In episode 33, we explore how we can use advanced Google search queries to identify potential guest posting opportunities.
But, why guest post?
Well, for starters, its an additional source of traffic. It’s also a way great way to increase the number of inbound links pointing to your domain.
David: Hi, guys, David Wells here. A slightly different show of Inbound Now today – no guests. I know, it’s the first show in 33 episodes where we do not have a guest this week due to some scheduling conflicts and what have you. But not to worry, there is still a show. The show must go on.
So this format is slightly different, I’m going to talk to you guys about how I go about finding guest posting opportunities. Why would you want to go about finding guest posting opportunities? Well one, it’s a great way and one of the most credible ways to build inbound links to your site, which as you all know or maybe you don’t know, on page SEO is about 20% of what you can do to rank your site organically, and the other 75% to 80%, you can debate me all day on that, is all inbound links coming in to your site. So guest blogging is one of the best ways to do that. The other benefits of guest blogging would be building authority to your site. When you’re starting a blog from scratch, it’s hard to get an audience, but there may be already existing blogs out there where you can quickly build credibility around your industry by posting on that more credible blog.
The other way that guest blogging can help you out is building relationships with other influential people in your industry. I cannot stress the importance enough of meeting as many experts as you can and leveraging the power of experts. That’s something that Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner harps on in his book. I shouldn’t say harps, but he talks about it a lot and makes a lot of sense, leveraging experts and making those relationships with people. The same way with guest posting, if you’re guest posting on a credible site that already has an existing audience, you’re going to get exposure, you’re going to get more traffic, and it’s going to help you build your business’ brand and your personal brand.
So without further ado, these are my favorite ways in which I go about finding guest posting opportunities and reaching out to those different blogs. So I hope you enjoy it, and again, let me know what you think about this format and we’ll see if we do it again. Thanks for tuning in. I’m David Wells and this is Inbound Now.
The first way that I use and recommend getting guest blog posting opportunities would be using these advanced search queries. So go into Google and use one of your primary keywords with “submit a guest post” or “submit an article” or “write for us.” All these different variations can pull back a lot of ideas and other sites that are looking for those guest posts. So they’re getting the content, so it’s helping them out, and you’re also getting that inbound link back into your own site and also building that authority and what have you. So that’s one of my first tips on getting guest posting opportunities.
So let’s take a quick look at what that looks like. So I’m in Google. I’m using the keyword “appliances” in this case, but in quotations we have “write for us.” So basically I’m pulling back a bunch of relevant blogs based off the keyword that I’m using, appliances, and somewhere on those pages there’s the “write for us” text. So that’s basically what we’re doing with some advanced search engine queries.
If you’re not too familiar with advanced search engine queries in Google and other search engines, I would highly recommend reading up on those because there are a lot of cool things that you can do to filter your results to find exactly what you want.
So my next tip at finding guest posting opportunities would be going into Google Blog Search and simply typing in whatever keyword that is specific to your industry and actually pulling back those top blogs based off your keyword and the word “blog” or just your keyword and kind of scroll down the list. Whatever’s ranking higher up is going to be a more credible blog in the eyes of Google and they may not take guest posts. So this method takes a little bit longer. But what you want to do is actually click into one of the top blogs here and actually look for some contact info or look to see if they actually do take guest posting opportunities. So in this case we do have some contact information. So what I would do is actually reach out to either via phone, in this case, or by email or tweet at them or friend them on Facebook, and actually reach out and say, “Hey, I really liked your latest blog post on XYZ. I have some content that I would be willing to submit to your site. Are you looking for guest content? Would that help you out?” I scratch your back you scratch mine, right? It’s a win-win situation. Nine times out of ten people are actually more than willing to allow guest posting opportunities on their site as long as the content is relevant to their audience. But it’s just reaching out and starting off that relationship.
My third tip for finding guest posting opportunities would be leveraging social media, looking for people on Twitter and Facebook that are relevant in your industry. A great site to do that is a site called FollowerWonk.com. Basically what you can do is type in a keyword and actually scan Twitter bios for a specific keyword, and it will actually sort them in order of how many followers they have, which can kind of tell you how much clout they have and how much authority they have or if they have a more credible blog. So it’s really using different keywords in FollowerWonk or in different Twitter directories. Two of my favorite Twitter directories out there are Twellow.com and WeFollow. It’s a great way to find influencers around a specific topic and then reach out to them or see if they have a blog and if it’s a place that you would actually want to put a guest post.
