Blogging is big business. If a company blogs, it’s likely to get twice the email traffic and 97% more inbound links than companies that don’t. Moreover, B2B marketers with blogs get 67% more leads and are 13 times more likely to get a good return on that investment.
Marketers now face the challenge of creating high-quality posts on a consistent enough basis to stay competitive. It’s one of their biggest concerns.
Enter guest bloggers.
There’s a lot of buzz out there about the benefits of guest posting, but exactly what is guest posting on a blog? And how do you do it well so that it benefits not only the blog but also you as a writer or brand?
Here, we’ll answer some FAQs to help you to get started on your guest blogging journey.
1. What is guest posting?
Guest posting on a blog is an arrangement that allows you as an expert in your field to create content for another site. It's also known as guest blogging, and guest posters may also be referred to as contributing writers or authors.
Here's an example of how a guest post might appear on another website:
2. What are the benefits of guest posting?
When you create a guest post, the blog and its readers benefit from your expertise. You benefit as well, of course—otherwise the practice wouldn’t be so popular.
A mutually beneficial business transaction, contributing guest posts is a form of networking. Whether or not you’re lucky enough to get paid for the post, you’re creating a relationship with the owner of the blog. You’re creating value for their readers, and they’re providing a platform for you to build an audience.
3. How is guest posting relevant to SEO?
You can have the highest-quality content in the world on your site, but you also need to have backlinks for Google to identify you as a trustworthy site. Specifically, you need links coming in from multiple domains.
Most guest post opportunities offer guest writers an author bio where they can link to their site. However, choose blogs that will also let you put a link in the body of the article. Readers are more likely to see it there and click on it.
Also remember that Google cares about the quality of the link source even more than the link itself. Guest posting is only worth your while if you can get yourself on a well-respected site.
4. How do you find a blog that accepts guest posts?
Not all blogs welcome guest posts. To find the ones that do, Google a keyword from your industry followed by a phrase that includes the words “guest post.” For example, if you’re a personal finance blogger or advisor, search for “retirement plans guest post” or even just “personal finance accepting guest posts.”
There are also plenty of compiled lists out there of blogs that accept guest posts. Some of these lists are great resources. MyVu, for example, has a detailed list that categorizes leads by niche: SEO, tech, entrepreneurship, web design, and finance.
Explore the many lists that are out there, but be aware of how old they are. If a list is more than a year old, move on.
Make a shortlist of ideas for blogs to pitch, then check out how active they are. A guest post is a marketing tool for your brand, so find the blogs that are well-publicized and that have readers who comment and share. Compare each blog’s existing guest posts to their native posts, just to make sure they don’t treat their guest bloggers as throwaways.
<div class="tip">For best practices on guest posting, check out our helpful guide filled with tips for guest blogging success.</div>
5. What is guest post outreach?
This is where you reach out directly to pitch your content.
Once you have a list of blogs to pitch to, do some research. Read some of each blog’s other posts to get a sense of their style and the type of content they accept. Look at guest blogger bios and figure out if there are certain credentials or categories of expertise that each blog prefers.
When you find a blog that’s a good match, read the guidelines for guest posters. Bloggers who accept guest posts get dozens of pitches, and an easy way to thin the stack is to accept only those submissions that follow guidelines to the letter.
Finally, address your pitch directly to the blog owner. Using their name tells them that you’ve done your due diligence. Be concise in your pitch and be specific about how your guest post will benefit the blog, not just you as the poster.
6. What is a guest post on a blog supposed to look like?
Your guest post should be similar to the blog’s native content in style and tone. It should offer value to the reader and contribute insights or knowledge that readers can’t find elsewhere on the blog.
Use the same keyword optimization strategies as you would on your own blog, especially when you’re choosing anchor text for backlinks. Try to have at least one backlink whose anchor text exactly matches the keyword or key phrase you want to rank for.
Don’t worry about including more than one link to the same page. Multiple posts from the same domain won’t help your SEO. That said, if you have multiple sites or pages with different goal keywords, you should link to each one separately, as long as you don't get too self-promotional.
7. What is guest blog posting etiquette?
As a guest blogger, your job is to inform readers. Minimize mentions of your blog or brand and focus your content on the topic at hand.
Include links not just to your content, but to informative and authoritative external sources. If at all possible, include links to other posts from the host blog.
You’re hoping for the blog host to promote your post, so return the favor any way you can. Promote the blog on your social media pages and link to the guest post on your blog if you have one.
8. Are guest posting services OK to use?
There are a variety of content and PR agencies that offer guest posting services to help improve your website's performance. For those lacking the time and resources to spend on content creation for other sites—as well as outreach—it may make sense to use one of these services.
However, be sure to investigate the specifics of any guest blogging service before proceeding. Some services charge exorbitant prices for creating low-quality content or are involved in black hat SEO practices, like link exchanges. The best services create solid content that include natural links to your own website.
9. How can you keep the conversation going?
Your influence as a guest poster doesn’t stop when you hit “submit.” In the conclusion of your article, invite readers to post comments and questions. Return regularly to answer questions and reply to comments.
Guest posting is a great way for you to generate ongoing traffic to your blog. It can also be a lot of fun for you as the blogger, breaking you out of your writing routine and allowing you to connect with a new audience.
Have you tried guest post blogging? What did you get out of it? Let us know below.
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Jennifer Koebele-Sincock.