Having spent some quality time building up your online persona – for which you will already be reaping some reward – it is time to seek out the opportunities for your guest blog posts.
There are many ways to go about this, but since we come from a PR background, we would highly recommend beginning with who you know.
Contact Your Connections
Since you have been reaching out into your industry already through your social networks (and business networks), you will already have a list of potential connections that might be able and willing to help you get your guest content article or blog post up on another website.
You’re looking for sites and connections that are content publishers, so you’ll want to keep track of the best matches for a little while to see how regularly they are publishing content and on what topics.
Cast The Net Wider
Now that you have explored the opportunities already present in your network (and maybe even had a guest post or two go live), it’s time to look elsewhere and expand your reach.
There are tools and services out there that can help you, but if you’re on a tight budget you can try looking for guest blog opportunities yourself.
Begin with a Google search using your focus keyword set plus some keywords such as ‘guest post’ or ‘guest blog’ or even ‘write for us’. This should turn up a few opportunities. Pay special attention to the names of the guest bloggers who post on sites you would like to contribute to. Perhaps they have a site for which you could provide guest content.
Try your search again on your social networks, especially Twitter. Connect with these sites and start sharing their content (a good turn deserves another).
What Makes A Good Opportunity?
As you research the requirements for guest posts on each of the sites you have identified as a potential opportunity, you’ll be wanting to sort them into some kind of priority. You can do that by looking for some key indicators of how much benefit they offer guest bloggers.
For example, you’ll want to check the site’s PageRank and authority as first stop. Then you need to look at what kind of link opportunities exist on the guest posts already on the site. You’ll also likely look for their subscriber size – either as email newsletter subscribers, RSS subscribers, social connections or a combination of all these metrics.
Do they offer links high up in the content? The higher up the page, the better for SEO purposes. Prioritise sites that put the Author Biographies (bios) with links at the top of the post and those with any links within the text, especially those with links near the beginning of the content.
Prioritise sites that offer an Author Bio – Author pages are okay, but the click through rate from these kinds of pages will be severely reduced when compared with the Bio on the content (post) itself.
Do they offer a social boost? Rank opportunities that also offer a link to your social profiles. Many people are more willing to follow your profile than go through to your website, at least initially, so having these links in addition to your website are a goldmine of opportunity.
Check the links for ‘nofollow’ – sites that put a ‘nofollow’ tag onto their guest posts do not pass on any benefit to your ranking in the eyes of the search engines. Choose wisely as your work may not offer any SEO benefit, beyond the audience.
Keep track and of the opportunities in a spreadsheet to help you keep your sanity, and sort them by best opportunity.