Let’s cut to the chase and talk about some of the benefits that you can get from guest posting:
1.) You can increase your web traffic and get thousands of hits on your site.
2.) You can grow your visibility and improve your credibility as an author.
3.) You can build a GENUINE relationship with other webmasters which can lead to future collaboration and lucrative client referrals.
4.) You can obtain link juice for your site that helps improve your site’s ranking.
If you’re running a blog, can you imagine what would happen if you had all of these benefits working for you? I know. It’s neck-breaking, right?
I’d also like to emphasize how you can easily land guest posts for free so you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars – unlike what your expenditures would be if you were running PPC or SEO campaigns.
Because of how beneficial guest posting can be for you, I’ve decided to put together this comprehensive guide to help you learn the basics. Once you’re done with this guide, you’ll be ready to start guest posting immediately as I’ll be walking you through all the steps from A – Z.
Here are the questions that you’ll want answered when guest posting:
1.) How do I find sites that are relevant to my niche that accept guest posts?
2.) How do I scrape data from Google?
3.) How do I filter and sort the data to make sure that I have a list of only high quality sites?
4.) How do I determine the monthly traffic of these sites?
5.) How do I craft outreach emails to help distribute my guest posts?
6.) And of course: How do I actually write the articles?
I’ll give you a definitive answer to each of these questions. But before we get to that, I need you to go to your search settings to make sure your Google search results show 100 results per query. This will help you save time in the data mining process.
Here’s how to do it:
Once you’ve clicked the gear looking icon, you then have to click “Search settings”.
Once you have this squared away, Google should bring you 100 search results every time you type in something in Google’s search box.
Now then, let’s begin with the guest posting process..
1.) How do I find the sites that are relevant to my niche that accepts guest posts?
Basically, by typing in a more targeted search query, Google is able to give you a result that’s a lot more relevant.
Let’s say that you’re in the internet marketing niche. Here are a couple of search queries that you can use. These search queries will let Google bring you a list of sites that are in the internet marketing niche that accepts guest posts.
“internet marketing” + “guest post”
“internet marketing” + “become a guest author”
“internet marketing” + “become an author”
“internet marketing” + “write for us”
You can simply replace the part that says “internet marketing” to what your actual niche is. Once you hit enter, Google will bring you back the list of sites that accepts guest posts that are in your niche.
* Tip – Instead of feeling limited with the keywords that you’re working on, you can broaden or niche down your keywords even more.
Example. If you’re in the internet marketing niche, you can replace “internet marketing” with “social media”, “ppc”, or “comment marketing” (among many others). All of these are still about internet marketing yet they are more specific.
On the other hand, you can broaden your keyword as well. Instead of using “internet marketing”, you can simply use “marketing” instead.
2.) How do I scrape the data from Google?
There are several tools that you can use to scrape the data from Google’s search results. But let’s go with SEOquake for now. We’ll go with it since this tool isn’t just effective for scraping data, it also has tons of other uses that you can use for your internet marketing or guest posting task.
Go ahead. Install the plugin. If you aren’t quite sure how to install it, then please check this out. Click here.
Once you’ve already installed SEOquake, type in the advanced search query of your choice, click the search icon and then click “Show CSV”.
It will then show you the scraped urls. Simply copy and paste everything into MS Excel. At this point, you’re pretty much done scraping.
Just be sure to scrape a couple of data so you’ll be more efficient with the process. I usually go for 500 datas (minimum) before I start sorting and filtering it in MS Excel..
3.) How do I filter and sort the data to make sure that I only have a list of quality sites?
At this point, you’ve already copy and pasted everything inside the csv box in SEOquake to you MS Excel file.
From there, you need to delete the first line on the list of urls that you copy and pasted. You’ll notice that the first line isn’t really a url but are just labels – you don’t need that.
After you’ve deleted the first row, you then have to click column “A” then the “Find and Replace” icon on the upper right part of the document then select “replace”…
At this point, you have to type in http:// on the “Find what” box, then leave the “replace with” box empty. Then click “Replace all”.
You then have to repeat the same process but this time, instead of typing in http:// you need to type these in instead. Please be sure to follow the sequence from 1 – 3.
Remember that the “replace with” box should always be left empty before you press “replace all”.
The end result should leave your domain names without any extensions. That said, you should only see the domain names and the TLDs.
You then have to remove the duplicates by clicking the “Data” tab and the “remove duplicates” icon.
Now that you’ve already removed the extensions, you can then start obtaining the metrics of each sites.
While there are a couple of metrics that most marketers review to gauge the a website’s value, we’ll go with the most common ones being used right now.
The site’s Page Rank (PR), Domain Authority (DA), and Page Authority (PA). I usually go with sites that are PR 3+, DA 30+ and PA 30+.
I’d like to note how these are by no means a definite way to determine a site’s quality. These numbers can be manipulated if the webmaster knows what they’re doing so don’t think of this as a definite method to weed out low quality sites and retain the high quality ones.
However, I’d wager that this method will remove 70% to 80% of the low quality sites that are on your list. Not bad, right?
So how do you obtain those metrics?
Here are a couple of tools that I use.
To obtain the website’s PR
To obtain the site’s PA and DA
After using the tools that I shared, you should be able to obtain the website’s PR, PA and DA.
I tend to label my column on this order – Domain name, PR, PA, and DA.
* Note – I usually remove any decimal points on my numbers. You can do this by following these steps:
1.) Click the columns with the numbers (in this case column B, C, and D).
2.) Right click on the columns and click “format cells”.
3.) Choose “numbers” and set the “decimal places” to zero.
4.) Click the “ok” button. This will remove all the decimal places on your selected columns.
