This question originally appeared here.
Whew, a month and a half ago I would have skipped this question, and moved on to the next one, simply because I would have thought that I wasn’t qualified enough to guide you.
But, now that I actually have solid experience (guest blogged 6 times in my first month), I guess I do have the expertise to do so.
The first step to start guest-posting actually consists of more than 1 part, so I will break them up:
They consist of the technical side of things, versus the non-technical.
The first part in technical guest-posting refers to the workings and set up of your guest-posting direction.
This is the part where you start being extremely specific, and set out your requirements and goals for your guest-post.
Since guest-posting is fast being referred to as a highly spammy technique (Matt Cutts), this means that you have to strict about the requirements that you set for your guest post.
What this means is that: while there are many blogs out there that accept guest posts, most of the time these blogs offer guest-posting opportunities as a method of getting free content to be posted on their site.
You’d want to make sure to stay clear of these blogs, since any second they might be wiped clean with Google’s next update – and your hard work goes down the drain with it.
Since there are so many different types of requirements in guest-posting, i’m going to just focus on the things that matter, since I’m guessing you don’t have time to practice everything, anyways.
Here are the top 5 things in terms of technical guest-posting that you need to know.
Domain authority, is quite simply the strength of the URL that you sit on.
It is a ranking factor that is developed by SEO site Moz to show how much a site is trusted in a search engine’s eyes.
In general, the higher your Domain authority is, the better the trustworthiness of the site, and the more potential link juice that particular site can give you.
How can we find Domain Authority?
Naturally, the next question is: how can we find the domain authority of a particular site?
Luckily for us, there are free tools such as Moz’s toolbar, which can help you to analyze a particular blog’s domain Authority.
The first step is to download the Moz Toolbar from the Google Chrome Store.
Open a new Chrome page, and hover over the option bar on the right.
Then, select More Tools.
Next, click on extensions, and you should be redirected to the Chrome extension page.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you should see a button titled “get more extensions”.
Click on that.
This should redirect you to the Chrome Web store.
Now comes the fun part.
Go To the search bar, and type in MozBar.
You should see a tool that looks something like this:
Next, click on the add to Chrome button, and go through the installation process.
Once the tool has been installed in your browser, you should see something like this popping up on your Chrome dashboard.
Now, it’s time to visit the site that you plan on guest posting on.
For the sake of this tutorial, we will just use one of the most famous website that accepts guest bloggers: the Entrepreneur website.
Once you visited the Entrepreneur website, you will need to enable the malls by in order to analyze the website.
To do that, you need to create a free Moz Community account.
You can do so by clicking on the ” create account” button on the MozBar like what you see here:
Clicking on the create account button or redirect you to the most sign up page, where you can create your free account.
Fill out the required information, and click on “create my account”.
Once you have created an account with Moz, it’s time to head back to the website that you wish to guest post on, so that you can back to analyze its domain Authority.
Of course, for this example, who will go back to the Entrepreneur website.
once you have returned to the site and question, notice how the tuba changes.
Your focus here should be on the DA, or the Domain Authority of the site.
Since you mention that it is your first time guest posting, I’m assuming that your website starts from scratch, and that, by default you should have a page authority of 0, and a domain authority of 0 as well.
As I mentioned earlier, the higher your domain Authority, the more Google trusts your site.
How Google works is that if you manage to get a guest post on a high Domain Authority site like Entrepreneur, the guest posting site actually passes some link juice to you in the form of Domain Authority.
The best way to look at it is to think of it as a giant voting system.
By having a do follow link from a trusted website like Entrepreneur to your side, it’s essentially telling Google that your site is highly relevant, and is a good source of information that is trusted.
Over time, by getting guest posts on high Domain Authority sites like Entrepreneur, you will be able to increase your site’s trustworthiness, as well as your ranking on Google.
Another important technical aspect of guest posting, that I found out in my own journey at contentrific is the issue of topic relevance.
Essentially, whenever you obtain guest posting opportunities, you’d want to make sure that the topic of the guest posting site is relevant to your site topic as well.
For example, if I am guest posting for my own site, which sells tennis balls and sports equipment, it doesn’t make much sense for me to guest post on a real estate website.
Therefore, being clear and precise with the topic of your target guest blog is extremely important, because it can send wrong signals to Google if it’s not done well.
Activeness of the community
One more important technical aspect of guest posting is the activeness and participation rate of the Community.
That’s no point in guest posting on blogs that don’t have an active participation rate, because you are essentially blogging only for the sake of getting links.
