Last Updated: Jul 4, 2013
Writing guest posts for other websites can still be an effective way to get traffic back to your own site, but the strategy you need to use has changed. Learn today’s rules of guest posting here.
You have a website. You want more people to know about your website. Your website is getting lost in a sea of other websites. How do you fix the problem?
Since the early days of the Internet, this problem is one site owners have tried to fix in a variety of ways. One of those ways is by guest posting on other websites.
Some experts say that guest posting is a product of the early days of the Internet that no longer works but for those who submit guest posts using today’s rules, it’s still an effective way of gaining visibility.
The key is to construct a guest posting strategy that takes into account the new rules of Internet content which focus on high quality and unique content. Here’s how to do it.
1) Identify Profitable Blogs – Remember the days when your website was just getting started and had maybe a handful of visitors each day? Still, you probably received guest-posting requests from people. If we might be so bold, those people need a serious rethink of their strategy.
The goal is to find blogs with enough traffic to justify submitting a post yet not so big that the site owner will turn you down. Look for sites with a Google page rank of at least 3. Sites higher than a 7 are not likely to say yes to your request unless you’re a known expert in your field.
You can check a site’s page rank by going to one of the many page rank tools found online. (Like this one.) You can also go to Alexa.com to check the amount of traffic a site is receiving. The key is to find sites that have a reasonable amount of traffic.
Also, make sure the sites you choose relate to your own. If you’re a travel site, guest posting on a site about iPhones isn’t going to help your cause and because Google looks for relevant links back to your site, it may hurt you.
2) Research before Emailing – Sending a website owner a canned message asking for the opportunity to guest post isn’t going to net you the response you’re looking for. Instead, read the site’s content, make some quality comments to some of the stories, and find a subject area that isn’t widely covered.
When you send the request, provide your website name, credentials that make you an expert, a possible guest post idea based on your research, and a delivery time frame. Assure them that the content will be 100 percent unique and of reasonable length.
3) Quality Counts – This isn’t the time to throw something together and send it off. Your guest posts should be some of your best work. First, every site owner knows that guest posts are often of very low quality. This will make them read your submission with highly skeptical eyes.
Second, if the quality of your submission is high, they might ask you to write another post or write a piece regularly. If it’s a high page rank site, this will be a fruitful relationship for your site.
Don’t forget to include relevant links back to your website in the piece. Two or three should be enough. More than that, and you risk it looking too much like spam. (Be sure to ask how many links you can include.)
4) Comment on the Story – After your guest post is live on the site, respond positively to comments, even if they are negative. Show the site owner that you are interested in helping them as much as they are helping you. Commenting may also produce additional links for your site.
5) Follow Up with the Site Owner – When you submit the story, thank the owner for the opportunity. A few weeks later, send them another note, thanking them again and asking if the post generated positive buzz.
Do it all Yourself
There are plenty of PR firms as well as individuals who want to take on this task for you but if you’re a new site, do the work yourself. If you want to invest capital in guest posting, hire a high quality writer to create some eye-catching content. PR firms and others promising to get results for you will likely do what you can do yourself: contact websites related to yours and request the opportunity to guest post.
Since the quality of the content is vitally important, put your dollars into the product and do the legwork on your own.
Guest posting not only establishes you as an expert, the links it builds back to your website create traffic and traffic creates sales. Most importantly, identify other sites large enough to be worth your time, create high quality content, and partner with the website owner to add value to their site as they add value to yours.
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