If you want to set a room with marketers on fire – not literally, of course – skip the talk about Twitter’s latest transformation or the omnipresence of reels.
Instead, kick off a conversation about guest posting, and soon, you’ll see people debating like crazy. While some say that the popularity of guest posting is dropping, it is still one of the most loved techniques for getting backlinks, with 47% of SEO specialists using it religiously.
Besides, guest blogging has been with us for some time now, proving itself to be a powerful tool for every digital marketer out there.
But wait. Why do some say it’s useless, then?
One of the main issues is that every year, it gets trickier to land high-quality publications from the best guest posting sites without sky-high budgets. Still, it isn’t impossible.
That’s why, in this blog, we’ll summarize successful and practical tactics every brand (including the personal one) can use to get more exposure and visibility.
What Improvements Can You Expect from Guest Blogging?
Before we dive into potential benefits, I feel like we have to define what guest posting isn’t because there are way too many misconceptions.
- Guest blogging isn’t a miraculously quick way to grow your brand.
- Guest blogging isn’t a shortcut to achieving the top spot in search results.
- Guest blogging isn’t a one-time thing.
- Guest blogging isn’t fast.
Demystifying these are vital, because none of us wants our expectations unfulfilled. So, if you are looking for a quick rocket-like launch, you should probably reconsider your strategy and choose a different set of tools.
Now, let’s see what you can realistically expect when doing guest blogging. First things first, it is still one of the most widespread link-building tactics. Why?
The answer is actually quite dull – guest blogging is popular because it works.
If you have been around the digital marketing world long enough, chances are you know all those cases when brands got 5x more traffic in 3 months or reached over 1 million people by using guest posting alone.
While there are many tactics that you can apply to enhance your digital marketing performance, guest blogging still remains one of the most universal ways to get results for most industries.
Besides, if guest posting didn’t work, we wouldn’t see people actively investing in it. Today, 60% of bloggers write at least one guest post each month, and then there’s the 3% who churn out a hundred of those monthly.
What are the specific and measurable outcomes you can get from guest blogging? Well, I could now list all the basics, like increasing traffic, generating leads, and getting backlinks.
Yet, if we avoid all the clichés, guest posting is mainly beneficial for two things:
SEO. Guest blogging is one of the most effective off-site search engine optimization tactics. It is a technique that helps create a diverse backlinks profile and get your website higher in search results. Sounds promising already, doesn’t it? Still, there are more benefits.
Branding. This is another broad advantage of guest blogging. Think of it this way – the more articles mention your product/service, the more people will know about you.
There is this old-school rule in marketing that a potential client needs at least 5-7 touchpoints before they take action (buy a product, subscribe to your newsletter, or hop on one of your courses).
That’s where guest posting can help by spreading a net of many potential touchpoints.
How Can You Find Proper Guest Blogging Sites?
Okay, this might be a tough one. Many would love to get all the benefits of guest blogging. But how do you find great opportunities, especially if you’re new to this and have no personal connections?
There are several options. Still, we can split them into 3 main categories: DIY, hiring a freelancer or an agency, or using a guest blogging directory. Let’s see what all those are about.
DIY (aka Pages with “Write for Us Sections”)
As with anything, you can roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. How? Well, no matter how foolish it sounds, Google is your best friend here. You don’t really need to be a wizard at searching, but knowing proper search queries will be helpful. Try using the following:
- [topic keyword phrase] + “write for us”
- [topic keyword phrase] + “guest article”
- [topic keyword phrase] + “guest posting”
For example, let’s say you have an app (blog) on personal finance. Then, you can google:
- personal finance + “write for us”
- personal capital + “guest article”
- budget planning + “guest posting”
You will definitely find something, to be precise, about 7,160,000 results (for our first search query).
Now, how do you know which of the sites that pop up are credible enough to get you the desired results? For this, you need to ensure that the potential web page has a high DA/DR score and traffic, its content is unique and not plagiarized, and its spam score is low.
Guest Blogging Directories
This option might sound mysterious, but in reality, a guest blogging directory is nothing more than a selection of web pages that accept guest posts.
That’s why it is a great alternative (addition) to Google search. Here, you will often find many more sites for guest blogging, simply because not all of them have a dedicated “write for us” section.
That’s why it is a helpful opportunity to discover new influencers and creators who can help you with the guest post placement.
Freelancers & Agencies
If SEO isn’t one of your strengths, or you simply don’t have time to deal with guest blogging, you can always outsource this process fully to a freelancer or an agency.
As with any outsourcing, make sure that your contractor knows what they’re doing.
For this, check their previous cases (portfolio) and try to have a 1-1 call to talk to them and see how they answer your questions in real-time. Often, this helps a lot to grasp the expertise.
9 Steps to Work with Guest Posting Sites Effectively
#1 Define What You Bring to the Table
Almost every guide on guest posting focuses on checking the websites we choose for publishing our content. Yet, I believe that the very first question we have to ask ourselves is what we can offer and what value we can provide.
