In 2014 on his personal blog, then-head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts famously declared that guest posting was dead. He later wrote an addendum no one seems to remember in which he clarified that spammy guest blogs were done as a link-building strategy.
The correction is an important one.
As Cutts himself said, “I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.”
If you’re in it for the right reasons, it’s a winning strategy. Here’s everything you need to know to make it work for you.
The Benefits of Guest Posting
Guest posts give you a byline you can show to clients and prospective clients to demonstrate legitimacy. They give you exposure to a wider audience of people likely to be in your wheelhouse.
Delivering a blog the publisher finds of value also will forge a relationship to that publisher and their audience. It’s momentum that leads to other opportunities.
Lastly, guest posting translates to a backlink, valuable even after Cutts’ often misconstrued declaration. The key is to publish with high-quality sources.
How to Find Quality Sources
Quality sources differ depending on your niche, so we advise learning yours thoroughly. Before Link to SEO will even consider writing a guest post, we seek out blogs and websites niche-specific to our clients.
Sites like LinkedIn work well because they have features that will connect you to similar companies (and their websites). They also give you a list of people working at those companies/sites who have profiles on the platform. (Great for personalizing outreach!)
It’s a manual process that takes time and understanding of Domain Authority, how the site ranks for niche-based keywords, and what the publisher’s past slate of backlinks looks like. Also, ask yourself if they have the kind of site you would actually want to read, and do they have an engaged audience?
Reaching Out to Publishers
Some eager beavers will scatter-shot query letters to anyone willing to listen without knowing much about the publisher. The approach may get a few responses, but most will be No’s, and the occasional Yes likely won’t be a high-quality source.
To make a meaningful connection, we suggest getting involved at some level with the publisher. Find a blog post that you connect with, leave a meaningful comment, or consider firing off a warm-prospecting email.
If you go the email route (recommended), make your outreach about establishing appreciation. Don’t even mention guest posting.
Thank them for their specific post. Tell them how you implemented one of the techniques or suggestions. Ask them for advice.
The prospecting email is all about establishing a meaningful connection. If they respond — and they likely will if your approach is sincere — your pitch has a much better chance of going places.
One Last Thing
Time to write that blog! If you have the time, that is. If you don’t, we have a guest posting service that places you with a high authority publisher, produces professional content, and delivers your link in a way that matters, all within 2 – 3 weeks.
See the benefit in reaching thousands of relevant readers? Contact us today to learn more.