Those are my three quick tips on finding guest posting opportunities and increasing those inbound links to your site. This is something that you should do after you go the easy route and ask friend, colleagues, family members, whoever has a website, if they’d actually give you an inbound link. That’s one of the easiest ways to start out, and I recommend starting there. But once you kind of exhaust that avenue, definitely go out there and start guest posting on other people’s sites. This doesn’t mean that you should stop posting blogs on your own site. It just means that you should supplement those inbound links coming in to your site with this guest posting method. Basically, it’s one of the most credible ways to do this. You could go out there and get links from directories and stuff, but Google knows that that’s an old-school SEO tactic and there’s a bunch of ways to automate that and Google kind of knows that those sites aren’t as credible. Getting a link from a credible blog around your industry is one of the best ways and one of the most powerful links back into your own site.
So a couple of things to remember when you are going out there and finding guest posting opportunities, I always like to do what I call a gut check of the site. So what that means, if I find a guest posting opportunity via those search queries, I’ll actually take a look at the site, see if it’s not an auto-spam blog. I’ll actually check the PageRank of that site, which is a pretty good indicator, not the only indicator of authority, but if it’s a higher PageRank site, it’s either been on the Internet longer and it probably has more inbound links to it, thus making any link that you get back into your own site from that site a little bit more credible in the eyes of Google.
The other thing you want to do is make sure that that guest post site that you find, you want to take a look at one of the existing guest posts there, because if the links in that particular blog are no followed, which is the rel=nofollow tag, something Google introduced to cut down on Web spam, if the links in the guest blog and in the author bio are nofollowed, you’re wasting your time by submitting content there because it’s not going to pass any SEO authority to your own site.
So a quick way to check the PageRank and no follow links on a page, I have a bookmarklet in Chrome to do it and I also have an extension to check the PageRank. The bookmarklet I’ll link up in the description below in this video. In Firefox, I actually use a plug-in called Quirk SearchStatus. So as you can see here in the plug-in, and I highly recommend Quirk SearchStatus, it’s one of the best SEO plug-ins out there for Firefox. As you can see here, I can highlight the no follow links. I’m on Twitter right now just to illustrate the point that these links are highlighted as no follow and carry no SEO value. They do carry a little bit, with social linking being built into the algorithm, but just to illustrate the point here, you can highlight no follow links and check the PageRank very, very quickly if this was a blog.
So the next thing to remember when going out and finding guest posting opportunities would be to not reuse your own content from your own blog on another site, because then both sites run into the issue of duplicate content. Google does not like duplicate content in any way, shape, or form. You actually run the risk if that site’s more authoritative, if you give them some of the content from you blog, they actually have the ability to outrank your blog for that particular keyword phrase that you’re optimizing your blog posts for. So you want to avoid that and write original content or rewrite the content that you posted on your own blog so it’s original enough that you don’t run into that duplicate content issue.
The next thing to remember is definitely, definitely, definitely, because you’re guest blog posting on other people’s sites, you want to make sure that any link back into your own site is keyword specific anchor text. So whatever that link is, you don’t want to link it up to www.yoursite.com. You want to make sure it’s that keyword. Otherwise it’s not as powerful of a link. You’re not wasting your time because it’s an inbound link, but you could have a much more powerful link to basically tell Google that whatever that keyword is pointing to that keyword specific page that you’ve optimized, that’s what you want it to rank for. The more signals, the more that lines up, the more it’s going to help your organic rankings. So make sure you do that, especially if you’re giving this content away to another website.
Finally, my last tip I would leave you guys with is definitely, when you are reaching out to those more credible blogs in your industry that don’t specifically have an add a guest blog post link on their site or don’t specifically ask for guest blog posts, make the outreach to that blogger personal. There’s nothing worse than getting an email, I’m sure a lot of you out there have gotten it, “Hey, would you give us a link to our site? We really like your site.” It’s a form email and it just turns them off completely. If you actually take a little bit of time, figure out what that blogger’s all about, read a couple of their recent posts and reach out and personalize that message, I can almost guarantee you’re going to get a higher response rate and a warmer reception when you do actually ask for that guest posting opportunity. So make sure that you personalize that. There’s nothing worse than getting a form email and don’t be one of those people.
So that about wraps this episode of Inbound Now up. I hope you guys learned a lot about guest posting and the importance of guest posting. If you have any questions, feel free to tweet at me @DavidWells or at Inbound Now. If you do like the show and you like this format, let me know as well. I’m looking for different ways to do this show. We’re going to have a regular guest back next week. It’s Brian Clark of Copy Blogger, so it should be really, really good. He’s someone I really admire on the Web. He’s a very, very smart guy in terms of copywriting for SEO. It’s like a match made in heaven.
But if you do like the show, make sure you subscribe. There are tons of different ways to do it. You can do it via RSS, via email, you can fan us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe via iTunes. But let me know what you thought about this format of the show and thanks for tuning in.