What Is Guest Blogging in 2021: Guide to Getting Started – Guest blogging in 2021 has evolved significantly since it became popular among SEO experts.
In fact, a lot of people have discovered how pivotal it can be to driving quality traffic to a website.
If you have a new website, you’ll realize it can be horribly difficult to draw site traffic without any content or blog posts.
Thus, you get to work – creating blog posts related to your niche that will be of value to readers.
Unfortunately, you seem to be the only one viewing and reading the posts. Nobody else has discovered and visited the blog despite your content having a high value.
This can be quite depressing and the truth is you’re not alone in this. Many of us have been there as young bloggers at the start of our career.
This article will discuss guest blogging in 2021 for starters and for experienced bloggers seeking to increase traffic to their website and improve their overall SEO.
- What Is Guest Blogging?
- Advantages of Guest Blogging
- How to Find Websites for Guest Blogging
- Do Site Owners or Webmasters Accept Your Content as Soon as They Read the Pitch?
- Complete Guest Blogging Guideline
- Step 1: Determine Your Guest Posting Goals
- Step 2: Discovering Guest Posting Opportunity
- a. Google Search
- b. Connections with Other Guest Bloggers
- c. Social Searches
- d. Competitor Backlinks Tracking
- e. Blogging Community
- Step 3: Getting Started with Guest Post Pitch
- Step 4: Writing the Guest Post
- Step 5: Crafting the Author Bio
- Step 6: Follow Up
- Step 7: Track the Post’s Performance
- Step 8: Extra Tips for Pro Guest Posting
- Guest Blogging in 2021
- Mistakes People Make When Guest Posting
- 1. Setting unrealistic or no goals
- 2. Avoid going beyond the blog’s guidelines
- 3. Being ignorant of your audience
- 4. Recycling your content
- How to Submit a Great Guest Post?
What Is Guest Blogging?
Also referred to as guest posting, guest blogging is the act of writing content for other websites or blogs.
Guest bloggers often develop guest posts for websites or blogs that are within their niche or industry.
The goal of this external blogging is to increase the backlinks and referral traffic of the guest blogger.
Advantages of Guest Blogging
If you’ve ever waited anxiously for readers to troop to your website after clicking the publish icon on your latest blog post, then you’d realize it would be a long wait until you start seeing the first rare visitors.
Generally, it takes time for your blog posts to move up the organic search rankings and it does get discouraging when you don’t see traffic right away.
Fortunately, guest blogging offers plenty of advantages to websites that practice it as it drives relevant referral traffic to your website from the site where your guest post is published.
As more people read your content on the website where you guest posted, there’s a high chance they will visit your website. This improves your brand awareness along with your credibility.
When you include contextual links from your site to your guest post, it adds value to your site and enhances its domain authority.
When you do this consistently over a period of time, search engines will notice that your site is receiving plenty of quality backlinks from high-authority niche websites.
This further helps your website rank even higher on search engines results pages (SERPs). Generally, creating guest posts is one of the best methods of boosting your site’s rankings and building your credibility.
By using the audiences of other bloggers and their Domain Authority (DA), you build up your backlink profile and gain exposure to a wider audience. Here are the major advantages of guest blogging.
1. Builds Domain Authority
The term, Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score (usually from 0-100) that predicts how well a website is going to rank.
Developed by Moz, domain authority is a metric that is measured by many factors, including the total number of links, linking root domains, social signals, TrustRank, and more into a single score.
One of the best methods of building a Domain Authority is through guest posting. When you contribute content to other blogs, you can add a link or two to your website.
If you want to quickly boost your website’s domain authority (and traffic), you should try acquiring contextual backlinks (do-follow links) from high DA websites.
2. Gives Valuable Backlinks
Also called inbound links or do-follow links, backlinks are basically your website’s links on other websites.
Google considers backlinks a vote of confidence from the referring domain thus boosting your website’s credibility in their sights.
Think of backlinks as votes – the more you get, the more search engines believe your content marketing efforts are credible, useful, and of immense value.
So, when creating guest posts, you can insert a link or two to your own website within the content. In addition, you can also drop a link to your site in your guest author bio.
