What is Guest Posting? Guide for Newbies

by | Mar 6, 2021

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Everything you need to know about guest posting (for newbies) 

Are you a new blogger who’s trying to learn the ropes of what guest posting is? Or perhaps you’re a seasoned blogger who’s yet to reveal the secrets for blogging success. Regardless of who you are or why you stumbled on this article, we’re here to help, so don’t fret.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide about guest-blogging, commonly referred to as guest-posting. Try incorporating guest posting into your blogging strategy, so you can attract traffic to your blog and grow your audience of loyal subscribers.

Let’s start at the beginning: what is guest posting? 

Guest posting is a digital marketing and search engine optimization strategy designed to be mutually beneficial for the post’s writer and the post publisher. Guest posting, also called guest blogging, contributes content for use on another entity’s blog or website.

If you’re the blogger in this scenario, you’d pitch your blog ideas to another person, company, or organization. Essentially, this process is similar to pitching a product, service, or story to a reporter. Furthermore, you want to be persuasive and prove you’re the right person for the job. As such, most guest bloggers try to find companies and organizations in the same niche or industry as their own.

As the guest blogger, you’ll provide the content. Then, the publisher will host your content on their website to support their objectives. Meanwhile, the publisher gives you a byline on the post and the potential for a backlink to your blog. Guest posting allows you to establish mutually beneficial relationships with leaders in the field as you build awareness for your blog.

What are the benefits of guest posting? 

You might be wondering if guest posting is worth the time investment. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits. When you write a top-quality guest post for a more well-known blog or website, you’re getting exposure. As a guest author, you’ll have a biography with a backlink to your blog. The more engagement the post receives, the more traffic you can expect to start flowing to your blog.   Lastly, guest posting is especially useful for new blogs that have yet to establish a following or any domain authority.  

Backlinking

According to Sallie L. Krawcheck, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Ellevest, “Networking is the No. 1 unwritten rule of business success.” This holds true for guest posting. It would help if you remained active in guest poster communities: brainstorm, comment, and share posts. You’ll want to seek partnership opportunities with other companies or even influencers who could contribute to your blog.

As a blogger, you understand the value and importance of social media. Guest posting is one way you can expand your online research. When you partner with active companies on social media, the more shares your branded content will receive.  As you come up with topics, remember you want the content to be shareworthy and engaging.  

Not leveraging the power of a guest post is one of the most common mistakes for new bloggers and should be considered whenever you’re new to blogging.

Guest posting’s mutually beneficial perks for both parties

  • Builds their email list
  • Creates backlinks
  • Drives traffic to their website
  • Enhances authority
  • Forms long-lasting relationships
  • Grows social media following
  • Increases brand awareness
  • Reaches new audiences 

Where does your guest posting journey begin? 

According to Neil Patel, the co-founder of NP Digital and Subscribers, you’ll want to pinpoint your guest posting goals. Do you want to be known as an expert in the industry? Do you want to see increased traffic to your blog?  Or what about focusing on building backlinks to your website for more authority? Your guest posting goals can help you determine the best places to pitch or submit your ideas.

How do you find guest posting opportunities? 

Guest posting opportunities are numerous. Many popular blogs in various industries accept submissions from guest posters. Some of the guest posting businesses include, but are not limited to:

  • Business Insider
  • Copyblogger
  • Design Milk
  • Digital Inspiration
  • Elephant Journal
  • Forbes, Inc.
  • HubSpot
  • Lifehack
  • Mashable
  • Medium
  • OutBrain
  • Social Media Examiner
  • TechCrunch
  • The Huffington Post

You’ll want to make sure that wherever you post has an audience who’ll also be interested in your industry. You’ll want the company, organization, or individual to have a good-sized and engaged readership, which you can check. Take a look at recent posts. Do readers comment? Do they share? You’ll also want to make sure the publisher is active on social media, so they’ll promote your work further.

What are some other ways to secure guest posting opportunities? Try conducting a Google search for “guest blogging opportunities.” You’ll see a range of articles with 100+ sites that accept guest posting. You can also search for prolific guest bloggers in your industry. Maybe you follow these people for inspiration, but you can also leverage their large following base for your own gain. Social media searches are another alternative. You just have to be diligent with your research and pitches.

