What is Guest Blogging for SEO?

You are an expert in your field and have relationships in your industry. The goal of guest blogging is to share your expertise with your partners’ audiences. This creates broader exposure for your business and website. It’s also a great boost for SEO. Let’s take a closer look.

What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging is authoring expert content and publishing it on a third party website. It’s a win-win-win scenario for your website, the site hosting your content, and the audience that gets to read your piece.

The website hosting the guest blog receives valuable high-quality content which means more traffic via search, social, and more. The author’s site gains exposure to the hosts audience as well as SEO value (ranking power). Most importantly, the audience gets to read expert advice, opinions, instruction, etc. about a topic that they are highly interested in.

Guest Blogging Benefits

By publishing guest blog posts on authoritative websites in your industry, you have the ability to:

  1. Share valuable knowledge with potential customers.
  2. Showcase your expertise and business relationships.
  3. Create brand awareness for your business. 
  4. Send link equity (ranking power) to your site. 
  5. Drive qualified visitors and leads to your site.

Every one of these outcomes is valuable, not only from an SEO standpoint, but also from a larger digital marketing perspective.

That’s why we’re going to give you a process to make guest blogging as simple and straightforward as possible.

How to Get Started with Guest Blogging

1. Indentify Partner Blogs to Collaborate With

Finding the right blogs for your guest blog post is step one for a reason. If you don’t get this right, all the hard work you put into creating great content won’t matter.

Which blogs should you collaborate with? If you are trying to sell men’s razors, writing a guest blog post on your cousin’s mommy blog isn’t going to be your best bet. You want to find blogs that are speaking to the same audience as you are.

Think of who else is selling to your audience. Look for adjacencies.

For example:

  • If you’re selling website design services, look for a company selling website maintenance, content creation, or digital marketing tools. 
  • If you’re selling grills, find a website that sells patio furniture.
  • If you’re selling vacation rentals, find a travel blogger.

Start by making the most of your industry connections and relationships. Look at who you already know that might be willing to collaborate with you.

If you don’t have relationships you can leverage, it’s okay. You can begin building them by identifying awesome companies and blogs to collaborate with. Then, you can pitch a guest blog post to those great companies.

More specifically, target blogs with solid authority (legitimacy). Writing a guest blog for a website that isn’t respectable (or just looks junky) isn’t going to benefit your business.

The blogs you partner with should have the following:

  • A reasonable audience size.
  • Quality content.
  • A positive social media presence.
  • A knack for covering useful topics.

Even if a blog fitting these criteria doesn’t seem to welcome guest blog posts, ask. You might be surprised who’s receptive.

Take Action: Come up with a targeted list of five blogs meeting the above criteria.

Overwhelmed by SEO? Try a
guided approach.

2. Indentify Great Topics to Pitch

Once you’ve identified your target blogs, spend time diving deeper into each one. You need to figure out what topics they tend to cover and what they may be missing.

From there, identify topics you can write about that will be highly useful for their audience. If you can explain how your guest post will provide serious value, your chance of acceptance will skyrocket.

Evergreen topics are more useful than those that are momentarily useful. Steer clear of topics they have already covered or topics that might have to stretch too far to fit in with the other content on the blog.

Take Action: Come up with three awesome topics that are going to provide value to each of the five blogs you identified above, for a total of 15 topics on your list.

3. Send a Quick Pitch

Once you have your topics, it’s time to pitch. 

Try to find an email address for the person running the site. Do a bit of sleuthing to figure out who might be in charge, and don’t be afraid to reach out via social media and ask directly for contact info. 

Your pitch should be short and sweet (we’re talking 100-150 words) and sound something like this:

Hi __ Name ___,

I’ve been reading ___ Blog Name ___ for some time now and love your content. I regularly share your writing on my social channels and I’ve noticed your articles get tons of engagement.

I’m writing because I would love to contribute to __ Blog Name __ with a guest post.

Here are some topics that might benefit your readers:

  • Great Topic 1
  • Great Topic 2
  • Great Topic 3

My writing is engaging and comprehensive, which is what you can expect from my guest posts. Here’s an example [hyperlink] of what I’m capable of.

Thanks for your consideration and I hope to hear back from you!

Best,

___ Your First Name ___

Take Action: Send one of these pitches to each of the five different blogs you are targeting. Make sure you customize them and give each potential partner three exceptional reasons to work with you.

4. Write Great Content

If someone is willing to present you to their audience, return the favor by delivering a great blog that is keyword-focused and therefore capable of ranking in search results.

Often, blogs will have guest post guidelines. Ask about these ahead of time and make sure to follow them, if they exist.

Then, take some time to make sure you understand the tone and style of the blog you will be writing for. Ideally, your writing should align with it but still remain true to your own “voice.”

Write a great piece of content that is well-formatted and easy to upload. After all, you should make sharing your posts as easy as possible for your partner.

It’s also important to include a link in your post that points back to your site When you do, you are participating in what the SEO world calls “link building.” Not only is link building helpful for getting more people to your site; it’s one of the most overall impactful SEO tactics.

Make sure to include at least one contextual link to your site in your post. “Contextual” means your blog copy needs to include a link back to your site somewhere in it where it makes sense. Also, make sure to include a link back to your site in your byline or author bio. While the contextual link will be far more valuable than the link you include in your byline, having both doesn’t hurt.

Speaking of your byline, don’t forget to include one. Create a short (1-2 sentences) summary that sells you and your business to readers. Don’t sell what you do; sell the results or benefits you generate for your clients and customers.

Think you’re not a good writer? That’s okay; not a problem. You’re still an expert in your space. Create an outline and find someone to write the post for you. Think about hiring a freelance writer to collaborate with. If you can provide the expertise, they can make it sound good.

When writing your blog, don’t forget that it all comes down to providing value. A blog doesn’t have to be 4,000 words long or written in the most eloquent prose imaginable. All it has to do is be incredibly useful for the person reading it.

Take Action: Write an amazing piece of content that will hit home with its audience.

4. Promote Your Work

When your blog gets published, don’t be shy about promoting it. You can show your own audience your expertise and show some love to the business that was kind enough to let you guest post.

Post about your blog on your social channels. Include a link to it in your newsletter. Link to it from other blogs on your website. Ask other partners or employees to share it.

Take Action: Create a promotion plan that is going to get your blog some visibility and then execute it flawlessly.

The Upshot of Guest Blogging for SEO

When approached intentionally, guest blogging can assuredly benefit your SEO. More importantly, it can help you to build or bolster business relationships in a way that creates wins for everyone involved – you, your partner, and your audiences.

Now that you know how to get a guest blog opportunity and create a valuable, useful post, it’s time to go out and do it. In the words of Dale Carnegie: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Photo by Brooke Cagle

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Erik Wardell

Erik Wardell

Erik loves breaking down complex SEO topics into understandable instructions anyone can follow. In his role as an SEO coach, he guides Pathfinder SEO customers through the SEO process on a daily basis, giving them helpful tips, instruction, and advice along the way.