Guest blogging is not as simple as it used to be. If you’re looking for a quick backlink and send half-baked or low-quality content with links spammed in it, well then you should stop, because it isn’t as easy as before. But if you want to write high-quality content at the same time building top quality links, then this is the best option for you. But approaching site owners and pitching creative ideas that will get them interested won’t be easy. The hardest part is pitching. Your ideas have to be creative and convincing enough to catch their attention.
The following article will explain to you
- What is guest blogging?
- 8 things to check before pitching a guest post
- Pitching ideas and things to keep in mind while pitching for guest post
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging or guest posting is when a blogger writes an article for someone else’s blog. It is a great way to grow your blog. If done properly it can be a good marketing tool. Not only can it attract traffic for your website but it can increase the awareness of your blog and also boosts its domain authority.
Guest blogging provides a lot of benefits to a blogger. It is mutually beneficial for both the guest blogger and the website hosting the guest article. Not only does it build your credibility and establishes you as an authority figure but it also builds a relationship with other fellow bloggers and you also gain a new audience. You are also offering new and fresh content to your audience.
But guest blogging is not that easy, your pitch has to be appealing and creative enough for the editor to accept, and if they accept you can’t phone it in you have to make sure that your content is top quality. If you need help with content ideas you can use mini content search engines to make sure your idea is creative and unique.
You don’t have to pay to guest post on a site. Google considers paying for guest posts as Black Hat SEO. There are a lot of free guest blogging sites found online. All you have to do is Google.
Guest post Vs Sponsored post
Guest posting and sponsored posting might seem similar but are completely different. A sponsored post also known as a promoted post is when advertisers pay for a post or website.
Some advertisers look for websites or blogs that their target audience follows and reach out to them to feature their product or company in their post. What the advertisers want the most are other than publicity are backlinks, the more the better for them.
The main difference between guest posts and sponsored content is that guest post is mostly done for free (sometimes the website owner pays a small fee) by other bloggers who are looking for high-quality backlinks to increase their DA and in sponsored content, a professional writer writes the content for a fee and as directed by the sponsors.
How is it useful for SEO?
Guest posting is harder than it was in 2008. Before it was easier for bloggers to send low-quality guest posts and make a quick backlink. Now it is different, if you’re looking to build a backlink by doing low-quality guest posts, it won’t work. But you can still use guest blogging to build high-quality links if the content is top-notch. It is still used by bloggers to build high-quality links.
Guest posting can also help increase your Domain Authority by driving organic traffic to your website and getting backlinks. Increasing your DA will help your website rank higher in search engines. So guest blogging is a good SEO strategy that you should add to your list of SEO strategies.
One thing to keep in mind while looking for sites to guest blog in is that not all sites with low Domain Rating are bad. It means that the popularity of that site is low. Popularity doesn’t tell you if the site is bad. Guest blogging on a Low DR site can still give you a good backlink.
What are Private Blog Networks (PBN) and how to avoid it?
Private Blog Networks or PBN is used to manipulate search engine ranking of a website by creating links to it through a network of websites. Google considers this a black hat SEO strategy. It takes too long for good content to get the recognition it needs. So some people resort to PBNs.
Avoid PBNs at all costs because Google has become good at detecting PBNs. If you see someone selling PBNs at public places then avoid it at all costs, Google can trace people who buy PBNs.
If you want to you can create your own private closed PBN, but you must keep it private. Do not overlink, keep it to a minimum and do not sell it.
PBNs are too much of a risk, so try to stay away from it. Let someone link your website naturally. If all your contents are of high-quality it will eventually happen.
Before it used to be easier to spot a PBN since they shared the same IP, servers, the content, and the information about the owner is the same across all the websites. Since then Google has become smarter and it became easier for them to spot one. So now they try harder to hide their PBN.
Here are a few signs that you must look for to see if the site belongs to a PBN
Most PBNs have the same content in all of their sites, so you can take a paragraph and Google it to see if there are sites with the same content.
Usually, a PBN network has the same design and color pattern. So look out for sites with similar design or color patterns.
Usually the same IP hosts these sites, so check in any website owner information tool to find out if there are other websites hosted by the same owner.
- Interlinking backlinks
Go to any public backlink scanner and see if there are any interlinking between sites.
WHOIS is the contact information of the website owner. If the site’s WHOIS data is not shown then it’s possibly a part of a PBN.
Keep an eye out for the above signs, if you see one of these signs on a website stay away from it.
8 Things to check before pitching a guest post
There are a lot of unreliable sites that can present big problems for guest bloggers, especially to inexperienced or new bloggers. So here are 3 things to check out before pitching a guest post:
1. Check if the website is professional
Many websites are poorly designed and unreliable, so always check the design of the website. These sites may have problems like poor responsiveness, navigation problems, missing important elements, 404 errors, old or poorly written content, too many pop-ups, and other design flaws. You should look out for design flaws like these.
Check how long the website has been around for and if it is reliable. Also, check when the site was last updated. If it has been too long since last updated then you should steer clear. Also if the site has anonymous authors you should be careful.
Try to stay away from biased websites. If a site shows bias by favoring one political party or philosophy then you should probably try to stay away from those. Look for sites that are impartial that objectively report on a particular philosophy, political party, or any other news and events.
2. Check Domain Rating
Domain Rating is a type of website authority metric run by Ahrefs. This is a free tool that you can use to find out the website authority or the “strength” of a domain. This tool calculated the DR of a website by taking into account how many links and backlinks it has.
While choosing a website always choose the ones with higher than average or average rating which is between 40 to 50. You can choose web sites with low DR but it shouldn’t be lower than 14.