3. Generates Referral Traffic
Aside from deriving valuable backlinks and SEO advantages from writing guest posts, your backlinks also reel in referral traffic.
Once a user on the external website reads your guest post and clicks your link, they are taken back to your site, thus, increasing your traffic.
When writing a guest post, be strategic in adding your backlinks. Try adding the URLs that you want people to read – a useful article, opt-in email page, or service page.
4. Develop New Relationships with Bloggers
Ultimately, the most important advantage of guest blogging is the new relationships that you develop with other bloggers and influencers in your niche.
Because it is a highly collaborative blogging strategy you’ll most likely want to stay in touch with site owners long after your post has been published.
The key to these relationships is to be valuable. Be sure to respond kindly and promptly to emails.
Also, work towards sending in your drafts on time, and most importantly, create fantastic content.
When you do all of these things, you’ll have a better chance of maintaining a healthy relationship.
Unsurprisingly, these relationships can also develop into further guest blogging opportunities down the road.
Lastly, you can even leverage your connections and use them for other cool digital marketing projects such as co-marketing, podcasts, ebooks, and online courses.
As a matter of fact, you can use these relationships to get intros to even more influential guest posting opportunities.
How to Find Websites for Guest Blogging
If you want to start with guest blogging, you’ll need to spend the first few days before writing creating a collection of niche-specific blogs that accept guest posts.
One of the greatest challenges you’re likely to face while looking for guest blogging opportunities is getting your guest post accepted.
There are lots of ways through which you can find guest blogging opportunities. Some of the most effective ones will be discussed below:
1. Google Search
One of the easiest methods of finding guest post opportunities is by searching using the term “your niche+blogs”. For example, farm produce+blogs.
Once you discover a list of blogs that accept guest posts, take a tour through their websites to see if they accept content similar to what you want to write.
Also, search for the domain authority and domain rating of these blogs to determine whether posting on these sites will add value to your own website.
If satisfied with their ratings, create a shortlist of the blogs and keep them in a repository. You can then go ahead to contact each one to pitch your guest post ideas.
2. Utilize Advanced Search Operators
There’s a comprehensive list of Google advanced search operators or search commands that you can use to look for guest blogging opportunities.
Many of these search commands are a mash-up of words or phrases that are related to guest blogging opportunities. See examples of this list of commands below:
“[your keyword]” +”write for me”
“[your keyword]” +”write for us”
“[your keyword]” + “guest post”
“[your keyword]” +”submit a guest post”
“keyword + “guest post guidelines”
“[your keyword]” +”become a contributor”
“[your keyword]” +”contribute”
“[your keyword]” +”contribute to this site”
“[your keyword]” +”blogging guidelines”
“[your keyword]” + “guest column”
“[your keyword]” + “accepting guest posts”
“[your keyword]” + “Now Accepting Guest Posts”
3. Take Advantage of Guest Blogging Communities
Several online communities such as MyBlogGuest have been created to help guest writers connect with niche bloggers.
Although you may not be able to connect with the biggest blogs in your niche on these platforms, however, they can still be a great place to begin your guest blogging quest.
4. Blogger Directories
Another useful source for guest bloggers looking to find the best and most relevant blogs in their niches is blogger directories.
Some of these directories even go as far as mentioning the total traffic received by their list of blogs each month. Thus, your task of shortlisting guest blogs becomes even easier.
5. Interact with Blog Commenters
As soon as your blog is published on an external website, you may get a lot of comments from the blog readers.
This is an awesome opportunity to network with the followers of the blog you’ve posted on and simultaneously, build your authority in front of them.
Ultimately, this helps in opening more avenues to earn backlinks in the future.
6. Social Networking For Guest Posting Opportunities
You can also leverage social networking to find guest post opportunities. It doesn’t matter if it is Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter, just keep seeking guest posting opportunities.
You can join several groups on these social networking platforms to get in touch with relevant bloggers or webmasters willing to accept guest posts.
7. Request from Personal Connections
This is arguably one of the simplest methods of finding guest blogging opportunities for yourself.
