Guest blogging is an essential piece of an overall link building strategy.

In fact, your SEO toolkit is not complete without guest posts.

If used correctly, guest posts can generate a lot of targeted SEO and referral traffic. 

After the demise of article directories, Google introduced some changes to its ranking algorithm that made all the other strategies for getting backlinks obsolete.

For this reason, guest posting remains as one of the most impactful ways for generating traffic and making your site visible to the world.

How you can benefit from guest blogging

Generally, there are two main benefits of guest posts. First, you get quality backlinks to your site. If you are posting on an authoritative website, you can get a lot of traffic. 

This is because you are creating backlinks to your own site from reputable sites. Search engines, and Google in particular, upholds this. It means your site is also trustworthy and authoritative too.

Secondly, you get free exposure to a new audience. It’s highly likely that the audience of the blog you are guest posting to may follow you if they like your post. 

This can even add to your email list if your new readers are busy people who perhaps don’t have time to visit your blog every time you post new content.

5 Steps on how to add guest posts to your SEO toolkit

Your SEO toolkit needs high-quality guest posts to reputable sites. And to do that, you’ll need to have a well-defined strategy on how to make your guest posts deliver quintessential results. 

Here’s are 5 simple steps on how to add guest posts to your SEO toolkit that have been proven to work.

Step 1: Find feasible guest blogging targets

Before you embark on your guest posting campaign, it’s important to make sure that your efforts will pay off.

You should look for viable guest blogging targets. These are blogs and resources whose backlinks will increase your domain authority as well as bring traffic to your site.

Don’t go around offering to write for any blog that accepts your proposal, take your time to find out more about those blogs–what their niche is and whether they have authority in that niche.

There are various tactics that you can use to find guest blogging targets. Here are some of the proven strategies that you can use.

  • Google Search strings – There are countless search strings that can net you dozens of relevant guest posting targets. These include, “keyword + guest post”, “keyword + write for us”,  “keyword + submit guest post” and more.
  • My Blog Guest (MBG) – MBG is a bloggers marketplace. Here you’ll find hundreds of webmasters actively looking for bloggers to guest post on their sites.
  • Google+ search – The ever growing social network Google+ has become a paradise for bloggers who value guest posting.
  • Blog comments
  • Twitter search

Social media searches, and Twitter, in particular, will give you a mix of results you may not find on Google. 

Step 2: Dig Deeper

By now you have a decent size list of all the sites that accept guest posts. It’s time to drill the list down to only those blogs that are going to drive more traffic and add value to your SEO toolkit. 

Don’t waste your time on sub-par blogs. Do your homework well and weed out all the weak blogs.

In general, you want to put your efforts on sites that:

  • Can bring you targeted traffic
  • Are related to your site
  • Have many followers
  • Are authoritative
  • Won’t bury your link in an author bio where visitors can’t see it (far below the content)

While there is no formula for finding out which sites completely fits your profile, taking the above factors into account will get you better results.

Step 3: Prepare your sales pitch

Your sales pitch determines whether your guest posting request will go through or not.

If you are dealing with a high authority blog, you can imagine the number of pitches the owner receives per day. 

How do you think they will react upon finding a generic, not targeted email that is trying to hard sell? They will probably hit the delete button.

The secret here is to make sure your piece flows with enticing information that cannot be found elsewhere.

Here’s what a good email template should contain.

  • Start with something specific you like about their site.
  • Should be short and concise, aim for not more than 200 words.
  • Give them some topics you think their readers would benefit from (less work for them)
  • Briefly, touch on your experience and published work.

Be respectful and confident. Try to touch on what the blogger would want to feature on their site rather than what you want to be published.

Step 4: The post

No one likes to read a boring set of rules, but it’s very important that you read the guest post writing guidelines in its entirety. 

Some bloggers have very specific guest post guidelines, and you don’t want to violate any of these rules.

Besides, there is nothing more annoying than writing a 1300 word piece only to be rejected because of the 1000 word limit.

Also, take your time to produce a mind-blowing copy that will compel the site owner to immediately hit the ‘publish’ button.

Think about content that elicits action, changes minds, and sparks conversation.

Because if you produce filler content, you might not go far.

Remember, these sites are called ‘authoritative’ by virtue of the content they publish.

Step 5: Promote your posts

Guest posts will not add value to your SEO toolkit if you don’t do follow up. This step is as important as any other step discussed above. 

Your job does not end when your post gets published. On the contrary, you have to promote your post as much as possible, both for your own good and to maintain a good standing with the site’s owner. 

Here are some things you should do after your post is published.

  1. Promote using your social media channels.
  2. Actively respond to comments.
  3. Reach out to blog commenters to see if you can get a guest post opportunity on their sites.

Guest posts that get promoted via social media tend to get a lot of shares and comments.

Final Thoughts

Guest blogging is an important strategy for growing your blog readership. It is a time-consuming process, but it can pay off in the long run if given the required effort.

So, if your blog is not generating enough traffic, you might want to make some time for guest posts in your SEO toolkit.

What’s your take on guest blogging as a means to drive traffic? We would love to hear your say in the comments section below.