Another Post About Guest Blogging?
Oh the wonders of guest blogging. Once thought of as the best “white hat” method of getting natural backlinks, guest blogging started to become one of the most feared tactics in SEO after a few words from Matt Cutts. But this post isn’t about that. If you want to know my take on whether or not guest blogging is a good strategy, give this article a read. The short answer is that I’m all for guest blogging, and think it’s something every content marketer should implement.
Usually when you see people write about guest blogging, it’s from the perspective of the actual guest blogger. About how to find blogs to guest post on, and how to approach sites to get guest post published. But in this post, I’m going to look at it from the other perspective, which is of the host site. I’ve recently started accepting guest posts on my site, but there’s a good chance that you have no idea because I don’t advertise it.
So if I’m not soliciting guest posts, how in the world am I getting people to contribute to my site? I’ll tell you all about it, and also why you should be doing the exact same thing for you site.
Why Accept Guest Posts?
Before I go into the “how”, I want to touch on the “why”. For most people, accepting guest posts is a way to get new content on your site without having to do as much writing. That’s definitely one advantage that comes along with it.
But for me, I started toying with the idea of letting other people blog on my site because it gives me a chance to build my network of fellow bloggers, but more importantly, it allows me to offer my readers a different perspective.
Even if you have great content, and an amazing blog, it’s always nice to give your audience insight from other people. Particularly from people who may be more knowledgeable about a specific topic than you, or who have personal stories and experiences that they can bring to your blog. The more variety you can offer in terms of content, the more people you have the chance of resonating with.
It’s like when your favorite musician does a collaboration. Sure, you appreciate their music when it’s just them. But sometimes adding the fresh voice of another musician to a song can make the entire album better.
Lastly, having guest bloggers on your site lets you borrow other peoples’ audience. If I guest post on a site, you can trust that I’m going to share the post with my audience, which pushes more traffic to the host’s site from visitors who may have never even heard of their site before. So you’re getting your website in front of new readers, who will hopefully stick around and start following you and your site since someone they respect deemed your site respectable enough to post on. It’s basically popularity by association.
How To Find Guest Bloggers
A better heading would’ve been how to find GOOD guest bloggers. There are a bunch of people who are willing to do a guest post on your site. But there’s a good chance that you’ll end up digging through a lot of crap before you find the golden bloggers who are really going to add to your site, rather than just leech off the opportunity to get a link back to their site. Good guest bloggers realize that they need to focus on providing value to your audience, and not just be in it to get a backlink.
There are a lot of sites out there like My Blog Guest that you can go to in order to find people actively seeking sites to guest post on. I know a lot of people have been scared away from MBG after the whole Google deindexing. But I’ve personally used MBG before, and there are some legit bloggers on there, and Ann Smarty and the team over there are constantly working to improve the platform. So that’s one route you can take to find guest bloggers. Just make sure to be very selective about who you select, and the sites you link out to.
The way I find guest bloggers though, is so simple and straight forward, but most people never even think about it. There are two main sources:
- People I’m connected with on Twitter
- Bloggers whose sites I visit and have content that I dig
Super easy right?
As a content marketer, part of your job is to be in tune with people producing awesome content in your industry. I follow a ton of people on Twitter who blog about social media marketing, content marketing, and related topics. My Pocket app is packed full of new blogs that I come across that have awesome content. You should constantly be searching the internet looking for great content to share on social media anyways, so the next step is to start saving all of those blogs, and connecting with the content creators.
Once you find someone who creates great content and you feel can provide something your audience will appreciate, just reach out to them on social media or through email. You’ll find that most people are generally really receptive to the opportunity. Your message to them can be as simple as:
“Hey Dominique, I’ve been reading through your blog and following your tweets, and I really like your take on content marketing. I’m looking for people to guest post on my site and was wondering if you’d be interested?”
Short and sweet! If they respond and seem interested, then follow up with more information.
Side Note – Ninja Outreach
On a side note, there’s a new tool out that can help make the process of finding guest bloggers a little easier. Ninja Outreach. I’m actually beta testing the web app version of this tool, and will doing a review of it in a while. But the full desktop version is available right now if you’re interested.
Essentially, Ninja Outreach lets you find prospects in your industry, and it also pulls different data like social media following, number of comments, and other helpful info. Then, it lets you send out emails to them within the tool. It’s worth taking a look at.
Be Realistic When Looking For Guest Bloggers
Now before you go off sending emails to Ramit Sethi, Pat Flynn, or Neil Patel asking them to guest post on your site, keep in mind that you want to be realistic. Would I love to have a guest from those guys, sure. But remember that guest blogging has to be beneficial for both sides. As awesome as I think my site is, it’s just not going to make sense for someone like Neil Patel to guest post on it, because he can post on much larger sites. Reserve the “A-listers” for other opportunities that aren’t as time consuming and labor intensive as a guest post.
Look for people who are around the same level as you, or even slightly above. For me, my main criteria is just whether or not I like the content the person puts out. I don’t care if their site only gets a few visitors a day, or if they have more traffic than me. If they’re putting out amazing content, and I have a connection with them, I want them to pass on some of that juicy content to my audience.
The next step is to start getting out and making connections. Twitter works well for me, but there’s no shortage of places to connect with people from your industry. LinkedIn, Facebook groups, Google+, networking events, and any other place where you can find content creators from you industry are all good options. Just take action and make it happen. Sure some people will decline, but accept it and move on. Remember, focus on starting some type of connection first, and you’ll get much better results.
Have any questions about finding guest bloggers, or guest blogging in general? Drop a comment or tweet me!