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26 Feb 2013

Authority Link Building – Guest Blogging

Google claims that content is king. Contextual links are more valuable than links in footer, sidebar, or template. Consequently, you need editorial links, or links within the main body of the page. The question is – HOW do you get other site owners to publish a contextual link? The answer is simple. Guest Blogging.

Guest Blogging for SEO, Link Building and Social Media

Benefits of Guest Blogging

  1. Contextual links that are relevant to your site
  2. Community building
  3. Promotes your brand and increases brand awareness
  4. Opportunity for co-citations and social shares
  5. Improved search engine rankings
How to run a Successful Guest Blogging Campaign

There really is no time for you to waste.  Guest blogging WORKS and people will be using this method increasingly over the coming months and years.  Start making connections now before it is too late and people are tired of communicating with others about guest blogs.  NOW is the time to start!


1.  Install streak to your Gmail inbox.  Set up the Sales / CRM pipeline.  Organize your stages:

Streak for Guest Blogging

Follow up: People that I need to follow up with for any reason.
Send Topic Ideas: They ‘re waiting to hear topic ideas.  I’ll use this in case I don’t have time to research and send them topic ideas righta way.
Pitched: When I send them title ideas, I label as pitched.
Needs Content: Ready to receive a full article.
Sent to Writers:  If I’m going to use a ghost writer, I’ll label it when I’ve sent it to the writing team.
Reviewing Article:  Sent article to blog owner and they are reviewing to see if they accept or decline.
Published:When the article is live and they send me a URL.


Streak will allow you to add notes to every single “box” and to track the status of your guest posts.

2.  Set up Gmail Labels.  These aren’t part of the “pipeline” so they don’t need to be a part of Streak.  It’s useful to keep these labeled as they may help in the future for further research.

Categories: I use Gmail labels and categorize every site.  For example, Travel, Home Improvement, Technology, Health.
No: Don’t accept guest writers or declined the article.
Pay to Post: If they reply saying they charge a fee, I label it in case I decide to pay in the future.
Registration Info: Some blogs will require you to register and post the article on their site.  I use this tag for the registration info.

3.   Create an account with Google+.  Update your author bio with links to published articles.  Then include the link to your Google+profile in your communications with people.


4. Find Sites that Accept Guest Posts

Below are a few queries that you can type into Google, Bing, and to start finding relevant sites that accept guest posts.

• [Your Keyword] intitle:”guest post”
• [Your Keyword] intitle:”guest blogger”
• [Your Keyword] intitle:”guest article”
• [Your Keyword] inurl:”category/guest”
• [Your Keyword] ”guest post”
• [Your Keyword] “guest blogger”
• [Your Keyword] ”guest article”
• [Your Keyword] ”become a contributor”
• [Your Keyword] ”write for us”
• [Your Keyword] ”write for me”

Try synonyms of your primary keywords, long tail terms, keyword terms – vary the keywords that you search for.  This will uncover a nice number of sites that would be thrilled to receive free content.

5.  Send them an email

– Keep the email short and sweet.  Introduce yourself, name them by their name when possible, and tell them what you are interested in writing about.  I include in my emails that I do not seek monetary compensation.

6.  Research the site.  If they reply that they are interested in receiving your content, then spend some time on their site.  Look through their archives.  Get a good feel for the general topics the author likes to write about, and specific topics that have been written recently.  It will take some time to determine what topic will be most suitable for this website.

7.  Pitch 3-5 titles.  It’s ideal to send them 3-5 titles so they pick the one that will be most suitable for their site.  Some people will ask you to write a post right away.  In my experience, this can easily go wrong as people may not like the topic you chose to write about.  Take the extra step to pitch them the titles, and let THEM pick what they want you to write about.  Make sure your titles are interesting, catchy, and will capture their attention!


8.  Write a high quality article.  Take the extra time to write something of value.  Low quality articles will get rejected, and you will lose all the time spent as well as a potential contact as that person will no longer trust you.  Write descriptive, unique, informative pieces.  If you don’t have time to do it, hire a ghost writer to do it for you.  Make sure you edit the article and it meets your quality standards.

