We all know that guest posting is one of the best ways to get a website on the map. Buffer used it to get their first 100,000 customers.
We all know that guest posting is one of the best ways to get a website on the map. Buffer used it to get their first 100,000 customers. You build strong connections, put your brand in front of a larger audience, and receive a tangible SEO boost. Many people have tried and failed to get the benefits I’ve just outlined. Why? For one, the guest posts they write just aren’t up to part. That’s not the focus of this post. Just keep in mind that you need to bring your A game at all times. The second reason they don’t get the results they’re looking for is because they’re targeting the wrong sites and not writing what their audience is looking for. In this post, we’re going to explore how to find websites that’ll give you a tangible SEO boost as well as how to vet them so you’re making the best use of your time. I’ve also included resources that’ll help you pitch guest posts and write epic content.
How to Find Guest Post Opportunities for an SEO boost
Not all websites are created equally. Some have more authority and trust while others have more traffic. Do you want a strong backlink that’ll give you more traffic in the long run or do you want a spike in traffic now? Marketing is a long game, so I’d always encourage you to go for the long-term benefits. Let’s look at two effective ways to find guest post opportunities.
1. Google Searches
Google is perfect for finding opportunities for guest posts if used correctly. If you search for something simple like “guest post + niche” (without the parenthesis), that’ll only show you a fraction of the websites that openly accept guest posts. Take it a step further by using Google search operators. They’re special characters and commands that expand the capabilities of regular text searches. In a nutshell, they put your searches on steroids. Let me outline a few useful ones. Fitness intitle: “guest post” - The “” forces Google to bring back the exact match phrase instead of synonyms. Only results containing guest post will show up in the results. The intitle tells Google you don’t want to search the body of content. You only want results that have your keyword in the title. Fitness guest post OR write for us – the OR (must be all caps) tells Google you’re looking for a guest post or write for us in your search results. Here’s an example of what it looks like:
Change your search settings to bring back fifty or one hundred results so you’re not clicking through countless results pages. A few more permutations on guest posting phrases you can use are:
Write for us
Write for me
Submit a post
Accepting guest posts
Become a contributor
Use these phrases in combination with the search operators above. You’ll find a huge number of websites which openly accept guest posts. Many times, websites don’t openly list guest post guidelines. That’s where this next strategy comes in.
2. Following Influencers
Part of the reason influencers are influencers is because they’ve gotten around. You see their content all over the web and wonder how you can do the same. First, you need to find them. Just type their name in the Google search box. I’m serious, that’s it. The first results will be the influencers branded properties like their website and social media accounts. The next results will be places they’ve been featured. Those are either interviews or guest posts. Follow the bread crumbs until the list you’re compiling is at least 100 websites strong. Note: If your influencer has a common name then you’ll want to put a keyword with their name. For example, you’ll type Charlie Sheen marketing so you won’t get results of the popular actor:
In the above image, I searched for Pat Flynn. After his website and social media results, I saw a lot of websites he guest posted on and was featured on. After you’ve used search operators and followed your favorite influencers, you’ll have a sizeable list of guest post opportunities. The next step is to make sure the websites are worth it. You don’t want to pitch sites with no traffic and no authority. You won’t make a dent in your SEO. SEO has changed. A few years ago you could through any link at a website and it would rank. Now, it’s all about on page optimization, trust, and authority. That means you need to choose your targets wisely and write great content.
How to Get Guest Post Opportunities for the Most SEO Benefits
As I mentioned earlier, all websites aren’t created equally. Just because they have a lot of articles or have been around for a while doesn’t mean they’re ideal. Of course, you’ll look through their content to make sure they’re a good fit for you, your business, and your products. Once you give them a green light in that regard, you’ll need to make sure they’re up to par. For this, you can use two simple tools, Moz Open Site Explorer (OSE) and Similarweb. They give you the authority and traffic of websites respectively. Let’s start with OSE. A few years ago, Google did away with page rank. It was their proprietary system of measuring the authority of a website and the likelihood of it appearing on the first page of search results. Our friends at Moz developed another system to measure a website's authority called Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). DA focuses on the power of the entire domain and it’s what you need to focus on for guest posting. PA focuses on the power of an individual page. Take your list of prospects and plug them into the Moz Toolbar:
When the results come back, you’ll see PA and DA:
So what numbers should you be looking for? If you’re a new website, go for a domain authority of around thirty. They’ll be more open to a pitch from an untested candidate. Once you’ve gotten a few guest posts under your belt, you can systematically tackle more popular websites. Similarweb is a useful tool to get traffic estimates and referral sources. Simply plug in the URL of the website you’re interested in guest posting on.
It will bring back the traffic stats, average pages per visit, and average time on site. Remember, the only person that knows exactly how much traffic a website gets is the owner. You can safely add plus or minus 50% to any number you see. For example, if Similarweb says a website gets 100,000 visitors a month then you can assume a range of 50,000 to 150,000. Once everything checks out, you’re free to start pitching those websites like there’s no tomorrow. Remember, always create your best content, otherwise, people won’t even acknowledge your guest post.
When done right, guest posting delivers tangible SEO benefits. Writing is the last and easiest part of the process. There are two important steps before that:
Finding websites in your space.
Vetting them to make sure they’re worth your time.
I’ve walked you through how to do both and even gave you a few resources to make sure your writing stands out. With a bit of elbow grease, you’ll be a guest posting champion. Let me know if you have any questions or your own take on guest posting for SEO in the comments.