You should always treat guest posting as an opportunity to reach a larger audience, and not for higher ranking.
Whenever you are trying to find guest posting opportunities, make sure that the blog has a high level of activeness, and there are at least an average of a comment or two on blog posts.
This normally gives you a good indication that the community is strong, and active there, and will be a good home for your guest post.
Quality of the blog
This is an aspect that I seldom see other content marketers talking about.
However, this is such an important element, that I can’t go without saying it.
Whenever you try to find guest posting opportunities, pay particular attention to the user experience and layout of the site.
To put it simply, when a blog is well-designed, and has a logical flow to it, it sends a positive vibe to readers that the site is a genuine hub of information, instead of a giant blob of advertorials designed to stuff products and services down their throats.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What buttons are included in the menu? Are they separated well into topics related to the subject of your blog, for example, marketing, copywriting, sales funnels, assuming it’s a content marketing website?
- Are there too many advertisements on the site? Does it look like the site is trying to sell you things at every step of the way?
- Does the block look inviting? Or does the main focus point lie just on the advertisements on the blog?
Non-technical side of guest posting
Now that we have covered the technical side of guest posting, let’s talk about the lesser talked about topic of the non-technical side of guest posting.
In other words, the non-technical side is the rapport side, or the human side of the equation.
You see, we can talk all day about the technical aspects of guest posting, but at the end of the day, the logic behind guest posting is quite simple.
- Find out more information about the owner of the website
- Do the right research about type of contents that already works for the website
- Pitch your idea politely to the website owner
In summary, the non-technical aspect of guest posting is simply to understand the people behind the blog whom you are trying to pitch to.
After all, they are the Gatekeepers of the blog, and the only person who are stopping you from getting that link.
In other words, you need to build rapport, if you want to be successful in guest posting.
let’s go through each and every single step, so that you have a better idea of what to do next.
Trust me when I say that this is the more important aspect to guest posting, then the technical aspect of it.
Find out more information about the owner of the website
The first step to take when it comes to the non-technical aspect of guest posting, is to find out more information of who you are actually speaking to.
A few crucial elements that you need together, in order to put together a strong case.
- The name of the website owner( if applicable)
- some background, and history about the water owner
- sound effects, if you can find them
In order to find the name of the website owner, the process is actually quite straightforward.
The easiest way of cost is to visit the site, and click on the about page.
If the site is run by a single owner, chances are, you will find the name of the website owner quite easily.
For example, in the case of the guestpost that I did for Blogging Aid, I managed to find the name of the site owner with ease, in it’s About Page.
If you happen to be unable to find the name of the website owner, you can opt to use a tool like Hunter.io to obtain the contact information, anyway.
Hunter.io is an email hunter that scans through the different points of a website, and finds you a list of contact email addresses of the web owners.
Essentially, you can just input the site that you are trying to guestpost in, into the search bar at Hunter like so:
Next, click on the button that says “Find Email Addresses”.
Hunter will generate a list of emails of the contact information of the site owner.
Once you have gathered the name of the main site owner, remember that name.
I say this because personalizing your email to site owners significantly enhances the chances of your pitch getting accepted – since bloggers always love those who do their homework beforehand.
Do the right research about types of content that already works for the website
Next, you need to actually impress the human behind the blog that you are trying to guest post in, so that you maximise your chances of actually getting accepted.
To do that, it means that you need to actually dig a little deeper into what works, and what doesn’t for that particular blog.
Let’s go through that step by step.
The first step that you need to do is to go to a content ranking site like Buzzsumo.
Buzzsumo is a tool that tells you the highest performing piece of content for a particular piece of content, and tells you how popular it is through social shares.
To start off, you will want to input a URL of the blog that you are trying to pitch to into the search bar like so.
Then, click on Go.
Buzzsumo will start showing you the different pieces of content that work best for that particular site, that looks something like this:
As you can see from the screenshot, the blog that I am trying to pitch for must really be in love with getting traffic for their blog, since Blog and Website traffic has been ranking well for them twice now!
That being said, I know that by pitching an idea for my guest post that has something to do with boosting site traffic will be sure to at least catch the blog owner’s attention!
From my own Content Marketing journey at Contentrific, I can be really sure that the right way to guest posting, and the first step to take is really to understand the true value that you bring to the owner, and how you can align the benefits of both parties together.
When you get both your technical and human aspect of guest posting done right, finding new guest posting opportunities should not be difficult at all.
Do you have any other questions with regards to the first step to guest posting? Did I answer your question well enough? Comment in the section down below! I read every single comment.