How To Guest Post (When Everyone Ignores Your Pitches)

Guest posting is popular yet misunderstood strategy.

It is both an incredibly effective link building SEO strategy while also being the most popular reason websites get penalized by Google's algorithm.

This guide will teach you how to guest post effectively while presenting a simple, repeatable and logical pathway to do so.

Key Points

  • You can build an outreach system to consistently delivers high quality guest posting opportunities.
  • It's better to master getting free guest posts instead of paying for them and ending up in bad link neighborhoods.
  • This outreach system starts with just one guest post and turns it into more opportunities.

What is Guest Posting?

Guest posting is a way of publishing an article on someone else's website in order to build new relationships, backlinks, and search rankings.

However, it can be difficult to get started with guest posting because it is very competitive and there is a lot of spam to sift through.

The best way to make it easier is to build a repeatable process.

Avoid Paid Guest Posts

Paid guest posting is a method of link building where you pay a blogger to publish your content on their site.

This can be done directly or through an agency or freelancer.

Agency pitches usually look like this.

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While it may result in short-term increases in website traffic, paid guest posts are generally penalized by Google in the long run.

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First timers typically assume penalties won't happen to them and do it anyway, but its a lesson everyone eventually learns.

Budget can also be a factor as paid guest posts can be significantly cheaper than building a true guest post process.

And finally, link building agencies rely on the paid guest posting strategy to better scale up their operations.

Doing legitimate guest posting based on your content merits and networking skills is 100% possible and its actually more cost effective in the long run.

It's just easy to get overwhelmed thinking about all the work you have to do but with our framework, you get an easy system to get started with that continues working even at scale.

How to Guest Post Step by Step

image 6

Our Value First Outreach Framework is a simple and repeatable system that can turn one guest post opportunity into hundreds of opportunities.

The goal of this method is to help people avoid paid guest posts, steer away from the spray-and-pray mindset, and have success by working smarter, not harder.

It might feel like it won’t work for you or that you don’t have the kind of luck that other people have.

But this method relies 100% on building good will and having people owe you one so anyone can do it.

From novice to grizzled veteran.

To make it easier, just follow this step by step guide and everything will make sense.

Build a List of Quality Websites with a History of Allowing Guest Posts

The first step in how to guest post is to find bloggers.

The goal is to only target high quality blogs in your niche that do not accept paid guest posts and that publish quality content.

It can feel overwhelming at first when you see thousands of websites to sort through, but it’s important to only focus on a few key target blogs.

Start with identifying just 20 great blogs in your niche.

Build a list of websites that have slightly more authority than you.

If your website has a Domain Rating (DR) of 20, look for websites with a DR of 30.

If they have a write for us page, but don't publish paid guest posts - they are probably a good target.

It's best to email the specific person in charge of guest posting or SEO where possible.

By doing this, you will increase your chances of getting your link published on a high-quality blog.

Here's a few tips for building a great list.

Use Ahrefs to Find Sites

Their Content Explorer works well here. 

The goal is to find websites that have good traffic and are near or slightly above your authority level.

You don't want to waste your time with sites that are too high authority or that don't have enough traffic.

There is also a lot of junk and spam in the Ahrefs database so use the filters appropriately.

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Using Google Search to Find Sites

You can use search operators like [allintext:"guest post from" keyword] to find blogs to reach out to in Google.

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Google tends to return super high authority at the top of the SERPS and those success rates will be low unless you have a brand already.

Instead, build a small list of bloggers who have a high likelihood of responding positively to your guest post request.

Look for websites that look like they are run by an individual or a small group instead. You'll have more chances to succeed with getting your first yes.

Using Ahrefs to Review Site Quality

SEO quality metrics like Domain Rating (DR) and Ahrefs traffic can be gamed and not give an accurate representation of the website's true quality.

Look at a website's backlinks and verifying that the most powerful links come from good sites to get a better idea of the website's true quality.

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Check to see if the website ranks for valuable keywords that are not easy to rank for to further verify the website's quality.

Often, crafty bloggers will rank for low competition, high volume terms related to celebrities, TV shows and error messages which tricks people into paying them for backlinks.

image 9

These are just PBN sites, and it's best to avoid them.

Manually Review Site Quality

There are some key signs that can give away whether a website is worth reaching out to for a guest post or not.

For example, sites that have cheap looking text logos and random keywords in their domain are likely not worth your time.

Additionally, if a website only publishes spammy posts with obviously commercial links, it's probably not worth your while either.

Similarly, if a website has a broad selection of topics in their menu, they're probably selling posts.

image 10
This example website has a low quality logo, too many topics in menu and is publishing spammy posts.

Figuring Out Who To Contact

If its not on the website's about page, LinkedIn can be a great resource to narrow down the best contact person.

By searching for the company on LinkedIn, you can see a list of current and past employees.

Name2Email is a Chrome extension that makes it easy to find the right email address for anyone whose full name and domain you've found.

It's great for when you're trying to find the right contact email and the information isn't listed on the website.

All you need is a full name and domain name to use Name2Email.

