By now, everyone has realized that a bit of guest blogging can go a long way. It does not matter if you run a personal blog, something with your friends or a company blog, really. Among other things, guest blogging builds relationships, it expands your readership base and it can do amazing things for your traffic and search engine rankings.
Guest blogging used to be a straightforward proposition and, if we are being really honest, it used to suck. It pretty much came down to exchanging half-literate 500-word articles with other blog owners and hoping that the Almighty Google does not come down on you and your new “friends” like a ton of bricks.
Over the last couple of years, guest blogging has become a much more complex, but also more interesting and skill-demanding practice. It has also bred quite a few new tricks, some of which are (usually) more effective than the rest.
Disclaimer: the author might resort to using the personal pronoun “I” in the remainder of the article. The author usually tries to avoid this, but many of the tips will stem from personal experience and using “the author” extensively will make the author seem like an insane person.
Use Twitter (and Other Social Media)
This may seem like a bit of a “duh” trick, but stay with me. Sure, Twitter is a great way to let people know that you have written an article, especially in the business and tech niches. However, I have found that Twitter is much better for finding guest blogging opportunities and creating new contacts.
Let’s imagine a new-fangled business blog that features a few decent articles after a month or two of (writing-heavy) existence. You create its Twitter account and you find about a hundred initial profiles to follow, many of which are large business-oriented websites where experts from various fields share their expertise. Such profiles share a ton of articles every day and they always feature Twitter handles of the people who wrote them, as well as the companies they represent.
These are all potential guest blogging partners. You open up their company websites and then spend some time getting to know them and their blog. If you think you have something to contribute, you find the right person and you contact them with your pitch.
But it doesn’t stop there.
You check out their Twitter feed. Perhaps you follow them. They tweet about their partners, their clients and suppliers. All of them have websites. Most of them have blogs. Most of them have fantastic people working for them. People that can become part of your blogging network.
Soon enough, your Twitter network will branch out and you will be talking to people from all four corners of the world, setting up guest blogs and making a name for yourself and your blog. Of course, with a bit of automation using tools like Tweetfavy, your Twitter network can grow even faster, providing you with added opportunities and connections.
I don’t know about other social media platforms from personal experience, but I have a friend who does fashion blogging and he swears by Instagram.
Depending on how serious you are about your guest blogging, you will want to use a few tools that will make your life easier. Not just that. These tools will also make your guest blogging more successful.
To start with, you will want to add the SEO MozBar to your browser. It is a great way to get the basic “feel” for the website you are considering as a guest blogging opportunity. The fine people from Moz assign a certain value to every website that is indexed by them (the vast majority of them) and this will be a good indication of how good the website is. It also lets you analyze the page you have opened, check the links and more.
The good people from BuzzStream also offer quite a set of free tools on their website, most of which will be of great use to a guest blogger. Among other things, these tools will let you find the right emails, extract links from the HTML and even extract keywords, descriptions and page titles from URLs.
Dibz.me is a link prospecting tool which can save you a ton of time when you are doing a simple (or not so simple) Google search for potential guest blogging opportunities. It automates much of the advanced Google search methods and provides you with an organized and ranked list of opportunities to pursue. One of its best features is that it filters out spammy websites, ensuring you do not end up guest blogging on a website whose connection with your site will only hurt you.
I am what you would call a scatterbrain, which means that I often forget to do stuff, often important stuff. In the world of guest blogging, the most likely thing to forget is to send follow-up emails where you give your initial outreach a second chance. It is an extremely successful technique and forgetting about it can hurt you big time. This is why a tool like FollowUp.CC is such a great asset. It is more than just a follow up remainder, don’t worry.
The best trick you can ever hope to learn about guest blogging is to acknowledge the virtue of being nice.
The guest blogging world is packed full of inconsiderate, well, jerks, who do it for their own little lame reasons and who do not appreciate the fact they are imposing on someone else’s time. People have much better things to do than reading your pitch and your article (especially if it sucks). They are doing you a favor by even acknowledging your tries to get their attention.
You are entitled to nothing (or close to nothing).
You need to understand this. If someone said they like your article and they will publish it, do not start pestering them every five minutes about when it will go live. These people have their own lives. They have their own things to do and problems to take care of.
Being considerate and polite is the least you can do.
Moreover, show that you are nice by not wasting people’s time with subpar writing and regurgitated content that they can find on a gazillion other websites. Writing nice is being nice.
Instead of a Closing Word
Guest blogging can be a beautiful thing. As long as you deal with nice people who know what they are doing and who understand that writing a guest article on someone’s blog is a courtesy.
Be one of those nice people.