Many years ago when I was only a college Freshman..
I accidentally stumbled onto a dangerous idea.
I got it into my head that if I can build an awesome site I could make some money and maybe get a head start on my college debt. I mean, how hard could it be? All I had to do was make an awesome site right?
Though my first site was a gaming site, the lessons learned and mistakes made still apply to blogs. I made the same mistake that most Entrepreneurs and Bloggers make when they are just starting out. I thought that the hardest part of creating a successful website or blog is building it.. This is not even remotely the case.
Creating the website is by far the easiest part of process. Whether you succeed as a blogger or not depends heavily on your ability to get your blog in front of the right audience. The most brilliant, insightful, and beautiful blog on chocolate written by the world’s leading chocolate expert means absolutely nothing if no chocolate lovers ever find out about it.
Luckily, like anything, marketing is a learn-able skill set. If you ever learned anything (coding, basketball, walking, making noises with your face, etc. ) then you are more than capable of learning how to get your blog in front of the right people.
I eventually did learn to get that site of mine to about a 1 – 2k unique people a day. But it was a frustrating process, that took many months. A very frustrating process that a lot of bloggers face. If you are the kind of person that believes in making this process a little less painful by learning to market your blog as effectively as possible, then this post is for you.
Now, there are many ways to get that traffic without doing SEO or getting into Social Media. It just so happens that one of the best ways to get traffic so is through guest blogging. But whenever I mention this, I always get a few people emailing me and asking me how they can do this if they are just starting out.
“But Mark, I have no connections to bloggers in this niche..”
“How can I do this if I haven’t built up my credibility?”
“No one in my niche even knows who I am yet, why would they let me guest post?”
The truth is you don’t need fame, recognition, or have any connections to be able to land guest posts on popular blogs. You just need to know what you are doing.
1.Google The Social World To Find Rare Opportunities.
The most difficult part of guest blogging is finding the right bloggers. If you find someone who wants a guest post, you really don’t need to be an authority figure to be able to write for them. All you need to do is prove that you’ve written good content before, even if it’s only on your own blog.
There are plenty of bloggers out there that’re looking for guest posts. Instead of spending your time trying to convince people who absolutely don’t want guest posts, go after people who have guest authors frequently.
This is where Topsy comes in.
Topsy is like the Google of the social media world. It looks through Twitter and Google Plus to find what you are looking for. Because fewer people use Topsy to find places to write for than Google, you can land some pretty rare opportunities this way. Use Topsy to look for bloggers in your niche who have tweeted their latest guest post or tweeting the latest guest post on their own blog.
Use it just like Google to search for guest posting opportunities. (I’ll explain this more next) After you search for something like: fitness “guest post”, you can then use the bar on the left to narrow down your results to as recent as you would like.
You can then go on to narrow down the results further to links only clicking on Links in the sidebar under search.
2.The Quickest Way To Get Guest Posts
To be honest I probably should’ve started with using Google to get guest posts before I mentioned Topsy because learning how to use Google to find guest posting opportunities will help you understand exactly what to search for in Topsy. But I really wanted to start out with something everyone doesn’t always talk about.
Using Google to find blogs to guest post for is straight forward. Google your “keyword” and “Submit a guest post” to look for bloggers who are actively looking to publish guest posts in your niche. The Submit a guest post part should be in quotes, because this makes sure that Google looks for an exact match. So if you are looking to make a guest post about fitness, then your query should look something like this:
Keep in mind that not everyone will use the exact words “Submit a guest post“. You can also look for things like “guest post by” Here are some variations of these to keep in mind:
- “Write For us”
- “Contribute to our site”
- “Add blog post”
- “Become an Author”
- “Submit a Guest Article”
- “Bloggers wanted”
- “Guest post guidelines”
Once you find blogs that have had guest posts in the past, send them an outreach email asking to write for them. These bloggers are much more likely to say yes to a guest post than the ones that have simply never had a guest post before.
Use the Google blog search to narrow down your search results to blogs only. This will reduce the amount of noise and useless links that appear in the search results. Click on more on the Google search and choose blogs.
But what do you do if you are OK with finding guest posting opportunities related more to than one keyword? Do you just do a separate search for each one? No. If they’re related, you can easily condense all those searches into one search and still get relevant results. You do this by using the OR operator.