The contact just needs a Gsuite email address, which is likely the case more often than not.

Secure One Guest Post

The beauty of this system is that you only need one guest post to start with.

The key is to make sure that the blog you're writing for allows you to include a few do-follow links within your content - otherwise the Value First Outreach won't be effective.

If you're just learning how to guest post, it can be difficult to secure a spot on high quality websites.

You might find yourself only getting responses from paid providers.

In this case, it's important to keep pushing until you find a good opportunity.

Alternatively, sometimes a paid opportunity is okay if the website is really good and hasn't fully fallen into guest post farm depravity.

To make link building outreach easier, try creating a guest post template and personalizing each email before sending.

You could also prepare a really good guest post draft before pitching to a website - this way, bloggers can quickly eyeball it and give it a yay or a nay.

Here's the quick tips to score that first guest post.

Send Emails Manually

When it comes to guest posting, sometimes the best approach is the simplest one.

Instead of using link building outreach tools, try sending manual emails from your inbox.

The goal here is to focus on quality over quantity – so don’t be tempted to spray and pray with your outreach.

A more targeted approach will yield better results.

To make things easier, set yourself a daily target of how many emails you want to send.

Even a small number like 5 can make a big difference if you’re consistent with your outreach.

Use Open Ended Templates

A template is a great way to save time and improve efficiency.

You can keep your focus on crafting a good outreach email without losing sight of the framework.

However, it can be tempting to just send generic emails to everyone with the spray and pray methodology.

With our 1 guest post to win method, you don't have to worry about that.

Try out this template.

Subject: (name) collab

Email:

Hi (name),

(say something about their latest blog post, video, tweet or email or whatever makes the most sense)

I'm also a (something in your niche). I've been writing some indepth content related to (niche) on my blog.

I noticed you haven't written about (keyword) on your blog yet.

Maybe I can write something for you?

Here's some samples of related content ive written so far (here) and (here).

Let me know and I can send over an outline.

Cheers,

(you)

Once you get your first yes, the real work begins.

Write a Great Guest Post

A good blogger knows immediately whether your content is worth their time or not.

Interestingly, its more primal than just "writing great content".

Knowing HOW to write for the web is the main thing that subconsciously sways them.

Avoid falling into the trap of writing long paragraphs and chunks of text.

That's writing for textbooks.

Writing for the web is short 1-2 sentence paragraphs with a clear line break in between.

This simple change will satisfy 90% of quality bloggers, I promise you.

Another tip is to make sure that your introduction doesn't sound like a book report.

Try to hook the reader or acknowledge their problem within the first 1-2 sentences.

Oftentimes, the blogger will only read the first line and judge the rest of the article based on that.

Next, front load your most important information in the beginning.

Attention spans are short and only 5% of readers will scroll past the first few paragraphs.

image 2Source

Next, when you're approaching each section of your article, approach the section with this framework:

  • What is it?
  • What is the goal?
  • Why is it hard?
  • How to make it easier?

By following this simple framework, your content will flow easily and you'll be able to stay focused on being solution-oriented.

Finally, don't use stock images. It's a pretty clear sign of lazy content when you have a giant picture of a laptop in your blog post about content marketing.

Use a free tool like Canva to easily make custom images. It can be as simple as a text image under your headline to add some pizzaz.

Contact Other Bloggers to Include Them in Your Guest Post

Reach out to other bloggers in your space and offer to link to them in your upcoming guest post.

In exchange, you can ask for a link from their blog.

This is a great way to get 2-5 extra backlinks from just one guest post.

Leverage the list of bloggers you built in the initial prospecting here just remember to stay organized and keep strict deadlines, otherwise its easy to lose steam.

Here's an example template to try out:

Hi (name),

I’m currently writing a guest post and looking for valuable links to include in them.

Here's the draft:

Title - Website DR XX - (Publishing on 27 October)

Please check if there’s a good spot for your site in there. 😁

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,

You can try two approaches here.

  1. Present the opportunity without asking for anything in return yet and then pitching them a guest post after you've helped them out.
  2. Including a link in the email template requesting a link or guest post in return. Example:

In return, I was thinking maybe you could mention an article from my blog in your recent post?

After Publishing, Pitch the Bloggers That You Helped Out with a Guest Post

If you get your first guest post published and your link partners have had a link from you, they will see the quality of your content and have a generally positive experience.

This is the perfect time to pitch them a guest post.

The goal is to get half of them to say yes.

However, this can be difficult to manage, as it may increase workload and project management headaches.

To make things easier, stay organized within spreadsheets and hire people to help with things like prospecting, writing and outreach management.

Summary

By following the steps above, you can get your first guest post while creating an engine for endless opportunities.

process

This will help increase traffic to your website and establish you as an authority in your space.

It's also a great way to build relationships with other bloggers and collaborate in the future.

I hope this guide was helpful and if you are looking for someone to handle it all for you, check out our guest post service.

Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
🕒 8 mins read
Oct 05, 2022

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Article by
Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
Ajay enjoys tinkering with new link building strategies, building teams and processes around it and in general, has enjoyed being a part of the industry for the past decade.

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