to this result.
Once you have the site name, you may even have a connection. The person sharing likely has something to do with the content marketing and you can connect with them using your pitch for an awesome post.
We’ve done this on LinkedIn and Twitter, but you can do Pinterest as well.
2. Lists of Guest Posting Opps
Over the past couple of years, some very helpful marketers have put together massive lists of sites that accept guest post contributors. Exciting times, right?
I’ll cut to the chase and show you the lists we’ve looked at and used at LeadFuze.
Warning: This won't happen on its own.
You'll need to legitimately make guest posting a regular part of your schedule. Take the time to send 4 to 5 pitches every week/two weeks. If you land three posts, write them and then only pitch 2 to 3 posts the following week (if three posts was too much).
Find the right flow and get it done.
3 Fail-Safe Ways to Get Consistent SEO Guest Post Opportunities
There are a few things you can do to build a relationship, impress and actually get the guest post. Here are the most important “to-do's.”
Most important: Read the guidelines.
We actually accept guest posts at LeadFuze. And, let’s just say the number of people who scroll past the guidelines until they get the email to submit is staggering.
It can be...frustrating.
If you’re one of the people who do that—stop it. You know who you are.
#1: Make Sure Your Pitch Is Worth Reading
Some people want drafts up front, but most people want titles or a synopsis. This'll require an email. It’s ok to use a template, but make sure it’s filled in with the proper details.
Here’s a real life email we received recently.
The person sent the email without adding a name, but our content marketing manager’s first name is literally his email address!
That’s strike number one. Now, read it. It’s not good. “I’d love to submit a post for publishing” and “it is really great.”
Who talks like this.
Since we’re in the email game, I keep a folder for bad email examples (just like this one).
#2: Come Up with Great Titles
Think of a few dozen titles before you pitch them. And only send the best 2 to 3.
Include things like numbers and/or highlight how your post will speak to a need in the audience. We pitched our title with the word “consistent” because guest posting can be hard to get done on the regular.
#3: Go Above and Beyond
This one isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re trying to get opportunities early on, it’s definitely worthwhile.
Here are a few steps and one example:
1. Hyper-personalize the Content: Use your target’s own site in the post, showing how they’re doing awesome. Go ahead and write the whole post (unless they forbid it in their guidelines).
2. Use Screenshots and Data: Surprisingly, most *attempted* guest post submissions are awful. No images, run-on sentences and filler text. We try to make our guest posts as good as the content on our own blog.
3. Write a Good Email: We went over this a second ago, but why not write a custom email. Create a template, but only to make sure you don’t forget key information—not to give you a reusable script.
Our example is actually a guest poster who sent us a submission and blew us away. The post used LeadFuze as a positive example and was completely written—meeting all of our requirements. Not to mention, his pitch email was spot on.
The post will be live in a few weeks (at the time of writing this guest post). Here's a screenshot of the email.
This isn't a cookie-cutter attempt. If you only reach out to 3 to 5 opps every month, this type of pitch should get you a couple of landed links each month.
Which brings me to my last points.
Setting Things Up for Ultra-Consistency
You just have to boil down your current process into the sauce. Here’s what I recommend:
- Create a List: Take the best opportunities for your site in the lists given above and put them into your own spreadsheet. Or, search for a good 15 to 20 using social media.
- Set Up Notifications: When someone mentions your content on social, you can be notified. We use a Slack integration for this. If the person has an audience and a blog, we can then pitch them with near 100% acceptance.
- Have a List of Titles Ready: We’re currently building this out more. We pitch marketing, sales and tech sites. We're amassing titles for each category to run through over time. Taking a couple of hours to do this once a year beats 10 to 15 minutes per opportunity.
- Schedule the Time: Start off with calendar time to pitch 3 to 5 posts per month. If you can handle that and are seeing great link results, bump it up.
It's what we're all here for, right?
If you're willing to invest seriously into developing consistent guest posting campaigns (key word here is consistent), then you're pretty much guaranteed regular, choice backlinks.
Take a peek at our backlink profile using our Backlink Research tool—you can see that one of our guest post-acquired links is one of the first ten to show up.
And there's more where that came from!
In conclusion, this post has all of the real world examples you need for consistent link building results via guest posts.
Now, it's up to you to execute.
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze, a solution to automate sales prospecting and engagement.