I’d recommend guest blogging to anyone. When done correctly, guest blogging is one of the best ways to build authority online.
There are actually two types of authority that you can establish with guest posts:
- Brand authority
- Domain authority
Brand authority helps you position yourself as an expert in your industry. But publishing guest blogs on certain sites can also boost your domain authority, which increases your chances of ranking high in SERPs.
Guest blogging isn’t as simple as just writing articles for other websites. To be a successful guest blogger, you need to approach this strategy with a purpose.
As an SEO expert who has lots of experience writing guest blogs, I know what it takes to write a killer guest post. Here’s how you build authority by guest blogging.
Identify Your Goals For Guest Blogging
Why are you writing guest posts?
Believe it or not, some people aren’t able to answer this question. Sometimes people write a guest blog simply because a colleague or editor from another website asked them to.
But without clear goals, you won’t know what types of blogs are worth writing. Typically, there are three common goals when it comes to guest blogging:
- Establish yourself as an expert and well-known name in your industry.
- Gain exposure for your brand and website.
- Build backlinks for your website.
If you can publish quality content on the right websites, you can actually accomplish all three of these goals with one blog.
The first two require you to write for websites with lots of traffic and engaged audiences. But if you’re just trying to build backlinks for domain authority, you need to prioritize top-level domains.
Once you establish these goals, you’ll know which guest posting opportunities are worth pursuing.
Prioritize Your Own Blog
You can’t just go out and submit blogs or pitch ideas to random websites without focusing on your own website first.
Who are you? Why should another website publish your content? If you don’t add value to their website, they have no reason to consider you for a guest post.
The best way to showcase a portfolio of your writing skills is with the blog on your own website. Publish content on a weekly basis, at a minimum. According to a 2019 study by Orbit Media, bloggers who have a higher publishing frequency experience stronger results.
Make sure your website is clean, updated, and professional.
Other sites won’t want to publish your content and link back to your website if it looks outdated or spammy. That would be a poor reflection of their own site.
So don’t cut corners or write content just for the sake of publishing. Quality is important. Write for readers—not just for Google.
If you reach out to another website about a guest posting opportunity or apply to become a contributor, they will 100% read content that you’ve already written. In simple terms, if your writing sucks, they won’t consider you. So fine-tune your blogging skills before you submit anything.
Find the Right Guest Posting Opportunities
Don’t waste your time by pitching content to just any website. Make sure that the opportunities fit your goals for building authority.
In fact, I don’t suggest writing anything until you establish contact with an editor who approves the topic. Even if you have a great guest post, some sites won’t want it because they already have something similar that was recently published. Other sites don’t accept guest posts at all.
So how do you find the right guest posting opportunities?
Start within your network. Reach out to writers who contribute to other sites on a regular basis. Friends, colleagues, agencies, ghostwriters, and freelancers are all great resources. These people can give you an introduction to the right person at specific websites that accept guest contributions.
If you don’t have any connections or you’ve exhausted your network, turn to Google and search for things like:
- “Keyword” + “Guest post”
- “Keyword” + “Write for us”
- “Keyword” + “Guest blog guidelines”
Another way to find high-authority sites that accept guest posts is by profiling other bloggers in your industry. Search for a blogger with an established name on Google, excluding their website from the search results.
You can also use other tools like MOZ Link Explorer to reverse engineer your competition’s backlinks for potential guest posting opportunities.
Pitch Your Post
Once you find sites that accept guest submissions that fit within your goals, it’s time for you to make the first contact.
Research their audience and review the type of content that they usually publish.
Are they a B2B website targeting business owners? Or do they target general consumers? Is the writing style for beginners or experts? Do they prefer list posts, tutorials, or data-backed case studies?
When pitching, make sure you contact the right person and make the message personal. Don’t make the pitch about you and your goals. Explain why you think the idea would benefit THEIR website and THEIR readers.
Your guest post is not an advertisement for your business. You’ll get the exposure and backlink automatically.
Always pitch a handful of topics to the editor so they can pick which one they like best. This also eliminates lots of back and forth discussions, which can be unproductive for both parties.
I try to make my guest posts better than the blogs published on my own website. That’s because someone else is reading my work and needs to approve everything before it gets published.
Your content will be seen by an audience who may not be familiar with you or your writing style, so these people might be a bit more critical than your loyal readers.
Spelling and grammar mistakes won’t be fixed by the website’s editor. Your work will just be rejected. Make sure you follow any formatting, guidelines, or instructions given to you by the website you’re writing for. Consider having someone review your work before you submit it.
In a perfect world, you can become a contributor to major publications instead of just writing the occasional guest post. Quality speaks for itself. If your content is engaging and a good fit, you can try to set up an arrangement for a monthly or quarterly contribution.
You want the content to perform well for that website because it’s a good reflection of you and your work. So share the post on your social media platforms and with your email subscribers once it’s published.
Guest blogging is my favorite way to build authority.
Not only will this help establish your name as an expert in your industry, but it can boost your domain authority for SEO as well.
If you’re ready to take your guest posting strategy to the next level, make sure you follow the tips that I’ve described in this guide.