Many people have connections with a handful of bloggers within their niche. Thus, this can be their starting point to seeking out proper opportunities for guest posting.
So, try contacting your blogger friends and share your requirement. They can, in turn, connect you with relevant bloggers and get you going with your link-building strategy through guest blogging.
8. Analyze Competitor Backlinks
Keep in mind that you’re not the only one also searching for guest blogging opportunities. Your competitors are likely also doing the very same thing to build their backlink profile.
So, you can take a peek at what your competitors are up to with their link-building strategy.
The tools above help you discover websites that have recently given backlinks to your competitors.
If they accepted guest posts from your competitors, then the chances are high that they’ll also accept your guest post proposal.
Do Site Owners or Webmasters Accept Your Content as Soon as They Read the Pitch?
Generally, this is what every blogger expects to happen, but in truth, the final YES only comes after following up with the website owner more than once.
That’s why if the first response you get is negative, you shouldn’t let it weigh you down. Don’t lose hope and try to reach out to them with a better pitch this time.
However, when reaching out to them, don’t overload or pester these site owners with repeated emails.
Rather, sense the opportunity lying behind each reply that you receive and carefully create the follow-up emails. Indeed, it does require some level of creativity.
Now, Google has specific guidelines regarding the quality of guest posting and backlinking activities.
Thus, any website that executes low-standard guest posting or link-building activities will be penalized.
This is why you need to handle guest posting activities with proper precaution and care. Fortunately, we have the complete guest blogging guideline below to help you secure links, traffic, and authority from high authority niche-specific websites.
Complete Guest Blogging Guideline
Step 1: Determine Your Guest Posting Goals
Before you getting acquainted with the guidelines for guest blogging, you need to start by determining why you want to do it in the first place.
Ideally, website owners perform guest post activities to place themselves as an authority site in their niche or to build quality backlinks to generate leads.
If any of the goals above is what you’re trying to accomplish, then you’ll need to find high-quality blogs that have a wide audience base and are willing to accepting guest posts.
When you do this, you’ll be able to shortlist relevant blogs where you can carry out your guest posting activities.
Step 2: Discovering Guest Posting Opportunity
The next thing you want to do is to discover those websites within your niche that have good domain authority.
You’ll also need to take a tour through these sites and find out how the user engagement is and the frequency of guest blog posting.
In addition, try to check if the audience’s comments on the posts are published. Also, find out if the guest posts are shared widely on social media.
There’s no lie in the fact that relevance is significant while looking for guest posting opportunities.
Thus, if your niche is rooted in the health industry, you cannot strike a chord with a website that deals with furniture, even if it has a high user engagement and commendable DA.
So, once again, here’s how you can start searching for guest posting opportunities in your niche from scratch.
a. Google Search
What better way to find guest posting opportunities than to make use of Google search to look up keywords like “guest post,” “submit a guest post,” “guest posting sites,” “guest posting guidelines,” etc.
Google Reverse Image Search is another method you can use. It requires copying the image link of a famous author in your niche from the author’s bio and pasting it in the Google image search option.
You’ll get a result showing a list of all the websites where that author has done guest posting.
b. Connections with Other Guest Bloggers
Now, this works if you’re familiar with any guest blogger within your niche. If you read other blogs (in your niche) often, you’ll likely be able to identify the ones who blog frequently.
Now if you quickly do a google search using the term “Guest post by (insert the blogger’s name),” you’ll discover the websites where these top bloggers have posted their content.
From there you can go ahead to get in touch with those site owners for guest post submission.
c. Social Searches
Another pretty effective technique you can use to find out guest posting opportunities on different websites is through social media.
All you have to do is simply post your requirements on social media and any site that accepts guest posts may send you a message if they come across it.
You can also do an online search on your social media website to find out if there are any guest post requests available.
Similarly, you can also read articles that list top websites to guest post for various niches. Afterward, you can contact them individually and filter out who is ready to accept and who isn’t.
d. Competitor Backlinks Tracking
There’s a good chance that your competitors are already ahead of you with their link-building tactics.
You can execute the backlink analysis of a competitor to discover the backlinks they get from their guest posts.