At this point, you just have to sort the data and remove the ones with PR that’s less than 3 and PA/DA that’s less than 30. Again, this depends on what you’re looking for. PR 3+ and DA/PA 30+ are just the ones that I normally use.
Not sure how to sort? Now worries, I got you covered.
Here’s what you need to do.
1.) Left click on any one of the cells in your PR column. You then have to highlight all the cells by pressing ctrl + A on your keyboard.
2.) Right click on any of the highlighted cells then select “sort”.
3.) Then select from “smallest to largest”.
It will then sort the “PR” column from smallest to largest. You can easily delete the ones with PR that’s less than 3. Follow the same procedure on the “PA” and “DA” column.
Alright! At this point, chances are, most of the sites that are on your list are of high quality and are related to your niche because of the search query that you typed in on Google’s search box.
The next step… Determine what each site’s estimated monthly traffic is.
4.) How do I determine the monthly traffic that these sites have?
This question is very important because regardless of what kind of numbers the website have, if they don’t have any traffic coming in, it’s going to be useless for you to guest post on their site (unless if you’re doing this purely to manipulate your site’s ranking which I HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT YOU DON’T DO).
So how do you determine their site’s estimated monthly traffic? Use similarweb.com.
Sadly, you can’t check your site’s monthly traffic in bulk with similarweb. That said, you have to manually check them yourself.
If you want an easier way to go about this, you can hire someone from ODesk or other freelancing sites to do it for you. Since this is a simple data mining task, you can have this worked on for about $3 – $5 per hour.
5.) How do I craft my outreach emails?
Now that you’ve already obtained each site’s statistics (PR, PA, DA and est. monthly traffic), there’s nothing else left to do but to send the webmasters your outreach emails.
Here’s the thing. The more personal/customized your emails are, the better. I also want you to focus on talking about the benefits that they (the webmasters) can get from your guest post and NOT how good you are at writing or what your credentials are.
The fact of the matter is, they don’t care who you are and what you’ve accomplished. All they are care about is themselves and how they can benefit from you. Instead of saying how good of a writer you are, you can say something like this instead:
1.) I’ll share the published content to my community helping you increase your site’s reader base.
2.) I’ll write high quality articles that will move your readers to comment and engage in the post.
3.) I’ll be a regular contributor to your site. That said, you’re site’s content will be constantly updated by regular posts (from me) making you look good in the eyes of your readers and Google.
Another thing to remember when sending outreach emails is to NEVER USE “Dear Sir/Ma’am”. Use the webmasters first name. If not, just use “Hi” or “Hello”.
Also, please be sure to read their guest posting guidelines (if any) before you even think about sending them any kind of outreach emails. That way, your emails are crafted in such a way that it follows their guest posting guidelines.
At this point, the webmaster will either give you a “yes” or a “no”. Should you receive any “nos”, please don’t take it personally and continue sending guest post pitches. Being rejected is normal so don’t let it put you down.
Should they give you a “yes” though, then you ought to start crafting the article according to how the webmaster wants it written. But if they don’t give you a specific set of guidelines on how to write it, I urge you to follow these general guidelines when crafting your article.
6.) How do I write my articles?
There are no fixed guidelines on how to write your articles, however, these are the ones that I usually use. When I send articles to the webmasters while following these guidelines, they usually end up getting accepted. So I thought of sharing these to you.
1.) Write an article that’s a minimum of 1000 words. 1000 -1500 words is a good word count to consider simply because most spammers (and I assure you, there are TONS of them) only write 400 – 500 words since this is what people usually expect.
This is the least number of words an article can have to make it look decent.
Now if you want to set yourself apart from these spammers and give the webmaster a clear message that you aren’t one of them, write a long post. Of course, your long post should be packed with ideas. Simply adding fluff will make you look like a low quality writer or even a spammer.
2.) Add links to other sites – to high quality ones at that! Whatever you do, DO NOT add just one link in your article. This will make you look REALLY shady in the eyes of the webmaster and even to Google.
Adding multiple links to high quality sites will make your article look natural. You of course have to make sure that the anchors where your urls are added and the page it routes to makes total sense.
Linking to their sites internal pages is also a good practice to follow.
3.) I know that this is quite obvious but I’m afraid it needs to be mentioned. You need to proofread and make sure that your article is typo and grammar error free.
4.) Make sure that your article is geared towards the webmaster’s target audience. When their site is all about small business and start-ups, please do yourself and the entire humanity a favor by not writing about “7 Weight Loss Habits…”. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.
5.) Add images. This makes your article a lot more readable and professional looking. Be sure to add proper attribution to the images.
6.) Use subheadings and bullet points. This makes your article scannable and easier to digest.
7.) Do not exceed 3 – 4 sentences per paragraph. What you need to avoid is giving your readers a HUGE BLOCK of text. This can seriously turn them off.
8.) Please align your articles. I usually use the “justify” alignment.
9.) Always add an opening and a closing paragraph.
10.) Always add a call to action. Asking the readers to share and comment is always a good idea.
If you’re looking for tips on how to write better and thrive as a freelance writer, you can also check my other post about it. Click here.
Remember, because you’re guest posting, you need to be EXTRA CAREFUL about your article’s quality. You need to write as best as you can and make sure that you aren’t adding trash to the webmaster’s site.
It’s your time to share!
If you’re looking to learn how to guest post so you can grow your blog, I know that this guide will do you wonders. If you feel that I missed something really important that I ought to include, do let me know. You can either contact me or leave a comment in the comments section below.
If you ever have any ideas or questions that you’d like to ask, fire away in the comments section, I’ll be more than happy to help you in anyway I can. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Cheers!