The whole lot You Must Know

Guest blogging is the third most popular link building strategy, according to Aira’s State of Link Building report

Not solely is visitor running a blog nicely and alive, it’s nonetheless extremely efficient. On this put up, you’ll be taught the whole lot you should find out about visitor running a blog. 

However first, let’s make certain we’re on the identical web page.

Visitor running a blog is the apply of writing and publishing a weblog put up on one other individual’s or firm’s web site.

For instance, I wrote a guest post for Grow & Convert a number of years in the past:

SQ's guest post for Grow & Convert

What are the advantages of visitor running a blog?

Visitor running a blog is a win-win for each the author and the writer.

Advantages for the author:

  • Construct hyperlinks again to their website
  • Develop relationships with editors and publishers
  • Expose their model to a brand new viewers
  • Construct their fame and place themselves as a thought chief

Profit for the writer:

  • Leverage the experience and expertise of writers. For instance, we couldn’t have written about Zapier or Pet Eager’s firsthand search engine marketing expertise with out visitor writers.

Tips on how to begin visitor running a blog

Getting your first visitor put up printed might be daunting. I’ve been there. Following the steps beneath will make the method simpler and maximize your probabilities of success.

1. Discover visitor running a blog alternatives

Most individuals use Google search operators to seek out blogs with “write for us” pages. Nevertheless, if everybody’s following this tactic, then everybody’s discovering the identical alternatives. Competitors will likely be rife, and publishers could ignore your pitch. 

You don’t need to restrict your self to this small pool of blogs. Even when they don’t promote it, most blogs will likely be joyful to publish a visitor put up so long as it’s good.

So right here’s easy methods to discover related blogs to pitch:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer
  2. Enter a broad key phrase or phrase associated to your area of interest
  3. Choose In title from the drop-down menu
  4. Run the search
Finding guest post opportunities using Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Right here, you may see greater than 2 million potential alternatives. That’s too many, so let’s slim the listing down by making use of these filters:

  1. Area Score (DR) from 30 to 60
  2. Click on the One web page per area filter
  3. Click on the Exclude homepages filter
  4. Click on the Exclude subdomains filter
Narrowing down Content Explorer's results using filters

Then click on on the Web sites tab. 

Using the "Websites" tab to find the best guest blogging opportunities

These are the potential web sites you can pitch.

2. Develop visitor put up concepts

The blogs you pitch will need profitable content material concepts. So how are you going to give you good visitor put up concepts? 

Listed below are some strategies you may use:

Copycat Approach

Three issues are true:

  1. Each weblog desires extra search visitors.
  2. To get search visitors, you should goal matters persons are looking for.
  3. Each weblog has extra matters to jot down than assets to cowl them.

So why not assist your goal blogs out? Discover matters they need to be rating for and pitch them these matters.

Right here’s easy methods to discover them:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Aggressive Evaluation device
  2. Enter the area of your goal weblog within the Goal part
  3. Add the primary three recommended competing domains within the Rivals part
  4. Click on Examine
Ahrefs' Competitive Analysis tool
Finding content gaps you could cover for your target blog

This report reveals you the key phrases the competing domains are rating for, however your goal weblog isn’t. 

Undergo the report and search for key phrases which might be related to your goal weblog. For instance, this looks as if a possible subject to pitch:

Potential guest post topic to pitch DietDoctor

Refresh Approach

Refreshing outdated content material can present an enormous visitors increase, as seen after we up to date our put up about free search engine marketing instruments:

A boost in search traffic after an update

Your goal weblog will seemingly have outdated content material that has declined in search visitors. Pitch them an replace.

Right here’s easy methods to discover pages with declining visitors:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer
  2. Enter the area of your goal weblog
  3. Go to the High pages report
  4. Set the Examine filter to Earlier yr
  5. Type the Visitors change column from lowest to highest
Using Ahrefs' Site Explorer to find declines in traffic for your target blog so you can pitch it an update

This may present you pages in your goal weblog which have the most important decline in search visitors because the earlier yr. Undergo the report and look out for appropriate matters, particularly these with declines in visitors and key phrase positions.

For instance, SmartBlogger’s put up on membership websites has dropped in each key phrase positions and search visitors:

SmartBlogger’s post on membership sites has dropped in both keyword positions and search traffic

In case you had been writing for SmartBlogger, this may be a superb subject to pitch.

Robin Hood Approach

Common blogs are in style for one purpose: They’ve nice content material. Lesser-known blogs are lesser-known for the alternative purpose: They’ve but to publish tons of nice content material.