Using tools like Open Site Explorer also helps you to look at the backlinks of your competitors to pick out any websites they have written guest posts for.
e. Blogging Community
With platforms like My Blog Guest, you can find useful communities of guest bloggers online.
We encourage you to sign up there for free and browse for blogs accepting guest posts. You may also choose to post about your interest in guest blogging, and relevant website owners/bloggers will look for and contact you.
Step 3: Getting Started with Guest Post Pitch
We believe you should, by now, already have an idea about how to find guest blogging opportunities.
The next stage in the guest blogging journey is the epic task of pitching your proposal in the right way.
If you are a popular figure in the guest blogging community, getting your requests approved would be much easier for you since most of the other blow owners in your industry are already familiar with you.
But, if you are relatively new to guest blogging, you’ll need to study the website thoroughly before writing a guest post to develop a clearer understanding of what type of content gets good views, shares, and comments there.
Following this, you have to decide the topic you want to write about and of course, the format of the article.
Arguably, the most difficult aspect of any guest blogging activity lies in its pitching. Hundreds of authors approach websites daily with various requests to guest post on their website.
Chances are your email will end up in the spam folder (or worse, might never be opened) along with others if you stick to generic pitches.
You can avoid this by writing a killer pitch including elements aimed at catching the site owner’s attention instantly such as:
- Talking about something specific about the site you want to guest post
- Making your pitch brief and straight to the point
- Mentioning your experience and published content
- Trying to soft sell
- Giving them a list of 3-5 guest post topics to select from
Step 4: Writing the Guest Post
As soon as the site owner replies and finalizes on a topic, you can go ahead and begin to write your post.
Many website owners will reply with guest posting guidelines that you’ll have to follow on their site.
This may include specific information such as the word count of the guest post, what types of links to add, etc.
Follow these guidelines in your guest blog and be sure to post similar elements like that of most other guest posts on the site.
Furthermore, guest posts should be non-promotional and must be intended to divulge information above all.
In addition, include keywords within your guest post smartly and also remember to add links within the content.
If you are going to quote someone or recommend any product or services, always add a link to them as well.
You can bring your guest post to a close-by ending it with a favorable call to action that will prompt users who read it.
Step 5: Crafting the Author Bio
After writing the guest post, you’ll also need to write the Author Bio. This is the only section where you are free to self-promote, albeit, subtly and give links to your website/published works book, etc.
It is always better to include not more than two links in your author bio and to figure out which links would work best.
If you’re aiming to get a link back, remember to add a link to your website in the author bio.
Also, if you seek to promote a product or service, you can link a particular landing page in the author’s bio section.
If you’re focusing on increasing your social media followers, do not forget to provide links to your social media channels at the end of the bio.
Step 6: Follow Up
At this stage, you should consider doing certain things to get the most out of your guest posting efforts.
Many bloggers make the mistake of thinking that once the guest post gets published on the external website, then the job is done.
Sorry to burst your bubble but it is only half done. As soon as the post is live, you have to keep a tab of the comments flowing in and reply to each of them individually.
Try as much as you can to reply to all the comments, if not, do reply to the comments you get within a few days of publishing the post.
In addition, try to promote your guest post on social media and also encourage people to give it a read.
An unusual but brilliant practice to follow is to send a thank-you note to the site owner as soon as your post is published.
This helps in making the relationship stronger and can let you get approved much faster the next time you plan to guest post on their site.
Step 7: Track the Post’s Performance
It’s only natural to want to examine how your guest post is performing after you’ve successfully published it.
So, don’t hesitate to track the performance of your guest post. One of the best methods to do so is by utilizing Google Analytics (GA).
With GA, you can measure the referral traffic to your site along with other essential performance metrics.
Furthermore, if you want to have a general analysis of your entire guest blogging strategy so far, you can also compare all the referrals from the guest posts you have written till now to see how well you’ve performed so far.
Step 8: Extra Tips for Pro Guest Posting
Although some marketers argue by suggesting that the concept of guest posting is all about building backlinks and getting traffic to a website.
However, if you ever consider giving value to building an email list, then you can do so via guest posting.
