Guest Posting Strategies You Should Be Using
I have never been a big fan of guest posting although I am not against it. Because I believe it is an ineffective way of building authority and links.
You can check my earlier post to learn why guest posting does not worth it when it comes to moving your website to the next level.
If you want to build links, the place you should work is your content. Great content will bring links automatically. It is not going to happen overnight but it will happen over time.
However, I can relate to your desire to have instant gratification.
You may want to guest post on other sites to build links and ignite your visibility immediately. If you have a new website that doesn’t get much attention from the search engines yet, you may want things to progress faster for your site.
That is fine, sending a few guest posts wouldn’t be any wrong.
When I started this blog, I used to guest post as a part of my link building campaign. I have reached out to blog owners, pitched my content ideas, created content, and published on other blogs.
It helped me earning backlinks and get my website crawled more often by search engines.
However, looking back today, it is not something I would do again.
It is not a time-efficient process and a good way of building links.
But if you have a new website, go ahead and publish a few guest posts on relevant blogs. Relevancy is everything when it comes to the benefit your site gets from a guest post.
Assuming you want to start guest posting, I have a few tips you may want to benefit from.
Here is how to choose websites to publish your guest posts without wasting your time and effort.
1. Find the right websites
Start with the websites that are clearly demanding guest posts from the contributors.
This tip sounds very obvious but I need to mention it. Not all websites will accept to publish your guest post. If you want to shortcut the outreach process significantly, look for the sites that are already accepting the guest post contribution.
When I have started guest posting I didn’t know where should I pitch my content ideas.
I have randomly emailed to all blogs without looking if they are actively accepting guest posting or not.
This was a kind of mistake that caused me to lose a lot of time. Because not focusing good enough on the right blogs will lower the success rate of your outreach process.
There are many ways to find blogs that accept guest posts. I am not going to mention all of them since it is not the main point of this post.
Being said that, here are a few ways to find what you need.
Use guest posting footprints to find blogs that can publish your content. If you become creative with Google advanced search operators you can find great sites that not many people do not even know about them.
You can use a 3rd party tool like SEMrush to find out where your competitors having their link from. Finding websites to pitch your content ideas should be an easy part of the guest posting process.
I can sit down and list 100 blogs in my niche that accept guest posting in less than an hour. Use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to record and track all the websites you will outreach.
2. Post On Relevant Blogs Only
Everyone starts guest posting trying to get their content published on Huffington Post, Mashable or other prestigious publications.
These websites are great, and they have high domain authority that can help to move the needle for your site. However, starting to outreach from these types of news sites is not a good idea.
Firstly, these are news sites without a specific focus. Links of these websites will not likely be relevant to what you are doing. Secondly, these links are very hard to build. Many times having the great content to submit is not well enough to get covered in these sites.
Find relevant blogs to your niche. If your site about roof repair services, you can find other sites about roof repair or at least about home improvement. You may be thinking the websites in your niche will not link to your site since they are your competitors.
You are right. A lot of times, websites refuse to publish a guest post if you seem to directly compete with their business.
But there is always a backdoor.
I am going to use the same roof repair example again. You can find the other roof repair companies that are not located in your state. A roof repair company in Florida will not likely compete with the other one in Utah.
Relevancy is everything. Focus on publishing your content on relevant platforms rather than on general niche blogs.
3. Filter sites with Domain Age
At this point, you should have a list of websites that you intend to pitch your ideas. But there will be a few steps of filtering to reduce your execution risks when guest posting.
The first filter we will apply is sorting domains according to domain age. You can plugin domains in bulk on Domain Age Checker to find out how old the websites are.
I would say remove the websites that are less than one year old from your list. Most websites less than a year old doesn’t have domain maturity, or in other word authority yet.
One other reason for keeping very young domains outside of your list is the commitment concern. Young websites may drop their domain if they feel the project is not achieving how they want.
You wouldn’t want to post your content on a site that may be dropped 6 months from today.
Older domains kind of ensure the sustainability of your content on the web.
4. Verify Domain Ownership Period
You have already filtered domains that are older than one year old. But it is not enough by itself to have an opinion about the sustainability of a website.
The next thing you want to check if the domain is registered with the current owner for at least a 1-2 year period. There are tools online that allow you to bulk check all domains at once.
Why do we want to verify if the current domain owner has the website already sometime?
Because a domain can be 10 years old but changed registrars every year. We don’t want to waste our valuable time writing content for a site that may be trashed a year later.
5. Check Domain Metrics
If you guest post on a site I assume you want to build links. However, as you probably know not all links created equal. Links that are coming from higher authority sites are more valuable to rank your website on Google.
How can you check domain metrics?
You can use check any domain’s authority for free on Ahref’s Backlink Checker.
Ahrefs scores each domain with its own metric called DR (Domain Rating). The higher DR score denotes a more authority website.
However, domain metrics provided by any 3rd party tool is not 100% reliable. These metrics can artificially be changed by building mass links.
Google may see a domain more different than what Ahrefs tell you.
What is the right DR score to have links from other websites?
Unless you have a substantial amount of authority, don’t focus too much on domain authority metrics. But DR 20 can be a good start if you need a baseline point.
6. Verify Social Media Presence
Every active website or reputable business on the web has some sort of social presence. Some websites may prefer using Twitter as their primary social media channel white others can go with Pinterest or Instagram.
A website has zero social media accounts, or with inactive accounts is weird for Google. Websites that don’t have a social media presence is worthless since no one is talking about them.
But that is not all yet.
If you cannot spot any kind of activity on the website, that website may be a PBN (Private Blog Network) or a part of a black hat project. You need to beware of inactive sites and don’t get links from those sites as much as possible.
7. Verify if sites Have Essential Pages
Almost every website on the web needs a combination of essential web pages.
I don’t believe Google counts the links coming from the ghost sites that don’t have essential pages.
8. Check Website Response Times
When you want to guest post on a site you want to be able to build effective communication with that site administration.
Guest posting is a win-win game. You give someone free content in exchange for backlink and referral traffic.
However, there are websites with a response period a few weeks or even longer. Surprisingly, many sites accept guest posting mentions about their average response time.
Some websites clearly tell that their average response time can be 3 weeks or more. Read the guest posting guidelines of the websites you want to pitch your ideas.
If you notice a site clearly tells you should expect an answer from them in about 3 weeks, remove that site from your list and move on to the next one.
No one wanted to wait for an email to be responded in a month. A few lines of back and forth communication with the site admins may easily take you months if you don’t choose the right sites.
If you don’t see any information about the average response time that is fine. But if a site is very straight about a long waiting period just skip it.
Nowadays, the busiest organizations even government organs can respond to issues in less than 3 weeks. If a website doesn’t value your business by responding to you in 3 weeks, you really don’t need to work with them.
Guest posting to build links and authority can seem to work in the short term. However, it is not the way big brands and reputable websites built their businesses.
If you want to publish a few posts in a year that may be ok. However, if you solely depend on guest posting as a way of link building technique you will not be able to go too far.
The way too build authority links come from creating great content while providing a good user experience on your website. I want to challenge the way you think a little bit more. If you create truly phenomenal content, those big websites you knock their doors will link to your site by themselves.
The best part is good content will continue to pull more and more links, while guest posting will require you to write for the other people all the time.