How to Score Guest Post Opportunities out the Wazoo

by / Sunday, 21 October 2012 / Published in Search Engine Optimization, Tips


The last wave of Google changes has left everyone in the world of SEO with bewildered brains and sweaty palms. We’re trying to regroup, make sense of the madness, and scrambling to create another cohesive SEO strategy for our websites. But in the aftermath of all these algo updates (and promises of plenty more to come), is more SEO really the best strategy?

Another writer here at Site-Reference thinks maybe the answer is no, and she’s compiled a killer list of alternative marketing channels for your website. One of the methods she suggests is guest posting, which we’ve discussed here quite a bit. Guest posting is the single best way to beef up your backlink profile at this point. That’s probably why it seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon in an attempt to wrangle as many backlinks from high quality sites as possible.

The frenzy has left us with a sort of “market saturation” situation. Regardless of the niche, well-known bloggers and site owners are now dealing with inboxes full of guest post requests every day – and they’re starting to shut off. Some are even charging hefty fees for what they’re calling “sponsored posts”. Yes, this is a paid link situation, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Today, I want to focus on ways in which you can bypass responses of “no” to your guest post queries by building relationships with other bloggers in your niche. More than that, though, I want to reveal to you how to get leaders in your niche to come to you asking for guest post contributions.

I’ve talked about the power of community-building frequently over the past few months (check out my posts here,here, and here, for example), and for good reason. The practice will hand you the virtual keys to the kingdom if you’re serious about growing your site, and once you’ve become a force to be reckoned with in your niche, pitching guest post queries will quickly become a thing of the past.

Write Great Stuff

It doesn’t matter how much you schmooze with others in your niche, if your website doesn’t have killer content, there’s no real incentive for other webmasters to want you writing stuff for their sites. When you pitch a guest post query, the first thing the site owner will do is check out your website. If your content leaves something to be desired, you’re unlikely to receive further contact about the deal (unless it’s a paid post situation, in which case it can get pricy in a hurry).

Even worse, if your site is full of articles with terrible grammar, atrocious spelling, or even just plain lack of insight and creativity, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Whatever’s on your website is what your peers will expect on theirs, so make sure your content is killer. Here’s a little help with that.

Network, Network, Network

When you’re working to build your website, creating a supportive community should be high on your list of priorities. Why? Well, once you’ve found the key players in your niche, you can leverage their traffic by way of guest posts without needing to email site owners cold.

Instead, comment on their posts. Make your presence known. Reach out by email, Twitter, or any other venue to establish and nurture a real relationship. Then, when it feels right, reach out and ask about guest posting on the site. Once you’ve been accepted into your community, you’ll be surprised how many people will say yes.

Promote Others Like Crazy

It’s the golden rule, and it works: you need to give in order to receive – selflessly. It’s vital to establish relationships with others in your niche, yes, but for optimal results, consider taking it one step further. After you’ve made connections, begin looking for ways to help your fellow webmasters with their own site promotion efforts. For example, try tweeting a handful of their posts each week. Create a “best of” piece with dofollow links to posts you enjoyed within your network.

Are you good at something – website design, SEO, plugin support? Seek out some small task you can perform for website owners and offer to help. You may have the chance to ask for a guest post as repayment. Think creatively and maintain a helpful mindset instead of an opportunistic one. This will allow you to come from a genuine place, and other webmasters will appreciate that. In fact, you’ll likely begin to see other websites linking to your content naturally in acts of reciprocity for all your kind deeds and support, so the need to guest post will eventually lessen as you network more and more.

Funny how that works, right?

As an aside this week, I’d like to point you to a new Google Webmaster Help video that was uploaded to YouTube on October 9. Ironically, the video tackled guest blogging for links. Here’s the stance taken by Matt Cutts, which I’ve summarized in my own words:

Guest blogging Is good (yay), but low-quality guest blogging is bad. Cutts specifically points to 200-300 word articles on low-quality websites. Keep your content rich and make sure you choose websites that are sporting some PageRank to host your guest posts. Remember Google judges backlinks based on the quality of the sites they come from, so make your choices count.

Google approves, everybody! That means an onslaught of new guest post seekers will be stalking the ‘net over the next few months – you can take that to the bank. Site owners will be guarding their space on the Web like jealous lovers, so community-building is now the primary strategy going forward if you want to get the backlinks that count.

So what are you waiting for? Start connecting!


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