This will require you to do what is referred to as an Expanded Guest Post. You can follow these steps to do it:
- Start by creating a bonus resource such as an ebook or a video. This resource should have the same theme or be on the same topic as the guest post you’ve written.
- The next step is to create a page for people to read your guest post specifically. This page will be the platform granting access to the bonus resource in exchange for email IDs.
- Lastly, pitch your bonus at the end of your blog post to trigger readers into visiting your page and share their email to access it.
Guest Blogging in 2021
Recently, a shadowy gloom has been cast over the concept of guest blogging due to the shady antics of professional link builders who trade content for backlinks.
This leaves one to wonder whether guest blogging in 2021 is still worth it or the risks associated with it now outweigh the rewards.
If you’re a webmaster, you’d probably be asking the same question if it is still worth accepting guest posts in 2021, or it is now dangerous waters that mustn’t be sailed.
However, we believe that if bloggers can avoid the mistakes they make when guest posting and stick to the guidelines in this article, then they’ll achieve much success.
Below are some of the common mistakes people make when guest posting.
Mistakes People Make When Guest Posting
1. Setting unrealistic or no goals
Before diving into your campaign, you’ll want to get a blueprint in place first. Having unrealistic goals, or even no goals at all can cost you time and effort.
You cannot compromise on your targets if you need to build user traffic. For instance, if you’re working around a specific keyword, your content needs to justify that by creating a post that revolves around it.
So, begin by having your article published on blogs that rank for keywords in a particular niche, and which have a high metric score, such as Trust Flow, Domain Authority, and Page Rank.
In addition, if your goal is to get a richer outreach and gain increased user traffic, you’ll want to put your money on blogs that already have a huge fan following.
2. Avoid going beyond the blog’s guidelines
You won’t want to mess things up by overlooking the important guidelines of the blog you’re targeting. Ignore this, and you’ll be kissing that platform goodbye in no time.
The guidelines are there to help you come up with an ideal post for that blog. Crucial information underlining what to do and what to leave out from your post will help you deliver content that perfectly aligns with the blog’s metrics.
Many blogs will publish your contributions only if they are flawless and true to the guidelines.
So, you have to ensure that you have lapped up their do’s and don’ts thoroughly before sending it across.
However, in a situation where the blog doesn’t have a set guideline in place, ensure to read through the existing posts to get a feel of what they are likely to approve of in terms of writing style, linking policies, etc.
3. Being ignorant of your audience
Here’s another common mistake most bloggers make. The right thing to do before you get down to writing is to understand who you’re writing for, and who your audience is.
You’ll be wasting your time writing content if you don’t understand your audience and their preferences.
Even if you understand your audience on your blog, when posting on someone else’s blog, the audience there might differ and so will their preferences.
So, it can become a headache trying to understand the audience from a different blow. This might look and sound challenging but it is not impossible.
You can achieve this by simply aligning your posts to the external blog’s audience and not your present audience so that they can relate to it.
For example, if your business caters to other businesses (B2B), but you’re trying to reach out to consumers as well, you’ll have to spice up your approach and create content with the new audience in mind which are, of course, consumers and not businesses.
4. Recycling your content
If you feel just because it isn’t your blog, you can dumb down on the quality of the content you submit, then get your acts right!
On no account must content quality be compromised; the texture, tonality, and presentation of your content need to be excellent and top-notch.
Guest posting is a medium of driving traffic to your website or blog and having them converted.
This will not be possible without sublime, top-quality content that your audience will find useful.
Unless there is something particularly helpful and informative in your post, most people wouldn’t be interested in exploring your published work.
5. Expecting to get published too quickly
Many bloggers think it is easy to quickly create a write-up suitable for guest posting and have it published in just a few hours.
Think again! The entire guest blogging (https://neilpatel.com/blog/guide-to-guest-blogging/) process doesn’t happen overnight! It takes time, in fact, a whole lot of time that could stretch over days or even weeks.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t receive a response instantly; publishing a post takes time. Allow some time, and while you’re waiting for a reply, make sure you’re also reaching out to other blogs for similar guest posting opportunities.