You should keep in mind that DR doesn’t determine the quality or legitimacy of the website. It doesn’t tell you if a site is good or bad. To see that you’re going to have to check the backlinks manually.
3. Common content guidelines for guest blogging
If you’re considering guest blogging there are a few guidelines that you should follow. You have to remember that guest blogging is not a profession and you’re starting as a nobody.
4. Read the blog’s guidelines
Every website has a few guidelines that you have to follow if you want to guest post for them. If you’ve found a website that you want to write to follow their guideline. You can look up a website’s guidelines by searching the website that you want to write for and write for us. This will bring up the guidelines for guest blogging. Email them with your pitch only after you have read the guidelines otherwise, you might come off as unprofessional and they will be less likely to accept your pitch.
5. Emailing them
Emailing someone with a guest post pitch can be nerve-racking for some, but it’s not that hard. All you have to do is be formal, mention your name and pitch your idea.
While pitching, make sure to maintain a friendly demeanor, don’t be cold or robotic. Try to make your pitch creative and appealing. The subject line is important, so make it snappy and appealing enough for them to open it. Don’t make it generic like “Guest Posting Pitch”. You can add the title of your content as a subject. Get personal with them by researching about them and using that in the email. Show them that you are a real person who wants to share high-quality content with them.
Be flexible with your content and time and respond quicker, especially when they respond to your email for the first time. They like responsive and flexible writers. Only send them the content once it is fully fleshed out.
6. Writing the content
Writing the content is the most important part. They will only publish it if it’s well written and if it fits their style of content, so when you write make sure to match their style of writing.
Use different types of formats like heading, subheading, lists, etc. After writing crosscheck it again and use apps like Grammarly to make sure your grammar is proper. Once you’re done with it Fact-Check your content.
Only use relevant hyperlinks. Do not spam links or use irrelevant hyperlinks. It could cause you problems.
If they respond positively don’t forget to say Thank you.
7. Include images
Add some flair to your article by including images in it. Use stock images from sites like Pixabay or Pexels. If you or the author have access to paid images then use that. But make sure the images are relevant to your content.
8. Link your published works
Sharing your published and your best works can help you a lot. Show them your expertise. They need to know if you’re good enough for them to accept your pitch. If your work fits their style of writing or their niche they will respond positively. Only link your best-published work. If you don’t have a published work you should probably start writing now.
Pitching ideas and things to keep in mind while pitching
Blog editors get flooded with guest blogging pitches every day. They ignore or reject most of them because they aren’t good enough or it has already been done before. But some creative ideas get selected because of the pitching and the quality of the content. So your ideas and the way you approach editors matter. Researching and pitching ideas isn’t easy.
Here are 6 things to keep in mind while pitching ideas
Researching might seem easy with the help of Google, but not necessarily. Some blog’s guest post guidelines, Contact info or about might be hard to find since they get a lot of pitches. So you’re going to have to work harder, be a consistent reader, or should have a recommendation by another blogger.
While sending out a pitch make sure to go through their blog and pitch something related to their existing content, a follow up to one of their articles, a common topic, or something inspired by one of their content.
2. Don’t be a robot
While pitching to them do not send a robotic or generic email. Get personal with them, research about the editor of the blog, or the blog and send a more friendly and human email. Nobody is going to read a boring pitch.
You should be respectable and formal but not too formal that you come across as a robot or that you’re in it for business. Make it interesting, creative, appealing, and frame it in such a way that the editor will think it is not only for your benefit but his too.
3. Prove that your content is worth it
An editor gets more than 50 or 100 pitches per week, and chances are they might not respond to most of them unless the pitch is creative and good. They don’t need guest blogs as they have their talented writing staff.
They know that it is beneficial for both them and you but what editors care about is the content and what readers want.
4. Subject matters
A pitch starts with the subject line. That one line decides whether the editor has an interest in your pitch ideas, so make sure to make it snappy and interesting. It should be interesting enough for the editor to open. How can you expect the editor to read and review your pitch if you can’t make them open the email?
Try not to make the subject line boring and generic like: guest blogging ideas or Inquiry for guest blogging. Try to make it snappy, appealing, and interesting enough to make the editor open the email.
5. Value the editor’s time
Editors are always busy with their content and already have a lot of pitches to go through, so don’t expect them to answer back immediately. They can’t read your pitch and decide if it’s right for them in one day. Give them at least 1 week to review your content.
Even if they accepted your content don’t think that they will publish it immediately. Sometimes it might take up to 1 month.
6. Make it short and to the point
The editors are busy so they most likely won’t read it if it’s too long, so make it short, sweet, and to the point. Your pitch should have the following points:
- A short introduction to who you are
- The value of your content
- How it is relevant to their audience
- Topic ideas
- A short explanation of the ideas
You can send the final draft of your content once they respond and if they have an interest in your idea.
If you’re new to guest blogging then the above will give you a brief to what it is and guide you to the road to becoming a pro guest blogger. A few things to keep in mind is that when you’re approaching someone with a pitch make sure to research the author or website first and then email them. The email should not be robotic, maintain a friendly demeanor, and be formal. Always mention your name first and talk about yourself in short. Link your best work in the same email or if they ask. Look for websites with your niche. Research their style of writing and then try to come up with an idea that they are most likely to accept.
While looking for sites to guest blog for, be careful and stay away from any shady, poorly designed sites and PBNs.
Always make sure that your content is of high quality. Fact-check it and look for mistakes in your content before you send it. The editor doesn’t like to see mistakes in the content.
Be flexible and responsive to your content and time. Do not spam or link unnecessary hyperlinks in your content.
If you work hard enough and write amazing content you can guest post for any website.