The OR operator tells Google that you are OK with results containing either keyword. So if your search query is: “submit a guest post” fitness OR fatloss. Google will look for results with either keyword. You can attach a string of keywords to make it look something like this:
If you’re simply looking for any blog that’s in your niche use the ~ operator. This will tell Google to look for all synonyms of the keyword. Just place the operator in front of a general keyword in your niche. Your search query should be: “submit a guest post” ~fitness.
Ann Smarty of ViralContentBuzz has a much more detailed post on how to combine these operators with even more operators to get exactly what you are looking for from Google.
3.Use Services That Actively Match Guest Bloggers With Blogs
There are a few services out there that match you up with bloggers looking for guest posts. The people here are actually going out of their way to sign up for a service in hopes of getting someone to guest post for their blog..
It doesn’t get any easier than this.
If you can write a decent post, most people here will accept it in a heartbeat. Let’s take a look at few of my favorites.
1.Blogger LinkUp – Blogger LinkUp is one such service. If you sign up for Blogger LinkUp, you will get an email every Monday, Wednessday, and Friday that has a list of bloggers that are looking for guest posts in different niches. The email will have requests from bloggers that look a little like this:
When you find a blog you would like to guest post for, send them a simple email saying that you saw their offer for a guest post BloggerLinkUp, and you would like to write a guest post on this particular topic. The email should be just 2 – 3 sentences. Most of the time you will get a reply almost immediately.
2. Post Runner – Post Runner is a little different. A case study by Court Tuttle posted on SeoMoz showed that using only 13 posts from post runner, a brand new domain name ranked 2nd for the relatively difficult keyword “650 credit score”. Here’s how Post Runner explains itself:
3. MyBlogGuest – MyBlogGuest is owned by Ann Smarty herself. MyBlogGuest is one of the most well known guest blogging communities out there. Once you sign up, you can either look for blogs to guest post on or try and find bloggers to guest post for you. MyBlogGuest has a large database of bloggers that are looking to do both. You can sort through this database to find exactly what you are looking for. Narrow it down by niche, country and even blog power. It even has a job board where you can get paid to blog for other bloggers.
4.How Not To Get Rejected By The Big Dogs.
Make a list of sites that you’d love to be featured on. What would your ideal places to guest blog be? Once you get a list of 10 – 20 places you would love to write for, you should immediately check to see if any of them are actively looking for guest posts, because if they are then you should approach them first.
A simple way to check this is by Googling site:example.com “guest post”. This will cause Google to search for any mention of “guest post” in the given site.
And for the ones that aren’t accepting guest posts (or just happen to be picky)? This is where the Ladder Method comes in.
The Ladder Method
You know what really gives you credibility? Where you have guest posted before. Say you have written for The Huffington Post or Forbes, chances are most bloggers wouldn’t say no to your request to write for their blog. Ok, that’s great and all but you don’t haven’t written for The Huffington Post, so what do you do? Use the Ladder method to work your way up.
- Step 1. Write a post for a B list blog using one of the other methods. Guest posting on this blog gives you some credibility.
- Step 2. Email a few blogs about guest posting that are a little more popular than this one and add a link to your previous B list guest post in the email. (Just say something simple like here is one of my previous guest posts and add the link.) This will drastically increase your chances of getting a guest post on this blog.
- Step 3. Now take this new link and do the same thing by emailing a blog that is even more popular.
- Step 4. Repeat step three until you are writing for the top blogs in your niche (The list of 10 -20 you made in the beginning).
If bloggers aren’t responding to your emails the way you want them to, it’s probably because you are skipping blogs in between. You most likely wrote for a small blog and now you’re trying to directly guest post for the biggest blogs in your niche. Don’t skip blogs. Work your way up. Write for a blog that is only slightly bigger than your previous one.
5.Use Ethan Lyon’s Twitter Tool To Find Guest Posting Opportunities
When people tweet out a post by a guest author they sometimes like to say so in the tweet. People also like to promote their own guest posts on Twitter with a simple “my guest post @”. This means you can use Twitter search to find guest posting opportunities much like you can use Google.
Use this awesome tool created by Ethan Lyon to help you automate the process. Here’s how it works:
You can get the tool here: http://ow.ly/8x9gF. You’ll notice that when you click on this link, the Google doc will be in view only. You need to make a copy by going to File > Make A Copy in order to use it for yourself.
How do you get guest posts?