Usually, it can take between four to six weeks to get a blog published. However, do not lose hope; continue writing, and develop new connections with other bloggers while you’re at it.
6. Not following up with emails
After sending your blog post to the external website, don’t think your task is over already. You also need to follow up with emails especially if you don’t hear from the blog owner.
Don’t forget that they are dealing with hundreds and thousands of guest posts, and as such, it’s not impossible that yours got overlooked.
So, be sure to confirm and check on the status of your sent content after about two weeks. However, try not to spam the site owner while at it.
7. Not replying to audience comments
After getting your excellent article published successfully, erase that thought that your job has been completed.
You need to still stick around and be ready to reply to comments from the audience that read your post while participating in their discussions.
It simply makes no sense to just vanish into thin air when someone has gone through your post and taken the trouble to leave you a comment.
In addition, interacting in comments also gives you the chance to get up, close, and personal with your audience.
Indeed, it is a brilliant way of building a relationship and establishing trust. Also, do not forget to respond to the follow-up comments. They are equally crucial for developing a good rapport with the audience as well.
8. Failing to keep a comprehensive record
Be sure to keep a detailed record of your blog posts; blog title, date of submission, date of publishing, URL, contact details, Page Rank, Domain Authority, and many more.
The reason is that you can refer to this record later to help you better understand what works and what doesn’t so you can try new solutions where required.
Having a well-documented record will help you in ironing out and perfecting your more recent posts in such a way that they’ll generate the maximum user traffic.
How to Submit a Great Guest Post?
No doubt, you may be a seasoned writer, however, writing guest posts that capture the attention of the audience and nudge them into learning more about your business needs than your writing skills.
As soon as get in contact with a niche blogger and convince them to get your guest post published on their website, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind before proceeding with the content writing process.
1. Consider Why External Blog Owners Would Want Your Content
Although building backlinks and growing authority via content might be your focus for guest posting, however, what benefits will you be providing to the concerned external blog owner or editor of the blog?
Usually, the common demand of website owners or blog editors is to constantly deliver fresh and relevant content for their audience.
Churning out fresh content ideas is what majority of blog owners look forward to when they read an email pitch.
With this in mind, you should ensure that you research well to understand the type of content that is already available on the website.
This will help you avoid suggesting something that closely resembles a topic that has already been covered.
So, rather than recycle, try finding new topic ideas that haven’t been covered on their blog.
Furthermore, you should check the search volume for the keywords related to the topic and analyze the popularity of the topic on Google Trends.
This will help you understand whether the audience would really be interested in that particular topic.
2. Look for the right content format
Aside from written content, video content, infographics, and podcasts are also becoming more popular.
So, if you want to explore different content formats, make sure you do so with the utmost expertise.
For instance, if you plan to create video content, you’ll need an excellent video editor to do the task along with HD video clips.
3. Don’t Over-Promote Your Brand
In the process of creating guest posts, some writers often tend to over-promote their brand.
You need to understand that your brand might not interest the editors of the blog where you want to post or its audience.
So, when writing a guest post, you should focus on writing about the chosen topic and subtly include a line or two for the contextual purpose of placing your site link within it.
4. Respect the Editor’s Time & Privacy
Websites that openly accept guest posts tend to get flooded with tons of emails. It is even worse if the editor of the blog works independently without a team as it might take them quite some time to filter these messages, shortlist the authentic ones and respond.
After sending your pitch to a blog owner, avoid sending them reminder emails on a daily basis.
Be patient and wait for their reply, however, if they do not respond within a week or two, you can send them a gentle reminder.
Spamming blog owners’ inboxes may trigger them to blacklist you permanently. They’re humans too and nobody should be harassed with a barrage of repeated emails.
If you’re a digital marketer looking to jump into the guest posting universe successfully, this step-by-step guide to guest blogging is going to be pretty helpful.
You’ll learn the rudiments of guest blogging, starting from what it is and why is it essential to how to do it the right way.
Go through this guide to getting started with guest blogging to learn about the small tricks and tips that will make your guest blogging efforts a reverberating success.
If you are finding it difficult to implement the strategies in this article probably due to lack of time and resources, feel free to get in touch with us to assist you.