When you change perspective like this, the quality of your guest blogs comes to a whole new level. And better content quality means more websites accepting your posts.
Besides, remember that popular guest posting sites get dozens of pitches every day, so you have to stand out. How can you be valuable, though?
Show your expertise, talk about real-life cases from your experience, and assemble comprehensive and well-researched articles that scream, “I’m the only guide you need.”
#2 Know What You’re Looking For
Knowing what to look for is 50% of success in any situation – the same works for guest posting sites. No matter how good your blog is, a low-quality web page can ruin everything.
I know, sure, it is challenging to find high-quality options regardless of your experience, but that does not mean you should jump at any chance that comes along.
Doing so can lead to either getting little returns (the best scenario) or, worse, getting a ‘bad look’ from Google if you receive a shady backlink. So what’s the best thing to do?
You should have a solid idea of what kind of page you need – always check the relevance to your niche, the ratio between inbound and outbound links, and the overall look of the website.
If you see tons of popups jumping right at you and weird ads all over the place, you probably should pass on that opportunity.
#3 Research Your Audience
Who do you target? No worries, it isn’t a marketing survey.
Of course, it is one of the most fundamental questions every brand has to answer, but why would you need it for guest posting? Short answer – to save money and time.
The thing is that if your audience can’t even potentially land on the website where you guest post, why would you need that publication? If it’s for a backlink, fair enough.
Still, it isn’t the best solution because creating a high-quality and well-researched article that no one reads makes little sense (financially as well).
But how do you know who to target when guest blogging? Now, that’s a good question. One of the straightforward options is to create your ideal customer profile (ICP).
This way, you will understand what type of content and tone of voice you should use.
Besides, keep in mind that this process isn’t static, and you should periodically update your customer profiles as your audience evolves. This is key to maintaining their engagement and loyalty.
#4 Take a Strategic and Consistent Approach
Guest blogging just for the sake of it doesn’t work. Posting simply because it is supposed to improve your metrics is an oblique approach that will lead to oblique results. If you don’t have clear goals, spend some time to formulate them.
And remember that to receive quality outcomes, you need to allocate time and budget for your guest blogging. Otherwise, you might skip this technique altogether because it will end up being useless.
The key to success lies in strategic planning. So, what is a strategic approach to guest posting? The most fundamental thing is the dual impact of this tactic: it should enrich the host blog and bolster your own business. It’s like a good relationship – either a win-win or nothing at all.
#5 Remember That Quantity Isn’t Quality
Just throwing your content on multiple platforms is a bad idea (I mean it). Many perceive guest blogging like this: let’s find hundreds of guest posting sites and send them a bunch of articles. It is all about promotion, isn’t it? Kinda, but nah.
There is definitely nothing strategic about this approach.
Here’s the thing: guest-contributed content is supposed to be helpful and meaningful, showing your expertise and positioning the author as a respected voice in the industry. When we choose quantity over quality, the whole idea falls to pieces.
Still, I won’t lie to you – it works for some.
But would you want your brand to be associated with that? And one more thing – don’t try to sell anything. No one likes that.
Sure, link to your page, but being sales-y is a wrong move. Instead, create a realistic content distribution strategy and follow it consistently.
#6 Promote Your Content
Treat your guest blogs as your own. This is a great rule when it comes to content promotion. Why wouldn’t you want more people to see your guest articles and share them further?
There is no universal social media channel for this, so just experiment or do the usual mix of your time-tested SM. Besides, this can be your additional motivation to craft valuable guest blogs because your audience can also take a bite of them.
#7 Choose Ideas Carefully
Guest blogging differs from your internal blog. Well, technically, those are all the same words, titles, and commas, but your approach should vary. Why? Nothing genius – guest blogs are meant for the audiences of the other websites.
So, they have their own writing style, tone of voice, and goals. Don’t try to pitch something that feels alien to them. Of course, you don’t want to lose your unique writer’s voice either, but make sure to learn what the exact requirements are.
#8 Mind the Spam Trap
Whatever you do, don’t fall into the spam trap. It seems like an easy solution, but you might not like the consequences. Guest posting opportunities can get spammy in a couple of ways:
- Choosing websites that publish whatever, including plagiarized and AI-generated content.
- Posting too many guest blogs too often, especially if your website is new.
- Overwhelming your guest post with backlinks or brand anchors.
All those are quite poor choices to avoid because both Google and your potential customers won’t appreciate you being spammy.
#9 Analyze, Analyze, and Do That Again
How do you make your guest blogging effective? Analyze what worked and what did not. Guest blogging success is not just about where you get published; it’s about how your content performs.
Even if one of your strategies worked before, it might not be like that anymore. So, make sure you adapt to any shifts in your analytics because constant change is the only constant thing in the digital world.
Long story short – if you know how to work with guest blogging sites, your digital marketing performance will improve. As for the general advice, don’t try to find a shortcut.
Instead, choose a sustainable (even a ‘holistic’) approach because guest posting can be truly successful only when you go all in and never settle for less. Sounds too philosophical, but trust me, it works.