So why not take content material concepts from the highest blogs and supply them to lesser-known ones? 

We name this the Robin Hood Approach, named after the English folks hero who stole from the wealthy and gave to the poor.

Right here’s easy methods to execute the Robin Hood Approach:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer
  2. Enter the area of a high-DR weblog in your area of interest
  3. Go to the High pages report
  4. Toggle SERP titles on
Finding opportunities to gain topic inspiration from, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look via the report and see if there’s any concept that resonates. Put a singular spin and pitch it to a lesser-known weblog.

For instance, in the event you’re writing for a private finance weblog, this looks as if a superb subject to be impressed by:

Potential topic to pitch a personal finance blog

A possible thought to pitch might be “free (or low cost) issues to do on a date.”

Splintering Approach

Our hyperlink constructing information is so complete it spans 5 chapters:

Table of contents for our link building guide

Every chapter could possibly be a put up on its personal. 

So we are able to break this put up into “splinters” and create standalone articles. Every of those splintered articles might be pitched as a visitor put up.

The Splintering Technique

Since we already did the analysis by creating the unique piece, the “splintered” articles would seemingly not take a lot time to write. 

Perspective Approach

You’ll be able to simply reuse a subject by switching up the attitude. 

For instance, let’s say we wrote a visitor put up titled “Greatest Distant Jobs for College students.” We will cowl the identical subject for various publications through a number of views:

The Perspective Technique

3. Pitch the blogs

This step is each the best and probably the most nerve-wracking. It’s straightforward as a result of it’s merely an e-mail you ship. It’s nerve-wracking as a result of your destiny is within the different get together’s palms.

It doesn’t need to be that anxiety-inducing, although. Listed below are some suggestions to enhance your probabilities of getting your pitch accepted:

Learn the rules

If the positioning you’re pitching has a “write for us” web page or writing tips, learn and comply with them. For instance, that is what CoSchedule expects:

CoSchedule's guest post guidelines

Discover the right e-mail

If the publication has a “write for us” web page, then it’s seemingly it’ll present both an e-mail deal with or a kind. 

How to submit a guest post pitch to CoSchedule's blog

In any other case, you’ll want to seek out it.

Publications and blogs are usually managed by a managing editor, head of content material or, in the event that they’re a small website, the proprietor themself. So that you need to first be sure to determine who that individual is. 

You’ll be able to often discover them by visiting the “groups” or “about” web page. For instance, a fast scroll on our “staff” web page reveals it’s best to pitch to our head of content material, Joshua Hardwick:

Joshua Hardwick's bio on our "team" page

If the “staff” web page is uninformative, then a search on LinkedIn or Twitter often suffices.

Searching for our head of content on LinkedIn
Searching for our head of content on Twitter

When you’ve recognized that individual, use an e-mail discovery device like Hunter to seek out their e-mail. Add their identify and web site, and Hunter will do its magic:

Finding Joshua Hardwick's email on Hunter

Write a tremendous outreach e-mail

A number of years in the past, I wrote a visitor put up for Develop & Convert. Benji Hyam, the co-founder, was so impressed with my outreach e-mail that he did an evaluation.

Publications get so much of emails. It’s important to stand out; in any other case, your e-mail will likely be ignored.

Reasonably than search for a template you could copy-paste, you need to perceive the ideas behind what makes a superb outreach e-mail.

You’ll be able to take a look at Benji’s evaluation of my e-mail to see what publications predict. You’d additionally do nicely to learn the put up beneath and comply with the ideas it lays out.

4. Write the visitor put up

In case your pitch is accepted, then it’s time to write.

I like to recommend beginning first with the define. Some websites could request this. However even when they don’t, a top level view will assist flesh out your ideas, set up the put up, and forestall clean web page syndrome. 

To create a top level view, you should know what subtopics to cowl. The best approach to discover these subtopics is to take a look at the frequent key phrase rankings amongst top-ranking pages and eyeball the listing for subtopics.

Right here’s how:

  1. Enter your goal key phrase into Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer
  2. Scroll all the way down to the SERP overview
  3. Choose the top-ranking pages you need to analyze
  4. Click on Open in and select Content material hole
Open in Content gap, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

For instance, if we analyze the subject “online marketing,” we’ll see that the top-ranking pages additionally rank for:

  • what’s online marketing
  • easy methods to change into an affiliate marketer
  • easy methods to do online marketing
Common keyword rankings for the top-ranking posts for "affiliate marketing"

These would make good H2s for a weblog put up on “online marketing.”