Pro Tip: Use search operators to be more specific about the guest posting opportunities you’re looking for.  In the image below we use a [+] search operator to have Google show results for Guest Posting opportunities related to the “how to start an online business” niche.

Using search operators to find guest posting opportunities

Pitching a guest post 

Ready to become a successful guest poster? The secret lies in your pitch. You’ll want to think strategically about your goals and have an in-depth understanding of your audience before crafting the perfect pitch.

An effective pitch is persuasive and offers some benefit to the person, company, or organization who will publish your post. You don’t want to send pitches to every guest blogging opportunity you find. You’ll want to target select publications that match your style, content, and audience. Yes, big brands are ideal, but even blogs with a small following can prove mutually beneficial.

Step 1 – Research 

Like a potential job interview, you’ll want to research the place you want to accept your pitch. Read (in its entirety) any information the site has about guest posting and any specific guidelines. You want to offer something new, a topic the current place doesn’t or can’t provide, so check the company’s archives. This might include your expertise in the niche.

You’ll also want to know enough about the company, so you can explain the mutual benefits of your guest posting partnership and how you can help them reach their overall content strategy.

Step 2 – Topic generation  

This is your time to shine. If someone is willing to hear your pitch, you’ll want to make sure you have a reservoir of well-crafted topic ideas. And, if you want your topic to stand out, show how your topic pays particular attention to the benefit of search engine optimization.

Your topic should include high-volume keywords and be optimized based on best practices to drive traffic to their site. Always keep a fresh spin on your content. You don’t want to be writing the same article or topic that has multiple versions of it already in the digital landscape.

Step 3 – Brief summary of topic ideas 

Before you write your pitch, you’ll want to draft brief descriptions about each topic idea. Keep in mind these topic ideas should be fairly fleshed out due to your research and brainstorm sessions. You should include your post’s headline, keywords, and a summary of what the post will consist of.

Focus on the areas which your topic will cover as well as any links you may consider featuring. The guest post summary should include any sources you plan to cite. Sources can go a long way in making you a more reputable source.

Step 4 – Pitching and submitting your ideas 

First, you’ll want to make an introduction. Your pitch should include your name, website, and samples of your articles (a plus if you use relevant articles for the industry you’re pitching). You’ll also need an eye-catching, compelling, legitimate-sounding email subject line. Show your writing expertise by impressing an editor before they’ve even opened your email.

Your pitch should include topic ideas accompanied by a brief summary. You may also want to have a highlight from your initial research: maybe an article you enjoyed or show how you’re following them on social.

Understanding SEO for guest posts 

A key component for building your blog through guest posting is search engine optimization. Guest posting is a powerful way to create a robust link-building strategy.

The main benefit you’ll see from guest posts comes from backlinks. A backlink is simply a link from your publisher’s website back to your own. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors in search engine optimization, so your blog will start gaining authority.

You’ll likely have a link in the author’s bio section. If you can, we suggest asking your publisher if you can include a link in the article’s content. Readers are more inclined to click the link if it’s placed naturally within the content.

Anchor text is important, as well. Anchor text includes the words of your hyperlink. You’ll want to include keywords in the anchor text so your site can rank for those specific keywords. Always remember to build links that add value for the reader, especially within the right context.

You’ll also want to write a search engine optimized article. You’ll want to include clear, specific, and keyword-oriented headlines and use keyword-rich phrases throughout the article. It’s important for your post to have a proper hierarchy of content. This means you’ll want to denote H1/H2 for headers and sub-headlines, respectively. If possible, use relevant imagery to accompany your post.

Summary

Guest posting can be a great means to start driving traffic and authority to your blog as soon as possible.   Guest blogging is mutually beneficial not only for the publisher but for the writer as well.  Building connections and networking with other bloggers and websites in your niche can open the door for guest blogging opportunities.  We hope you’re able to use the powerful tool of guest posting in your strategy so you can take your website to levels never before seen!  As always, if you found this article helpful share it with those that may also find it helpful!  Got questions?  Great! Comment below and we’ll be sure to respond. 🙂 Until next time!

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