White hat link building is not an easy task if you do not have a bottomless budget to work with. A small blog owners might find it very difficult to get their website out there even if they have great content. You cannot force people to share links to your website and you can’t force social sharing either. Without money it can be hard to get your website out there for people to discover. Guest blogging is the best way to help you get your name out there.
How to find Guest Blogging Opportunities
This one is not that easy. There are lots of resources out there where websites will share lists of websites that support guest blog posts. Most of the time, they even have detailed guidelines on what exactly you need to do to get your post approved and submitted on their websites.
Other sites can often support guest bloggers, but will not advertise it publically. In these scenarios, you must reach out to the website directly to pitch your guest post idea. To save yourself some effort, it is best to pitch the ideas rather than writing the post first, you may not always get accepted.
SEMRush has a fantastic link building tool as part of their suite. They will scan all of the keywords on your website to determine your niche. They will then give you a really cool interface for emailing websites. Often they will have the contact emails there for you. Their system will inject special code into the email that lets you know when the email is opened. This cuts out the annoying “i wonder did they read the email yet” issue.
How To Get Your Guest Post Pitch Accepted
Having spent a lot of time using the link building tools in SEMRush, I have seen that the vast majority of my emails, are never even opened. More often than not, it’s the larger websites that will respond and the smaller ones do not even open them. So the first hurdle is getting a website to actually open your email.
If you are self hosting your email, make sure that you have the mail server setup correctly and have a good email spam score. You do not want to have your emails going straight to the spam box, never to be seen again. Unless you are super confident about this, it is no harm using a gmail account to pitch ideas to a website. It will give you the confidence that your emails are not going straight to spam.
Be Honest when offering to write guest posts
There is no point in telling lies when you pitch your idea. Make sure it is something you are capable of writing and would be happy to post on your own website. Always mention the backlink. It is what you came here for. If you go to the effort of writing and they reject the backlink, you have wasted a lot of effort writing this post up for nothing. Do not try to cheat the person you are interacting with. If you are honest and polite, they will hopefully treat you with the same respect.
Give examples of past work
This is the catch 22 that everyone gets when they first start working. You can’t get a job without experience and need experience to get a job. This isn’t so bad, you can give examples to great pieces you have written for your own blog. If you have written guest posts in the past that were great, be sure to link them. It is a good sign that you are a trustworthy and skilled author if other websites have approved you in the past to publish content for them.
If you do not have any work to give as an example, then this is too soon for you to be looking for guest posts. You need to have plenty of content worth reading before you try to get people to come and read it.
Coming up with a guest post idea
Much like you would want on your own blog, other website owners and bloggers want high quality content on their websites. They want articles that will show up in search engine results and generate some traffic and user engagement. When pitching an idea, make sure it is good for the website. If the blog is about movies, make sure your ideas are related to their niche and will suit their audience. If you run a music site, you can get a good backlink from a movie site by writing something like “best movie soundtracks”. It is related to music and movies. The context works for you and the content works for the website owner making it an appropriate idea that will likely get approved.
Is an author Bio backlink any good?
It can depend on how it is implemented, but generally they are not as good as getting a backlink that is placed in the body of the content and with anchor text that matches your target keyword. With that being said, if getting an author bio backlink is the only option a website is giving you, then you should certantely take it, it will still benefit your website and it will pass link juice.
What happens when I am asked to pay?
As a matter of principal, you should never play. Small bloggers have gotten carried away with themselves charging $100s for a backlink from their website that can sometimes get only a handful of visitors per day. Small sites can play with alexa and other traffic monitoring tool metrics. Never pay for backlinks. Casino websites have seriously hurt the guest blogging process. Websites should be paying you for your work, not you paying them for the backlink, that is not what guest blogging is about.
If I ever get asked to pay, I will always present my case. Tell them you own the website and are not earning money to get this backlink. Most smaller websites will be open to the idea of a link exchange. A guest blog for a guest blog. You post to their website and they post to yours. You get some new content and you also get a backlink. It’s a win win for everyone and leaves you with an open relationship to work with this website again in the future for more guest blogging opportunities.