The right way and the wrong way to guest post
Guest posting or guest blogging has a lot of significant advantages for online marketing.
You will get a backlink or two from your byline or author bio to improve your SEO on search engines. You also have the opportunity to reach a new and broader audience.
If your guest article is accepted and published by a high ranking site, you can expect an increase in your online traffic and perhaps even new subscribers.
There is also the advantage of making contact with influencers in your market niche.
Guest blogging can create a lot of opportunities to help your marketing strategy and linking building.
Content marketing is becoming more popular due to recent problems with social media content delivery; especially on Facebook.
With many users reducing or even abandoning their activity on social networks, digital marketing is going back to earning organic traffic from Google search by using guest posting sites as the best means of reaching an audience.
The benefit of guest blogging is a two-way street
If you are a blog owner, writing high-quality content for other sites helps your reach and SEO. While accepting guest bloggers can add more variety to your blog content and save you time.
For a content writer or affiliate marketer, finding guest blogging opportunities on quality sites is a key ingredient to success.
But, as with all online opportunities, there are the good, the bad and the ugly.
There are great writers and great sites where you can submit your articles. However, there are also aggressive backlink schemes aplenty as well as deceptive content with links to shady operators.
To make a success of guest post opportunities, you need to do it the right way. But so many are doing it the wrong way.
The wrong way
Backlink hunters abound. They use software to target and collect hundreds of potential websites and then spam the contact page of each site asking to post content. The same method is used to ask for a backlink in a site’s existing content.
It is quite easy to spot, as the software can usually only be set to run using a Gmail account. Any article submission request I receive from a Gmail account on my general contact form heads straight to my junk folder.
Whether automated or not, sending an article submission to a site’s general contact form will usually result in your message being ignored.
For a site owner wanting to accept guest article submissions, not having a dedicated Write For Us page with a specific contact form means you won’t be able to tell the wheat from the chaff.
If you want to submit an article, writing it and then contacting a lot of sites to publish it is going to cause problems. If you get accepted by more than one, your content will not be unique, and the chances of the site owners taking it down are very high.
One great way to fail at the first hurdle is to have spelling or grammatical errors in your submission message. I read a submission request yesterday that offered “useful advices” for my readers.
Lastly, sending a request to post an article about Bitcoin investing or iPhone hacks full of spammy links to a site that specializes in camping equipment is not very smart. Submissions that are way off topic end up in the trash folder.
If you only want to submit or accept guest posts to get a bundle of backlinks, especially from low ranking sites, you will be disappointed. Google knows how this works and it will adversely affect your SEO.
Matt Cutts stated “I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”
The right way to guest post
Guest blogging is all about top-notch quality writing.
You should understand that it can be time-consuming to do it the right way. It takes time to find a reputable site, to get their okay, and then to write an in-depth article.
For site owners, it takes time to read, check and decide on the best submissions.
If you want to give writers the opportunity to submit a guest post submission to your site, create a page specifically for this purpose. It is often called a Write For Us page.
Most importantly, add it as a menu item in the footer of your site and make sure it is an indexable page.
On the page, outline your guest post guidelines and your process for accepting guest blog posts. You should also add a contact form at the end of the page and identify it so you will recognize it when you receive an email notification.
An automated reply confirmation email is also a good idea. You can give an estimate of the time it will take you to respond to a request.
If you are looking for sites to submit your content, start by doing a Google search for write for us. You can also do Google searches by your target subject by using, write for us publishing or write for us politics or write for us technology to find sites.
You will find guest posting opportunities from sites in all market segments.
You can also check sites that you know about and scroll down to the footer of the page for a link. You will find one in the footer of our site.
Here is the footer of Publishing Talk.
Make a list of sites for potential guest posting and then read their guidelines carefully. If it is a good fit for your subject, make sure you send all the information necessary.
Most will ask you to include a link or links to some of your published work, as well as a few of your article topic ideas with reasons why they will suit the site’s readers.
There is very often a text box where you can ask questions. Always ask two or three questions here in your guest post pitches as it shows that you have looked at the site and that you want to know more. Asking and answering questions builds relationships.
But don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar carefully, and then go ahead and send your request and post ideas.
If you receive a positive reply, check that you agree with everything and if not ask more questions.
Check how many links you can add to your article and if they will accept commercial links. It is also worth checking if the site plans to add its own external or internal links to your article. Also, ask if they can give you an idea of the time needed to publish.
It is always wise to make sure that you and the site owner are in agreement before you write your article.
If you are a guest blogger or you want to accept guest blog posts on your site, the right way is the best way.
Getting accepted by one high ranking reputable site will bring you a new reading audience as well as one valuable backlink. For a site owner, nothing is better than a well written and highly informative article.
Great writing will always gain readers and if you respond to comments you receive, you will enhance the value of your piece of content.
Do it the right way by doing your research first, asking questions and being clear about your objectives.
Further reading: Write The Positively Perfect Blog Post