9.  Link to your site.  If it is RELEVANT, include a link within the body of the article to an internal page of your site.  ONLY if it is relevant and makes sense.  Don’t try to force the link in and sacrifice the quality of the article.  Instead of using anchor text links, link back to your site with multimedia content.  For example, host an image on your site and link to it from the blog piece, or a video, or a mindmap, etc.  Mindmaps are easy to create and excellent ways of enhancing a post.

10.  Include links to your website and social profile in the Author Bio.   If you couldn’t incorporate a link into the body of the article, it will be in the Author Bio at the top or bottom. If possible, include the rel=author tag (if the site will allow the extra scripting).  I hyperlink the content before I send it to them (in gmail or word) which eliminates the potential for confusion.  I mostly link using Brand pages, but I will also link to some Money terms in the anchor text. I try to incorporate links to my social media profiles where possible.


11.  Send them the article, and UPDATE your masterlist.  I keep a master list in excel.  These are the columns I track:

Status: Sent to writers, sent to blogger for review, editing.
Site: URL
Published URL
Date Published
Client: URL of the client that I’m writing for
Site category: Technology, health, home improvement, etc
Guest Writing Info URL: some sites will have their guest posting guidelines published, I link to the page here
Requirements: type out specific requirements such as min word count, if they need an article in HTML, etc
Contact Form: if there’s no email address
Contact Name
Email address
Topic: The topic they’ve been pitched (helps to keep track of pending content)
Registration Info: If the site requires me to register to upload the article, I add the info here
Content Status: If an article is denied, I add it to its own row and update the content status to “free”.  This way I can keep track of all articles written so they are not wasted.  If an article is free then I know to pitch it to another blog or use it on my blog.

This may seem superfluous as we have a similar list on Streak.  I believe it’s important to keep the project tightly organized as it can get very confusing very fast.  This way you can keep track of everything that is happening on your campaign and have various ways to organize and track.  For some people, Streak may be enough.  For others, an excel doc may be enough.  I am happy using both as it has eliminated confusions and has streamlined the process for me.

12.  Follow up!  I use Boomerang on Gmail after I send out an article for review.  After 2 days, the article will boomerang to the top of the inbox.  If the person hasn’t replied, I will then write them a nice follow up email, and set the Boomerang again for 10 days later.  After 10 days I send them one last email asking for feedback.  I inform them that if I don’t hear I’ll assume they’re not interested in the article and then I mark the article as “Free”.

13.  Join the conversation!  If your article is published, keep an eye on the URL so you can respond to comments.  It’s a great opportunity to help others and to connect with people interested in your article or topic.

14.  Promote your article through your Social Media channels.  Send out a post through your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Quora channels announcing that your article has been published.

15.  Pitch “FREE” content to other sites.  Once a month, go through every article that is free and pitch it to new guest blog sites in your pipeline, or to sites that you have already established relationships with.  This way you won’ t waste any of your valuable content.

16. Stay in touch!  Once a month, start the process again on sites that you have already published with.  Those are valuable relationships and if they agree, keep sending them content!

Co-Citations are KEY

Make sure you are guest blogging on sites that have active readership with social engagement.  If you guest blog on a site and your article doesn’t receive any comments, likes or retweets, it indicates that the site does not have an active reader base and the post will be less valuable.  In today’s social marketing world, value is derived by social engagement and articles that encourage interaction will be of greater value to your site.

Guest Blogging is Worth the Effort

Of all of your link building efforts, guest blogging is one with great ROI.

Not only does it build links, but you establish relationships with people in your industry.   In today’s marketing world, relationships are gold and you never know what may come of those connections.  Perhaps they’ll lead you to further clients, opportunities, content pieces, or projects in common.  Either way you would have established a valuable, mutually beneficial relationship.

Your likes, friends, and circles will grow.  People that you wouldn’t normally encounter will have the opportunity to get to know you, and can decide to start following you.

Finally, the more people see your name or brand, the more they will start trusting you as an authority.   Influencers will be more open to talking to you, and others will listen to what you have to say.

Don’t waste any more time, start guest blogging today!

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Search engine marketing expert with 15 years of experience in the industry, working with small mom and pop shops as well as large corporate websites. I have experience with all aspects of inbound marketing, including SEO, Link Building, Social Shares, Usability, Conversions, PPC, Email Marketing, and more.