When you’ve created your define, all that’s left is to fill within the “gaps,” i.e., write the precise put up. If they’ve one, be sure to return to the rules, learn it rigorously, and comply with it to a T.

CoSchedule's editorial guidelines

The place related, don’t neglect to incorporate hyperlinks again to your personal content material. Don’t overdo it, although; one to 2 hyperlinks ought to suffice.

5. Promote your visitor put up

It is best to count on some back-and-forth because the writer edits and sends suggestions about your draft. As soon as they’re happy, they’ll inform you of a publishing date.

SmartBlogger's editor letting SQ know when the guest post will be published

Don’t simply disappear when the put up is printed. Comply with up! Thank the editor. And if there’s a remark part, keep round and reply.

SQ's thank-you email to the editor of SmartBlogger
SQ staying around to reply to comments after his guest post was published

Assist promote the put up by sharing it on social media too:

You’ll be able to even go the additional mile by selling the put up in related communities. In my case, Benji did it for me by submitting it to GrowthHackers. However I stayed round to reply feedback.

SQ staying around to answer comments after the guest post was posted on GrowthHackers

It was seemingly the rationale why it obtained a lot engagement:

SQ's guest post got a ton of upvotes and engagement on GrowthHackers

It was even the #2 put up in that yr’s year-end roundup: 

The whole lot above will get you 90% of the way in which. However visitor running a blog will not be a mattress of roses. So I’m sharing the ideas beneath that can assist you overcome a few of the frequent roadblocks.

1. Pitch extra blogs than you may deal with

The merciless actuality of visitor running a blog is that even when they’re good, your emails might be rejected or ignored. That’s no fault of yours—publications are simply too busy.

So right here’s a controversial tip: pitch the identical matters to a number of blogs. Then supply the article to whoever replies first or has the next authority (in the event you get a lot of replies).

This manner, you’re by no means missing for visitor posts. You gained’t even must be fearful about rejection, for there will likely be one other weblog prepared to just accept your concepts.

In case you get a couple of reply, merely inform the fact:

Sorry, you weren’t responding for a couple of days, so one other weblog took this concept. I’ll be in contact with extra article concepts that’ll be simply as good.

2. Write for blogs which have by no means linked to you earlier than

Our examine of 1 billion pages reveals a robust correlation between natural visitors and the variety of backlinks from distinctive web sites (referring domains).

Chart showing the correlation between search traffic and referring domains

That could be one purpose why you need to write for blogs which have by no means linked to you earlier than.

To search out distinctive web sites, hit the Spotlight unlinked dropdown and add your web site as you’re following step #1:

"Highlight unlinked" feature on Ahrefs

These instruments will make your visitor running a blog course of extra environment friendly:

  1. Ahrefs – Analysis visitor put up alternatives, discover content material gaps to pitch blogs, construct your outlines, verify backlinks from visitor posts, and monitor your visitor put up rankings.
  2. Hunter – Discover the e-mail addresses of web site homeowners and editors.
  3. Pitchbox – Ship outreach emails at scale.
  4. Ahrefs’ free AI writing instruments – Generate outlines, titles, and proofread your drafts.
  5. ChatGPT – Generate visitor put up concepts, create outlines, flesh out posts, proofread your work, and extra.

Listed below are some often requested questions on visitor running a blog:

How does visitor running a blog assist search engine marketing?

Hyperlinks are an necessary Google rating issue. By writing a visitor put up, you may construct hyperlinks again to your pages and, subsequently, increase their efficiency in engines like google.

Is visitor running a blog unhealthy for search engine marketing?

In 2014, Google’s former head of net spam, Matt Cutts, printed a blog post proclaiming that “visitor running a blog is completed.” Nevertheless, he was primarily referring to low-quality visitor running a blog printed on low-quality websites for hyperlinks. 

Writing a worthwhile weblog put up for a longtime website with a related viewers will nonetheless assist your search engine marketing and is unlikely to harm it.

Can I get referral visitors from visitor running a blog?

A number of years in the past, our chief advertising and marketing officer, Tim Soulo, requested 500+ bloggers how a lot visitors they obtained from their visitor articles.

Average referral traffic from a guest article

The typical referral visitors throughout 239 visitor articles was solely 50 visits.

So sure, you may get referral visitors from visitor running a blog—however don’t set your expectations too excessive.

Last ideas

This information accommodates the whole lot our staff has realized about visitor running a blog over the previous few years. I hope it’ll assist take your abilities to a brand new degree. 

Did I miss out on something? Let me know on Twitter or Threads.